The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

    Given the Ritz-Carlton’s location in the famously tolerant city of San Francisco, it is not surprising that the property welcomes a wide range of guests. Most of the animals that stay at the 16-year-old hotel, which is set in the former Metropolitan Life Insurance building near Union Square, are of the more common household varieties. A famous pop star, for instance, once paid the full $8,000 rate so that her Jack Russell terriers, which arrived in San Francisco a day before their owner, could have the hotel’s Presidential Suite 910 to themselves. For a far more modest fee, a guest’s canine companion will receive a welcome card from the Ritz-Carlton’s general manager, a custom-made bronze bed, bottled mineral water, and a dog bowl filled with entrées such as chopped beef tenderloin with boiled and sliced baby carrots. Guided walks and bedtime stories are available upon request. Of course, the Ritz-Carlton showers most of its attention on human guests, who are the primary beneficiaries of a $12.5 million renovation that was completed last year. All of the hotel’s 336 rooms and suites now have wireless Internet access and plasma-screen TVs, and the two-and-a-half-bath suites 910 and 919 include 1,000-thread-count sheets and three LCD TVs apiece. Accommodations Among the 336 rooms and suites are the Club Level accommodations on floors eight and nine, where guests enjoy five complimentary food and beverage presentations per day. Facilities A spa, fitness center, pool, and close to 23,000 square feet of meeting space. Dining The Dining Room, chef Ron Siegel’s modern French restaurant, received a star from the Michelin Guide last fall. The hotel’s Terrace restaurant offers alfresco dining and Sunday brunch with live jazz music. Concierge Recommends Try the hotel’s $40,000 presidential suite package (for two guests), which includes a helicopter ride to Sonoma wine country’s Chalk Hill Estate for a vineyard tour and four-course lunch with wine pairings; private sailing lessons on San Francisco Bay; and a racecar driving experience at Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway. Rates Deluxe rooms from $460, suites from $680. Presidential Suite 919 is $6,000, while Presidential Suite 910 is $8,000.

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