The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel undergoes renovation

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., is undergoing Gensler-designed renovations slated for completion on January 8, 2020.

When the project is completed, the property will have a new lobby and Library Lounge experience, updated guestrooms, a new restaurant concept with both sit down and “grab-and-go” options, updated meeting spaces, and a refreshed Redwood Room. 

The reimagined lobby will have a noticeably brighter look, accentuating a palette of neutrals with light driftwood, charcoal greys and metallic bronze accents. New furniture will complement the modern style while cutouts at the upper level will suffuse the space with light. The fireplace will remain in the same location while exhibiting a completely different look and feel. 

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To the left of the lobby will be the new Library Lounge with several seating options.

All 372 guestrooms and suites will be updated to a neutral palette of color and textures to promote a handcrafted look. The bathroom areas will be enlarged and updated with new plumbing fixtures and finishes.

Art in the guestrooms and corridors will be inspired by the Pan American Pacific International Exposition of 1915, honoring the fact that The Clift was built specifically to cater to attendants of the Expo. The guestrooms will display images of lifestyle icons of the early 1900s in a modern presentation.

There will be a new restaurant where guests can grab food or drink with selections designed to complement the offerings in Redwood Room. The new restaurant will have the 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 will feature a classical look from the hotel’s original restaurant while echoing the feel of modern-day San Francisco. The restaurant will have an area for to-go orders, with high seating and smaller tables to sit and have a cup of coffee. The restaurant will similarly have a booth and banquette and square table seating.

Meeting spaces will receive modern touches and additional natural light. The previous restaurant on the first level will be transformed into an event space. New lighting will be added, along with A/V equipment. The redwood paneling will remain and the drapery will be removed to expose new walls in a light neutral color. Blackout shades will be added to provide the correct light levels for screen presentations. The meeting rooms on the Mezzanine Level will remain the same size but will receive new lighting and ceilings. Cut-outs to the lobby below will help engage the space with the rest of the hotel and provide even more light. The boardroom will have a large conference table that can seat 26. Meeting organizers have the option of dimming the room with motorized shades hidden in the ceiling when not taking advantage of the natural light. The pre-function areas will have finishes similar to the lobby, forming a bridge between the two spaces.

Redwood Room will retain its namesake redwood walls and lighting, only undergoing a change in furniture and flooring. The new Art Deco-inspired furniture, a salute to the post-prohibition era when the lounge opened, will be neutral toned. Additional recessed lighting will be added above the existing bar to highlight the original wood marquetry.

Photo credit: The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel