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“Split Personality Hotel”

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Clift Hotel San Francisco
Ranked #73 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 8, 2011

I obtained an incredible end of year rate on this hotel. I felt like a total hipster walking into the dimly lit hotel and registering. Thought: You scored big on this one!! Staff was wonderful and effecient. The feeling continued in the low subdued lighting of the elevators. THEN, entered room.and the hipster phase ended abruptly. The window faced the other wall of hotel and somewhat of an alley situation. Oh well I surmised these must be the rooms that are sold on the 3rd party sites. The room had the mod furnishings but I couldn't put my finger on why it didn't feel like the Lobby area. Then it hit me as I looked at the door to room , closet and bathroom. This was obviously an old hotel. It appeared to have the same original doors and molding that they painted mauve in an attempt to modernize the room. That explains why the bathrooms are so small. Whereas the Downstairs was completely redone, the rooms appear to only have partial remodeling done and it doesn't quite make it. The hotel should have redone the rooms with new doors and perhaps sheet rock. It gives off the impression, they ran out of money when remodeling the rooms or that the rooms can't decide if they are going to be old San Francisco rooms like the Palace or Modern Hipster rooms. So rooms underwhelming-split personality compared to downstairs/elevator. Great location. Close to Union Square & theater district. Staff effecient and very pleasant.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank labonvoyer
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 reviewResponded February 15, 2011

Dear labonvoyer,
Thank you for your feedback. I just wanted to mention we do not have certain rooms that we give to our guests who find deals. Depending on your check in time and what is available at that moment is how rooms are distributed to our guests. I am happy for those who find a great deal and respect the fact you are a savvy traveller. About our lobby being different from the rooms let me say this: Our lobby reflects the whimsical nature of Morgans Hotel Group's boutique hotels. All are amazing and unique in their own way. The rooms are all going to be different from the lobby as well. At Clift we want our guests to feel like they are in San Francisco, an extension of the city right in your room. Thus the purples, oranges, and golds along with a wheelbarrow chair represent what San Francisco is about. If any one would ever like a tour and brief explanation of our ethos please feel free to ask me. I would be happy to share (as I do in my management responses) the reasons why we are so unique.
Sincerely,
Matthew

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2,612 - 2,618 of 3,597 reviews

Reviewed February 8, 2011

We LOVE the location of the Clift and have had great meals in asia de cuba in years past. Our son got this hotel for us, which was very nice of him and I hesitated to let him know our comments, but also didn't want him to book other people there. The lighting is virtually non-existent when it comes to application of make-up. The bathroom is only slightly larger than the smallest bathroom I have ever seen, which was in a 1 star hotel in Bangkok!! (explanation when I inquired about rooms with larger ones was that it is an old hotel and there are larger ones in the corner rooms.) Hard to change your mind in it much less dry off with the very nice towels. There are no drawers, used the ironing board to set my belongings on, closet is tiny, people coming and going in the hallway were noisy and the noise from the street was also quite loud, especially considering we were on the 8th floor. I almost forgot the fee for parking...$57!!! even the valets were sympathetic! Yes, it is trendy, minimalist decor, bar hip and cool, check in staff efficient and nice, very clean. Bottom line, alas, we could not recommend this hotel to baby boomer friends, many of whom frequently visit the city, nor would we stay there again. Gen x'ers and y'ers, however, may love it.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank nepalpam
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 reviewResponded February 12, 2011

Dear Nepal,
I am sorry we did not quite fit your bill. I have seen many boomers come and go and like all things in the world there is one thing certain, we are all different. From my prior reviews I have said this before but to assist you TAers out there...
Clift was built in 1914. There is a great story about the city, still reeling from the great quake of 06, pan pacific expo about to start in 1915, George Applegarth design... anyway, I digress. During this period there was not the need for the large opulent bathrooms as there is today. And, being a historic building, it is something that cannot change.
From my experience travelling, I have stayed in rooms with smaller bathrooms, some with none at all. I have lived in Clift for two months after a cross country move and can honestly say the Studio I was in was quite manageable. (Housekeeping is able to provide extra storage space). Throughout my tenure I have stayed in several rooms overnight for a variety of reasons (all work related, I promise). I also stay in the rooms our guests comment about for quality control purposes. At the end of the day I want to make every one happy and will go to great lengths to accommodate our guests.
Sincerely,
Matthew

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Reviewed February 7, 2011

We had posted before regarding our stay and the damage to our car that had occured. The Clift Hotel Management did take care of this and the Parking Company's insurance company did finally pay our claim.
The Clift is one of our favorite hotels in San Francisco. We have stayed there many times over the years. I truly love this wonderful San Francisco Institution.... all of the hotel staff are friendly and courteous; I love the cleanliness of the rooms and design of all the public spaces and rooms.
We regret that the damage to our car ever happened and want to assure any reader of our previous posting about that incident that although it took six months to resolve it was resolved!
Please enjoy this fine hotel---we did and will again and again!
The Redwood Room is superlative!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank St_Helena1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2011

On my last trip to San Francisco, I decided to shake things up a bit and try a small boutique hotel near Union Square that friends had recommended. The first room I was given was not as pictured. The second room was dirty, curtain hanging off the rail... By the time I had hauled my luggage downstairs for the second time to get a new room key (no bellhops or front office staff to bring one up?) only to arrive in a room that was missing amenities... I was done.

I called the Clift and the front office manager offered to accommodate me right away, although he did ask why I hadn't booked with them to begin with? Good question!

When I entered my room at the Clift, it was perfect. Spacious. Really lovely. The rooms are different in sizes and layouts. It's always a pleasant surprise. But no matter what the style of room, walking into a room at the Clift always feels like home.

The hotel now carries MALIN + GOETZ products which I love. I also like the fact that often there is a little dressing room that connects the front hall to the bathroom. Lots of closet space. And the beds are really comfortable.

The location is great, close to Union Square. BART is just down the hill. The Redwood Room is a happening place with great cocktails. So a built in night life! The Velvet Room restaurant, which i checked out this visit with a colleague, was good as well.

But what brings me back to the Clift, mostly, is that I have had nothing but the best experience with the staff at the hotel. They are consistent in their customer service and always there to make my stay better in any way they can.

I highly recommend the Clift to anyone who is looking for a lovely hotel, with a cool night life element, if you want it, with a consistent high level of customer service.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled on business
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Thank JetGirl49
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 reviewResponded February 11, 2011

Dear Jet Girl,

Thank you for your review! It is a great feeling to read about some one that 'gets us'. I wish for all of our guest experiences to be like yours. And yes, we did change our bathroom products. We really love them! Here is to your next visit.
Looking forward,
Matthew

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Reviewed February 2, 2011

My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of staying at the Clift to celebrate her birthday January 27. We were greeted by an extremely polite front desk person named Colin. He asked if we were celebrating a special occassion and of course we told him about her birthday. We also said that we were going to have dinner at The Velvet Room in their hotel. Colin said "Let me talk to the kitchen and see if we can't do a little something special for you." The Room was very nice and the bed very comfortable. Well, we went to dinner. The food was good but a bit pricey for what you get. The ambience was wonderful and our waiter James was very pleasant and efficient. I asked if Colin had told him about our special occasion. He replied that "Yes. A little birdie had told him." Well I was expecting a complimentary dessert or at least a complimentary cup of coffee for the birthday girl. All we got was a FREE BIRTHDAY CANDLE on our dessert. Pretty Cheap. LOL

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MafiaElvis
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 reviewResponded February 11, 2011

Dear Mafia,

Colin thanks you for the shout out. He remembers the check in. I hope you did not throw out the candle, inside was a gift certificate for two drinks at the bar! Well, not really... but I will share your story with the kitchen, sorry to raise your expectations. Please let Colin or myself know when you come to visit again.

Sincerely,
Matthew

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Reviewed February 1, 2011

Just spent 4 nights at the Clift Hotel and can only recommend it. Ideally located, this hotel is different from the traditional Hilton's, Marriot's etc. As soon as you enter, you're in a different atmosphere: very dark, trendy and cosy altogether. Reception (Sarah) professional, EFFICIENT and friendly. Rooms are nice although the bathrooms are small. One negative point: no internet for free! You have to go to Starbucks opposite the hotel. A pity for that category of hotel...

  • Stayed: January 2011
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Thank IBdR
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 reviewResponded February 11, 2011

Dear IDbR,
Thank you for your thumbs up for Clift. Sarah saw your review and was smiling all day.
We hope to see you soon!
Best Regards,
Matthew

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Reviewed January 24, 2011

Very mixed impressions of this property. On the plus side, front desk did honor my request for an upgrade (albeit by just one category), but couldn't break a $100 bill ("I have no cash today.") Public areas did not seem as dark as other reviewers indicated, but vestibule inside my room would have felt familiar to the Chilean miners, lighted by the dimmest ceiling light I've ever seen. Bathroom was tiny though efficient. No soap provided for the tub/shower. No reading materials in the room.....not even the usual outline of hotel dining options, gym, services, etc. Not a pen or pencil. Very nice Sony flatscreen, but the lamest, most limited channel offerings seen in years. Comfy bed. Great towels. A very average experience in a hotel in a sketchy neighborhood, with no personality beyond the superficial decor. Much better available in SF.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled on business
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Thank trigger18
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 reviewResponded January 29, 2011

Dear Trigger,

It sounds like you had a mixed stay. I am glad we were bright in some parts and I will address the other inconvenient parts. All of our rooms contain a guest services directory, it is located on the desk. There is a note pad with Clift pencil right next to the phone. If for some reason some thing is not there, let us know so we can send up a replacement. Anything that should be in the room can be sent up rather quickly. As I mentioned I will be speaking with the respective department heads in effort to ensure we do not miss on the finer details of a guest visit. We appreciate your business and hope you would give us another try in the future. I am sure I would be able to assist in making you feel more comfortable.

Thank you,

Matthew

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Additional Information about Clift Hotel San Francisco

Address: 495 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1222
Phone Number:
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: $181 - $557 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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