A San Francisco Classic Returns

Closed for multimillion dollar renovations on September 19th, 2019, and relaunched briefly in early 2020,  The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel has officially reopened for business in 2021 (as of May 20), wowing visitors and locals alike with renewed, light-filled public spaces, sumptuous yet modern rooms, and some exciting announcements on the food and beverage front.

Late July saw the grand opening of Fredericks, their exciting new restaurant concept with both sit-down and -counter service options, while on July 1st, the legendary Redwood Room reopened, retaining all of the Prohibition-era charm while adding stylish new furniture, floorings, and original  prints from Gustav Klimt that were found in the building during the remodel.

In addition, to celebrate masks coming off, The Clift has created the “Show Us Your Smile” package, designed to allow guest to shine their brightest.


All 374 rooms and suites have been renovated with a refined neutral palette of color and textures to promote a handcrafted look that augments the warmth and indulgent sophistication of the rooms. Guests will find high tech enhancements, such as STAYCAST™ powered by Google Chromecast. Select rooms also feature a Peloton for an in-room fitness experience. The bathroom areas have been enlarged and fitted out with all new plumbing fixtures and finishes, including period-specific black and white tiles found in many other historic buildings around San Francisco. 

The lobby and other public spaces have a noticeably brighter look, accentuating a palette of warm neutrals with light driftwood, rich charcoal greys and metallic bronze accents. New furniture complements the elegant, modern style of the lobby while cutouts at the upper level suffuse the space with light. To the left of the lobby is the new Living Room, with several seating options for working, having a drink, or just relaxing and people watching. The previous Velvet Room has been transformed into an event and meeting space, and all of The Clift’s meeting spaces have received additional natural light and cutting-edge technology, including multiple 98” UHD displays with integrated sound systems. 


Fredericks, an upscale yet laid-back onsite eatery serving creative cuisine for breakfast and lunch (and paying homage to Frederick C. Clift, the original owner of the property), will officially launch by the end of July. Chef Daniel Corey, formerly of Michelin Star LUCE at the InterContinental, will serve as Executive Chef of both Fredericks and the Redwood Room. The new restaurant has a beautiful black and white floor similar to what adorned the space in the 1920s, as well as neutral walls with exposed brick, also part of the earlier space. The floor itself was the inspiration for the rest of the decor, which features a classical look from the hotel’s original restaurant while echoing the chic feel of modern-day San Francisco.

Guests can grab food and drinks with selections designed to complement the offerings in the Redwood Room, including a high-end coffee program, gourmet pastries and snacks, elevated comfort food, and wine, beer and cocktails on tap. The restaurant has an area for quick to go orders with high seating, and smaller tables to sit and enjoy a quick bite or a cup of coffee. The remainder of the restaurant has a combination of booth, banquette and square table seating for guests who want to linger, enjoy their meal, and soak up the ambiance. A sampling of the breakfast menu reveals sweet pastries at breakfast such as a Kouign-Amann Baton and savory pastries like the Union Square with Sausage, Hash Brown, Egg and Cheese, as well as traditional egg dishes, waffles, pancakes and more. Gluten-free options are available. At lunch, patrons will find soups and salads including the Quinoa, Arugula and Pear salad with Dried Cranberry, Hazelnut and Pecorino, alongside sandwiches and more substantial fare such as a Half-Roasted Chicken with Marble Potatoes and Grilled Lemon. Fredericks is open seven days a week, with breakfast served from 7am to 10:30am and lunch from 11:15am to 2pm. 

The renowned Redwood Room reopened on July 1st, welcoming guests with a new sumptuous menu, handcrafted cocktails, and a revitalized look. The room retains its namesake redwood walls and glamorous lighting, only undergoing a change in furniture, flooring, and wall art. The new Art Deco-inspired furniture, a salute to the post-prohibition era when the lounge opened, is coolly neutral toned to let the original redwood millwork shine. The new bar is manufactured from an 800-year-old redwood tree found by a custom woodworker in Montana. Additional recessed lighting was added, and the mural behind the bar has been brightened up.

The original Gustav Klimt paintings [reproductions created by students of Klimt, under his direction] uncovered onsite during the hotel renovations — have also been painstakingly restored and re-hung.

Craveable menu items include Warm Orange Pull-Apart Buns with Honey Butter made with honey from The Clift’s own rooftop beehives, Waygu Beef “Double Double” Sliders with White Cheddar and Onion Jam on a Brioche Bun, and Oysters on the Half Shell with Passion Fruit Mignonette and Caviar.  New and notable cocktails include an updated Old Fashioned (“The Big Chair”) – a nod to the famed oversized chair that every visitor to The Clift has likely taken a photo with, and “The Mr. Clift”, the lounge’s take on a Manhattan. Redwood Room hours are 6pm to 12am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.