In our last post we reviewed the InterContinental San Francisco. In this post, we review the hotel’s club lounge – which we found a very pleasant place to enjoy breakfast and pass the time with an evening drink.
The Club InterContinental is located on level 6 (despite club rooms being located on the top three floors on the hotel) and the door opens with your key card.
Inside there is a reception desk, which was often staffed. There was no need to sign in or advise your room number as is the case in club lounges down under.
The lounge is very nicely appointed. We found the blaring television on the wall to be somewhat unnecessary, particularly given that no-one was watching it (not even the staff, which is the usual reason television in lounges are on).
The club serves a rotating menu throughout the day, as set out below on the welcome information card. We were amused by the suggestion that the ‘served food and drinks are best enjoyed with the Lounge’. At a number of properties in Australia it seems to be frowned upon to take items from the lounge, but that seems to be relatively standard in the United States.
In the evening from 5:30pm to 7:30pm a selection of alcoholic beverages and snacks are laid on. Complimentary alcoholic beverages in club lounges in the United States is somewhat unusual at a number of hotels that we frequent, which instead use an honour bar system. We haven’t yet encountered any InterContinental hotels in the United States that charge for alcohol in the club however.
While you would struggle to piece together dinner from the snacks (two hot options, along with cheese and breads etc), it was nice to relax and unwind before dinner with a drink and snack. When the hot options ran out they didn’t seem to be replenished, and one of them always seemed to be a seafood-based dish which is a bit limiting for some.
At 7:30pm, cookies are bought out along with a selection of evening spirits, replacing the evening alcohol and snack spread. While we were impressed that there was a separate late evening selection of spirits, we found just putting on cookies as a dessert item to be surprising.
In the lounge, there is also bottled water and refrigerators with soft drinks and juices available throughout the day.
Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30am (half an hour later on weekends), with a very comprehensive buffet spread.
We were somewhat surprised by the number of dirty dishes left lying around, but with no noticeable tipping of the waitstaff by guests going on, that is probably to be expected.
The InterContinental San Francisco is a high quality hotel. The club lounge is a natural extension of this. We felt the evening snacks and dessert in the club to be a let down in contrast to the excellent breakfast spread and the wide selection of liquor available complimentary in the evening. For those guests who are not Royal Ambassador members, whether club access is worth the US$100++ premium over a regular room is really a personal question.