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Hotel Manager's Picks - November 2010 Archive

Hotel Manager’s Picks | November 2010

Giants fever has gripped the city this month as our storied team advances to the World Series. With shouts of "Uribe!" echoing from AT&T Park, who will forget the 8th inning in Game #2? Rest assured, no one in San Francisco will. Plan a visit, paint the town orange, enjoy the celebratory mood and beautiful autumn weather this November in our City by the Bay.

Speaking of celebration, the entire hospitality industry is very proud of our 18th consecutive Condé Nast readers survey vote as the #1 city to visit in the United States. More than 25,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers participated in the 2010 Readers' Choice Survey. The complete award results will appear in the November 2010 issue.

Craig Schwan

San Francisco was followed by Charleston, SC (#2) and Santa Fe, NM (#3), the same award winners as 2009. Worldwide, San Francisco shared this award with Florence in Europe; Bangkok in Asia; Cape Town in Africa; Vancouver in the Americas; and Bermuda in the Caribbean. So come visit to see what Condé Nast readers are all agog about ... and while you're here, do a little cheer and cross your fingers for our SF Giants.

To help plan your stay, visit our Local Events page on our website for details of some of the more interesting events that are happening in San Francisco this month. Regardless of what you have planned, enjoy visiting our beautiful city.

What's your favorite spot in San Francisco? Let us know at or Share on Facebook.

Happy Travels ... Craig Schwan, General Manager

City Pick

Opening November 16, 2010 in San Francisco, Cavalia is an extravagant production involving magnificent horses from all over the world, riders, aerialists, acrobats and dancers, as well as musicians and a vocalist.

Created by Normand Latourelle, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, five years were spent on research and then another five conceiving the show and training animals and acrobats before "Cavalia's" world premiere in August 2003 in Quebec.


The production made its U.S. premiere in February 2004 in San Francisco. Since then, "Cavalia" has played to more than 2.5 million people with 1,600 performances.

"Cavalia" has grown to roughly twice its original size since 2004 with a cast of 100, including 45 humans and 55 horses representing 12 breeds, but Latourelle's inspiration began with a single steed. Latourelle recruited the quarter horse Choice, now 23 and retired to "Cavalia's" Sutton, Quebec, farm, as an extra for a village scene in Légendes Fantastiques, a show inspired by French-Canadian folk tales that he produced in Drummondville, Quebec.

Constantly evolving, Cavalia opens under the largest touring White Big Top in the world on November 16 at At AT&T Park. For more information call: (866) 999-8111

Dining Pick

La Folie
A perennial favorite of ours, La Folie started out as a casual affair when it opened in 1988, but with each year chef-owner Roland Passot has cranked up the style. Even after an outstanding remodel several years ago, the interior never paralleled the artistry of the cooking.

Chef Passot's classic French training is modulated with a California sensibility, and he's interjected a little humor in his offerings such as quail and foie gras lollipops or an opening salvo of "steak frites'' -- beef carpaccio topped with truffles and a little cone of shoestring potatoes. Where Passot differs from his colleagues is with the humongous size of the portions; it's kind of the Hungry Man's version of four-star dining.


The menu begins with a goat cheese and fourme d'ambert terrine with baby pickled beets, toasted walnuts and frisee salad. The most memorable dish is the warm, crisp patty of gooey pig's feet, sweetbreads and lobster, topped with a tight mound of frisee salad, all arranged on lentils flavored with bacon and a hazelnut vinaigrette.

For the less adventurous, give the Niman Ranch lamb loin, with Medjool dates and potatoes "fondante" a try. Delicious!

Diners have a choice of desserts, including coconut tapioca pudding with passion fruit sorbet, or a rich chocolate caramel mousse. Before the check arrives, the waiter brings a tray of bite-size sweets, but by that time another bite seems impossible; the staff graciously packs them up and sends them home with you.

Visit La Folie on nearby Polk Street at Green. For reservations and further information call (415) 776-5577.

Relax Pick

Pier 39 Tree Lighting Celebration
On November 21st, relax and join the festivities for the entire family at Pier 39 for their famous annual Tree Lighting Celebration.

Bring the kids to meet their favorite Disney Pals direct from the Disneyland Resort® to kick-off the holidays with warmth, merriment and lots of holiday spirit! Enjoy the Tree Lighting Celebration and sing along with live holiday entertainment, and enjoy a special visit from Santa himself.

Pier 39 Tree

Then witness the spectacular illumination of Pier 39's majestic 60-foot tree, adorned with hundreds of bows, ornaments and glistening lights at 5:30pm.

At Pier 39. For further information, call (415) 705-5500.

Romantic Pick

Napa & Sonoma Wine Country
The mesmerizing scenic beauty of wine country in Autumn enhances the romance of both Sonoma and Napa valley. For a taste of timeless romance and some of the best vintages of wine in the world, journey north to enjoy the fragrance of wine in the air and superlative epicurean delights ... you will revel in the simple pleasures of being together.

Situated an hour's drive north of the hotel, Napa Valley is a great getaway idea for a weekend, although it is equally apt for a longer and more leisurely holiday. You will be in awe of the many great wines, luxurious spas, and fine restaurants in Napa Valley, as well as interesting cultural events and the beautiful rolling hills and colorful countryside. 


Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley together compose the traditional wine country of Northern California, often referred to as the vintner capital of the USA. A magnet for those who appreciate the good life, the area is famous for the medicinal hot springs and spas that soothe the soul and pamper the senses. 

Show Pick

West Side Story
More than fifty years ago, a show about New York City changed musical theatre forever. Now, it's come home to make history once again. This Fall, West Side Story journeys to San Francisco in a groundbreaking new production directed by its legendary librettist, Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents.

From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time.  Mr. Laurents' book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever.


The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim -- a collection of standards that includes "Tonight," "America," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere" -- is widely regarded as one of the best ever written. And the extraordinary, Tony-winning choreography by Jerome Robbins completely changed the language of Broadway dance. Don't miss this thrilling presentation of a matchless work of art!

At the Orpheum Theatre. For tickets call: (888) 746-1799.

Family Pick

Pixar: 25 Years of Animation
Walt Disney's arrival in Los Angeles in the 1920s firmly established California as a magnet for animation artists.

Home to a number of leading studios, the San Francisco Bay Area has emerged as a global center for animation today. Pixar: 25 Years of Animation provides an unprecedented look at the renowned East bay-based studio and showcases the creative work behind its wildly successful computer-animated films.


After its opening in New York and its five-year  international tour, this exhibition comes home to the nearby Oakland Museum. The presentation includes all of the artwork from the original presentation at MOMA, plus art from Ratatouille, WALL•E, Up, and Pixar's latest film, Toy Story 3.

Getting there couldn't be easier, as the Oakland Museum is only one block from the the Lake Merritt BART station. For further information, call (510) 238-2200.



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