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“A research trip made fantasia”

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Clift Hotel San Francisco
Ranked #72 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A research trip made fantasia”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Let me give you some context for my stay at the Clift, I feel it's an important part of the writing process to provide a context. After all, isn’t that what authors do, even those of reviews? Give you a lens with which to see a thing anew?

I was at the Clift for research. As a writer, which I have said I am, every gig counts theses days. Writing copy for the backs of dog food bags, for off-brand air freshener, “Morning mist of lilies bring nostalgia to air” (It was solely meant for Chinese restaurants in middle America. The owners of the brand felt clunky sentence structure leant the product authenticity. Finally! A legitimate use for the dangling modifier!) or for politico blogging. I leapt at the chance to travel to San Francisco to write for a line of artisanal, bespoke fortune cookies started up by a pair of waif-ish Brooklynites each sporting the same long stringy blonde hair, no relation.

The Clift proved to be an excellent base for my trip, ostensibly to research the plight of Chinese migrant rail workers, who the ladies thought originated “fortunes” but really it was perfect for me to work on my memoir.

The Clift has a lovely wood paneled bar downstairs called The Redwood Room. Cozy up with an old fashioned and try to reel in one of the attractive ladies. Perfect for a self important young writer to cast a line but lure no ladies in, at least that first night. The Clift stocks the best Malin + Geotz products and I made use of all of the shampoo for a mini-bar fueled marathon bubble bath. Thank you for the iPod dock stereo. It furthered my comfort, letting me indulge in my guilty pleasure, Sum 41. There's something about the late 90’s that’s soothing to me.

The furniture is all beautifully designed by Philippe Starck. A sleigh bed whose potential for amorous leverage would not go to waste on this trip. A pure white arm chair nestled in the corner. A modernist Louis XIV bench and the aforementioned mini-bar combination TV stand. It's a wonder that they got all of this in the room seeing as it must have been a grand total of 264 sq ft. Kudos to the ingenious designer who crammed all that tasteful furniture in as well as covering both walls with mirrors. Perfect for giving the illusion of space and also for a narcissist who can't help but gaze into every reflective surface to fuss with his hair until its just so. They even included curtains for if you have body image issues or are afraid of the Candyman or something. Those curtains remained open for the duration of my stay.

I did get out to do some research and the ever attentive staff called me a cab. Eating at Mission Chinese counts as research. I spent most days either at the bar or tucked into my well apportioned room writing the story of a beleaguered adolescent coming of age in the Cleveland suburbs whose passion is ignited by a sandwich that has the fries in the sandwich. It's really the only thing Cleveland has going for it other than the proliferation of 10 cent wing nights.

The sheets were white and comfortable to me. When I did finally entice a woman up, she informed me that they were “no less than 600 but no more than 800 thread count Egyptian cotton” as if there weren't any other kind. I did not invite her back, though we had our one blissful night where I got to observe myself in action ad infinitum, thanks to those clever mirrors.

On waking we enjoyed the basket of pastries and coffee delivered by that attentive staff again. Both were very, very good but at $42 not worth picking up the phone for unless you are trying to avoid another conversation about linens. Yes, the towels are luxurious and the size of sheets. It was as if this woman was making her bridal registry off just one night at the Clift. That's how good this hotel is.

I would recommend the Clift and I would return since the hotel inspired the sum total of my work: “Neon means you're unique” The fortune cookie company is in Brooklyn after all.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank C H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
45 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The Clift is really nice on first glance - the bar is great and the lobby and furnishings quirky and interesting. I stayed in two different rooms during my stay but both had similar issues. The bathroom in the first room was starting to look very worn and tired. The worst thing was the thin walls in both rooms - this made for a few quite uncomfortable nights. People were partying either side at the weekends and, during the week, even just casual conversations next door came right through the walls making it really difficult to get to sleep. As a result, the stay was not relaxing at all.

Room Tip: Request a high-floor room - traffic noise is very loud
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sparkyb_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

The Clift is a lovely modern hotel, in a really good location.

The service we received was really great, and we were very kindly offered a complimentary room upgrade, and wifi access during our stay.

Our room (a deluxe king) was lovely, very spacious, light & clean.

It was starting to look worn, and lacked the elegance, and boutique feel offered by the rest of the hotel, which was a tad but it wasn't a huge issue, and it didn't ruin our stay!!

The lobby & public areas were very striking & beautifully maintained - If the same attention to detail was paid to the rooms this hotel would be amazing!!

If you have time, definitely try out the food offered in the Velvet room - We enjoyed a lovely meal there, it was a tad pricey but the quality of the food and service made it worth it.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CurlsCarrig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CliftFOM, Front Office Manager at Clift Hotel San Francisco, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
I want to thank you for the taking the time to write about your enjoyable stay at the Clift. We take great pride in the service we provide as well as the decor throughout the hotel.

I am happy to hear you were able to receive a complimentary upgraded room and had the opportunity to try the delicious food at the Velvet room.

I hope the next time you are in San Francisco, you will consider staying with us again!

Cheers,
Pam
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Smooth check-in and a pleasant surprise, we got an unexpected upgrade to an amazing corner suite with that wow factor and great city views. The suite was huge with a very cool contemporary decor. Lots of room to hang clothes and even a separate dressing room area, the only thing missing was enough drawers to put your delicates in! We loved the Redwood bar and vibe and spent far too much time in there as the bartenders were great. Room service was never a problem and the standard and quality of food was very good. Concierge was very knowledgeable of the City and gave ideas on where to go and what to do.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Esther O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CliftFOM, Front Office Manager at Clift Hotel San Francisco, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
I want to thank you for the taking the time to write about your enjoyable stay at the Clift. We take great pride in the service we provide as well as the decor throughout the hotel.

I am happy to hear you were able to receive a complimentary upgraded room and had the opportunity to visit the Redwood Bar as well as receive useful and knowledgeable information regarding San Francisco from our staff.

I hope the next time you are in San Francisco, you will consider staying with us again!

Cheers,
Pam
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

As Morgans hotels is cool atmosphere and great design for the prize. This hotel especially had an amazing super caring and friendly service which made the stay even better! We travell with a one year baby and though its a hip place they were super prepared for kids and made our stay lovely. I asked for a crib (wich they gave me a complete one) and they even offered a playpad it was the first time a hotel excedeed my expectations with baby stuff! Its been a lovely sunny weather but all in all we had just arrived from winter and had husband and baby with a cold so i asked for a higher temperature in the room. Though it was on its maximum they quiclky brought us an individal electric heater! Room service and housekeeping was allways super friendly and super quick. Food was great! Concierge was lovely. They make you feel like they care in a relaxed way, its comfortable and kind of a home feeling.
Location is good for few days if you are planning to go shopping to union square. If you enjoy walking you should definitley take a walk to fishermans warf, Union street, Chestnut and to the parks at Nob Hill and Pacific Hights its a lovely thing to do especially for kids to play in their lovely playgrounds. On weekends there are markets fairs.
For lunch La Mar is a great place and in Chestnut Blackwood
Unluckily we have recently been to Hudson NY (another Morgans property) and the experience wasnt good. it was a to massive hotel, when asked for a higher heater in room they told me that it was impossible and that was just it, you were treated just as another number, they even charged as twice the stay and we are still waiting for refound. All in all still found a great relationship value rize in that hotel locationwise, atmosphere and design but not in service.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Martina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CliftFOM, Front Office Manager at Clift Hotel San Francisco, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
I want to thank you for the taking the time to write about your enjoyable stay at the Clift. We take great pride in the service we provide as well as the decor throughout the hotel.

I am happy to hear you were able to receive the items you had requested such as the crib and the playpad! We at the Clift truly care for our guests and want to make your stay the most enjoyable experience possible! I was also happy to hear that the room temperature and the space heater brought to your room brought you comfort and we were able to exceed your expectations.

I hope the next time you are in San Francisco, you will consider staying with us again!

Cheers,
Pam
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

The Clift hotel, like many other Morgans Hotels, doesn't fit any category particularly well. The lobby is very nicely decorated with a very hip and young style. The bedrooms and bathrooms were clearly a pretty cheap redoration of a much older hotel. Attention to detail is lacking with power outlets in short supply and stained carpets. Despite deficiencies, service was excellent at the front desk. All in all, a hip hotel, but a poor choice for a business traveller or someone expecting top quality travel.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonViaNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
205 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013

Didn't have a particularly bad experience per se, but expected so much more from this hotel. The entrance is pretty fancy, but doesn't have the luxury attention to detail service to go with it. And you get the feeling that someone spent so much time trying to make the hotel cool that they forgot the most important thing - the rooms! They're pretty small, the bathrooms are really cramped, and all in all not particularly luxurious or funky like the rest of the hotel - disappointed.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Waseem T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clift Hotel San Francisco

Property: Clift Hotel San Francisco
Address: 495 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1222
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#40 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#42 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#49 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#64 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Clift Hotel San Francisco 4*
Number of rooms: 372
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An inspired fusion of old-world hotel elegance with distinctly contemporary energy and glamour, the nearly century-old CLIFT’s modern and daring sense of diversity perfectly captures the city’s spirit. Steps from Union Square shopping and the legendary Nob Hill, CLIFT is perfectly located for sightseeing, shopping and socializing. Designed by Philippe Starck, the soaring lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clift San Francisco
San Francisco Clift Hotel

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