This year, San Fran’s Clift Hotel is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and we were privileged enough to be invited out to check out the property and learn a thing or two in the process. San Francisco itself has a lot to offer, especially in the Union Square district of downtown where Clift is located. There’s a booming retail experience, art galleries, plenty of places to eat and the SF MOMA and piers within walking distance.
This happens to be the Morgans Hotel Group’s first hotel in San Francisco and being familiar with their other reputable properties such as the Hudson Hotel in NYC or the Mondrian in LA really set the tone for what we expected from Clift. NOTE TO ALL: This is not your ordinary luxury hotel. There’s a fine blend of elegance and sophistication with modern design and culture. Clift is housed in a nearly century-old building that’s designed in the Italian Renaissance style, with fittingly grand proportions and sumptuous period details, had been renovated many time, and each time a greater portion of its original spirit was lost.
The challenge for Morgans Hotel Group was to rediscover and restore the hotel’s essence while at the same time introducing a modern sensibility. There are some crucial components that were brought back to life like the lobby’s higher ceilings and enormous fire place. Like all Morgans hotels, you’ll first notice a dynamic shift in the atmosphere as you enter through the front doors and into the neutral foyer area, something the company likes to call the decompression chamber. This allows guests to transfer from the buzz and motion outside to a separate reality within and its done in a very subtle manner.
Clift also houses the Velvet Room, a restaurant that’s one of the city’s finest as well as the Redwood Room, an elegant and welcoming lounge. It has a rich history and you’ll notice it stays true to it as fine details in the space have been left untouched since their inception.
I travel often and beyond all the decor and the elegance, service is what I really remember. For Clift, they were nothing short of exceptional and that’s aligned with what was said by many of whom I spoke with during my stay. It has a place in the city’s every-evolving culture but standing the test of time is what we’d expect from a space so timeless.