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“Disappointing stay - not suitable for lesiure travel”

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InterContinental San Francisco
Ranked #32 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing stay - not suitable for lesiure travel”
Reviewed 3 July 2012

My wife and I stayed in Intercon, SFO for 2 nights in early June 2012. It was quite a disappointing stay for the amount of money we paid for the hotel. There were no specific issues about the stay however we didn't feel any special.

Pros -
- Conveniently located close to all the major attractions
- Decent room as expected from Intercon

Cons -
- Feels too businesslike
- Receptionist and bell boys not the most friendly
- Doesn't have the special feel of staying in a star property

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sohit_P_Kapoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental San Francisco, responded to this review, 9 August 2012
Dear Sohit_P_Kapoor,

Thank you so much for your candid review of our hotel. I am pleased you liked the location and our rooms are decent. Please allow me to apologize for the inconvenience and negative impression you may have had. We highly value views, opinions and feedback from our guests, as this allows us to constantly improve the service we provide. We hope that you give us a chance to change your perception of our hotel.

Thank you again for your review.

Sincerely,

Karen G.
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2012

My boyfriend attended the recent Google I/O Conference in San Francisco June 27-29. Since I’d never been to San Francisco before, I was really excited to tag along with him. We chose the Intercontinental because it was literally next door to Moscone West, where the conference would be held, and because the hotel offered a special discounted rate for Google I/O attendees.

The Good:
This place is very upscale. The entire hotel, including the lobby and rooms are impeccably maintained. You will never have to worry about encountering unclean linens or towels, heating/cooling issues, unpleasant smells, etc. For the price you will pay for even a basic room, this is exactly as it should be. Your room will be made up daily, unless you request otherwise. At the touch of a button on the phone, you can access the concierge at any time of day or night, and I also understand there is 24 hour room service available, if that is important to you. There’s a fitness center, a day spa, a bar & restaurant, you name it. You can read about all the other amenities available on Intercontinental’s website.

As someone who is environmentally concerned, I also greatly appreciate the hotel’s LEED Gold certification.

The Not-So-Good:
This place has a very corporate vibe. The vast majority of people I observed coming and going from this hotel were dressed in formal business attire. As young people on vacation, dressed in casual attire, we initially felt out of place. It was actually quite humorous to see the culture clash when scores of other Googlers arrived in jeans, t-shirts and messy hair.

The hotel really caters to the corporate client in all aspects. It’s very upscale, as I mentioned, but also lacks personality or unique identity. The decor is slick and bland. The art on the walls looks like the kind of “art” that you can find at Bed, Bath and Beyond for less than $50.

The art is really the only cheap thing in your room. Drinking the bottled water in the hotel room will set you back $8. Yes, you read that right: eight dollars. You do technically have a refrigerator, but it’s filled to the gills with overpriced beer, soft drinks and miniature bottles of liquor. In the corner of the fridge is a laughably small area labeled “Your Personal Items Here.” It’s too small to accommodate even a takeout container! The average guest here doesn’t care that the water is eight dollars, or that everything else is ridiculously overpriced because they’re expensing it to their corporation who sent them here. That, or they’re just so rich that they can’t be bothered with such trivial expenses. For us plebeians, these expenses weren’t trivial, and so we made sure to leave the fridge and the water bottles untouched for the duration of our stay. I was pretty thirsty until about halfway through my stay, when I learned (through Google) that San Francisco’s tap water, piped all the way from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, is quite pristine and good to drink. For a self-proclaimed eco-friendly hotel, I wish they did more to inform guests that they do have an alternative to the expensive bottled water. Of course, that would cut down on their profits, wouldn’t it?

We chose the Intercontinental for its proximity to the Moscone Center, not knowing anything else in terms of its location. It turns out that this hotel is immediately adjacent to what I would consider to be a pretty sketchy area of San Francisco. It’s on Howard Street, between 4th and 5th streets. Sixth street is known as one of the roughest streets in San Francisco. Take a walk southwest on Market Street, and you will find things getting very bad very quickly. Northwest of the hotel is the Tenderloin, another less-than-savory neighborhood. This is fine if you’re not leaving the hotel much, or only by cab. Not so great if you’re a solo female traveler looking to explore the city by foot.

The Bad:
Here’s the thing that really took my experience down several notches. I stayed at the Intercontinental for a total of five days and nights. Not once, during all my comings and goings, did one staff member in the lobby utter a single word to me. Apparently the staff speaks thirteen languages, yet they can't even say "Hello" to me once? Not even a smile did I receive during my stay. I was in a strange city I’d never visited before, and I was completely alone during the three day conference. The smallest gesture of kindness, such as a smile or a “Good morning” would’ve been greatly appreciated. At first I thought perhaps that is just the way the staff were expected to behave. I then observed that when my boyfriend walked through the lobby with his conference pass on, they all said “Hello, Sir.” I also observed that greetings were reserved for the more expensive-looking females walking through the door. Most people would consider me to be a classy woman, both in appearance and in behavior. Yet instead of making me feel welcome, the hotel staff made me feel like a second-class citizen.

The only staff members who spoke to me during my entire stay were the housekeeping ladies. I would typically leave my room just as they were starting their work, and they were so kind and friendly towards me. Not to mention they did an impeccable job with my room.

We also experienced an issue with the bellhop on our departure from the hotel. It was very early in the morning and we required a cab to take us to the airport. He first tried to place us in one of the black town cars idling in front of the hotel. We declined, because during our time in San Francisco we learned that these cars will overcharge you by quite a lot, and will only take cash. He then reluctantly took us to a real cabbie waiting a bit further down the street. I'm not sure if this bellhop was receiving kickbacks from the town car drivers to give them priority over real cabs. Many unsuspecting travelers in San Francisco are swindled every day in this manner.

Bottom Line:
If you are traveling to San Francisco purely for business, and money isn’t really an issue, then this hotel will accommodate you very well, and in style. If you are taking a family vacation, you may find the location less than ideal, vibe overly pretentious, and the prices prohibitive. I would recommend looking into the many nice hotels located adjacent to Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf. Overall these seem to be safer areas, close to the historic cable car routes, as well as good shopping and dining.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LosDosPerezosos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2012 via mobile

Have stayed here a half dozen times and been impressed everytime. Bar & restaurant are fabulous. Rooms are spacious. The club lounge is worth it if available.

Hit Blue Bottle Cafe around the corner for an excellent cup of coffee.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bdubs9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noida, India
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed 2 July 2012

In December 2011, I stayed at this hotel. The location of the hotel was very good as it was at walk-able distance from Union Square and there were many eatries and restraunts near by. So, I faced no problems in my 1 week stay at the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kapoor24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taber, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2012

We stayed at the Intercontinental San Francisco for 4 nights in June. Check in was fast and efficient, mentioned we were there for our anniversary and they brought us a bottle of champagne. Rooms were very clean and comfortable. We had a good view from the 25th floor. This hotel is close to all tourist attractions. We walked everywhere, including Union Square, China Town, Fishermans wharf, Ferry building, AT&T park, Little Italy and even Lombard Street, though that was a bit of a hike! Felt very safe in the area of the hotel, there are restaraunts close by and shopping is right around the corner. I would definately recommend this hotel and would stay here again if the price was right.

Room Tip: higher rooms are quieter and have a good view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ron499112
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

Property: InterContinental San Francisco
Address: 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-3011
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#15 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#15 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#20 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#22 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#24 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price range (per night): $290 - $781
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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