Taking its opulent cues from the Palace of Versailles, the Westgate is not at all what you’d expect from its 1970s high-rise exterior. The hotel’s grand foyer makes quite the impression with parquet floors and elaborate moldings along with exquisite antiques, traditional furnishings, and Baccarat crystal chandeliers. Spacious rooms feature marble-clad bathrooms and Downtown views from the upper floors. Guests have access to the AquaVie Social + Wellness Club, a four-story fitness center adjacent to the hotel that also includes a spa and a rooftop pool. From the Westgate, it’s a short stroll to the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. There’s also a trolley stop nearby.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some might find the Westgate to be overly ornate or old-fashioned.
The Westgate’s sophisticated 400-square-foot Deluxe rooms feature traditional European furnishings, wool carpeting, and plush bedding. Located on floors 4 to 10, some of the rooms feature Downtown views. Premier rooms, on floors 11 through 18, step it up with French handcrafted furnishings from Richelieu and views that include glittering San Diego Bay, Balboa Park, and the Downtown skyline.
Marble-clad with brass fixtures, the Westgate’s attractive bathrooms feature
From the outside of the Westgate, a clean-lined ‘70s high-rise, you’d never guess what was just past the threshold. With soaring ceilings, substantial moldings, and wood parquet floors, the lavish lobby is a recreation of an anteroom in the Palace of Versailles. The luxurious space features an elegant mix of antiques, European furnishings, Flemish and French tapestries, Persian carpets, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, and a gorgeous old grand piano.
Guests have access to the adjacent AquaVie Fitness + Wellness club, a four-story fitness center with a rooftop junior Olympic-size lap pool. There’s also a hot tub, a 1/10 mile running track, and a lounge area with seating.
AquaVie’s spa offers facials, massages, and body skincare treatments.
AquaVie is one of the best things about the Westgate. In addition to the spa and rooftop pool, the stylish contemporary gym has top-of-the-line cardio equipment and strength-training machines, as well as spacious exercise studios for classes like yoga and core.
The women’s and men’s locker facilities feature steam rooms and dry saunas for a pre- or post-workout sweat sesh.
The Westgate Room is as refined as the rest of the hotel, with elaborate moldings, wood parquet floors, and glittering crystal chandeliers. Cream table linens and classic furnishings in a soft palette of pinks and greens add to the ambiance. At night, the European-style restaurant has a romantic vibe, with a menu that includes contemporary fare with an emphasis on seafood dishes. The Westgate Room also serves a lovely brunch. The bountiful spread includes pastries, cheese, charcuterie, a crepe station, a charcuterie station, seafood, made-to-order items and more, not to mention a selection of libations like bubbly, mimosas, margaritas, and Bloody Mary’s. There’s also a harpist, and who doesn’t need more harp in their lives?
The Plaza Bar is a popular local piano bar known for its classic cocktails and regular live music.
From the Westgate, 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. You can catch the Blue Line closer, at 2nd and C Streets, and transfer to the Green. 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.
The classy Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant (2-minute walk) is famous for its mussel bisque, but the rest of the menu is great, too, with French-inflected dishes such as escargots, charcuterie, and cheese, and elegant entrees like roasted Texas quail and bistro chicken. For a cheaper and decidedly more laid-back option, the creative rolls and bento boxes at Sushi Deli 2 (2-minute walk) have made the casual eatery a favorite among locals. Just keep in mind that restaurants near The Westgate can get slammed with pre- and post-theater crowds.
For something mellow, the Local Eatery and Drinking Hole (2-minute walk) is a large, friendly spot with a lot of TVs and a great selection of beer, plus bar food if you need a snack. For something unique, Analog Bar (10-minute walk) riffs on 1970s style, resembling a vintage recording studio replete with LPs on the wall. The stylish lounge serves craft cocktails and comfort food and features DJs on weekends.
WHY WE LIKE IT
San Diego has plenty of hotels with clean-lined furnishings and contemporary decor. The Westgate offers something different. Filled with eye-candy antiques and exquisite crystal chandeliers, the hotel’s lobby feels regal, and the spacious, refined guestrooms offer comfort and good views if you’re lucky. Access to the four-story AquaVie facility next door is a major bonus.