For the first installment in our Five Star Spirituality series (brainchild of 7x7 culture editor Brock Keeling), we head to the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, which is the third tallest building in the city, making it a great place to view not just Fleet Week flybys and America’s Cup races (will we ever see those on our waters again?), but also to scan the windows of neighboring buildings for trysts (a pair of binocs in the room is practically a green light to practice voyeurism).
To capitalize on the Mandarin’s nosebleed stature, the hotel has rolled out a Yoga in the Sky program every weekend through the month of October, wherein guests try to suppress their acrophobic tendencies by attempting their inversions and balancing asanas on the 40th floor outdoor sky deck. The hotel provides everything: un-grungy mats, clean towels, fresh water, yoga props, a skilled teacher, and a vista to die for: The Transamerica Building is close enough to touch. Coit Tower is a spike in the distance. You can wave to your friends ferrying to the Ai Wei Wei installation on Alcatraz. The (practically) alpine air ensures that you stay totally alert and that you won’t drip sweat on your mat, which could possibly lead to an accident, as anyone who’s ever taken a heated yoga class can attest.
And after you’ve complete savasana, someone from the Mandarin’s spa arrives with tray of freshly cold-pressed green juices to help replenish your burned up nutrients and calories. In case you’d like to turn Yoga in the Sky into a staycation (because even if that’s not what real yogis would do in their quest for Om, it’s standard operating procedure for ballers), book the retreat package, which includes a one-night stay, a Calm Mind treatment at the spa, and breakfast at the onsite restaurant, Brasserie S&P. (Although we recommend feasting on dim sum—this is the Mandarin Oriental, a Hong Kong-based luxury hotel brand, after all. If you don't see it listed in the breakfast offerings, check the room service menu).