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The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel

495 Geary Street, San Francisco

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel

In 2001, hotelier Ian Schrager tapped French designer Philippe Starck to reconceptualize The Clift Royal Sonesta 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 The Clift sits just up the street from Union Square, it feels far away from the tourists.