With sky high panoramic views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s little surprise that the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco has become one of the jewels in the Mandarin crown. We took some time to chat with General Manager Cliff Atkinson, who formerly worked at NYC’s Gramercy Park Hotel, about his travel preferences.
Inclusive of San Francisco what are your top destinations for this Summer that excite/interest you? Why?
Visiting Napa! I went to culinary school so I am a foodie at heart. My wife and I love drinking and eating and look forward to our annual trip to Napa and dining at the excellent collection of restaurants in Yountville, CA. Another great destination I will have to make time for is visiting the island of Kaui in Hawaii. The natural beauty of the island takes my breath away and it would be the ideal romantic getaway for my wife and I.
What other hotels openings in your group that you’re looking forward to in particular? Why?
Mandarin Oriental, Paris recently opened and I am hoping to visit the property soon. It is located right in the heart of Paris making it very convenient, plus their restaurant is fabulous, garnering many prestigious awards already. Our openings next year in Shanghai and followed by Milan will expand our portfolio immensely and are both destinations I am very interested to visit and learn about.
What trends in travel are you seeing with your clients? More adventure/luxury/exotic travel?
I am seeing more and more guests wanting personalized and unique experiences. For example, here in San Francisco, we make arrangements for our guests to admire our City by the Bay from up high where you can fly a Zeppelin over the San Francisco Bay.
Where are you going next? Why?
I would like to find time to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as I am an avid music lover. Alternatively, Paris is on the top of my list especially now that Mandarin Oriental, Paris is open! It is the perfect place for indulging in eating divine cuisine and drinking fine wines, admiring its culture and history and all the fabulous shopping.
What is a travel tip you can share. One thing you ALWAYS do/take/etc? Describe?
I always travel with a white noise machine called the “sleep mate”. It drowns out any strange noises and ensures a good night’s rest…I find it essential when traveling.
What trend/destination are you ready to see the end of?
All destinations are special in their own unique way, but I am ready to not have to turn my Kindle off during takeoff and landing!