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Standing at the top of San Francisco’s Nob Hill, on the site once occupied by the Victorian mansion of railroad magnate Mark Hopkins, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel was described in 1926 as “architecturally perfect, flawless in its erection, comprehensive in its accommodations…strikingly representative of the best there is in modern hostelry.”

Hotel exterior.

Many historic luxury hotels, built long before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, lack the modern accessibility features that disabled travelers rely on. That is not the case at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, where wheelchair users will find ADA compliant guest rooms and facilities that are inclusive of travelers with disabilities. The InterContinental is now my go-to hotel in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood, and I invite you to join me on a tour of this timeless property in this wheelchair accessible hotel review.

Room Rates and Reservations

The cost of a hotel room at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco hotel varies considerably, with prices ranging from less than $300 to more than $1,000 per night over the next year, inclusive of a resort fee and taxes.

Screenshot of hotel website that shows accessible rooms and inventory.

During my recent stay, rates averaged about $250 to $300 per night, similar to those reflected in the screenshot above. The “Nob Hill Destination Fee” of $29 plus tax, per night, was included in those rates. The fee includes a $10 daily dining credit in the Nob Hill Club restaurant, as well as “Top of the Mark preferred seating, local retail and dining savings, and complimentary electric car charging,” though I didn’t have a car, received available seating at the bar, and was not provided any information on discounts at shops or restaurants. I am personally opposed to resort and destination fees, however they are difficult to avoid at hotels in cities like San Francisco.

Room reservations for ADA accessible hotel rooms can be made via the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel website.

Wheelchair accessible ramp.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a doorman who will take care of luggage and assist them to their rooms. While historic buildings often have alternate accessible entrances, a ramp awaits wheelchair users at the hotel’s elegant main entrance, together with an electronic accessible door that is activated with the press of a button. At the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, inclusion begins at the building’s entrance!

Check-in was a breeze and I was soon off to my room via one of the hotel’s three historic elevators. My wheelchair fit in all three elevators, with two of the three being large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and three to four other people.

Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room at InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

My “classic” room with a king sized bed was located on the 4th floor. Guest room number 434 was spacious, with both sides of the bed easily accessible to my power wheelchair.

King size bed

The bed height was 30 inches measured from the floor to the top of the mattress, with 7 inches of clearance underneath the bed to accommodate a transfer hoist or Hoyer lift. Removing the bed frame would lower the height to 23 inches, a reasonable accommodation that can be requested by calling the front desk.

When assigned to a lower floor room, I am naturally concerned about noise pollution from the surrounding streets, but this room proved quiet and I was left undisturbed — that is, until my early morning alarm! The bed was comfortable with medium firmness and I slept very well.

Desk and TV.

A flat screen television sat on a cabinet opposite the bed. Inside the cabinet, a small refrigerator was provided.

The desk measured 32 inches tall, with 26.5 inches of clearance below the tabletop. The natural light that entered through the room’s large windows was welcome, and it made for a lovely place to work during my time in San Francisco.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom with Roll-in Shower at InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

The bathroom is really where this hotel stood out, with all of the accessibility features that I needed to feel safe and secure.

Roll-in shower and sink.

The roll-in shower featured a wall-mounted folding shower seat (18.5 inches above the floor), grab bars (34.5 inches above the floor), a handheld shower spray unit and water controls within reach. When I arrived in the room (and took the photo above), the showerhead was attached far away on the side wall, but there was a spot for it closer to the seat.

Soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles were affixed to the wall in a spot that was easy for me to reach from the shower seat. The long shower curtain touched the floor and prevented water from escaping the shower and flooding the rest of the bathroom.

The roll-under sink had a countertop that was 34.5 inches high, with 29.75 inches of clearance below. This allowed me to roll my wheelchair right up to the bathroom sink and use it as intended.

Toilet with grab bars.

The toilet measured 17.5 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, and it was surrounded by grab bars on the adjacent side walls (35 inches tall). There was more than enough space to park my large power wheelchair next to the toilet, allowing for safe lateral transfers.

Restaurants & Dining at InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel has one restaurant on site — the Nob Hill Club, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. I enjoyed a classic American breakfast in the restaurant to use the $10 credit included with the destination fee.

I also visited the Top of the Mark bar on the hotel’s top floor, which offers incredible views of the city and San Francisco Bay. In addition to a full cocktail menu, there are a number of appetizers and light bites available. I enjoyed the Margherita flatbread pizza.

Location & Transportation

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins sits at the crest of Nob Hill, one of the highest points in San Francisco, roughly between Chinatown and Union Square. The historic and sadly inaccessible cable car operates in front of the hotel along California Street, with city bus connections on nearby roads.

As is the case in many other parts of San Francisco, steep hills lead to the Nob Hill neighborhood — they’ll be difficult if not impossible for manual wheelchair users to scale, however I was able to navigate the steepest sidewalks with my power wheelchair. Wheelchair taxis are readily available, as are wheelchair accessible Uber and Lyft rides.

Final Thoughts

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel is a historic and timeless property that gets many things about accessibility right while providing a comfortable place to stay in one of San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Travelers from around the world enjoy this modest but luxurious accommodation — will you be the next to check-in?

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