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San Francisco Hotel Updates and Upgrades: “Grand Dames” Debut New Looks and Name Changes Reflect New Branding

More than a dozen San Francisco hotels have recently completed major upgrades. Several have emerged from these transformations with new names or a re-flag under another hotel brand.


May 14, 2010 — More than a dozen San Francisco hotels have recently completed major upgrades. Several have emerged from these transformations with new names or a re-flag under another hotel brand. Below is a short summary of changes that have occurred within the last two years and/or are about to occur:

The Fairmont San Francisco
Former name: No change
Location: 950 Mason St., 94108 415-772-5000 or 800-441-1414
Rooms: 591
Remodel budget: Not disclosed
Completion date: September 2009
Media contact: Samara Diapoulos, 415-673-5634, [email protected]
The Fairmont San Francisco and its five-star design team led by Champalimaud have revitalized the iconic Penthouse as one of the world’s ultimate suites. Spanning the entire eighth floor of the historic Main Building, The Penthouse offers 6,000 sf of luxury and is available for $15,000 per night. It features three large bedrooms, a living room with grand piano, a formal dining room seating 60 people, kitchen, two-story circular library, a billiard room and an expansive terrace with sweeping views of San Francisco. The redesign is a marriage of East meets West, utilizing the Moorish influence of the billiard room and terrace as its inspiration and adding dramatic design elements such as hand-painted silver and black Chinoiserie wall covering to the dining room.

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
Former name: No change
Location: 757 Market St., 94103 415-663-3000 or 800-332-3442
Rooms: 277
Remodel budget: $7 million
Completion date: March 2009
Media contact: Defne Altan, 415-392-2232, [email protected].
In March 2009 the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco completed a $7 million renovation of its 277 guestrooms and suites led by the property’s original interior designer, Frank Nicholson. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase views of the San Francisco cityscape, all guestrooms now include among other amenities: custom sofas and chairs; plush carpet; armless Herman Miller Eames desk chairs; window bench pillows and 42-inch LG LCD TVs. Located on the 17th floor, the Presidential Suite has also been transformed to include upgraded furnishings and amenities. With 180-degree views of San Francisco, it towers over the city and is reminiscent of a luxuriously chic apartment. In addition, all corridors have been refurbished to complement the renovations with plush carpet and wall coverings in shades of mocha and teal.

Hotel Frank
Former name: The Maxwell Hotel
Location: 386 Geary St., 94102 415-986-2000
Rooms: 153
Remodel budget: $10 million
Completion date: March 2009
A sense of freedom and unabashed “frankness” is expressed in the hotel’s fashion-forward design and new name: Hotel Frank. Interior changes include new bathrooms, expanded guestrooms and hallways, and all common areas. Houndstooth-patterned carpeting, white couches and handblown smoke glass bubble light fixtures are among the design features. All rooms offer 32-inch flat screen TVs and iPod docking stations.

Handlery Union Square Hotel
Former name: No change
Location: 351 Geary St., 94102 415-781-7800
Rooms: 377
Remodel budget: $10 million (includes both Handlery Hotel and Resort in San Diego)
Completion date: March 2010
Media contact: Sharon London, 415-321-7564, [email protected]
Remodeling of the Handlery Union Square Hotel began in November 2009. All guestrooms and common areas were upgraded including the 93 oversized rooms that overlook the hotel's pool and courtyard area. Amenities include flat screen TVs, luxurious furnishings and fabrics with an air of warmth and elegance, enhanced lighting and other amenities. A fitness room will be added by summer of 2010.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Former name: Hilton San Francisco
Location: 333 O’Farrell St., 94102 415-771-1400
Remodel budget: $80 million
Rooms: 1,908
Media contact: Scott Baublitz, 415-923-5085, [email protected]
Over the last five years the hotel has spent $80 million upgrading the 1,908 sleeping rooms and suites. In May 2008, the hotel converted some of the existing lobby space into 13,925 sf of flexible meeting space increasing the total square footage to 134,500. Additionally, the hotel converted its former lobby bar into a brand new Starbucks and new restaurant Urban Tavern. The restaurant seats 240 and offers two private dining rooms available for small parties. The new 13,000 sf Nourish by Spa Chakra offers spa services, salon services, and a full fitness area featuring equipment by Precor.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco
Former name: No change
Location: 5 Embarcadero Center, 94111 415-788-1234
Rooms: 802
Media contact: Judy Cronkhite, 415-291-6509, [email protected]
Comprehensive renovation of the hotel’s top floors features new Regency Club Floor and Lounge. Surrounded by panoramic views, the hotel’s former revolving restaurant, Equinox, has been divided into four “hemispheres” featuring dining, business, entertainment and relaxation. Amenities include breakfast, mid-day snacks, evening cocktail hour and appetizer service; work stations, Internet access and free Skype (telephone) feasibility; 42-inch plasma TVs and iPod listening stations. To complement the Regency Club Lounge, the guestrooms on the top two floors have been upgraded and feature residential design features and additional amenities. Eclipse, the Atrium restaurant, was renovated in August 2008 and a new bar added. Expansion of the hotel health club was completed in September 2009.

Kensington Park Hotel
Former name: No change
Location: 450 Post St., 94102 415-788-6400
Rooms: 92 including two suites
Remodel budget: $2 million
Completion date: March 2009
Media contact: Kelly Chamberlin, 415-336-4332, [email protected]
Housed in 1925 Moorish/Gothic style building. Guestroom restoration blends classic, turn-of-the-century elegance with modern touches. Rich jewel tones and classic dark wood furnishings are paired with white leather tufted headboards and luxurious feather down comforters. Rooms feature 36-inch flat screen TVs.

Hotel Mark Twain
Former name: No change
Location: 345 Taylor St., 94102 415-673-2332
Rooms: 118
Remodel budget: Not disclosed
Completion date: spring 2009
Media contact: Jake Johns, 415-673-2332, [email protected]
Hotel upgrades include the conversion of 30 rooms to deluxe accommodations and all remaining standard guestrooms underwent cosmetic upgrades such as painting, upgraded bedding, carpeting, installation of flat panel TVs, ceiling fans, high speed wireless Internet and new digital entertainment connections. In addition, a new full-service restaurant, Fish & Farm, specializing in local new American seafood and artisan meats, opened in 2007. The restaurant operates room service and a full-service bar for hotel guests. Two private event rooms were also completely renovated in spring 2008 and can accommodate small meetings or private dining. Hotel Mark Twain is a C-Two Hotel managed property.

Omni San Francisco Hotel
Former name: No change
Location: 500 California St., 94104 415-677-9494
Rooms: 362 including 20 suites
Remodel budget: $6 million for 2008 and 2009
Completion date: July 2009
Media contact: Robert Graney, 415-273-3000, [email protected]
The complete renovation of Bob's Steak and Chophouse was recently unveiled. HD LCD Sharp Aquos. 32-inch TVs were installed in all guestrooms in July 2008 and new bedding packages for all rooms completed by Aug. 1, 2008. Wi-Fi added to hard-wired Internet free to guest beginning in July 2008 and carpet and soft goods in guestrooms with completion scheduled for summer 2009.

Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco-Union Square
Former name: Parc 55 Hotel
Location: 55 Cyril Magnin St., 94102 415-392-8000
Rooms: 1,011
Remodeling budget: $30 million
Completion date: June 2009
Media contacts: Stacey Edinger, 415-434-6118, [email protected] or Casey Shaughnessy, 415-394-6500 ext. 212, [email protected]
On March 22, 2010 Wyndham Hotels and Resorts announced that the Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco would be branded as a Wyndham hotel beginning in late April. The new name is Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco-Union Square. The hotel recently completed a $30 million redesign that includes upgrades to all guestrooms and suites, the club lounge and the fitness center and expansion of meeting and event facilities to 30,000 square feet. Redesigned by Gensler design firm, Parc 55 has been recognized nationally for its energy management strategies and is one of the San Francisco few hotels to earn Energy Star designations from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and from the U.S. Department of Energy. The hotel also offers a dedicated floor of allergen-friendly guestrooms.

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Former name: San Francisco Marriott
Location: 55 Fourth St., 94103 415-896-1600
Rooms: 1,500 Remodel budget: $22 million
Completion date: February 2010
Media contact: Leslie Duncan, 415-442-6040, [email protected]
The Yerba Buena Ballroom, Golden Gate Ballroom and all surrounding meeting rooms and pre-function space were remodeled to evoke a fresh, modern, new energy atmosphere with state-of-the-art sound systems and digital displays. A notable transformation included raising the ceiling in the Golden Gate Ballroom to 14 feet creating a "junior ballroom" ready for any business or social banquet.

San Francisco Marriott Union Square
Former name: Hotel 480
Location: 480 Sutter St., 94108 415-398-8900 or 866-912-0973
Rooms: 400
Remodel budget: Not disclosed.
Completion date: Summer 2009
Media contact: Nicole Rogers, 415-273-4059, [email protected]
FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. announced on April 1, 2009 the opening of the San Francisco Marriott Union Square, 480 Sutter St. In addition to 400 guestrooms and suites, which offer spectacular views of the city and the bay, this full-service property has three floors of concierge rooms, a concierge lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center and the new Marriott Great Room. Offering more than 10,000 sf of meeting space, the hotel also features bin480 wine bar & dining located on the lobby level at the corner of Sutter and Powell streets. Guestroom amenities include luxurious appointments, all new furnishings, flat panel TVs, wired and wireless high-speed Internet and Marriott’s exclusive connectivity panel.

The Stanford Court, A Renaissance Hotel
Former name: No change
Location: 905 California St., 94108 415-989-3500
Rooms: 393
Remodel budget: $35 million
Completion date: October 2009
Media contact: Sivilay Henry, 949-471-8485, [email protected]
This historic property sits on the site where Leland Stanford, governor of California and founder of Stanford University, built his grand mansion in 1876. Renovations included a complete facelift of the hotel including all guestrooms, meeting rooms, lobby, front desk and the stained glass-crowned porte-cochere. The hotel’s transformation includes the conversion of much of the first floor to a 140-seat restaurant, Aurea. The re-designed sixth floor is now a full-service Club Lounge, available to guests staying on the designated Club Levels on floors six through eight.

Hotel Vertigo
Former name: York Hotel
Location: 940 Sutter St., 94109 415-885-6800
Rooms: 97
Remodel budget: $5 million
Completion date: April 2009
This hotel was renamed for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak; Novak’s character lived in the hotel during the last half of the film. Both the exterior and interior were redesigned including all guestrooms, meeting rooms, corridors, fitness center, lounge and lobby. All guestrooms feature 36-inch flat screen TVs with satellite service, iPod docking stations and in-room movies.

W San Francisco
Former name: No change
Location: 181 Third St., 94103 415-777-5300
Rooms: 404
Remodel budget: Not disclosed
Media contact: Allison Fox, 415-817-7813, [email protected]
The unique look and feel of the recently redesigned W San Francisco's guestrooms, junior suites, meeting space and public areas was influenced by the culture of the city and a modern idea of East meets West. Redesign highlights include brighter guestrooms with comfy window seating, fireplace in the lobby/living room, a W Chill Lounge for meeting attendees and a fun and whimsical arcade game on the second floor.

The Westin St. Francis
Former name: No change
Location: 335 Powell St., 94102 415-397-7000
Rooms: 1,195 Remodel budget: $40 million
Completion date: June 2009
Media contacts: Gena Egelston, 415-774-0118, [email protected] or Kelly Chamberlin, 415-336-4332, [email protected]
The Westin St. Francis has completed a $40 million restoration project that includes a $12 million transformation of 614 guestrooms and common areas in the historic main building; renovation of the California, Colonial, Elizabethan and Georgian function space as well as the State and Chairman’s suites. The entire penthouse level, comprised of six signature suites, has been changed. Caruso’s, located in the tower lobby, is positioned for enjoying a quick snack or glass of wine. The towering Magneta clock has returned to its place of honor in the right corner of the main lobby and chef Michael Mina opened his first cocktail lounge, the 55-seat CLOCK BAR, in the main lobby in July 2008. Additional hotel upgrades include wireless Internet access throughout the hotel; the installation of digital reader boards and a $2 million elevator modernization.

Recent announcements: Best Western Americania, Best Western Carriage Inn and Good Hotel On May 14, 2010 theSan Francisco Business Times reported that Haiyi Hotels and Management Group, based in Portland, OR, had purchased three South of Market hotels: Best Western Americania, Best Western Carriage Inn and Good Hotel from Joie de Vivre Hospitality. The group is expected to take over management of the hotels as of June 1, according to a posting on the hotels’ websites. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell St., 94102. On April 18, 2010 The Examiner reported that The Chartes Lodging Group LLC, a San Francisco-based company which operates approximately 100 properties worldwide, had put the Sir Francis Drake up for sale. Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness Ave., 94109. On Oct. 31, 2009, the hotel closed. The property was purchased by California Pacific Medical Center in 2003 for conversion into a $2.5 billion, 550-bed hospital. Joie de Vivre Hospitality managed the hotel on behalf of CPMC and assisted employees to find new jobs.

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