Before booking your next weekend getaway or business trip to San Diego, read through these four wildly different lodging options — from resort-style chic to downtown ritz, here are four of Az Business’ favorites!
1. The Westgate
1055 2nd Ave., San Diego
Ocean and silhouettes of the harbor peak out between the slivers of buildings in downtown San Diego, while a sunrise cuts through warehouse windows and outlines of neon signage is framed by sunbursts oozing from behind. The spongy surface of the Westgate Hotel’s rooftop track has my running rhythm feeling a bit more springy than usual, but it’s hard to think about much else when there are views like this stealing the show. Some kind of horn blares off in the distance, maybe bus or boat, and I feel at once displaced in a moment, suspended in the apex of one bouncing stride after another ― likewise, the Westgate has a captivating way of bridging modern expectations of luxury with the grit and gauche of a boutique hotel. Its infamous Sunday buffet brunch is served with champagne and sushi while a pianist plays classicized pop songs. The rooms are furnished with plush, oversized chairs, golden faucets, floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking downtown views and a Marlock* key system.
The last time I was in San Diego was to report on the craft beer industry. This trip is a bit different where the libations were concerned. Arizona is on course to being snobbish about its craft cocktails, and that’s something I was interested in comparing while in San Diego. The Westgate Hotel has an intimate Plaza Bar, where, every Saturday, singer Jonathan Karrant croons out Frank Sinatra and Van Morrison records. The room feels like a ritzy speakeasy with the bar tucked into the corner and the grand piano front and center. The bartender on deck has owned a bartending school for nearly two decades (and making drinks five times longer than I’ve been able to enjoy them). I decide, despite the intrigue of a house-infused chai vodka, to partake in two wintertime seasonals ― a cherry scotch-based Winter Solstice and the dangerously delicious citric-and-almond Harlem Sour. If there had been enough reason to order another drink, I would have gone for the Maple Bourbon Cider. These cocktails will run you about $12 a pop.
* The Marlock System uses a key consisting of a piece of metal with holes bored in it, and then covered up with strips of infrared-invisible plastic. Thus, you can’t see anything in the plastic, but IR in the keyhole reader can see thru just fine. It decodes this, sends it to a controller interface box, which sends it to a controller PC, which says “cool or uncool”, and if cool, then the interface box sends power to the strike on the door, and turns the LED on the reader green. Source
2. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
3777 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego
While boutiques are perfect for someone traveling in style, the business traveler may need a bit more elbow room for a comfortable stay. The AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine (http://lajolla.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html) recently spent $12 million to renovate its 417 guest rooms and suites ― and we recommend exploring them. The rooms adopted a “coastal chic” aesthetic, according to the hotel, which translates to minimalist, modern with pops of orchids in every room of the suite.
Its personality is inviting but not overpowering. The suites are perfect for an extended business trip. They have a fully equipped kitchen (microwave, oven, utensils, a K-cup machine, stove top, dish washer and double-basin sink), conference table (or kitchen table), a spare office and a surround-sound equipped entertainment system ― speaking of, the cabinets also provide cocktail and bar equipment.
For nearby food, the Regency Club serves meals during select hours of the day, and the hotel’s lobby opens up into an intimate plaza with restaurant mainstays such as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and The Melting Pot. The hotel also has a bar of its own, Michael’s Lounge, which has a high-end neighborhood watering hole feel with 12 flat screens, Wii and billiards and a place to light up a cigar on its renovated patio. Though only minutes from a run on the La Jolla shore, the Hyatt’s hotel has received some recognition for its gym by travel blogs and fitness magazine, Self. If running oceanside isn’t your thing, the Sporting Club & Spa has free weights, cycles, stair steppers, stair climbers, rowers, Nautilus, Cybex, Nordic Track, personal trainers, a full-size basketball court, two lighted tennis courts, swimming, Jacuzzi, steam room, aerobics, spinning classes and dressing rooms.
3. Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa
2000 2nd St., Coronado
From the moment you walk or drive by the flamingo lagoon outside the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, there’s a sense of stepping away from the bustle of work or even a jam-packed vacation schedule. While Coronado (and former island, turned peninsula as water levels change) is known for being a bit more about the indulgent side of travel than its sister city across the bay.
The Marriott at Coronado is a resort hotel without sacrificing proximity to major metro features in San Diego. The hotel’s grounds feature hammocks, “corners of comfort,” it has its own aviary and though fire pits weren’t installed at the time of Az Business’ visit last March, those were in the works as well. All the hotel’s rooms face water — there’s a private lake, three pools and the bay — it’s also near a dock where water taxis visit their sister property in San Diego for $6 one-way. “It’s 10 minutes from everywhere,” says Jessica Chang, senior catering sales executive at Marriott International. The average staff tenure is between 10 and 15 years, every room is 500 square feet.
The shipyards light the bay up at night, which is perfect for a romantic stroll on the way to visit Coronado’s “Main Street,” lined with consistently delicious restaurants and breweries. Visitors don’t have to wander far, though, for a good meal. Arizona-based Executive Chef Frank Sanchez mans the Marriott’s in-house restaurant and brings with him a lifelong passion for gardening and fresh, organic ingredients — which is fortuitous given that San Diego County has more farms than any other county in the U.S. Sanchez started gardening when he was a kid, growing food in a hanging burlap sack and in his parents’ 800-square-foot garden. Sanchez is also a huge beer connoisseur and has hosted a few beer pairing dinners in San Diego.
“It’s a hobby as much as a passion,” he says about the artesian food and craft beer scene.
4. Glorietta Bay Inn
1630 Glorietta Blvd., Coronado
Glorietta Bay Inn, a boutique hotel fashioned out of the former residence of San Diego economic developer John Dietrich Spreckels, is as much about being an homage to history as it is a tribute to preserving the personality of Spreckels himself. From the music room, featuring a grand piano and a buffet-style brunch, to its Italian Renaissance design and decor, visitors who enjoy a cozy, intimate visit with a dash of dapper luxury will fall in love with a place like Glorietta Bay Inn.