Peer Into California’s Past at the Fairmont San Francisco

San Francisco’s rich history and famous attractions draw visitors to the city year round, and the Fairmont San Francisco has watched it all from atop Nob Hill for more than a hundred years. Fires from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake severely damaged the inside and delayed its opening until 1907. It’s been a destination for celebrities, presidents, tourists and locals ever since, reigning as one of the city’s finest hotels.

Fairmont San Francisco reigns atop Nob Hill

Stepping into the lobby, visitors are greeted with grandeur and a sense of history that lives throughout the hotel. Exploring the property is part of the fun of a stay here with kids — can they find the garden or the beehives that produce the Fairmont San Francisco honey, which makes a great souvenir? And for parents, the famous Venetian Room stage where Tony Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is here too.

The luxurious lobby is a comfortable spot for a break

Family-Friendly Review of Fairmont San Francisco


The Fairmont San Francisco’s location is a quiet oasis in the city, worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a short walk to the Russian Hill neighborhood where local eateries showcase the San Francisco foodie scene. Two of the city’s cable car lines pass by the hotel; the California line often has space and more locals, while the Powell-Hyde is considered the most scenic and is usually full by the time it reaches the Fairmont. The attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf are a 15-minute walk away.

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For families with small children, a small public playground across the street from the hotel provides space to run and play.

A Fairmont queen/queen room with sofa bed. Photo: Fairmont San Francisco


The 592 guest rooms and suites come in a variety of shapes and sizes befitting the hotel’s age. High ceilings and wide hallways add to the historical feel. For families, Fairmont San Francisco offers a few oversize rooms that fit up to six people, which is a rarity in the city.  For more privacy, the one-bedroom suite is enormous, with a pullout sofa in the living room. Scent-loving guests will adore the Le Labo boutique bath products in fragrance Rose 31.

Dining on pupus and listening to music at the Tonga Room


There are three dining outlets, which include the main dining Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar, the grab-and-go Caffe Cento and the pop icon Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar (the most fun with kids). It’s a tiki bar in the last place you expect it. The Tonga Room has been a fixture since 1945 and while the pool is not for swimming, more than a few San Franciscans and visitors have gotten wet over the years. It’s perfectly comfortable with kids, who love the cover band, the nonalcoholic umbrella drinks and the periodic “rainstorm.” Dining here is experiencing a slice of San Francisco history!

Relevant Links:

Browse all family-friendly San Francisco accommodations and activities on Ciao Bambino

How to make the most of a San Francisco CityPASS with kids

72 hours in San Francisco with kids

A grand California family road trip

Editor’s Note: Kristi received a media package at Fairmont San Francisco in order to review the property. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Kristi Marcelle unless otherwise noted.


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