Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Official...

San Francisco Hotels voted in a Tourism Improvement District plan yesterday at the Board of Supervisors Meeting. Therefore, effective January 1, 2009, there will be a Tourism District Assessment that hotels will pass on to guests that is based on room charges that will generate millions of dollars to add to the promised City funds over the next 10 years for the repairs, improvements and expansion of the Moscone Convention Center in addition to the sales and marketing efforts of the Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Visitors to downtown San Francisco, beginning in 2009, should expect to pay 1.5% of guest room charges as an assessment fee in addition to the 14% occupancy tax. Hotels in the West Side and far South of the City will be assessed 1% of room charges.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chancellor Hotel's Holiday Reception

The Chancellor Hotel hosted a Holiday Reception for our guests and the Union Square Association for the 2nd year in a row on December 4th. The tradition has grown out of the Holiday Stroll that used to be held in the Union Square Area and features great food, wine, beer, mulled wine and the special "Grinch" drink to benefit the family our sponsor family. Invitees were also asked to bring non-perishable food for our annual food drive.

Gen and Monica Served up the "Grinch" for our sponsor family.

We offered a free specialty drink called the "Grinch" shaken with care by Monica and Gen. All tips were matched by the hotel and used to purchase gifts on our sponsor family's wish list so they can have a better Christmas in these hard times.

We cleared out the Luques Restaurant and set up some stand up cocktail tables with a wine bar and some great food stations

Chef Lacy dished up some great food and was the hit of the party.
Above: Florinda serves some Delicious stuffed mushrooms
Kevin and Tony man the beer and wine bar
We were lucky enough to be visited by Mr. Scrooge. Unfortunately, no Bah Humbug here!
Here is Mr. Scrooge and Donna from the Union Square Association
The Dickens Fair is at the Cow Palace until December 21st

Here are other great pictures from the event
A few shots of the Chancellor Staff
Here are some random shots from the reception

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hotel Scam Warning

Here is a scam warning I heard about a while ago and posted onto the Inside Pages on TripAdvisor. I just received a bulletin from the hotel security directors association that indicated the scam was just perpetrated again at a local hotel.

There is a scam where people call hotels and ask to be connected to a room. They often ask for a common name like Smith, Jones, Wilson, etc. However, if someone calls a hotel and just asks for a room by the number, they are often connected without any screening procedures by the hotel. When the guest answers the phone in the room, the caller claims to be the hotel manager and says there is a problem with the credit card information at the front desk. The caller then asks the guest to repeat their credit card number and address. Some people have fallen for the scam and found thousands of dollars charged to their cards within minutes. Again, do not give out your credit card number to anyone who calls you. If the hotel management needs to verify your credit card information, tell them that you will go down to the front desk to do so.

Friday, December 5, 2008

2008 Macy*s Christmas Tree Lighting in Union Square San Francisco

WOW! What a great time. I have been to nearly every Tree Lighting Event since Macy*s donated their first tree to the City 19 years ago. In all my years, NEVER have I seen so many people on the streets on Black Friday.

Black Friday (or Fur Free Friday as we call it in San Francisco), is the day after Thanksgiving. It used to be the biggest shopping weekend and one of our busiest weekends in the hotel. Now, it is just a "busy" weekend for us, but VERY busy in the City. The day usually starts off with the fur protests, anarchy protests, anti-business protests and new this year, Iraq Veterans Protests.

Here is a picture of the Square taken from our roof early in the day with the Ice Skating Rink:
The fur protesters usually start in front of Saks 5Th Avenue and Nieman Marcus and then move to the Square.

The Chancellor put out its usual Christmas Decorations

The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony was hosted by Spencer Christian of ABC

Of course, Santa Clause was there. However, this year Santa read a letter he had received which was about a young man that wanted to tell his girl friend something special for Christmas. He was invited on stage and proposed to her. She said "Yes"

Since they are not a same sex couple, they can get married in California.

The Tree was lit by a countdown with Santa, the Former Mayor Willie Brown, the Police Chief and Fire Chief. Here is the lit tree!

It is an 80 foot tree from the side of Mount Shasta in Northern California. The tree is lit with over 10,000 energy efficient LEDs.

New this year are the lit palm trees at each corner of Union Square. They look great!

These are actually pretty good times to come visit Union Square and San Francisco. Discounts are available, the City looks good, the Ice Skating Rink is back after 12 years, the palm trees are lit, Market Street has the snow flakes on the Path of Gold Historic Street Lamps. It is a good time to come to the City and forget about how bad everything is.

After the lighting, I have never seen so many people pour into the streets. Here is a picture from Powell at Post Street looking down Powell
The night would not be as crazy as it could without Critical Mass coming through. You gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Chancellor visits Anchor Steam Brewery

Luques Restaurant and Bar is proud to serve a San Francisco original and classic --Anchor Steam Beer.

Anchor Steam Beer has been brewed in San Francisco since 1896. It was purchased by Fritz Maytag some 30 years ago when it was a distressed brewery barely staying in business. Fritz Maytag is a descendant of the inventor of the washing machine and also owns Maytag Blue Cheese.

Today, Anchor Steam Beer and its many other brews are some of the best and highly respected in the market place.

The Chancellor food and beverage staff and others were lucky enough to be taken on a tour of the brewery in San Francisco and were treated like royalty. Thanks Dan!

Here are a few pictures from our tour:
The Chancellor Crew in front of the big copper brewing pots

Dan showing us the hops
Rory and Erhan in the lobby

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's a Double Edged Sword

It has been a while, but it just happened again...a professional thief struck!

At the Chancellor Hotel, we try to provide a welcoming and friendly environment for people to relax and enjoy themselves, as most service oriented businesses do. However, while hotels and restaurants try to make customers feel comfortable, they must always keep their guard up. Professional thieves know how to take advantage of people relaxing and letting their guard down and we just saw it again.

A guest was sitting at the bar and had her purse on the floor to her right as she was talking with a friend to her left. A nicely dressed lady walked in and sat down in the seat next to the purse on the floor. The nicely dressed lady ordered a glass of wine and engaged in some small talk. As she did that, she manipulated the purse with her foot. Eventually she lifts the purse up by putting her foot in the straps and reaches down to take out the wallet. She uses her feet to work the purse back into the position where it was and SUCCESS!

The lady finishes her wine, acts like she is taking a phone call and leaves.

How do we know all this? We have cameras through out the public areas of the hotel, and the victim found out her wallet was missing when she went to pay her bar tab a short while later. The victim was sure she had her wallet when she arrived, so we looked back at the video. You can see it all, and she was good.

By the time the victim called to cancel her cards, there was $1,800 charged at Nordstrom's and $300 in gas purchases.

I hope by sharing this story, someone will avoid the same thing happening to them. Please, relax and enjoy, but do not let your guard down. Keep purses and valuables in your view. Do not wear backpacks on your back on transit or in busy areas. Do not walk with your purse over your shoulder. Do not leave purses and bags at tables in bars and restaurants, or sit with a purse or bag hanging on the back of a chair. Thieves are constantly roaming looking for opportunity. If you do not give them the opportunity, you will not be a victim.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ice Skating in Union Square!

Safeway Holiday Ice Rink
In Union Square presented by Macy*s

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 – Sunday, January 4, 2009
Closes at 4 p.m. on December 31, 2008

Information Hotline 415.781.2688

Daily Schedule • Open 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
• Close at 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night
• 90 minute sessions that start on every even hour

• Private party booking* available Mondays & Tuesdays,
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. or 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

*Sessions not open to public if sold to a private party. No private parties after Tuesday, December 16, 2008.

Cost • Admissions:
Adults $8.00; Children 8 and under $4.00 Monday – Friday until 6:00 p.m.

Adults $8.50; Children 8 and under $4.50 From Friday 6:00 p.m. session until closing on Sunday.

• Skate rentals: $4.00 (Hockey skates available for $1 extra)

• Group rates: applicable only Mondays through Thursdays, not available after Tuesday, December 16, 2008
• 15 to 24 - $0.50 discount per person
• 25 to 74 - $1.00 discount per person
• 75 or more - $1500 – must rent entire rink
• Private parties: $1500 Single Session; $2750 Double Session


Beneficiary Safeway, Macy*s, Larkspur Hotels, Jet Blue Airways, Emporio Rulli Il Caffe, Sweet and Baker Insurance Brokers, Kaiser Permanente, Westin St. Francis, JW Marriott, NBC Bay Area, KGO Radio and 7x7 Magazine.

Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and San Francisco Recreation & Park Department

*Dates, rates and times subject to change

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chancellor Hotel serves as a polling place for the Historic Election

The Chancellor Hotel served as the polling place for precinct 3347 for the second time this year.

It was great to see Democracy in action!

This time was a lot busier than last time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tub Overflow - It Happened Again!

Despite our warning on the back of the registration cards that everyone signs that says that the tubs will overflow if left unattended when running, and it will cost you $1,000.00 for repairs, AND we have a bright yellow sign over the tub faucets with a warning as well, it happened again! The guest didn't even tell us about his tub overflowing. Luckily, the building engineer was making his morning rounds and discovered a wet carpet in the hallway outside the room. The water was all the way into the hallway outside the room and across the room to the far window.
We have to pull all the furniture out and remove the carpeting to dry the room. The room just below was only damaged slightly, thankfully. It was a fun Monday for the maintenance and housekeeping departments!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Chancellor Hotel's Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Each year we have a pumpkin carving contest for our staff. Each year I am amazed at the creativity and skill that is demonstrated.

We buy the pumpkins and invite the staff to carve one and enter it into the contest. We then ask our guests to vote on the their favorite pumpkin by filling out a little ballot and putting it into the box. Shortly after Halloween, we open the ballot box and count the votes. The top 3 pumpkins win a cash prize. However, every one's a winner when they participate.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The New LCD Flat Panel TVs are coming in!

Here, Carlos is moving a TV upstairs.

This is how they look in the room... Nice!

We are very excited that we have begun our new LCD Flat Panel TV installations. We bought the 32" LG TVs and we are putting them in the rooms. We get about 20 a week and are working from the top floors down. If you care, feel free to request a room with a new TV. They sure look nice!

Nike Women's Marathon

The Nike Woman's Marathon was just last weekend and it all starts in Union Square. Here are a few shots from the event that morning:
Gathering in the lobby before the race

They have a few participants!

The Chancellor is in a great location to stay in for runners. However, if you're not staying with us for the race, chances are, you will be awake for it!