BECAUSE WE LOVE LUNCH!
Especially when it’s close by – featuring our Top 5 favorite new-ish lunch spots in and around Union Square.
What We Ordered: The light starter, Prawn & Asparagus Salad (topped with a fava bean pesto accoutrement to-die-for), followed by the Maverick, a rich and stoutey kobe butter burger. Perfect for two. Per Chef’s Request: Emmanuel Eng recommends the Farro "Risotto" paired with the Lost Abbey Red Barn Saison (a San Marcos on-draft beer), or the ever-popular Maverick burger paired with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon – particularly the Terra Valentine Napa 2012. He also loves the Fried Green Tomatoes paired with their 49er Gold Rush cocktail, made with bonded bourbon, lemon, honey syrup, and an SF favorite, Fernet Branca. Perk: Beautiful in-house gastropub, delicious bourbon cocktails, three course prix-fixe business lunch. Fun & snazzy.
Chef’s Request: A Northern Thai specialty, the Khao Soi Gai includes soft and crispy egg noodles with chicken in a super aromatic (and not-so-spicy) curry broth, topped with pickled mustard greens and spicy chili oil on the side (also available vegetarian w/ veggie broth & Hodo soy tofu). Drink their Pak Pow, aka the Thai Beach Kite: IPA, Appleton Reserve Rum, Allspice Dram, Palm Sugar, Lime, and Nutmeg. Perk: Rumor has it this may be the best new Thai restaurant in the city...
What We Ordered: The traditional, and might I add mouth-watering, Spaetzle had us craving for more, while the gourmet Chicken Salad sealed the deal. Chef’s Orders: "My favorite item for lunch here at Schroeder’s would have to be our bratwurst served with braised sauerkraut, whole grain mustard, bread & butter pickles on an acme soft roll. And nothing goes down better with a brat than a beer! Thanks to our ciceron, Rich Higgins, we have some delicious options in that category. The Maisel Weisse: lightly sweet, bready/malt, highly carbonated, or the Gaffel Kolsch: grassy, slightly bitter, crisp." Perk: Newly vamped menu and interior decor make for a vintage flair to your dining experience. Enjoy deliciously authentic German cuisine with a modern twist.
We Ordered: Gourmet Chowder to start the meal made for a rich beginning, while the oh-my-gawd-good Oyster Po Boy served as a unique end. Next Time: One can never go wrong with an oyster sampler for a taste test of all the goods, especially when the raw bar is displayed so eloquently in the center of the room. Pair it with a glass of their proprietary white vino for the ultimate finish. Perk: Some of the best views of the waterfront with the freshest fish selection in town, right on SF's historical Embarcadero. Totally worth the wait.
Why: Because who can go wrong with fish tacos and a pitcher of sangria on a summer afternoon? If You Dare: Spice up your work day with a delectably dangerous Tongue Taco. Perk: Right off Market with tons of outdoor seating on a grand patio for some of the best people watching in town. Also, great vegetarian options from tacos to salads to plates full of colorful roasted veggies for our herbivore friends.
In celebration of Gay Pride this year, we asked our close friend and highly acclaimed designer, Jonathan Rachman, what his favorite go-to spots are around town. Here’s his itinerary for a fabulously Gay Day:
1. Favorite Book Store: City Lights! Go for its history, significance to the queer/beat community, and great array of reading options. Dubbed a "Literary Landmark." (261 Columbus Ave. San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 362-8193)
2. I love a drag show for Sunday brunch at the Starlight Room. Who doesn’t like a boozy brunch with bloody marys and mimosas? “A classic Sunday brunch with attitude!” (450 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 395-8595)
3. Visit City Hall and read about Harvey Milk. Knowledge is power, know your history! (1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 701-2311)
4. Right in the Castro, Harvey’s restaurant and bar! It may not be the hippest bar anymore, but it pays homage to Harvey! Great place for people watching. (500 Castro Street, San Francisco, 94114 (415) 431-HARV)
5. Good Vibrations: not your sleazy sex shop. You name it, they have it; “Creating a buzz since 1977!” (multiple locations* 603 Valencia Street at 17th San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 503-9522)
6. Get lost in Haight Ashbury, where tourists and locals collide. And while you’re there, go check out Piedmont Boutique for your ultimate Pride costume wear! (1452 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 864-8075)
7. Cafe Flore, also known as “Cafe Hairdo.” Best outdoor cafe with great drinks. Where old school meets new school and generational queers mix! (2298 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 621-8579)
8. Hotel DIVA: with a name like diva, puhlease - need I say anything more?? (Hint: If fully booked, go to Hotel Union Square, I heard it is newly and fabulously re-designed by this local gay guy!)
You're sporting a gorgeous pregnancy glow and a beautiful baby bump, so why not give yourself the pampering you deserve? After all, we know that carving out "me" time will be harder to do after the little one arrives. Whether you're a local or just visiting, San Francisco offers plenty of relaxing things to do. Here's a list of 5 that we think will leave you feeling pampered!
1. Have a picnic at the Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens or Washington Square Park. (On Sunday's check out Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio - food truck heaven).
2. Rent a rowboat at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park (make sure to bring someone with upper arm strength).
3. Enjoy afternoon tea at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus.
4. Get your make-up done. We love Benefit, Bobby Brown (Kimberly at Neiman Marcus is awesome) and Mac's new Powell Street flagship store.
5. Book the Pregnant & Pampered SF Hotel Package at Personality Hotels. We'll keep you comfortable and happy with a Ghirardelli sundae, spa treatment coupon, sparkling cider, a body pillow, Tums, and much more!
"If it wasn’t for your mother, you would not be the personality you are!" - Yvonne Detert, CEO.
Your mom gave you everything. She gave you life, love, and personality! Today our eyes are on our "mother" - Yvonne. Personality Hotels is lucky to have such a passionate leader and someone who treats all the staff as her own. Even if she didn't tell you, you would know she's a mother. Having that motherly quality is a huge reason for her professional success.
Outside of work, she has two successes - her daughters, Emily and Elizabeth. In honor of Mother's Day, her gorgeous girls share the inspiration they find in their special relationship. Sounds like this Mom can cook!
Happy Mother's Day! Make sure to show your mom love and thank her for the personality she gave you!
I didn't really embrace Union Square until I started working at Personality Hotels. Like most San Franciscans, my loyalty was rooted in own neighborhood - Nob Hill. But as soon as I started spending 5 days a week in Union Square, I had no choice but to embrace my surroundings.
I spent lunchtime wandering around the square, looking at the menus of nearby restaurants, and occasionally popping into H&M. (Shhh... don't tell my boss). It quickly became my 2nd neighborhood.
To be honest, the expertise I'm most comfortable sharing with you is my cocktail knowledge. Most girls spoil themselves with new shoes, I spoil myself with fancy cocktails. Everyone needs a drink after work, right? Well I do, anyway.
So sit back, wait patiently, and watch your bartender create a work of art at one of my top 5 spots to enjoy an amazing well-crafted cocktail!
1. Local Edition
This sexy space is located underneath Market Street, literally. Inspired by the newspaper business of the 50s, you'll notice printing artifacts and century-old papers are everywhere. I love the heavy velvet drapes, sconce lighting and the retro jazz club feeling it exudes.
2. Bourbon & Branch
Straight out of the 1920s, Bourbon & Branch is the closest Prohibition experience we'll ever have. Just ring the buzzer and use the password "books". You'll be escorted to the secret speakeasy location with floor to ceiling bookcases and of course, superb cocktails.
This is a true melting pot of traditional American bars of the ages. From Tiki to Dive Bar to Speakeasy to English Pub, Tradition is all about the evolution of drinking. I'm partial to the French 75 from the "Grand Hotel" menu.
Two favorites slightly outside of Union Square:
4. Comstock Saloon
If you love a Manhattan as much as I do, this is the place to go. Plus you get to step back in time. Word has it that the saloon has served as a watering hole to San Franciscans since 1907, and it definitely embraces that history. Think bow ties and suspenders.
If you're exploring my lovely neighborhood of Nob Hill, the best cocktail can be found at 1760. It's a restaurant as well and the food never disappoints, but my regular visits are dedicated to my two favorite cocktails:
Blood Orange-Rosemary. blackstrap. absinthe. rye (pictured above)
Garam Masala-Cardamom. thyme. orange. toasted cardamom. bourbon
Written by Megan Brandt, Marketing Manager. @megbrandt
Let's play ball! Grab some cracker jacks, a Ghirardelli Sundae, an order of garlic fries, and a Cha Cha Bowl because the 2014 MLB season has officially started and with a big bang! With a splash walk-off homerun, grand slam by a pitcher, spectacular fireworks show, almost inside-the-park-HR by the White Shark, you would think I was talking about a whole season of highlights, however these are just the highlights of opening week!
The boys in orange and black have shown great enthusiasm and one can only imagine what the rest of the season will be like! If you are not a season ticket holder, but want to go to a few games with some fun giveaways, here are a couple of my favorite ones:
Sat, Apr 26 1954 Replica World Series Ring
Sat, Jun 7 Sergio Romo Super Hero Socks
Sun, Jun 8 Hello Kitty ® Giants Plush
Sun, Jun 15 Giants Father's Day Necktie
Sat, Jun 28 Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford Bobblehead
Sun, Jul 13 Angel Pagan Bobblehead
Sat, Aug 16 Virgin America 2-for-1 Flight Voucher
Sun, Aug 31 Star Wars Day - R2D2 Beanie
But most importantly, going to the baseball game is not just watching men in uniform hit a ball, it’s more of an experience, which I feel can even be compared to a day in Disneyland. Once a year, The Giants put together an awesome experienced-filled day, where you can purchase tickets for the game, and separately pay $800 to have a family of 4 sleep on the field. All of us Giants’ fans would love to camp out in on the field of dreams, but not all of us have a grand to spend. So, if you want to save some money but still have an amazingly memorable baseball experience from sun up to sun down, boy do I have the best secret in the world to share… are you ready?
So, you have a special birthday coming up, a girls night out? Or maybe you want to give Dad the best Father’s Day gift ever, and you don’t have $800 extra to spend to have a sleepover on the field, well no need to fear, Personality is here! Did you know that there is a hotel, that is about a 20 minute flat walk away from the ballpark, and only steps away from the Powell Bart Station, that has a room designated for a baseball fan? Yep, it’s true, Personality Hotels has designed a Dugout Suite at Hotel Union Square with orange walls, Giants memorabilia and was god fathered by the MVP and Cy Young winner - Mr. Vida Blue himself! So why not purchase the tickets, bring over the pup, and the parents, and go to the game while staying in this amazing king sized bed junior suite that is dog friendly? Oh, and if that’s not enough, get ready to throw on some Art of Shaving product before heading out to cheer on the Giants.
Dream come true, you know it, because we do nothing but dream for you!
Last week's blog post we shared the exciting news that Hotel Union Square was celebrating its 100 year anniversary along with some fun historical facts! A lot has happened in 10 decades, so, as you can imagine, there was a lot to celebrate!
And that's exactly what we did last Wednesday night! We threw a fabulous party and celebrated with our amazing clients in the newly re-designed Hotel Union Square Penthouse Suite. It was truly a night to remember!
HUGE thanks to the talented culinary students from the Art Institute of California for the delicious spread of hor d'oeuvres, Le Grand Courtage for the celebratory bubbly, John's Grill for the timeless martini bar, Teldeschi Winery for their tasting table, DJs Michael & Michael for spinning old-school vinyl hits, Jonathan Rachman for the beautiful finishing touches, and to Cody James Photography for capturing the evening!
These adorable mini cupcakes were handmade by our very own Group Sales Director, Janelle Granfors. Thanks for sharing one of your many hidden talents!
And a very special thank you to all who joined the celebration! Until next time...
A whole century has gone by since Hotel Union Square opened its doors for the first time. The then “Golden West Hotel” was constructed in 1913 in anticipation of the visitors attending the 1915 World’s Fair. Officially called the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the fair celebrated the successful 1914 completion of the Panama Canal. This was also San Francisco’s opportunity to prove that the city had fully recovered from the devastating 1906 earthquake and was prepared to handle the rapid growth of tourism.
Your history lesson doesn't stop there. The hotel was also a temporary home of author Dashiell Hammett. Historians suggest that he likely wrote “The Maltese Falcon” and the “Thin Man” series while he was a resident of the hotel. He loved the hotel so much that he booked his bride-to-be, Josephine Dolan, in a suite the night before their 1921 wedding. Mr. Hammett might have also favored this location because during the Prohibition Era, a 10,000 square foot speakeasy called The Golden Bubble was located in the basement of the hotel!
A couple name changes and ten decades later, Hotel Union Square still retains much of its early charm, including original Egyptian-motif mosaic murals, grand staircases and ornate moldings. And a Dashiell Hammett suite.
Hotel Union Square, 2014
And of course, a milestone this exciting and historic deserves a huge celebration, and that's actually what we did this past Wednesday. Stay tuned for photos from our 100 year anniversary party!
If you've stayed at the Steinhart Hotel then you know how charming and timeless it is. And if you've stayed at our long-term property recently, then you might have noticed some beautiful new changes. 15 one bedroom apartments were recently refreshed in a sophisticated Parisian style by Jonathan Rachman Design and they look absolutely gorgeous, don't you think?
"I brought in designer Jonathan Rachman to transform the space because he's simply the best visual storyteller I know. His first career was in the hospitality industry in Switzerland, so he understands what is necessary to make a winning first impression on guests--and what it takes to give them an experience as unforgettable as the decor. Jonathan also appreciates the history of buildings and designed our spaces with complete respect to the building's stunning architecture. When I saw the renderings for the first time, I thought he'd had a peek inside my head and stolen my best ideas before I could articulate them: rich and elegant without being the least bit fussy." -- Yvonne Detert, Personality Hotels CEO & Founder
We caught up with Jonathan Rachman to get the inside scoop on his vision and the inspiration behind his design. Here's what he had to say:
PH: What was the inspiration behind the renovation?
JR: Our inspiration was 'old world' European - classic, yet current. Respecting the history of the Steinhart was crucial because there are so many rich elements of the property that I hope to showcase - from the elevator and the old school front desk, to the tile in the lobby and the coffered ceiling and wall paper in the hallway. San Francisco is an intimate global city and the Steinhart carries the old charm of San Francisco so well.
PH: Where did you pull inspiration from?
JR: I lived and studied in Europe and have traveled extensively, but Hotel Costes in Paris truly inspired my design for the Steinhart - to continue its rich history AND texture in the current time in San Francisco. I love the rich colors and textures without being pretentious and impractical.
PH: What is your favorite thing about the Steinhart?
JR: Hands down - the history, but as far as interiors - the architectural elements like the elevator and the tiles in the lobby!
PH: What is the most important thing you consider when designing a home away from home?
JR: The feeling of TRULY being at home, which means being cozy, not stuffy. It's all in the details - to make the space warm, chic and personalized - not feeling commercial and generic. We put a touch of whimsies in the accessories and art elements at the Steinhart.
Personality Hotels is excited to be the first on the West Coast to offer guests of Hotel Diva and Hotel Union Square the opportunity to use their smartphone to open their hotel room door. CNET TV recently interviewed our CEO Yvonne Detert about our new technology and before we knew it, our feature was live on CBS News! Check out our video clip below!
[Excerpt from CBS News]
If you've ever lost your hotel key card or had it accidentally demagnetized, some hotels may have a high-tech solution. At the Personality Hotels chain, in the San Francisco area, guests can now use their smartphones to unlock their hotel room doors.
When guests check into the hotel, they can download the free Personality Hotels app onto their smartphone. Once the front desk assigns a room, it alerts the app. When they reach the door to their room, all guests have to do is press the key icon to emit a sound that activates the door sensor and unlocks the door.
"I think our guests are embracing that because they're right here where all the high technology and new technology is happening," Yvonne Detert, the president and CEO of Personality Hotels.