The Redwood Room


The Redwood Room


Taking an in-depth look at a lounge filled with rich history and beautiful trees.




The original Redwood Room before the 2001 renovation. In 2001, they added the the digital art frames featuring the paintings of the famous artist Gustav Klimt.


I was strolling through downtown San Francisco one day, looking for a place to stop for a small appetizer and perhaps a cocktail or two. Being the indecisive person that I am, I decided to get on my phone and do a quick search to see what was around. As I searched for “Lounges”, hundreds of options appeared on my screen, but one caught my attention, The Redwood Room.


“The Redwood...room” I thought. I have a deep love and appreciation for the ancient Coastal giants, Sequoia sempervirens, and I began to wonder what this lounge had to do with them. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to go see what it was all about.




The beautiful glass bar designed by Phillippe Starck installed in 2001.


The Redwood Room is located within The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel. An absolutely beautiful hotel with a rich history. It opened in 1915 by Frederick C. Clift, being one of the first earthquake-proof and fireproof hotels in the San Francisco area.

In 1933, right after Prohibition had ended Clift opened the infamous Redwood Room lounge. The Redwood Room is comprised of many panels of wood that all came from a single 2,000-year-old Redwood tree from Northern California.  My predictions were correct. As I walked through the hallway that leads into the Redwood Room I felt an enormous rush of energy within my body. I stepped into the Redwood Room and I could feel the presence of this ancient tree vibrating through its walls.


I immediately wanted to know more about these beautiful panels and I was lucky enough to schedule an interview to speak with Jill Plemons, the Director of Sales and Marketing.


Jill explained to me that the Redwood Room underwent a restoration project in 2001. The redwood panels were covered up in tobacco tar from the times when one was able to smoke indoors. They diligently took the time to take out each one of its panels, labeled them with their corresponding location, and sent them to a woodworker in Montana to be restored back into their beautiful natural state. In addition to restoring the Redwood Room, the hotel owner did a collaboration with designer Philippe Starck to build a beautiful glass bar to complement the ancient Redwood walls. Not only did Philippe Starck design the glass bar but he was also involved in the design of the hotels new image.




Out of this world Charcuterie plate featuring their apiaries honey.


Today, The Clift Royal Hotel is working towards a more sustainable future. They have adopted different types of sustainable practices, one of them is housing bees on their roof! Their roof is home to 10 hives housing over 10,000 honeybees. Their bees produce hundreds of pounds of honey a year and it is used in various cocktails and dishes served at the lounge. I especially recommend their charcuterie board; their cured meats are magnificent, and you get to taste their homemade honey.

If you are ever downtown, looking for a place to grab a drink and have a passion for trees, stop by the Redwood Room and you will not be disappointed.


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