The Clift Hotel – Sleek, Sexy San Francisco Boutique Hotel

The Clift Hotel is the pinnacle of San Francisco chic. As soon as you walk through the door, you know you're somewhere special. The soaring lobby has one of the most eclectic furniture collections outside of Paris, with pieces designed by Philippe Starck, chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali.

The Clift Hotel

This historic hotel was transformed into a sleek and sexy contemporary luxury showstopper in 2001 by Morgans Hotel Group. The classic stone exterior of the original Clift opens onto a glowing mauve lobby, a transition point between the streetscape of Geary and the wonderland of the hotel. The Clift books well in advance, so make sure you hurry!

What You Can Expect At The Clift Hotel

Let's start at the top. The 1,200-square-foot Private Apartment is, in two words, understated elegance. Dark wood paneling, parquet flooring, a fireplace, off-white furniture, candles galore, and little touches like 300-thread count percale bed linens, down duvets and an Italian Merino wool throw to cozy up with at the end of a long day being important.

The Standard King room, with all its luxury touches, starts at only $300 per night. At the Clift you choose from Standard King, Double Double, Deluxe King room. If you're feeling flush book a Studio, Suite, Deluxe Suite, or Private Apartment.There is a gym on the second floor, filled with natural light and state of the art fitness equipment and access to a full-service fitness club and pool.

The Clift Hotel The Clift Hotel
The Clift Hotel The Clift Hotel

Dining & Cocktails

Let's first talk about The Velvet Room, the gathering place for breakfast. The elegant & dramatic dining area features velvet curtains, mahogany & leather banquettes and hand-blown Murano glass lamps (from Murano island in Venice).

The breakfast menu is filled with healthy choices like raw organic juices, organic steel-cut oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts, and house-made granola. More decadent choices include French toast made with San Francisco sourdough, Clift Belgian waffles, and smoked salmon eggs Benedict. Breakfast is served daily — Monday to Friday from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM, and on weekends from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

The Redwood Room is all-out retro glamor! The historic bar has been restored to fabulous Art Deco perfection. According to legend, the original redwood paneling was carved from a single redwood tree. The lounge furniture was designed by our French ami, Philippe Starck.

The Redwood Room's Decompression Menu has fun cocktails like Peerless Purple, made with lavender infused gin and lavender bitters. The 49er Tea Time is made with black tea infused whiskey and lime juice. But, we favor the Clift Manhattan made with bourbon, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

We saved the best dining option for last. The Living Room, just off the main lobby, gives you the feeling of entering a restricted English private club. Sit in one of the elegant velvet sofas or leather club chairs and enjoy a drink or two. Order a few appetizers. We can't get enough of the grilled octopus salad made with frisée, shaved cucumbers and charred red onion. Another delicious one is the compressed watermelon salad with lavender infused honey, watercress and lemon confit, made with Meyer lemons.

The Bottom Line

The Clift Hotel is certainly central — near Union Square, the Financial District, and Moscone Convention Center — and guests uniformly comment positively about the location. It's hard to beat the design of this sleek, sexy San Francisco boutique hotel. But some guests comment about the hotel showing its age and about a few issues with cleanliness. Many complain about the "insane price" of breakfast. Nevertheless the Clift remains Highly Rated by guests, and most reviews are of this type — "pleasant stay in convenient location".

The Clift Hotel

How Our Ratings Work

Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating

Rating = Highly Rated
• Free WIFI
• 495 Geary Street
• Neighborhood — Union Square

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