In 2001, the Morgans Hotel Group aimed to fill a void in San Francisco's hotel scene by opening a sleek and sexy contemporary luxury hotel designed by an international design star. The classic stone exterior of the CLIFT opens onto a glowing purple entryway that offers itself up as a transitional point between the drab streetscape of Geary and the wonderland that is the hotel's lobby. Designed by Philippe Starck and Ian Schrager, the lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California. Furniture nerds should take note of Michel Haillard's Horn Sofa, Crystal Farm's Elk Gentlemen's Chair, and Starck's very own Big Arm Chair, which guests need to climb onto because it's so large. Curious folks will also know that there's a face of a child sticking his tongue out underneath the chair's seat. Other lobby highlights include Ray and Charles Eames chairs sprinkled throughout and a thirty-five-foot fireplace with a bronze chimney by Gerard Garouste.
To contrast the dark hues of the lobby, the guest rooms and suites are dripping in lavender and neutral textures with a healthy contrast of dark wood. The hotel's premiere suite, the Private Apartment, is a 1,200 square foot corner suite on the 14th floor. It boasts parquet flooring, original wood paneled walls and fireplace, as well as custom Starck-designed furnishings.
[All photos by Patricia Chang]