The Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter puts you in the heart of the city’s happening historic district. A five-minute walk from the Convention Center trolley station, and a short stroll to more than a hundred restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, this contemporary hotel is a comfortable, convenient option, especially for Hilton loyalists with points to burn. From the outside, the building looks like urban lofts, with accents such as brick, concrete, stainless steel, and huge windows, all of which fit the revitalized old neighborhood which is full of converted warehouses (long ago, the area was a red-light district). Views are best at night when the city twinkles all around you. The hotel also has a prime view of the iconic Gaslamp Quarter sign.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Valet parking is $49 a night. Ouch.
Standard rooms feature contemporary decor like wood-slat headboards, colorful artwork, and a serene blue accent wall, plus the hotel’s signature Serenity bed. Upgraded rooms are more sophisticated, like the executive Loft rooms, which boast huge arched loft windows with thick black panes, and of course the hotel’s suites, which have all sorts of extras like whirlpool tubs, balconies, and bay views.
Bathrooms have a standard-issue feel, with white square-tiled floors and shower-tub combos, granite counters, and wavy wallpaper.
The soaring lobby is clad from floor to ceiling in different woods, including check-in counters in contrasting stripes and a unique floor. Concrete beams and brick accents complement the warmth of all that wood, and a cluster of pendant lamps hangs high above. There are groupings of contemporary seating throughout the expansive space, some near an in-wall fireplace.
Don’t miss the hotel’s outdoor terrace, which has plenty of cushy seating and a hip urban vibe thanks to the brickwork and steel sliding warehouse doors.
The pool area features a decent-size pool, a whirlpool, chaises, terrace seating, and views of the convention center.
The hotel’s large fitness center has a good selection of cardio equipment (several of each treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers), strength-training machines, free weights, and mats. It also has floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the convention center and city.
New Leaf Restaurant serves casual California cuisine. The restaurant’s sidewalk patio offers prime people-watching, but unless you’re after convenience, there’s better food elsewhere.
The New Leaf lobby bar serves craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
With the Park and Market Trolley Station a mere 5-minute walk from Hotel Indigo, guests can see a lot of sights without a car. The trolley’s Green Line services the Gaslamp Quarter, the Santa Fe Depot (home to Amtrak and the Coaster, which services coastal communities to the north), Little Italy, Old Town, and the world-class Fashion Valley shopping center. Interstate 5, a major north-south freeway, is about a mile from the hotel; I-5 connects to other highways that cover the sprawling region.
There are three steakhouses within 500 feet of the hotel, including Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar (1-minute walk), Donovan’s Steak and Chop House (2-minute walk), and cheekily named Gaslamp Strip Club (2-minute walk). All serve expertly prepared cuts of meat, but have different personalities. Fleming’s and Donovan’s both have a traditional vibe, with dark wood, white tablecloths, and candles -- and both are very spendy. On the opposite end of the steakhouse spectrum, the Gaslamp Strip Club is hip and playful. The cavernous space features brick walls, exposed rafters, black tufted-leather horseshoe booths, starburst chandeliers, and paintings of classy pin-up girls hanging all the way to the ceiling. The menu includes “Sinful Starters,” “Sassy Sides,” and “Seductive Sweets” to complement the classic steaks and chops.
When it comes to nightlife, the Gaslamp has something for everyone. At the Hard Rock Hotel, the rooftop Float (3-minute walk) has an all-day scene on sunny days, from mimosa-soaked mornings to late-night ragers with live DJs. The rooftop’s pool is just for guests, but the terrace bar around it has fire pits, ample eating, and cool city views. Cafe Sevilla (2-minute walk), a longtime Spanish restaurant and bar with tons of character, is known for its delicious sangria, flamenco shows, and nightly live music.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With loft-like urban style and a prime location in the bustling Gaslamp Quarter, this Hilton is is a solid choice for travelers who love to be in the thick of it. There are flashier options in the area, but the Hilton offers reliably good quality, especially for Hilton loyalists with upgrade opportunities. It’s close to public transit and surrounded by the Gaslamp’s many shops, restaurants, and bars.