South of Market Street in San Francisco is now the trendy part of town. This is due in large part to the influx of start-up high tech firms that have located here, that and a lot of money put into the Moscone Convention Center and its immediate surroundings. Don’t forget the world’s best professional baseball team just blocks away. The Intercontinental San Francisco is right in the middle of all this and by far the most elegant hotel in the area.
The Property and Weather
Mark Twain would be very upset. On our recent stay in San Francisco, it was very warm: upper 70s in late February. In my life I can never remember it being that warm at this time of year up here. Usually I tell people to avoid Northern Cal in February, but it seems that a new weather pattern is immerging.
The InterContinental San Francisco is one of the newest hotel properties in the city. This is an ultra-modern facility rising 32 stories above the SoMa district. During our stay we noticed a mix of business people and international travelers all enjoying their stay.
The rooms are perfectly laid out with all the modern essentials to make the business or leisure visitor comfortable. LCD flat screen TVs along with Internet work stations come with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the San Francisco skyline. Luxurious wood and marble complete the interiors. The hotel has 14 top-of-the-line suites ideal for business entertaining or family gatherings, with views to die for. The 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite actually is set on two floors and includes outdoor terraces.
Those in search of even more pampering should look into the Club Intercontinental service. This includes access to the private sixth-floor facility offering several daily servings with city vistas. The food was excellent each morning with many choices such as fresh berries, granola, various pastries, bagels, fresh squeezed juice, and whatever kind of coffee you desire. The evening serving was equally impressive. Light eaters will find these offerings all they need especially if they are in a hurry.
Dinner Is Served
The hotel’s signature restaurant is Luce, which is located in the lobby along with Bar 888. Luce combines contemporary American fare with influences from around the world. It utilizes the finest farms in the Bay Area to develop the cuisine. Both Luce and Bar 888 feature contemporary designs popular with all ages.
Baseball and More
AT&T Park, home to the world champion San Francisco Giants baseball team, is within walking distance of the InterContinental San Francisco. This park has been very good to the Giants, who’ve won multiple World Series Championships since its opening. Moving the baseball team from Candlestick Park to Downtown San Francisco was a stroke of genius, and all have benefitted.
The SoMa district is home to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Old Mint. The latter was opened in the famous Gold Rush of the 1800s to convert gold into coins. By the 1930s one third of the nation’s gold reserves were stored here. “The Granite Lady,” as it was known, was one of the few buildings to survive the great earthquake and fire of 1906.
The shopping at Union Square is only a couple of blocks to the west. This section of San Francisco offers perhaps the best shopping options in the entire West with everything you could ever want within a couple of blocks. Business travelers will find the financial district also within walking distance of the Intercontinental.
The ferry terminals are just past the financial district and offer rides to Sausalito, Larkspur, and Angel Island. Harbor cruises are available with lunch or dinner options. While it is walkable for the hearty, most will probably use a cab to and from. The train station is just a few blocks to the east with hourly service down the Peninsula and many stops in the Silicon Valley.
Bring some comfortable walking shoes as you will most likely make some breathtaking treks in the City by the Bay. Next time you venture north check out InterContinentalSanFrancisco.com.