Historic Masterpiece: The Fairmont San Francisco

Jocelyn Murray January 9, 2012 No Comments

Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco commands panoramic views atop Nob Hill

Since its opening in 1907, the Fairmont in San Francisco has treated guests to an extraordinary experience from check-in to check-out. It sits atop Nob Hill and is close to all the wonderful sites that make San Francisco the wonderful cosmopolitan city that it is.  Everything about this hotel speaks of old world elegance and comfort, from its lofty ceilings in the grand lobby, to its Corinthian columns, the intricate architectural details, gleaming marble, posh accommodations, and superior service.


Fairmont San Francisco United Nations Flags

The flags from the participating countries in the United Nations grace the entrance facade

This hotel was the site of the 1945 drafting of the United Nations Charter. The flags of those participating countries still grace the stunning façade of the hotel’s entrance today. It has also been featured in movies, and hosted celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.


Fairmont San Francisco Ginger Bread House

This life size ginger bread house was a sweet delight made with 7,500 real ginger bread bricks, 1,500 pounds of icing and 650 pounds of candy

We visited the Fairmont during the recent holidays when the lobby area was transformed into a wonderland with a giant Christmas tree and life-size gingerbread house standing 22 feet tall and 23 feet wide, complete with icing, candy canes, gum drops, marshmallow figures, candy sprinkles and a miniature village with electric toy train, toy penguins, toy polar bears and other nostalgic accessories of the season. It was nice to see children and their parents exploring the grand room with all its attractions at this family-friendly resort.


We spent our days discovering San Francisco’s popular attractions – from Alcatraz, to Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, The California Academy of Sciences, Muir Woods and more. The concierge was extremely helpful in suggesting great food at local restaurants, and tips on fun excursions and transportation, helping to make our expeditions seamless and stress-free.


Accommodations, Dining & Shopping


Fairmont San Francisco hotel room

The accommodations are elegant and very comfortable

The accommodations are spacious and well-appointed with complimentary bath amenities, luxurious linens, flat screen televisions, paid high-speed wired and wireless internet access, in-room safes, views of the surrounding city and more. We stayed in a one bedroom suite with separate living room and an additional connecting hotel room so that we could have plenty of space.

Fairmont San Francisco suite

The suite's living room is spacious with a lovely balcony

The suite also came with a lovely spacious balcony that boasted city and partial bay views. Those traveling with families will appreciate the diverse accommodation options to suit their individual needs.


There are three restaurants and lounges at the hotel including the famous Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar with its South Pacific tiki décor surrounding the hotel’s former pool that was converted into a tropical lagoon with thunder storms that thrill guests at regular intervals with simulated lighting, thunder and rain. This is a very family-friendly venue, though it is best to reserve a table a day or more in advance due to its popularity. The drinks and appetizers are especially delicious. Be sure to try the chicken satay and spring rolls.


Fairmont San Francisco culinary garden

The Fairmont San Francisco has its own culinary garden and honey beehives to support the bee population

For breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar offers a superb selection. The omelet bar at the buffet breakfast was my favorite, freshly prepared to order and cooked while you wait. The children enjoyed the waffles – also freshly made – with real maple syrup. A little known fact about the hotel is that it has its own culinary garden and honey beehives. I had the opportunity to try their delicious honey, and it was unlike anything I have had before. Pure, raw and natural, it retains the sweet and delicate floral bouquet of the flowers from which it has been harvested by the bees. What a treat! I wanted to take some home with me.


Fairmont San Francisco lobby

The grandiose lobby is a great gathering place

There are several boutique shops, a business center, and a health club and spa on site. Guest services also include babysitting, concierge, a bell staff, daily housekeeping, laundry service, safe deposit boxes and more. Guests can also catch the historic cable cars just outside the hotel, making transportation both fun and convenient.


Our stay at the Fairmont San Francisco made a trip to this renowned city unforgettably luxurious, and is definitely on our list to visit again in the future. The Fairmont San Francisco is located at 950 Mason Street in San Francisco, California 94108 (866) 540-4491. For more information visit their official website at www.fairmont.com/sanfrancisco

avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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