A July 2005 trip
to San Francisco by lanimaesd
Quote: I wanted to surprise my boyfriend with a weekend trip from San Diego for our anniversary. After a bit of research, I found San Francisco to be the perfect city. It had everything I wanted--world-class food, great shopping, beautiful sights, and only an hour away by plane!
Hotel | "Pan Pacific Hotel"
We took the Super Shuttle from SFO airport (20 minute ride, $14 pp) to the Pan Pacific. The hotel is about a 3-minute walk from Union Square. It has a really unique reception area in that it is located on third floor rather than the first. This gave it a more private and exclusive feel. Our check-in was quick and easy. We arrived at 1pm and were able to go right to our room, despite the 3pm check-in time.
Our room was the Superior King, which I believe is their standard room. We were very impressed with how large the room was. My boyfriend was very excited about the flat screen TV and I loved the gorgeous marble bathroom. I would describe the decor as Asian minimalist - very simple but elegant. There was a fully stocked mini-bar(expensive!) and the king size bed was to-die-for!
I cannot forget the best part of this hotel, which is that every floor has its own butler! There is a button that you can press if you need ANYTHING at all and the butler will accomodate you. The hotel even suggests calling him if your pillow is too firm or too soft so that he can bring a replacement.
The staff of the Pan Pacific were fabulous. Everyone was extremely attentive and knowledgeable. The concierge gave us several great lunch recommendations(Max's!) and even changed our dinner reservation (at a full restaurant) when we were running late!
We ordered breakfast in our room the following morning. Although it was a little pricey (as expected), the service was prompt and the food was delicious.
All in all, I could not have been happier with my choice of hotel and cannot see myself staying at any other place while in San Francisco!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 19, 2005
JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square
500 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94102
My final choice was Jardiniere. I did read mixed reviews about this restuarant, but found it to meet all of my needs. So I made a reservation about a month in advance through opentable.com. I was not disappointed.
The restaurant is a 5- to 10-minute taxi ride from the Pan Pacific and is located right next to the opera house. I believe the restaurant is known as a dinner spot for the opera crowd--before or after the show. We arrived about 15 minute before our reservation, so we were able to enjoy a drink at the bar and admire the beautiful decor--which was quite stunning. The restuarant consists of two floors and a gorgeous bar that is situated in the middle of the first floor. When we arrived, a three-person jazz band was just beginning to set up.
We were seated promptly at our reservation time. I had requested, through opentable.com, a table with more privacy and the host kindly accomadated that without having to remind him. I recommend sitting upstairs, where there is less commotion.
The food was fantastic! Very creative and delicious. I had the diver scallops to start and the halibut as my main course. My boyfriend had the pork chops. I must say that for being such a high-end restuarant, the portions were rather large. We definitely were not going to leave hungry!
We finished off our meal with two decadent desserts. I don't think you could go wrong with anything on their menu. We also enjoyed the ice wine tasting to end a magical evening.
Yes, this was an expensive treat, at $230 including wine and tip, but we wanted to splurge on a great dinner. Jardiniere did not disappoint. My only very minor complaint would be that the service seemed almost robotic - our server was not very personable. But I know some like to enjoy their meals without interruption.
I recommend this restaurant for any special occasion.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 19, 2005
300 Grove St
San Francisco, California 94102
+1 415 861 5555
Attraction | "Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise"
The boat was large and didn't sway too much - good for those who get seasick easily. The passengers were able to sit inside or outside, and there was a snack bar on the bottom floor. The tour took us out past Sausalito, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and circled Alcatraz on our way back to the docks. I enjoyed the commentary and historical accounts on building the bridge, as well as some of the stories about the prisoners of Alcatraz. One tip is to bring a jacket - it is much cooler and windier out on the bay!
I recommend this tour, because in just over an hour, we were able to see many of the main tourist sites of San Francisco and also took some great pictures.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2005
Blue & Gold Fleet
Pier 41 Marine Terminal
San Francisco, California 94133
San Diego, California