InterContinental San Francisco

Address: 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, California, 94103, United States | 5 star hotel
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This 5 star hotel, located in the SoMa area of San Francisco, is near Metreon Sony Entertainment Center, Old United States Mint, South Park, and Kenneth Cole.
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    TravelPod Member ReviewsInterContinental San Francisco

    Reviewed by jennie_michael


    by (8 reviews) , United Kingdom Flag of United Kingdom

    Fantastic hotel!

    This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of

    Historical Traveler Reviews InterContinental San Francisco

    Great New Hotel by the Convention Center, but Staff Needs Some Help


    I recently spent the weekend here wth my wife and toddler in April 2008. I was impressed by the building and the lobby - very contemporary and spacious, but its obvious the staff is new because they are not as attentive as te top hotels in San Francsico.


    * Good location, right next to the Westfield Center, Market St and the Convention Center.

    * Contemprorary furnishings w/ plasma tvs, very comfortable bed

    * Well equipped gym/pool facilities


    * The bell staff needs some refinement. I was getting out of the car with my luggage and child - and no one offered to help! What kind of luxury hotel doesn't help with baggage?!? Only after we emptied the car and were walking through the front doors did the bellman ask, "do you need some help wtih your bags?" Unacceptable.

    * In addition when I called down to the front desk at 3pm in the afternoon, no one answered the phone. I let it ring for over 10 mins and finally relented and walked downstairs.

    The staff definitely need some better training.

    * The size of the rooms were relatively small for a newer luxury hotel in SF and were cookie cutter with no standout features except for the flat screen tv (but everyone has those now).

    Excellent hotel--but watch out for the upcharges!


    This is a brand-new hotel, opened 2/28/08, and, at the rate I paid, $160 a night, you won't find a better value (without Priceline) for a true 4* hotel. The rooms are very comfortable and quiet. I didn't even hear people in the hallways. The room size is fairly large for a big city center, although there is only room for one person to sit at the desk, so I think it would be difficult for more than one person at a time to enjoy room service. There are eight fast elevators.

    The gym is huge, with individual headsets for TV, apples, and free bottled water (a better option than the $8 they want to charge you for the bottle in your room). There's a long 3-laned lap pool with swim goggles provided. The pool is indoors, but there is an outside sunning deck for those rare days (such as today), when it's warm enough to work on your tan in SF. There's also a small whirlpool tub, and a spa (which I didn't examine).

    One unfortunate aspect of this hotel is that almost all rooms either have views of downtown or the bay, but not both, due to the alignment of the hotel. The odd-numbered rooms have downtown views and the even bay views (I would give an edge to the downtown views). The only room which would have views of both would be at the end, i.e. rooms ending in XX19. I would also note that the hotel has no 2nd or 13th floor, so you need to subtract 1 or 2 from your floor number to know what floor you're really on.

    As often happens in high-end hotels, they seem to make a lot of extra bucks on non-room-rate fees. Using the internet will cost you an extra $14/d. The parking charge is $50 a day, although since we stayed a Saturday night, we found street parking across the street for free, and there are a number of less expensive parking lots around. A simple room service breakfast will set you back over $30. A regular drink (cape cod) will cost $10 (plus tax and tip). The minibar charges are also astronomical (it's one of those which charges you if you so much as move an item).

    The location is excellent for the Moscone Center, MOMA, or the Metreon. It's two long blocks to BART and MUNI (Powell St. Station--which can also get you into the airport if you don't have too much luggage to lug around two blocks). Union Square or the Theater District are a 10-15 minute walk.

    So as of this time, this new hotel is a great deal for a modern, comfortable 4*. The caveats are that the views aren't as great as you'd think (we were on the 24th floor), and the extra charges can really get you if you're not careful. Oh, and there are no bathtubs in the regular rooms.

    Stay here!


    Note: Don't confuse the reviews with the other one (InterContinental Mark Hopkins).

    My husband is attending a conference at the Moscone Center near this hotel on Howard Street.

    This is a great location and so new that our taxi driver from the airport wasn't sure where it was.

    The rooms are very nice with plenty of electrical outlets and other amenities for the casual or business traveler. Very nice big shower with hand held and regular faucet and separate tub.

    We stayed on the 31st floor and had great views from our room of the city and the water.

    The beds are heavenly !

    Everyone at the hotel has been extremely kind and helpful, from the bellmen, front desk, concierge, bar and restaurant staff, club room staff, business center, spa, and the housekeeping staff.

    The only complaint I had so far was that I requested some womens sized slippers in our room...the housekeeper left me a note that they only have one size, and they are a mens sized slipper. (way too big for me!) But the spa robes in our room are very nice and the towels are big and fluffy.

    Very nice LG HD flat panel TV on wall in room.

    The exercise facilities are state of the art complete with cardio theatre hook ups, towels and water. (I had to ask them to adjust the A/C though because it was rather warm in there, but they were very accomodating.)

    There's a lap pool, jaccuzi, and a beautiful terrace with great views.

    This is one of the nicest luxury hotels we've stayed at in a long time and I would definitely stay here again. I think it is a well-priced luxury hotel.

    One more thing...The club level is worth the upgrade!

    Very nice...


    Stayed at the hotel with a friend in mid March for two days, Thursday through Saturday. I booked through the hotel website, before the hotel even opened, for less the 200 a night. The hotel is brand new and carries with it the definite need to please. When we arrived, there were three managers in business suits standing in the lobby greeting guests and offering assistance to anyone who may have needed some.

    Check in took 5 minutes. We had a very nice room on the 14th (really the 13th) floor; a bit small, but nicely decorated with earth tones. Wonderful bed and pillows, nice flat screen tv (with HD channels, no less), excellent bathroom products. My only complaint is the door to the bathroom slides open, instead of closes ... but that is a minor issue.

    We ate breakfast in the hotel rest and it was lovely; not cheap, mind you, but wonderful. We also went down one evening to the bar to sample some grappa and mingle with people, which was a great experience. They have the largest sampling of grappa on the west coast, so if you're a grappa person, this bar is for you.

    Also, for those people who like to work out while they travel, they have an excellent fitness center, with full cardio and strength machines; bottled water is provided with towels, and is convienently located near the pool and hotel spa.

    Overall, the hotel is spotless, professional and definitely close enough to the certain items (Union Square, MOMA, BART, Financial District, Bay Bridge) to cater to just about anyone. I would return and be happy doing so.

    Terrific Hotel


    My family stayed at the InterContinental last weekend and thought the hotel was fantastic. We had adjoining rooms on the 22nd floor with wonderful views. The staff was friendly and helpful. The bellmen were extremely attentive with the kids and suggested great places to eat.

    The hotel is immaculate and comfortable. The linens were high quality, the room had a terrific flat screen TV and the room had many amenities. The service was terrific and responsive.

    The hotel is located in a terrific area, near the Yerba Buena gardena, Moma and union square with lots of restaurants and shopping. We walked everywhere.

    I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to others.

    Wonderful Anniversary


    This is a wonderful hotel. The windows in the rooms give you a great view of the city. I feel that the hotel gives this area a modern feel. The staff is professional and nice. The room is a little small, but new and modern. There is a sitting area, which I love and a great walk in shower with his and her robes. There is also a bar in the hotel which is also wonderful. It was my tenth anniversary and they set the room up with a welcome letter, a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. I would definitely stay here again. Loved it!

    Meets Expectations


    Stayed at the Intercontinental last Saturday. I was hoping to be the first to review.

    The hotel is a high-rise building with a small footprint. This is nice because there is a just a short walk from the elevator to each room. We paid a little extra to stay on a higher floor. Great views on the 24th floor.

    The room was nice, but not particularly large. Reminded me of the decorating style of the W Chain, very modern. The bed was wonderful. The hotel has showers only (no tub). They have great LG flat screen TVs.

    We got a great rate including parking, which made this hotel a reasonable choice. If I had to pay "market rate", I'd probably pick a different hotel. No real problems, but you are sacrificing location. The area surrounding this hotel is not problematic, but is rather dull.

    Like so many "upper-end" hotels, I can't stand being nickled and dimed for internet acces. Why not just build it into the room price. This location charged around $15.00. Too much in my opinion. The room has a mini-bar, and a very tiny space saved for your "personal items". About enough room for a bottle or two of water.

    We weren't there long enough to test the staff's capabilites. Nice bellmen and valet drivers. They did "lose track" of my free parking (despite three phone calls ahead of time to confirm but I had my paper work to prove it.

    I took pictures and will hope to upload them soon, if I can figure it out.

    Nice, but not quite world class


    We stayed at the brand new Intercontinental for an "intown getaway" to celebrate a birthday. The place was very nice but for a hotel in its price range (we paid a rate of about $200, but that was clearly headed upward) it still had some issues.

    We were attracted in part by the view--the Intercontinental is a 30+ story highrise at the edge of Downtown San Francisco, so views can pretty good. It's adjacent to Moscone Center and just two blocks south of Market St., BART, and the retail core of Downtown San Francisco--a good location.

    We deliberately paid for a room on the 12th-24th floor, so it was discouraging that they first tried to give us a 7th floor room (we had a AAA rate, which bumped us up a floor level, though the reservation didn't say that). After I pointed this out they gave us a room on the 19th floor, facing south, away from downtown but with less obstructed views. There were plenty of fast elevators.

    Not much to complain about in terms of comfort, except perhaps overly mushy pillows. It was new and clean, but not particularly exciting by way of decor. The room was dark at night, except for the indicator lights of all the lamps and things! Ironically, the one thing that didn't glow at night was the time display on the radio/Ipod dock. The bathroom had a frosted sliding glass door, OK. except you had to be sure to shut it all the way or you might wind up watching your partner on the toilet. We seemed to hear noises from other rooms rather loudly, and the cleaners showed up at 9:15 a.m. on our one night reservation.

    Nice that they gave you a newspaper (The Chronicle) in a recyclable cloth bag, nice that they said they'd recycle bottles and such from the room. I would have preferred a recyling bin, though that might not have fit with their sometimes overly clean lines (e.g. the coffee maker was stowed in the bottom drawer).

    The long, narrow pool looked good for lap swimming, though we didn't get to use it or the hot tub.

    Buying anything at the hotel would have been absurd, although a few minibar items were pitched lower. Breakfast, I was told was $25 (parking was $50, we managed to find an on-street space, though we'd been prepared to come by BART). I got coffee from a nearby shop, of which there were several.

    The Intercontinental was nice, but I suspect there will be better choices in this price range.

    Great stay


    The hotel is spoted close to union square and all the shops around. The service is excellent,though the guys at the reception are still learning the work. Everybody was helpful and kind(even when you felt sometimes that this is the way they are told to be). There is no service you might need and can not be satysfied. This hotel has got everything. Nice gym, a spa and massage service, a small but quite long pool with a jacuzi by it's side, a business center, wi-fi internet(though I think it is quite expensive), a breakfast with a good variety and quality of foods etc.

    The room was very comfortable with a huge TV screen, fantastic beds and a nice bathroom. I must not forget to mention the nice view we had. It us a typical hotel which is mostly reccomended for businessmen and not for honeymoon

    Still working on the details


    I stayed in this hotel for one evening on March 4. The hotel had just opened the week before. Upon check in I was told I was upgraded to a club level room. I was travelling on corporate business and knew the room rate reflected the "club rate" so this was not a surprise to me. I asked for clarification if the hotel had upgraded me or the company and was told it was the company. I was given my room key and told the spa was on the 6th floor. That was it. From internet information I knew the club rooms are the top two floors of the hotel and include access to the executive lounge. We settled into our room and found no information clarifying what was included in our rate. I called the front desk and was told that someone would get back to me in 10-15 minutes. 45 minutes later I called down again and was told all my rate included was a room on the top floors and upgraded immenities. She apologized for the confusion and as a consolation said she would honor my request for a late check out the next day at 1:30. I was informed the staff was either new or brought in from other properties to help - this was their excuse? We're talking about basics here.

    The hotel itself was fine. Nothing all that spectacular or what you would expect from a hotel in this category. The views from the room were beautiful - but I would assume they would have been just as nice from the 25th floor as they were from the 32nd floor. Not worth the upcharge. Rooms are all brand new so nothing was broken or in need of changing. The air was very dry and a humidifier would have been needed should we have stayed a second night - it was that bad - and I do not have allergies. The upgraded bath items had a horrible scent to them and I would never look for them for personal use. The towels and robes were soft and fluffy. There was a constant fan on in the shower that got a bit annoying. In order to turn on the shower you have to step in and avoid getting wet from the shower head. There are two shower heads to choose from but you can't use both at once. The door to the bathroom is a large sliding frosted glass door. It's an interesting touch but it bangs loudly when you close it unless you move it very slowly. The bed was wonderful. Not too hard and not too soft. The pillows were great too. There was a comfortable chair and ottoman in the room and the desk chair provided great back support.

    All in all - an average room for typical San Francisco rates. Very convenient to Moscone. Doormen were extremely friendly and helpful.

    TripAdvisor Reviews InterContinental San Francisco

    4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

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