What We Love
- The vintage wooden bar in the Redwood Room
- A striking 35-foot fireplace warms the lobby
- Cable car and BART stops are five blocks away
What To Know
- The hotel has a sexy, upbeat vibe
- Reservations are recommended for the Redwood Room, which can be swamped on Friday and Saturday nights
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
When it opened nearly a century ago, the Clift immediately earned acclaim as one of the West’s most opulent hotels, and a larger-than-life makeover by Philippe Starck kept this 372-room study in swank towering above San Francisco’s iconic Union Square. Whimsical, surrealist-inspired furnishings (as well as an original table designed by Salvador Dalí) fill the wonderfully bizarre lobby, along with chairs by Midcentury Modern luminaries Ray and Charles Eames.
Bed and Bath
In the guestrooms, Murano glass lamps lend sparkle to the soothing lavender, ivory and tangerine color scheme. Rooms come in a variety of sizes and configurations, from small standard rooms to rangier studios to downright spacious deluxe suites (925 square feet). But all rooms have a luxe vibe, with 400-thread-count sheets, Merino wool blankets and furniture upholstered in velvet and leather. Malin + Goetz products add an aromatherapy element to the serene spa-like bathrooms.
Past meets present in the sexy Redwood Room, a riot of Art Deco opulence and Starck-provided drama, from the towering back-lit bar to the digital art flashing on the plasma screens. For a quieter drink, sink into a cushy velvet sofa in the Living Room lounge off the lobby, or sample the farm-fresh breakfast fare at the Velvet Room restaurant, which debuted in summer 2010. There’s no spa, but guests can request massages and treatments in their rooms.
In the Area
Score one of the hotel’s free bikes and pedal across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito (10 miles). Stop for drinks on Bar Bocce’s patio, which has gorgeous views of Tiburon and the bay, before taking the ferry back to San Francisco. A few blocks away, SoMa (South of Market) buzzes with industrial-chic nightclubs, music venues such as Slims, and retro-divey bars like Butter. During the day you can explore the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cartoon Art Museum (started with funds from Charles Schulz) or catch a game at the waterfront AT&T Park, home of the Giants.
How to Get There
I had booked a room with 2 double beds months before a professional conference in San Francisco that I was to share with a colleague I do not know very well. To our surprise, when we arrived we were given a single bed to share and were notified that no double bed rooms were available and a roll-out could not be provided. When I expressed my frustration to the front desk staff person it was met with indifference and annoyance as she stated that it was not the hotels' fault that my reservation, again that I had booked months ago, was not honored. We were never notified prior to our stay that double beds would not be available or might not be honored so we were not able to make other arrangements. There was no attempt on the part of the staff to try to get us into an alternative accommodation at any point during our 5 day stay. Nothing was offered as a gesture of apology and no empathy was shown. Even a small gesture of good will would have gone a long way but that seemed lost on the staff. Every interaction I had with the front desk staff was cold and curt. Secondly, the hotel is in an extremely loud and busy location and we were put on a low floor where we could hear everything on the street throughout the night. We were also not aware that the bar on the first floor turned into a night club at night which made the nights exponentially louder. This might entice someone like Kim Kardashian but it should never be the choice of hotel for professionals. Lastly, as though things could not get worse, my co-worker and I were charged twice for our stay which was not noticed by us until my co-worker's credit card company called to verify this suspicious charge. Talking to the hotel staff this appears to have occurred to multiple customers staying at the same time as us. It is shocking that no one from the hotel ever bothered to inform the customers that this embarrassing error occurred and no one has been helpful in resolving this in a timely manner. I would never stay at the Clift again nor any other property operated by Royal Sonesta after my experience.
This used to be one of the coolest places to stay but it is in need of a serious reno now. Bathrooms are in rough shape, carpets stained, etc. The bar is still cool but I paid $18 for a martini (not a double). The lobby still looks good but the rest of the hotel not so much.
The furnishings in the lobby of The Clift might seem a little bizarre, but they're perfect for this hotel. There's a gigantic chair and a sofa with steer horns, as well as illuminated animal pictures and ultra modern chairs. The rooms also have modern furnishings with acrylic cube coffee tables, many mirrors, and
We stayed here on 10-13 October 18 , the hotel was actually a nice place! When we checked in there was NO mention of a supplement tax so we wasn’t happy when the same member of staff said we had to pay $84 extra 😠
SO BE AWARE OF THIS HIDDEN CHARGE!!!
My daughter and I loved the modern theme of this hotel. It was a great location and valet was easy to use. The guest services was wonderful; everyone was helpful and timely. The food was delicious and the rooms were very clean and nice.