Throughout the summer, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area are awash in new-and-old-school entertainments—and the changing face of the hospitality scene that accommodate them.
In San Francisco proper, Loews Hotels & Resorts recently re-branded the Mandarin Oriental as the Loews Regency San Francisco, the second property (following the Loews Regency New York) in the new Loews Regency brand. Apart from spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Loews Regency San Francisco is being aesthetically re-tooled and—thanks to Executive Chef Amol Agarwal of the hotel's Brasserie S&P—remains in synch with local foodie culture at the nearby Ferry Building.
The gourmet complex features Oakland-based Blue Bottle coffee, Berkeley’s Acme Bread, and San Francisco’s own Recchiuti chocolates—and in September, Chef Agarwal will join the fray by providing free weekly walking tours of the Ferry Building, a draw for gourmet-minded guests.
In Berkeley, the 1930 Berkeley Women’s City Club—a beautiful dollhouse version of Hearst Castle at San Simeon just steps from downtown—has been reimagined as a hotel. The Berkeley City Club is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the property was designed by Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame. The 35 guestrooms boast views of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, including landmarks like the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Berkeley Campus and Hills, and guests have access to the property’s lap pool.
San Francisco is home to the first-rate de Young museum, and on Saturday, July 25, the museum will provide a welcome glimpse of Bay Area history. The de Young’s “Portals of the Past: The Photographs of Willard Worden” features early 20th Century images of a lost Chinatown, a slice of old San Francisco London would have enjoyed.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin.