Heading for San Francisco from Yosemite was a drive of about 5 hours. It was OK, but several hours out the traffic started to build up and it seems that it was a very large city, sprawling for miles. Actually it isn’t, but the surrounding areas of Oakland, San Jose etc made it seem neverending. My navigator had plotted the route, but the sat-nav lady was directing us differently – we went with her!
Driving in the centre of the city was a little nerve racking once we turned off the main interstate onto the streets. However, directions to the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins in Nobb Hill were straightforward – up a VERY steep hill! I was anxious in case the lights changed and I was perched on the brow, however, the sat nav lady informed me we had arrived at our destination. Oh really? We couldn’t see it! Slightly panicking we turned left down a different very steep hill, still didn’t see the hotel. So we made a decision to take the car straight back to the return depot and take a taxi to the hotel. Sensible decision! We weren’t very far from the depot, and it was easy to get to. Car back, all well, nothing extra, taxi back up the hill for $10.
The reason we missed the hotel first time round is that it was on the corner, entrance
at an angle, behind us. Hotel name not exactly large and prominent.
Anyway, we were glad to get shot of the car ( 2500miles!) and checked in.
As an IHG Platinum Ambassador (paid a renewal rate for ambassador, and platinum status came with my IHG credit card) I had booked a king bed club room for 3 nights. Quite expensive, but all hotels seemed pricey.
We were upgraded to a suite on the 17th floor, next to the Presidential Suite! We received all the all the usual benefits; fruit and water, some chocolates, and club access with afternoon nibbles, canapés, wine, and breakfast. It was all very nice indeed!
We did visit ‘The Top of the Mark’, a cocktail lounge bar on the 19th floor, and enjoyed several expensive cocktails and a light nibble or two. We had good views towards Golden Gate Bridge and from the other side, Oakland Bridge. It was very relaxing after all the travelling.
So, what did we do in San Francisco?
We had booked a trip to Alcatraz – audio guide was excellent.
Walked round Fisherman’s Wharf – very touristy
Went to Union Square – some nice posh shops
Went on a small tour (Dylan’s Tours) round San Francisco getting all the interesting history, seeing where the really mega rich stay, over the Golden Gate Bridge to Saulsolito where we wandered about and had lunch – a very pleasant interlude, then on to the Muir woods to see the giant Californian redwoods – more very tall trees.
Visited the San Fransisco Cathedral just opposite the hotel, the cable car museum, and a ride on a cable car up those very steep streets !
All in all, ‘tick’ for San Fransisco!