Please help with selecting a San Diego Hotel

Old Oct 1st, 2005, 06:43 AM
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Please help with selecting a San Diego Hotel

Hi everyone,
We are thinking of going to San Diego for our 25th since we have never been to Southern CA before. Some sightseeing, some adventure, plus relaxing on the beach are what we are looking for. Has anyone been to Crystal Pier Hotel recently? That place looks interesting! We would prefer to stay on a beach.... any beach suggestions?? What things in SD are a must to do? We are in our 40's, love to travel and experience new things! Thanks in advance!!!
Jayneann is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2005, 06:52 AM
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I forgot to mention we are planning to go next August!! Thanks again,
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 07:22 AM
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First, congratulations on your upcoming 25th -- wow, you must have married young!

We stayed in Pacific Beach this August, but because it was more of a spontaneous trip for us, getting reservations at the Crystal Pier would have been impossible. We did see it from our hotel (also located ocean front) about a block down the road, and it looked like a great place.

I thought the area was perfect, great sand, swimming, surfing, and lots of restaurants in walking distance. It's more of a "young" area, which is what we like. Ate at Joe's crab shack, with it's motto "peace, love and crabs" which was a lot of fun. You can rent bikes to ride along the walkway next to the beach. It's a short drive to La Jolla, Seaworld, and most other points in SD (even though SD is a big place). You can also take a surf lesson there (ran about $70).

You might also want to check out Humphreys to see who's playing there, and get tickets to a baseball game if the Padres are in town.
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Thanks surfergirl! Great suggestions, especially since we like "young areas"! We still think we are in our twenties! Anyone else have any thoughts??
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 10:44 AM
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For an anniversary, I'd think about splurging and staying at the Hotel del Coronado. Beachfront, historic (they shot Some Like It Hot there), wonderful. Coronado is fun to walk around in, and the beach is pretty good.

The best restaurants and clubs are in the Gaslamp. Plan an evening or two strolling around; have a few rounds at Croce's (run by Jim Croce's widow) when they have live bands playing.

Balboa Park is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo as well as most of San Diego's fine museums. Prado is an eatery located in the park-- nice for dinner.

La Jolla is an upper-class neighborhood in San Diego, with a perfect, charming "downtown" area called La Jolla Village (Prospect Ave.). It's a strolling town, with shops, galleries and some awesome restaurants. George's at the Cove is the ideal place to catch a sunset dinner-- and the food is superb there. If you can forego views, Nine Ten at the Grande Colonial Hotel is a great eatery as well.

Old Town is a taste of Olde México, albeit a bit touristy. Plan an afternoon of strolling around, then follow your nose for some good Mexican food and margaritas.

And these are just off the top of my head. The locals will have other suggestions. Anyone?
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Old Oct 1st, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for the replies!! Still hoping we can spend a few days right on the beach but the hotels are soooooooo expensive. However, I wouldn't mind if it is truly worth it, but people who wrote on tripadvisor had many negative things to say about the popular beach hotels.

Is there an area with a beach front hotel that most people can agree is very nice?? I like the idea of Crystal Pier but am not able to make a reservation until January 1, when we will be in Costa Rica!! The owner said that it completely fills up for the month of August that day!!! Hotel Del got some really bad reviews on tripadvisor.

Any other suggestions? Which beach area is considered the most beautiful? Thanks!!!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Expensive, yes, but the Hot La Valencia in LaJolla and the old tudor rooms at the Hot Del (del Coronado) are special, and the beach there in Coronado is world class.
I'll never forget the Sunday brunches at the officer's club just to the NNE, and I'm not a brunch person (too much fat and salt).
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 12:39 PM
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A very nice hotel on Coronado Island is the Glorietta Bay Hotel. While it's not right on a beach, it's within easy walking distance, and the hotel--formerly the Spreckels mansion--is lovely, especially if you opt for one of the rooms in the main building. There's a living room with a grand piano and an inside-outside area where afternoon tea is served.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:56 PM
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this is a little off track, but we just returned from San Diego. We were VERY disappointed with the Town & Country in hotel circle area of San Diego. The rooms are so dated and the carpet was terrible. The bathrooms are in bad shape also. We were given a generous discount because we were attending "parents weekend" with a local college and the give you free breakfast, drinks and parking. No wonder! They need something to draw in visitors. The only saving grace is the close proximity to shopping. You literally walk through the back of the hotel to a bridge that takes you to a nice shopping center.

On the other hand...try Dakotas in the Gas Lamp district - great steak, Hash House on 5th was great too. The Harbor House rest. in Seaport Village - my husband order Shrimp La Costa and loved it.
Good luck on your trip planning. San Diego's climate is wonderful..not too hot or cold. We love it and I don't think our son will ever want to return home after living there for 9 months!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:24 PM
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July and August are the prime times for rentals and hotels in San Diego and everyone wants to be by the beach. Everything goes way, way up and the place is extremely crowded. About mid Aug it does thin out a bit bc so many kids have to go back to school. We avoid July and Aug bc everything is so packed.

Finding any kind of deal will be most difficult. You can pay $300 and up for a very mediochre room, but many are happy to pay it so their families can play together on the beach.

Our favorite place is the Catamaran, but very expensive and the rooms are nothing special. Also, it is on the bay, not the ocean.

How long are you going? You might think of getting a weekly rental in South Mission. They rent from Sat to Sat and average out to be cheaper than a hotel per night. Just a thought. Good luck.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:05 PM
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I have stayed at the Best Western Blue Seas Lodge in Pacific Beach area- it is right on the beach - we could hear the waves all night - its not the same category as the Coronado of course but we enjoyed our stay there - nice pool, hot tub, right across the street from World Famous restaurant with good food.

Also in Carlsbad ( which is my favorite beach community) is the Best Western Beach Terrace Inn which is also right on the beach - havent stayed there- it has mixed reviews on TripAdvisor- some love it and some dont - but it is a great location - close to downtown Carlsbad with nice restaurants and shopping.

sunbum1944 is online now  
Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Dear Jayneann

Good afternoon! As far as the Coronado goes I would visit the hotel and its beautiful grounds if youre in the area but I wouldnt actually stay there.

My husband and I stayed in a very expensive suite for our honeymoon and I was really, really, really disappointed. Sadly, it was not even close to being worth the money we paid.

I dont post this message to criticize in the least those who recommend to stay at this hotel-I just was so very bummed with my room at the Coronado that I thought Id help you possibly avoid the same disappointment…

So maybe staying at a nice room in another hotel and visiting the Coronado gives you the best of both worlds! Yeah!

Whatever you choose-have a safe and fun trip!

Sincerely, Carrie in PA
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:21 PM
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naturegirl: What specifically about your suite at the Del (as most people know the resort) displeased you? I think the facilities and rooms there are wonderful. Then again, I have a love for those old historic properties and can overlook little quirks that old hotels have (like those in South Beach). I know that some rooms at the Del are more sumptuous than others....
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Dear rjw_lgb_ca,

Hello and good evening! I hope Ive not offended anyone by stating my opinion of the Coronado-perhaps its just a matter of preference or perhaps my negative experience was a complete and total fluke. Here are my thoughts:

From my heart:
Staying at the Coronado on my honeymoon was a childhood dream I was so excited to fulfill-and I was really excited to envelope the historic charm of such an old resort! Its fair to say that I had high expectations-maybe too high? Walking to the suite I was in such awe of the beauty and grandeur of the Coronado but when I entered the suite I sort of felt like a balloon losing all its air

From my wallet:
Im almost positive I saved every bit of everything from my honeymoon so if I search I could probably find out what we paid for the suite. I guess I felt that staying at the Coronado, in a suite no less, would prove to be one of the neatest hotel experiences ever. Instead, I felt like I was staying at a chain hotel like maybe a Holiday Inn or something-but paying the Coronado room rate, of course.

It seems like some of the things on my “disappointed about” list below could have been fixed or prevented with a little TLC on the part of the Coronado (like the carpet stain).
The other things seemed to just lack the special touch I was hoping for/expecting (like the “hotel” looking bedspread/drapes). There was just nothing at all special about my room. Overall I just felt let down....

Here are some specific things I remember being disappointed about:

*old carpets-big stain on the bedroom carpet
*broken armoire
*teeny tiny television(s)
*hooks and discolorations on walls where picture frames apparently once hung
*beat up walls
*“hotel” looking bedspread and drapes
*old wicker furniture (like not vintage but just outdated)

Whew! I see that Ive gone about this in a long-winded manner but I truly hope it has helped better explain why I was disappointed with my room.

Have a pleasant evening!

Sincerely, Carrie
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Somewhere on this forum I saw a rec for Ocean Park Inn, and bookmarked it for future reference.

When we were in San Diego a few years ago, my husband was at a convention, so we stayed at the nearby Humphrey's Halfmoon. It is on the harbour, and we enjoyed watching the sailboats and dreaming about owning one of the many boats docked in the area. Sigh....
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all the great suggestions!! This forum is incredible!

I guess I have decided that I don't want to spend $600 at the Del for an ocean front room but I do want to be right on the beach. So, just this afternoon I reserved an ocean front room with a balcony at the Pacific Terrace for $365 per night. Is this a fair price? I know this beach isn't as beautiful as Coronado Beach, but I have never been to San Diego before and think (please let me know your thoughts) I might enjoy some funky beach atmosphere. I live near Cape Cod and go to Florida a couple of times during our winter so I do get to visit many nice beaches. I want to experience the southern Cali beach scene. Is this the right place? We will def visit Coronado and La Jolla. Anywhere else??

Also, we plan to drive to another part of CA, probably LA and Venice Beach. I don't care about staying on the beach in this area. Any suggestions for a moderately priced place here? Thanks again,
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:51 PM
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We went to San Diego over Labor Day expecting huge crowds and traffic but nothing materialized. We went to Sea World/Zoo midweek and felt like we had the place to ourselves. We decided to stay at a Hampton Inn off the freeway by Del Mar. This gave us a nice, basic hotel with good breakfast and easy access to wherever we wanted to go. We fell in love with Del Mar --beautiful beaches with grassy parks next to them and a small town, upscale feel. Also Torrey Pines State reserve with cool hiking trails on cliffs overlooking the ocean is nearby. Plenty of shopping and restaurants located right by the beach. We stayed at the Hampton to save some cash but I peeked in at L'Auberge hotel (one of the places I had considered) in Del Mar. It looked fabulous with lush landscaping and high patios overlooking the ocean (a block away). Weekend prices are high but midweek was reasonable. If I were to return to Del Mar (and I will) I would definitely book this place. We have stayed at the Pacific Terrace twice and while the hotel is nice, the area seemed a little... ummm... rundown and the uninspiring drive to get back to the freeway from the hotel seemed to take soooo long. Maybe some would call that area "funky". Nothing dangerous--just not the beauty of Del Mar.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Well, we tried to get into the Pacific Terrace (the hotel is right across from the Crystal Pier Hotel) and it was all booked up. That's a good price for that hotel. Having grown up in L.A. and lived in Venice in the '70's, I didn't find that area run down at all. Maybe it's my perspective. You are always going to get a beachbum (am I being politically incorrect here?) or two anywhere in the beach areas. Even in Beverly Hills there's an entire shopping cart brigade. This isn't Switzerland for heaven's sake (although I've seen a few in Zurich as well, so there you go).

The Pacific Terrace recommended the Ocean Park Inn, and we found a room there on the ground floor, no view, but we liked it a lot. Yes, there was construction going on at the other side across the pedestrian walk at the beach, but we saw and heard none of that because we were on the other side of the hotel. By the time you get there, the construction should be done. Great breakfast there, included in the price. Rooms typically Marriott style, great a/c and t.v., nice bathroom. Actually, since we'd spent the prior three nights in a crummy hotel room just outside of Rosarito Beach in Baja, we thought the OPI was a palace. With wireless connection for the laptops in the lobby, a small pool and spa, and being able to walk right outside to the beach, we were happy as clams.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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I too was researching for a place to stay in southern California next Spring with my family. I also posted a question on this forum asking about hotels in Coronado. I just thought I would share with you from the research I have done and you can read the responses on this forum under Glorietta Bay Inn. We decided to stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn in a two bedroom suite for $245/a night (AAA rate) which has very good reviews. The advantages of staying at the Gloreitta Bay Inn vs. the Pacific Terrace is that it is less expensive and the rooms, from the photos on the web, seem a bit nicer IMO. I believe the rooms in the Mansion are around $250/night. If you go on the GBI webpage look at there "Garden Suite" and the "Albright Room" which are really nice and would be perfect for a couple celebrating an anniversary. These rooms have a "victorian" look to them which is in a different part of the hotel where the two bedroom suites are located. The area of Cornonado is suppose to be beautiful and has one of the nicest beaches in southern California. Also the Glorietta Bay Inn is across the street from the beach and The Hotel Del Coronado which has restaurants and shops you can visit and there is also a boardwalk in the area to stroll about as well. I tried to justify staying at the Hotel Del but the rates for even a standard are pretty expensive. Pacific Terrace also has good reviews as well so it's all according to what type of place you are looking for. For myself I was willing to give up the view and stay in a two bedroom suite at $120/a night less than the Pacific Terrace and the hotel and area seem more along the lines of what we were looking for in southern California. I live on the west coast and all my friends advised me if I stay in Coronado, I would not be disappointed. Good Luck!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2005, 04:53 PM
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Jojo: Thanks for responding! The Glorietta Inn looks great and if I didn't have my heart set on staying right on the ocean, that's where I would stay too. But, this is our 25th anniversary so we want it to be special.
Sipping cocktails on the balcony, watching the that huge California sun disappear...............
Ahh, just can't wait!!!!!
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