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Reviewed March 12, 2012

I just returned from a trip to San Francisco and I stayed at the Clift Hotel. We were pleasantly surprised when the front desk informed us that we had been upgraded to a suite at no charge. The room turned out to be a perfect size and the bed was very comfortable. I agree with previous reviewers that the bathroom is looking dated and needs to be refreshed. I would say that my only disappointment with the hotel is the fact that I had to pay for wifi. It was $15.00 per day and very slow. I think it is riduculous to have to pay for internet service (even Super 8's give free wifi). I would have given this hotel a higher rating if wifi wasn't so expensive. I do think that the Clift needs to consider including WiFi or at least charge a lower rate or customers will opt for other accommadations.
I enjoyed my stay at the Clift and found that the location was perfect for walking to Union Square. There are some sketchy characters on the street, but they are all around Union Square and cant be avoided. The lobby was amazing and I love the feel of this hotel. I would stay here again for the room, but may consider alternatives based on the WiFi fees.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 4FamilyontheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clift-SF-AFOM, Front Office Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2012

Dear futureisfriendly,

Thank you for choosing Clift and providing your feedback. I am so pleased that you were upgraded and liked your room and bed! I apologize that you had issues with your internet speed and found the fee to be a disappointment. Next time you book with us, check out our website, as we offer rates that include internet access throughout your stay. I am glad that you like the location of the hotel and loved the feel of the lobby! We can’t wait to see you again so, please hurry back!

Sincerely,
Tyler – Assistant Front Office Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

First, this hotel really need to pay attention to details. My wife and I checked in a little early (approx 1PM when normal check in is 3PM) and we were told they had a room available. The first room was extremely smokey, so we requested another. We walked around for a bit and waited on the second room, which was fine (not smokey) but was missing all of the amenities, such as soap and shampoo. We asked the front desk to send those items up, and then went to explore. When we returned hours later, still no soap and shampoo, so we called to ask for them again. The staff finally arrived to deliver them, and the bottle was broken. Not a big deal, except because it was broken it had actually leaked all the contents out...so it was empty. So, we made out third request for shampoo and waited for that to arrive. Later, we requested 2 forks from room service. They arrived pretty fast, but that's just how they arrived...no tray, no plate, just some dude shoving 2 forks at me when I opened the door. Like I said, not a detail-oriented property. Both sets of rooms that we saw were spacious, but designed in a retro 1970 style that to me seemed spartan and uncomfortable. Like other reviewers have mentions, the lobby and the bar are both gorgeous...but the rest of the hotel (to include the rooms) is blah. The hotel is close to Union Square, but is otherwise in a sketchy neighborhood. Be prepared to be accosted by homeless and/or panhandlers once you step outside. Also, avoid the $50 valet parking at the hotel... there are plenty of other options at half the price in the few blocks around the hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank rmeehan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clift-SF-AFOM, Front Office Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2012

Dear rmeehan,

Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience with everyone on TA. I am so sorry that we failed to meet your expectations and that we did not pay attention to the details throughout your stay. I am glad that you liked the location and the lobby. Please contact me directly the next time that you plan to stay in SF. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again at Clift.

Sincerely,
Tyler – Assistant Front Office Manager

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Reviewed March 9, 2012

I travel for business weekly, most weeks multiple cities, and I work for a major media company, so I feel I have a little qualification to weigh in on what makes a hotel experience good, great and superb and The Clift is at the top of all my hotel lists. All of them.

The secret sauce for this experience is the staff. Super friendly, superbly helpful, tremendously knowledgeable and better than any other I have experienced in ALL my travels. Smiles to everyone all the time. A sincerity that is not matched and they do all the little things that you don't expect, but love (thanks for the power strips in my room). The bell staff is warm, friendly and super helpful. I get personal greetings on my way back in by them...a nice touch. If you get a chance, find David Rice, Guest Experience Manger or Ward, the GM. Both are World Class in knowing how to make your time at the property a joy. The concierge staff is easily the best and most knowledgeable of where you need to go, how to get there, what is the best new dining spot and can, and do, make magic happen daily.

The property is in a perfect location, not in Union Square, but just a few blocks away to get you out of the tourist-ville and into your own space. It's easy in and easy out. The hotel is cool and contemporary without being W-like pretentious. Amazing, whimsical and comfortable lobby (you have to sit in the HUGE chair) and the rooms are fantastic. The rooms show attention to detail and are always getting updated with something new. That means that the management cares enough continue to find ways to make it better for the guests vs waiting for the annual budget allowance. A key factor in a hotel that "gets it." Great beds, good views, light and bright as well. There are some secret "uber-amazing" rooms that are hidden around the hotel. With multiple trips, you will find them.

Lastly, The Redwood Room. An institution in SF, but THE COOLEST BAR EVER. A must for any traveler and a hangout for the "in the know SF'ers." While the martini glasses could be slightly larger (yes I have one request), they are cold, and perfect.

So my #1 review for the #1 hotel in the US by FAR. It deserves it and I look forward to coming back to The Clift as much as possible!

Room Tip: When asking about a room, see if there are unique qualities to it. It's like a treasure hunt, but find the "amazing" rooms.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank Lee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clift-SF-AFOM, Front Office Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2012

Dear Lee C,
Thank you so muc
h for staying with us and providing such a stellar review on TA!! Thank you for the five star review! It is so rewarding to see that your time spent with us earned us the best hotel in the US in your opinion! The best part about your review, it that your stay was so enjoyable based on the staff. We are all passionate about providing memorable stays for all of our guests and to hear the feedback that you expressed is truly appreciated. It was such a pleasure to have you stay with us and we can’t wait to see you again soon! Our doors are always open for you!!

Sincerely,
Tyler – Assistant Front Office Manager

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Reviewed March 8, 2012

If you like trendy hotels, you'll probably like the Clift. I don't always stay at places with this trendy of a feel, but it was a nice change of pace. I like the location close to Union Square. The rooms and hallway have a cool, older vibe with typical Ames style decor. The room itself was very simple and I found the bed very comfortable. All the staff were very friendly. I'd likely return.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Adam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clift-SF-AFOM, Front Office Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2012

Dear adrosenb,

Thank you for staying with us and taking a moment to share your experience with everyone on TA. I am glad that you liked our hotel, staff, and of course the bed. I am happy to see that you will likely return the next time you are in SF. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Sincerely,
Tyler – Assistant Front Office Manager

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Reviewed March 8, 2012

Stayed here for 5 nights on a business trip. The lobby is pretty cool so the room feels somewhat disappointing after the impressive lobby. Especially the bathroom is ready for some serious remodeling. The room was clean and bed was really comfortable but comfortable bed is not enough for good sleep if you can hear EVERYTHING from the hallway and from the adjacent rooms. Staff at the reception was pleasant and helpful. The choices at breakfast seemed limited but everything was very fresh and tasty - despite the good quality it was too expensive for what you were getting. Overall the hotel felt overrated. I was also unfortunate enough to be spending the night when some idiot burned a jacket (? somebody told me afterwards it was a jacket...) in the lobby fireplace and set off the fire alarm in the hotel around 2am. The smell was horrible and spread in the entire building - this I would not hold against the hotel but I do blame them for the fairly stressful experience of evacuation. The siren was interspersed with announcements to stay calm but no clear instructions whether to stay in the room or leave the hotel were given. I was on the 13th floor and neither me nor my neighbors on the 13th floor knew what to do - at the moment the chemical smell/smoke reached the 13th floor we decided it was time to leave but in case there was a real fire I doubt that we would have stood much chance so this exercise left me with a bitter taste....

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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Thank PragueMarti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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