stfrancis-treeThe beautiful and historic Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco has hosted its fair share of celebrities and dignitaries for well over a century. Upon checking in, you’ll feel suitably regal if not from the service alone, then from a quick appraisal of previous guests whose memorabilia adorn the walls and gift shop.
Known for its holiday grandeur, the Westin St. Francis has quite a history. This year like so many years in the past, the Christmas magic has created a stir as hundreds recently came to watch the momentous unveiling of the giant sugar castle. This enormous and spectacular twelve foot, rotating castle was created by a team of eight world renown pastry chefs at the Westin St. Francis. It took about five months to build this edifice of twenty towers, weighing in at a mere 1200 pounds and complete with an operating train.


lobbystfrancisFamous icons from the past year are incorporated into the magnificent sugar castle. It’s almost like a Where’s Waldo for both grown ups and kids, as gawkers can enjoy spying famous notable figures of the year in and around the castle.

As if that’s not enough fun to get you into the spirit, the entire luxurious property is decked with gorgeous Christmas trees and decorations throughout its lobbies and grounds.

Ice skating at Union Square is literally a few feet from the front door, and did I say shopping? My teen and I made lifetime memories as we enjoyed a full day of shopping at Union Square before our peaceful night’s slumber in our comfy, fluffy and cozy Heavenly Beds® at the Saint Francis.

Guests of the St. Francis can register at Macy’s across the street for substantial discounts just for being a visitor. We did!

Excellent eateries are within a block so once you check in, you can relax and stay put to immerse yourself in the magic.

cablecarstfrancisFor a truly jolly holiday Christmas shopping escape, take a day or two away to enjoy the Westin St. Francis and Union Square in San Francisco.

Carmel L. Mooney is the editor of, an online travel magazine. Carmel ‘s been on local talk radio for 17 years and now co-hosts THE GOOD LIFE with Mike the Wine Guy on KMYC 1410AM. Her family travel column can be read in California Kids Magazine at: valcomnews.comYou can follow her on Twitter: @CarmelLeeMooney or Facebook. Carmel is also the Executive Director of Pawsitive Service DogSolutions, a non-profit that trains and places Autism Service Dogs. You can read her service dog blog at: