Clift - Morgans Hotel Group

4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 Stars

495 Geary Street, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States

4 Reviews

Clift San Francisco Hotel
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 49% more than similarly rated 4.5 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families68
  • Couples70
  • Solo77
  • Business63
  • rjweber21's Profile Photo

    You pay for the atmosphere


    Apparently, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine calls this place, "The ultimate confirmation of cool." I had heard that this place was pretty cool, but my wife and I decided to stay here because of the proximity to Union Square (she wanted to shop). So, I would say that the location is excellent if you'd like to shop in the Union Square area. Our stay was pleasant enough. The staff was nice; the room was quiet, but small. This place kind of had an "Alice in Wonderland" type feel to it. Our floor was painted in a light purple, and they had these random glass chairs by the elevators. I THINK they were going for a "fantasy" motif, but I'm not an interior decorator, so I really have no idea. The thing that this hotel really made me realize was that if you're staying in the lowest priced room, at a great hotel, the room is not going to be that exciting. I don't know, for $400 a night, I was expecting a view...of something, maybe a window...overlooking a street? We had a view of absolutely nothing.

    Unique Quality: There are a lot of mirrors in the rooms (at least in our room). I know they do this to make the room look bigger, but there really were mirrors covering two walls in their entirety. We appreciated the effort.

    The Redwood Room is the famous old bar in the lobby - it is a very hip scene, and the place was packed on Friday and Saturday night. We had to show our keycard to bypass the rather long line outside the hotel. There is also a nice lobby bar/lounge if you're not into getting bounced around in the crowded Redwood Room. I found it more than a little annoying that the only Pinot Noir by the glass was from Oregon. What??? I mean, there's a little place down the road that is known to have some pretty good juice. I admit, I am sort of a wine snob, but c'mon - Erath, from Oregon, really? Boooooo!

    Directions: Close to Union Square

  • THE nicest boutique hotel in San Francisco


    Since I live in San Francisco, I really have no need to be staying in hotels. But my uncle loves the Clift Hotel (he lives about an hour south of The City) and I dropped by one time to hang out.

    Unique Quality: The Clift is one of the nicest boutique hotels in San Francisco, and that is saying something since there are so many of them. The design of the place is almost underdone...quite minimalist I'd say. But what has been done is bold and firm, providing atmosphere that is soothing and modern. When you step inside, you feel the seriousness of the place and know you are in good hands.

    As far as service goes, their staff is quite professional and willing and prepared to do whatever is necessary. The doormen knew my uncle by name as we exited.

    Directions: Union Square area

  • iluvtrvl's Profile Photo

    Elegance Personified


    I stayed at The Clift prior to its purchase by Ian Schrager and renovation by Phillippe Starck. At the time of my stay, I did not see any lacking of appointments. The bed and pillows ranked as the best in a hotel that I've experienced, to the extent that I tried to find out the brand/manufacturers without success. The rooms were intimately decorated and though the bathrooms were small by today's standards, I was surprised to find a "real" closet and a spacious room. The room layout is no doubt due to the hotel being built in an era where spaciousness of clothing storage and room to stretch were considered a must for the well-traveled, and bathrooms were for, well, bathing and personal hygiene. The location of the hotel is great, located near the Sir Francis drake hotel, and a nice stroll from Union Square and Nob Hill, and easily accessible to the trolleys, taking you to other parts of the city. The price is average for comparable hotels, more expensive for the budget minded traveler.

    Unique Quality: The Redwood Bar is not to be missed, with its massive bar and redwood paneling floor to ceiling. Walking into the room takes you immediately back to the days when business deals were made over a glass of cogniac and a good cigar.

    Directions: Two blocks from Union Square

  • goshawk301's Profile Photo

    Changed - for the better or worse?


    Before its renovation, the Clift had a warm, most inviting and charming lobby/reception area. I had passed by the hotel entrance many times on my trips to San Francisco, thinking I'd love to stay there one day; and eventually I did get to stay, and enjoy the hotel. Then came the renovation....

    On my second visit, I arrived at the hotel on a Friday night, quite late, in March, 2003. There was industrial music pumping out from the back of the lobby area; the crowd was spilling out onto the sidewalk outside. I asked the doorman "is there a party going on?" He replied "it's Friday night, and it's the Clift!" At the reception desk, I had to be shouting to the receptionist (who was very helpful, and upgraded the room so that I could stay smoke-free) in order to overcome the music.

    Alas, the lovely lobby is no more. The new lobby is a square, gray space dominated by a curious, way oversized French chair. There are seating areas around the periphery of the lobby areas, recessed and rather dark. I liked the elevators, each with differently colored (although very dim) interior lighting.

    Even before the renovation, I didn't think the room itself was all that remarkable; and that impression carried over to the post-renovation Clift. Philippe Starck's interior design is light, elegant and delightful (I liked the acrylic bedside tables) but, at least in my room, it couldn't quite mask the fact that the room was basically a shoebox. Especially after dark, when the room lost natural light, it turned somewhat dreary. On the other hand, I liked the "Agua" toileteries.

    Perhaps working in a hotel like this makes employees themselves feel self-conscious? While I have no complaints whatsoever about their friendliness, competence etc., I had a vague feeling that many of them themselves didn't feel quite comfortable about the place either!

    Unique Quality: Go to the Clift for the style. Keep in mind though that style is not the same as character or personality.

More about Clift - Morgans Hotel Group

Swanky Nigthspot

by depinski about Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel

The Redwood Room was very nicely decorated like many upscale hotel bars are nowadays. In the lobby there is a giant Chair on which one can sit if one is so inclined. The bar bustles with activity with people getting drinks at the bar and actively engaged in conversation. The crowd at the Clift was in the mid to late thirties. The Redwood Room was not too crowded for a popular night time spot and there was still some room to sit/stand at the bar. Dress nice. Everyone else is trendy but sneakers were not a problem. You'll need to know a guest at the hotel in order to get into the bar area.


by A TripAdvisor Member

The Clift Hotel is a piece of trash! The idiot doorman at the front would rather scratch his head than help you get your bags. The receptionists are completely oblivious to provide any service. Go to the W or any where else in San Francisco. This hotel is certainly not worth anything over 80 dollars. We had a horrible time, the rooms are embarrasingly small. Absolutely no amenities. The hotel changed the room rate once we arrived at the hotel and demanded we pay the new, exorbitant amount. The facilities were absolutely abyssmal.Avoid this hotel and save your money. Go anywhere else.

Stay Away!

by A TripAdvisor Member

My husband and I booked our stay through Expedia - I guess the Clift keeps its "real" rooms for guests paying full price. We could hear EVERYTHING from the next room (snoring, T.V., phone conversations, etc...). Not at all impressed. We've stayed at some pretty high-end, 5-star hotels and the Clift definitely wasn't one of them. We were not impressed with the hotel staff - I guess they're underpaid.

Stay away.


by A TripAdvisor Member

I usually stay at Campton Place but decided to give the Clift a try for a change of scenery. The service was not up to the level that it should be for a hotel that purports to be of such a high level. The rooms were decent. The food was bad. There wasn't an available porter to take my bags. The concierge gave me inaccurate information and I missed breakfast. I wouldn't go back. I'll return to Campton Place where the level of service is high and the food is great.

Love those pillows!

by TripAdvisor Member Melto

We just returned from a wonderful weekend in SF. Our stay at the Clift was great. The only thing that I can really criticize is the 5 star rating given to this hotel. I find it more on par with a 4 star. 5 star ratings to me should be luxurious, with amenties and services that go above the expected. This hotel does not have those features. The rooms are small but adequate, as are the bathrooms. We were forewarned about the lack of a dresser and/or drawers! However, that bed and those pillows made up for all these things. Good location, a good place to see and be seen.


by TripAdvisor Member SaffronRose

We stayed at The Clift in August 2004. Although the design of the hotel is pretty cool the rooms lack general comfort due to the size, they are very small. The staff are very unfriendly and unhelpful I barely saw a smile between them. They must have been trained to be off hand and dismissive. When we checked out we left our car there and gave instructions as to when and who was collecting it. When the guy went to collect the car nobody had any idea about it and sent him on his way - very annoying and costly! The one thing we did enjoy was the bar, well designed cool and funky. Great for people watching and partying.

Forum Posts

Clift Hotel?

by Jillmar

What are your thoughts on the Clift Hotel?

I booked 4 nights there. I am reading its very "hip" and I'm wondering if I need to dress up just to hang around the Redwood Room? I hope I fit in (I'm 51 and hubby is 55)! Also, are the bathrooms THAT tiny? Should I ask for an upgrade?

Thank you so much for your help!

RE: Clift Hotel?

by littlesam1

The only thing I would consider about the Cliff Hotel is that is a little out of the way from the major city area of San Francisco. If you want to be in a more remote location you should really enjoy it.


RE: RE: Clift Hotel?

by YVRDave

The Clf T is 2 blocks from Union Square and no you don't need to dress up too much.

RE: RE: Clift Hotel?

by littlesam1

>Blushing with embarrassment




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 Clift - Morgans Hotel Group

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Clift Hotel San Francisco
Clift San Francisco
San Francisco Clift Hotel

Address: 495 Geary Street, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States