Soon after Benjamin Swig purchased The Fairmont, people planning on taking a dip in the 'Fairmont Plunge' were startled to find themselves aboard the 'S.S. Tonga,' which provided a 'ship-shape' atmosphere, along with exotic drinks accompanied by Chinese food.
The S.S. Tonga was replaced by the Tonga Room, with its musical boat in the middle of the pool, tiki huts under which patrons can enjoy a refreshing Mai-Tai, and an exotic menu reflecting the South Sea & Asian ambiance.
A gleaming dance floor provides space for guests to dance; little do they realize that it was originally the deck of the S.S. Forrester, one of the last of the tall ships that plied the route between San Francisco and the South Sea Islands.
Another exciting room in the Fairmont was the Cirque Room, which was the first bar to open in San Francisco following prohibition.
It was decorated by architect Tim Pflueger in a beautiful Art Deco style with an incredible bar, and murals by the celebrated Bruton sisters. Before the Venetian Room was opened, the Cirque was the place to go for entertainment in the City.
In November of 1961 another section of The Fairmont was opened; the 23 story Tower, designed by Mario Gaidano, San Francisco's first glass elevator carries people to the Crown Room at the top of the tower, with San Francisco's most beautiful view.
View from Crown Room.
As the San Francisco residence for every U.S. president since William Howard Taft, The Fairmont garnered a reputation for world-class hospitality. As the Fairmont's reputation grew, so did its collection of grand hotels bearing its name. In 1999, Fairmont Hotels merged with Canadian Pacific Hotels to form Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the largest operator of luxury hotels and resorts in North America.
The Fairmont, 1999.
As the company's flagship property, The Fairmont San Francisco at Nob Hill once again made history when it greeted the 21st century with an award-winning $85 million restoration. In May of 1999, legions of craftsmen checked into the San Francisco landmark to recreate architect Julia Morgan's vision for the 1907 hotel. Comparing the project to an archeological dig, the restoration team uncovered original marble floors, ornate domes and intricate design work throughout the historic hotel.
Along with the restoration was the re-emergence of the Main Lobby as a grand public space. Dorothy Draper's decor of 1945 has been stripped away to reveal pristine marble floors and Corinthian columns trimmed in gold.
After more than six decades of closure, The Laurel Court has been restored to its original design and once again functions as the hotel's main dining room and bar. Crowned by three domes, The Laurel Court serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner on the hotel's lobby level.
The Fairmont, Present.
The hotel's 591 guest rooms and suites, including the famed Penthouse Suite, have been luxuriously refurbished. Marble baths and picture windows are complemented by business amenities such as two-line telephone systems and high-speed Internet access in every guestroom.