Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel Review in San Francisco

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San Francisco is an exciting city that offers plenty to see and do year round. We have museums to see, beaches to walk, restaurants to satisfy any palate and plenty of hotels for our bodies to relax and recharge. With so many hotel choices, why not select a historic hotel that has perfected the art of sitting down? My Clift Royal Sonesta hotel review in San Francisco will guide you through an artful collection of the chairs of the Clift, as well as the nuts and bolts of the hotel.

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Chairs of the Clift include Michel Haillard’s Horn Sofa. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Walking into the lobby of the historic hotel reminded me of stepping into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. You’ll notice the Philippe Starck-designed Big Chair upon entrance and the Michel Haillard Horn Sofa across from the fireplace. Both art collectors and Instagrammers will take note of the chairs of the Clift. In addition to the Goldrush-inspired chairs in the hotel’s suites, guests will get a sense of the history of this 17 story hotel at every turn.  Originally a Four Seasons hotel from the 1970’s -1990’s, a 2001 remodel brought 2 million dollars worth of furniture to the hotel lobby.

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The Clift’s art deco Redwood Room and etched bar. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Originally opened in 1933, wander over to the Redwood Room and you’ll see wood panels made from a 2,000 year old redwood tree from Sacramento, California. The tree had fallen of it’s own accord and was used in creating this intimate art-deco inspired room with a well stocked bar. Note the digital artwork on the walls around you. You’ll never be drinking alone at The Clift hotel.

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Light and airy hotel room with double beds. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Clift Royal Sonesta Girlfriend Getaway

A friend of mine and I were headed into San Francisco for a little holiday shopping trip. We decided to make it an overnight as I planned to write a Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel review. The historic hotel had recently been acquired by Sonesta International Hotels and that means some changes  ahead for the hotel.

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The hotel has 372 rooms, 14 of those being suites. Our room, #1029, was a double double and rented for $289 on this particular Saturday night, but as we all know, rates fluctuate dramatically depending on supply and demand. Our room had floor to ceiling mirrors opposite the bed and behind each double bed. There was a mini fridge stocked with cold drinks and honor bar, as well. Both for additional fees. One bathrobe should be available in the closet, but we didn’t have one on our visit. Bath amenities were from Malin & Goetz.

The room was bright and airy with the drapes and light colors giving it a feeling of a sanctuary. Although at 5 a.m. when our neighbor’s cell phone alarm went off, I was not feeling the sanctuary vibe. Rather, I was very aware of the thin walls and how I could pick up every word of their conversation. Soon after our posse of bridesmaids in the corner suite began primping for the wedding they would attend later that day. They shared waves of laughter and giggles, so we couldn’t begrudge them their bridesmaids bonding session.

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Combination bathtub and shower. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

After we each took a quick shower in the combination bath/shower, we waited for our breakfast to be delivered. Our American breakfast arrived promptly at the requested time and we were ready to begin our day. I should note that if you are staying two or more nights, you have the option to forgo housekeeping and receive a $15 food & beverage voucher per day (not able to combine vouchers.) Good for the environment and stretching your dining dollar.

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Room service in San Francisco

Clift Hotel Room Service

Room service is available for an additional fee. Coffee and tea are served downstairs in the lobby. Breakfast buffet is served daily in the Velvet Room. Additionally, the hotel features a small plate of the day and wine of the day.

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We didn’t dine in the Redwood Room, but we did have a chance to sample the honey cake made from the Clift Bee Sanctuary and we sampled Chef Dawn Taylor-Cole’s southern-inspired menu.

“I have a San Francisco style with a little bit of heat,” Chef Dawn says with a grin. “I like 5 ingredients or less.”

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Breakfast buffet served in the Velvet Room. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Clift Royal Crescent need to know:

The San Francisco property is a member of California Hotel and Lodging Association. Hotel rates range from $209 low season to $389 – $799 during peak and very high demand. If you are an AAA member, you may anticipate a 5-20% AAA discount. There is a resort fee of $28 per stay & valet parking is available for $58. There is an in-room safe and umbrella in the closet.

Complimentary guest bicycles and helmets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. On our stay there was no time limit on the bicycles. Pet-friendly, Clift Royal Sonesta charges a reasonable $50 deposit.

Check in: 3:00 p.m.

Check out: 12:00 p.m.

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Redwood Room small plates. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tips: Frequent guests of Royal Sonesta hotels may want to sign up for the Sonesta Travel Pass. The reward program is complimentary and includes instant perks such as complimentary upgraded WiFi, dining discounts, complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, as well as guaranteed room type. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and The Clift on Instagram.

If You Go:

Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel (415) 775-4700

495 Geary Street

San Francisco, California 94102

Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel review and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown.