Glass stays at Fairmont San Francisco – the Grand Dame of the city

THE LEGENDARY Fairmont San Francisco hotel has been welcoming guests since its opening in 1907 after an earthquake partially destroyed the city the previous year.

Located in a prominent position atop Nob Hill, where each of the city’s famed cable car lines meets, the Fairmont San Francisco is a short amble down to the department stores and boutiques at Union Square and a breathless hike back up (if you choose to walk).

This landmark property is listed as a historic building and remains the Grand Dame of San Francisco, still playing host to royalty and celebrities from around the globe who stay in the 6,000 sq ft presidential suite, recently renovated by the award-winning Champalimaud Design team. There are 606 guest rooms and suites spread across the hotel’s historic main building and its more contemporary tower wing.

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Presidential Suite at Fairmont San Fransisco

The hotel’s hall of fame is as impressive as its grand lobby, complete with marble columns, ornate cornice and imperial staircase.

During the Christmas period the Fairmont becomes a destination in its own right, famed for its giant two-story home-made edible gingerbread house (comprising 7,750 pieces of gingerbread and covered in 1,500 pounds of icing) and its towering Christmas tree, which charms both locals and tourists during the festive holiday season.

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Fairmont San Fransisco

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Laurel Court Restaurant

Guests pour in to the lobby to grab an instagrammable photo opportunity, and many take a table at the Laurel Court restaurant to indulge in a festive champagne-fuelled afternoon tea under the hotel’s original domed ceiling.

At night-time, the Fairmont’s fairy-lit façade illuminates the street on which it stands, which was recently renamed Tony Bennett Way. It was at this very hotel that he first sang his most famous ballad, I Left My Heart In San Francisco.

by Amanda Bernstein