San Francisco’s Clift Hotel: Luster Lost

Travel

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I knew the City’s grand hotels by name: The St. Francis; The Mark Hopkins; The Fairmont; and The Clift, which was built near Union Square in 1913 and much beloved through the decades.

When the venerable Clift Hotel was purchased by Morgans Hotel Group in 1996 and reimagined as a hip and trendy place to be, I was excited to see it. And exciting it was – for quite some time. I loved staying there when back in the City for work or play.

This lobby lounge was a nice (and clean) place to hang out. This lobby lounge was a nice (and clean) place to hang out.

But now, oh dear jeebus. Time has taken its toll, and although management has kept up the lobby and ever-cool Philippe Starck refurbished Redwood Room, the guest rooms have not gotten the same love. At least not my room.

For your viewing pleasure, I snapped a photo of the nasty shower stall with cracked tiles and dirty crevices:

Clift shower Eek.

But the worst was the black mold growing on the soap dish. Shame on me for not noticing it until AFTER I had taken a shower. Ugh:

Yuck! Yuck!

After that horrifying discovery, I thought a little fresh air might do me well. As I approached the window, I was greeted by these filthy venetian blinds (clearly also from 1996):

Ick. Ick.

All I can say is that I am glad I didn’t bring the kids. I would have been so freaked if they had used that shower. (Probably would have made them rinse in rubbing alcohol.)

Time for another renovation, historic Clift Hotel. You are not ready for your close up.

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