San Francisco: Intercontinental Mark Hopkins & Top of the Mark

We once again tried our luck with Hotwire and landed a decent deal for the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins on Nob Hill.  Located on the corner of California and Mason, this hotel is literally at the top of a hill.

The central location really made it easy for us to get around to places and more importantly it was a 10 minute walk to some good eats in Chinatown.

But on the downside of this central location was dealing with having a car. The hotel offers Valet Parking only and charges a $57 per day (this doesn’t include the fees and taxes).

Overall our stay here way pleasant, but we did run into a couple of initial issues. Since there were 6 of us, I had made reservations for 2 rooms. And a week before our stay I had called to request for the rooms to be connecting if not, at least next to each other…that did not happen.

The kind man at the front desk explained that they are usually pretty good about reserving rooms next to each other when the reservations are under the same name. But in this case, Hotwire had book two rooms, one under my last name and the other under my last name plus the number 1 (for example Smith and Smith1). Not to mention they also somehow missed the note of my request a week ahead…

I guess I can’t blame them completely because we were checking in at 1 am…but still I wish they were a bit more observant of the requests noted. So we didn’t get rooms next to each other but we did get rooms on the same floor, relatively close to each other, and with a decent view!

Another issue was that they only had rooms with one bed…I did not specifically request two beds, but if I booked rooms for three people each, common sense tells me that it would be two beds for the room. Or at least one of the rooms would have two beds…

Oh well…a simple solution was to just ask for an extra roll-away bed. In the end it all worked out. And despite these mishaps, the staff from the front desk to the doorman was all incredibly nice about the situations. This honestly made me less upset and really made me enjoy the stay.

I really don’t intend to make this hotel sound bad, but one last complaint! There are a total of 19 floors at this hotel but only 3, maybe 2 and a half functioning elevators and no accessible stairway (it was for emergencies only). One elevator was always not working…

Waiting for elevators were always a pain. We stayed on the 9th floor and every time the elevator reach our floor, it was already full.

Our solution? Chose the up button rather than down. Although we made an extra trip up, it was quicker than waiting for an empty elevator going down.

We even returned on a Saturday evening to see a line for the elevators. There wasn’t really anyone directing the line, but apparently the hotels guests could bypass this line. Turns out the line was actually for people to get to the restaurant on the top floor, Top of the Mark.

Top of the Mark (Yelp)
999 California St
Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
San Francisco, CA 94108

Top of the Mark is a bar/restaurant offering some of the best 360 degree view of San Francisco. This area used to be where the penthouse rooms were but I guess they found it more lucrative to turn this into a bar/restaurant.

Sarah and BH made their way up on that Saturday night. On that particular day,  there was live music and require a cover fee, but it’s free for hotel guests. Make sure you check their schedule to see if there are any cover fees before visiting! Unfortunately the wait for a table was ridiculous so they opted to come back another day.

We all ended up going up to the restaurant on our last night there to take in the spectacular views and enjoy some cocktails. We got up there at around a little before 10pm and the kitchen was about to close. So we opted to just get some drinks and no food.

I don’t drink very often, so I can’t really say much about how the drinks tasted. I enjoyed my drink though! Cheers! This was great way to end our weekend trip up to San Francisco.

If you have a slightly higher budget, I would definitely recommend staying at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins (they even offer complimentary wifi if you are an IHC member). Otherwise, I think it would be worth it to go up to the Top of the Mark!

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