Fodor's Expert Review U.S. Grant

326 Broadway, San Diego, California, 92101, United States See on Map

Built in 1910, the U.S. Grant is straight-up eye candy, from the stately Belle Epoque exterior to the elegant, recently refreshed guestrooms. Throughout the meticulously renovated historic hotel, chic contemporary decor complements classic period details like elaborate moldings, Corinthian columns, marble flooring, high ceilings, and glittering crystal chandeliers. The grand lobby is drop-dead gorgeous, and the hotel’s wood-paneled Art Deco-style U.S. Grant Grill makes a lovely spot for a special occasion. The Gaslamp Quarter, just steps from the hotel, has more than 100 restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and many San Diego attractions are within easy reach.

Over the decades, the U.S. Grant has hosted numerous VIPs, including Hollywood stars and 14 U.S. presidents.


Impeccably stylish guestrooms look like they’ve been lifted from the pages of Elle Déco, with a chic Parisian vibe that complements the hotel’s antique architecture while feeling fresh and modern. Cozy standard rooms boast 9-foot ceilings, decorative moldings that frame artwork and mirrors, glen-plaid carpeting, wide windows, and a palette of cobalt blue, golden yellow, and earthy gray that pops against bright white walls. (The colors are meant to feel presidential in honor of Grant.) Contemporary furnishings include marble-topped credenzas, stylish armchairs, and unique headboards that feature original drip paintings from French artist Yves Clement. Upgraded rooms are even swankier, especially the glamorous suites.


Marble bathrooms feature walk-in showers. The hotel’s Grand Deluxe rooms include dual vanities and a soaking tub.


Grand and glam, the U.S. Grant’s lobby retains the opulence of the Belle Epoque era, with soaring ceilings, marble floors, elaborate moldings, Corinthian columns, crystal chandeliers, and accents of rococo iron work. But the recently refreshed space also feels au courant thanks to a mix of contemporary furnishings and accents, including bold wallpaper and potted palm trees.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Parking is $49 a day. That adds up fast.


The hotel’s spa concierge can arrange spa services for guests, either in-room or in the hotel’s spa suite.


The 24/7 fitness center has treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, a rowing machine, weight machines, and free weights.


With floor-to-ceiling mahogany paneling, cream linens, and tufted banquettes, the Grant Grill has been a San Diego staple since 1951. The Art Deco-inspired restaurant specializes in seafood and prime meats. The Sunday brunch is also popular.


The Grant Grill Lounge is a stylish spot to swill martinis, with Mooi crystal chandeliers, granite-topped tables, and mosaic floor inlays.


Getting Around

From The U.S. Grant, it’s an 8-minute walk to San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Train Depot, where you’ll find Amtrak and the Coaster, a commuter train that services coastal communities to the north. The Santa Fe trolley hub connects to all three trolley lines. The Green Line is the most tourist-friendly, servicing the Gaslamp Quarter, 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; follow C Street east and turn left on 11th Avenue to reach the on-ramp. The I-5 connects to other highways that cover the sprawling region.


Just steps from the hotel, Tender Greens (3-minute walk) has seasonal, farm-to-table food and offers a build-your-own-plate option (pick a protein, a veggie, and a side), as well as salads, soups, and sandwiches. At the Sofia Hotel, Currant Brasserie (3-minute walk) has a bistro setting and a menu that melds French and California flavors, with inventive dishes like duck confit tacos and classic options like steak frites. Outdoor sidewalk seating is perfect for people watching.


If the Field Irish Pub (10-minute walk) feels authentic, that’s because it is -- most of the pub was shipped piece by piece from Ireland. It’s a cozy place to enjoy a pint or two. The House of Blues (10-minute walk) is a popular bar and music venue filled with a large collection of colorful outsider art. Music lovers should check the concert schedule in advance.


If fabulous style is an essential part of your hotel stay, you can’t go wrong with the historic U.S. Grant. The luxury property pairs opulent architecture with chic contemporary decor to perfect effect, from the striking Belle Epoque lobby to the airy guestrooms with high ceilings and custom furnishings. The hotel’s restaurant and lounge are worth a visit and the U.S. Grant is steps from the Gaslamp’s many offerings.


Grande Dame


Phones: 619-232–3121;800-325–3589

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