Hotel at a Glance: The Fairmont San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco is an icon. One of the only great buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake, the hotel has remained a symbol of luxury on top of Nob Hill, offering views of the city in every direction. As you walk into the lobby you’ll be surrounded by marble columns, giant flower arrangements, and grand staircases leading to opulent accommodations. Launching 11/29, the must-see 24-foot tall gingerbread house will be unveiled, and be featured through the end of the year.
- Celebrate the holidays: The Fairmont celebrates the holidays in style (additional fees apply), with sprawling buffets on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, as well as a New Year’s Eve party, and holiday tea on select dates in their towering gingerbread house, in the company of a Christmas fairy and a balloon elf.
- Three dining venues: Sample island-inspired cuisine at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, fresh seafood at the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar, and locally made Ghirardelli chocolate at Caffé Cento. The onsite culinary gardens feature private beehives and an herb garden to make menu items even more delicious.
- Elegant rooms have been newly renovated. The Fairmont king room, featuring a double sofa bed, is perfect for families.
- Rooftop garden: Take a stroll among beautiful landscaping, complete with fountain.
- Work out in the large fitness center.
- Take a cable car to nearby Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and downtown.
Nob Hill, San Francisco: Fashionable Neighborhood with Scenic City Views
One of the original seven hills on which the city was built, Nob Hill is a fashionable, upscale neighborhood, once referred to as a “Hill of Palaces” because of its many estates. Huntington Park is the centerpiece for the bustling district, and it’s bordered by Grace Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic-style building with colorful mosaics and a replica of the medieval labyrinth in France’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres.
Just downhill from Nob Hill is the Russian Hill neighborhood, whose notoriously steep roads provide some of the city’s most scenic vistas. From the top of Russian Hill, you can drive down Lombard Street, often dubbed “the world’s crookedest street” for its eight tight hairpin turns. The street is lined with stately houses and meticulously manicured gardens. A few blocks south, the tiny Ina Coolbrith Park is made up of tucked-away terraces cut into a steep slope between Russian Hill and Nob Hill. The secluded space is considered a local hidden gem for its postcard-worthy views of downtown. In 2008, SF Weekly named it the Best Park Named for a Poet Laureate—Ina Coolbrith was the first person to hold the esteemed title.
San Francisco’s iconic cable cars head up and down the streets of Nob Hill and Russian Hill. The nearby Cable Car Museum fills you in on the history of the iconic San Francisco tradition. You can hop on one of the cable cars and head north to reach Ghirardelli Square’s high-end boutiques and Pier 39’s seafood restaurants, or take a cable car south to see Chinatown—one of the largest Chinese communities outside of Asia—and the quaint cafés in the Italian-influenced North Beach neighborhood.