Best use of Fairmont dining certificates? How bout the original Fairmont

There was a gold rush of people signing up for Chase’s Fairmont credit card early this year for a few reasons:

  1. This was one of the few Chase cards that was still available to people who had five or more new credit cards in the past 24 months.
  2. Chase confirmed that they would be ending the card soon and would stop accepting applications for the card.
  3. Many people are hoping that Chase will eventually convert all Fairmont card accounts to a Chase-branded card that many aren’t eligible for, due to the aforementioned 5/24 rule.

Well, I was one of the gold rushers.

One of the nice things about this credit card is it comes with $50 in dining certificates each year that can be used at any Fairmont.

I’m lucky to have one very close to where I live, so I decided to try using my dining certificate before it expires and renews on Feb. 28.

The Fairmont San Francisco

I knew the Fairmont San Francisco was swanky and historic, and that Barack Obama stayed here recently, but I didn’t know it was this swanky and historic:


Or that it was the original Fairmont.

The Fairmont mother of them all.


Where’d you eat?

The Laurel Court Restaurant is the hotel’s main dining option.

It’s casual for lunch, with comfy seat-yourself options of couches and lounge chairs around small tables.

The Laurel’s weekend afternoon tea spread is famous, but that requires a reservation.

Another place you could use your certificate is the Tonga Room, a tiki-themed bar in the Fairmont that has delicious punch bowls.

Good food?

I’m not anywhere close to being a “foodie,” so luckily the casual lunch wasn’t very fancy.

I have a tough time enjoying gourmet food, much less writing about it.

But the food here was perfect in every way. 


The burger was perfectly grilled.

The lobster mac & cheese had gorgeous chunks of lobster that weren’t fishy, and it was creamy, gooey and cheesy.

I tried my first triple cream brie with sourdough crostini.

The brie tasted fresh and buttery, but it didn’t have the strong cow manure notes that some cheeses have.

The tasty honey saison beer is brewed by the local Almanac Brewery, and it’s made with honey from bees that live in the Fairmont’s rooftop garden.

The total price for the lunch was ~$70, but only ~$20 after our waitress applied our dining certificate.

How do you use the certificate?

It’s as simple as giving your server your President’s Club number.

Our server was extremely friendly and down-to-earth, and she had no problem applying our certificate.

How’s the hotel?

I’ve never stayed here, but we took a good stroll after lunch.

I’d love to stay here one day, but we plan to use our two free nights at the Fairmont in Maui later this year.

Here are some photos from the Fairmont San Francisco:


The front desk.


Looking into the Laurel Court Restaurant from the lobby.


The hotel lobby.


Creepily peering into the Laurel Court Restaurant from an exterior hallway.


Behind the Laurel Court Bar.






Part of the rooftop garden.


A view of the Transamerica Pyramid from the rooftop garden.





View of the SF Bay from the rooftop garden.





The Fairmont from across California Street.


And here are some famous faces who have visited and now adorn the walls:








If anyone reading this has stayed here, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “Best use of Fairmont dining certificates? How bout the original Fairmont

  1. Pingback: Not seeing your Fairmont certificates? It takes a little jolt | easyjourneys

  2. Pingback: Hotel review: Country boy walks into the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui | easyjourneys

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