San Francisco will always be magical
San Francisco is a unique American city that never fails to enchant me. Outside the window of the office I'm occupying while visiting, there's a steep set of stairs that winds its way up and up Telegraph Hill through beautiful undergrowth, trees and flowering plants to Coit Tower.
This stairway takes you past old wooden cottages and new condo developments that cling to the hill. It's all very "Tales of the City." You half expect Anna Madrigal to pop out and offer you a smoke.
There's a steady stream of exercise seekers jogging and walking up and down the stairs, including members of a nearby gym whose sadistic trainers send them as part of their work out. At the top of the hill there was a flock of wild parrots chatting and gossiping loudly. These noisy, colorful birds were the subject of a documentary, the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
The Coit Tower is well worth a visit primarily for the 360-degree views of the surroundings that it offers, including such icons as Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
As a follow up to my stay at the Huntington Hotel, I wanted to note that the service and accommodations were impeccable. The dark-wood-paneled restaurant very turn-of-the-last-century men's club. It's a family owned hotel, one of only a small handful in the city. Five of the family members actually run the hotel.
Much of the staff has been their decades including the driver of the hotel limousine which is available free to guests for short trips around town. The driver has been with the company for 18 years, the doorman for 19 years and the captain of the bell hops over 30 years. Similarly many guests return year after year. This combination of stable dependable service and loyal guests creates a comfortable and comforting atmosphere. The hotel sits atop Nob Hill so many rooms afford draw-dropping views.
The spa at the hotel is pretty impressive too though I was a bit confused about having to check in at the spa boutique in the lobby before heading to the spa itself. Though once you get there, you're in good hands. My therapist, Shawn, is highly recommended.