Glitter Above Ground and Pirates Underground: Luxury in the Bay

If you have everything under control, then you are not moving fast enough.

I travel in excess, I know it, and it has cost me a few relationships, but has acquired me an insurmountable level of love. The tradeoff almost seems continuously worth it. In a geotagged world of growing dots and pins, location is clearly the pedestal of more than just real estate. Perched atop Nob Hill San Francisco is the Fairmont San Francisco, a remarkable structure with enough history, views that are my personal weakness, and a glittering host of lifestyle that is rather unmatched. With a history of having survived the great earthquake but not the great fire of San Francisco, the epic structure was rebuilt and now stands in history as a place that the affluents resided in after the city was devastated, and many presidents, celebrities and others graced for years thereafter. And evidently my choice for a trip to my favorite culinary city.

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I often perched myself in the seasonally decorated Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar, which while I only sipped champagne at, was run by Chef Oscar Gonzalez who gave it the refined coastal cuisine that people aspired for. The seasonal decor included massive floral structures depicting the city’s history, or over Christmas, an interactive and giant gingerbread house and other treats. Truly a king-size lobby which featured life before the urgent era of tech.

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My favorites were actually the curio shops and decor stores, many of which carried opulent and glittery designs from boutique and bespoke designers. A marble cow and her calf, along with a porcelain vase with the Indian history of Krishna and related jewelry caught my particular fancy.

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The rooms offered cityscape views, which I could savor for days. Underrated as a rooftop city with seldom any to find, the topography of San Francisco is even more like lego-land than the overrated New York. What with even more conical hoops and slopes, and massive bridges and oceanic views that are often hurdled with clouds. I quite enjoyed both daytimes and nighttimes in a city where the landscape was made of hills, owing to a richer landscape littered with equal bits of nature and architecture.

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My favorite times were spent at the basement tiki bar, architecturally one of the most splendid things I had seen. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar featured live entertainment, and a periodic surprise thunder and lightening storm to make inhabitants feel like they were on a pirate ship! With ‘good luck red‘ couches and tribal art decor, and an Island Groove Band performing 40 hits from a thatch-covered (beware of photo bombers!) in the lagoon-like pool, this was a spectacle.

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The Mai Tai was recognized as one of the city’s best drinks, served in a gigantic glass with tiki umbrellas. The cocktail had been a signature since 1945, with rums from Trinidad and Jamaica and local handmade orgeat and fresh lime juice, reminding me of another pirate ship escapade in San Francisco. It was strong, way stronger than its pinkness, potent, and left me clamoring onto the interiors of ropes and Titanic style leisure to sustain my balance.

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The middle of the lounge was glistening with the lagoon and the barge, where the effects of the lightning and storms magnified. What with my next drink, the hurricane tropical cocktail filled with passionfruit syrup and served in a whole pineapple, I was literally flying from being Peter Pan to Captain Hook, desperately avoiding the crocodile eyes as I sipped a salaciously tangy cocktail.

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It was a fun stay, with me perched high up like a bird ready to set flight. Because as they say, a bird is powered by its own flight and its motivation. And my motivation is my addiction to travel.

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