- No on-site restaurant (but free breakfast)
- Far from downtown
- No spa
Huge, top-of-the-line accommodations, polished and extensive service, and a modern design housed in a unique, historic setting makes this pricey, residential-style spot one of the best in town.
The Fairmont Heritage's 53 units are housed in the corner of Ghirardelli Square, so discreetly built into the historic factory that they could easily be overlooked if you didn't know about them. Opened in 2008, this property is a polished gem in one of the city's oldest landmarks -- a former chocolate factory built in 1893 and placed on the National Historic Register in 1982. It stopped operating as a factory long ago, but it's still best known for its chocolate shops and the Ghirardelli ice cream shop, and is marked by huge, lit "Ghirardelli" signs.
The one-, two-, and three-bedroom units -- owned as time-shares and sometimes leased for short-term rentals -- are outfitted with some of the best technology, appliances, and furnishings. Full kitchens have near-professional quality appliances, including wine refrigerators, J.A. Henckels knives, and Wolf gas ranges. All have large living rooms with 42-inch, flat-screen TVs and huge fireplaces with hearths, while the bedrooms have super high-end beds and linens.
Unlike most vacation rentals or time-shares, you get over-the-top service here, including 24-hour butlers, twice daily housekeeping, nightly turndown, personal grocery shopping, and free car service in a Maserati Quattroporte. The free daily breakfast is impressive as well. So even if other facilities are minimal -- there's a fitness center and Internet kiosks instead of a full business center -- it still comes off as a wonderful combination of the best of both worlds: a fully furnished apartment with the kind of pampering service you usually get only at the best luxury hotels.
Extensive services surpass San Francisco's best hotels.
Though in many ways this feels more like a residence than a hotel, it's not short on any hotel service. In fact, it far surpasses most hotels in the city with 24-hour butlers (who do everything from taking your shoes to be shined to packing your luggage), plus free trips in the house Maserati, coddling attention from uniformed doormen who memorize guests' names seemingly before they've arrived, and twice daily housekeeping that includes Ghirardelli-laced turndown service.
The Fairmont Heritage Place is a beacon of luxury on the fringes of otherwise kitschy Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco's most infamous tourist trap. It's built into Ghirardelli Square, full of highbrow shops and restaurants, and, though the Ghirardelli factory has long since moved, there's no shortage of chocolates in the city's flagship store and ice cream shop (watch out for fudge-covered kids running around the square, post-sundae). The Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood is loaded with cheap souvenir shops, seafood stands, street performers, and aggressive salesmen pitching boat tours to overwhelmed crowds of tourists, but Ghirardelli Square is generally out of the way of the area's most trying crowds. It's also conveniently located near the docks where ferries leave for Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Tiburon, and about two blocks from the terminus of the Powell-Mason cable car line, which connects to the farther reaches of the city, like Union Square and Nob Hill.
Huge, modern, residential-style units feature full kitchens and high-end amenities
The Fairmont Heritage's one-, two-, and three-bedroom units are right up there with the best luxury rooms in the city. They feel more like apartments -- with full kitchens, dining tables, and fully furnished living rooms featuring gaslit fireplaces -- and so impeccably styled you feel like you're in a model home. You may not even want to sit down for fear of mussing up the couch's perfectly fluffed pillows, or touch the magazines, which have been carefully arranged "just so." The modern amenities and décor avoid seeming cookie-cutter thanks to the Ghirardelli Square building's beautiful exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, and views of the city or bay provide excellent light and atmosphere. There's not much to dislike here.
Lots of perks and services make up for minimal facilities.
There is a slew of free services and perks. An included daily continental breakfast (that's better than many you'd pay for at other hotels), car service (in a Maserati, no less!), butler service, grocery shopping ... the list continues, placing the Fairmont Heritage above the common business center/fitness center package offered at most urban hotels.
Great choice for families given huge units and personal service
Huge, well-furnished units in which kids can watch the latest Pixar on a 40-plus-inch, flat-screen TV next to the fire, eat at a dining table from a custom-stocked kitchen, and sleep in a bedroom separate from the master bedroom, make the Fairmont Heritage an excellent family lodging.
The Fairmont Heritage opened in 2008 and units look and feel new. Private and public spaces are spotless and well-maintained by thorough housekeeping.
No on-site restaurant; free continental breakfast; room service from nearby restaurants
Though the Fairmont Heritage Place doesn't have its own restaurant, the hotel will arrange room service from restaurants in Ghirardelli Square. The free, daily continental breakfast features an impressive spread, and the hotel will arrange for personal shoppers to stock groceries in the units' fully furnished kitchens.
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