Intercontinental San Francisco – Dec 2011

I did a quick stay at the Intercontinental San Francisco last week, just before New Year’s Eve.

The hotel is relatively new and is located two blocks south of Market Street, in central San Francisco.

I arrived on the BART from SFO ($8.10 on way, and operates every 20 minutes). A short walk South from Powell Street lead to the hotel. The entrance is located on Howard Street and once through the front doors I was able to join the queue for Reception. It was abut 2pm and people were checking In and Out at the same time.

The Agent, who was manning the ‘Ambassador Check-in’ desk, greeted me and asked me for my ID. She then found the registration card and informed me that I had been upgraded to the Intercontinental Club. This was fine, except that I had reserved for the the Club already. She then replied ‘If you will let me finish, I have given you an Executive Room’. I am not sure whether I had really interrupted her, or whether she was trying to undertake a save. Anyway, I know that other Ambassador Guests have received Suite Upgrades but accepted that with New Year’s Eve around the corner there might not be any available.

I went up to the room, which I have to say was pretty nice.

a bedroom with a television and a bed

Executive Room

The room has two full height windows which offered spectacular views of the City Hall and South of Market Areas. The bathroom was large, with its own full height window, slightly oddly positioned next to the toilet! (There is a blind for privacy).

a bathroom with a sink and bathtub


a city at night with lights

Night time view

a cityscape with a sunset

Daytime View

At around 4pm I went down to the Club for ‘Afternoon Tea’.

My key did not work in the door and so I returned to Reception. The gentleman who helped me, again after a wait in line, refused to recode the key unless I produced ID. I explained that it was in my room, and he insisted that I be escorted by a Security Guard to my room, prove that it was my room and then show him (the Guard), my ID before I could have a new key. Talk about make me feel like a criminal.

The Club space is pretty small, although there is a very large outside area which would be nice on a warmer day. There was no food left out although the service should have continued for about another 90 minutes. Empty plates remained in the serving areas and there were no china cups, just paper. The staff were friendly enough, but the room was full of kids, some attended and some unattended who had clearly been parked by their parents. Food did appear after about another 30 minutes and was finished in about 10 minutes. There was free WiFi in the Club and the password is available from the very friendly staff.

I did not try to attend for hors d’oeuvre as I was concerned about seating space.

The bedroom was quiet, and the bed comfortable.

I did go for Breakfast the next morning and there was a real lack of space as it was too cold to sit outside. There were scrambled eggs and bacon as well as good selection of pastries, croissant, ham/cheese etc.

Everything was OK at check-out with the internet provided free as an Ambassador.

(Flyertalk Master Thread.) (Video Review from MilePoint)

Generally an OK stay, but didn’t find the staff very pleasant (except the Club staff). Would I stay again? No.




  1. I’m actually at the IC San Francisco right now. And I have to say I completely agree with assessment that the staff is a bit cold.

  2. I’d like to know what your impressions are of the neighborhood around the IC San Francisco? Did you happen to walk around Howard and 5th or 6th streets?

  3. @Ric – No I didn’t walk around too much. The areas were busy with people, and there were a lot of homeless begging in the area. I don’t recall being downtown in SF for several years and as I remember when South of Market was a lot less chic than it has become, I am afraid I am not best to comment. I did not feel worried about my own safety.

  4. Im a huge fan of this hotel they treat Ambassadors real well on revenue or award.Have always had free lounge access as a Royal Ambass which is not a part of my published program benefits!Free wifi too!
    Intercontiental Hotels have always had a more formal team typically however I would say there are some great team members at this property.Not ALL clearly!
    The GM is real nice guy and will speak directly with guests.It is one of the best 4 star properties in the city IMHO
    Their baking is lame inside the hotel unless they order in from a local bakery.I think the food isn’t much better however someone likes their gourmet fare just not I 🙂
    The food offerings in the lounge could be better especially at night

    Opening a guest room door after a guest locks themselves outof the room in every hotel I’ve been in requires a security guard escort if photo ID is not present.
    I think we can all understand this unless a team member knows you as a regular.
    my top 5 hotel list eveytime I come to SF
    location is fine to reach any part of the city.
    They had a house driver offering complimentary short distance rides.Don’t know if still being offered
    William the conceirge is outstanding there from the former Park Hyatt San Francisco now a Le Meridien
    Homeless are all over most major cities it is what it is!I keep on walking never had a problem
    777 global mile hound

  5. @777globalmilehound – In fact the escort to the room nonsense was not because I had locked myself out, but rather because they had not coded lounge access on to the key at check-in. It made me feel like a criminal for their incompetence.

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