My husband and I just returned from our second trip to San Francisco. On this trip, we booked the Intercontinental Hotel located at 888 Howard Street.
About a week before our arrival, I called to see if a couple of my requests could be accommodated. My first request was an early check in. I knew our flight was scheduled to land at 1:30 and since their check in time is 3:00, I was hoping they would let us check in about 2:00 – 2:30. I was told by the representative that this would not be a problem and she would note my reservation. My second reason for calling wasn’t exactly a request; it was more of a question. While in San Francisco, we were meeting up with a few friends and celebrating an anniversary. We wanted to ship their gift directly to the hotel and not have to worry about it on the plane. I was told exactly how to address the package and that it would be placed in my room when it arrived. I was extremely happy and had a great feeling about this trip.
On Saturday, our flight was pretty uneventful except for our flight having to circle the San Francisco airport for about 20 minutes waiting for clearance to land. We retrieved our bag and hopped in a taxi to be taken to our hotel. We arrived at the hotel approximately 2:30 and we were tired. We stood in line for about 5 minutes waiting to check in. We were then told our room was not ready, needless to say we were frustrated. I asked how much longer and was told it would be at least an hour (which is after the 3:00 check in time). To be fair, the woman did offer to downgrade us from the King Deluxe (which we booked) to a standard queen room (which was available right at the moment). No thank you. We booked the room we wanted, we weren’t about to accept a downgrade for a week just to get into our room. Perhaps if an upgrade was offered, we would have accepted and paid the difference. Since our early check in request was not honored, I confirmed that there was a note on our reservation that we were expecting a package, I was assured there was a note and the package would be delivered to our room. We asked if our bags could be held, we were starving and didn’t want to take our luggage with us. We were told to give the bags to the bellman, so we did and we left.
Fast forward a few hours. We arrived back at the hotel about 5:30, thoroughly exhausted by this point. We checked into our room without incident, handed over our luggage tag and were told our bags would be delivered to our room promptly. We got to our room (on the 25th floor) and we were very happy with everything, very clean and modern. About 5 minutes later, there was a knock at the door and it was the bellman there to deliver our luggage. Unfortunately, it was not our luggage. The guy argued with us for a second, but seriously, why would we refuse our bags? He left, and about 25 minutes went by and he finally came back with our bags. I was thankful to finally have everything and hoped that would be the end of the “incidents”.
Everything was going perfect with our stay. We were sleeping well, the hotel was quiet, and the staff always seemed pleasant. On Tuesday, our package was supposed to be delivered. My husband had met up with a few friends earlier in the morning for a bike ride, so I was in the room alone when I received a call from the concierge that a package was delivered. I asked if they would bring it up and was informed that I needed to go down to get it. Okay, fine. I went to the concierge desk and the woman gave me a little bit of a problem because the package was shipped in my husband’s name. I informed her that the hotel reservation was also under my husband’s name, but that mine was also listed under the room. She finally relinquished and asked me to “sign this sheet accepting the package”. I did so, but then realized I wasn’t signed only for the package, but also for an $11 package handling fee. I was outraged; we had never been informed of such a fee. When I asked her about it, she informed me that it was a standard fee. I informed her that I had called in advance of shipping the package and was never made aware of this fee. Had I been made aware, I never would have shipped it to the hotel. She didn’t really want to listen to me. I told her for $11, the least they could have done was bring it to the room for me. Honestly, I don’t know how they get away with charging this fee. UPS delivers the package; they call the guest, the guest then have to get the package. Wow, expensive $11 phone call. :-( When my husband returned, I informed him of the charge and he was as annoyed as I was. He went to the front desk and got it removed.
Other thoughts on the hotel and the area:
• I thought $14.95 internet charge was a little excessive, but we paid it.
• I was happy that they offered a place to check in for your flights and print boarding passes.
• “The Green Door”, which is a medical marijuana dispensary is across the street from the hotel. Often times the smell is pretty strong when walking by.
• “Buca di Beppo” a fresh, authentic Italian food served family style, for parties of two or two-hundred is also across the street from the hotel. This came in handy on nights we didn’t want to go too far away.
• There seemed to be a lot more homeless people around the SoMa area. Last year we stayed near Union Square and didn’t notice them as frequently. They seemed to be harmless, but still made me feel uncomfortable to be asked for money, especially when I was walking alone.
Overall, I was extremely happy with our stay and I would recommend the hotel to others.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.