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“Paled in comparison”

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InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
Ranked #64 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Paled in comparison”
Reviewed 8 August 2009

We were in San Francisco for a conference, and stayed on for several days. The conference was at the Fairmont, but it was oversold for the last night of our stay, so we booked the last night at the Mark Hopkins across the street. I was excited to stay in this hotel, as it also is one of the grand hotels on Nob Hill. The location is wonderful, but after 4 nights at the Fairmont, the Mark Hopkins was a disappointment.

When we checked in, our room was not ready which was not a surprise as it was noon, so we checked our luggage and went out for lunch/sightseeing. When we returned, we were shown to an upgraded luxury terrace suite on the 15th floor. It had a sitting room, bedroom, lovely bath and glassed in terrace with fantastic views. But upon further inspection, the rooms were poorly laid out. The bedroom bureau was small and narrow and had a TV on top, so there was no surface to put anything on. There was no desk, only cocktail tables and lamp tables. Both TVs were old style, not even flat screen, let alone HD like the Fairmont. When I had booked the room, I specified extra feather pillows, and when we checked in, I requested them again. I finally had to call again at 1:30 am, because they were weren't there, and because the bed was so hard and uncomfortable, I could not sleep without the extra pillows. The marble and granite bath was lovely with a separate shower and whirlpool tub which we did both use. However, the bath was equipped with water savers on the shower and sink, which caused lack of water pressure and volume and made showering unpleasant.

The hotel seems somewhat understaffed, and although the prices were identical with the Fairmont, (room price, breakfast buffet, drink prices) there was a huge difference between the two, and the Mark Hopkins paled in comparison.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WindyCityRealtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (596)
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Edinburgh
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

It's a typical modern business centric hotel. No better and no worse than any other large chain. I've stayed twice with my family and was upgraded on one occasion. To be honest the upgraded room was slightly bigger with a better view but no major difference apart from that. It really is at the top of one of the hills and therefore the climb up can be pretty steep. It's next to a couple of tram lines so you can mitigate that easily enough.

Had a few drinks at the bar at the top of the hotel and the views of SF were fantastic, worth a trip even if you are not staying there.

Fairly expensive though, I'd look for somewhere cheaper in the future.

BTW - As usual in these types of big hotel internet connectivity was extra which I find absurd as most small hotels give it away free.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Liathach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mission Viejo, California
Level Contributor
291 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2009

My boyfriend surprised me with a weekend in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins. The hotel service was excellent at check-in and concierge able to get reservations at preferred restaurants. The room was beautiful although would recommend you be specific about view.

We had room service breakfast both mornings and service was fast and food excellent.

The famous Top of the Mark bar was a bit of a disappointment. The first night we went up for drinks, wound up at the bar and had a wonderful time meeting others from out of town and took in the view. The second night we came back from the theatre, dressed to the nines, and hoping to dance. We found ourselves greeted in a not so friendly fashion. by the hostess. Once the hostess did find us a table (there were plenty so not sure why the big fuss when I went past her to see if there were seats at the bar), we were surprised to see so many inside in entirely too casual attire for a nightclub (e.g., shorts, flip flops). Took a little bit of the lustre off for me.

Overall, hotel was good. Great location if you want LOTS of exercise walking up and down Nob Hill, and if not, cable cars very close by.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelernottourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
}���S��
Level Contributor
56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2009

Booked this hotel as it was reputed to have the best bar in San Francisco "Top of the Mark" on the 19th floor. Whilst the view is great from the bar, we had to queue as a resident to get in! The bar service was extremely poor and took over 20 minutes to get a drink. Outside, the entrance to the hotel is small and can only cope with the arrival of a few cars. Our room, a Junior Suite, was as expected but nothing special. Our mini bar was not refilled and had to ring room service. Sunday breakfast - we had to wait for 20 minutes to get a table followed by slow service (Breakfast is near the foyer on a Sunday as they prepare the Top of the Mark for brunch and there are just not enough tables). On the plus side, business centre is very good, the bell staff very attentive. Having visited several Intercontinental hotels all over the world, this is the first one where we were disappointed. We will not be going back to the Mark Hopkins.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TomandAnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2009

I was somewhat concerned about booking here after reading so many bad reviews. We had a fabulous room with a view, $165 a night coupled with their free decadent breakfasts every morning. The staff were exceptionally nice and it was a terrific value for a luxury "grand old dame" hotel. Couldn't have had a nicer stay. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank damadelacasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2009

This was my first trip to San Francisco, after 1 afternoon spent a few years ago. I got a really good deal through IC hotels website. I was meeting some family for the weekend, who live in the South. I was really concerned how they would do in the "big city". Traveling from the Bart stop to the hotel was a little sketchy; my mom was stopped by the homeless people standing around trying to "guide you" for a fee, and some random guy tried to pick up my sister. So lesson there-try not to look like a tourist, which is exactly how my family looked. The Mark Hopkins really is quite a hike up the hill, but I loved it. It is a good workout! When you reach the top, however, you will see the most beautiful views of the city - fog in the morning, and a rainbow even one of the nights. Check-in was easy, we had a nice room on the 8th floor with the nicest hotel bathroom I've seen yet. Everyone at the hotel was pleasant, including the Concierge. They gave me maps and directions for my specific requests. Walking was easy, we never used any public transportation with the exception of the Bart on the way to the hotel. Walked from the hotel to the Farmers Market (highly recommend!) to Fisherman's Wharf and back up Hyde to California to get back to the hotel. Definitely hilly, but come on, you've been warned by someone if you come to San Francisco, and you have to appreciate it! One funny note - I went out to the hallway late Saturday night to take a phone call, and you can hear everything happening on the elevators. It spooked me a bit! I would recommend staying here if you find a good price and like to exercise. It is so worth it for the city views.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Groupeventplanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2009

We arrived an hour early for check-in from the airport, and were informed that we had been upgraded to a corner suite, but that it would not be ready for a couple of hours. That seemed to be a reasonable trade-off, so they stored our luggage while we browsed Nob Hill and grabbed a late lunch at a recommended nearby cafe. When we returned, the suite was ready and definitely worth the extra wait. The suite was a 10th floor, one-bedroom with corner views of the financial district and the Bay Bridge beyond. It was well furnished with a comfortable king bed and marble bath...very nice!

Since we were located at the end of the hallway, we did not experience any of the elevator noise others have mentioned. The hotel was very quiet, but the the staff did mention that no large business groups were staying there during out three-night stay.

The location was perfect for our needs. We did not have a car, thus avoiding the pricey parking fee, and relied on walking, cabs and cable cars. Walking to the hotel is entertaining and recommended for the fit only. However, the hotel is located one block from the main cable car line crossing, and easy access is available to Chinatown, Union Square, and Fisherman's Wharf areas while allowing you to escape the throngs of tourists at the end of the day. The immediate area also has some excellent cafes.

The desk staff were pleasant and courteous, although the concierge was less than helpful when we inquired about a city tour...we had something different in mind than Gray Line departing from Fisherman's Wharf. After some prodding, they arranged a small-group tour that was excellent. The bottom line is to press them if you want something. Room service was prompt and good.

We felt the room was a great value, but watch for add-ons. As indicated previously, parking is pricey, as is the internet fee. The Top of the Mark is a must-see for the incedible 360-degree views, but food and drinks are expensive. Still, you must try it at least once.

I understand the opinions expressed by others that the hotel may be a bit past its prime, but it maintains a certain class and elegance that is missing in some the smaller, highly touted "boutique inns" around the city. There may be other stuffier and pricier hotels on Nob Hill (think the Fairmont and the Ritz), but we feel the Mark repesents a better overall value and we will definitely recommend it to others and plan to stay there when we visit wonderful San Francisco again.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lyric53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco

Property: InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
Address: 1 Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108-2228
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Nob Hill
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#37 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#44 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#55 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#65 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco 4*
Number of rooms: 380
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HISTORIC GRANDEUR ON THE CREST OF NOB HILL As splendid now as when it opened to great fanfare in 1926, InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco is one of the city’s finest hotels. Located at the crossing of three cable car lines, the venerable landmark is minutes from Union Square, Chinatown, and the Financial District. Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge are short drives away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
Intercontinental San Francisco
San Francisco Intercontinental

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