from Los Angeles, California
Submitted on 19-07-2016
It was another long afternoon drive to San Diego from LA in hectic traffic, but once out of the 405 mess and on the autobahn aka the 73 tollroad not many take, the stress level diminished as I started thinking about my meeting the next morning. Then it dawned on me that I neglected to have my assistant set up my hotel reservations. I knew my HH points were almost enough for a weekend stay, so I called in my reservation and my options were now with a new property name. it dawned on me that the ne...
It was another long afternoon drive to San Diego from LA in hectic traffic, but once out of the 405 mess and on the autobahn aka the 73 tollroad not many take, the stress level diminished as I started thinking about my meeting the next morning. Then it dawned on me that I neglected to have my assistant set up my hotel reservations. I knew my HH points were almost enough for a weekend stay, so I called in my reservation and my options were now with a new property name. it dawned on me that the new Bayside construction project was now on the list of options and because I go for the HGI properties and was impressed with my last stay at the new HGI Old Town location, i figured new is good and why not try this new spot.
I was immediately impressed with the motor lobby and once greeted by one of the 4 staff members eagerly awaiting to help someone, I was a bit turned off by the fact they only had valetI believe at $40 a night. I usually go for self park and was not used to an HGI property with nothing but underground, but I stopped and reminded myself I'm still in California and as much as San Diego has grown, it's not as bad at the $79 I paid in San Fran the week before. Not to mention, I live in downtown LA, so who am I to gripe.
Again I was still impressed that I was even being greeted by now 2 valet and a bellman. I looked around to make sure I was not at a full service Hilton and even asked if this is was an HGI property? They both smiled and said yes sir and welcome to our new location where we also have our HWS side and when he pointed I did notice the architectural change where they met as one.
As i walked up to the completely open air lobby or at least it felt like that as a cool Pacific breeze made it's way from one open courtyard through the massive lobby (for an HGI) to another open courtyard that appeared to be two separate venues. The sun was just setting, so i unfortunately did not time it right as I should have plopped myself down in the many seating areas they had arranged for guests to partake. Either way, I knew by looking at the stone fire long rectangular tables with bar stools on either side, this was where I need to be having a drink with my wife whom was back at the office taking care of business.
My wait was about 5 people deep and I did not see the HH check in, so maybe it wasn't, set up. I mean I could literally smell the newness mixed in with the ocean breeze. I also saw some guys working on one of the large glass centerpiece dividers where the fire pit keeps the fire where it belongs on a windy day, which tonight was not. This reminded me just how new the property was.
I don't like to wait and they did have 3 people working behind the front desk, but only two were actually checking in. Just as I was getting a little antsy (which is 3 minutes for me), another staff member walked up to the podium and I was next. Check in was a breeze and the staff member I can't recall her name maybe Karen was actually a SD native who was also a foodie with some secret spots only the locals knew about. This was great as I had to come up with a cool spot to take my client out to dinner who had already checked in to another property the day before.
I only had my one roller case and a backpack, so I did not need the bell service guy who was eagerly waiting for me to get my room key, but I took care of him and the valet, as they both seemed to enjoy their new opportunity and I like to see that.
I walked down to the elevators which were very close and took it up to the 6th floor where I had hoped would have a good view maybe too late tonight, but i'm an early riser. The room was designed with the business like tones of off whites, grays and the dark wood furnishings. I opted for a King, so I could sprawl out alone for the night in a bed all to myself. As soon as i was settled in and started looking at the food options they had at the hotel, i became very hungry and right then my client called my cell. I gave him some of the options that the front desk person recommended to me and he was impressed as some where old, but new too him.
I called down to the valet and maybe it was because he remembered me or my car not knowing the rules for calling ahead, he said let me know when you're ready, so he could time it perfectly. I cleaned up in what appeared to be a very nicely appointed bathroom for an HGI. I immediately noticed the mirror that had an LED strip all the way around and was light from behind. It actually made me look younger or maybe it was the relief of knowing I would not have to make the LA traffic commute to my office in the morning,
I finished washing my face and grabbed one of the towels (I love new towels) and thought I had grabbed the bath towel, with the size of their hand towels until I looked over at the larger bath towels and thought to myself, I have a date with you anticipating long hot shower upon my return.
My call to the valet was as smooth as it was to just walk up to my clean car and be handed the keys, No they did not detail it, I knew my client was going to be in my car, so I took care of the back in LA. I was now pulling out of the motor lobby, which conveniently spits you right on Pacific Blvd. My client was in the downtown area, so being on the edge of it, my journey was quick. I noticed then how close to the airport the hotel was although I never did hear any jet noise. Hopefully we were not in the pattern to which I found out that evening we were not.
After an amazing meal that has now put me into a state of hibernation, i couldn't get back to the hotel quick enough. Believe me I can have fun, but this was an early night to make an early meeting. Meetings always start early, so everyone can beat the traffic. As I pulled in my buddy was now off, but a new team greeted me as nicely as I was when i first pulled in, so I was getting used to this and maybe you don't get this with self park. I was surprised by the amount of valet and bellman still working this late, but maybe they were still trying to figure out their staff levels. Either way, i enjoyed the celeb status and almost wanted to pull around again.
As I walked in the lobby both huge glass opening were still wide open and the it was about 5 degrees cooler. Both courtyards were lit up on either side and the fire pit long tables seemed to be the popular spot to congregate.I was tempted to grab a drink at what looked like a gathering of people over at the bar, but I had an early day and needed hit the hay.
This is where I was really impressed. I travel quite a bit and have slept in the Suite Dreams or Heavenly bed and all the other dreamy beds that hotels sell you on, but I have to tell you looks are deceiving, but once I laid back in the bed, this was a slice of heaven. I realized as iI was immediately getting tired and still in my clothes. I mustered top the energy to get undressed, but the shower was not happening as I could not get undressed fast enough to get in under the covers.
I had left my temperature in the room a bit cool and I forgot new A/C means a cold room quick. Once I was settled under what seemed like 10000's of thread counts wrapping around my body, I hear my wife's voice in the background something about Egyptian cotton and it reminds me to pick up the phone to say goodnight and as she asked me how was my hotel choice was knowing i forgot and waited to the last minute, I said amazing so far and started to get her jealous about the bedding saying I don't know if I will be able to wake up from the deep sleep I will get in this bed, as it may be nicer than ours. She said no way (she's really into bedding) and I said you might have met your match. I remember saying goodnight and setting my alarm. I asked the front desk for a wake up call, because I may accomplish this just one effort of the alarm. I clicked on the nice size 40 something size screen and started to surf. Next thing I knew the phone was ringing ant it was my wake up call. Wow i slept right though the alarm that had been trying for the past 10 minutes and was now buried in pillows. I really felt rested for the first time in a while and as i slowly got out of bed and opened the drapes which were doing their primary job of keeping my cave a dark cold dungeon, it was time to let them open me up to the world. The sky was slowly started to brighten from the eastern sun that I once only wanted too draw the drapes closed 8 hours before never even looking at hat seemed like it was going to be an incredible view. I was right over a marina filled with nice sized yachts and sailboats. Being a boater myself when I lived in Miami, it really hit home how much i missed the fun times on the boat when i had far less responsibilities. Either way, I was now getting an even better feeling that I get as soon as I see the ocean a calming feeling just takes over my body.
After a nice hot cup of coffee in my room and remember being too tired to take that hot shower the night before, i decided it was my calling. The shower head was good size, but seemed to have some pockets of air as it struggled to clear its throat. That is typical with any new house or hotel and within a minute, here came what I wished for and that's good pressure which in California is a crap shoot. i took that long awaited soothing shower and was now ready to take the next 2 hours preparing for my 10 am meeting and catching up on emails. The internet was pretty fast hotel wise and it did not boot me off from the night bores is common. I have too say the over noise level in the hotel was good. The hotel was very quiet and I could barely hear what appeared to be housekeeping. It was now a Friday and I just realized I only reserved the one night. These nice ladies I'm sure show me as checking out and would love to just come in here and clean, but I feel like i just got here. Anticipating the knock they actually never did bug me and noised down the hall even without my dnd sign I could see from across the room still one this side of the door.
I thought instead of the treacherous drive back to LA like the colleagues attending that live in LA with me after our meeting, I thought I what a good time to stay and hopefully I could convince the wife to come by car, fly or even take the train, so we could drive back together on Sunday evening. We both come here for business, but never really stop and enjoy San Diego. It did seem like the happening spot with all these new places opening everywhere and we both love the gas lamp district. I went online to HH rez to see if they had any availability for this weekend. I could not see anything online, so was still being optimistic about staying in this room. The CSR tried her best to book something and said they were sold out this weekend with comicon starting the following week. She said why not give the hotel a call and put me through to a very nice lady. I said are you sold ou this weekend and she said yes we are, but what were you wanting to do.
I always feel a face to face gets you further, so on my way out to my meeting, I stopped at the front desk and asked for the front desk manager. I started what my wife calls my reynolds rap that gets me in everywhere (usually) and continued to explain how much I enjoyed staying here and wanted to extend my room. She said unfortunately we are sold out and need your room for another goes who reserved the HGI King room, but what I can do is see what we have on the Homewood Suites side and since you're an loyal HH member, she did a couple of key strokes that made the screen change to YES to which she somehow upgraded me to the river floor plan of the 1 BR suite (so she said).
Realizing time had slipped closer to my meeting , i said I have to jet. She said is your luggage still in your room and I said yes. She immediately checked me out and checked me into the new suite. She handed me the keys and offered to have someone help me, but when I'm pressured for time, I'm quick.
I grabbed my luggage and somehow remembered her directions to the suite. I walked into what was 2.5 X's the size of my HGI room which was incredible enough for me, but now I just walked into a decked out high-end luxury condo on the water. I quickly took pictures and sent some to my wife who responded via text what famous person loaned you their condo. She had no idea the HGI was also connected to a HWS. I have to say have stayed at HWS properties everywhere as well, but this one was in a league of its own and the furnishings alone were begging for a get together amongst friends. The view from every window was unbelievable.
The meeting ended and the wife could not get down here quick enough. All I have to say is we were quite impressed with every portion of accommodations and she actually started shopping online for a new set of sheets thinking hers were no longer a viable asset to our family. We enjoyed everything there was to offer at the hotel and the food mat the courtyard was incredible. I believe the restaurant was open, but we got too full at the bar only to be disappointed hearing from another guest that the chef is world renowned.
We tried to do everything we could during the day and seemed to always want o come back to the hotel to check out the pool, which we finally did no Sunday. I can't express how much we loved the spacious accommodations. We asked for extra towels and pillows and it was not even 5 minutes someone was knocking with plenty of both (or maybe word got around that I tip).
When Sunday arrived, we had my sister, brother in law and my two adorable nieces over for brunch in our room and then ventured out to the pool, so the girls could swim.It seems to be more off a family hotel on the weekends as the girls immediately found some new friends their age (6 and 9).
it was a great relaxing weekend that my wife and I need to do at least once every other month. Would I recommend this hotel, let's just say i'm very picky and when i like something i think the average non-picky person will definitely fall in love.
If you did what I did by checking into the HGI thinking I was just here for the night, you may be in trouble. I would have been fine staying in the HGI side, as It is just the two of us, but I was spoiled from both hotels all under one roof.
I look forward to o coming back. As we left the valet guys for the last time after a very easy express checkout, I said we are moving in here next week, They all laughed and said well We would love that. I personally think they practiced that line, because it was way too choreographed.
Now I'm back in LA and up earlier than most back at the grind, but as I finish writing this much needed review, i actually still feel relaxed and energized from that stay. This may have to be a monthly thing before it wears off.
Sorry for the long review, but sometimes when i'm passionate about something I get carried away. Thanks for reading this full content if you made it this far. You must be a closet writer like me.