We looked up rates for a weekday in September, and found a King bed with ocean view at the new Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa for $272/night, while virtually the same thing was available at HGI for $249/night.
HGI won't include a bathrobe or bath slippers—and the TVs are bigger (by eight inches, to be precise) at Hilton Oceanfront Resort—but we kind of get the impression that Hilton and the development company, Wave Crest Hotels, just saw an opportunity for expansion and wanted to
capitalize on repeat the success of Hilton Garden Inn just a few steps up the beach.
The one biggie difference between the two hotels is, of course, the new 5,600 square foot Ocean Crest Spa that's opening inside the new Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort. It's supposedly inspired by the Pacific Ocean, and contains seven treatment rooms, outdoor relaxation areas, and a menu full of treatments that make use of coastal California plants and herbs native to the area. Also, judging from the website photos, the new Hilton Carlsbad is more spread out, has a more classic (read: less colorful and "Mediterranean") design, and has its own private staircase to the beach.
The Hilton Carlsbad's ocean-facing restaurant, Chandler's, looks pretty sleek too, with a cozy cocktail bar, a mix of booths and regular tables and chairs, and outdoor terraces with fire pits.
Plan on staying at either of these hotels? Care to share a story from a past experience at HGI Carlsbad Beach? Let us know in the comments below!
[Photo: Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa]