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Featured Trip: Shopping & the Arts in SF

Posted by Dana Andrews on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

Visiting SF soon? Well, have we got the city guide for you! Having just partnered with the amazingly helpful Utrip travel planner, we are excited to share one of the many "featured trips" offered, produced by experts in the field when it comes to San Francisco city slickin'.

This featured trip, created by our friend and city expert Jeani Hunt-Gibbon of Union Square Business Improvement District, highlights Shopping & the Arts in SF. And oh, what a fantastic trip it will be! We've even gone ahead and made it easier for you by narrowing the trip down to our top favorite must see's and do's. Enjoy your vacay!

DAY 1: 

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                 MUST SEE: Grace Cathedral                             MUST DO: Shop in Union Square

Grace Cathedral

      Shop Union Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2:

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                   MUST DO: Ferry Building                                  MUST SEE: show at ACT

Ferry Building SFAmerConservatoryTheatre

DAY 3:

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                MUST DO: Ride the Cable Car                             MUST SEE: Haight Ashbury

Cable Car SFHaight Grateful Dead

*Want to create your own trip? Read our How To Plan Your SF Trip: Utrip!

Tags: Utrip

Q&A with Crystal Kong, Fashion Blogger Does National Ice Cream Tour!

Posted by Dana Andrews on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

Crystal Kong, founder and style blogger at Cryskay, stayed at Hotel Union Square during her first stop in San Francisco as part of her national ice cream tour. As busy as she was during her indulgent days, we caught a moment to speak with her about her experience as an LA fashion blogger and learn more about what inspired this uniquely tasty trip. Enjoy our first of many guest spotlight Q&A's!

170-yellow-heart-1the Marketing Babes

 

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MB: How long have you been blogging on Cryskay? How did you start? 

CK: I used to have an online journal before it was considered "blogging" and always knew I wanted to get back into it. Three years ago, as a New Years Resolution, I started Cryskay and have stuck with it ever since. It's become my creative outlet and a way for me to archive my personal style. 

MB: What inspired your Ice Cream campaign?

CK: My crazy obsession and addiction to ice cream. A friend and I came across the "Best Ice Cream Shops in the US" lists from the Thrillist and Food & Wine and decided that we needed to visit them all. Being that one of the things on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states by age 50, it gave me all the more reason to do this. Neither one of us thought the idea would come to fruition, but slowly & surely it did and now we're here! 

MB: What ice cream stores are you planning to hit up/did you hit up while in SF?

CK: There's Bi-Rite Creamery and Humphry Slocombe in the city, as well as Ici Ice Cream in Berkeley and Three Twins Ice Cream in San Rafael.

MB: What's your favorite ice cream place and flavor here in SF?

CK: Hands down, Honey Lavender & Salted Caramel at Bi-Rite. I have dreams about it.

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MB: Where else are you going on your trip and where are you most excited to go? 

CK: The trip takes us up the west coast to Seattle, over to Yellowstone National Park, back down to Phoenix, across the south through New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Nashville, up to Boston and ending in New York City. I think I'm most excited about Yellowstone for the scenery and Nashville because it's a city that I've fallen madly, deeply in love with over the years. 

MB: What's your idea of the perfect first date ice cream outing outfit in San Francisco?! Which ice cream spot would you go to for this particular occasion?  

CK: When in San Francisco, I like dressing in layers because you never know when Karl the Fog will make an appearance. Also, I'm always about comfort so I would probably be wearing jeans (or shorts), a tee, leather jacket and boots. The date would start out at Bi-Rite (but of course). I like picking up the pints there (you get the cut the line) and eating it on the lawn at Dolores Park.

MB: Which ice cream place and flavor has the most Personality in SF?

CK: Again, Bi-Rite Creamery... I'm telling you, I'm obsessed with it! The most personality award would go to their Ricaenelas flavor. It's original, unlike anything I've ever had before - smooth in texture with small chunks of snicker doodle and hints of cinnamon.

Craving more? Read Top 5 Union Square Sweet Treats!

Tags: Guest Spotlight

SF Convention Season: Next Best Dinner Guide

Posted by Dana Andrews on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

NextBestDin                                                                                                                                                      Photo via E&O

E&O Asian Kitchen – 314 Sutter Street, Union Square. Sophisticated, modern Asian fusion to-die-for! Plenty of space for larger parties in a chic, yet warm environment, in a prime location right off Union Square. Local business goers and tourists alike rave about E&O for their unique dishes and unforgettable cocktails. The Ultimate Meal: Oysters and Indo Corn Fritters to start, Prawn Citrus Salad appetizer, finish with Drunken Noodles. 

FarallonFarallon – 450 Post Street, Union Square. One of the best little known happy hour spots in the city with an amazing jellyfish bar to boot! A seafood platter (Grand Platter $70/Royal Platter $130) gets a group of dinner-goers a little bit of everything. Forget waiting an hour, or three, for a table at one of the new foodie fish spots, this historic space boasts the charm as one of SF's more classic fish houses, reliably timely and delicious. 

Cafe Claude – 7 Claude Lane btwn Bush and Sutter, Financial District. A hidden gem! This intimate, low-lit, classic French bistro is situated along an inconspicuous alley whispering romantic nuances with every step, a rarity in the middle of the hustle bustle that makes up Downtown SF. Don't be suprised if there's a jazz band ruminating out of the corner of the room. Must Try: Fig Wrapped Prosciutto appetizer and the Duck Confit - bon appetit!

Sauce

Sauce – 56 Belden Place, Financial District. This comfort food style restaurant is perfect for people looking for reliably good New American dishes. A go-to for groups in need of space, or couples looking for something more intimate (the outdoor patio is quite the romantic film scene). Must-Try: the Portobello Mushroom Fries paired with the Hangar Steak and a Moscow Mule. 

Naked Lunch – 504 Broadway, North Beach/Telegraph Hill. Located near the old beatnik neighborhood where literary rebels like Kerouac and Burroughs once frequented, diners are sure to catch onto the historic feel at this restaurant, but guaranteed a table and timely meal, all in a fun and casual setting. Order the fried chicken sandwich with the bartender's seasonal cocktail for a fulfilling, good ole' American meal.

ColibriDinner

Colibri Mexican Bistro – 438 Geary Street, Union Square. Get your Mexican food fix with a twist! Quality ingredients are used for every drink and dish. We never fail to order one of their many specialty margaritas and fresh guacamole to start, followed by any of the entrees, sure to invigorate those taste buds. If there's time: try their weekend brunch (includes bottomless mimosas)!

Aliment - 786 Bush Street, Nob Hill. This intimate & cozy space offers seasonal dishes crafted with fresh, local ingredients. A neighborhood favorite, the menu and decor shouts San Francisco chic! We love the brussels sprouts, the bolognese, and/or the pork belly paired with a glass of one of their many choice wines.  

Need lunchtime inspiration? Check out our Top 5 Favorite Lunch Spots blog post!

Tags: #SF #sanfrancisco #sanfran, dinner, #Farallon, #conventionseason, #Colibri, Oracle, #restaurants, Dreamforce, traveltips, businesstravel

How To Plan Your SF Trip: Utrip

Posted by Dana Andrews on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 09:53 AM

Our new Utrip planner lets you experience our beautiful city in the way that’s most meaningful to you. Using your budget and interests, the planner will give you a day-by-day itinerary, in moments.

Here's a simple step-by-step how to in turning your San Francisco dreams into a reality:

(Find our Utrip page under the discover tab -> plan your trip.)

1. ENTER YOUR DATES 

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2. SELECT A TRAVELER PROFILE

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3. ADJUST THE LEVERS SO THEY ARE JUST RIGHT FOR YOU. (P.S. Watch how the recommended activities change based on your inputs!)

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4. And VOILA, a personalized day-by-day itinerary for your trip!

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*Don’t worry, the trip planner factors in seasonality and logistics. You won’t be sent to a museum that’s closed on Tuesdays. It will also be optimized for geography. No crisscrossing through the city all day!

There are so many ways you can continue to personalize your trip...

GET TO KNOW YOUR TRIP:

-View venue descriptions, information and tips by clicking on activities:

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- Look at your trip by the week:

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EDIT YOUR TRIP
Easily lock in, move around or delete activities
-The trip planner can auto-fill a space when you delete something, or you can click “Add Activity” and peruse hundreds of items by tags or categories.

NOT SURE WHAT TO SEE? LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS. Check out our San Francisco Featured Trips:

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Be Excited! Share your trip with friends and family via:

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Indian Summer Bucket List

Posted by Dana Andrews on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

Anyone in San Francisco from June through August knows that summer doesn't always feel like real summer here. It's quite the opposite: foggy, windy, and invariably a bit cooler. Although, we locals know that after three months of a pseudo-summer we experience every year, the more expected summer symptoms reveal themselves shortly thereafter. Alas, our annual Indian Summer! September through November one can expect consistently warmer temperatures and much, much more lounge-like afternoons and evenings. So, in celebration of warmer days ahead, we've compiled a list of to-do's (just in case you've missed them these past few months):

Hike

1. Hike this Coastal Trail from Baker Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge

2. Attend a Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences

TakeARide

3. Do A Station-to-Station Bay Area Bike Share Ride 

4. Dance at Salsa in the Square in Union Square

EatLocal

5. Eat at Off the Grid in the Presidio or Fort Mason (Photo via KQED)

6. Catch a Giant's Game before the season ends!

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7. Treat yourself to a day at Archimedes Banya Spa (Photo by Kristin Viola)

 

 

Tags: san francisco, sun, fun, Summer tips, Indian Summer

The Instagram #JumpforJoy Campaign

Posted by Dana Andrews on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 05:02 PM

Celebrating the little moments with Personality Hotels!

Sometimes people need a reminder to celebrate the little moments along with the big. In an effort to promote the simple joys in life, we're launching a #JumpforJoy campaign on Instagram! Snap a photo of yourself in mid-jump and post to Instagram with "#JumpforJoy @PersonalityHotels" in the caption for a chance to win a FREE NIGHT STAY at any one of our San Francisco hotels. 

describe the imageThe Marketing Babes

JumpforJoy Flyer

Tags: Personality Hotels, Instagram, fun, #JumpforJoy, #celebrate

Cheersing with the Cork Dorks!

Posted by Dana Andrews on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

Any wine lover knows that the infamous ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Festival is not one to be missed, especially by the hosts of "Cork Dorks," a Krush 92.5 radio show created exclusively for winos. During their time in San Francisco, the Cork Dorks stayed with us at Hotel Union Square, taking time to share a glass with our CEO, Yvonne Lembi-Detert. Check out the video, below, also featuring clips of our amazing penthouse suite! Cheers.

The Cork Dorks | Personality Hotels from Coast Cinema on Vimeo.

 

 

Tags: wine, Yvonne Lembi-Detert, #SF, #hotelunionsquare

Our Top Favorites in Stylish Tech

Posted by Dana Andrews on Mon, Aug 04, 2014 @ 12:22 PM

Any San Francisco local feels the impact of the huge tech boom originating just south of and now within our city. The landscape, style, and local economy is changing and evolving into something completely different than before. Even the conversation is filled with new content and buzz words, with lingo like "cloud storage," "wearables," and "did you see that drone flying over the office the other day?" taking over the daily chatter. As techy as this city may be becoming, as resistant as some long term natives may be, our philosophy stands: embrace the change and celebrate the perks! So, in honor of the tech boom, we've come up with a list of our favorite (and some more fashionable) tech gadgets & apps present in our current culture or near to launching.

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1. Tory Burch's newly designed bracelet trackers for Fitbit

Ever notice those functional, yet not-so-fashionable, bracelet trackers everyone's wearing? It may help with nutrition, exercise, and sleep tracking, but it surely doesn't meet the style standards of today. Alas, a more fashionable version by Tory Burch. Available for pre-order now. 

2. Airfy's smart home automization Beacon

A gadget that power-saves, times appliances and electronic devices for automatic turn-off, and wakes everything up when you wake up (music, coffee maker, water heater, the works)! Talk about environmentally friendly. Pre-order available on their Kickstarter page.

ShypArt3. Shyp, stress-free packaging and shipping

Prepping and sending packages can be so time consuming and quite honestly, boring. Shyp is an app that allows you to forget all about the unwanted stress of sending a package and does the dirty work for you. Just snap a picture of what you want to send, where you want to send it, and Shyp will pick it up for you, wrap it, and send it off smoothly. Only in San Francisco, launching soon in NYC.   

4. Mighty, the fully proofed portable speaker

While the Rebel Speaker they launched last year was only waterproof, this updated version is sand/dustproof and floatable! It also connects to your phone for easy calling to friends or talking to Siri. Mighty is still trying to get funded via Indiegogo, support here.

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5. The USB cassette mix tape, Milktape

Ever since tapes and CDs were replaced with MP3's, gone are the days of giving and receiving hard copy mixtapes. And let's face it, Spotify and Dropbox versions just aren't as sentimental. Milktape looks like a tape, comes white as a blank canvas (for DIY personalizing), and contains a USB adapter inside the tape for easy importing. Bound to be the next big thing in contemporary courting, watch their absolutely adorable launch video here.

 

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6. Frameri, eyewear with interchangeable lenses

With more hours in the day spent looking at computer screens, it's no wonder everyone wears glasses. Otherwise, it's just a fashion statement that makes everyone look a little smarter, and indeed our generation is ;) Frameri currently has three styles with multiple colors to choose from. By buying three frames with one pair of lenses (also available with prescription and tinted), people can easily pop them in and out to match their unique day-to-day style. We highly recommend playing with their Virtual Try-On.

7. Asana, the ultimate project management tool

Coincidentally made by and for a San Francisco startup, this product offers seamless collaboration and optimal organization for new teams and their projects. Member profiles with lists of allocated tasks that is interactive by all people in the group make for quick managing and finishing of the little things. 

8. Mobile Key, the keyless way to get through your door

Mobile Key makes for super easy access into your house, apartment, or hotel room. Convenient, minimal, green! Can you imagine a world without keys? We use them at Hotel Diva and Hotel Union Square. 

Tags: #SF, Tech, favorites, stylish

City Girl Getaway: The Guide

Posted by Dana Andrews on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 @ 10:44 AM

girls dance
In the true city of the free, girls have access to everything the guys do and more. From old to young, career women to housewives, brides-to-be to all the single ladies, San Francisco offers something for every woman. Catching up, glamming up, indulgent days, and exciting nights are all in store for a girls night out on the town. So, as part of our new CITY GIRL GETAWAY package, we've written a special itinerary guide just for the ladies - including some of our favorite restaurants, bars, clubs, and for optimal recovery, a list of the best brunch spots in town. Download the guide below and enjoy an evening in celebration of sisterhood in the city. 

 170 yellow heartthe Marketing Babes


city girl getaway guide
   
   Photo by Micah Weiss

Tags: What to do, #SF, cocktails, Ladies Night in San Francisco, girls, city girl getaway

Top 5 Favorite Lunch Spots

Posted by Dana Andrews on Tue, Jul 01, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

BECAUSE WE LOVE LUNCH! 

Especially when it’s close by – featuring our Top 5 favorite new-ish lunch spots in and around Union Square.

Bartlett Hall lunch SFWhat 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. 

Kin Khao lunch SF

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...

 

Schroeders lunch SF

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. 

Hog Island Oyster lunch SFWe 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.

Uno Dos Tacos Lunch SFWhy: 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.

Tags: Union Square, wine, Where to eat in Union Square, san francisco, lunch, beer, cocktails

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In the Press

Hotel Unions Square's DUGOUT SUITE is featured in this months 805 Living Magazine

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7x7 Magazine names Flamingo Resort & Spa one of the best places to recline in Sonoma!

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