San Francisco is a difficult city to leave. I tried twice but was so homesick for the sound of the cable cars and the moaning of the fog horns on the bay that I finally returned to claim back a part of my heart.

As usual, there was controversy over which famous song about San Francisco would become the official song. Would “San Francisco “from the 1936 movie with Clark Gable and Jeanette McDonald about the 1906 earthquake stay or should it be replaced with Tony Bennett’s “I left my heart in San Francisco”?

I first heard Tony Bennett sing “I left my heart” at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont. Years later, a statue of Tony Bennett was erected in front of the Fairmont and the road in front of the hotel was changed to Tony Bennett Way. The song is played at the beginning of every Giants game, however “San Francisco” won as the official song and “I left my heart” was chosen as the official city ballad.

So, whether you hum,

“San Francisco, open your golden gate. You’ll let nobody wait outside your gate.” or

“I left my heart in San Francisco.

High on a hill, it calls for me.

To be where little cable cars, climb halfway to the stars.

And the morning fog will chill the air.”

You can feel a part of the magic of San Francisco.

The new CEO of the SF Hotel Council, Alex Bastian, has returned to his hometown to take on the new job of bringing the hotel industry and the City back to its glory. He talks about working with civic leaders to face the problems of the City with common sense by taking steps to implement plans with significant investments in public safety, and cleanliness and restructuring the taxes to encourage business to return to the City. He explained how important the hotel industry and tourism are to SF. We have always been a top tourist destination. We are #8 in the world. Hotel occupancy was down last year to 25% and this year occupancy has climbed back up to 68%. We still have room to improve as the typical occupancy prior to the pandemic was 80%.

Here is the good news. Dreamforce returns this week on September 12-14.

The APEC Conference will be held November 12-18

Conferences are good for the hotel sector and when the hotels succeed so does San Francisco.

The City endures constant bashing from the media. Much of what is said is not factual but with civic pride leading the way, San Franciscans will bring back the best of SF and we will come back even stronger.

We have endured two earthquakes, fires, tech bubbles and bursts, and now the pandemic.

As Alex Bastain states, ‘SF will survive with resilience in face of doubt and uncertainty. We have shown the ability to flourish after floundering and will come back stronger.

The SF City flag, which shows a phoenix rising from the ashes, is again flying outside the entrance of the Suites to remind us of all that San Franciscans do not give up, ever.

There is no other great city in the world that has the architectural beauty, hilltop vistas, finest hotels and restaurants where you can also spend the day outdoors sailing on the bay, walking along the Pacific Ocean on the beach, or strolling under the towering ancient redwood forests after driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Franciscans will save San Francisco. SF Suites have partnered with the hotels on Nob Hill to watch over the streets, keep them clean and free of encampments and if necessary, report a repeat offender to the hotel’s security department so all hotel partners can be on the lookout.

The City has celebrated quite a few milestones during the last few months.

In August, the cable cars celebrated 150 years in operation while the SF Ferry Building celebrated a mere 125 years. Not to be outdone by these historic celebrations, our two owners at the Suites celebrated their 50-year anniversary by going to the SF Jazz.

Speaking of owners, Paul Gartner and Linda Nicolay were looking to create a new lifestyle out of retirement and have written a book called, “Where to next?” The book is at the front desk for you to check it out or you could go to their website… to purchase the book.

The celebrity chef, Tyler Florence, of one of my favorite restaurants, Warfare Tavern, has partnered with the City to open two restaurants on Union Square Plaza. One restaurant will serve hearty cuisine and the second will serve lighter fare and desserts.

Don’t forget to visit the Gardens of Golden Gate Park to enjoy the return of the Flower Piano from September 10-12 at 1199 9th Avenue.

If you are not a SF resident, you will need to book tickets online at SF Botanical Gardens website.

The SF Board of Directors are working hard to increase the beauty and safety of the Suites.

The SF Fire Department has mandated that condos and timeshares must install a digital fire alarm system. The Board decided to close taking reservations for the month of January 2024 in order to install the new fire alarm system so as not to disturb our guests. The lobby wallpaper and guest room carpets will also be replaced.

So don’t forget the magic of San Francisco. Please call the front desk to book your holiday events, order concert tickets to the Symphony, tickets to the Nutcracker or the latest musical.

If you are looking for a special wedding or birthday gift, there are still shares to be adopted or purchased.

As a San Franciscan, leave a little of your heart behind at the Suites to recover on your next stay.

Remember, San Franciscans never give up. I won’t give up and I hope you will not.

Warmest wishes,
Cynthia Reid
General Manager
San Francisco Suites