Having moved to the San Francisco Bay Area just a little over 6 months ago, we’ve taken our new location into consideration when making travel plans. I celebrated my birthday in southern California, took a road trip down to Big Sur, spent a girls weekend in Napa, and just recently went solo to Yosemite for a day trip.
When we aren’t exploring other areas of California, we love to spend our time in San Francisco. We only live about 30 minutes south of the city, but that never-ending Bay Area traffic turns us off from taking as many day trips as we wish.
So when we had a reason to stay in the city overnight (The Rock N Roll Half Marathon, my husband ran, not I – don’t let me fool you), we were overjoyed when the Intercontinental San Francisco invited us to stay with them.
We are a big believer in brand loyalty, and Intercontinentals keep us amazed all over the world. Between the two of us, we’ve stayed at a fair share of IHG properties, and after our stay here, will be continuing to do so in the future.
The Rooms at Intercontinental SF
Rooms are spacious and modern, with luxurious wood furniture and marble finishings in the bathroom. Each room comes appointed with a flat screen tv, iPod docking station (perfect for those in-room dance parties), robes, slippers, a coffee maker, safe, and mini fridge. The room was very clean and well appointed to.
The large working area, with full desk included, makes the Intercontinental a perfect retreat for both tourists and those traveling on business. My sister-in-law will be staying here next week with her company as they are going to a conference nearby.
If you’re lucky enough to score a room on a high floor, you’ll be awarded with unparalleled views of the San Francisco Bay and vibrant city. I bet all rooms have top-notch views though, since each one has floor to ceiling windows! Our bathroom even provided these great views, which we enjoyed while brushing our teeth and using the toilet! :p
Restaurants and Bars
At the Intercontinental SF, you’ll find Luce, an upscale American restaurant with global influences and 888, a cocktail and wine bar. We decided to dine at Luce (pronounced LOO-chay) immediately after check-in, and were placed at a cozy table in the sunlight. When the staff brought out our drinks, we were pleasantly surprised – what’s brunch without some wine and a few mimosas?!
After demolishing a Grilled Chicken BLT (with smoked bacon, avocado, tomato confit, and basil mayo – yum) and Smoked Salmon Benedict (with spinach, hollandaise and cucumber fennel), we barely had room for dessert. Don’t fret- this girl ALWAYS orders dessert, it would be a crime not to! The milk chocolate hazelnut brownie bites, with vanilla ice cream on the side, did not disappoint.
To say we left with full stomachs is an understatement.
With white linens, attentive wait staff, and delectable cuisine, it’s easy to see why the restaurant gets so much attention. The extensive wine list (with half bottles) was an impressive touch as well. It definitely deserves it’s Michelin star, awarded SIX years in a row!
I highly suggest you dine at Luce for any meal of the day despite staying at the hotel or not. And make sure you order a cocktail with grappa, it’s their speciality!
The hotel boasts a stunning, modern patio with tables and chaise lounges for easy relaxation. We were lucky to have picked such a beautiful sunny weekend to stay in the city, and used our time wisely to make sure we had time to properly enjoy this outdoor space.
I really appreciated the fact that the Club Lounge was located on the same floor – you’ll read below, but we were able to bring our small bites and drinks outside and have a mini picnic in the middle of the day.
The hotel is located in the heart of the SoMa district (South of Market), only a few blocks from Union Square and Metreon (a gorgeous modern mall). You’ll find everything you need within fingertips, from world-class shopping, sophisticated and fun restaurants (my favorites being Super Duper Burgers and La Boulange), and nightlife.
There’s even a movie theatre a few moments away, if you find yourself visiting the city during an infrequent rain storm. Any form of precipitation is rare in San Francisco (fingers crossed for this weekend- we desperately need it!), but its great to have a cinema nearby just in case.
With Yerba Buena Gardens, the Museum of Modern Art, Moscone Convention Center, Union Square and the Jewish Museum all within half a mile, you’re sure to find something to do within walking distance. Other San Francisco attractions (including Chinatown, the Ferry Building, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Golden Gate Park) are a few miles away.
If you’re itching to take a cable car ride (a quintessential SF activity), you’ll be thankful that there is a major stop just a two minute walk from the hotel at Powell Street. Can’t get much closer than that!
Although the Intercontinental is in the center of the action, the street seemed relatively quiet and we couldn’t hear any outside noise in our hotel room.
Any hotel that provides it’s guests with my all-time favorite magazine (AFAR) is a winner in my boat. How did they know to leave it in our room?! I enjoyed bringing some snacks onto the outdoor terrace and spending some time relaxing while flipping through the pages.
If you’re a member of the Ambasssador’s club, you’re in for a treat. Throughout each day, you’ll find carefully created culinary delights to munch on in a private club lounge. The hotel was gracious enough to include this in our stay, but in my opinion, it’s definitely worth the small price tag. Bonus – wi-fi, parking, and a room on a high-floor is included – a definite plus! Not to mention upgraded bath amenities, premium bathrobes, and early check-in and late check-out. 🙂
The staff were all very friendly and professional, and I exceptionally loved how a doorman greeted us each time we entered or exited the hotel.
The Intercontinental San Francisco has an indoor pool, jacuzzi spa, and gym. Next time we visit, I’m bringing a bathing suit for some pool-time, and booking a massage at the Spa. You probably won’t find me working out though- it’s there if you feel compelled to use it after too many cocktails at 888.
I’d gladly opt for another staycation at the Intercontinental San Francisco. I’m still dreaming about those brownies at Luce, the sweeping views of the city from our floor to ceiling windows, and the crisp white linens on the bed.
The staff went out of their way to make sure our stay was an enjoyable one – they even left a chocolate masterpiece in our room (which I reluctantly ate later in the day – it was too beautiful to ruin)!
If you choose the Intercontinental for your stay in the SF, make sure you order a mimosa at brunch, and spend some time relaxing on the outdoor terrace with a magazine in hand! Bring a bathing suit and go for a swim!
Location: 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, California 94103
Price Range: $$$
Disclaimer: The Intercontinental San Francisco provided us a spacious King Corner room, as well as a lovely scrumptious brunch at Luce, however, as always, all opinions are my own. I only recommend hotels that I’d keep going back to!