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February 14, 2013

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco Gears Up for America’s Cup

By Chris Boyle

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco Oriental SuiteKelly Carter catches up with Mandarin Oriental San Francisco’s General Manager Donald Bowman as he hosts a Year of the Snake celebration and welcome in honor of Chinese New Year.

The America’s Cup Finals is still several months away but someone already reserved the top suite at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco for three consecutive weeks in September.

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco Oriental Suite“We’re thrilled,” Bowman told me. “And we have picked up several other pieces of business for larger groups that are here in San Francisco purely for America’s Cup. It’s a very powerful event for everyone in San Francisco. One group is coming six times throughout the entire period. It’s just phenomenal. They have dedicated themselves to the city for the duration and they’ll come and go and come and go and come and go and bring different people with them from around the world every time.”

The Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, will be held in San Francisco from July 4 – September 1, 2013. The 34th America’s Cup Finals take place September 7 – 22, 2013.

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco General Manager Donald BowmanThe hotel completed an extensive refurbishment and added Brasserie S&P restaurant and bar plus an 8,000 square foot Spa and Fitness Center in 2012. We feature the spa in the March/April issue. I recently had a chance to check out the Oriental Suite, the top suite and pictured above, and the Taipan Suite, a very close runner-up. Both offer spectacular views from the 38th floor but the Oriental Suite is situated between the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, making it a perfect place to take in America’s Cup and entertain on the 800 square-foot terrace.

“We have the most amazing views from the hotel,” said Bowman, pictured right. “But almost every view point in the city is going to appreciate this world-class event.”

The hotel also offers Bay Bridge rooms, ideal for enjoying The Bay Lights, the world’s largest light sculpture. The 25,000 LED light display on the San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span will shine from dusk to midnight for two years beginning with the grand opening on March 5, 2013.

Mandarin Oriental San FranciscoThose who travel with their furry friends can rest assured that their posh pets can enjoy the views as well. The Mandarin Oriental San Francisco welcomes four-leggeed guests for a cleaning fee of $100 per night. For more on traveling with pampered pets, visit

As I sipped on a Lychee Lunar, the signature cocktail at Brasserie S&P, I asked Bowman about Mandarin Oriental’s emphasis on Chinese New Year.

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“Every hotel in the brand celebrates Chinese New Year in one way or another because we always want to celebrate our Oriental heritage,” Bowman told me. “It is deep-seeded and the heart of our company. Whenever we are in the world, every hotel has a sense of place. But we’re always mindful of that heritage and this is the perfect time of the year to really recognize that.”


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