I travel to San Francisco once a quarter and it is usually for work. One of the first things you notice about the city is the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system. The other is the Golden Gate Bridge, which is stunning.
BART is extremely efficient. The city’s tunnel-system with its extensive two-level underground structure is a great alternative to highway transportation, especially to avoid congestion on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The Muni Metro system that runs underground and on the surface is a convenient way to travel within the city.
The Fairmont San Francisco is my favourite hotel: It’s luxurious and elegant, with a European ambience. The best thing about the hotel is the connectivity it offers—the bustling Downtown, Financial District, Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf are just a short cable-car ride away.
If you need to schedule meetings, it is most convenient to have them at the hotel you are staying in. The terrace-level business centre at The Fairmont is good for group meetings. Parallel 37 at the Ritz and Gary Danko too are good restaurants for meetings.
For dining, I would recommend two places: Opaque, where you dine in absolute darkness, and Benihana in Japantown, where your personal chef prepares mouth-watering delicacies on a teppanyaki grill.
San Francisco is a sports-crazy city. The Giants are their home baseball team, so I try to catch a game if I’m there during season. The AT&T Park hosts Major League Baseball games—this is a must-have experience. A visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Fine Art Museum are also good options.
If I have a little more time, I visit the Half Moon Bay, which has the most pristine beaches in California and usually has some interesting festival going on. I enjoy hiking in the neighbouring Redwood forests, amidst the tall, magnificent, centuries-old Redwood trees.
The city has a unique culture: Art and technology merge into an eclectic melting-pot. San Francisco is a cosmopolitan city comprising the best talent in diverse fields from all over the world.
Rajesh Magow is co-founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip
(Co-ordinated by Jasodhara Banerjee)