Just back from a fun, rainy weekend in San Francisco, where we stayed at Stuart’s home away from home, The Galleria Park hotel – a chic and eminently functional little boutique hotel on Sutter Street, close to Union Square, Chinatown and the great restaurants of Beldin Lane, where Stuart hangs his hat two nights a week as part of his San Francisco commute. I joined him on Friday for a romantic weekend in the city, where we celebrated his hmm-hmmmth birthday.
Now, Stuart has stayed at the Gallery Park for a couple of years now, and has naturally gotten to know members of the terrific staff. And of course, given the 100+ room nights a year that Stuart stays at the hotel, you would certainly expect for the staff to take good care of him. Which they do, but this birthday was pretty notable.
Last week when Stuart checked into his room, there was a special token of the hotel’s appreciation waiting for him. Somehow, members of the staff learned that Stuart and I would be seeing one of our favorite Australian musicians, Paul Kelly, who was playing in concert at a local club. So, he was greeted by a note from the hotel, wishing him a happy birthday, accompanied by a sheet of paper with the lyrics of one of Paul Kelly’s songs, and a “basket” of English-themed chocolate (Stuart occasionally misses the chocolate from back home), and a disposable camera.
Just this would have been an exceptional birthday gesture. But the basket holding these goodies was the piece de resistance. In fact, it was a record album that had been melted into the shape of a square basked, into which all these goodies had been placed. This was not a cleverly purchased item. Instead, this was created custom for Stuart, by Richard, an enterprising staff member of the Galleria Park, who took the time to do this. Told me how you melt the album over a bowl in the oven. I could not imagine taking the time to do this – my often-barely-functioning brain would not have even entertained the thought, but the fact that Richard did this for Stuart speaks volumes not only to Richard’s professionalism and character, but to the Galleria Park for hiring to a standard that makes customers feel as special as Stuart does each time he checks in, and is greeted by name, a la Cheers!
If Stuart has to be away from home every week, knowing that he’s taken good care of by the Galleria Park Hotel somehow makes it easier on all of us. And for my part, the hotel ticks all the boxes I look for – especially in a city hotel:
- 5:30 wine hour in the lobby, where the corner fireplace is always going, providing warmth and a cozy, inviting ambiance
- Great rooms – well-appointed – modern yet approachable. All the bells and whistles.
- Beds to die for!
- Great location – a quick walk to great shopping, Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square and the Embarcadero
Thank you to the Gallery Park Hotel staff. Signed, the wife.