Clift, San Francisco, USA


Clift perfectly captures the San Francisco””s diverse spirit as a fusion of old-world hotel elegance with distinctly contemporary energy and glamour.  Clift’s classic stone exterior opens onto a glowing purple entryway that prepares guests for the wonderland within.

Designed by Philippe Starck, the soaring lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California, with chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, a surreal stool by Renee Marguerite, and a sculpture custom made by William Sawaya.  The thrilling monumental scale and fantastical furnishings create a dream-like composition that is the cornerstone of Clift’s magic.  Life becomes theatre in this striking space, featuring beautifully crafted furniture custom-designed by Philippe Starck.


The beautifully crafted furniture in the rooms include a Starck-designed English sycamore custom sleigh bed and, inspired by artist Man Ray, a whimsical wood chair in the form of a wheelbarrow. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors create a soothing ‘infinity effect. The San Francisco outpost of Jeffrey Chodorow’s Asia de Cuba restaurant has been designed to complement the legendary glamour of the Redwood Room. The renowned and innovative Asian-Latin cuisine is served in an atmosphere of unabashed glamour: lush silk curtains, mahogany and leather banquettes, hand-blown Murano glass lamps, and a spectacular cross-shaped and illuminated communal dining table from Venetian mirror.



While you can get the general vibe of a place after spending a year, a month, or even just a week there, it takes many years to know a city like the back of your hand. Discovering all the shortcuts, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, traffic patterns, and secret vista points requires time. After spending more than 10 years in San Jose, I can safely say the city is part of me as much as I (and all its residents) am part of it. Here are 10 things I’ve learned after living in San Jose for a decade.

San Jose is More Populous Than it Feels

Busy San Jose day / Shutterstock

San Jose is the 10th most populated city in the entire country, but this fact sometimes surprises even the city’s natives. The city feels much less inhabited than it actually is. San Jose is a large city, allowing its residents to spread out. This also mean many streets are pretty empty, particularly during the early and late hours of the day, check out these rent relief grant program.

Many of Your Friends Will Be in Tech

As the “Capital of the Silicon Valley,” San Jose has its fair share of tech workers. Many of your friends will either work for startups, for one of the “Big Three” tech companies (Google, Apple, and Facebook), or for one of the many other Fortune 500 companies that reside in the Bay Area. It’s just a fact of life that people in San Jose refer to mundane things in tech terms; you may be asked if your project requires more bandwidth, or people will tell you that your idea is an “app-ortunity.”

Mexican Food Isn’t as Good Anywhere Else

Taqueria along San Jose’s First Street / Photo by David Sawyer / CC BY-SA

…except maybe in Mexico itself. And in San Diego or Los Angeles. But if you get used to the Mission burritos and carne asada nachos in the Bay Area and then travel to Chicago and order al pastor tacos, prepare to be very disappointed. Also, plan on eating a lot of Mexican food when guests come to town for a visit. After all, the Bay Area’s Mexican cuisine is the stuff of fairy tales, and your East Coast friends know it.

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