Hotel Manager's Picks

Hotel Manager’s Picks | November 2011

A visit to San Francisco during November promises a multitude of delights no matter what the year. The month features some of the best weather of the year as the central valley cools, limiting the fog that is pulled in from the Pacific. Bright, sunny days are ahead where there are no worries about being comfortable while our picturesque Napa and Sonoma wine country delight the senses with crush season ending and the vines changing to a multitude of warm autumn colors. You can just smell the apple cider in the air.

Tiz the season for '49er fever as once again, our San Francisco 49'ers are back on top with an impressive winning streak and several home games to choose from over the next few weeks.

Craig Schwan

Meanwhile at our other stadium, AT&T Park, Cirque du Soleil steals your heart with their latest production under the Grand Chapiteau. TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Don't miss it. I was so impressed it made my Best City Pick for this month.

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

Cirque du Soleil Presents Totem
For most of its length, "Totem" is the most enjoyable new Cirque du Soleil show to come along in quite a while.

Canadian theater legend Robert Lepage, who wrote and directed it, and choreographer Jeffrey Hall create a whimsically seductive flow that puts each impressive act in clear focus without making the show seem fragmented. What holds "Totem" together, is Lepage's magically light, whimsical hand that shapes a sweet and thoroughly entertaining show. 


Lepage's overall concept - blending ideas from creation myths, evolution and human development in a rise from the sea to earth to space - provides fertile ground for the buoyant, sexy and comical costume designs of Kym Barrett. Carl Fillion's sets and props revel in everything from a giant turtle carapace for hurtling acrobats to a colorful rack of test tubes played as a flute by Racheal Cogan. Pedro Pires enlivens the stage with underwater, lava flow and mud-pot projections.

Now playing at AT&T Park through December 18, 2011.  For further information, call: (800) 450-1480.

Dining Pick

Franciscan Restaurant
Sunset Magazine has called The Franciscan Crab Restaurant's fare "... hands down the best food you'll find on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf". After a recent outstanding dining experience, I heartily agree and feature the perennial favorite as my Best Dining Pick of the month.

The restaurant also won a 2011 OpenTable Diners' Choice Award for most scenic view. Culled from more than seven million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant bested more than 12,000 other restaurants in the U.S. to snag this award.


Executive Chef Andrea Froncillo adds to the panoramic view of San Francisco bay with a menu perfected for seafood lovers. Born in a small seaside town outside of Naples, Italy, Chef Froncillo was taught to cook by his "Nonna", who passed on a deep passion for life to her grandson.  From his early experiments with simple, basic foods grew an appreciation for the sensuality of texture, presentation and fragrance.

Located on two blocks from the hotel on the waterfront. For additional information or reservations, call (415) 362-7733.

Relax Pick

On The Air Arrives at Teatro ZinZanni
Enjoy a relaxing evening under the big top and be prepared to be entertained! Set along San Francisco's historic waterfront, Teatro ZinZanni is a bewitching evening of European Cabaret and Cirque, Divas and Madmen, Spectacle and Sensuality with Live Music and a Gourmet Five-Course Dinner - set in the nightclub of your dreams!

Experience an enchanting evening of trickery and illusion, dreams and divas, music and merriment guaranteed to mesmerize the beholder and tickle the palate.


Tune in for a nostalgic journey of music, cirque and cabaret starring blues phenomenon Duffy Bishop and Bay Area comedic legend Geoff Hoyle. When a local radio station lacks the funds to stay On the Air, the ambitious staffers open a restaurant to keep the station swinging. ZinZannity quickly ensues with dazzling music, dance and acrobatic performances as magic blooms in the musical moonlight. Love, Chaos & Dinner - broadcasting live from Teatro ZinZanni.

At Pier 29 on the Embarcadero, now through October 9, 2011. For further information call: (415) 438-2668.

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

HAIR The Musical
Is San Francisco forever frozen in the '60's? Find out by attending a performance of a new Tony-winning production of HAIR that is an electric celebration on stage!

This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. HAIR features an extraordinary cast and unforgettable songs, including "Aquarius," and "Let the Sun Shine In".


At the Golden Gate Theatre through November 20, 2011. For further information and tickets call: (888) SHN-1799.

Family Pick

Walt Disney Family Museum
Celebrating their second anniversary, the Walt Disney Family Museum's three historic buildings within the nearby Presidio houses 10 galleries devoted to the inspiring story of Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Disneyland and the global yet distinctly American company that bears his name.

Disney's story is impressively portrayed through drawings, storyboards, the narrow-gauge train built for Disneyland along with film clips, concept art, scripts, musical scores and cameras used by Disney and his staff.


Using a mix of historic materials and artifacts, Disney's achievements really comes to life through innovative displays that include listening stations, interactive media, and more than 200 video monitors. Much of the material is being generously lent by the Walt Disney Company and private collectors.

Located at the nearby Presidio. For information and tickets call (415) 345-6893.


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