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Hotel description

Once San Francisco’s grandest old-fashioned luxury hotel, the century-old Clift underwent a thorough re-imagining at the hands of Philippe Starck, who has transformed its faded Victorian elegance into its nearest modern equivalent — all black, ivory and steely grey, with rich textures in hardwood, velvet and leather, it’s the last word in hyper-modern boutique decadence.

Hints of the hotel’s Art Deco heritage remain, from the choice of furnishings in the surrealist-inspired lobby to the noir-ish lighting effects throughout. The famous Redwood Room was the focus of the original Clift, and it’s still here in all its wood-paneled splendor, decked out in some of Starck’s most serious lounge furniture. Like Morgans and St Martins Lane, the Clift is home to an outpost of Jeffrey Chodorow’s Asia de Cuba, serving its signature fusion cuisine at a massive cross-shaped communal table made from hand-etched Venetian mirrored glass.

Guest rooms are stylish, but not precious — they’re sedate, almost monochrome, with accents in soft lavenders and greys, amplifying the effects of the natural light. Bathrooms are smallish, but clever, and the living spaces are spacious, many with astonishing views; the Clift is a high enough building to make for some spectacular sightlines.

It’s a bit of a scene, as any Morgans Hotel Group production is intended to be — that’s a large part of the appeal for the people who make up the Clift’s clientele. This is Starck at his most elegant, and his eye for a well-placed surprise only deepens this place’s mystique. It would seem there’s some mileage yet left to be wrung from this partnership.

Contact & location

495 Geary Street, San Francisco


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Clift Hotel

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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