Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chancellor Hotel Particpiates in Earth Hour San Francisco

Here is a little introduction copied from their web site:
Earth Hour by the Bay was a huge success, showing once again that San Francisco is a national leader when it comes to protecting the environment and speaking out for change.
Millions of people around the world, from Australia to Uzbekistan, Indonesia to Canada "turned out" for this global event, and San Francisco was among the cities leading the way.
From individual homes to major landmarks, schools to city buildings, San Franciscans spoke with one voice and made it clear that the time is now to reduce our energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions and make an ongoing, worldwide commitment to fight climate change.
World Wildlife Fund is proud to have had the involvement and support of so many public officials, famous places, individuals and families, and major corporations – all of whom helped make Earth Hour a global success.
The impact of this call for change will be felt worldwide.
Visit to find out what you can do throughout the year to fight climate change, and check back to soon for details on Earth Hour 2009
Here are some pictures from the Chancellor's participation:
Before and during Earth Hour
The Chancellor from across the street - looks dark.
Rory and Steve ready for the check-ins without lights
We're just standing around in the dark. Nobody is coming in. Do they think we closed?
Finally, some work to do...Rory taking a guest request for Matt, the Bellman and Steve is providing a little extra light. Good Job, Steve.
Susan at the Tour Desk was still booking tours in the dark.

It was a fun time for the hour. Guests walked in and were taken aback, but then often said "Oh yeah, the one hour of darkness thing" The bar still served drinks and business was still carried on, but we helped provide a little bit of a reminder that energy and global climate change should be on our minds.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't Get Held Up at Hotels - By the USAToday

To avoid trouble when using cards at hotels:
Use a credit card. Unless you're up against your credit limit, a hold won't affect your ability to charge more. A hold on a debit card is like you've written a check; that money isn't available until the hold is lifted, and that could take a week.
Know when you will be billed. Some lodgings, particularly in vacation destinations, charge for one or more nights when you make your reservation. You may be paying for the room before you sleep in it.
Ask what the hotel plans to do. Will it put a hold for a certain amount for incidentals on the card you present at check-in or merely keep a card imprint until you check out? If you're using a debit card, make sure you have extra money in your account to cover holds.
To see when a hold is released, contact the bank that issued your card. Occasionally, you may have to push a hotel to lift a hold as soon as possible.
Source: USA TODAY research

Thought this was great information. Speaking from experience, debit cards are NOT good for travel use. Pre-use authorizations can be done by gas stations and car rental agencies as well as others.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Chancellor Hotel Upgrades Safety

We have just upgraded our safety equipment to include an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). These devices are known to improve the chances of saving a life over just CPR dramatically. Hopefully, we'll never have to use it, but we like to think we have done what we can to be ready.

While the machines are "automatic" and supposed to be used by anyone with no training, we held a training session for staff anyways and brushed up on our CPR.

Here are some pictures of our training session

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Retirement Irena!

Irena, a member of our housekeeping department, has retired after 17 years with us to tend to health issues in her family. We held a little party with lots of food, drinks and a giant going away card. The food featured some Piroshkis from her native Russia.

We met Irena at the Refugee Center on O’Farrell St. back in 1990 and she was hired on Feb.11,1991.

She has 2 daughters of whom one lives here and the other in Russia. Both daughters are married.

We wish her the best!

Pictured above, Irena and Ollie Rodriguez, Executive Housekeeper

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Posting Hotel Reviews

1. Why does one post a review of a hotel?
2. Why does one use a site like TripAdvisor where they read reviews of hotels?

The answer to those two questions will tell you a lot. To me, the only answer to those questions should be:
1. To give advice to help travelers that follow - Hence the name: Trip "Advisor"

2. To be advised as to what to expect and get information that will make their experience better through advance knowledge & planning

Since I believe that those are the only answers and I believe TripAdvisor is a great tool, it drives me nuts when people post reviews from a long time ago. Especially when they don't point that out in the review. I really doubt people read reviews that are a year old when researching their hotels to stay in. I know I don't. If I want an idea of what a hotel is going to be like, I read the current reviews. Too much can change in a year for an old review to be of any real value in my opinion - Good or bad. Managers come and go, hotels change ownership, the staff changes and the place could be more worn or renovated since the they were there. If someone just wants to tell their story, write a blog or use the Forum.

If, for some reason, I suddenly decided to post a review of a hotel that I stayed in last year or before, I would at least try to provide information that would still be helpful for others that read it, such as the location of the hotel, best room location, attractions, things to see or avoid, etc. I would avoid making claims and statements about things that may have changed since I was there when posting an old review. I would definitely point it out that my experience was on such & such dates.

Another thing I think is unfair is when people discover TripAdvisor AFTER the fact. They go on the site and complain or criticize about things that are mentioned through out the reviews of that particular hotel already. In our case, with our European sized rooms, they are not going to change...ever. The rooms are smaller than you find at most American hotels today - we know that. Thanks to TripAdvisor and the many other resources, every future guest of ours should know that too. Nearly every review of the Chancellor mentions room size. Some people say the rooms are just fine, some say they are claustrophobic. If you stay with us, you should know your opinion of the rooms should fall in that range. Going on TripAdvisor after the fact and complaining about things that are what they are, is really just a case of sour grapes and shows that person did not do their own due diligence. We used to use travel agents back in the day, now we do it all ourselves. Travel agents are professionals and provide expertise. It reminds me of the old saying..."The person who acts as their own lawyer has a fool for a client" If the travel planning doesn't work out to the traveler's satisfaction, maybe that travel planner had a fool for a client?

Just my opinion. Post a comment if you disagree. Post a comment if you agree. Post a comment.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Union Square Crab Festival

On Saturday, March 1st, the Chancellor Hotel participated for the 6th straight year in the Union Square Crab Festival and Celebrity Crab Cracking Contest. This was one of the best ones yet! The weather was great, the contest was fun and all the food and drink booths were outstanding. Here are some pictures from that day.

Of course, the day starts by wheeling everything over to the Square to set up our wine booth. Our house wine is made by Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma County and we co-sponsor the wine booth with them. It is great wine and they are great partners.

Our booth is all set and ready to go!

We were pouring Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc or Russian River Pinot Noir. Our Chef, Darren Lacy made some delicious crab cakes to go along with the wine (or beer that was being served by Guiness)

The other restaurants were set up and ready to go.

The Oakroom at the Westin St. Francis was serving their famous Dungeness Crab Chowder made with Anchor Steam Beer.

For the Celebrity Crab Cracking Contest, Chef Lacy was paired with the newly crowned Miss Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Here he is meeting his partner.

Lamont & Tonelli, that do the morning show on 107.7 The Bone, were the Emcees for the Crab Cracking Contest

Lamont & Tonelli with Sourdough Sam, the 49er Mascot.

The Contest started with a crab cracking demonstration by the Chef de Cuisine at the Westin St. Francis
. The participants were introduced.
Miss Chinese Chamber of Commerce doing her parade wave

Chef Lacy with his partner, Miss Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

To the right of Chef Lacy are Alex Smith, Quarterback of the 49ers and San Francisco Fire Chief, Joanne Hayes-White

49er Kicker, Joe Nedney, looking over the crowd

The contest in full swing...Go Chef!
Sourdough Sam supervising the contest
The Aftermath

Random crowd shots...