Let me give you some context for my stay at the Clift, I feel it’s an important part of the writing process to provide a context. After all, isn’t that what authors do, even those of reviews? Give you a lens with which to see a thing anew?
I was at the Clift for research. As a writer, which I have said I am, every gig counts theses days. Writing copy for the backs of dog food bags, for off-brand air freshener, “Morning mist of lilies bring nostalgia to air” (It was solely meant for Chinese restaurants in middle America. The owners of the brand felt clunky sentence structure leant the product authenticity. Finally! A legitimate use for the dangling modifier!) or for politico blogging. I leapt at the chance to travel to San Francisco to write for a line of artisanal, bespoke fortune cookies started up by a pair of waif-ish Brooklynites each sporting the same long stringy blonde hair, no relation.
The Clift proved to be an excellent base for my trip, ostensibly to research the plight of Chinese migrant rail workers, who the ladies thought originated “fortunes” but really it was perfect for me to work on my memoir.
The Clift has a lovely wood paneled bar downstairs called The Redwood Room. Cozy up with an old fashioned and try to reel in one of the attractive ladies. Perfect for a self important young writer to cast a line but lure no ladies in, at least that first night. The Clift stocks the best Malin + Geotz products and I made use of all of the shampoo for a mini-bar fueled marathon bubble bath. Thank you for the iPod dock stereo. It furthered my comfort, letting me indulge in my guilty pleasure, Sum 41. There’s something about the late 90’s that’s soothing to me.
The furniture is all beautifully designed by Philippe Starck. A sleigh bed whose potential for amorous leverage would not go to waste on this trip. A pure white arm chair nestled in the corner. A modernist Louis XIV bench and the aforementioned mini-bar combination TV stand. It’s a wonder that they got all of this in the room seeing as it must have been a grand total of 264 sq ft. Kudos to the ingenious designer who crammed all that tasteful furniture in as well as covering both walls with mirrors. Perfect for giving the illusion of space and also for a narcissist who can’t help but gaze into every reflective surface to fuss with his hair until its just so. They even included curtains for if you have body image issues or are afraid of the Candyman or something. Those curtains remained open for the duration of my stay.
I did get out to do some research and the ever attentive staff called me a cab. Eating at Mission Chinese counts as research. I spent most days either at the bar or tucked into my well apportioned room writing the story of a beleaguered adolescent coming of age in the Cleveland suburbs whose passion is ignited by a sandwich that has the fries in the sandwich. It’s really the only thing Cleveland has going for it other than the proliferation of 10 cent wing nights.
The sheets were white and comfortable to me. When I did finally entice a woman up, she informed me that they were “no less than 600 but no more than 800 thread count Egyptian cotton” as if there weren’t any other kind. I did not invite her back, though we had our one blissful night where I got to observe myself in action ad infinitum, thanks to those clever mirrors.
On waking we enjoyed the basket of pastries and coffee delivered by that attentive staff again. Both were very, very good but at $42 not worth picking up the phone for unless you are trying to avoid another conversation about linens. Yes, the towels are luxurious and the size of sheets. It was as if this woman was making her bridal registry off just one night at the Clift. That’s how good this hotel is.
I would recommend the Clift and I would return since the hotel inspired the sum total of my work: “Neon means you’re unique” The fortune cookie company is in Brooklyn after all.
Tell me it’s useful on TripAdvisor.