#TripReport, #InterContinental, #IHG, #California, #LosAngeles, #RewardPoints
I’m Theresa, Head of Product Operations & Growth at Foxtort Dash. Today, I'm reviewing one of California's most in-demand IHG properties.
As a native to California (shout-out to the Bay Area!), I’ll admit that I don’t make my way down to Los Angeles as often as I should. I’m currently living in New York City and had the opportunity to return to my home state. Though my trip was short, I couldn’t say no.
It’s been awhile since I’ve stayed at an IHG property, so I was excited to experience the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown (InterContinental DTLA, for those in the know) and its gorgeous city views. Best of all, IHG announced a timely promotion where I can earn up to 4X the reward points for my stay.
Opened in June 2017, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown was part of a launch of commercial properties at the newly built Wilshire Grand Building. Inspired by Yosemite’s Half Dome and standing at 1,100-feet, it has many claims to fame:
Tallest building west of Chicago
Tallest hotel west of the Mississippi River
Largest InterContinental property in the Americas
Let’s add “Iconic Los Angeles Skyscraper” to that list.
It’s a beautiful, modern piece of architecture that will definitely grab your attention whether you’re driving past, walking by, or looking out into the city skyline.
Another interesting fact is that the InterContinental DTLA is a union between IHG and Korean Air. The hotel is managed by IHG and the building is owned by the Hanjin Group, a parent company of Korean Air. This explains the appearance of the Korean Air logo at the top of the building. No surprise, you’re bound to see a few Korean Air pilots and flight attendants during your stay.
The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. When many think of Los Angeles, like you, I gravitate towards the Hollywood Hills or ocean banks of Malibu, so it’s easy to write-off the downtown districts. While COVID may have left a big impact on businesses, I’m proud to share the downtown resurgence continues with new hotels and restaurants investing big on Los Angeles city life.
What I loved most was the hotel is within close distance to numerous iconic landmarks and sights: LA Live, Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center), Microsoft Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad, Hollywood, the list goes on!
The beauty of Los Angeles is its diversity of cultures, which translates into endless amounts of delicious cuisines. If you don’t know what to eat or you want to feast on everything, check out Grand Central Market, which is less than a mile away. I ate at Manuela (the biscuits and honey butter were a favorite with my party!) and Cara Cara (a gorgeous rooftop restaurant that is magical at sunset), which I recommend!
This hotel is popular in the conference circuit, as it is close to the Los Angeles Convention Center and other meeting spaces. Coincidentally, my stay coincided with IHG’s Ignite Conference, so I saw many IHG attendees roaming around the building.
I flew into LAX via a nonstop Delta flight from JFK. The journey of going from the east coast to west was long, but flying a widebody on a domestic route was a treat. Aside from a passenger managing to dismantle the overhead bin compartment above me (I didn’t know that was possible?), the flight was smooth and landed earlier than expected.
Trying to leave LAX is another task. I used Lyft because I would earn 5X the reward points on my Chase Sapphire Preferred and 2X Delta SkyMiles per $1 on airport rides (1X SkyMile per $1 on all other rides in the US). Although using Lyft was significantly cheaper, the pick-up location for Lyft rides required taking a free shuttle bus to the LAX-it lot next to Terminal 1.
A taxi cab would also require taking the shuttle to the LAX-it lot. If you’re willing to pay extra (in my case, the difference was $30-40), choose Uber and you won’t need to take the shuttle and can wait for your ride at the terminal.
After landing into LAX, hopping on the airport shuttle bus to the LAX-it lot, waiting for a Lyft, dealing with traffic, and getting dropped off at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown took a little over 90 minutes – and I flew with only a carry-on. So, put that into consideration in case you need to be mindful of time.
The Hotel Layout
The hotel towers at 1,100 feet with 73-stories. The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown occupies more than 50% of those floors with retail shops, office spaces, and meeting rooms occupying the rest.
Upon getting dropped off at the ground level garage, I had to take an elevator to the 70th floor to access the main lobby to check into my room. After a smooth check-in, I took another elevator to get to my room. Floors 31-28 house the 889 guest rooms, which includes 109 suites. You will find the rooftop pool and gym on the 7th floor, restaurants on the 69th and 71st, and the tallest open-air bar in the western hemisphere located on the 73rd floor.
The elevator lobbies have digital keypads for guests to enter in the floors they want to access before entering the elevator. Some of my friends mentioned how sensitive or non-reactive the keypad could be, which sounds paradoxical but I’ve experienced it at least once! Maybe it requires a particular touch, but I can see it being a very minor inconvenience.
I was met with great service and hospitality from all of the staff at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown during my stay. I was greeted at every touchpoint: drop-off, ground-level elevator, lobby, the elevator to the Spire 73 bar, etc. The InterContinental DTLA understands that guests may need assistance with navigating the hotel, so having staff readily available to anticipate those way-finding questions before they’re asked is key.
The front desk agent who checked me in was named Chris. He was more than happy to answer my questions about the hotel and share other cool facts about the property. I have Gold Elite status with IHG One Rewards. It’s middle of the road when it comes to IHG’s six membership tiers, but both check-in and check-out desk agents thanked me for being an IHG One Rewards member. I received a letter at check-in acknowledging my status that shared details on in-room dining and the hotel’s restaurants.
I got off on the 41st floor and noticed the interior of the hallways: wood panels, silver metal and black accents, and backlighting. Nothing too exciting in terms of design elements, but it had a natural, contemporary look with lots of warmth.
My Superior Double Queen Room measures in at 385 sq ft. It has a cool, peaceful color palette consisting of grays, leather, and a mixture of light and dark woods – an overall modern and clean look. Photography is a main focal point in decor for each room, and my room had a photo of the Hollywood sign above the beds.
The bed was a luxury pillow top mattress, so no trouble falling asleep here. The feather down pillows were soft enough to provide some support, but I still missed sleeping on my TEMPUR-Neck Pillow back home.
Over on the opposite side of the room is where you’ll find a 49” HDTV, a Keurig coffee machine, a desk and table. Wi-Fi is complimentary to all guests, which is high-speed and reliable. I noticed a mini fridge underneath the Keurig coffee machine, which I assumed was the minibar, but it was impossible to open. I later learned that minibars are temporarily unavailable, but if you’d like a mini fridge in your room, they are available upon request.
Next up is the bathroom, which was incredibly spacious! It had a walk-in shower and a huge soaking tub, which I regrettably did not have the chance to use; a separate toilet; a large vanity sink with an illuminated mirror to match. The toiletries were by Bodyography and had a pleasant scent of vanilla, bourbon, sea salt, and white ginger tea. If you stay in the suites, your bathroom will be stocked with Le Labo toiletries.
The closet has enough space to hang your clothes, a standard iron, ironing board, luggage rack, safe, extra blankets, and slippers! It’s a small detail, but I love when hotels offer slippers for their guests.
No question about it, but the room’s best feature was the view. No matter what floor or orientation, the floor-to-ceiling windows of every room offer gorgeous views of the city at all hours of the day. If you’re sensitive to lights, the curtains do a great job at blocking that off for bedtime. The rooms appeared to have good insulation against noise, if you’re a light sleeper.
The amenities offered by the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown will definitely enhance your stay. I managed to pop on over to the 7th floor and checked out the fitness center and rooftop pool.
Attitude Fitness is a 24-hour gym that goes beyond providing the usual treadmills and free weights. Whether you’re in the mood for strength training or cardio, you’ll find a full suite of exercise machines and equipment to give you the very best workout. I saw a schedule for beginner-friendly yoga classes at the entrance, too. You can finish off your workout session with a visit to the sauna and steam room. I stopped by at around 11:30 AM on a Wednesday and it was empty and clean.
Summer has arrived, along with rooftop season! The rooftop pool lets you indulge in rooftop season, sip a cocktail, lay in a cabana and soak up the California sun. There’s a hot tub, fire pit, restrooms with showers, and a poolside bar and restaurant (No Dive Restaurant & Bar). The hotel was family-friendly and has a separate spot for children to enjoy the amenities.
For all IHG properties, their guests and colleagues’ health and safety are the number one priority. Each property follows CDC travel guidelines and the local area vaccine mandates. The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown details how they’re responding to COVID-19 measures and protocols here.
During the time of my visit, Los Angeles County eliminated all travel restrictions and requirements. Masks are required in certain settings, like on public transit, at indoor transit hubs (Learn more about LA County's Travel Guidance). Wearing a mask was strongly recommended if you are immunocompromised or entering indoor public places.
Guests and the hotel staff have the choice to wear a mask at any time. I noticed at least half of the hotel staff wearing masks. The front desk personnel checking me in/out of the hotel both wore masks during my interactions with them. There was plexiglass in between each desk and hand sanitizer available. I thought the public spaces looked clean and well maintained with the influx of people visiting that week.
The only concern I had were the number of maskless people packed into elevators. The elevator rides can feel long and claustrophobic with a crowd of people joining you, especially when you’re looking to go up to the lobby on the 70th floor. Thankfully, I came home with a clean bill of health.
Though my stay was short, I was able to have my room serviced when I requested housekeeping. My room looked spotless, so no complaints there! IHG recently partnered with Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab, and Diversey to redefine their global cleaning standards, so guests can feel confident when staying here.
There are many different dining options that range from casual, intimate, to fine dining – and all lean on the views of LA as a draw. The hotel has three restaurants (four, if you count the restaurant & bar at the rooftop pool) and two bars that are open to the public. You will need to take the elevator to the main lobby on the 70th floor to access any of these spots.
Dekkadance is located on the 69th floor and serves casual California cuisine. For a lux dining experience up on the 71st floor, La Boucherie offers steak and seafood in an elegant setting with panoramic views of LA.
On the same floor is Sora, a sushi and omakase restaurant. If you’re a whiskey connoisseur, they feature an extensive collection of Japanese whiskies!
No Dive Restaurant & Bar is located at the rooftop pool on the 7th floor, perfect if you want to enjoy a bite and cocktail poolside.
Spire 73, as the name implies, is on the 73rd floor and is not something to miss out on. How often do you get the chance to enjoy a drink outdoors at the top of a skyscraper?
If you don’t want to be outside in the elements, the Sky Bar in the main lobby on the 70th floor is lively in the evenings.
The Check-In + Check Out
I arrived at the hotel at around 3 PM and was checked into my room within minutes. Chris told me my check-out time is 2 PM, which was a nice surprise as it saves me from having to ask. The 2 PM check-out time is subject to availability based on your IHG One Rewards membership status (I am Gold Elite), as my other friends did not receive the same check-out time.
Check out was a breeze. Also appreciated how the front desk agent made note of the bonus reward points I earned for my stay, which I saw reflected in my account that same week.
My trip to LA was short, but I enjoyed my stay at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. It’s within close proximity to a lot of iconic landmarks and sights if this is your first time visiting the city. I might recommend staying here for 2 nights (unless you want to maximize the bonus reward points promotion) and changing up the scenery at another IHG property in Beverly Hills, Malibu, or Anaheim (Hello, Disneyland!).
If you’re a local, I can see this being a popular weekend staycation spot, especially during the summer! The comfortable rooms, modern design, welcoming staff, amenities, and gorgeous views are a reason to check this hotel out. To add to that, I was able to earn bonus reward points with IHG One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Delta Skymiles. An enjoyable stay that maximized the earning of my reward points? Sounds like a great visit to me!
What are some of your favorite IHG properties? Are there any other rooftop pools or bars that rival that of the InterContinental DTLA?
Sign up with Foxtrot Dash today if you’d like to learn how you can earn more reward points or how to redeem your reward points for a stay at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.