Today’s post is Part 2 of my San Francisco Travel Diary with a review of the Palace Hotel and my pack list with the Bigger Carry-On from Away’s new Stockholm Collection. In past years my husband and I usually stay at the Westin St. Francis on our San Francisco trips because we fell in love with the cute romantic vibe in their Landmark Building. This visit was a girls trip so I decided to try something new decided to give the Palace Hotel a try. The beautiful Garden Court is what sold me – it just looks magical! The reviews looked promising for cleanliness and comfort so I booked a room with 2 double beds. When we checked in they gave us one on the 7th floor with the New Montgomery Street View and it was just perfect. We didn’t hear any street noise and it came with one of the Toto Washlet and with heated seats. The rooms are on the small size which was expected for the city but the room was pristine with comfortable beds, amazingly soft linens, extra towels and really cute turn down service. Upon check-in I was given a small bag of Ghirardelli Chocolates as they have a store right outside the hotel. For me it was a win right from the start!
A look a the entrance:
We wanted to try the Garden Court for tea but didn’t make it this round, the lighting is just so pretty. If you look up you can see there’s another floor with a room which we assumed was reserved for special events or weddings. We tried to find the door to it but could not.
Away Bigger Carry On in Clay:
There is a pool and a nice gym on the 4th floor which we took a peek at – we didn’t get to use it though as each day we did quite a bit of walking. Enough to wear us out completely!
A look at the room we booked, cute hallways on each floor!
Double Bed Room:
View from the 7th Floor, New Montgomery Street View:
Bathroom and a quick selfie, sweater top from Club Monaco, jeans from Hudson, jacket old style from Joie (similar here and here), flats by Chloe:
What I packed below. As mentioned in Part 1 – both Laura and I under packed for the weather. She flew in from Los Angeles and I flew in from Tampa where the weather is in the high 90s. Our clothes simply were not warm enough for what we’re used to but we made it work by layering. Since 75% of our outfits were too cold we re-wore a lot of our sweaters and pants. I brought the Away Bigger Carry-On in Clay which is the perfect warm clay pink color. It’s part of the Rashida Jones Stockholm collection with 3 limited-edition colors, Packing Cubes and a Stockholm tote (new current packing cubes here). My husband is the organized one who knows all the packing tips and tricks to make life easier so he bought me packing cubes for our Europe trip a few years ago. They do indeed help organize things but they’re not really the most aesthetically pleasing. It’s a minor detail but these Away cubes are the prettiest ones I’ve seen. I’ve already ordered a few more packs.
I didn’t have time to photograph all the outfits I packed and since I didn’t wear everything I’ll list what I fit inside the Bigger Carry-On Size. You can also see this post from spring here and here of what goes inside this size. My pack list, I’ve linked the items I packed as well in case you are curious:
- 2 pairs of jeans (I usually wear the Paige Verdugo Ankles because they’re good for my height) and 1 pair that I wore on the plane
- 2 shirts, one long sleeve button down from AG, one off-shoulder top from Rag and Bone
- 1 brown leather jacket from Joie (old style, similar here and here) and 1 short trench I wore on the plane (from Jcrew, old style, long classic version here)
- 1 pair of running shoes from Nike
- 1 pair of flats from Chloe
- 1 shift dress (old)
- 2 pairs of yoga pants to sleep/lounge in
- 4 tank tops to sleep in or layer (I love these from Madewell)
- 2 sweaters from Club Monaco
- 1 belt
- socks and underwear
- Leica Instant print camera (but I forgot to pack the film!)
- tech stuff like laptop charger, phone cords etc.
- makeup and skincare will be listed below
Before I go into my beauty pack list, here’s a look at the Bigger Carry-On next to the Stockholm Tote. The tote is made of “water-resistant nylon with vegan leather details and featuring a zip top, an exterior pocket, interior laptop sleeve, two interior snap pockets, and a removable zippered pouch that fits the really big iPhone.” I didn’t take it with me on this trip but I wish I had. One of the biggest issues I have with my larger totes is they don’t have good pockets or compartments inside (I should probably invest in an insert at some point!). The Stockholm tote is simple, streamlined and functional with enough pockets to store essentials for easy access. The depth is quite roomy so you don’t have to feel like magazines and your laptop are stuffed inside.
The Bigger Carry On measures 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6” Weight 7.3 lbs Capacity 46L
The Tote measures 13.5” x 12” x 4.5” and can fit an 11” MacBook, cross body strap drop is 18″
A look at my suitcase opened with the tote laid on top for size reference. I received the Cactus Packing Cubes from Away and for this trip I only used 3 of the 4 in the set. There are different sizes so you can organize literally everything. Shown below on the left is the Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case in black (largest one one of the best travel makeup cases I’ve bought!), Leica Sofort, Sony NEX-6 (discontinued, old model), Marc Jacobs Rimless Aviators (current style here). On the right is a Glossier Pouch (you usually get them with your orders), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutch, mophie Powerstation Mini (2,500mAh) – White, Here Magazine and a Sugarfina Cube of Pineapple Candy.
A few notes if you’re shopping for luggage and missed my previous reviews on Away. I discovered them in 2015 when they only had 1 size (the Carry-On) and have used their suitcases exclusively for the past few years because of the streamlined design, sturdy exterior, charging component in carry-on and for their really good wheels. I’ve literally bought all my loved-ones suitcases as gifts and converted them all to using them as well! I’ve tried both the regular Carry-On which is best for international flights and the Bigger Carry-On which works on most US Domestic Flights. You can see a size comparison with dimensions on their website here which is really helpful – they’ve done the research to help you decide! As a carry-on traveler this really can fit a lot inside because the handles, battery and wheels don’t consume a lot of space on the inside while a lot of other brands do.
I have checked these on occasion even though I usually do carry-ons. My husband has checked his a lot too. They are prone to scuffs and scratches, but really anything you check is bound to get scratched. With mine I used it on 3 back to back flights and it didn’t get any deep scratches. For surface scuffs the team at Away recommends you use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and warm water to remove them and for me it works like a charm.
The makeup I brought with me (items that were press samples will be marked with a *)
- Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case in Black (I got the blind monogram which is a hot stamp instead of the gold embossing, I also bought this in Taupe)
- Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer in Sable (review here)
- Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition (review here)
- Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick * (review here)
- Milk Makeup Flex Concealer in Medium (review soon)
- Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer in 31 (review soon)
- Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Earthquake * (swatched here)
- NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros and Corfu
- Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Copper
- Tom Ford Soleil Palette (never reviewed this one, but I did swatch the Warm and Cool ones here, I bought it after months of wishing for it, turns out it’s too similar to the other two, but I still love it)
- L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara * (review here)
- Sisley So Intense Mascara (review here)
- Sisley Phyto Twist in Glow * (review here)
- Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Eye Palette * (review here)
- NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound
- Hourglass Confession Lipstick in * If Only
- Dior Lip Glow Pomade
- Glossier Wowder Brush
- Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Powder #2
- Armani Luminous Silk Powder #4 (not shown)
- Becca Chrissy Teigen Palette (review here)
My skincare lineup shown below. Believe it or not all of my liquids did indeed fit inside a single quart size bag. I had to play around with the arrangement like Tetris a few times to make everything fit as I’m a carry-on traveler. If you’ve been following this blog for years, you may remember that I actually made it through a month-long trip in Europe with a carry-on backpack.
- Charlotte Tilbury Take It All Off Remover from the Red Carpet Set *
- Tatcha The Essence Mini from one of the Starter Ritual Sets *
- Clarins Double Serum * (review soon! I’ve been using this for the last month)
- Sisley Paris miniatures from the Subscription Program *
- Sisley Double Tenseur *
- 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel (mini GWP)
- Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser (mini)
- Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum *
- 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil *
- Lavanilla Deoderant mini
- Tatcha Lifting Sheet Masks (not shown)
- 111Skin Bio Cellulose Sheet Masks (not shown)
- Moroccanoil Treatment mini (not shown)
- Cotton pads (not shown)
I missed having my hair dryer, but San Francisco water is so much better than Tampa water – my hair was naturally shiny and smooth during my trip with air drying! I also packed an assortment of tools like makeup brushes, lash curler and hair brush but didn’t photograph them before unpacking. As usual I packed too much – I did use everything I brought in skincare, but makeup was a bit overdone.
One last look at the beautiful hotel:
I hope you enjoyed this review of the hotel and what I packed! We had a lovely stay at The Palace Hotel – I’d definitely consider staying here again on my next visit. If you travel to San Francisco occasionally where do you usually stay? Open to any and all recommendations!
P.S. My posting schedule has been a bit off lately as I’m living the nomadic life right now. I’ll be heading to New York, California (again) and back to Florida in September. Florida life recap post is still coming – I know many of you are curious where/why we are moving and I’ll explain more in a future post. Long story short we now get to explore different areas of Florida and it’s been quite an adventure but an unexpectedly great experience. I still cannot believe how BIG Florida is and since moving here and most of my West Coast friends don’t know how spread out everything is. I have to show them maps to explain how long it takes to drive from area to area. Beauty posts to resume soon. I’ve still been putting a lot to the test to review here!
Beauty and skincare press samples indicated with a *. Away Stockholm Collection provided for review. We paid for our room, however a media rate was extended to us by The Palace Hotel for this review. As always all opinions my own.