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
We picked The Royal Sonesta Hotel because we could walk to the restaurant we were having dinner at. Upon arrival there wasn't anyone available to valet our car. I went insice to the check in desk and no one was there. I went to the concierge desk and they got someone to help us. She called someone to help us in the valet area. I went back outside and I saw a guy and he just walked by me. I walked to my can and he came up and just stood that and didn't say anything. I asked if he was the valet and he said yes. I said okay!?! Do you want to give us a valet ticket so he did, but I had to kinda force him. Between the scaffoling in the front of the hotel, and no one available at the valet and check-in desk, and nowhere to park to check-in, we did't feel very welcome. There were several other cars behind us to check-in as well. We went back to the check-in desk and the clerk made it all better. Upon checking out we text our number to the valet and it did't work. So we went outside and found an attendent and he said it would be right up. 17 minutes later he came back and asked what make and color was my car. I gave it to him he said okay, coming right up! We waited another 14 minutes and he said our car was ready. He brought it to the side of the hotel instead of the front, so we walked over there. I asked what the problem was. He said when we went out and came back, they wrote the wrong number on the ticket. I told him that we did't go out at all! He looked stunned. So this led me to believe that they gave my car out to someone else and that person took my car. When I give my keys to a valet at a Hotel, I expect them to handle my car correctly and have operations to avoid giving my car keys to a stranger to take my car!! Especially for $59.00 for the night, I expect it to be secure. I don't feel like the valet secured my car and this left a bad taste with us and will have a huge influence on our decision to ever stay her again!
The Clift is in a great location but also has a wonderful atmosphere. The Lobby is warm and inviting. The bar is very interesting and fun great to relax and chat with friends or clients. The staff had great suggestions for shopping and best places to eat.
I had a last minute work trip and the travel company booked me here as it was one of the only hotels left in town. After all the taxes and fees it cost close to $600 for a 1 night stay here, which is mind boggling to me.
It is apparently a 4-star hotel, but to be honest, I've stayed at holiday inn's that are 10x more modern and better than this place. While very dark, like you're in an old classy library, the lobby itself is very nice so that makes it deceiving as once you get out of the elevator it's a different experience. So I couldn't quite figure out the theme here as the rooms did not match the theme of the lobby what-so-ever. There's a creepy staircase that sits in the middle of each floor... think creepy old dollhouse.
The room itself is extremely dated. Like so many have mentioned, it's very lavender, the carpet was stained, the sleigh bed frame has that 1990s light oak dorm room look, there are a lot of mirrors, none of the furniture matches... almost like they went to the thrift store and got what they could, and if you like a firm bed, you'll sink in this. The TV is from the early 2000s and he heating/cooling is from the 80s - you're not going to find a modern thermostat in this room. Moving onto the bathroom, another totally different theme - the bathroom is walled in outdated dark, speckled tile, with a lot of metal details. The biggest thing that I didn't find that a lot of people called out, was that I found the lighting to be horrible. The lighting in the bathroom is awful so I tried to find a spot in the room near one of the 10 different lighting options, but the lighting was too warm and orange. The one big plus I will give them was that the water pressure was amazing - which I find the be completely opposite at most hotels.
It seems like a lot of people complained about the paperthin walls, but my room was at the end and the bed was on the side that was not a shared wall, so I guess I just lucked out. Although if the room hadn't been where it was, I can see it being more noisy because when in the bathroom, I could hear everything going on in the bathroom above me.
So why am I still giving it 3 stars with even all these things? Overall the stay was comfortable for a night and I didn't experience any issues with noise (which is usually my number 1 pet peeve at hotels) or cleanliness... I mean, yes the carpet was old and worn so obviously stained in places - but I don't walk around barefoot in hotel rooms ever, so it didn't really bother me. BUT if I had paid $600 out of my own pocket for this hotel, it honestly would've been more like a 2 star stay at most and I would be extremely disappointed.
I have always liked the Clift - the lobby is lovely and welcoming and the bar is always fun. I’ve stayed here before and enjoyed it. But they outdid themselves this time. I told them about my exhausting travel delays getting here and Heather hooked me up with an amazing suite. Thank you! I couldn’t be happier with the service.
Stayed at the clift for 1 night.
It supposed to be a 4 star hotel....well....It should be rated 2 stars max.
The hotel is old, dark and needs to be renovated. The furniture is old and the room feels like you're back at the previous century...
I came after a long flight and was just looking for a place to rest. They put me in a room at the top floor, whicg apparently was next to the elevators motors... I couldn't sleep all night because of that terrible noises.
Dear clift managers: you shouldn't put people in that room. It's a nightmare.