The tech boom is changing San Francisco at a dizzying pace. New restaurants, new bars, new hotels – you name it. The whole town seems to be getting torn down and started up from scratch. Honestly, old-school San Franciscans are starting to worry about all the change.
One spot that's trying to adapt to new times while not forgetting its glorious past is Clift Hotel. The 372-room hotel celebrates its 100th birthday in 2015.
In June, the hotel held its anniversary celebration, and – as we might have expected – the party was a mix of young tech hipsters and old San Francisco money.
VIP line outside Clift's 100-year-anniversary bash — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
What makes the Clift a perfect bridge between past and future is its fascinating history. Members of the Fairchild Group, also known as the “Traitorous Eight,” held a secret meeting at Clift in 1957 to create one of the first semiconductor device companies in the Bay Area.
Some say it's where Silicon Valley was born.
The two rooms that really make this hotel distinct are the Redwood Room and the Velvet Room. The elegant Redwood Room features original redwood paneling that, according to legend, was carved from a single redwood tree.
And some of the city’s best bartenders have created signature cocktails exclusively for the Redwood Room, including Nora Furst of Lolinda Bar. Her Nola Darling cocktail includes Fidencio Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, Gran Classico and orange bitters, too.
Lobby of Clift Hotel — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Designed to complement the legendary Redwood Room, the Velvet Room is an excellent option for corporate meetings and nightlife events. Lush velvet curtains, mahogany leather banquettes and hand-blown Murano glass lamps adorn this stunning room.
And no "make your own waffles" for breakfast at the Clift. Executive Chef Thomas Weibull partners with local farmers and growers to produce seasonal menu items for the Velvet Room.
Need more fancy details? The soaring lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California: chairs from Charles and Ray Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dalí and a sculpture custom made by William Sawaya.
"When guests enter our lobby, we want them immediately transported away from the loud city and into our peaceful but energizing ambiance inside," Clift Hotel GM Michael Pace explained.
On top of all the luxury, the Clift Hotel's practical location near Union Square – the hub of San Francisco shopping – is hard to beat.
The Clift is scheduled for a major make-over in 2016, as well. But the changes will keep the amazing tradition of Clift intact while adding some modern panache.
"The new design will hold true to our sense of originality and community partnership that makes Clift such a unique part of San Francisco," Pace explained.
Sounds like another reason for a grand party at the Clift in 2016!
Clift Hotel suite — Photo courtesy of Clift Hotel