Story and Photos by Lee Daley.
San Francisco Top of the Mark atop the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is now celebrating the hotel’s 50 year anniversary.. The iconic 19th-floor sky lounge has updated its live music roster to include acclaimed local musicians such as Nick Rossi and his Swing Four. Celebrate Easter Brunch with live piano music and unlimited Bellinis surrounded by spectacular views of the City and the Bay.
The Views: Here is where patrons can channel their inner Ansel Adams with frame-worthy photos of views from every window. On a foggy afternoon or evening, you’ll want to capture the romance with naturally hued black and white images of San Francisco’s dramatic skyline as cloud tendrils caress the spire of the Transamerica building.
Atop Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral in all her glory is viewed from the Top of the Mark Penthouse Lounge on a late afternoon in San Francisco.
Create a truly memorable moment with the house special, a tableside Champagne Experience featuring
a perfectly chilled bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne paired with exceptional Astrea Kaluga Hybrid caviar and served with buckwheat blinis and traditional accompaniments.
While enjoying the views, staff advises that visitors may come across a few servicemen enjoying a “Squadron Shot,” in honor of a cherished tradition dating back to World War II. In 1941, when the United States entered World War II, Top of the Mark became a destination for soldiers bound for the Pacific to enjoy one last drink before shipping out. Here, they would toast the Golden Gate Bridge for luck. This led to traditions such as the “Squadron Bottle,” where servicemen who came to the Top of the Mark would sometimes leave a bottle with the bartender for when they returned safely. Any Squadron member who visited the bar was welcome to sign his name to the bottle and drink for free. But, should that be the last drink from the bottle, he was honor-bound to buy the next one. Even now, military personnel and veterans can enjoy a free “Squadron Shot.”
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is a beloved landmark at the crest of celebrated Nob Hill. 999 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. Telephone: 415-392-3434. The Top of the Mark sky lounge is open daily. Call ahead for reservations and hours.
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Iconic indeed. Delighted that San Francisco’s Top of the Mark has reopened and that you found your inner Ansel Adams in an urban setting to share with your readers. Love both your photos and your word pictures of “cloud tendrils (that) caress the spire of the TransAmerica building.”
Loved your photos and article; Indeed, as you described so perfectly, ” a beloved landmark at the crest of celebrated Nob Hill… in all her glory.”
Dear Carol and Stephanie: It’s wonderful that you both love this iconic San Francisco destination as much as I do. We should meet up soon to celebrate! Lee