Whether you have business in San Francisco near the George Moscone Convention Center or you’re planning a trip to the city by the bay for vacation, the Intercontinental San Francisco is an ideal selection for the eco-conscious traveler. Located in the South of Market (Soma) neighborhood, this LEED certified hotel is as beautiful on the inside, as it is on the outside. You’ll see what I mean as you look up to the soaring 32-story hotel.
The luxury hotel recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation of its 556 guest rooms, 14 suites, dining areas, meeting and event spaces. It had been quite some time since I had visited the translucent blue beauty located on Howard Street. As a resident of the East Bay, my husband and I always jump at the opportunity to enjoy a staycation in San Francisco. There are so many dining opportunities in the city that it’s difficult to keep pace with the culinary food scene.
If you are into the bar scene, you’ll want to drop by Bar 888, located on the lobby level. This is one of San Francisco’s premier grappa and wine bars.
If you are in the know, you’ve heard of Luce Restaurant (pronounced Loo-chay) at the base of the Intercontinental hotel. We were excited to try Chef Daniel Corey’s 9-course spring tasting menu during our weekend overnight. Weekdays, the hotel and its restaurant are filled with business execs, but on weekends it’s more about the leisure traveler and the locals who frequent Luce.
Guests have the option to dine a la carte at Luce, but the tasting menu, with its farm-to-table philosophy, is the best example of how California’s local fish, poultry and produce shine. We enjoyed the blue prawns and king salmon confit, as well as the diver scallops with mussels and baby squid, but the duck breast was wildly delicious. In between courses we enjoyed a shot of carrot soda that was the essence of the best-tasting juice that I have ever encountered. If I could figure out how to make this simple, yet elegant drink, I’d be serving this baby on my food truck. Rest assured, your secret is safe Chef Daniel!
After dinner, we took the elevator to our corner room on the 28th floor. The room with a killer skyline view and comfortable king bed was delightful. I confess that I pushed the high-tech touch panel more than once to watch in amazement as the curtains opened up to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows.
While the San Francisco Bay was the focal point of our room, the Beautyrest Black mattress came in a close second. As a lodging editor, I’ve slept in a lot of hotel beds with poor-quality mattresses; this mattress was top-notch. Both my husband and I commented on the quality of our sleep the next morning. Speaking of the next morning, it was time to eat again.
Club Lounge at Intercontinental San Francisco
If you are loyal to the InterContinental hotel brand, you may have earned the honor of access to the club lounge on the 6th floor. If not, no worries, for $60 you can buy your way in. This perk is worth it for afternoon soup, evening hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails, late-night desserts and liquors, and a really good champagne breakfast in the morning. They call it a continental buffet, but there’s creamy scrambled eggs, copious amounts of bacon, smoked salmon, meats and cheeses, and fresh fruit, in addition to yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, and fresh pastries.
After dining to your heart’s delight, you’ll feel better if you walk from the club lounge to the fitness center or the indoor heated pool.
Standard room rates at Intercontinental San Francisco start at $189 while the corner king room rents for $250 to $400 per night. Parking is available for an additional charge. Make your reservation through the IHG website, or through a booking site like Expedia.
Hotel review and photography supplied by travel destination expert Nancy D. Brown. She received a complimentary stay for review purposes, however all opinions are her own.