Wednesday, December 2, 2009

“Good Morning America” to televise live from San Francisco’s Union Square

“Good Morning America” to televise live from San Francisco’s Union Square beginning at 4 a.m. December 3, 2009
by: ajackson
Residents and visitors encouraged to be part of the national television broadcast
“Good Morning America,” (GMA) which has an estimated television audience of 4.5 million viewers, will televise live from San Francisco’s Union Square as part of the ABC network holiday promotion “Good Morning America Lights Up America.”
When: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009; 4 – 6 a.m. (the broadcast will air locally at its regularly scheduled time of 7 – 9 a.m. (PST).
Where: San Francisco’s Union Square – next to Macy’s holiday tree and ice rink
What: The public is encouraged to arrive before 4 a.m. and bring “one warm coat” for GMA’s holiday coat drive. Complimentary Ghirardelli hot chocolate will be served, as well as cookies and brownies from Wolfgang Puck Express Restaurant; beignets from Chez Papa Resto; and pastries from Emporio Rulli il Caffe, which will open to the public at 3 a.m.
The program will include GMA weatherman Sam Champion welcoming the live audience from a decorated classic cable car and leading an audience countdown to illuminate the holiday lights in Union Square. The broadcast will also include a performance by Beach Blanket Babylon. Caitlin McGinty, along with fellow cast members, will sing “San Francisco” while wearing the San Francisco Skyline Hat, which is 11′4″ tall, 10′ wide and 4′4″ deep and features the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, SFMOMA, a moving cable car and other city landmarks.
The live remote in Union Square will coincide with the unveiling of San Francisco’s holiday window at GMA’s New York studio in Times Square. Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the SFCVB, will unveil San Francisco’s window design to GMA’s morning anchor team, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts and Chris Cuomo. Times Square attracts more than 450,000 visitors per day during the holiday season and GMA’s holiday windows have become a “must-see” visitor attraction.
The “Only in San Francisco” window will portray the essence of San Francisco during the holidays. Designer and sculptor Tom Greenfield has creatively showcased many of San Francisco’s most recognizable attractions and icons, including the Golden Gate Bridge; San Francisco’s famed cable cars; Coit Tower; AT&T Park – home of the San Francisco Giants; the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park; Macy’s Union Square and holiday ice rink; and San Francisco International Airport. Beach Blanket Babylon, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, will also be represented, as will Wicked, which is in San Francisco for an extended engagement. The San Francisco CityPass, which provides visitors access to some of San Francisco’s most visited attractions, including SFMOMA; Aquarium of the Bay; Blue & Gold Fleet bay cruise; the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, and the Exploratorium will also be represented in the holiday window design. The “Only in San Francisco” banner will be carried by a replica of a Virgin America plane.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Luques Restaurant & Bar Participates in the San Francisco Chamber's Expo After Hours Event

2009 Business After Hours Fall Expo
On Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 from 5:30-8:30 pm
at The Westin St. Francis on Union Square, we participated in the Fall Expo put on by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to showcase Luques Restaurant & Bar.

The Expo is one of the largest networking events of the year put on by the Chamber. The exciting event featured over 150 exhibitors including Chamber members, non-profits, small business resource partners, as well as catered hors d’oeuvres from several exceptional local restaurants, including us, with complimentary tastings from 15 wineries and live music.

We served our very popular Thai Shrimp Salad with Chile Lime Dressing and it was a big hit. We received many compliments and hopefully left a lasting impression on hundreds of potential customers. Here are a few shots from the event:

Friday, November 13, 2009

It is starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Macy*s gift to the City, the Christmas Tree in Union Square, is being put up and decorated, the palm trees on each corner of the Square are lit and the Ice Skating Rink is up and running.

We are proud to be one of the sponsors for the Ice Skating Rink and are offering a great skating deal. Our guests can add ice skating for two people to their room bill for only $15 plus tax including skate rental. Regular price for skating is $9-$9.50 per person plus the $4.00 skate rental. That is almost 50% off!

Ice skating is available until January 18, 2010. For more information, see the website:

The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be November 27th at 6:00pm.

Picture from the roof of the Chancellor Hotel

Thursday, November 12, 2009

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

We are having a heck of time with people complaining about authorization holds on debit cards these days. Using a debit card for travel is a terrible way to go. As I have traveled around, I have noticed very large signs advising guests about the authorization holds at Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and more. However, we constantly are told that "I have never experienced this before..." I was in the Hotel Rex, part of the JDV Hospitality Hotel Group, right around the corner, the other day and they have a sign right at their front desk. USA Today printed the article below a year ago, but it seems to be taking a long time for the travelling public to get educated on this one. The problem for us is that there is no way to tell a debit card from a credit card unless you read the small print on the card. However, the computer processing does not know the difference. Well, here the article again in my simple attempt to help educate the traveling public:

DON'T GET HELD UP AT HOTELS == 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

Pre Authorizations can be done by gas stations and car rental agencies as well as others. A weeks vacation going from hotel to hotel could rack up a lot of holds.

Friday, October 9, 2009

They're Baaaaaaaack.........

As I type this, the Blue Angles are practice flying over the bay and City for the big show this weekend as part of Fleet Week. They are so loud and it is just amazing to watch them.
Here is a crude video I took from the roof of the hotel so you can get an idea of the experience. The jets are coming from the noth bay, circling around behind the Westin St. Francis Tower as they get back in formation and head off toward the east bay.

If you can not come visit during Fleet Week, I hope you can see them some time because it is really something!

Here are a few pictures from previous years:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maiden Lane Block Party

Last Thursday was the 5th Annual Maiden Lane Renaissance Block Party. The first block of the lane between Stockton and Grant is closed off and we have a great party to raise funds for the improvements to Maiden Lane. This year the block party featured the Edna Love Band, pictured below

Catering by Grace Street Catering, Campton Place Hotel showing off their restaurant specialty, Red Stripe Beer, Skyy Vodka and San Pellegrino.

Of course, the Chancellor Hotel could not miss another opportunity to pour wine, thanks to our sales representative at Young's Market, Vito.
Tony and Helen were served the crowd and had a great time as well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I want to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge sometimes!

Some people make me want to throw up my arms and say "are you kidding me?"

Back in the olden days (10 years ago), people would get out their AAA Book, call a travel agent, call the local visitor's bureau, call hotels and request a brochure and make their choice that way. They were dependent on the information that THE HOTELS put out via their sales department to make their decision. The hotels had more control over the information and sold folks on their particular hotel. Today, people use the Internet and review sites to make their decision. People are relying on the comments and postings, often anonymous and from complete strangers, on review sites such as TripAdvisor to make their decisions on which hotel to stay. That is fine, and it is the new reality, but in my opinion, the responsibility for the selection has shifted from the hotels to the guests. Now, it is buyer beware! People are choosing the hotels, the hotels are not selling themselves to the guest like they used to do. Thus, assuming that the service is good and everything is working, if a guest doesn't like the hotel THEY selected, that is their fault, not the hotel's fault. Case in point: The Chancellor Hotel

We are now, always have been and always will be (as far as I know) a hotel without air conditioning, with small rooms, smaller bathrooms and a hotel with all of the charm and character (quirks) of such built in 1914. That is not going to change. It is on our website and mentioned repeatedly throughout our reviews and postings on the Internet. When considering the Chancellor Hotel, that information can't be missed. Therefore, if someone selects us to stay at when visiting San Francisco and they are unhappy because we are a historic hotel and/or we have small rooms, etc., who's fault is that? Is it fair that we get dinged because we are what we are and people pick us anyways? I don't think so. If I rented an old Model A car, and it served me well, I surely wouldn't complain because it clinked and rattled, and didn't have a cup holder like every other car today does.

Don't get me wrong either. I am not excusing things not working or poor performance. If I rented an antique car for my wedding or whatever, it should do the job. If someone stays with us, they should get a clean room, everything should work and the service should be very good. We are not perfect, things break and stuff happens. However, if the car broke down during my wedding, I would want things made right. The same goes for us. If we drop the ball or fail to deliver, we will make it right. We always have and always will. But again, if I rent an antique car, if is unfair of me to complain because it is not like a new car. If you book a historic 3 star hotel, you will be getting a historic 3 star hotel. Don't knock us for what we are, just accept that we weren't right for you and you know better for the next time when considering a 3 star historic hotel. Thanks!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Chancellor Hotel is Recognized for its Green Efforts

The Chancellor Hotel, San Francisco has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Green Hotels in the U.S. by journalists at Mother Nature Network (MNN). MNN is the new earth-first environmental Website founded by Chuck Leavell, the noted eco-activist who doubles as a long time keyboardist and musical director for the legendary Rolling Stones.
MNN launched in January (visit us here:, the everyman's one-stop guide to greening your daily routine as big or small as you want.
We appreciate the recognition. The Chancellor Hotel has actually been actively working to reduce waste, energy usage, water usage and more for over 10 years...Long before it was "the" thing to do. We have been doing it quietly and because it is the right thing to do, not because it is a sales gimmick to get PR and create a niche in the market. Reducing our impact on the environment is something we truly believe in and will continue to do to the best of our ability.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Karma in action...

Yesterday, a Berkeley Farms delivery truck was parked in front of the hotel while it was delivering to Border's Books next door.

Of course, the truck was not supposed to be parked in the white passenger loading zone, so their may have been a little Karma payback to them as well. It is when trucks violate the law and use the white zone for their commercial use that we run out of space and guests have to circle the block, but that's another story.

This story is about people getting what they deserve. In this case, the driver was delivering to Border's and he did not lock his truck. Up the street comes a clumsy thief and he decides to go into the truck and take a case of orange juice. Unfortunately, the thief forgot there was a step down out of the truck and fell face first onto the sidewalk. The Orange Juice splattered all over the sidewalk and he must have been in pain.

He got up, closed the door of the truck and strolled away.

Thief - Nothing but pain
Berkeley Farms - short one case of OJ

Remember...lock your car and do not leave valuables visible.

Sunday Streets this Sunday August 9th - A Great Time!

Here is some information I pulled from the website:

Bring San Francisco’s streets to life!
Sunday Streets creates a safe, fun, car-free place for people to get out and get active in San Francisco neighborhoods. Last year’s two events drew more than 15,000 people each weekend creating huge demand for more. This year, we’ve expanded the event to six Sundays, opening the streets to San Franciscans to explore four different neighborhoods and participate in a wide variety of activities, including: dancing, biking, skating, walking, hula hooping, yoga, and just people watching.

Sunday, August 9: Great HighwayBike, walk and play next to the Pacific Ocean. Travel from Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo, along Ocean Beach. 10am-2pm.

Sunday Streets Main Event: Lincoln Way at the Great Highway
* Free bike rentals provided by Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours* Sports Basement ‘Lube Fairies’- free basic bike maintenance and information* Sunday Streets main information table and media check-in* Sunday Streets Sponsor booths* Community Based Organization information tables* California Academy of Sciences “Penguins to Penguins” activity center* Solar Telescope Viewing, 11am-1pm, presented by Morrison Planetarium(note: this event is dependent upon weather, clouds or fog cancels)* Adult Fitness screenings, presented by the YMCA* SF SPCA’s Sloan “Big Dog” and Miss Emmy “Kitty” mascots* Historic displays from “Playland-Not-at-the-Beach” museum
Kid’s Activities: Main Event Area (Lincoln/ Great Highway) and Great Highway at Sloat
Presented by the YMCA of San Francisco
* Heroix 4 Kids* It’s Yoga Kids!* Hula Hoops, obstacle course, and kid’s games* “Penguins to Penguins” activities, presented by the CA Academy of Sciences and SF Zoo* Zoomobile and “Leaping Lemur” game, penguin crafts, SF Zoo- Great Highway at Sloat
Roller Skating: JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, near 6th Ave
Presented by David Miles- the ‘Godfather of Skate’, the California Outdoor Rollersports Association
* Free skating lessons from 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.* Roller rink (over 100 roller skates available for free use, while supplies last)* Thriller Dance and tribute to Michael Jackson skate dance demo- 12:30 – 1:30 P.M.
Dance: JFK Drive at Transverse, Golden Gate Park
Presented by Cheryl Burke Dance Studio
* East Coast Swing: 10 - 10:30 A.M.* Salsa: 10:45 - 11:15 A.M.* Boomercize® Dance workout: 11:30 - 12 Noon* Boomercize® Dance workout: 1 - 1:30 P.M.
Yoga and Martial Arts: JFK Drive east of Chain of Lakes, across from Bison Paddock
Presented by Golden Gate Kokikai Aikido and Purusha Yoga
o 10-12 noon Kokikai Aikido Demonstrations and Introductory Classeso 12 noon Yoga by Purusha Yoga
Live Music: Various locations:
* Noriega/ Upper Great Highway, Pedal Powered stage by Rock the Bike* Taraval/ Upper Great Highway, music by Aoede Music, Grain
Rivera Activity Area: Rivera and Upper Great Highway, Ocean Beach, Seawall
* Fitness activities* Hungry? Grab a snack to go: provided by local vendors Celia’s, Other Avenues Coop, Le Bahn Mi* Acoustic Music Jam Area (Seawall)* Beach Activities, TBA
Bike: Taraval and Upper Great Highway
Presented by the Presidio Community YMCA Bike Program and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
* 150 free bike rentals byo Bike & Roll (Taraval)o Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours (Lincoln and Great Highway)* Bike & Roll’s ‘fun cycle, a bicycle built for seven!* Sports Basement “Lube Fairies” (Lincoln and Great Highway)* REI Bike Repair (Taraval)* Youth Bike Rodeo by Presidio Community YMCA (Taraval)* SFBC’s Freedom From Training Wheels (Taraval)* Adult Bike Education hands on lessons (at Free Bike Rental Stations)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The SF Chefs. Food. Wine. in Union Square for the 1st Time Should be a Great Event

August 6-9, 2009

Union Square is getting ready for the Big SF Chefs. Food. Wine Event. Here is a picture from our roof where they are setting up the tent. As you can see, the entire Square will be tented for the four day food and wine event celebrating the unique flavor, diversity and bounty of Northern California.

The tasting tent will cover almost the entire Square, where chefs, wine makers and distillers will offer an exploration of taste featuring local products.

There will also be classes and seminars that will offer interactive opportunities for the public to participate with local farmers, ranchers, chefs, winemakers, distillers, media, luminaries, authors, vintners, mixologists and culinary experts in an entertaining forum.

Check out their web site for more information:

Here is some event schedule information:

Tickets available on the website. You can buy tickets to indiviual events or day and event passes. If you are a "foodie" this event is not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Chancellor Hotel had ANOTHER celebrity guest...

We seem to be on roll for celebrities staying with us. This time, our friends at the Magic Parlor that were doing the Eccentrics of San Francisco show at the hotel every Friday and Saturday night put us in touch with Carol Channing. What an honor.

Carol Channing, a San Francisco native, stayed with us while she was in town for a benefit performance for the Dr. Carol Channing/Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts, working to bring the arts education back into California schools. Joining the Broadway icon in the show offering memories, humorous story telling and several signature songs was our own Walt Anthony of the Magic Parlor.

The show was held at San Francisco State University Creative Arts Building last Saturday and it was a huge success.

Monday, July 13, 2009

San Francisco 49er Football Season is Just Around the Corner!

It is hard to believe that just about one month from today is the first pre-season 49er football game vs. Denver. Go Niners!

We have great seats for our football package right down by the field almost on the 50 yard line.

We actually only have the two pre-season games and a couple regular season games left. If you want to see football the way it was meant to be seen, check out our package:

Here are some pictures from previous years so you can see how close you are to the action

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July - the start of the end of the year.

As we start July, we end the first half of the year or we are starting the last half of the year. It has been a tough year so far...good for the travellers with great discounts often available, but hard for us to make ends meet. However, the Chancellor Hotel has seen a lot tougher times than these, so things are not that bad.

Looking forward to a nice 4th of July weekend with lots of entertainment around the water front culminating with fireworks over the bay.

Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration Saturday, July 4, 2009 1:00 PM to 9:30 PM

PIER 39 invites you to enjoy a fun-filled Independence Day celebration. Rock out with 'Take 2' from 1-4pm followed by San Francisco's favorite 80's cover band, 'Tainted Love' from 6-9:30pm. Immediately after the entertainment look to the sky as the City of San Francisco lights up the night with it's Firework's Spectacular, accompanied by a musical simulcast from KISS FM 98.1. PIER 39 has the best viewing area on the bay!

  • Muni Bus and Metro fares are now $2.00 per ride! Cable cars and the visitor guest passes remain unchanged other than becoming a better value now

  • The Show we have enjoyed hosting in Luques Restaurant every Friday and Saturday for the last 3 months will be closing this weekend. We are very sorry to see the "Eccentrics of San Francisco" go dark, but we hope it will return again someday. It was a great show and they are great people to work with.
  • We just started our new breakfast and lunch menu in Luques Restaurant, featuring more Benedicts in the morning and pastas in the afternoon.
  • We just hosted a meeting for the Union Square Ice Rink that will be returning this holiday season. Hard to believe we start planning now, but it takes a lot to put on and we are happy to be a sponsor. Look for our Holiday Ice Skating package later in the year.
  • We are now on Facebook and hope to grow our fan base and use the new social networking tool to keep our friends in the loop. If you are not already a fan of the Chancellor...Please join us!

Friday, June 12, 2009

47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest * Union Square * San Francisco

The 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was held in Union Square last Thursday and I was lucky enough to be a judge again.

The competition was very stiff. All of the contestants are actual cable car gripmen and they take the contest very seriously.

However, before the professionals compete, there is an amateur contest. There were three amateur contestants: KOIT Radio, ABC 7 View on the Bay, and KBLX Radio. Each one plays for a charity. KOIT Radio won again.

Here I am awarding KOIT Radio with there 1st Place Trophy
Check out the video of a champion in action.
The winner above - Leonard Oats and the esteemed group of judges
Throughout the event, we were entertained by the Slot Blades which is a band made up of Cable Car Operators and Conductors. They can operate a Cable Car and a play great music!
(A slot blade is the small piece of wood that is lowered onto the tracks to act as a brake on the Cable Cars)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hotels and guests are falling victim to pranks that are not funny

Hotels are ripe grounds for pranks and scams and we need to keep our guard up at all times. As hotel employees, we are trained to serve and follow requests. As guests, we let our guards down because we are on vacation and trust authority. Well, that can be a big mistake. I have written in my blog before that when hotel staff contacts you during your stay, and you are not expecting them to do so, make them wait for you to verify their validity before you do anything. Tell them to wait and call the front desk. Here is a bulletin that is going around about hotel pranks. I have to admit that they are so outrageous it is amusing, but probably not to the victims. I like to pass this stuff along, so maybe I can help someone somewhere avoid having a bad day. It also reminds me that when I think I have heard everything, something like this comes along.

Hotel Bulletin

Telephone pranksters posing as security or sprinkler company employees have been causing serious damage to many hotels across the country with several reports from Los Angeles properties, as well as New York and across the southeast.

The prank goes like this:

A caller very convincingly has an employee set off the hotel's fire alarm, shut down electricity, and even smash windows, with the most serious damage reported as fire sprinklers that have flooded several hotel lobbies. To-date, it seems this prank is targeting limited service properties during the night and audit shift.

Press reports from various incidents:
From the Smoking Gun-
Now...Go Break The Windows
Crank caller wreaks havoc on Arkansas hotel,
duping employees, guests

JUNE 9--A telephone prankster posing as a sprinkler company employee caused havoc Saturday morning at an Arkansas Holiday Inn when he convinced an employee to set off the hotel's fire alarm, smash windows, shut down electricity, and break a sprinkler head that flooded the building lobby. The bizarre incident is documented by the Conway Police Department, which, as seen below, photographed the aftermath of the June 6 incident. According to police, Holiday Inn employee Christina Bergmann was at the front desk early Saturday when a male caller "identified himself as an employee of Grennel Fire Sprinkler service." The man told Bergmann that there was a problem with the hotel's fire sprinklers and that she "needed to pull the fire alarm to reset them," cops reported. "Bergmann proceeded to pull the fire alarm at this point, causing the audible alarm." Bergmann, aided by a hotel guest, would subsequently follow a series of directions from the caller that would result in about $50,000 in damages to the hotel's windows, carpets and electrical system. Hotel guests, who were evacuated during the incident, were allowed back into the Holiday Inn after police and fire officials determined that the caller was an imposter. Since a similar prank call was made to a Holiday Inn in Little Rock, Conway cops alerted fellow Arkansas law enforcement officials that "more of these calls could be coming in," according to the police report. Rusty Brown, the Holiday Inn guest who helped Bergmann follow the prankster's instructions, told TSG he was "an innocent bystander and got involved in domestic terrorism." Bown, 36,remarked that there was "absolute panic in that hotel," adding that, "all I did was make it worse. I'm not proud of breaking windows. It is very disheartening."
Here is a story where the guest was duped...

Pranksters convince hotel guest to heave TV, fridge out window Last Updated: Monday, March 23, 2009 6:09 PM CT Comments85Recommend110
CBC News

The defenestrated mini-fridge sits outside the Edgewater Hotel in Whitehorse following the phone prank Sunday night. (Allison Devereaux/CBC)

A sleepy guest at a Whitehorse hotel fell victim to a late-night hoax Sunday when
pranksters pretending to be hotel staff instructed him to hurl two appliances
out of his second-storey window as an emergency measure. Staff at the Edgewater Hotel in downtown Whitehorse said the Victoria man was sleeping in his room when callers woke him up shortly after 11 p.m. to say there was a gas leak in the building. The callers, who said they were from the front desk, told the guest he had to increase air flow into the building by throwing the room's television and mini-refrigerator through his window. The man was also instructed to pull the fire alarm, waking the Edgewater's other guests. "The poor guy in the room is, of course, feeling pretty bashful and somewhat stupid, but he's not going to be held liable or anything," David Goold, the hotel's night attendant, told CBC News early Monday morning. "He can't really be blamed for what you're doing, half-awake, under the front desk's supposed instructions, which is who the people on the phone said they were. "Goold said he later received two separate tips from callers in Ontario, who said the people responsible for the hoax were bragging about their conquest in an online chat room. Goold passed on the tips to Whitehorse RCMP, who say the incident is under investigation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cable Car gets its bell rung

The 47th annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest is going to held on Tuesday, June 9 at 12:00 pm in Union Square. As the board president of the Union Square Association this year, I am lucky enough to get to be a judge.

However, when I was walking past the cable car turn-around yesterday, I saw a taxi that couldn't wait for the big event. I don't know what it was doing at the cable car turn-around area because it is off limits to automobile traffic, but hit a cable car and rung its bell.

If you don't want to ram a cable car but would like to hear a bell get rung, come check out the big event. The contest will feature two competitions: one for local media and community representatives; and another for cable car Gripmen and Conductors. Cable car crew members will face-off for the chance to be the World Champion Cable Car Bell Ringer. Defending champion Leonard Oats will compete against six challengers.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dine About Town June 1-15!

I just went to the kick off party in the Cellar of Macy*s last night featuring tastes from participating restaurants and wines from the Napa Valley. It was a great event with Delicious tastes and it looks like it will be a great summer promotion. This is really one of the best deals going. Here is some information from the
website. Check it out...there is a complete list of the participating restaurants, menus and a booking system.

It's like you've dined and gone to heaven - twice! Dine About Town is back for June 2009! Save on a specially prepared 3-course lunch for $21.95 or dinner for $34.95. Dates and times of participation vary by restaurant. Menus subject to change. Bon appetít!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chancellor Hotel serves as a polling place for the special election May 19

What happens if you hold an election and nobody shows up?...Well we found out on May 19th. The Chancellor Hotel was the polling place for the small Union Square voting precinct for the special election and I think we had more check ins than voters. The special election was the state's leaders plan to get California out of a severe budget crisis, but the people wanted nothing to do with it as was demonstrated by the low turn out.

It was a waste give up half our lobby for the day, but it is even scarier to think how much the state wasted on the special election only to be worse off than we were before.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I consider the Chancellor Hotel a very safe hotel. We are intimate enough that we recognize our guests and people that do not belong often stand out. The hotel has only one way in and one way out which passes right by the front desk. The staff receives a lot of safety awareness training which is the biggest factor for providing a safe environment for our guests. Of course, all of our doors have secondary locks, peep holes, electronic entry locks, secondary window locks and in room safes. Safety is a major focus of ours.

However, I came across this article and I thought I would pass these tips along because it is good to keep in mind with us and anywhere else one goes.

These tips from government officials and hotel security experts may help ensure a crime-free hotel stay:

  • Before booking a hotel, make sure that guest-room doors have multiple locks, including a deadbolt.
  • Consider using a valet, or park your car in a well-lit area as close as possible to the hotel lobby.
  • Before getting out of the car, scan the parking lot for any possible assailants. Lock the car and do not leave any valuables inside.
  • In high-rise hotels, request a room on the third floor or above.
  • If hotel personnel mention your room number during check-in or another time during your stay, ask for another room.
  • Don't enter an elevator if someone inside seems suspicious.
  • Don't open the room door to anyone without verification from the front desk, and do not use your name when answering the phone.
  • Make sure you know how to use the phone in your room and that you can dial 911.
  • Place all valuables in the in-room safe.
  • Hang the "do not disturb" sign on the door and leave a light and radio or TV on when leaving.
  • At night or any time there's concern about safety, request a hotel staff member to accompany you to your room to inspect it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco crosses a TripAdvisor Milestone

The Chancellor Hotel just received its 1,000th guest review on TripAdvisor!
That is the most reviews of ANY hotel in San Francisco. Unfortunately, we just dropped to #6 at the same time, because the new Fairmont (with only 15 reviews) is moving up quickly. However, our ranking and over 1,000 reviews is not bad considering we do not solicit reviews like some of the other hotels do.

The Chancellor Hotel has more reviews than the top 4 hotels combined and more 4 & 5 dot (the highest) scores from guests than they all do together. The second highest reviewed hotel only has 800 reviews.

Our reviews are all real from members of TripAdvisor that use the site to find us and go back and tell how it was. Our high ranking is a result of happy guests that did their research and selected a hotel that they enjoyed. We are a very nice hotel for what we are, but what we are is not for everyone. Most of our bad reviews are from people that did not use the site before booking us, but used it to slam us because they made a bad hotel choice through poor or no research. Back in the olden days, people used travel agents for hotel bookings and the hotel selection was often based on the agent's advice. Today, people do their own travel planning on the Internet, and poor hotel choices can not be blamed on the travel agent. As far as I am concerned, if someone doesn't like their hotel (aside from being dirty or service issues) that is their fault, not the hotel's. In the age of the Internet, it's buyer beware.

So do your research and select the right hotel and post a great review. That way, everyone wins.

Happy travels!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Is the Chancellor Hotel haunted?

I get emails from people all the time asking me questions, inquiring about the hotel, telling me about their stay and all sorts of things. The following email is one of the most unusual I have ever received.

This will be probably a slightly odd email, to say the least, but it's a 100% serious one.

I stayed in room 1501 this past week for the ---- Convention. On Wednesday evening (4/29), probably at around 10:30 or so, I was getting ready for bed after listening to an audio book aloud on my iPhone speaker (like a tape recorder) for a few hours. After turning it off, and turning off my side lamp beside the bed, I was overcome by an extremely cold sensation -- very deep cold, much more than a drafty room would give you -- and became aware of the appearance at the left side of my bed by what I believe was a ghost, probably about 4 or 41/2 feet tall and visible mostly by its head form and shoulders (and maybe the arms.) It looked like a human shape, but I can't say I recall specific features like nose, mouth, etc.

I'll be honest -- I was pretty confused by what I was seeing, thinking it was a shadow on the wall that I was casting, but the nightlight position of the bathroom and wall switches for that was impossible. I waved my arm to make sure it wasn't me, and looked away and back several times to make sure I wasn't having some sort of strange hallucination, like a speck of dust in my eye or something like that. I was extraordinarily confused at first because it never occurred to me that I was seeing a ghost. It was only after I had mentally rejected all other assumptions of what could make this shadow on the wall that I realized that this "shadow" was standing only a couple feet away from me.

I am convinced that what I saw was real, and that it was drawn to me because I had turned off the audio book not long before. It was looking very clearly at me, and seemed to cocking it's head, as if to suggest, "where did the story (i.e. the audio book) go?" Once I realized what I was seeing, and once I broke through my frozen panic, I buried myself under the covers and eventually the cold sensation went away. Neither the sensation or the ghost reappeared for the remainder of my trip. Frankly, I didn't spend much time in my room after that, and never played the audio book again when I was there.

Let me get to my ultimate point... please call if you'd prefer not to reply by email, I understand if you'd rather not do that. But I am extremely serious that I believe I experienced something paranormal in 1501 on Wednesday night, and was pretty freaked out by it (I have honestly held no opinion about these sorts of thing beforehand and what happened hit me like a ton of bricks.) All I ask is if you have any information you could share with me, as to what the "story" is, or just to let me know this is not a singular incident, I'd really, really, really appreciate it. I know that probably no hotel property is all that interested in this sort of publicity, but I would really like to know what you know. I mentioned it to one of your employees on Friday morning, who was completely convinced that what I encountered actually happened, and made it sound like this wasn't an isolated occurrence. So all I ask is for info -- I have no issues with any service or amenity of The Chancellor, and am just trying to figure out what the hell happened. And I promise complete silence if that's what you want in response...

I'm just searching for something to help me make sense of what I saw.

We have had a few people over the years make comments about ghosts and strange occurrences, but this is the most serious, detailed encounter I have ever heard of at the hotel.

You decide.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wine Fam Trip

Napa Valley Wine Country Tours is starting a $99 tour that includes a Napa Valley Winery, Lunch in Sonoma and two Sonoma County Wineries. All tasting fees are included as well.

The tour is in a luxury limousine style coach complete with a fruit trays, assorted breads, cheeses and plenty of bottled water. The coach has maps and video screens that are used to educate their guests on terroir and the special aspects of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

They pick up in Union Square and Pier 39

The first stop was at Jessup Vineyards. While we tasted their premium wines, we were educated on the wine making and style. Jessup Vineyards does the sit down tasting which is much more comfortable and allows for a more serious understanding of the wines.
Then we toured the barrel room

We then went to Corner Stone in Sonoma for Lunch. Here is a group shot of everyone on the fam trip. It included folks from the Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Hotel Abri and of course the Chancellor gang.

We had a great lunch in an outdoor gazebo
After lunch, we went to Jacuzzi Vineyards where we tasted olive oils and their Italian varietals of Sonoma County Wine.
After Jacuzzi, we went to Roche Winery where we tasted several wines in their barrel room. They served us 4 wines right from the barrels. Then, we went to the tasting room for a few more samplings of their great wines. Roche also offers horse back riding at their vineyards.
After a great day of wine tasting, we were served crudités on the ride back down Highway 101 over the the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was a great day and very informative wine tasting experience. When you factor in lunch and the tasting fees, along with the VIP experience, the $99 tour price is a good deal.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Elvis and Great Italian Food...What more could you ask for?

I had the pleasure of seeing James Clark's Tribute to Elvis at Fior D'Italia Restaurant last night as part of the Thursday night series.

It is a great show and great food. We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the evening. If you are an Elvis fan or just enjoy a fun show with dinner, check it out.

The flier doesn't have all the dates, but they told me the show had been extended 3 more weeks. You can check with Fior D'Italia at or 415.986.1886 for more information.

Fior D'Italia is America's Oldest Italian Restaurant since 1886. It is located in North Beach on the border of the Wharf Area at 2237 Mason Street.