One of the beautiful things about San Francisco, among many, is the city's consistently temperate weather, minus the occasional (or not so) fog. While East Coast residents, Canadians and heck, most of the rest of North America bemoans the increasingly brisk temperatures, rest assured there is always California -- fires, earthquakes, mudslides and all. (I mean this affectionately, California.) There are many air and hotel packages, hotel specials, and other incentives to visit and we've compiled some of the best.
Hotels.com (tel. 800/219-4606) is having a sale called "Head West for Less" and San Francisco is certainly part of that. There are over two-dozen hotels that are offering special rates and discounts, including the contemporary Pan Pacific Hotel located in Union Square, with rates from $135 and 15 percent off if you stay two nights. The Radisson Fisherman's Wharf, located in the heart of downtown, is priced from $158 and fifteen percent off if you stay two nights. Other hotels include the budget-minded, newly renovated Monarch Hotel, with rates form $52 and a discount of 20 percent on your entire stay.
If you know exactly when you want to go, perhaps the deal at E-Leisurelink (tel. 888/801-8808; www.eleisurelink.com) would be useful. Currently, the site is offering super low prices on hotels during specific date ranges (www.eleisurelink.com/danay/SPECIALmailform_SanFran.asp).
The Hotel Metropolis, for example, provides a unique stay in a 1930s colonial revivalist building with the themes of earth, fire, water and wind prevailing. The rate of $83 per night is good through October 31; the rate drops down to $69 from November 1-December 30. Similar offers are available for Kensington Park Hotel, located on Union Square and which used to be an Elks Lodge -- it's a Spanish Gothic styled building. The rates for the Kensington are $105 per night until October 31 and drop to $99 from November 1-December 30. The third hotel included in this offer is Hotel Diva, stuffed with all kinds of amenities such as custom-designed furniture, beds with pillow-top mattresses, color TVs and VCRs, and complimentary wireless access, at $105 per night until December 30.
The official visitors site for the city, San Francisco Visitors and Convention Bureau (tel. 888-782-9673; www.sfvisitor.org), is offering a variety of cross-promotional tools and activities under the umbrella "Holiday Fest," which starts November 1 and runs through December 31. There are over 100 holiday-related events scheduled, special Holiday Fest rates, and other opportunities for savings if you use a Visa card for things such as dining, sports and recreation, sightseeing and other entertainment. Special seasonal events include a stage adaptation of White Christmas at Orpheum Theatre (November 9-December 31), ice skating, a free holiday shopping shuttle on the weekends, and the Winter Carnival at the Embarcadero Center (November 18), the Turkey Beach Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and tree lighting at Macy's, among others.
Last minute travelers might be interested in what 11th Hour Vacations (tel. 888/740-1998; www.11thhourvacations.com) has to offer. The website is very customizable in terms of search options. A quick search reveals several last-minute packages for travel in November. The Hilton San Francisco is offering a rate of $529 for three-night stay, including airfare from Denver. There are some restrictions: you must depart on a Monday or Tuesday, for example. Similar deals are available at the same hotel for a Salt Lake City or Seattle flight, both from $584.99. The same offer is also available in December.
Expedia (tel. 800/509-1947; www.expedia.com) has a few air-and-hotel specials, including three nights at the Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel that's home to the rooftop nightclub Starlight Room. From Chicago, the rate is $439 and Seattle the rate starts from $487, for travel December 1-4. Other hotel packages, such as the Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel, situated in Nob Hill at the junction of three cable-car lines, costs about $490 per person from Newark, for the same weekend in December. From Expedia, you can also book a Golden Gate Bay cruise from $20, and an excursion into the nearby and beautiful Sausalito and Muir Woods, from $41.
Travelocity (tel. 888/872-8356; www.travelocity.com) advertises a "Great Deals to San Francisco", special. Properties include the Britton Hotel, located in SOMA near the convention center and priced from $75. Additionally, the historic Westin St. Francis is advertised from $204, and overlooks Union Square, minutes from Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. Another hotel in that neighborhood, Hotel Serrano, is advertised from $149; architecture buffs might like to know it's located in a restored 17th century Spanish revival building.
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