InterContinental San Francisco Hotel Review

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When it comes to hotels in San Francisco’s downtown near the Moscone Center, InterContinental San Francisco can’t be beat. The South of Market (SoMa) location is ideal and it is pet-friendly. While the Intercontinental San Francisco is typically thought of as a hotel for the business traveler, my husband and I stayed here for a city staycation. With a Mediterranean climate year round, San Francisco is my favorite playground for upscale dining and drinking. This InterContinential San Francisco hotel review will focus on our room and their recent hotel renovations.

InterContinential hotels

I like the InterContinental hotel chain for their consistency and quality. We stayed at Intercontinental Prague when we were in the Czech Republic a few years ago and had a wonderful stay. Similar to San Francisco in service, the food was very good, too. As an eco conscious traveler, I appreciate that Intercontinential SF has attained Leed Ebom gold certification, one of the most popular green building certification programs recognized on a global basis. The Leed-Ebom level means that the property has earned a gold rating for maximizing operational efficiency, while minimizing environmental impacts.

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Leed certified hotel with San Francisco Bay views. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

The translucent blue 32 story tower is not only beautiful on the outside, its clean and green on the inside. The hotel also understands the importance of a good night’s sleep. We stayed in a corner junior king room #2806 with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay, downtown Soma (south of market neighborhood) on one side and views of City Hall and the stately McAllister Tower Apartments, formerly the William Taylor Hotel, on the other.

Our room featured a king bed with a wonderfully comfortable Beautyrest Black mattress. If you click on the video above, you’ll see the room’s curtains are remote controlled with the touch of a button to show off the glorious floor-to-ceiling windows. There are plenty of high tech amenities and, thankfully, numerous electrical outlets. There’s also a Zipcar partnership if you need a car to tool around the city – check the hotel website for details.

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Drop in for grappa from Jacopo Poli at the hotel lobby bar. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

InterContinental San Francisco dining

There’s no mistaking that San Francisco is one of the top food cities in the United States. We have approximately one restaurant for every 100 people and climbing. One of the best things about InterContinential San Francisco is Luce Restaurant. The one star Michel restaurant, with Chef Daniel Corey overseeing the kitchen, is a consistent winner in my book. We had the good fortune to dine at Luce (pronounced LOO-chay) and ordered the 9 course spring tasting menu.

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Poppy Seed Sponge with olive oli and blood orange from Luce Restaurant. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

The SoMa-based restaurant offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Business travelers attending conferences at the nearby Moscone Center come to eat and broker business deals, while San Francisco locals and visiting foodies know to make Luce a dining experience. It’s wise to make advance reservations when dining here.

Luce tasting course menu

Our spring tasting menu started with a lovely amuse bouche, followed by Pacific Blue Prawns roasted in brown butter and meyer lemon. The king salmon confit (wild caught from Washington State) had my fork cut through it like butter and it was very tasty. My husband loved the hand made ricotta ravioli with local mushroom and black truffle while I swooned over the diver scallops roasted in salted butter with mussels and local squid in lobster bouillon. I was so full that I could only manage one bite of the duck breast aged on the bone with roasted Fuji apple and parsnip puree. Of course I did manage to have a taste of the poppy seed sponge with olive oil and blood orange pictured above. If that’s not enough to satisfy your palate, the restaurant offers wines paired specifically for each course.

“The corner room offers a sophisticated urban experience with glass walls and soft curtains that open to the day with the push of a button,” said Pat Petersen of Los Angeles. “The Continential Club provides a fresh and delicious breakfast every morning. But best of all was the Spring Chef’s tasting menu at Luce Restaurant. Nine delectable courses that are certain to delight the senses.”

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Breakfast from the Club Lounge. Photo © Nancy D. Brown


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Need to know:

With 556 guest rooms and 14 suites, there are many price points to fit your budget.  The InterContinental Club Lounge is located on the 6th floor. If you don’t have club level status, you may purchase access to the club lounge for $60 daily.

Rates start at $189. The Specialty King corner view room starts at $250 per night. As always, check the website for current pricing.

The InterContinental is pet-friendly and charges a non-refundable one-time fee of $100 per stay. Pets are allowed in dog-friendly rooms.

On-site parking is available for $70.68 per standard vehicle with larger vehicles incurring an additional cost.

Check in: 3:00 p.m.

Check out: 12:00 p.m.

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The 32 story InterContinential San Francisco hotel. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tips:

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit if you want to use the indoor swimming pool or hot tub. There’s also a fitness center. The upper floors have incredible bay and city views. Take advantage of the complimentary concierge service for restaurant recommendations and where to eat cheap in San Francisco. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and Intercontinential San Francisco.

Also, make sure to check out tours through San Francisco Neon. You guessed it — this company organizes tours and events that showcase vintage neon signs that often Art Deco pieces in their own right or located on Deco buildings in San Francisco.

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Indoor swimming pool and hot tub photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:

InterContinental San Francisco  (415) 616-6500

888 Howard Street

San Francisco, California 94103

InterContinental San Francisco hotel review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. As is typical in the industry, I received a complimentary one night media stay, however, all opinions are my own.