It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you all are doing so, so well. I’ve finally gotten around to sorting + editing all of my photos from the trip I took to San Francisco with The Luxury Collection team from Starwood Hotels. This trip was one that I will always remember and hold dear to my heart – and you’re about to see why!
1. Stay, eat, play at The Palace Hotel.
The Palace Hotel, an icon of San Francisco since 1875, was recently completely renovated into one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been in. Just look at this lobby, dear Jesus almighty goodness gracious megawatt chandelier goodness.
The beautiful, daylight-filled pool.
As soon as I got in from the airport, I took about an hour to unwind and have some tea + some sweet treats left for me in my room!
I stayed in the Superior Suite, and they practically had to drag me out of it. My favorite hotel rooms are ones that feel easy and comfortable when you step inside. The decor here is modern but still cozy and just plain chic.
There is just so much space, beautiful natural light and comfortable seating all around.
And the bathrooms are filled with marble, a waterfall shower head, robes that are actually soft, and (my favorite) a brand new electronic bidet.
The Palace Hotel is located within walking distance to some serious shopping spots – Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Neiman Marcus, the list goes on… But it’s also super close to Union Square, filled with restaurants, theatres, clubs, lounges, and Union Square park.
Here’s Jesse Llapitan – the Executive Chef of The Palace Hotel – one of the funniest, most passionate people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He taught me how to make eggs benedict HIS way, and I also couldn’t get over these mushrooms.
To officially celebrate the renovation, The Palace Hotel hosted a gala dinner and jaws dropped after showing up to this.
This lobby is one of the most beautiful hotel lobbies I’ve ever stepped foot in – it completely brings a new meaning to the idea of luxury. Do stop by to have a coffee + tea, even if you don’t decide to stay here. It’ll be well worth it!
2. Get hungry and go to Ferry Building Market.
The Ferry Building is home to awesome shops + restaurants, perfect for foodies of all flavors – cheese shops, ice cream, bakeries, chocolatiers, espresso bars, and so much more.
Our first stop was Hog Island Oyster Co. to greet these smiling faces.
We tried five different kinds of oysters, both from around the Bay Area and coastlines elsewhere. In heaven right now.
3. Walk Around The Mission District.
The Mission District in San Francisco is home to some of the coolest restaurants in town. It’s also a well-known spot to explore the murals + street art in the city. There is a culture here that’s colorful, hip and down to earth. Reminds me a bit of Brooklyn. 🙂
4. Take a day trip to Napa Valley.
Rent a car, grab a friend or better yet go alone, and take the scenic drive up to Napa Valley!
Our first stop was the Beringer Vineyards – we did a cave tour of the huge barrels that hold the wine while it ages – and afterwards, came to have lunch with the Redwoods here. Jaw dropped, again.
Our next stop was Conn Creek Winery.
At this point, I am so sleepy that I can hardly stay awake. We come into this room and see this table, with beakers, tons of glasses, more bottles of wine – and all I can think is, “How the h-ll am I going to remain graceful with all this wine around me?”
Luckily, this was more about tasting, than drinking. We all perked up once we found out that we would actually be BLENDING OUR OWN WINE!
That’s right, kids. After tasting various types of Cabernet Sauvignon, we took notes on each and wrote down what we liked/hated, etc. From there, we tasted some of their Merlot and Malbec. A little math + percentage-practicing later, we got to blending.
After I filled up my beaker with my personally-blended red wine goodness, I poured it into an empty bottle and stepped right on over to cork it myself!
And voila! Meet “The Bucket List Blend” – my very own red wine that I taste-tested and loved. They gave us labels to put on the bottles to make them official! And this was absolutely worth checking my bag on my flight back to New York, mmk?
5. Soak in the view.
San Francisco is such a beautiful city – the air is crisp, the bay is breezy and the sunsets are gorgeous. Wherever it is that I go, I like to find a spot and sit. Sometimes my favorite time is to go when I’m alone. No texting, no talking, just soaking in serenity.
I captured these photos from the drive back into San Francisco from Napa Valley.
The hilly residential area outside of the Mission District.
6. Walk or bike the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was a beautiful, blue day and I knew I had to come see the Golden Gate Bridge before I left the city – so I took a cab to Golden Gate Bridge Park and walked along the bridge.
7. Go see a jazz show at The St. Regis Hotel.
After exploring the city, I checked into the St. Regis for my last night in San Francisco. These beds are just too d-mn comfortable. So. hard. to. get. up.
But I’m glad I did because I got to see Jamie Cullum. I have never been more moved by a live performance in my life. This man inspired me beyond words. I sat here for an hour and a half and it felt like 2 minutes, closing my eyes and losing myself in his performance. I have loved music ever since I was 5 years old, and dreamed of performing, only to give up on that dream because I never thought I was good enough. I stopped listening to music, I stopped loving it. But listening to this performance, being surrounded by his energy, has reminded me of how much music can move you, and how much I love and respect the artistry. Big thank you to @stregishotels for inviting to experience this #stregisjazz moment!
This trip only lasted 5 days, but it was one that I will always remember – the amazing food, the wonderful weather, meeting new friends, creating new moments and cherishing those memories. I mean, I named my red wine ‘The Bucket List Blend’ because I was so grateful to experience so many things I had never experienced before. So I decided to get some of my favorite photos from this trip printed into a photo book!
I downloaded the TripPix app (for free) from the iTunes store (here), and uploaded my photos straight from my phone. They place all your favorites into a cute travel-related theme, complete with adorable illustrations + even timestamps from your photos. It’s $20 for the printed hardcover book, and it’s delivered to you with free shipping.
This was the perfect way for me to be able to look back and remember the wonderful time I had here.
Have you ever been to San Francisco? Planning to go? If you have any tips + suggestions on what to do while there, leave a comment for us below! Thank you so much for reading, and thank you so much to the Luxury Collection team for inviting me to experience the city through their eyes. Find our more on The Luxury Collection here or better yet, follow them on instagram ’cause their photos are just so, so good for giving you an incurable case of wanderlust.