Friday, December 10, 2010

The Chancello Hotel on Union Square is the venue for the Union Square Business Improvement District Holiday Party

We were honored to host the Union Square Business Improvement District's Holiday Party on December 2nd. In prior years, we have hosted the Union Square Association's Holiday Party (which is now the Union Square BID) and even won an award in the category of Special Events from the California Hotel & Lodging Association. We really have a great time putting on this event and it is definitely one of the biggest things we do each year.

Skyy Vodka has been so generous as to donate their product and we serve FREE specialty drinks for the guests of the party. We use this opportunity to solicit tips of which 100% are for our Christmas Sponsor Family. Each year, we sponsor a family that is not as fortunate as we are so they can have a little better Christmas. We use the tips to buy some of the items on their wish list. Thanks to the members of the Union Square BID, we raised a couple hundred dollars for the family. We clear out the lobby, bar and restaurant and set up some cocktail tables and open the doors for a couple hundred people to come through and enjoy a little Holiday Cheer.
We also ask that the members of the Union Square BID bring some non-perishable food that we donate to the San Francisco Food Bank. I am happy to report that we received a few hundred pounds of food! Thank you.

It was a great night with lots of food, drink and great music.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our own Bellman, Matt Van Hoorebeke is the Stars of the Industry Award Winner for Outstanding Lodging Employee of Year (medium size property)

The California Hotel & Lodging Association, the largest statewide lodging association in the country, held their Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon and Annual Meeting of the Membership on December 1st in La Jolla, California. Our Bellman, Matt, was given the award for Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year at a Medium Sized Property for 2010.

All of winners are pictured above

Matt has been with the Chancellor Hotel for 7 years. You will not find a better person for restaurant or drink suggestions in San Francisco. He knows the insider secrets and local favorites like no one else. The guests love him and he is mentioned on our guest comment cards all the time. We call him our quirky bellman.

Congratulations Matt!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Union Square Ice Skating is back!

The ice rink is open and the Christmas Tree is in place. It is still being put together and decorated, but it will be lit on the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday" at 6:00pm. The tree lighting ceremony is always a fun time. "Black Friday" in the Union Square area is one of my favorite days of the year. It has an incredible buzz and the area is filled with shoppers, protestors, kooks and more. I love it!

Skating Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Open until 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Ninety-minute sessions start on every even hour. Please note: Rink closes at 9:30 p.m. on December 31.
Admission is $9 for adults and $4.50 for children eight and under, Monday through Friday until 6 p.m. $9.50 for adults and $5 for children eight and under, Friday at 6 p.m. until closing on Sunday. Skate rental is $4 with a $1 surcharge for hockey skates.
The best part is that we have discounted tickets available while supplies last. Our tickets are 40% off the regular price.

Here is a view from the roof of the hotel.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Halloween Tradition

We held our annual employee pumpkin carving contest again this year and below are the pumpkins that were entered.

We also decorated the front desk with spider webs and other scary Halloween nick knacks.

The Chancellor Hotel is getting into the World Series Spirit

We have dressed up our lobby bar area with our Giants gear to show our support and pride for the future World Series Champions...Our San Francisco Giants! Right now, they are off to Texas for 3 games, but we will be watching them from here.

The bar has been very busy during the World Series Games. We're offering free popcorn, drink specials, appetizers and more. It is a great place to enjoy the game without being in a loud riot.

I hope there are no Texas Ranger fans, because during the day, when you help yourself to our free lobby coffee we have a big GO GIANTS! sign right in your face.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Chancellor Hotel does not have air conditioning

One thing that still seems to catch people by surprise (much to my surprise) is the fact that we do not have air conditioning. I don't know how people can book us, and not know that we do not have air conditioning, since every website has that information posted. It is also mentioned in probably 95% of our reviews on TripAdvisor. A quick perusal of reviews would clearly provide that information about us...but it keeps happening. What is not fair is when people book us knowing we do not have air conditioning and if they get caught in one of our rare heat waves, they get upset with us.

San Francisco does get about 15 days per year when it gets warm and air conditioning would be helpful. However, it does cool down at night and the heat rarely lasts longer than 2-3 days in row.

That said, even if we did have air conditioning, there still is no guarantee that everyone would be happy. I have seen many cases where the air conditioning was inadequate and people were still unhappy. It did not cool the room enough, it was broken or even when it was working properly, people still were not cool enough. The reality is, we would probably get the same number of complaints if we had air conditioning as we do without it. Thus, with our climate, the fact that we would get some complaints regardless of whether we had air conditioning or not, and it is much better for the environment, we do not plan on having air conditioning anytime soon...or ever.

If the thought of getting caught in one of our heat waves without air conditioning would ruin your trip, don't risk it. Book another hotel that has air conditioning - it's better for everyone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sold out!

The Giants Playoff Package was a very hot item. We sold out right away. If the Giants don't sweep it, I Hope it will go to 5 games and the Giants will return to San Francisco to win the last game on Wednesday. Of course, if that is the case, we will have packages available.

As a matter of fact, as long as the Giants are in the playoffs, we will have playoff packages available.

Go Giants!

Monday, October 4, 2010

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves Baseball Playoff Package

We are very excited about the San Francisco Giants going to the playoffs against the Atlanta Braves, and the best part about is that we have tickets!

We have put together a great package that includes:
  • A beautiful room
  • Valet Parking
  • A $25 food and beverage credit and
  • Two lower box seats in Section 129 Row 19
All this for only $500 including all taxes and fees.

Call us toll free at 1-800-428-4748 if you are interested
First come first serve!
Go Giants!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SF Chefs Food.Wine Event in Union Square San Francisco

Our own Luques Restaurant located inside the Chancellor Hotel on Union Square Participated in the SF Chefs Grand Tasting Event in Union Square last weekend.

We served a rendition of our best selling lunch item, the Thai Style Shrimp and Papaya Salad topped with crispy shallots and chili lime dressing.

We were sandwiched in between the Grand Cafe and the restaurant from the 5 star Awanhee Hotel located in Yosemite Valley.

The entire plaza of Union Square was tented and hundreds of people bought tickets to wander around and speak to culinary experts and chefs while being able to sample their talents. There were several wineries, liquor companies, top restaurants, and culinary vendors all under one "roof" making the event a very special opportunity for fans of food and drink. I am looking forward to next year already.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Summer Interns

What did you do this summer? I think that is the typical back to school question for students all over the world. Hopefully, we gave two students from Galileo High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism some great stories.
We partner with the San Francisco Unified School District's academy program and we were lucky enough to have Kevin and John spend 6 weeks with us this summer making a little money and learning the hotel business.
They are two great young men and I hope they will join our industry when they finish school and join the workforce. It is our goal to introduce high school age folks to our industry and hope they will discover what a great industry it is and stick with it for a career. Even if John and Kevin don't make the hospitality industry their career, we are proud that we gave them their first real job and some positive experiences that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

John and Kevin served as bellmen, worked the front desk, reservations and even spent a day with me. I wish them luck and I think that whatever business hires them down the road will be very fortunate.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SF CHEFS 2010: San Francisco’s Second Annual Premier Food, Wine & Spirits Week

The SF Chefs Event is coming up next week. It was a huge success last year, and this year, we are participating. Our own Chef Lacy will be serving his best selling Shrimp and Papaya Salad at the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday, August 14th. Here is all the information on the event:

Taste, Mix, Pair & Engage! The country’s first and only urban food, wine and spirits festival takes over San Francisco’s legendary Union Square August 9 – 15. The Bay Area’s finest culinary masters will celebrate food, wine and spirits in the epicenter of taste innovation and creativity. The week-long culinary festival will take place throughout the City’s restaurants and the Grand Tasting Tent on Union Square.
Purchase tickets online with your VISA Signature® card and receive preferred pricing and special perks. And as a special offer for our friends, please use the promo code “ff2010,” at
A celebration of regional flavor, the festival kicks off with SF Chefs Restaurant Week. Over 60 Bay Area restaurants will feature prix fixe showcase menus highlighting each restaurant’s unique talent. Check out the complete list of restaurants and make your reservations online or by phone!
The Grand Tasting Tent
The City's greatest Square is decked for an urban garden party and a truly unique culinary experience!

Friday, August 13th
Opening Night Celebration:“Hog in the Fog”
Celebrate with Wente Vineyards as celebrity chefs cut the 2010 ribbon and open the doors to a haven of food, wine, cocktails, music and dance. Guests will savor a range of dishes from whole roasted Duroc pig to summer vegetable tarts, courtesy of the National Pork Board, Cuesa Farmers Market and thirty of the Bay Area’s finest Chefs.

Saturday, August 14th
Wine & Dine Gala FoodRaiser 2010:“Fork it Over”
Mavens, mutton and mayhem! Delight in signature dishes featuring lamb partnered with wine and cocktails from both near and far. “Fork it Over” in support of the GGRA scholarship fund and the San Francisco Food Bank.

Saturday & Sunday Grand Tastings: August 13th & August 14th
Each afternoon features a different group of renowned restaurants, winemakers, distillers and brewers. In addition to sampling an amazing array of food and beverages, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy demonstrations by Bay Area rising stars and nationally celebrated chefs.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Chancellor Hotel is trying some aromatherapy

Studies show the tremendous power of scent and aroma, and we want to take advantage of that power. Scent is the closest sense linked to memory, and after a hotel stay, all you have are the memories. It all starts in the brain with the limbic system. That is the part of the brain that governs emotion and emotion is a huge factor is making a hotel stay a great one.

We just started working with Scentair to create memories and soothe emotion by introducing soft and subtle scents that will enhance the public area experience.

I look forward to seeing how it goes. I suspect that it is not something that is missed if it is not there, but people will have a better experience with us, but they won't really know why.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

California Hotel & Lodging Association Members Win AH&LA Stars of the Industry Award

The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco was recognized with a Stars of the Industry Award for a Special Event and Wade Heath, Parking Lead at Disneyland Hotel was also recognized as an Outstanding Employee of the Year at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Stars of the Industry awards competition announced during the AH&LA Summer Summit held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.

We qualified for the national award by winning in the statewide Stars of the Industry awards of the California Hotel & Lodging Association.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dine About Town June 1-15 is back again!

Save on a specially prepared 2-course lunch for $17.95 or 3-course dinner for $34.95. Dates and times of participation vary by restaurant. Menus subject to change. Bon appetít!

Check out for a list of participating restaurants and to make a reservation.
This is one of the best deals going in San Francisco. I hope you can take advantage of it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Chancellor Hotel participates in the Career Fair at Galileo High School

Tony Llanos, our controller/human resource manager and I had the pleasure of participating in the Galileo High School Career Fair. We set up a table with a display encouraging the students to consider a job in the hotel industry. Teachers brought their home-room students down to the Fair one class at a time to discuss different careers with some professionals. The students seemed interested and had a fun time.
We enjoy working with the San Francisco Unified School District and their students.

They are our future.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chancellor Hotel is Honored by Expedia

May 4th, 2010
Dear Chancellor Hotel on Union Square:
Congratulations on being chosen as an Expedia Insiders’ Select™ hotel, one of Expedia’s top-ranked properties!
The Expedia Insiders’ Select list is an annual award recognizing the very best hotels available in Expedia’s global marketplace, as judged by the experiences of Expedia®’s customers. Based on more than one million hotel reviews submitted by our travelers, your hotel was identified as consistently delivering superior services, an exceptional guest experience and notable value. The Expedia Insiders’ Select program includes only a small percentage of the top-ranked hotels offered globally across Expedia sites—earning a place on the Insiders’ Select list is a testament to your ongoing commitment to excellence.
Expedia will be actively promoting our 2010 Insiders’ Select winners with a special award designation both on our search results page and next to your property description on our global web sites.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some candid words from a hotel consultant

I came across this article in one of my online hotel news emails. It is by Daniel Edward Craig who is a hotel consultant and the author of the hotel-based Five-Star Mystery series. He is the former vice president and general manager of Opus Hotels in Vancouver and Montreal and its current blogger-at-large. For more information visit or email

I think it is great information for guests and I couldn't have said it any better. Here is a portion of the article:

...To that end, I thought I’d share a few insider tips on what to do when things go wrong in a hotel.

Should you complain? Probably. Hotels need to know if you’re dissatisfied; it gives us a chance to turn things around for you and to fix things for future guests. But if you set expectations the hotel can’t meet, such as a harbor view in a prairie hotel, resist the temptation to shift the blame. The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to check out online reviews before you book. They’ll give you the real story, warts and all.

Talk to someone who can fix the problem. Yes, it feels good to unload on friends, colleagues and random strangers, but repetition heightens feelings of victimization, and chances are they’re not listening anyway. If the issue is minor, speak to the front desk. If it’s significant, ask for the duty manager. If tears and family heirlooms are involved, contact the general manager. If there’s blood, call 911.

No more drama. Hotels will go to great lengths to appease guests, but it’s kind of hard if you’re throwing furniture or lunging at our throat. Ladies are discouraged from standing sullenly aside while their husband complains, uttering little huffs to convey feelings about their husband (wimp) and the manager (moron). Gentlemen, no need to inform us of your net worth, shoe size or number of Twitter followers. By virtue of being dissatisfied, you’re important enough.

The maid didn’t steal your tiara. Hotel managers receive frequent calls from frantic guests who have misplaced a valuable item and immediately blame the nearest employee. Invariably, the item turns up. When a guest accused one of my staff members of stealing her iPod, I ran a key report and viewed security camera footage, then called her back to ask if she had checked with the stream of visitors to her room late that night. I didn’t hear back. Store your valuables in the safe.

An eye for an eye. In today’s economy, hotels aren’t particularly enthusiastic about doling out freebies if we’re not at fault. If we messed up, however, the matter should be resolved to your satisfaction. If you feel you deserve compensation, be candid—otherwise you might get a fruit basket. But be reasonable. If you want a large cash payout, you’d better be missing a limb. If you invent or exaggerate a story to get free stuff, you might get it, but you’ll probably end up in hell.

Complain up. If the issue arises after checkout, send an email to the manager, who can copy it to other departments and, theoretically at least, resolve the matter quickly. If you’re not satisfied, forward the message to hotel ownership or the management company; these individuals loathe complaints and will get to the bottom of things fast. You can also dispute erroneous charges with your credit card company.

Bad things happen, even at the best hotels. The true test lies in how staff members respond. If an issue is expertly handled, a little praise goes a long way. At times it may seem otherwise, but we’re in this business because we love to please. Enjoy your stay.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dine About Town January 15-31!

One of the best City Wide promotions we do in San Francisco is back again!

Check it out:
Save on a specially prepared 2-course lunch for $17.95 or 3-course dinner for $34.95. Dates and times of participation vary by restaurant. Menus subject to change. Bon appetít!