Luxury vacation rental meets upscale hotel at the city's best, if most expensive, residence-style lodging. The Ghirardelli Square factory setting has plenty of character, while modern one-, two-, and three-bedroom units feel like designer model homes with fireplaces, kitchens, and top-of-the-line amenities. Personal grocery shopping, 24-hour butlers, and free breakfasts are among service highlights. An Italian-influenced restaurant helmed by James Beard winner Jonathan Waxman opened within the building in 2016. Travelers searching for a similarly luxurious hotel with a pool could look into the St. Regis San Francisco.
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 -- 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.
You get over-the-top service here, including 24-hour butlers, twice daily housekeeping, nightly turndown, and personal grocery shopping. 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.
Located on the cornerstone of Ghirardelli Square near Fisherman's Wharf
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.
Directly next to the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf, an outdoor shopping and dining complex
Located in historic Ghirardelli Square, a chocolate factory in 1893, now full of high-end restaurants, cafes, and shops, such as Bluxome Street Winery, Le Marais Bakery and Jackson & Polk, an artisan boutique
A 30-minute stroll on the boardwalk or a quick ride on the F-line streetcar (one block from the hotel) takes you to fancy waterside restaurants at the Embarcadero
North Beach (San Francisco's Little Italy) is a 10-minute walk up the hill.
Roughly 3.5 miles to Golden Gate Bridge (for public transportation, the 28 and 29 buses are the best bet)
Golden Gate Park is more than five miles away
25 minutes by cab, to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
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.
One-, two-, or three-bedroom bay or city view units range from about 850 to 1,800 square feet ("huge" in layman's terms), with high ceilings that make them feel like city lofts.
Sumptuous beds have pillow-top mattresses, super-high-thread-count Mascioni designer Italian sheets, and down comforters.
Fully equipped kitchens with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, including gas ranges, wine refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, coffeemakers, and full sets of cookware, dishes, and even a set of J.A. Henckels knives
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, butler service, grocery shopping ... the list continues, placing the Fairmont Heritage above the common business center/fitness center package offered at most urban hotels.
Free continental breakfast, with an impressive spread, served in the lounge
Lounge and attached Nursery Terrace feature free coffee and tea all day, a 52-inch, flat-screen TV and an assortment of newspapers.
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.
Units are huge, quiet, and have full kitchens, washer-and-dryer units, and up-to-date technology to entertain kids; free DVD rentals.
Foldout couches in living rooms and additional bedrooms with options for two twin beds or a king bed
Highly personalized service -- they'll stock the kitchen with your favorite groceries
Free cribs (no rollaways -- but with extra bedrooms and foldout couches, you don't need them)