The Fairmont Hotel is a grand establishment with a beautiful old world atmosphere. Over the years we’ve dined at several of the restaurants on special occasions. The Laurel Court is a very pretty circular room with trompe l’oil walls, marbleized columns, and low lighting. Despite it’s elegance, it doesn’t evoke an intimate atmosphere as it is adjacent to the lobby with the main walkways and staircase running down the middle. If you like to people watch, it’s aptly situated, but for a romantic evening, it disappoints. We bought a “local deal” on Travelzoo for dinner and wine for two featuring a glass of red or white, an appetizer, and entrée for $69 with the advertised regular price of $122. For appetizers we ordered the yellow squash soup and the spicy clams. Since they were out of clams, they substituted six oysters on the half shell, which was impressive. As entrée, I had the cod and my husband ordered the steak for a $5.00 up-charge. Portions were small, yet perfectly prepared and delicious.We each had a glass of house Cabernet included in the deal. Although it was a Friday evening, the restaurant was fairly empty for a 7:30pm reservation so we were surprised that the service was just okay, not great. We had to ask for bread and water re-fills didn’t arrive until a waiter was summoned. When the bill came, an automatic 22% gratuity was added to the full price menu plus tax bringing our total amount paid with the voucher to a bit over $130. We can understand gratuity being added with a party of six or more, but adding 22% gratuity to a full price ticket for two people didn’t feel right. A tip is a bonus for service rendered and, in our opinion, should be left to the consumer to proffer according to satisfaction. Thus we found the experience too expensive for the value received, even with the Travelzoo voucher! There are so many excellent and beautiful restaurants in San Francisco that we would not pay full price for a dinner meal at Laurel Court. We have heard that the buffet breakfasts are worth the price, however across the street, the Top of the Mark boasts a bountiful buffet with a view.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.