Thursday, April 19, 2007
The W Hotel in San Diego Lives Up to The Hype
Currently, I am sitting in the San Diego Airport, waiting for my flight back to the Upper West Side. The one recommendation I have is actually the W Hotel, which is a surprise. I never thought of myself as one to actually like the W, and in fact, got nervous about staying there after my friend from London stayed at the New York W when she came to town. She likes hip much better than I do. But I can’t say enough about the one in San Diego. Once you get past the over-kitsch (the pool has the words “wett” in tiles and the gym is called the “Sweat”), the place is quite lovely. Their burger, pictured, was reasonably priced for a Hotel Burger and was quite tasty. Even the fries were good. I also tried fried calamari, which were not terrible but nothing to write home about as well as a “hearts of romaine” salad, which was quite tasty.
The service at the hotel was excellent. The reception desk and concierge were both helpful and got me where I needed to go. They gym, while small, was perfectly adequate for me. The hotel is near all the other downtown hotels, and my walk to the giant Hyatt and convention center was easily doable. And to compare this place to the hulking behemoth that is the Hyatt is just not possible. Its worth the 15-minute walk not to be there.
There are two negatives I should mention. The first is that the place is right across the street from San Diego’s Court and County Jail. There are way more bail bonds places than anything else in the immediate vicinity. The second is that the rooms are quite compact. For a business traveler, this means little: how much space can one guy use? If you traveled with a family you would need two rooms.
While I am sure there are good restaurants in San Diego, unfortunately I did not find one last night. Although I had a great time with the people I was with, the food at Luna (639 J Street, San Diego) was pretty lame. It didn’t help that they had changed their menu last week (from what?????) and that the Padres were playing, which meant that everyone was either at the game or avoiding this part of San Diego because of the game.