San Francisco may be a city for lovers, but it’s also a city for explorers, shoppers and art lovers. If you have a keen eye for interior design or you take inspiration from classic luxury hotels of the early 20th century, you are in for a treat at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco.
Recently purchased by Sonesta International Hotels, The Clift has been a popular hotel near San Francisco’s theater district and Union Square since I can remember. In fact, the Redwood Room within the hotel opened in 1933 the day after Prohibition ended.
The lobby of the historic hotel is intimate with its 18-foot bronze fireplace and unique designer chairs scattered about. And when I say unique, you’ll know what I mean when you see Michel Haillard’s Horn Sofa or take note of the Philippe Starck-designed pieces and William Sawaya’s four-seater chair, made of brass, and custom made specifically for the hotel. My husband would love to get his hands on the “Elk Gentleman’s Chair” made by Crystal Farm, antler chandelier and furniture maker. Someone had a pretty generous interior decorating budget when they selected some of these museum-quality pieces for the hotel.
Once you’ve checked into your hotel room, you’ll want to enjoy a cocktail in the Redwood Room. The gorgeous redwood panels, said to have been carved from a single tree in Sacramento, make this room a place for movers and shakers. Rumor has it that the artist formerly known as Prince enjoyed staying at The Clift.
After a night out on the town or seeing a performance at the American Conservatory Theater, head back to your room and relax. Our room, a double, double, was on the 10th floor and offered a nice skyline view of Salesforce Tower.
Our room featured floor to ceiling mirrors behind each bed and directly across from the beds, lending a sense of depth to the room. There was a nice sized bathroom that included a bathtub shower combination and Malin & Goetz bath toiletries. No bathrobes were available in the closet, but there was a hairdryer in the bathroom.
The room received plenty of natural light. The downside of an older hotel is that the walls between rooms were not well insulated. We could hear conversations from our next door neighbors and muffled laughter from the bridal party in the corner suite on the other side of our room. Not a problem when all parties are awake, but when your neighbor’s alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and both you and your friend wake up and ask why the other set the alarm, it’s a problem.
Fortunately, we both fell back to sleep and slept for a bit more before it was time for breakfast. If this is a special occasion celebration, room service is always a treat. If this is a business trip or you want to eat quickly and get on with your day, the breakfast buffet in the Velvet Room is the way to go.
Hotel room prices start at $209 to $799 for suites, during high demand. There is a $50 deposit required for pets. Valet parking was $58 per night on our visit. The hotel charges a $28 fee to cover WiFi, use of cruiser bicycles and other amenities. There is a fitness center on the 2nd floor that was quite popular with the millennials on my visit. Make a reservation at this hotel on the Sonesta website or Expedia.
Review by historic hotel aficionado Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of The Clift Royal Sonesta, however all opinions are my own. All photos courtesy of Nancy D. Brown.