by Ann Mills

My daughter and I spent a wonderful day and night in San Francisco to celebrate my birthday and experience some major pampering with the W Hotel’s fabulous Bliss Girls Getaway.

The hotel is centrally located, right on the corner of Howard and Third streets. From the time we arrived until we left we were treated with courtesy and excellent service.

As soon as we had plunked down our bags, we headed to Bliss Spa, on the fourth floor of the hotel, for a facial, pedicure, and a manicure. What a pleasant experience! The facial included a mini massage of our shoulders and feet, plus plentiful use of great Bliss products. The well-trained staff explained what the various treatments were for, and what we could do to help maintain healthy skin.

All of our senses were in for a treat. We enjoyed tasty refreshments, soft music, good smells, gentle but firm massages, and a deep sense of contentment. The overall experience was a little pricey, but we decided we were definitely worth it—and the staff made every effort to assure us that we were, too!

The W Hotel is classy and has a uniquely San Francisco feel. It is international and sophisticated, and the service is exceptional. It is tastefully decorated in browns and blacks, pays blues and jazz in the public spaces, and has a nightclub vibe. The lounge is the place to see and be seen.

Returning to our room after our spa treatments, we felt comfortable. Our room had a long window seat with pillows and a throw. We were fortunate enough to have a view of the Bay Bridge. What a nice place to relax! The beds were exceptional, with lots of pillows and down comforters. We had a well-stocked mini bar, and the toiletries included Bliss products. The large bathroom had included a big tub for soaking.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, XYZ, had good service and was beautiful, but the food was just okay. The swimming pool consists of a short lap pool, and there’s a well-equipped gym, yoga mats included.

Parking is expensive—$45 a night—but your car is available whenever you need it. (If you don’t need your car, don’t bring it!) The hotel is located next door to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which boasts a nice restaurant, and is close to Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Market Street is two blocks away; public transportation is great for reaching anything out of walking distance.

If you’re feeling the need to be pampered, the W Hotel is definitely the place to go—the experience is one we won’t forget. And the best part was enjoying it together.

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To sign up for your own W Hotel’s Bliss Girls Getaway, go to

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After raising three children, returning to college at thirty-two, and working for over thirty years as a social worker, Ann Mills became an outside travel consultant with Village Travel Service in Redding, California. Her travels have taken her from the South Pacific to Europe. Stateside, she enjoys camping and house boating.

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