Fairmont San Francisco

Watching The Rock on HBO last night inspired me to write this post mainly because it was filmed in part at the Fairmont.

The Fairmont San Francisco is one of the grandest hotels that I’ve been to. We were given a tour of its Penthouse Suite, which occupied the entire eight floor. This extraordinary suite has three large bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a living room with a grand piano.


It even has its own two-story circular library with a ceiling featuring the night sky and constellations.


It also has a billiard room covered in Persian tile from floor to vaulted ceiling.


There’s a formal dining room too.

Isn’t t this so intricate?


And an expansive terrace with views of San Francisco.


This same terrace, of course, is where the “dangling scene” from the movie The Rock was filmed.


We were told that this particular suite was originally constructed as the private residence for John S. Drum, then the president of the American Trust Company. Since then, this $15,000 (gasp!) a night suite became home to some royalty and rock stars, including President John F. Kennedy, Prince Charles of Wales, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Hussein of Jordan, Mick Jagger, Elton John, and Tony Bennett.

Aside from its magnificent Penthouse Suite, The Fairmont San Francisco also has a Roof Garden, which I saw as a perfect wedding venue.


I also found the hotel’s Laurel Court Restaurant and Bar very nicely done.


On one corner of Laurel Court was a recreation of the San Francisco Bridge in Ghirardelli Chocolate. Wow!


But the restaurant that struck me most was Tonga because of its unique ambience. It’s a tiki bar featuring a bandstand on a barge that floats in a former swimming pool. It even has artificial rain and thunderstorms!


When we were there last year, these two cars at the lobby also caught our attention. Its signage says these Ferraris joined the visually spectacular September 2012 FOG Road Rally in Los Angeles.


Another trivia about Fairmont San Francisco: It is one of the historic hotels of America.

Here it is over the years:


For my last trivia, did you know that Tony Bennett first sang “I Left my Heart in San Francisco” at the Fairmont Hotel’s Venetian Room?


I’ll end this post with my “parting” shot of the hotel. I said “parting” since I took this onboard our car as we were leaving the hotel.


For more information about what is considered the Grand Dame of San Francisco, please visit its official website.


2 thoughts on “Fairmont San Francisco

  1. Mike S

    Hi Milai

    Just stumbled across your wonderful blog. I envy your adventures. In a good way.

    I had the pleasure of working on The Rock at The Fairnont 20 yrs ago and your love letter to the granddame brought back some great memmories. Happy trails!

    1. milai Post author

      Hi Mike,

      I’m so sorry for the late reply as the holidays kept me offline.

      Wow! I envy you for your Fairmont experience. And you’ve got such a beautiful, charming city (SFO remains one of my favorites).

      Happy travels! Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂


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