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 Holiday Gift Guide for Luxury Travelers

[Hotel Review] The Ritz-Carlton, A Luxury Hotel in San Francisco

[Hotel Review] The Ritz-Carlton, A Luxury Hotel in San Francisco

February 7, 2014
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To keep things interesting on my recent trip to San Francisco, I indulged in luxury hotels in its many forms, moving from an upscale powerhouse of art, design, and tech at Hotel Zetta to classic luxury at The Ritz-Carlton. An iconic Nob Hill landmark, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco boasts a striking neoclassical architectural style that is gently contrasted by its contemporary modern lobby and restaurant, revealing layers of its historical past and providing glimpses of its promising future.

Heralded as a ‘temple of commerce’ when opened in 1909, the Neo-Classical architecture treasure was headquarters to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and later, Cogswell College. After an extensive renovation, this Nob Hill landmark reopened as The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco in April 1991.

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco Exterior_sm

An oasis of grandeur and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is everything a luxury hotel should be and more. A refined elegance (read: not stuffy) echoes throughout the property with a lavish display of traditional oil-paintings on the walls, fresh orchids, marble everywhere, and more chandeliers than you can count. It was a gorgeous home away from home.

Pros:

-I waltzed into the room, only to be greeted by a beautifully crafted Golden Gate Bridge with ‘The Cultureur’ screened on white chocolate and other gorgeous goodies. I’ve come to expect to be impressed by The Ritz-Carlton, but the thought and detail behind this gesture blew me away! Two huge thumbs up to The Ritz-Carlton SF team!
ritz-carlton san francisco

the amazing welcome package…thank you! 🙂

-Both check-in and check-out were as simple as can be. I arrived early and they were able to check me in around 11:00a — thank you!
-Loved the extensive gourmet coffee and tea station in the room.
-The location is perfect — nestled in the heart of the city on Stockton Street. Near Union Square, China Town, and much more.
-Correspondence before my stay was spot on and quick.
-Loved that there were 2 turn-down services: one in the morning and one in the evening.

ritz-carlton san francisco

-Goose down comforter + 400-thread-count sheets = heavenly!
-Italian marble bathrooms with double sinks, telephone, and separate bathroom area.
-Room service was very quick and very accommodating.
-The skyline views from our 8th floor room were phenomenal, especially at night when the city was illuminated in all her glory!
Views of glorious San Francisco from my room at sunset

Views of glorious San Francisco from my room at sunset

-I asked for a late checkout as my flight was later that evening and they let me checkout at 4:30p — bravo!
-While in the room, I pretty much lived in the super soft and comfy monogrammed robes.
-The service was phenomenal — so attentive, hospitable, and warm. From the front desk to the housekeeping staff to the concierge, the service was simply fantastic.
-One of my favorite features about The Ritz-Carlton is the Club Level Lounge, usually on one of the top floors. For this property, it was on the 8th floor, so as you soaked up the splendor of San Francisco from ceiling to floor windows, you could enjoy delicious food and cocktails of your choice around the clock. And if I needed to make any reservations or if I had any questions, I could ask my private concierge. With luxe amenities and exclusive perks like the Club Lounge, it’s a wonder I even left the confines at all.
Ritz Club Lounge

The gorgeous food display at the Club Lounge

I'll take cocktails and views any day

It’s all about perspective

-The Club Lounge in SF has themed hors d’oeuvres every night, inspired by the delicious culinary offerings of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
  • Monday – Union Square
  • Tuesday – The Mission
  • Wednesday – Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Thursday – Japantown
  • Friday – Napa Valley
  • Saturday – Chinatown
  • Sunday – North Beach
ritz-carlton san francisco

Doesn’t get much better than fresh cheeses from Napa Valley

-The neoclassical facade fused with a contemporary modern lobby made for a great contrast.
-Loved that they were active on social media throughout my stay.
Parallel 37 was just voted one of Zagat’s top restaurants in San Francisco, and rightly so. Over the course of 4 hours (yes, FOUR), I enjoyed the 8-course tasting menu and was happily ready to explode by the end. Chef Rotondo operates on an impromptu cooking style, so you don’t know what to expect until it turns up in front of you. Refreshing. All 8 courses are displayed on my Instagram feed, but consider this my disclaimer.
almond crumble with dark chocolate ganache and peppermint sorbet...thank you Chef Rotondo :)

almond crumble with dark chocolate ganache and peppermint sorbet…thank you Chef Rotondo 🙂

-A beautiful, state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center was available.
-There was a real, no-nonsense Andis 1875 hair dryer. My hair was happy.
-I happily discovered another brand of toiletries: Asprey London Purple Water. A beautiful, light scent that I’d purchase myself.

ritz-carlton san francisco

Cons:

-WiFi is not complimentary, but is included if you stay on the Club Levels.

Duration: 2 nights, January 19-21, 2014

Bottomline: The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is a true feast for the eyes. It was truly a pleasure to stay here for a few days and get pampered like a V.I.P. It’s quite rare (read: practically never happens) that I have almost nothing negative to say about a hotel, even the best of the best. From the gorgeous palatial architecture to the luxurious offerings of the Club Lounge to the unparalleled customer service, I was truly hard-pressed to find fault during my two-day stay. The possibility of perfection is what The Ritz-Carlton pursues, and by almost every measure, it succeeded. Would I stay again? Absolutely — not even a question!
drink du jour: champagne and strawberries

Drink du jour: champagne and strawberries

*Disclaimer: my room was hosted by the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, but views are my own and accurately reflect my stay.

**My policy: there will always be full disclosure about whether my stay was hosted by the hotel or paid for with my own money. And even if the hotel decides to offer complimentary services, my review will never be swayed one way or the other. After all, if my experience was sub-par, and I continue to falsely rave about their services, no one will benefit–not me, not you, not the hotel (they’ll never improve!). So, trust that you’ll receive 100% truth in every review.

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