Clift San Francisco is a fascinating place to stay in downtown San Francisco just a block and a half from Union Square. The special feel emanating from this hotel begins immediately upon arrival when the valet opens the outside door and one enters into the ‘decompression chamber’, a narrow lavender colored space between those outside doors and the inside doors of the lobby. You pick up a sense of calm both in the colors, the furnishings, the staff and, dare I say, the smell. Yes, the atmosphere in this hotel is calming and offers one the sense of being in a safe space.
That feeling of calm continues as you look around at the unique furnishings including Salvador Dali lamps, a gorgeous fireplace and comfortable chairs, including a giant chair with a surprise on the underside of the seat. The staff outside and in welcome you like you were an old friend returning to town. The lavender colors run throughout thanks to the inspiration of French design master Philippe Starck who totally renovated the hotel in 2001.
Originally commissioned in 1913 by Frederick C. Clift, an attorney, for the Pan-Pacific International Exposition that was to be held in San Francisco in 1915 (celebrating 100 years this year). The whole City was abuzz with building and rebuilding after the catastrophic 7.8 earthquake and ensuing fire that nearly (80%) destroyed the City in 1906. When 2 additional floors were added in 1924, it became the largest hotel in San Francisco.
This 300 room hotel is delightful. The hotel houses banquet spaces, a ‘living room’, a pop-up-store, the Velvet Room and the Spanish Suite (formerly the owners private residence) available for special events and the Redwood Room replete with all wood paneling from a single redwood tree. Throughout the hotel one finds pieces of interest that at first glance may seem out of place but, in fact, fit into an over all concept of integration.
The guest rooms, standard, studio or one bedroom are consistent in color themes and furniture. Sleigh beds that seem to float in the air, wheel barrow chairs symbolizing the mining forty-niners tools and it goes on and on in an amazingly coherent fashion. Simple and calming elegance is the best way to describe the character of these beautiful and welcoming rooms.
The Redwood Room serves as a bar and lounge in the afternoon and evenings with a menu full of small bites to accompany the perfectly prepared Cosmopolitan or other delicious cocktail. In the morning, depending upon the occupancy, the Velvet Room serves breakfast to order as well as a very hearty and scrumptious breakfast buffet.
Perfect for travelers who prefer something with more personality than the sterile feeling one may get at one of the traditional hotel chains, Clift San Francisco is a special place that one wants to make their home-away-from-home and to return often just for that feeling of calm.
The Morgans Hotel Group has hotels located in major gateway cities globally like New York, Chicago, Miami (Delano), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Turkey and Qatar with new hotels coming on line in Dubai, Columbia and Cesme, Turkey.