Globetrotter’s Haven

San Francisco may be known, but it’s far from discovered.

There’s the European-like city everyone knows. Then, there’s San Francisco: a land of different flavors, colors, and cultures. When you are ready to take a magic carpet ride to colorful faraway worlds, the perfect hideaway is Hotel Carlton.

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You’ll feel like you are in the midst of a bustling global marketplace—only this is no Marrakesh bazaar, but rather a neighborhood known as the “Tendernob,” like a good trip to a strange, not-quite-polished spot. You may come across the Martha Stewart-approved  Hooker’s Sweet Treats, though the name hardly seems her cup of tea. Trust us, the “happy ending” dark-and-white-chocolate salted caramel delivers.

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Glide Memorial is Oprah-famous for a Sunday service that has hosted attendees with big names (Bill Clinton); it’s also where the Glide Ensemble choir sings up a storm. Woulth you rather do Giorgio Armani at nearby Union Square or walk to the delightful Utsuwa Floral Shop, filled with bonsai and terrariums? The bistro at Macy’s or the bistros of Little Saigon? We thought so.

Back at the Carlton, the wanderlust-worthy rooms are outfitted with hand-painted Moroccan bedside tables and photos of 15th-century Nepalese temples. The light and colorfully patterned textiles are upbeat.

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Dinner downstairs at Saha is a traveler’s dream: The cuisine is Yemeni fusion or, in plain terms, deliciously upscale Middle Eastern. Where else can you get saffron-spiked lobster knaffe, with Yemeni bisbusa and shredded phyllo? Or a “slap ya mama” dessert (roasted fruit, date, and almond marzipan with dark chocolate wrapped in phyllo and baked)?

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The Tendernob vibrates at night with rock bands who play at the Regency Ballroom or Great American Music Hall, and with booming actors’ voices who take the stage at the Curran or American Conservatory theaters. Back at your global pad, pull closed the blackout drapes, and you can sleep in like you have jet lag.

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