Foster City-San Mateo Wedding Venue
1221 Chess Drive
Foster City-San Mateo, California 94404
Video by Justin Element.
“Location, location, location!” may be the byword of people who deal in real estate, but hoteliers are pretty hip to the idea, too. That’s certainly the case at the Crowne Plaza Foster City-San Mateo, a bustling newly renovated 351-room hotel conveniently situated at a major Bay Area crossroads. Right off the western end of the San Mateo Bridge, and just minutes south of San Francisco International Airport, it’s easily accessible from The City, South Bay, East Bay and the Peninsula. Free parking and a complimentary airport shuttle to SFO are provided, and nearby restaurants, shopping and parks add even more to the hotel’s appeal.
But a great location is only part of what makes the Crowne Plaza a thriving site for weddings. The five-story garden atrium certainly has brides talking. Its most impressive feature has to be the room-length waterfall along the east side: Four streams of water cascade among flower-strewn rocks, creating a soothing and arresting backdrop. For obvious reasons, many couples love having their ceremony in here. Brides often descend dramatically from above in one of the hotel’s glass elevators, then walk to a wooden bridge at the center of the atrium to exchange vows. Palms, ficus and other plants give this glassed-in area a tropical feel.
Receptions usually start in the Magellan Foyer where cocktails are set up, and then move into the adjoining ballroom, which can be divided into four sections depending on the size of your event. Rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches are often held on site, too. The Marco Polo Room, directly off the atrium, is especially well suited for smaller gatherings where family and close friends want to mingle and catch up with each other. An abundance of rich wood creates a lot of warmth, and the glass wall facing the atrium can be curtained for privacy or left open for people watching.
Bridal suites, which are a standard part of the hotel’s wedding package, are located in the Executive Tower, a twin building reached via a covered driveway. The Crowne Club there has a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre serving area that you can reserve for an intimate reception. The adjacent Bay View Ballroom, which hosts dinners and dancing and is sometimes used for ceremonies, is a favorite with smaller wedding parties. For musical entertainment, bring your own band or DJ or, if your event is on a Friday or Saturday night, you have another option: Accompany your guests over to the Clubhouse Bistro just off the atrium, where the house DJ rocks the crowd three nights a week.
The final component of this hotel’s appeal is its experienced wedding staff. They’re not only flexible about letting you decorate early so you’ll have plenty of time to spare, they also go out of their way to accommodate the needs of almost any ethnic group. For example, when there’s a traditional Chinese wedding, which involves a pre-ceremony tea ritual, the staff here always sets aside a proper space for it.
The wedding manager says the first thing she asks any prospective client is, “What is it that you want to do?” When she gets the answer to that question, she and her team quickly go about the business of making each reception reflect the couple’s wishes.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The ceremony space holds 70 seated guests indoors.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Various rooms hold up to 650 seated or 800 standing guests. Smaller events for 25 people can be accommodated; call for detailed configuration options.
MEETING CAPACITY: Event spaces accommodate 25–550 seated guests.
A deposit is required to reserve your date and a second deposit, which is equal to 50% of your estimated event total, is due 4 months after the original booking date; the final balance is due 10 days prior to the event. There are no separate room rental fees. Packages range $45–130/person. A 20% service charge and tax are additional. A ceremony setup fee and a cake-cutting fee may also apply. Group room rates are available, as is a complimentary bridal suite for the wedding couple.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: yes
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Areas: yes
Meeting Equipment: full range
Parking: complimentary self-parking
Accommodations: 351 guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: CBA
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
View: bay views from some spaces
Other: event coordination
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Smoking: outside only
Music: amplified OK indoors
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Year-round, daily, 6am–1am.
Alternate Info: Crowne Plaza Mid-Peninsula