Located at 999 California St., the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is one of the two ‘Grande Dames’ properties along with its neighbor the San Francisco Fairmont. Perched on what some locals nicknamed “Nob Hill” the hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America. If you want a quiet, classy hotel, family-friendly property close to the Grace Cathedral, Union Square, and the uber-touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins is for you. We recently stayed here, and found the beauty and elegance of this hotel, to be in a class of its own.
Works for Families
When it comes to this property is it is all about the service.
The staff at the Intercontentinal Mark Hopkins Hotel is exceptionally willing to go the extra mile and help you. We loved it because of its location; you get a great view of the waterfront, the Bay, or Downtown San Francisco. Guests can also see the Financial District from every room too.
Doesn’t Work for Families
There’s no way to fit a fifth family member in a standard room, so traveling with more than four requires booking two rooms, and there are only a few options for adjoining rooms.
What is free
Make sure to sign up for the IHG loyalty program. For example, you can become platinum if you sign up for their credit card. Some of the benefits are free water or Free WIFI. Otherwise, there is a $14.95 daily fee for Wi-Fi.
Special Requests We Asked For
I called the hotel ahead of time and asked for a feather free bedding because of my severe allergies. Furthermore, knowing that San Francisco is a noisy city, I requested a quiet room. The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel staff was more than helpful and accommodated all my needs.
Arriving from SFO guests are treated to the steepest drive up Taylor street.
By the time you turn right onto California Street, you feel you’ve gone on a wild theme park thrill ride. Expect a heart-stopping experience. We arrived on a windy afternoon after a seven-hour drive from Los Angeles and had a faultless check-in process. From the bellman to the front desk, the staff was helpful and made me feel comfortable.
When you enter the Intercontentinal Mark Hopkins Hotel, you will walk up the red-carpeted stairs.
All while viewing the beautiful brass ornate façade as you enter the hotel. There is even an old-fashioned revolving door.
Next, you will see the view of magnificent crystal chandeliers and elegant velvet armchairs that are spread across the large lobby. Finishing this beautiful entrance are many comfortable sofas in neutral colors, beautiful Aubusson rugs, parquet and marble floors and flowering orchids.
All of this beauty just screams elegance.
Check out the Ballrooms
During your stay, if you have time make sure to take a look at their ornate banquet rooms. If you are short on time, at least make sure to see the “Room of the Dons.” Here you will see the famous Gold Leaf paintings on the wall. You will also see nine seven-foot-high panels painted by the Artist Maynard Dixon and Frank von Sloun.
Here you will be able to people watch fellow travelers from all aspects of life. There is business folk, to families to solo individuals seeking some San Francisco elegance and tranquility.
Our room was on the 12th floor, in room 1234. Upon entering, there was a small foyer area that led to the bathroom. I was quite impressed that this standard room was so spacious, considering it was located in a big city like San Francisco.
The room had soft gold walls, highlighted by white wood accents with gold and black carpeting. There was also a good-sized closet that had an ironing board and small safe. I love the fact that the closet has a motion sensor, so every time you open the door, the light automatically turns on.
The light cherry headboards of the two-queen sized bed were separated by a large nightstand that was large enough for two standing lamps, the phone and a music device on top. Across from the beds, the rooms had a standing cabinet with a coffee center.
They also provide an adequate sized dresser and mini-bar. The 50-inch television was also a nice touch. A desk, chair, and desk lamp are also in the room.I would also love to mention that I loved the plush, comfortable robes, and slippers too.
The bathroom décor did not disappoint either.
From the gold tones, light tan, and black the bathroom décor echoed the rooms elegance. One great safety feature that impressed me was they provided two large bars around the commode for safety.
Across from the commode was a sink with a black granite counter top. On top of the countertop, we saw the hotel’s amenity kit as well as a magnifying mirror. Fluffy towels, lemon-scented soaps and hair care products were displayed nicely for a perfect touch. I forgot to mention; they also supplied a shower cap, bath mat, and toothbrushes too.
Located on the first floor, there is a large hall that houses both the restaurant and the executive club lounge. While this area had a classic contemporary feel, the wood paneling, sculptures, and large chandeliers still felt elegant.
The restaurant is open throughout the day offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options on most weekdays. Both the breakfast options are buffet styles and range between $28-$324 per person. The spread is impressive with cereals, cold cuts, cheeses, cut up fruits. They do offer sausages, bacon, frittatas, pizzas and scrambled eggs depending on the day. There is also an Asian corner with several choices like dumplings, sticky buns rice, and steamed vegetables. For dessert lovers, the buffet offers a plethora of pastries and baked goods. There were smoothies, juices, and specialty coffees too.
Those with executive lounge privileges can get the full breakfast for free.Also, the club offers snacks like trail mix, potato chips, cookies and chocolate during the day. There are also multiple beverage choices ranging from coffees, teas to sodas and waters.
In the evening, the lounge offers its guests appetizers and small hors d’oeuvres along with alcoholic drinks like hard liquor, beer, and wine.We found the lounge relaxing and a great place to catch up on work. In fact, guests can even hang out there after check-out which is great if you have a late-in-the-day flight.
Top of the Mark
The Top of the Mark is the hotel’s signature cocktail lounge. In fact, it used to be a penthouse suite that was converted back in 1939 to create the bar. Legend has it the lounge served as a spot for lovers to say their goodbyes before deployment During World War II. We enjoyed incredible sunset views over their famous martinis on our first day there.
All the great hotels provide little luxurious touches, and the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins is no different. There are little touches that make this hotel great. We found a bowl of fresh fruit, two bottles of water (still and sparkling) and a box of chocolates with a handwritten welcome card from the GM in our room. The hotel has a free town car service – a mile range which is a great help for those who don’t want to brave climbing or descending Nob Hill.
Depending on the time of year you can stay in a standard room from $260 and up. Parking at $58 per night is a bit pricey, but that’s the going rate for most San Francisco properties.
As I mentioned before the service at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins was nothing short of superb, from the doorman to the front desk and housekeeping, they all greeted us warmly, and we felt incredibly welcomed everywhere. A special Thank you to David, the manager of the club lounge who was gracious to show us the banquet halls.
Autism travel tips
- Call ahead if you have any specific requests. The staff is more than willing to help, with everything they can.
- The hotel supplies anti-slip bath mats, so you needn’t bring one. I found this especially great, as I had forgotten ours.
- For noise sensitive travelers, ask for a high room away from California street since the property has single pane windows.
- If you wish to brave climbing up and down Nob Hill instead of using the cable car or cab pack a good pair of walking shoes that grip the pavement well.
All in all, my stay at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel was just what I needed to help me relax.
Have you stayed at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel? If so, what was your favorite part? If not, when do you plan on staying here?