San Diego Travel Guide
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Embassy Suites, known for its spacious rooms, free breakfasts and gratis happy hours, has overhauled its downtown San Diego property -- and it's looking quite spiffy. Above is a photo of the lobby before the renovation. Below is the lobby now:
In addition to the lobby enhancements, the restorations included work to the atrium, 341 two-room suites, fitness center, meeting spaces, business center, hallways and guest areas. The hotel now has new flooring, lounge décor and furniture. Catering to frequent business travelers, the property also improved its more than 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space and its technology.
Rates start at $197.
[Photos: Embassy Suites]
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Scheduled to open in 2016, the hotel will have just 36 rooms with only one and two-bedroom suite options. The property, which will not be called Montage, but rather Pendry San Diego, will also have two restaurants, a spa, a rooftop pool, a nightclub, and a beer hall. Is it expected to draw both business and leisure travelers with its location three blocks from the convention center in the heart of the city's main leisure district, the Gaslamp.
The hotel says it will "appeal to young, hip guests looking for both superior personal service and high-quality design and amenities," and rates are projected to start between $250 and $300 a night. Few details have been released about the restaurants, nightclub, and beer hall, but the hotel hopes to attract locals as well as visitors and become a destination in themselves.
The annual nerd fest that is Comic-Con kicks off on Thursday in San Diego and whether you're headed there to see Kiefer Sutherland relive Jack Bauer's greatest moments on 24 or learn some "cool" Star Wars origami tricks or celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons or pick up some new comic book collectibles, we suggest making a stop off at these hotels for some Comic-Con-themed goodness.
· The US Grant Hotel, where the first Comic-Con was held in 1970, has partnered up with The Cravory to create special Comic-Con cookies. If you were lucky enough to get a room before the hotel sold-out, on Friday, July 25, four Comic-Con inspired Cravory cookies will be placed on the guest room beds at turndown. Guests who dine at The Grant Grill will also receive a commemorative Captain Grant coaster, letter-pressed with Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for the Union Tribune, Steve Breen's exclusive artwork, while supplies last.
· Manchester Grand Hyatt is honoring Marvel Comics with three specialty cocktails ($11). Starting tomorrow, at the hotel's rooftop bar, Top of the Hyatt, Thor's Hammer(ed) will be a fun spin on the classic Long Island Iced Tea. In the Grand Lobby Bar, The Hulkito, essentially a Mojito, will be served to honor the green superheor while in Redfield's Sports Bar, the Marvelrita, a margarita, will be served in Marvel Comics' signature red color.
· Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina has created a Captain America cocktail ($9) which tastes like a Pina Colada but instead is colored red, white and blue, just like Captain America himself.
[Photos: US Grant & Sheraton San Diego Marina]
With Memorial Day around the corner, it’s that time of year when hotels take down the scaffolding and show off newly renovated digs in time for the busy summer season. The 126 year-old Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego is the latest to announce a refreshed look with the upcoming launch of a new beach area on May 1st.
Called Del Beach, the new waterfront set-up features daybeds, half-moon cabanas, boogie boards, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayak rentals, and a beach playground for kids. The revamp will also come with new white and burgundy beach towels, and guests can rent chaise loungers and sun umbrellas. A full food and beverage service will offer salads, sandwiches, mai tais, and margaritas right on the beach.
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Ron Burgundy may have taken New York in "Anchorman 2" but the Hard Rock San Dee-Ag-o is paying tribute to the original Anchorman movie (and obviously, the more superior one.)
The Gaslamp Quarter hotel's "Stay Classy San Diego" package includes a few of Ron Burgundy's favorite things like a 1.7oz bottle of Sex Panther Cologne Spray, two Scotch cocktails of your choices at the 207 bar, one pint of Ben & Jerry's Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream delivered in-room and two passes to the San Diego Zoo for some Panda Watch.
The package starts at $347 and is available through March 1st. Go here to book and use the promo code CLASSY. While we like the Hotel Helix's Anchorman package for offering tickets to the Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum and we dig the Kona Kai San Diego's offer of an "Anchorman" DVD, we'd book the Hard Rock package solely to spritz on Sex Panther cologne before the room service waiter comes up with our ice cream. Hey, we're just staying classy.
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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?”
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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?