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“Expensive, nice but beware naughty additional charges.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental San Francisco

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InterContinental San Francisco
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (SoMa)   |  
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Ranked #26 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
407 reviews 407 reviews
110 hotel reviews
Reviews in 169 cities Reviews in 169 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
“Expensive, nice but beware naughty additional charges.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

My wife and I arrived in San Francisco from London on Thursday evening and were given a room on the 27th Floor which was excellent. We have a view of the city and the bay and both the room and the bath room were clean and very well maintained. The hotel is not cheap with prices of $300 per night. However at that price you would expect certain things to be included such as Internet connection and access to phone lines with credit card or phone card being free. Not here at all the charge is almost $15 per day for the internet and any phone call local or via card is charged at $1-50c per call. In my view two very unnecessary charges when looking at the cost anyway. The Spa is great but the pool was closed with access to another pool in another hotel which is a bit of a bind.
So my advice to the ICH hotel is to stop charging for every single thing and include things which really should be FOC in this day and age. If not my advice to anyone is walk a couple of hundred yards to one of the many Strabucks, Mels diner, etc where the internet is free and by the way is quicker than that offered with charges by the hotel.

Room Tip: Anything above the 10th floor gives and excellent view over the city.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (410)
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English first
Oakland, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I went for my gift to myself over Thanksgiving. I wasn't interested in the turkey dinner (which was a bargain) so next year I'll come either just before, or after thanksgiving.

This hotel has the nicest service I've ever experienced anywhere. I truly was treated like royalty. The rooms are a gadget lovers' dream come true. But you must save your money for the gourmet level food. It is a bit expensive, but SO WORTH IT!

I am almost blind and needed help with the TV to find and watch a first-run movie. I figured I'd get the usual ...not enough staff..., but they sent up the technology person who spent over 20 minutes assisting me to find a movie!

This hotel is very gentile, quiet and soothing. Just perfect. this year I'm saving up for a 2-night trip.

Room Tip: Winter is their slow time, best rates when you order online and prepay, about a month before you pla...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

The Intercontinental is pretty new, and pushing the "top hotels" envelope south and west of the usual bubble. Still, it's only two blovks from the cable car turnaround and two more short blocks to Union Square. If you are doing business at Moscone West, it is next door.
My room was GREAT, a corner king bed room. The glass went floor- to- ceiling and the view was amazing. Nice linens, everything worked, top- notch, typical Interconti. Service was to the usual excellent Interconti standard.
Breakfast at the buffet was a little hit- or- miss. The fresh fruits were superb, juicy and sweet. There were two scrambled egg choices, one fluffy and the other runny - nice touch, but no other egg options.. The pastries were only average but the price of the breakfast promised top- shelf. There were three sausage choices but dry and not as tasty as they looked. The coffee was very good, the juice was just like the standard Tropicana.
In sum: lots of hotel choices in the area, this one has to come out high on anyone's list.
There is a Grappa bar which boasts quite a selection. The restaurant boasts a Michelin star - I did not eat there, but even on a weekend it would have been easy to get a table.

Room Tip: The corner rooms have an amazing view, worth paying more for.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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WA
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

My wife and I have just spent 10 nights at the Intercontinental Hotel, San Francisco (Howard Street). In hotel-speak, 10 nights is defined as, a long-term stay. So then, what can the long-term guest look forward to at this particular hotel?

Well, as the title of the review states- “it’s the little things that count.” So let me start with what some might consider the ‘littlest’, the in-room coffee machine.

This device is as rare and endangered in most American hotel rooms, as a Bengal tiger in Kerala India. Most American hoteliers think it’s far more sporting to make their guests, get dressed, scramble out of their room of a morning looking like death-warmed-up (with hair and breath too match). Go usually to the ground floor, collect two radioactively hot paper cups of coffee, jam a cream-cheese bagel in their mouth, and newspaper under their arm, and just hope to god that they don’t meet anyone in the elevator on the return journey.

Not so in this hotel. The hotel saves its guests the embarrassment of any potential “wardrobe malfunctions” on the return journey in the lift, by providing said machine in the room- bravo!

We had a corner room on the 28th floor which was just lovely! Far and above the standout feature of the room was the bay window. This provided us with our own private Cyclops with which we could observe, unnoticed- the ‘mortals’ below.

The room was matchlessly clean. The bathroom fresh and modern. The bed, firm and understanding. There was however one ‘interesting’ piece of furniture in the room.

Next to the bed, there was a straight-backed sitting chair with a large light that hung low over it. This had the effect that every time you sat down, your head was encircled by the light shade. So often you weren’t sure if you were in the salon awaiting an emergency weave repair, at the doctor’s office undergoing some minor laser treatment or just waiting for “Scotty” to beam you up. The chair, like San Francisco itself was a quirk of amusing mirth.

During our stay my wife and I had access to the club lounge located on the 6th floor. Overseen by Shehani, this space was a welcome and warming refuge at the end of a day on what was during our stay, the very cold streets of San Francisco. Every team member to a person connected with this part of you’re: “Intercontinental (Howard Street) Experience” was warm, friendly and a credit to the professionalism of the hotel.

During the time of our stay, San Francisco was invaded by our “good friends” from Wall Street, J.P. Morgan, who were hosting their annual conference. Choosing to pay the extra and stay in a club room is as much an exercise in economics as it is anything else. In short, is it “worth” paying the extra for the privilege? Yes it is! The food and service, coupled with the ambiance of the space were all divine.

At the end of your stay your bill is an amalgam of many contributing factors, staff wages, room overheads, state taxes et al. Among the most important components of any hotel bill is [in my opinion] the ability of a hotel to provide a quality concierge service.

My wife and I are happy to report that two of the finest, Bill and Will, man the desk at this hotel! With the surefootedness of Tibetan Sherpa’s, they guide guests expertly on where are the best places to eat and drink in the city. (And boy there are a lot of them!!). All delivered with a relaxed, laconic sense of humour- which wouldn’t go-a-miss, in any production of Oscar Wilde.

If there is a single department in a hotel, with the ability to make or break a holiday, then for me its concierge.

Good advice and you feel you’ve got what you paid for. Bad advice and you want to kill. Great advice (which all of theirs was) and you feel that you have really touched the city, as well as been touched by it.

Back to more “little things.” When we arrived there was a bottle of very good local sparkling wine in our room. On another night when we returned, there was a tray of handmade chocolates waiting for us. Another evening there was wine and cheese in the room and not forgetting “Mexican night,” when my wife and I received corn chips, dips, beer and tequila in the room.

More hotels could learn from this approach to guest appreciation (both for long and short stay guests!!)

My wife and I met the hotel CEO, Peter a couple of times during our stay. The role of a hotel CEO is to map out both the corporate direction as well as the hospitality experience of the place that each guest can expect to experience during their stay. Peter’s friendly affability and approachability imbues the entire place.

In the immortal words of a now somewhat discredited ex-Californian governor, on the strength of the above-

“We’ll be Back!!”

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I stayed at this property for a conference in November. The rooms were nicer than some I have stayed in in SF. There were plenty of places on the desk to charge phones, laptops etc. They had really long towels, which is nice, but the rack was behind the toilet, and they would rest on the toilet tank. I went to the gym a couple of times, it was better than most. What made it really good was the fact that they have headphones for use as well as a couple of bowls of fruit for a healthy alternative (It also had a nice selection of machines and dumbells), Their are more than a few restaurant choices nearby as well as a target. The meeting space was good, except that if you are having a big conference, it may not fit all on one floor, which means a lot of time on the elevator with a bunch of people.

Room Tip: My room did not have a bathtub. If you want one you should request.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fremont, California
Top Contributor
490 reviews 490 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 135 cities Reviews in 135 cities
191 helpful votes 191 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Great Spa here - look for Groupon deals. Stayed here once - very friendly staff & nice facility. Location in the heart of San Francisco is nice, close to many touristy & business things. Look for hotel specials as it can be very expensive.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

The Concierges of this Hotel are truly unique - so warm, welcoming and knowledgeable. Extremely comfortable and spacious room with wonderful bed. Toiletries in bathroom a little on the short side but adequate.

Good size of gym but the pool was freezing, as a result not used by any of the guests!

Room Tip: Join the Ambassador program then join the IC Club
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental San Francisco

Address: 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#12 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#15 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#19 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#21 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#26 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — InterContinental San Francisco 4.5*
Number of rooms: 550
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental San Francisco is the Bay Area s newest upscale hotel destination. The 32-story glass tower sparkles high above the city, standing sentry over the South of Market (SoMa) area. The smoke-free hotel is convenient to everything, including the Moscone Convention Center, Union Square, Chinatown and the Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Intercontinental

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