InterContinental DTLA – $400+ Value from a $49 Credit Card

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InterContinental DTLA entrance
InterContinental DTLA entrance

One of our friends, Adam, writes for the The Sterling Traveler, and he wanted to share his experience from a recent stay at the InterContinental DTLA in Downtown Los Angeles.

Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) was once a neighborhood where most people would go to work then leave soon after their day ended. After the Staples Center and LA Live opened, the area started to become gentrified. Say what you will about gentrification, but people are once again spending time and living downtown. DTLA also has several luxury hotels, one of which is the InterContinental DTLA – IHG’s luxury brand hotels.

InterContinental DTLA entrance
InterContinental DTLA entrance

About the InterContinental DTLA

The InterContinental makes up the top 42 floors of the Wilshire Grand Building. At 1,100 feet, it is the tallest building in California, and 9th tallest in the United States. The building is owned by Korean Air, and it’s parent company Hanjin.

Standard rooms rates are about $250 during the week and $400 on the weekend. These room rates make it an excellent location to use your free night from the Chase IHG MasterCard. With an annual fee of just $49, you can easily get a great value from having the card beyond the benefits of complimentary Platinum status.

InterContinental DTLA Lobby

Uniquely, the hotel lobby is on the 70th floor. The lobby has an ultra-modern design with modern art light fixtures and lots of seating.

InterContinental DTLA Lobby
InterContinental DTLA Lobby

From the lobby, another set of elevators goes down to the guest rooms. This makes leaving the hotel particularly annoying. Not only do you have to go up only to take another set of elevators to go all the way back down. One saving grace of this is that the elevators are all computerized. Punch in the floor you want to go on the keypad, and it directs you to the elevator car that will take you to your destination.

InterContinental DTLA Elevator Keypad
InterContinental DTLA Elevator Keypad

Check in at the InterContinental DTLA

The check-in process was seamless. There was no long and the front desk host was very friendly.

It was a wonderful surprise that I was upgraded to a Deluxe Suite. No doubt thanks to my Platinum status that comes with the IHG credit card (their 2nd highest elite tier).

InterContinental Hotels also has their own elite status program so IHG elite status doesn’t always get you that far.

My Deluxe Suite at InterContinental DTLA

Standard rooms are 385 square feet and fairly typical. But Deluxe Suites are over twice as big at 770-880 square feet!

Oddly enough, all of the rooms are floors 40 or so floors below the lobby. My room was on the 33rd floor.

Although I was slightly disappointed that my room wasn’t on a higher floor of the tallest building in Los Angeles, I’m much happier to have been upgraded to a Deluxe Suite versus being on a higher floor.

InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite King Bed
InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite King Bed

My Deluxe Suite was in the corner of the building, so I had magnificent views. After entering the room (using an RFID keycard), there’s a hallway – probably about 110 square feet which would make up the difference in room sizes for the Deluxe Suites – to get to the main living space of the room.

The deluxe suite is very spacious. Despite being well-furnished, there was still a lot of room to walk around.

InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite seating area
InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite seating area

Comfort was not spared with any of the furnishings, especially the bed. It was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. The bed has a unique feature. It senses when someone gets out of bed. The lower edge of the bed, on whichever side the person was on, dimly lights up.

This is one of the most awesome features of a bed that I have personally seen!

The InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite Bathroom

The bathroom is somewhat standard with a separate tub and shower. The shower drain was a small gap between the tiles which is a pretty nice feature.

InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite Bathroom
InterContinental DTLA Deluxe Suite Bathroom

The toiletries are Agraria brand Lemon Verbena scented, which are standard in North American InterContinental Hotels.

InterContinental DTLA Toiletries
InterContinental DTLA Toiletries

Spire73 – Tallest Open-Air Bar in the Western Hemisphere

Spire73 is located on (not surprisingly) the 73rd floor. It has the title of being the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere.

The view was absolutely spectacular, unfortunately the glass walls had too much glare for a picture.

InterContinental DTLA View from Room (dirty windows)
InterContinental DTLA View from Room (dirty windows). View was even better from Spire73

I ordered a well drink and it was, unsurprisingly, $15 (plus tip). It wasn’t too warm or cold, and the bar was very fun – so you get what you pay for.

The bar also offers a food menu. I highly recommend the fondue or tableside s’mores, both of which smelled amazing!

At night, the Korean Air logo is shone facing the arrival paths of LAX. Next time you fly into LAX airport at night, look toward downtown – I’m sure you won’t miss it.

The Bald Thoughts

The InterContinental DTLA is one of the best values in the US to spend your free night from the Chase IHG MasterCard. My suite would have cost over $600, and I only paid the annual fee of $49 to stay there! I am still amazed at the value I got out of this card.

Even without the upgrade, the hotel met my expectations. This is my third different InterContinental Hotel I have stayed at, and the service at all three of them is exemplary of what you would expect at a luxury hotel. Hands down, the InterContinental DTLA is my recommended hotel in downtown Los Angeles.


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