It’s time for another guest post from my dad! This time he takes us with him on a recent trip to San Francisco.
I recently made a last-minute business trip to San Francisco and found a really good deal via Expedia at the Fairmont Hotel, offering 50% off for one night in a standard queen-bed room.
I’m usually a fan of more modern hotels but this price was unbeatable for a 5* hotel very close to Union Square and all the downtown attractions. I was also keen to see if the hotel’s new owners, Accor, had brought any Gallic charm from their Sofitel hotel chain, which I rate very highly.
The deal got even sweeter when I discovered that I had Expedia points available to cash in. This resulted in me paying about $60 for our room. And there’s more to follow!
The Fairmont is a famous San Francisco landmark on Mason Street, next to two cable car routes and at the top of Nob Hill (snigger). It was nearly finished in 1906 when the earthquake hit, and eventually opened in 1907. The original hotel is very classy and retains a nice historical feel without being too dated; there’s a more modern tower with more rooms forming part of the property.
I arrived fairly late after an Uber ride from SFO. Upon arrival I showed my Sofitel silver card at check in but was told that the Fairmont was still in the process of becoming an Accor property. However I was given a complementary room upgrade and was handed keys to the Malaya Suite, a 750 sq ft pad with parlor, bedroom with king bed and bath room. The suite also features an outdoor balcony with comfortable chairs and a good view over the garden and downtown.
Later I discovered that I have silver status with Expedia and the hotel had offered me the upgrade because of this – not bad! Expedia + allows status to be achieved after seven (silver) or fifteen (gold) nights booked through this scheme, as well as earning points that can be used to discount future trips.
The suite was very comfortable, clean, quiet, and everything was in good working order. The balcony was great for a picnic lunch and a spot of sun bathing before having to check out. My timing was also good to enjoy a sunny day with blue skies, rather than fog. Breakfast, in line with similar hotels, was pricey but good quality. Lots of buffet choices and an omelette station with a friendly chef, and impeccable service. Downstairs, I discovered later, is a good coffee spot that serves a breakfast menu with cheaper food choices.
Best of all, the Fairmont is famous as the place where Tony Bennett first sang his hit song “I left my heart in San Francisco”. There’s even a statue to commemorate this. All in all, I was impressed with this hotel and will look forward to staying here again soon.