March 22, 2010

A Girls' Getaway to San Francisco

San Francisco is a fun city to spend a few hours or a few nights, a perfect destination for a girls' getaway weekend. And when "the girls" are mother and daughter, it makes for great memories.

Recently, my daughter and I spent a night in the city along with a group of friends. Our "home" for the evening: the fun and hip Hotel Triton. The location couldn't have been more convenient. Out the door to the left was the Union Square shopping district. To the right was the gate to Chinatown. Across the street was a Starbucks, and right next door was Café de la Press which had great breakfast and pastries. And cable car stops were just a short walk away.
As soon as you walk into the lobby of the hotel, you know it's a special place. The whimsical decor, bright colors, and wall murals pay homage to pop art culture. It's the kind of place where you notice new details on every visit, and there are fun surprises, too, like Dr. Seuss books on the lobby tables one morning. We were all impressed with the staff, who were warm, friendly, and eager to go the extra mile for their guests. I half expected eye-rolling when they saw a group of 10 year old girls march in the door, but they went out of their way to accommodate us, such as having plenty of juice and soft drinks on hand for the complimentary manager's reception in the evening.
Since there were just two of us, we had a standard room with two double beds. Though on the small side, typical for a boutique city hotel, the details were impressive. A beautiful vanity lined with mirrors, custom glass light fixtures, fun wall art, a checkerboard shower stall, and, much to the girls' delight, zebra print robes in the closet. And if that's not enough, the Hotel Triton welcomes pets, and has also been widely recognized for its eco-friendly practices. Harper's Bazaar named it the best hotel in San Francisco: "a happening and unique escape from the mundane."

For families, I'd recommend the specially themed Häagen-Dazs Suite. It has a king bed, sofabed, and room for a rollaway, so it can comfortably sleep up to four. And the best part: all the ice cream you can eat. There is even a stocked freezer in the room! (The hotel also has two other Celebrity Suites: Kathy Griffin and Jerry Garcia.)

Hotel Triton is a member of the Kimpton Hotels group, which offers a great selection of accommodations in many cities across the country. They all offer the Kimpton Kids program, with special amenities and services for families.

There are lots of activities for all ages in San Francisco. On our trip, we strolled through Chinatown, saw the musical Wicked, and visited the King Tut exhibit at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. If we had more time, some other activities kids love are a cruise on the bay, a tour of Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, and shopping and eating on Fisherman's Wharf. And many other northern California attractions are an easy drive away, including beautiful coastline, giant redwoods, and wine country.

For more information about planning a great family vacation, contact Suzette Mack at suzette@family-treks.com.

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