The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco on Nob Hill unveils new programming to make an escape even more enticing this fall.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco resides inside a historic 1909 property on Nob Hill. It was originally designed by Napoleon LeBrun and Sons.
It’s a crisp Monday morning in the courtyard at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, and I’m doing my best to get comfortable atop a vinyl mat and padded ball for a guided meditation class. Knees forward, I splay out my legs like a confused cricket. This isn’t going to work, I think. Then, advised by Hannah Knapp, a co-founder of San Francisco’s Within Meditation (withinmeditation.com), I align my limbs differently and fall into a rookie version of deep thought. Translation: I’m feeling more than a little chill.
Grilled K&J Orchards stone fruit and burrata, with crispy fava beans and basil from the Ritz-Carlton courtyard garden
Monday Meditation (8:30am through the end of October) is one of several new ways the Ritz-Carlton is enticing guests—locals and visitors alike—late this summer and fall. The 30-minute meditation will be guided by Britain’s Shundo David Haye, who has nearly two decades of meditative practice, including 15 years in residence at the San Francisco Zen Center and five years of monastic practice at Tassajara. For my maiden meditative voyage in July, Knapp offers the perfect prompt for anchoring my thoughts (the courtyard’s fountains help), letting go of my mind’s detritus and anchoring positive thoughts.
The new Monday Meditation in the courtyard
It all kind of works. Granted, it helps that I’m at the Ritz-Carlton, where the hotel team recently introduced the Solaire Terrasse. Each week through Sept. 30 (Thursday to Saturday, 1 to 6pm), the property’s 2,000-square-foot, garden-framed courtyard becomes a culinary oasis in the heart of the city. The experience includes Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut, Rosé and La Grande Dame by the glass or bottle, plus spritzes featuring Veuve Clicquot Rich and herbs from the garden. Accompanying the bubbly are a seafood tower for two, the Ritz-Carlton signature caviar service and a gelato festival cart.
The JCB Tasting Lounge
Of course, the property continues to impress guests with its seemingly endless list of amenities, especially for those who opt for the club level, where perks include daily complimentary food and beverage offerings (from impressive breakfasts to late-night desserts and cocktails, options never disappoint). Downstairs, executive chef Patrick O’Sullivan leads the kitchen at the bright and modern space dubbed The Lounge. The talented toque, who previously worked in London, rolls out more than a few menu showstoppers like the pomegranate-glazed lamb lollipops, Marina Coast black cod and a red-wine braised, 8-ounce filet mignon.
The new Veuve Clicquot Terrasse takes place in the property’s 2,000-square-foot courtyard.
To round out a stay, duck into the tiny space with outsized ambition known as the JCB Tasting Lounge. With surreal video art, leopard-print carpeting, Swarovski crystal-bedazzled wine bottles, velvet bar stools accented with fringe, the Jean-Charles Boissel room of thrills is a dreamscape. A bartender offers wines by the glass or flight, and guests can enjoy caviar from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. I sip a California cabernet and think how my day started in the courtyard, meditating for the first time. More than anything, this place gives guests a chance to do what might have been fleeting during the past two years: breathing in and out, with joy. 600 Stockton St., 415.296.7465, ritzcarlton.com
The San Francisco suite
Photography by: COURTESY OF THE RITZ-CARLTON, SAN FRANCISCO; CHEF PHOTO COURTESY OF GREENS AND MELA BISTRO