92106 Travel Guide
When we stayed at the Pearl Hotel in San Diego last week, we got something we didn’t bargain on – a sleeping partner called Wolfgang. Sadly, Wolfgang was not a strapping German, and luckily, he wasn’t a bedbug. He was, as you can see from the picture, a fish.
All the rooms at the Pearl have a retro motel feel, and each come equipped with a little fish in a bowl on the wall. Each bowl comes with a name tag, so you’re not sleeping with something anonymous.
Should we have wanted to get maternal, we were warned off feeding Wolfgang with a sign saying:
Everyone gets fine n friendly care from The Pearl Hotel staff. There’s no need to feed me. Enjoy your stay.
The burning question – what happens if the fish dies? Do they create a new sign? Sadly not. This was actually our second visit to the Pearl. During our first, we suspected our fish might have died (it hadn’t – we don’t think) and asked at check in what happens – and they said they just replace them. The fish is dead, long live the fish, kind of thing.
The Pearl Hotel will toast to San Diego's Beer Week (November 6 to 15) with a poolside beer brunch on November 8 featuring suds from local artisan brewery AleSmith Brewing Co.
The beer brunch will have four brewski-and-eats stations at each corner of the pool. At one station, the Belgian-style Grand Cru will be paired with a smoked ham and roasted pear croque monsieur. Another will offer the Speedway Stout, an imperial stout with coffee, to complement the hazelnut French toast and Tahitian vanilla custard. Old Numbskull, a West Coast-style barleywine, will come with house-smoked bacon, sunnyside-up quail eggs and bird's next hash browns.
The last station will pour Anvil, the brewery's signature beer, to go with the raisin rum coffeecake.
As the countdown until the end of summer ticks away and people try to cram in last-minute outdoor activities, San Diego's The Pearl is just getting started with its Dive-In Theatre, a weekly swim-and-cinema social. Every Tuesday year-round, the hotel screens a flick onto its 10-by-13-foot outdoor screen that overlooks the oyster-shaped pool.
Between 50 and 100 people show up to see the movie of the week at this retro-looking hotel, which avoids the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in favor of the quieter Point Loma area. The Pearl's been holding Dive-In Theatre—its signature event—since the hotel's opening in September 2007. It's free for hotel guests, but everyone else has to buy a drink at the bar to get access to the pool and lounge. The scene invites lingering, with hammocks, dim lights and a few palm trees. If you want to roll like a VIP, the hotel offers two poolside cabanas (though the movie screen is only visible from one of them) that have a $250 food and bevvie minimum. Food is served until 10 p.m., and bar stays open until midnight.
There's something to be said for having the imagination to turn a 1960s motel into a hip and happenin' hotel. We're quite impressed at how owner Greg Strangman has done this at the Pearl Hotel San Diego.
As well as renovating and refurnishing the rooms, Strangman and crew also sunk a heap of money and time into the public areas, creating a bar, poolside area and restaurant that are getting the locals talking as well as the guests.
The first few months of TripAdvisor reviews certainly show that the Pearl is living up to our expectations. Guests are raving about it! Just a few of the positives they mention are a funky atmosphere, friendly and fast staff, stylish furnishings, great lobby bar and poolside cafe, Xbox 360 available to play for free, and truly excellent food in their restaurant. And every second guest raved about having a pet fish in their room (they all have names, too).
While San Diego's downtown hotel scene is going through a renaissance thanks to the just opened Ivy and Keating Hotels and the pending Hard Rock San Diego, another hotel is quietly opening in the city's Point Loma neighborhood.
The Pearl Hotel officially opens its doors on August 30 with affordable room rates starting at $139 a night--just keep in mind you sacrifice proximity to the happening Gaslamp Quarter which is about 10 minutes away.
There aren't many photos of the place available but it looks like a motel gone boutique chic. Inside guest rooms will include desk and chair, free Wi-Fi access, Roku SoundBridge Radio, and 32- and 42-inch LCD televisions.
There are also clever room categories such as The Gem rooms which have queen platform beds, mirrored ceilings and free-standing showers. The Jewel rooms have king platform beds, outdoor patios (some, not all) and randomly "superior storage space."
But just because the place is far away from the Gaslamp doesn't mean it will be boring. The hotel's Pearl restaurant will open in September and will serve "metropolitan-minded, globally-focused cuisine". Poolside at the hotel will be private cabanas and bottle service. Additionally, the hotel plans on having happy hour Monday through Friday along with other social "sexy" events.
· Hotels in San Diego [HotelChatter]