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Reviewed July 23, 2012

This hotel had some really funky décor that I loved, but too many faults for me to recommend it to anyone.
The highlights: The lobby is very cool. There is an assortment of very funky chairs, many of which have animal hides, antlers and horns that make up the uniqueness of the space. There is hip, thumping music played throughout the lobby and annexed space at all times that sets the dark, animalistic mood of the space well. It is a very comfortable and unique public space. The staff was very genial, and check-in and out was a breeze. The final highlight is how close public parking is. Right around the corner is a garage, about $70 for 2 nights.
The Lowlights: everything else. The guest rooms have a completely different vibe than the lobby. All the paint is lavender! The hallways, rooms, walls, woodwork, doors, carpeting, everything: lavender. When we walked into our room it was musky, which indicates an unresolved mildew or (god forbid) mold problem. The bed was a standard spring mattress, with huge down pillows and a down comforter. Personally I found the pillows too tall, the mattress tired and noticed there was no top sheet (WTF?) The bathroom had marble on the floors, walls and interior of the shower, but there was mold growing in the caulk, and mortar missing between some of the marble tiles! Unacceptable! Not to mention, the fixtures were cheap, and the toilet looked like a public toilet. The TV was HD, but the cable was not. It is a Serious foux pas for a 4 star hotel to not provide HD channels on an HD TV, c’mon! Be prepared to shell out $15/day for wi-fi too. In general I am confused about this hotel; clientele who will pay for a 4 star hotel expect a certain standard. And the people who would pay $15/day for wi-fi, or $10 for an episode of 30 Rock will not tolerate mold in the bathroom and no top sheet on the bed! This hotel was a splurge for me, and I feel jipped.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank scrumpy-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CliftFOM, Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2012

Dear ST,
Thank you for your feedback. I have sent you a PM in hopes you can tell me the room you were in. I would like to get my engineering and housekeeping team up there to investigate and fix any issues.
Some side notes:
- Our mattresses are a little over one year old.
- I have been with the hotel company for over 8 years and never experienced any sort of problem with mold.
- Our guest floors (yes, they are lavender, with hues of grey and our specially made color 'sand') are different from the ethos on the ground floor.

As the story goes we wanted the lobby to me more in tune with the NorCal 'nature' feeling. Earthy tones... lots of wood and natural colors and themes. But when you get to the floors.... It's like you take a magical ride into the clouds and atmosphere in the city of San Francisco.

And the special 'sand' color you may wonder... amazing. Depending on the time of day, angle of the sun, cloud cover (insert lighting variable), and the color changes!

We dare to be different. It is what our guests and staff love about Clift. Or, in some cases, 'not exactly'. ST was half in. ST when you get my IM, please respond. I would really like for you to give us another try.

-Matthew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

I booked a Loft room at the Clift for my partner's 50th birthday weekend. We're SF natives, but now live in LA. The Clift always had a good (albeit trendy) reputation, so I felt safe booking this important weekend there.

But it started off poorly and got much, much worse.

We arrived around midnight on a Friday night. There was a line of people outside trying to get into the club that is in the lobby. We had a hard time crossing the line to get into the hotel and received no assistance from the doormen. They were more interested in the scantily clad women in the line for the club. Seriously irritating. Then, when we finally got into the hotel, we couldn't even get to the check-in desk because the party was flowing out of the club and into the lobby. Then, when we finally did get to the check-in desk, I couldn't hear anything the front desk employee was saying because of all the noise from the club. Terrible first impression. No problem with having a club in the lobby, but it shouldn't ruin the introduction for hotel guests.

We finally got to the elevator to our room about 25 minutes later. When the elevator doors open on your floor, you feel like you're in a mortuary. EVERYTHING is the same shade of gray. The carpet, the walls, the furniture...and there is no art anywhere. I'm all for modern design, but this was creepy.

Then, we got to our room. Same thing. Creepy design, although there was at least some colored lucite furniture to slightly lighten things up. But, overall, it was very, very depressing. Only saving grace is the bed is very comfortable.

OK, now is when things got really, really bad. It was a cold SF summer night, but the room was over 90 degrees. I turned on the Aircon right away, but it wasn't cooling off. Turns out the heater was "stuck on", and dialing up the Aircon was only exacerbating the problem by blowing even more hot air into the room. The handyman came and told us nothing could be done about it. He asked whether we wanted the window open to cool things off. Apparently, we had no other choice, so we said "yes". But then the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM from the lobby wafted in, making it impossible to sleep. We had to shut the window and swelter through the night.

By the way, no apology and no discount for this.

Then, we finally got to sleep. After about 15 minutes of slumber, the alarm clock goes off. The alarm clock has no buttons on it...at all. So, after looking it over, we just hit it. It went off, so we went back to sleep. 15 minutes later, it happened again...turns out hitting it is just the equivalent of "snooze". I could not find any way to turn it off, so I just unplugged it. 15 minutes later, it goes off again...battery back-up. The battery compartment requires a screw driver to open, which we did not have...so there was no way to shut this thing off. We just put it in the bathroom and closed the door, but it kept going off.

Suffice it to say that there was no sleep to be had.

When I told the front desk about the disastrous experience in the morning, I got no reaction...until they saw where I worked...and then it was just a "Oh, S&%T" look from the employee. The Clift is my company's preferred hotel in SF. But still no apology and no offer for a discount.

We couldn't wait to bolt out of this place. We went to the St. Regis for the rest of the weekend and had an excellent experience...for the same rate.

Take my word for it, stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank JMBINCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john f, Front Office Manager at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2012

JMBINCA,

First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to detail your experiences at Clift. It's disheartening to read the variety of issues that culminated during your stay.

I would very much like the chance to show you what a great experience you can have and always expect from our hotel. Please reach out to me at your convenience so that I can assist you in arranging your next visit to San Francisco, and ensure you receive a stay that you can both be excited about.

Sincerely,

John

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Reviewed July 22, 2012

Okay... I admit, we usually don't stay in nice hotels, but this one was no so expensive and looked more interesting than the others.
Our bet was worth it. We love the deco, loved the staff, love our room. It was big and comfortable. Nothing to complain about. Location is also perfect, as it's in the middle of everything.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank francoishogue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Nice room, good location but the service was a joke - only the doorman managed to smile or seem to have any interest in the Guests. Stayed 3 nights and if we had not pre booked and paid we would have moved somewhere else.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank KyleeNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

This hotel is nice and pretty well located. The rooms are modern and there is a happening scene in the hotel lobby. The place is great if you are looking for a swanky hotel, but it might not be for everyone. The vibe is similar to a W hotel, but with its own unique identity. If you are looking for a nice hotel with a trendy vibe then I recommend the Clift.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Drew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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