San Diego Travel Guide
Celebrity Scoop / Celebrity Weddings / San Diego Hotels / Celebrity Wedding Hotels / Lebron James / → All Tags
Lebron James added another ring to his collection when he became a married man this past Saturday.
The Miami Heat forward wed his high school sweetheart of 12 years, Savannah Brinson at the deluxe Grand Del Mar Hotel, just 25 minutes north of downtown San Diego.
Though we wondered why Lebron chose San Diego for his nuptials instead of Miami or his Akron, Ohio hometown, it's easy to see why the Grand Del Mar was selected to host the star-studded affair, which included guests Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Union.
Calling itself “San Diego’s premier wedding venue”, the Grand Del Mar looks like a sprawling Mediterranean estate and its picturesque setting in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon makes for a serene scene.
But we're hearing that another couple arrived at the wedding and took the event to a whole 'nother level!
Read about it after the jump!
There was a ton of backlash this year about different brands "commemorating" the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, especially when those brands were inserting their product into the "remembrance." (yeah AT&T, we're talking about you.) But this Marriott Hotel's tribute to those who died on 9/11 is just bewildering.
The San Diego Marriott Mission Valley decided to put out mini muffins and free coffee from 8:45am to 9:15am yesterday (the time span when both towers were hit by hijacked airplanes.)
A hotel guest tweeted this pic of the perplexing offering. After the photo blew-up on Twitter with folks mostly making fun of the offering but a few also thinking it was pretty offensive and cheap, Marriott Hotels then issued their own tweet-pology:
We are aware of the picture shared of an offer at one of our hotels, and we sincerely apologize for any perceived insensitivity.— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) September 11, 2013
Oy vey. But we can understand the hotel was coming from a good place, giving guests a chance to remember the national tragedy together. Maybe next year, put more emphasis on the remembering and not mention the mini muffins.
What do you think--misguided, offensive or totally ok? Sound off in comments below!
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
We recently took a look around the recently renovated--and by golly, according to our 2011 stay, necessary overhauled-- mammoth-sized 1600-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. A place this size, we agreed with our guide, the hotel was indeed a "mini city".
Therefore it's natural there's two towers for the hundreds of guests, not to mention customers coming in and out of their in-house Convention Center. So, when we took an elevator ride to check out the new and improved rooms (more on that another day), all seemed normal until we looked in the corner and saw the little sign above.
Obviously it was a medical symbol, that much we knew, but why was it there?
Take a guess, then we'll reveal after the jump.
Even more horrifying, witnesses report seeing at least one guest engulfed in flames. Two victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment, and the third was taken to UCSD Medical Center for life-threatening burns. LAist.com reports that two of the injured were inside the room where the explosion occurred and that the other was from the room next door.
News reports state the man and woman inside the room were 'cooking' meth.
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
As if we didn’t have enough paranoia to occupy our everyday living, we learned that an employee at the Omni San Diego was caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Spies like us? We don’t think so!
The creep in question was the hotel’s Chief of Engineering, who'd been with them for five years and no doubt had studied the ins and outs the property before deciding that the free-for-all lav was the place to catch people off-guard and with their pants down. Literally.
When we see specials that tout room for $1 or anything in that realm, we react with a twinge of excitement followed by a healthy dose of skepticism. We know these things do happen (see the smidgen of folks who got in on Public Chicago’s $1 deal), but, well, we’re just getting a little tired of breaking our necks for a slim-to-none chance to score a room.
So, when we saw that San Diego’s historic US Grant Hotel (where Michelle Obama recently stayed), the Gaslamp institution we featured in our Presidential Suites story, was offering $1.02 suites in celebration of their 102 birthday, we had to know “what’s the catch?”
Hotel Hell The Show / Sweet Suites / San Diego Hotels / Gordon Ramsay / Hotel Design / Reality TV Hotels / → All Tags
So, by now we all know the deal with the Keating Hotel, right? San Diego's "all flash no cash" hotel whose owner was genuinely more interested in things like Bang & Olufsen flat screens and espresso makers than actual comfortable rooms.
Well, that all changed with Gordon Ramsay's highly-publicized visit back in December to shoot a recently-aired episode of Hotel Hell. Since then, the menu has been simplified, the GM is no longer doing laundry (hooray, Sandra!), and, most importantly, the room service has been tightened up.
But there's one other thing. Remember back when we heard about Gordon designing one of the suites at the Keating? Well, the 2-room Victory Suite is now available for booking—at a staggering $1,099/night. So is it worth the cash?
Reality TV Hotels / Hotel Hell The Show / Gordon Ramsay / San Diego Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Finally, months after learning that The Keating Hotel in San Diego has been selected to appear on Gordon Ramsay's hotel improvement show, Hotel Hell, we get to see at last what was so wrong with the hotel. And it can be summed up in one word--Eddie.
That would be Eddie Kaen (seen below with Gordon), the owner of the hotel who bought the building back in 2000 for $6 million. Eddie never owned or worked in a hotel before but he decided his hotel should be the hotel version of a Ferrari. That meant lots of blood red decor with rooms and furniture designed by Italian car designers.
When the hotel first opened in early 2007, we wrote then that the rooms promised "lux linens, an espresso machine, a giant plasma TV with DVD player and free wired and wireless internet." Not so shortly after, the reviews came in from travel publications and guests alike and they weren't good, essentially saying that the Keating favored design over substance and in many cases, a good night's sleep.
Fast forward five more years and nothing's changed. Guests continue to complain about the "style over substance" mentality and now even the staff is piling on. That is, when they aren't under piles of laundry. Yup, everyone at the Keating has to do laundry from the general manager to the concierges.
Gordon can't get here soon enough.
Hotel Hell The Show / Gordon Ramsay / San Diego Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
Ramsay and The Keating's owner Edward Kaen look very happy indeed.
The hotel, which recently underwent an operational makeover from master chef turned hospitality consultant Gordon Ramsay, is now accepting dinner reservations in its newly redone MerK Bistro for a special live screening on August 27 of the episode that features the hotel. There will even be a special tasting menu on offer!
Word is the episode will focus on defining the hotel's design aesthetic and streamlining the "synergy between the hotel and its restaurant." Ramsay obviously puts his spin on the restaurant menu, adding a small selection of farm-to-table options.
Hotel Bathrooms / Bathroom Tuesdays / Hotel Woes / Hotel Crime / Omni Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Voyeuristic Hotels / → All Tags
We're not sure how this one managed to fly under our radar, though this isn't exactly the kind of thing we receive media alerts about, either. Turns out an employee at Omni San Diego was recently caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Ick!
The good news? The camera was found within hours of being installed. The bad news? Well, we're not sure which is more troubling: the act itself, or the fact that, because of what happened, Omni staff had to conduct an "exhaustive search" throughout all the hotel's bathrooms looking for other possible hidden devices. Ick again!
The Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego has just completed a year-long property-wide renovation debuting the brand's new sleek look. And capping off the expensive revamp is the installation of the grand "Flame Flower" sculpture.
Westin's $250,000 40-foot sculpture Flame Flower, in artist-speak, evokes an organic floral utilizing woven stainless steel pieces. And it is large. Very large. The petals of Flame Flower range from eight to 40 feet. You can walk around it on the plaza or see it from the conference space and some of the 450 hotel rooms above.
In the daylight Flame Flower plays with the sun creating shadows. At night, expect colorful LED illumination to tickle the walls surrounding the sculpture.
Legoland Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Family-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel News / → All Tags
For the folks who can't make it across the pond for the just-opened Legoland Hotel in the UK comes news that the Legoland Hotel San Diego, on property at the Legoland theme park, is indeed under construction and set to open in Summer 2013.
Cameras installed last December after grading on the site began will remain on, tracking construction from sunrise to sundown, until the hotel opens in the summer of 2013. The website shows two different angles of the 250-room hotel and gives viewers the ability to watch time-lapse footage and zoom in and out of the site. The walls are currently going up, reports Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada.
Keen to stay here? Better get on the list. Advance room sales will open this August. Also, we're keeping our fingers crossed that "junior concierges" will be hired at this hotel too.
[Photo via Legoland Webcam]