Stay: The Clift Hotel, San Francisco

Finding the comforts of home when you’re on the road is a challenging effort. Often, however, we find ourselves traveling to get away from the comforts of home – to step away from our securities for a need to experience new sights, new smells and new places.

There is a certain exciting, albeit frightening, vulnerability in travel – it presents an opportunity to reinvent.  When you’re on the road, there’s no time to dwell in the past – you’re too busy on sensory overload, absorbing every last drop of the smell and sounds of a new city. And then it hits you – the only thing that matters is the journey ahead.

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And so begins our journey from SF to LA, swapping the fastest route for the most scenic down the historic highway one. First stop, SF. We checked in in San Francisco’s historic Clift Hotel for a 48 whirlwind of touring, exploring and adventuring.

The Clift Hotel is centrally located near SF’s Union Square, blocks away from a number of popular shops on one side, and a growing art community on the other – it’s truly the best of both worlds. The lobby welcomed us with a towering thirty-five foot fireplace, casting a warm, mahogany glow on its rich redwood walls. Philippe Starck’s eclectic art deco design adorns the hotel lobby alongside statement vintage furniture pieces. Starck is also the design creative behind the hotel’s restaurant, the Velvet Room and storied bar, the Redwood Room.

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In fact, so we realized, the Redwood Room is quite the talk of the town – a historic watering hole for trendy SF locals. It’s rumored that the interior panels of the Redwood Room were sourced from a single redwood tree. It’s no wonder locals love the place – the bar invites patrons in with the same cozy mahogany glow from the walls, features signature cocktails and boasts outstanding service. A number of vertical televisions inside the bar exhibit a rotating display of contemporary digital art installations. Every time one caught my eye, it was displaying something new.

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Come morning, I found myself staring out the window of our 8th floor suite, soaking in the hazy SF light and lost in the city skyline. While we weren’t looking for a home away from home, the Clift Hotel was ours for a weekend – it was exactly what we needed it to be – the perfect palette to write, create, explore, and map out the rest of our long journey ahead.

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The Clift Hotel

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