By Emma Krasov. Photography by Yuri Krasov.
If you have a really significant event coming up, I envy you. Not because all my weddings, award celebrations, and big birthdays weren’t enough, but because none of them has happened in San Francisco’s most desirable event space, which you can probably book now, after it’s been gorgeously renovated and open for business.
I’m talking about the redesigned historic Peacock Court ballroom inside the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel atop city’s posh Nob Hill. Now this dreamy reincarnation of the Gilded Age opulence can be reserved to provide the most memorable ambiance anyone can wish for their big events.
Born of Pacific winds and seafaring adventures, and raised on entrepreneurial free spirit, the City by the Bay still bears century-old markers of wild abundance, rich indulgence, and sophistication of tastes fed by the American gold and European arts. The posh hotel, and its Peacock Court is one of those markers.
Peacock feathers, with their naturally striking color combinations and patterns; silk tassels, velvet curtains, and crystal pendant chandeliers—the most recognizable symbols of Art Nouveau/Art Deco style, come alive in the updated ballroom décor, implemented by Nile Tuzun of Studio Nilebrand.
At a last month’s Peacock Court media opening, delightfully presented as an Afternoon High Tea, the designer wore a peacock feather corsage on her lapel.
The notorious royal bird’s presence informed many details of the interior, from a full-size gilded peacock upon a stage overlooking the hall (in place since 1926) to the newly installed plush carpet in peacock tail design.
General Manager Michael Pace greeted the media guests, and a team of Mark Hopkins’ Preferred Partners—JBJ Pictures, Natalini Flowers, Encore Audio Visual, and Unica Party Rentals created a celebratory atmosphere of the unforgettable evening.
Anna Maria Mendieta played classic harp, and the elegantly dressed guests were treated to a full High Tea menu, constructed by the Executive Chef Brian Sepulveda and Pastry Chef Phuong Vuong.
Dammann Frères teas—English Breakfast, Green, Jasmine, and Chamomile—were freshly brewed tableside; prosecco and turquoise colored peacock mimosas had gold and silver sparkles in each glass; and the accompanying traditional treats included scones with Devonshire cream and fruit preserves; finger sandwiches—cucumber with salmon roe, prosciutto with fig, BLT, smoked salmon, and egg salad; and petits fours—cream puffs, lemon meringue tartlets, financiers, macarons, pecan and chocolate ganache tarts, raspberry, chocolate, and mango-coconut mousses, and mini cheesecakes.
The new design elements that currently dazzle anyone entering the 4,400 sq ft Peacock Court ballroom, include three crystal chandeliers, illuminated by flameless candles, sage-colored wallpaper, floor-to-ceiling brocade silk window draperies and stage curtain, gold trim on the walls and the ceiling, Carrara marble baseboards, and Nicolette Mayer green and gold murals in the archways above the doors.
In its heyday, the legendary Peacock Court has hosted twelve Presidents of the United States, international royalty and other heads of state, world celebrities, and in the 1940s, the famous musicians and their bands, like Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, and Rudy Valle who performed live radio broadcasts from the ballroom.
The hotel has its own distinct address—One Nob Hill, and remains the one and only lavishly dazzling place for any important celebration, any festive or ceremonial gathering.
The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is located at 999 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-392-3434, https://www.sfmarkhopkins.com/.