Another View of the Real San Francisco

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Advisor - Bettina Hughes
Curated By

Bettina Hughes

  • Boutique Travel

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Another View of the Real San Francisco
Curator’s statement

I visited The Mansion on Sutter for a staycation. The authentic hospitality was welcoming and suggested some great neighborhood favorites. I had a wonderful stay and recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a real San Francisco visit.

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The Mansion on Sutter is located in the area affectionately known as Polk Gulch. It also is my old neighborhood, where I lived my "single girl in the city" days, so I was excited to revisit some old haunts and discover new places. We checked in to The Mansion on Sutter early, as requested and were happy to know they offer on-site parking! A rarity in the city. The hotel honored our upgrade request and we enjoyed the fabulous accommodations in their suite which featured a spacious living room (complete with art, patio overlooking the city and a wet bar area). The separate bedroom was amazing and the bath had a large shower and separate claw foot tub. Amenities in the room included bottled water, fresh fruit, upgraded bath products and the best towels and linens. After we settled in, we took to the streets to do some exploring on Polk Street. First and foremost we had lunch at Swan Oyster Depot, which is a San Francisco institution. Fresh seafood served at the bar is something not to miss.

Next up: Day drinking. We wandered back on Polk Street and stopped at El Lopo, a rustic-chic outpost serving wine, sherry and Spanish tapas made with local ingredients. The tapas were amazingly fresh and delicious. I enjoyed my "Spanish 75" cocktail and also received a wonderful sherry, thoughtfully given to me by the barkeep, compliments of their buy one, gift one program. A fellow customer gifted me a glass. Lovely!

Next, we wandered back to the Mansion on Sutter for a rest and a soak in the tub. After we had a cocktail on our patio, overlooking San Francisco on a sparklingly sunny day. That night, we dined in the exquisite Aquerello. The high-end restaurant serves Northern Italian cuisine and wines in a covered chapel, with vaulted wood-beamed ceilings. Their refined luxury is always in style (it's been open for more than 30 years), and the cuisine and wine program was superb. I highly recommend the tasting menu with wine pairings; the sommelier was engaging and fun (not stuffy). A real treat for our San Francisco night out. After an amazing meal, we sauntered back to the Mansion for a sleep in our luxurious bed. In the morning, we brunched at Mason Danel, a Parisian-inspired patisserie. We munched on fresh croissants and coffees and took home some treats too. The end of our special day found us exhilarated, and full of great food and memories. Most of all, we still love San Francisco and the magic it holds now and forever.

I recommend The Mansion on Sutter, Aqaurello and its environs for those who want to experience the real San Francisco.

Need to Know

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to San Francisco. In need of further inspiration? Check out Marius Josanu’s guide, Weekending in San Francisco.

Advisor - Bettina Hughes

Travel Advisor

Bettina Hughes

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