The last trip I took before the United States went ‘on pause’ was to San Francisco. We were cosseted at the Palace Hotel, a gorgeous landmark hotel in the middle of the city. If I could sit out the apocalypse anywhere, this would be my choice.
At any luxury hotel, the staff aways seems genuinely concerned for its guests. When we were at the Palace, just before the Bay Area had to ‘shelter in place,’ and social distancing became the new norm, the welcome at the door soothed away any (well, most) anxiety.
Commitment to Cleanliness
Newly installed hand sanitizer stations and gleaming elevator buttons made me feel that the hotel was super clean. The well-equipped gym also had plenty of sanitizing wipes to clean mat and free weights. [There were also free apples for post work out].
The large pool and hot tub were spotless and though my physician sister says chlorine kills the virus, it will likely be a long time before I go back in a hot tub.
The Palace Hotel serves a traditional tea on Saturday afternoons. The extensive tea list included the Legacy blend, Ceylon black tea delicately scented with rose, bergamot and vanilla.We also had the spicy Chai and shared before social distancing made this unacceptable.
We had scrumptious vegetarian sandwiches: shredded Brussels sprouts and goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, and an elegant avocado toast. My husband and daughter also had the egg salad and smoked salmon, which they said were delicious.
We had two scones apiece, with clotted cream and lemon curd.
Desserts included a chocolate cupcake, a chocolate espresso torte and a strawberry tart. We couldn’t eat much of it right away, but it seemed everyone took a box home with leftovers. Our room had a fridge, so we saved a few desserts for the next day.
Leave Your Worries Behind
Part of the Palace Hotel’s cosseting includes turn down service. Plush robes are laid on the bed, slippers put nearby and chocolates left on the pillow.
Beyond the Palace Gates (er, grand doors)
Much as I would love to sit around in a bathrobe eating bonbons, the main reason to visit San Francisco is to get out and explore. On our first day in the city, when museums were still open, we walked a couple of blocks to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. We saw Dawoud Bey’s American Project photographs, the outdoor Living Wall and Pop art.
At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, around the corner, we saw an exhibit on Levi Strauss.
We also walked down to the Ferry Building, with its bustling Farmers Market, and Pier 39. At Pier 39, we took a boat ride under the Golden Gate Bridge (in the rain, sadly) and saw the fish at the Aquarium of the Bay.
There is so much more to see in San Francisco. Can’t wait till we can all travel again.
Note: I was given a complimentary room at the Palace Hotel, part of the Marriott Luxury Collection. Opinions are my own.