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Hotel Monaco • San Francisco, California

A Belle Epoque beauty near Union Square

Hotel Monaco - Exterior

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The lively Hotel Monaco was once a staid bastion of bland hospitality but now has been transformed by the Kimpton Group into a young-in-spirit boutique hotspot.  The 1910 Beaux Arts building features a lobby with columns and a grand wrought iron staircase and sculpture by renowned Bay Area artist Albert  Guibara.  The hotel’s Grand Cafe, with a look of Parisian rail station, welcomes locals and guests alike with an eclectic American cuisine and  the more intimate Petitie Cafe and Bar serves French bistro fare.

Hotel Monaco - Guest room

The guest rooms at the Hotel Monaco are a fanciful affair with the fin-de-siecle air continued with striped silken canopy beds, sconces and a bounty of textures and patterns. But the playfulness is accompanied by luxe: beds offer pillowtop mattresses, down comforters and Frette linens. This cocoon of comfort is still linked to the outside world with complimentary wireless access, CD players and flat screen TVs.

Hotel Monaco - Guest room

The up-to-the-minute Hotel Monaco has benefits beyond the norm: hybrid car owners enjoy free parking and the pampered pet is welcomed with its own turn-down service.  A spa and sauna are also available.

Hotel Monaco
Location: 501 Geary St  San Francisco, CA 94102, USA; driving time to the airport is about 40 minutes.

Luxury style: Lively and playful but with comfort enough for all ages; hipness combined with hospitality.

What we’ve heard: Rooms can be to cozy for some and a bit on the small size. Location is a major plus with shopping, theater all within steps.

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Campton Place Hotel • San Francisco, California

A haven in America’s most romantic city

Guestroom at Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco

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Restaurant at Campton Place Hotel

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Guestroom at Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco

Campton Place Hotel
Location: 340 Stockton St, San Francisco, California; distance from airport

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Marbella Club Hotel • Marbella, Spain

A sublime retreat on a fabled coast

Marbella Club Hotel - Lobby

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Founded by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe in 1954, the Marbella Club Hotel has been a playground for European aristocracy and celebrities from the worlds of film, fashion and literature since its beginnings as a royal retreat. The Marbella Club Hotel has managed to retain the intimate atmosphere of a personal kingdom with its verdant tropical gardens, and rooms hidden here and there in small quaint buildings as well as exclusive villas with their own gardens and pools.

The accommodations are fresh and elegant, with every modern amenity and each features a private balcony or terrace. Service is also refreshing and refined in the old-fashioned manner of discreet, quiet and efficient care.

Dining options are numerous — the Marbella Club offers no fewer than five options, including the Grill, renowned for its fresh Mediterranean cuisine.

The center of activity during the day is the the pool deck which offers myriad cocktails from the poolside bar. A new beachfront spa is a hub of relaxation and wellness with up-to-the-minute body treatments and massage therapies.
Tennis and fitness center facilities are available at the nearby Puente Romano the heralded new golf course, designed by Dave Thomas with spectacular views of Gibraltar and the African coast, is only a short distance by car.

Marbella Club Hotel - Golf course

The Costa del Sol is a land of year-round sunshine with every kind of water sports as well as activities farther inland in parks and mountains. There are quaint fishermen’s villages to be explored with restaurants featuring the bounty of the sea and the region’s excellent wines.

Marbella Club Hotel - Pool

Marbella Club Hotel
Location: Boulevard Prince Alfonso, Von Hohenlohe, S/n, Marbella, Spain; distance from airport

Luxury style: Travelers who place a high value on privacy will love the secluded feeling of the lovely grounds. And the new golf course as well as spa put it on the list of many an upscale and fit retirees.

What we’ve heard: A beach buffet is a relaxing option for a day of swimming and sunning, while in the evening a drink at the piano bar is a lovely prelude to dining. Veteran club goers also advise reviewing the many acccommodations options. There is something to be said to walking out to your own private pool.

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