Wow. Just wow. From the moment the car pulled up in front of the Fairmont until the sad, sad moment we left, we were made to feel like the most important guests they had ever hosted.
Three generations (grandma, daughter-in-law and 2-year-old grandson) shared a fantastic 2-bedroom bay view suite, including a spacious private balcony with a view to die for. It didn't hurt that San Francisco was experiencing a spate of perfect weather: clear, sunny skies with no hint of fog and only a light breeze. On day 2 of our stay we took the first Red & White tour boat of the day, and never needed the jackets we'd brought! If you've ever been to San Francisco you will know how incredibly rare that is!
Our room was a great place to retreat to after walking for miles throughout The City. When we got too tired for even public transportation, a quick call to the Fairmont brought one of their friendly, competent (and, I hope it's OK to say, extremely pleasant to look at) drivers to pick us up for the ride "home." Of the many great features of the Fairmont the house car for free rides around town was one of the most appreciated.
The rooms are spacious, with a living room (with door to the balcony), kitchen with eating area (table and chairs for 6), and two nicely sized bedrooms (both with balcony access and both with large, full bathrooms).
Housekeeping is quick and thorough, although not necessarily timely -- we knew they would come twice daily, but sometimes morning and early evening and sometimes late afternoon and early evening. They made sure we had plenty of fresh towels and disposables (TP, tissue, soap, paper towels, etc.) put dishes in the dishwasher and generally did what you expect of housekeeping at a top-notch hotel.
A semi-continental breakfast is provided in a common area each morning, with pastries, breads, lots of really good fresh fruit, cereal, juices, milk, coffee and tea. They also featured warm breakfast wraps but we never tried them so can't vouch for their tastiness. Everything was reasonably fresh, nicely presented and kept well stocked. We were never in the hotel in time for the wine & cheese afternoons.
Despite being in a very busy, touristy area we experienced no problems with excess noise from outside (or inside) the hotel. The Fairmont is located just a block or so uphill from the bay and has a small, clean beach the grandson loved. A perfect place to watch the sunset before wandering back, making sure to get an ice cream cone from the Ghirardelli Square soda shop.
All in all, one of the best trips to San Francisco I've ever taken! We will definitely be back soon