UPDATE: Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco is now Loews Regency San Francisco.
We got engaged on the Golden Gate bridge so on the occasion of our 10th wedding anniversary, we booked flights to San Francisco. Next, we set out to find a centrally-located luxury hotel and Mandarin Oriental San Francisco wound up being a perfect choice. We’re big fans of the brand for a number of reasons, but primarily because our stays have exceeded our expectations 100% of the time.
Centrally Located In The Financial District
My husband started his career as a lawyer in Silicon Valley and, as a result, spent a lot of time in San Francisco. He has an aversion to SFO because of bad luck with delays, so we flew in to Oakland and took BART into the city. I have to admit, I wasn’t in love with the process but the Mandarin Oriental was a quick walk from the Embarcadero BART station and is usually a 25 minute drive from SFO.
Mandarin Oriental San Francisco has a car that can take you short distances from the hotel on a first come, first serve basis. We didn’t need it, because everything we wanted to do was nearby. We walked to the Ferry Building, Chinatown, SFMOMA and all over the place within minutes. Next time, when La Jolla Girl is with me, we’ll certainly take advantage of the car.
Rooms With Views
Stunning views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge are enjoyed from the aptly named Bridge to Bridge rooms. I found myself constantly gazing out the giant windows that allow natural light to pour into the room. The night view was just as good as the day view.
Features include a spacious bathroom, TV, plenty of storage, WiFi (small fee applies), mini bar with plenty of serveware, iPod dock, lots of plugs and a large desk. The rooms were newly renovated with blue and natural tones that play perfectly off of the view. Personal touches include Mandarin Oriental stationary bearing your name and a print out of the weather and activities around the city, during your stay. I’m a softie for things like this.
The newly-renovated, luxurious spa was not yet open during our stay, but the photos are gorgeous.
Gourmet Dining At MO San Francisco
We ate ourselves into oblivion in and around the hotel. Nasi Goreng is a standard order of mine at every Mandarin Oriental hotel, so I was jazzed to see it on the in-room dining menu, which has a variety of cuisines represented from dim sum to breakfast burritos. Do try the housemade granola for breakfast!
I know, you’re thinking our in-room dining order is shockingly void of adult drinks. Just keep reading.
Brasserie S&P, on the ground level, offers California Cuisine from breakfast to dinner and is popular with residents as well as guests. Specialties include a raw oyster selection, Eggs Benedict, Dungeness Crab Louis salad, roasted duck breast and more.
We Learned A Lot About Gin
It started with this amazing and much-appreciated amenity tray (hence the drink-empty in-room dining cart) that arrived in our room shortly after check-in. And, there was anniversary champagne waiting for us prior to that! The bar at Brasserie S&P specializes in homemade tonics, developed by Bar Manager Priscilla Young. Ours was saffron-infused and though I don’t typically drink gin, this Indian Summer in Mt. Tam cocktail went down with ease. La Jolla Dad, on the other hand, loves gin and tonics so he took his mixology seriously.
On our second night, we stopped into Brasserie S&P for an after-dinner drink. The bartender on duty, David, in true Mandarin Oriental-style, went out of his way to explain the difference between the gins we were tasting and encouraged us to step out of our gin comfort zones. Once he heard I wasn’t a gin drinker, he whipped up a Garden Envy cocktail which has celery and green apple cold-infused Hendricks gin, cucumber vodka, lime juice, and Galliano. Sound good? It was, as were both the scallops and ahi appetizers.
Excellent Service Everywhere
From in-room dining to housekeeping to the Concierge team, everyone could not have been nicer. There are 151 rooms in the hotel, so it is not exactly small, but it feels so intimate because of the attentive, 5-star staff who anticipates needs before you even know they exist.
We found ourselves in Chinatown earlier than anticipated, so I called the Concierge team for a lunch recommendation. La Jolla Dad likes Szechuan and I like Cantonese, which isn’t always and easy combo to address. The Concierge directed us to a restaurant within a few blocks of where we were standing that had both and it was off-the-charts good. Apparently, President Obama thought so too, as he was just there! The Concierge helped plan most of our meals and itinerary, which I would highly recommend to any guest of Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.
A Family-Friendly Hotel
We did not have La Jolla Girl in tow, but I will certainly bring her back. Mandarin Oriental San Francisco is a family-friendly hotel with cribs, bottle warmers and sterilizers, kids bath amenities, video games and more. Most importantly, babysitting can be arranged in advance!
We’re Fans Of Mandarin Oriental San Francisco
The person below, perhaps, had a bit too much gin on this trip.
You can find a nice room at a lot of hotels, but in my opinion, it’s the service and the people you meet along the way that make a truly 5-star experience. I can’t recommend Mandarin Oriental San Francisco highly enough.
Mandarin Oriental San Francisco
222 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
+1 (415) 276 9888
*Thanks to Mandarin Oriental San Francisco for assisting us with a media stay.
**Bridge to Bridge Room Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental San Francisco