In 2001, hotelier Ian Schrager tapped French designer Philippe Starck to reconceptualize the Clift Hotel’s wildly modern interiors. A complete contrast to the building’s historic facade, the lobby is dark, edgy and filled with a quirky smattering of cool furniture—among them chairs by Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, and a surreal stool by Renee Marguerite.
Upstairs, splashes of lavender brighten more neutral rooms, which feature wheelbarrow-shaped chairs and sleigh beds designed by Starck. Merino wool blankets are primed to battle foggy nights, while MALIN+GOETZ bath products soothe well-traveled skin with natural ingredients and science.
Downstairs in the Redwood Room, a see-and-be-seen crowd nurses drinks. The swanky lounge sports sleek backlit shelves, its original redwood paneling, and a bar supposedly crafted from a single redwood tree. Though Clift Hotel sits just up the street from Union Square, it feels far away from the tourists.
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From the Clift's convenient Geary Street
location, travelers can either go up or down. Up takes you over to Nob Hill,
Chinatown, and North Beach. Down, on the other hand, will lead you south to
Market Street, with easy access to public transportation, the Bay Bridge, and
the Ferry Building. Theater hounds will also appreciate being nearby ACT (the
American Conservatory Theater) and the Curran Theatre.
Need to Know
Rooms: 375 rooms. Standard guestroom rate is $529,
Studio is $609. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check out: noon Dining
Roomfeatures craft cocktails, furniture designed by Starck, and a rotating
selection of artwork displayed on plasma television screens. For breakfast and
dinner, head to the adjoining Velvet
Room, where Executive Chef Thomas Weibull works with local farmers and
growers to create a seasonally-focused menu. Spa and
gym details: There’s no spa, but a 24-hour fitness
center is located on the second floor. Complimentary bikes for outdoor
excursions are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be
reserved through the Concierge.
Who's it for: The chic details are a magnet for the deep-pocketed young and hip.
You’ll find them in the form of couples, business and luxury travelers. Our favorite room:The Private Apartment is ideal for groups. In addition to a king bed
in a separate bedroom, guests have the option of adding one to two additional
bedrooms, each with two double beds.