Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Own Magic Parlor Featured on KOFY TV20's the Swril with Michelle Meow


The San Francisco Magic Parlor Show that goes on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at the Chancellor Hotel on Union Square will be featured on a segment of the Swirl this Sunday, November 24th at 9:30 pm (right after the ABC News 9:00 pm.)

Catch Walt Anthony’s interview and magic with “Swirl” host Michelle Meow and get a taste of what the show is all about just in time for the Holiday Season!  You will want to make it part of your Holiday festivities whether you are staying with us, at another hotel or just coming into the City for a great evening from around the Bay Area.




Walt Anthony telling his tales of San Francisco

San Francisco KOFY-TV Channel 20 (Cable 13) “Swirl” airs Sunday, November 24th at 9:30 pm (right after the ABC News 9:00 pm.)

And:


A re-broadcast airs the following Saturday the 30th, also at 9:30 pm.

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Please help us with a marketing project

We had a management trainee intern from France that spent a year with us before going back to France to finish her degree.  As part of her studies, she had to do a marketing project.  We were honored that she decided to take on a project relating to our special, innovative Chancellor Hotel App.
 
Part of her project requires a survey.  If you could take the survey, we would appreciate it.

Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators

Jackie Kleeb, a paranormal phenomenon investigator, is staying with us tonight.  We have been hearing of strange occurrences for years and I posted two of the better stories we have heard on my blog.  Word of our unexplained happenings is getting out.  We were recently featured on the Today Show as part of a story on the local haunts in San Francisco.  Ms. Kleeb booked the hotel on her own to conduct an investigation.  We are looking forward to hearing what she discovers. 

Below is a copy of a podcast that Ms. Kleeb was on.  The main podcast starts at 9:45.


Paranormal Underground Radio: Jackie Kleeb (Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators)


Visit us at www.paranormalunderground.net

In this episode of Paranormal Underground Radio, we talk with Jackie Kleeb of Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators (based in Sacramento, CA). Jackie is an accidental ghost hunter. From an early age, Jackie was afraid of the dark and things that go bump in the night. “I have no idea how I ended up as a paranormal investigator, but here I am!” Jackie has also investigated with many other teams over the years. She was also a docent at Preston Castle for two years and organized all the overnight paranormal visits. “I absolutely loved the Castle, have so many wonderful memories there, but something dark followed me home,” she said.

Link to Site with the Podcast - Advance to 9:45
 

Air Date: May 24, 2012
Topic: Paranormal Investigation, Paranormal Theory, Paranormal Experiences, EVPs
Guests: Jackie Kleeb
Hosts: Karen Frazier and Rick Hale
Producer: Cheryl Knight

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Chancellor Hotel Union Square featured on NBC's The TODAY SHOW on Halloween

 
We are so excited (I think?) to receive national publicity on the TODAY Show this morning.
 
Family Circle Magazine did an article in their October 2013 issue on "Haunted Cities" and the best place to stay when visiting.  We were very surprised when we saw that they had found our ghost stories and mentioned us in the article.
 
Then, NBC's The TODAY Show on Halloween Day did a segment on the article and we were prominently suggested as the haunted hotel to stay at when visiting San Francisco.
 
Check out the video!   
 
video

Our reputation for having ghosts comes from the tales of our guests that have sent me their stories.  I posted the stories on this blog because I thought they were interesting and web searchers seem to have found them.  We have not promoted any of this.  Here is a link if you want to read the backstory:

 

I don't know if we are haunted, but some people seem to think so.  The hotel will be 100 years old next year and I am sure the walls could tell a lot of stories about what has gone on around here.

 

Halloween at the Chancellor Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco

Do you recognize these people? 
What if I say:  Grease is the word?
 Yes, you guessed it.  That is Danny Zuko with Pink Ladies, Rizzo and Frenchy.  (Normally known as Rory, Karla and Tina)
 
No, that is not our new bellman uniform.  That is Kent dressed up as a Canadian Mountie reporting for duty.
 
San Francisco loves Halloween!  We love dressing up and being a different character.  At the Chancellor Hotel, we say "Go for it!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Chancellor Hotel Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

This year, everyone is a winner, but someone will be a bigger winner with your votes.

All of the pumpkins are carved by hotel employees.  We put them out for 3 days letting our guests votes for the one they like the best.  The pumpkin with the most votes will win $100 cash!  Everyone gets a consolation prize.

Stop in and vote.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bay Area Bike Share Comes to Union Square

Like many great places around the world, San Francisco now has a bike sharing system.  There are stations through out the downtown area and South of Market where you can pick up a bike and leave a bike.  We are very excited to have one of the stations right outside the hotel on Powell Street at Post.

The bike share program is not really geared to serve visitors, but there is a one day membership that could be helpful.

But, to go from point A to point B, I plan on using taking a bike for sure!

If you want more information about the Bike Share Program, check out the website at:
www.bayareabikeshare.com

Monday, August 12, 2013

TripAdvisor Hotel Reviews in San Francisco



The Chancellor Hotel has just hit 3,000 traveler reviews on TripAdvisor! 

We are currently THE MOST REVIEWED BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN SAN FRANCISCO!

Our first review was posted on January 3, 2002 and it was not a very good one.  I first discovered TripAdvisor in November 2003 when a guest booking a reservation told me that they found us on TripAdvisor.  I looked at the site and was horrified to see the negative comment.  I remembered the guest and situation so I immediately wanted to post a response so both sides of the story could be heard and the rest is history.

TripAdvisor is a funny animal.  On one hand it provides great information to people and on the other hand some use it as a "get even" tool when they are angry at the establishment.  Most people see right through the angry posts, but if the hotel is trying to maintain a ranking, it is really a snarky act.

Thank you (most) everyone that has reviewed us and I look forward to our next 1,000 reviews.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Guest Room Feature

New room power options
As the Chancellor Hotel on Union Square approaches its 100th birthday, we continue to try and work modern technology into a building that was built in a time when there was hardly even electricity in many places.
 
When electricity did become a mainstay of our lives, electrical sockets were hidden and placed low around the floor boards.
 
Now, people want to see electrical outlets and have a lot of them very accessible for all of the electrical gadgets they travel with and live by.  Well, we are happy to report...
 
Problem Solved!
We are in the process of installing new 3 outlet power supplies that include two USB power slots in every room right on the desk.  Now our guests can easily plug in their phones, tablets, laptops, games or whatever they want without crawling on the floor and behind furniture.
 
Power to the people.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

San Francisco Sourdough Pancakes

We are very excited to now offer San Francisco Sourdough Pancakes at Luques Restaurant and Bar located inside the Chancellor Hotel.  There is nothing more San Francisco than Sourdough.

We found a gold rush era recipe, and after a lot of research and experimentation, we came up with a special Sourdough Pancake we make from scratch that is the best.  They are light, fluffy and have a perfect sourdough flavor- just what San Francisco is famous for!

Luques is open everyday from 7am to 2:30pm and we serve breakfast ALL DAY.

Come in and try them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Opening the Doors to Hotel Crime


I have been to a safety seminar conducted by Dave Wiggins and it was very informative.  This article by Dave Wiggins was sent out by the California Hotel & Lodging Association and I wanted to pass it on since we are constantly closing guests' doors we find open during our security walks.  Guests are often in their room with door ajar or sometimes they step out and do not make sure it is closed tightly after them.  Hopefully this information for hotel operators can help some guests as well.

The funny thing is that guests actually let down their guard when in hotels (because hotels are trying to be hospitable and friendly) and they should actually be on a heightened level of safety awareness.

by Dave Wiggins

Tourists are notorious for failing to protect themselves and their valuables while travelling. This characteristic, combined with the fact that there are criminals who prey specifically on travelers and tourism venues, contrives to open the door to much of the most common tourism related crime. And open doors are a particular problem for hotels, especially when “Door Pushers” are at work.

Door pushing is a classic crime which has long plagued the hospitality industry. Guestrooms make an attractive target for thieves, with lots of portable valuables in a confined space, and occupants who are largely absent. Guestroom doors are notorious for not closing completely, for a variety of reasons. These include differences in temperature and air pressure between rooms and hallways; worn closer springs; snagging on carpeting or door jams; catching on safety latches in the wrong position; and faulty bolts. More often than not, guests exiting their rooms fail to pull the door completely shut, and ensure that it locks securely. Business travelers running late for appointments, and leisure travelers preoccupied with sun-n-fun, all too often leave their rooms in a frenzy of inattention to their doors. As a bellman at a busy resort hotel comments, “If I had five bucks for every time I came across a room door accidentally propped open by a safety latch, I could pay for my vacation.”

No surprise then that unscrupulous criminals target unsecured guestroom doors. The crime is referred to simply as “door pushing.” Criminals push on what appears to be an unsecured guestroom door, and if it opens, they peek inside to determine if the room is occupied, and whether it contains any valuables. If so, the criminal then burglarizes the room, and takes off with the property. Such petty crooks hit the jackpot with occupied rooms, where the losses usually include computers and other electronics, jewelry, cash, and clothing. Guest suitcases are often used to haul off the stolen property. But even unoccupied guestrooms are ripped off for hotel property, including flatscreen televisions and other electronics, as well as appliances, furniture, and linens. One of my cases involved a crime spree spanning several months and numerous hotels committed by a crew of crooks stealing hotel flatscreens. The two-man teams arrived with all the tools needed to quickly detach the LCD screens from wallmounts. They pushed on open doors, removed the televisions from walls, covered them with a sheet, and walked out of the hotel to their waiting van.

While the majority of door pushing incidents are what police refer to as “crimes of opportunity,” the most problematic crime sprees may be the work of door pushers who are career criminals. Many thefts resulting from door pushing are random acts. For example, a guest, visitor, or employee of the hotel happens to walk by an obviously unsecured guestroom door, pushes it open, and spontaneously decides to steal the valuables inside. Such marginal characters account for an occasional case in any given tourism destination. However, a “professional” door pusher can be responsible for a rash of thefts at a particular hotel or tourism venue, and cause tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

There actually are such professionals – criminals who specialize in door pushing and other tourism specific crimes. These crooks create their own crimes of opportunity by chronically working tourism venues and exploiting known weaknesses. High-rise hotels in densely packed hospitality communities are favored environments for such criminals. They can test hundreds of doors within a short few hours, and in a busy hotel their activities often go totally unnoticed. Such was the case with one professional thief in the Bay Area. But after hitting too often in the same area, he got arrested - several times. Once in-custody this crook admitted that most all of his criminal income resulted from door pushing and guestroom thefts. Before eventually being sentenced to state prison for the first time, police estimated he had stolen over $200,000 of guest and hotel property.

Door pushing is a very low percentage criminal activity. A career crook may push on 100 doors before finding an unsecured one, and then typically only one-quarter of these lead to an occupied room with valuables. This means that professional door pushers tend to work quickly. They cruise through hallways rapidly, one after another, pushing on any likely doors, and if they don’t score, then move on to the next hotel. The Bay Area criminal mentioned above admitted that he would typically check over 2,000 room doors on a working day. This rush of crookery is best conducted during those periods when guests have most likely left their rooms: 10:00am – 4:00pm. All of this can be instructive in helping to prevent and detect door pushing at your hotel.


TIPS FOR PREVENTION & DETECTION

GUEST EDUCATION - Educate guests to double-check their door whenever exiting. Guests should be advised to pull the door shut manually, and then test to make sure it’s closed and locked by turning the handle and pushing on the door. Encourage guests to use in-room safes, as well as the hotel Safe Deposit box.

INSPECT YOUR DOORS - Conduct regularly scheduled tests of all guestroom doors to ensure that they close and lock properly. Handles, bolts, closer springs, door jams, and electronics should all be tested.

STAFF TRAINING - Train staff members on the issues.Employees should be trained how to check and secure guestroom doors. They should also be educated on this type of criminal activity. Teach staffers to report suspicious people and activity. A person who is repeatedly seen at your property walking guestroom hallways during daytime hours should be reported to security and/or police. Digital video surveillance can be very helpful in detecting behavior consistent with door pushing. Train those security team members who monitor your cameras on what to look for. Archive all videotape of possible suspects. This may be used later to help prosecute the criminal once apprehended.

LAW ENFORCEMENT - Report incidents to law enforcement. While your own property may have suffered only a couple of cases in recent weeks, these may be part of a broader problem of which you are not aware. If a career criminal is working your tourism venue, it’s essential to involve local law enforcement.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave Wiggins is a 27-year veteran of California law enforcement, and the past president of the California Tourism Safety & Security Association. He is a recognized expert on tourism related crimes, investigations, and crime prevention at tourism venues. Dave and his colleagues provide training for security, law enforcement, and tourism teams around the nation.To contact the author, email TSSUPDATES@GMAIL.COM.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Magic Parlor at the Chancellor Hotel gets a great review in the San Francisco Examiner


Magic Parlor filled with feats and stories


By: Leslie Katz
lkatz@sfexaminer.com

01/02/13 3:55 PM
 
SF Examiner Arts Editor

Walt Anthony, right, invites visitors onstage to help him during his engaging San Francisco Magic Parlor show. Just off Union Square, away from the bustle of the crowd, is a cozy and charming place where history and imagination meet: Walt Anthony’s San Francisco Magic Parlor.

Setting up shop in the breakfast room of the 100-year-old Chancellor Hotel, which has been cleverly decked out with Belle Epoque-era furnishings, Anthony is a conjurer-storyteller who spins tales of old San Francisco peppered with classic feats of magic.
Dapper in a tux, with an easy-paced theatrical patter that manages to be calming, quiet and haunting at the same time, Anthony serves up saucy vignettes about some of The City’s most infamous historical figures: abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant, a voodoo practitioner; eccentric Joshua Norton, who proclaimed himself emperor; occultist Anton LaVey, the father of modern Satanism; and the beautiful Gertrude Atherton, writer of scandalous Victorian-era romance novels.
With each story comes a trick, often involving an audience member joining him onstage. Those who choose cards or cut decks are as enthralled as the rest of the folks in the intimate crowd — some 30 seats — when Anthony magically conjures their selection.
He has a special box, which he reveals as empty at the beginning of the show, when he separates the hinged sides.
But after he puts it back together, it quickly fills up, and from it he pulls fascinating objects such as a Chinese laughing Buddha figurine, which illustrates a story about the mysteries of alleys in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
He does fun things with ropes, including making three pieces of different lengths all the same length, as well as passing a clothesline — held by two audience members in jump-rope fashion — through his body.
For his final and most mind-blowing feat, Anthony levitates an antique end table as the climax to an appealing yarn about 6-foot-tall socialite Alma Spreckels, who includes the invention of the garage sale among her claims to fame. Married to Adolph Spreckels, a sugar magnate 24 years her senior (whom she called sugar daddy), “Big Alma” was instrumental in building the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, filling it with Rodin sculptures and donating the museum to The City.
Program notes indicate that Anthony has more stories of old San Francisco to tell, and that he’s keeping his parlor doors open as long as listeners come to hear them. For old-fashioned, old-time entertainment, his magical drawing room is well worth a visit.

San Francisco Magic Parlor
Where: Chancellor Hotel, 433 Powell St. (between Post and Sutter streets), S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays
Tickets: $40
Contact: www.SFMagicParlor.com