PSFK Visits: Clift Mixes Old World Style With New Media Savvy

PSFK Visits: Clift Mixes Old World Style With New Media Savvy

At the Clift hotel San Francisco, old meets new as historic architecture gives way prolific modern art- all with a distinctly west coast sensibility.

Laura Feinstein
  • 12 october 2011

While in New York City most deals and mergers happen at the office or in the boardroom, in San Francisco things are done a little differently. Known as much for being a tech and new media Mecca as it is for its gold-mining history and foodie draw, the San Fran lifestyle beats to a unique type of hip/ young urban drum. On a typical afternoon at Clift, Morgans Hotel Group’s East Bay property, you might overhear in the waiting room a young entrepreneur casually pitching his company to a potential investor via cell phone, while upstairs in the suite hallways iPad toting software enthusiasts talk QR codes and debate the merits of Uber vs. Tram. A mix of old world charm and fresh young sensibilities, Clift perfectly represents how multi-faceted its hometown city has become.

Just as San Fran is associated with its impressive modern art scene (being host to the SF wing of The Museum of Modern Art along with several other contemporary art galleries) Clift’s lobby also boasts a plethora of interesting visual works- with chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, a surreal stool by Renee Marguerite, and a sculpture custom made by William Sawaya. The real attention draw though is the imposing thirty-five-foot fireplace located in the reception area with an unforgettable bronze chimney sculpture by Gerard Garouste. There’s a certain slickness when you walk in that lets you know that the Clift is the place where people go not just to relax- but also to forge ahead.

While Clift at daytime offers lux seating and a mellow atmosphere at night it transforms into a chic club, as the lushly renovated Redwood Room pours designer drinks for the city’s silicon-valley elite. Boasting Phillipe Starck designed lounge furniture and a series of digital portraiture plasma screens of eerie Victorian-goth-meets-Missed-Connections photography, the room’s real charm is the way in which it’s incorporated the building’s original art and architecture (look closely at the hunting mural near the bar) with modern flourishes. Next door in the plush Velvet Room, Clift’s masterful chefs have partnered with local farmers and growers to produce seasonal menu items – which in true San Fran style are sustainably and organically grown. Reminiscent in some ways of the lavish east coast homes of railroad barons like Jay Gould and The Rockefellers, the Velvet Room is almost a high school history field trip come to life, as you dine among rich velvet curtains, mahogany and leather banquettes, hand blown Murano glass lamps, and larger than life cross- shaped (illuminated) communal dining table made entirely of hand-etched Venetian mirror glass.

However, the best thing about spending an evening out at a hotel is that it’s a cinch to find your way to a warm bed. Venture upstairs and you’ll be greeted by a modernist’s dream, with crafted furniture custom-designed by Starck, English sycamore accented by velvet, leather and chrome, and wooden “wheelbarrow” chairs inspired by Man Ray illuminated by a custom Venetian Murano glass lamps.

If you’re an art lover and you’re visiting the city by the bay any time soon be sure to check out Clift–if nothing else for it’s more than impressive lobby dwelling art menagerie.

Clift Hotel



Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.