Sunday, July 18, 2010

San Francisco & Napa Hotels!

I know this blog is mostly about food, but as I often travel and eat the whole experience is important to me; and thus, I've decided to share my thoughts on the hotels we stayed at in the San Fran area.

We flew in and out of SF and stayed at the W Hotel on 3rd, a swanky property in the SoMA district, surrounded by galleries and art schools; in fact, it is right next to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). It is in a great location - a short walk from Union Square and Market Street. It was a very pleasant and convenient area, including a close walk to other hotels and restaurants, coffee shops, and other casual cafes.
Having these conveniences is always important to us in the city, and we did take a stop at The Grove Cafe on our way out to Napa for lunch on the run (had a great pear and gorgonzola grilled cheese!). Other features we loved about the hotel was the concierge - we called in advance to ask about car rentals for our trip into Napa, and found that the deal the hotel had was far better than anything we could find on our own online, so that was a huge bonus. The hotel also features a complementary Acura car service, which we did not need to take advantage of but is certainly a nice option to have!
We were upgraded to a King corner suite on both our initial stay and after our return from Napa - great views of the city and Bay bridge! The decor was very modern, and the crowd pretty young, although not as young and hip as I had been expecting. The trouble with stylishness of W hotels, I suppose, is that it has to be current - and I felt that while our room looked great while we were there, it would easily look dated in a couple is not timeless. Oh, and lest I forget that I loved the Bliss bath and shower products provided in the rooms - that was a nice perk!

In Napa, we lucked out and found a great deal on expedia for a new hotel, Hotel Luca, a beautiful yet intimate hotel modeled after Italian villas - with only 20 guest rooms, it was a great little space for us to stay. We were welcomed to the friendly and intimate hotel with a glass of bubbly while we checked in - seated in huge leather armchairs, a much more intimate and comfy experience. Our room had a cute little balcony and a spectacular bathroom- it is what I will model my future bathroom after, complete with heated floors and double sinks! This time, we had H20 bath and shower products!
Our first night there, the hotel offered a complementary wine tasting session in the late afternoon, which we did not end up taking part in because of the
all our wine tours, but appreciated the effort nonetheless! The beautiful courtyard was a great location for hotel guests to gather. Of course, we were also welcomed to our room with a small bottle of Chandon bubbly (a gift for the newly weds!) and received cookies as our treat for the 2nd night. The hotel staff offered to valet our car each time we came in and out - but honestly, the parking lot is RIGHT next door, we couldn't be that lazy. We also loved that the hotel charges a flat $25 fee in lieu of cash tips everyday -
I think that is very fair for all the staff, and saved us the trouble of scrambling each time! The hotel concierge was also wonderful and called to help us secure winery tour reservations after learning what we had in mind, and the spa staff also eagerly followed-up on our requests through the concierge to ensure we had all the information we needed (although we did not end up going). Hotel Luca is a lovely hotel that offers a 5 star personal experience and is luxurious in its accommodations.

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