Ritz Carlton San Fran :
San Francisco, CA
World Class Luxury on California Street and Stockton
The Captain announced over the PA, “We're flying to my favorite place on the planet - San Francisco.” With a grin fueled by déjà-vu my spirit lightened. The city by the bay shines even on the foggiest of days. Get ready to be luxuriously spoiled. Let’s hitch a ride on a cable car at the bottom of California Street. We’ll ascend to the hallmark of luxury at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.
The Ritz Carlton Brand
The cornerstone Ritz Carlton experience was forever imprinted on my collective soul when I first walked into the lobby at 2121 Boston Common back the early 1980’s. The brand’s image and cache is the benchmark by which to compare every other luxury hotel. You feel like you’re home at the “Ritz.” Special. Safe. The connection with the brand is personal and has a sense of intimacy. At thirty-two thousand feet I've yet to see the updated casual interior design of the Ritz Carlton San Francisco. Paneled walls, wainscoting, crystal chandeliers with casual art deco treatments blended with mid-century ambience. This is going to be an interesting assignment. Come along with me. Let's explore the new digs!
You know you've arrived at the Ritz in San Francisco. It's grand. The neoclassical building looks like it could house the Federal Reserve. The building was designed by Napoleon and LeBurn Architects in 1909. It was originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for their worldwide headquarters.
Turing onto Stockton Street, your first impression of the Ritz Carlton will be it's stately marching columns of white terra cotta marble standing at attention. They celebrate the main entrance and frame the portico. Here is where you'll be greeted by the best bellman and valets in the business. They dress the part too. The uniform is coattails and a proper hat. Their manners are commensurate with what you'd expect from a world-class property servicing an elite clientele.
The New Lobby & Lounge
The buildup to see the design changes in the lobby was coming to a crescendo. The small anteroom that served as a buffer from the elements seemed traditional enough. The classic Ritz Carlton chandelier hung overhead, right where you'd expect it to be. The guest book sat on a cherry Chippendale stand.
Stepping into the grand lobby, the new design improvements were elegant and subtle. They were carefully orchestrated to appeal to a younger, hip crowd of discerning guests who expect to be engaged visually at this level when they are away on business or traveling with their families. The Persian rugs and overpowering window treatments were now a thing of the past. These designers were thoughtful. Instead of gilding-the-lily, they let the original design elements shine front and center. You can now fully appreciate the white marble floors in all their glory. Magnificent. The stately chandeliers still hang proudly. However, they've been dressed up with sheer silk scrims and amethyst crystal accents. Stunning. Kick back and enjoy the art deco inspired sofas upholstered in neutral fabrics arranged in an inviting floor plan. You're "chilling" at the Ritz. Who knew this was possible?
The traditional stodgy Ritz dinning room is a thing of the past too. In its place is the new hip Lobby Lounge. It reminded me of the Eden Hotel lobby bar in South Beach, Miami. We especially liked the red art deco accent lighting. It's cool. The California sun is able to shine in this space. Rays of light beam through the thirty-foot windows and filter into the lobby. The space feels happy and vibrant. Kudos to the designers and tradesman who made the renovation possible. Job well done.
Club Level Service
A special Gold Key will provide VIP access to the private Club Level Lounge located on the 8th floor. A team of private concierges staff this area. Alex has a million dollar smile and a personality of an angel. He helps you secure tickets to local events, changes your airlines reservations and will gladly make dinner reservations for you. Some other great perks come included with this upgraded service are complimentary 1-hr pressing, Internet WiFi, breakfast, (6:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.) light lunch, (12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.) h'ordeurves and cocktails, (5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.) desserts and cordials, (8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) The Club Level dining options made this upgrade worth every penny. Please don't miss out on it. The service was over-the-top and the food was delicious. We especially enjoyed the cappuccino maker, homemade cookies and local Northern California wine selections.
The Club Level rooms are located on the 7th, 8th and 9th floors. Ours was a large 500 square feet deluxe room. The cost varies from $489 to $599 depending on the time of ....