‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from 66 floors up in Los Angeles.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for PointsYou can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.  This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.

Today’s hotel is the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

It is reader Katie and Darran’s favourite hotel and here is their review:

Overview

The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is situated in, as the name suggests, the downtown area of Los Angeles.  It’s a little out of your usual LA hotspots, but still perfectly placed for exploring the city.

The hotel building is relatively new (it opened in mid 2017) and is an impressive steel and glass sail-shaped construction.  73 stories high, it has some of the best views of the city and out to the Hollywood Hills and beyond.

review InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel

Location

Situated on the corner of Wiltshire Boulevard and 7th St, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is just across the road from the 7th St. Metro Centre making it perfect to get around the city on the subway network. It’s easy to use and reasonably priced ($7 for a day pass) and can take you to all the main areas of LA, as well as out to Santa Monica.

If you like sightseeing on foot like we do and are prepared for a walk, the Arts District, Financial District and Chinatown are not too far away. The hotel can help with walking routes, or you can do some mapping yourself before you go – it’s a great way to see this part of the city.

And of course there are Ubers and Lyfts if that’s more your style!

Getting to InterContinental Los Angeles

We flew from London Heathrow to LAX direct on a BA flight.

The hotel is situated approximately 17 miles from LAX and is a comfortable Uber ride costing around $30. Depending on LA traffic which is renowned to be busy to say the least, it usually takes about 40 minutes. The journey approaching the downtown area is always one of my favourites as the hotel appears on the skyline.

Reception and check-In

We were greeted at the ground level by a light atrium with hotel porters directing you to the elevators which accelerated us (in 40 seconds to be precise!) to the 70th floor where the main Reception and check-in are located inside the Sky Lobby. When we stepped out of the elevators into the lobby we began to really get a feel for the hotel. As the Lobby Lounge bar is situated at the far end, it’s often a busy space.

review InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel

The Sky Lobby is a modern light space with large windows looking out over LA. Check-in was efficient, courteous and welcoming on both of our stays at this hotel.

We were staying in an InterContinental Club room so were shown where the Club Lounge was and explained the other additional benefits.

Room

We stayed in room 6631, a Club King room, on the 66th floor, on each of our two stays. We are IHG Ambassador members and this was an upgrade on our first stay at the hotel but now there is no going back. It’s amazing and we will always request this room again for future stays!

There was fresh fruit and pastries in the room on arrival which was a lovely touch after a long flight.

Floor to ceiling windows on three sides of the room had views reaching out to the Hollywood Hills in front, across towards the airport and Santa Monica on one side and the Dodger Stadium on the other. You could also see the Hollywood sign on a clear day, adding to the wow factor.

The room was comfortable and spacious but not too big. There was a king-sized bed, which faced out towards the Hills. Carefully chosen Southern California art adorned the walls that weren’t windows.

InterContinental Los Angeles downtime review

A desk area and TV, and a small seating area with sofa, chair and coffee table allowed for some work time if you had to. The small bar had a coffee-machine, fridge and bottled water was replenished daily.

The bathroom had a full-sized bath, large shower, wash basin and vanity area with separate toilet. It was clean, well-appointed and always well stocked with plenty of fresh clean towels and toiletries.

The room was pretty quiet but there was occasionally some noise from the restaurant above with scraping chairs on the floor which could be heard in the room.  Other than that we weren’t bothered by traffic noise, or noise from any other areas of the hotel.

Facilities

The hotel has six restaurants and bars. La Boucherie (an American steakhouse), Dekkadance (international dining), Sora (sushi), Lobby Lounge (bar and bar snacks), Dive Bar (poolside cocktail bar) and Spire 73, the tallest open air bar in the western hemisphere, and not to be missed.

review InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel

Spire 73 is located on the 73rd floor and usually has an entrance fee – but not for hotel guests. It is a must visit for the view, atmosphere of fire pits, music and good cocktails. If you want to sit at one of the tables next to the windows, you need to reserve in advance and there is a minimum spend requirement. They do get booked up quickly so it’s worth requesting them at check-in.

The Club Lounge, which was part of our stay, had the trademark hotel views, great service and a good selection of breakfast, afternoon snacks, and evening drinks and canapes.

review InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel

The vibe in here and the food and hospitality have been so good on both stays we haven’t ventured to another restaurant at the hotel to eat. (We must do that next time though.) The Club Lounge is never too busy and overall great to relax in.

review InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel

Other hotel facilities were a well equipped gym and fitness area with sauna and steam room and a decent sized rooftop pool area with cabanas, fire pits and a bar.

Conclusion

This is our go-to hotel in LA. It has the perfect mix of luxury, convenience, comfort and location. We would definitely recommend staying here irrespective of whether you’re visiting LA for the first time or are a returning visitor. The views are worth it on their own.

We can definitely recommend paying a little more for the Intercontinental Club Lounge as it certainly adds something special to the stay.

As I am sure you have gathered, we will be returning soon. The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is a little on the pricier side, especially as the location isn’t one of the most popular ones in LA, but with the subway opposite and an abundance of Ubers and Lyfts, it’s not a problem getting to where you want to go in this fabulous city!

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

Booking

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is part of the IHG Luxury Collection.  This means that you receive extra benefits when you book through a luxury ‘preferred partner’ travel agent such as Emyr Thomas, with whom HFP partners.

Book via Emyr and you will receive:

  • GUARANTEED 2pm late check-out
  • Breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant
  • $100 of hotel credit per stay
  • One category upgrade, subject to availability on arrival
  • Bottled water and fresh fruit or snacks in the room on arrival

The rate you pay is the room-only Best Available Rate showing on the IHG website.  You will receive IHG Rewards Club points as usual and you pay on departure.

You can get in touch with Emyr via the form on this page on this page of Head for Points.

You can find out more about IHG Luxury Collection in this article.

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Comments

  1. Dominic Barrington says:

    The lift/elevator system in the hotel gets a bit frustrating and hard to understand, but it is a glorious building!

  2. mradey says:

    Always pop here for a few drinks when staying in DTLA. Nice review.

  3. NigelthePensioner says:

    Wiltshire Boulevard = Wilshire Boulevard….?
    Ive always found the LA traffic reasonable to negotiate probably because the city is huge – about 40 x 40 miles in total! This is a new opening since I last visited so will pop in on our next trip. There isn’t much in “downtown” LA, it’s all out in Beverly Hills with some tourist stuff in Hollywood which has at last been tidied up. Love the city and coastal region though at Santa Monica.
    Next time you are there though, get a Lyft to the Bel Air Hotel (never mind the Beverly HIlls Hotel, both of which are part of the Dorchester Group) and see what a luxurious oasis it is, at the foot of the Hollywood Hills on Stone Canyon Road…….. Real WOW factor!

  4. Now that IHG has moved to dynamic pricing there are some very good deals to be had at the ICDTLA but be aware of the resort/amenity/facility this property charges (and if you’re not using points, you should know that this property is often cheaper on weekends).

  5. Crafty says:

    I’m curious, what do you go to LA for? Do you have friends there? Having visited twice (once as a teenager, once to stay with a friend) I really struggle to see the “general tourism” appeal. It feels to me the sort of city you need to already know your way round to enjoy.

    • Doug M says:

      Each to their own, but LA is certainly very interesting. I always find it weird seeing all the places I feel I almost know from various TV shows. The City of LA is quite interesting, with the connecting blocks to hang on to the port of Long Beach. Much of what people describe as LA is of course other cities and counties, but the broader area has a lot to offer. If no one else drove and left the roads clear for me it would be a much nicer place 🙂 I love driving along Sunset from Downtown to the coast, the endless bends towards the west, Mulholland is another great drive. A game at Dodger Stadium, Santa Monica, catch some horse racing at Santa Anita, beaches to the south, as someone much better with words than me once said, I love LA (I know much is parody).

    • Aston100 says:

      This.
      I’ve only been to LA twice, but I don’t feel inclined to visit again.
      For me, it was like a visit to a glorified Birmingham with better weather and less Brummies.

      Everyone has their preferences I guess.

  6. jack bloggo says:

    “Carefully chosen Southern California art”, a phrase entirely at odds with a “reader review”. The reviewer can have zero knowledge as to the level of care or otherwise that was employed in choosing the art, sounds like P.R.. speel.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      It’s not unheard of for new high end hotels to have a coffee table book about their design

    • Doug M says:

      The more recent reviews have a definite feel of being more polished and less reader. Maybe the recent ones have just had a lot more ‘editing’.

      • Those in the 2nd batch have the advantage (or not) of having seen the first batch and are probably trying to work to a pattern. The first batch were all commissioned before any had run so people had to follow their own path.

        My editing – which is very light – hasn’t changed. I don’t know if Anika is doing more to them because I don’t see the original text.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No idea what the readers profession or interest is. Infact no idea if they are originally from California

  7. SammyJ says:

    We stayed here for one night last year with the kids just to use a free night cert up, and loved it. Cracking views. My favourite city in the world! The kids have said next time we go to LA they want to stay there all week.

  8. This is a great hotel. The gym is also particularly notable – extremely well equipped

    • Aston100 says:

      Never understood why people on holiday would want a well equipped gym.
      You’re on holiday…

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I enjoy a good workout the the gym while on holiday, a chance to get in more workouts without life getting in the way.

        Great way to set up the day gym, breakfast then sight seeing etc

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