Hotel Review: Intercontinental San Diego brings luxury to the city’s revitalised bayfront

One of the newer locations for the international Intercontinental chain finds itself in San Diego; a luxury 400 room, 19 floor hotel which opened in September last year. The brand’s 3rd property in Southern California, the hotel sits right on the revitalised San Diego Bayfront.

About the Room

I stayed on the 15th room in a Classic Room, which at almost 400 square feet is a comfortable, sizeable room with partial water views – and a pretty decent view of the construction site next door. The hotel sits in an area of redevelopment, with other hotel properties next door also opening in recent months.

The longer than normal pillows were phenomenal, and the bed was as comfortable as they come. A lounge chair also sat against the floor-to-ceiling windows that had both see-through and blackout curtains.

There’s great attention to the in room experience from the time you arrive to the time you leave, with the turn down service ensuring you return to ample comfort. The massive 49” TV would be playing jazz music on your return to the room at night; your gown left out alongside hotel slippers. On the last night, we got a special piece of salted caramel artisanal chocolate, too. Bottles of Solar Rain water are left at the bed daily, and are complimentary to all guests. You really do get everything you need here.

About the Bathroom

The large walk in shower offered excellent pressure, and the hotel provided amenities from Agraria. Things like q-tips and make up wipes are also available in the room. There were two options of showerhead, with the ability to switch water supply to a handheld showerhead.

There are ample, comfortable towels available, and an in mirror light that you can use as a night light by hitting the button on the mirror, or you can turn the full mirror’s light on to help wake you up.

Elsewhere in the hotel

On level four you’ll find an outdoor pool and patio. It’s a small pool with the space seeming to be designed more for outdoor events than as a traditional pool space. With the function space in the hotel, this is understandable – and also makes it an attractive destination for events like San Diego Comic Con – the convention centre being at a walkable distance.

The buffet breakfast on level 3 had a surprising selection of items, from delicious garlic and thyme hash browns to a market vegetable egg white frittata, leek biscuits with chorizo gravy and duck sausage with hollandaise sauce. Breads and pastries were sorted from Sweet Cheeks baking, bread & cie, Lang’s bakery and Sadie rose bakery with seasonal Jackie’s Jams. It’s among the more inspired buffets I’ve come across.

The Surrounds

Your minutes walk from San Diego Bay, the USS Midway Museum and cruises like the Hornblower Cruise, who offer one, two hour and lengthier whale watching and dinner cruises – amongst others. Its a good chance to explore the otherwise out-of-bounds nearby Navy activities – San Diego being home to the second largest Navy facility in America (the first being in Norfolk, Virginia).

It’s also right across the street from the Santa Fe station, where you can get a train to Los Angeles and plenty of other destinations, as well as he city’s streetcar service. Want more? A short Uber ride, or a 20 minute walk, will take you to the Gaslamp quarter, where there’s quite a vibrant nightlife, including the speakeasy bar Prohibition, which has an impressive cocktail list and an equally impressive live music program – a rarity for the Speakeasy concept.

Final Verdict

This brand new hotel, in the heart of a revitalised precinct of San Diego, keeps you close to the action, while feeling removed enough – especially with the harbour views – that you’re a whole world away. Having attractions like the USS Midway at your doorstep is a bonus, and if you’re ever planning to come down for the San Diego Comic-Con, it’s in a good spot too. But it’s in the comfort of the massive room where the hotel really finds its strengths. A superb shower and a great bed, with an excellent television, and those huge windows… you really can’t go wrong here.


The Intercontinental San Diego is located at 901 Bayfront Ct, San Diego, CA 92101. For more details about the hotel, head to their official website, or book via the box below.

The author stayed at the hotel for three nights in May 2019 as a guest of San Diego Tourism and the Intercontinental San Diego.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

Tags: ,