San Francisco, USA

August, 2010

San Francisco on my own


I could not upgrade my flight to Upper Class  on Virgin as it was a full flight. However, my fear of Prmium economy in Virgin has to be dismissed. The seats were comfortable and food was simply great. We have been served champagne as we boarded and soon after a selection of drinks with snacks. (this is exactly the same procedure as in the Upper class). About an hour later we hd a lunch served with choices of white or red wine and  vegeterian meals as well as desert . A few hour later as we shut the windows to get some sleep we also got a choice of Baileys or Ice-cream. I saw a lot of passnegers also buying pop corn and  snacks that would help them enjoy the entertainment during the flight.

It is super easy to earn miles with Virgin and use them for free flights and upgrades.  So far, for the budget, they are my first choice flying over the Atlantic.

Out and about

Although I went to California for business, I took a weekend off in order to explore it.
Most of the hotels have a tourist bus service that would pick you up from the hotel and drive you around San Fran and other destinations. The bus drivers are also your tour guides and they are very proud of their city.


I took a bus that allowed me to jump off and on on any of the buses on the route so I could explore the areas i found interesting.

Here are some snaps.


The hotel

I have stayed in 3 hotels at downtown San Fran.

Here is a laydown:

W hotel

It has been designed by Philip Stark so it carries through the spirit if his era.
The hotel is located just off Union Square on Second street so its very well posisioned for you to have a run about the area. You will a number of overdesigned but non the less funny items in the hotel. I will not reveal the secret, so you should find out on your own.

Hotel Vital and Embarcadero area

Hotel Vital offeres yoga lessons and a great gym to both visitors and members. This is by far my favourite hotel in San Fran.

The Bay bridge was just outside my window.


The Palace Hotel

If you a are a movie fan, here is a movie trivia for you. The palace hotel has been shot as the ending sceen of the film The Game.

The food

There is an amazing variety of places to taste the food from around the world. Of course i could not try them all, but there are a few i think are awesome.

Slanted Door – is in the heart of Embarcadero. It offers an interesting fusion of Japanese and Mongolian food. You would have to book ahead if you want the fool experience, however, if you just would like to drop by you can have a great tasting menu and amazing wines at the bar as well.

Foreign Cinema – Located at Castro, as the name suggest used to be a Cinema Complex. Now, you can visit it and enjoy a delicious meal with fine Californian wines. If you come late enough, you will also be treated to a black and white cinema films projected.

Ozuno – This

Sushi run in Sausaulito

The business


Out and about

Muir Woods



Sunset on the bay

One of the best experiences I has is the boat ride to see the San Fran bay at the Sunset.
If you are an older couple I suggest you go for the Sunset cruise that includes dinner and dancing.  For me, it was more appropriate to take a smaller boat. It only had about 20 passenger, provided some snacks and drinks and also rain jackets. It was glorious and amazing. Doing it on your own does not impact the experience or makes you feel out of place. It is also well priced. 2 hours at about £30. Verdict? Do it!

A  number of boats departs from Pier 39. So all you really have to do is show up.  If you have a large company it is better to reserve on line or over the phone.

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Sunset in the Bay….

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