Travel Blogs from San Diego
... of the zoo so got us in the free - he's the guy to know. After a few hours there getting pretty sunburnt we headed back to the hostel for a post sun nap. In the evening we went out for steak as it was our last night. We based our choice of food and drink on amusing names. So we ended up at the Strip Club steakhouse drinking Little Black Dress wine. After eating all the food in the world (but still leaving a good amount on the ...
... the beach boxes looked familiar, but that was not a surprise as they have been featured in so many movies and TV series.
One of the interesting things was the Police car, well Police Ute with roof racks and Surfboard. Seems a good job for some in Santa Monica.
After the wander around the pier, it was into the car, address loaded into the GPS and we were off on our first US road ...
... your first problem. there is no sign saying WATTS PARTY OF TWO -- THIS WAY. The American way is far more confusing. The planners of the city prefer to sign post something from about five miles away, then let you get close before abandoning the whole signpost idea entirely. You are left in a strange place with zero idea of where you are in relation to your goal and have really got to develop a supernatural intuition for getting to where you want to be.
... Orleans, Houston and now back in San Diego. We were staying in Ben's room, the older brother of Sam and Emily, who is away at college - San Diego State which is 20 mins away. In the evening, we went for dinner nearby and planned out our week. It worked out that we had a day for each "touristy spot" of San Diego...well almost, we managed to fit in a few relaxation treats! Like the next day, we went for breakfast at a place called Americana and had delicious ...
... the coast and saw some beautiful scenery along the way although the smooth ride was enough to put me to sleep for a power nap! It was a quick train ride and didn't seem like a two hour trip and before we knew it we were in San Diego.
From the train station we could see our hotel the Embassy Suites. Brad checked Google maps and worked out it was a short walk and not worth trying to find a cab especially with our luggage ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Travelers also recommend:
Historical Traveler Reviews Tower23 Hotel San Diego
I had went for one night only but, I must say the hotel is extremely well maintained along with very eager staff to assist you with anything you need. Upon arrival when pulling into an indoor garage/valet parking area your bags are removed by staff and you are immeadiately escorted to your room where the actual check in of the hotel takes place(with reservation). you are given a full tutorial of the hotel and it's amenitites, the hotel's chic rooms and beddings are second to none that I have ever stayed in. The restaurant is excellent but, a little pricey, dinner for 4 with 2 bottles of wine costing $315 plus tip, other then that A great place to stay and watch the sunset on the ocean.
A Bright Spot on a Cloudy Day
Stayed Monday night on business so didn't see the wild night life others mentioned. Hotel is high class. Room was very nice and new. The young staff was very attentive in my opinion. Always ready to help you with something...from the parking Valet to the owner who introduced himself while I was on the deck and even greeted me by name the following morning when I once again saw him in the lobby.
This is not an expansive resort property...its a very nice hotel in a perfect beach front location...a premium in this developed neighborhood and in Southern California in general. The fun really is all around you. Many things to do from this "base".
Perfect summer vacation location or for a romantic quick get-away. Right on the boardwalk which stretches miles along the beach. Great place for people watching yet property is set back and private. Crystal Pier is footsteps south and extends a couple hundred yards out into the Pacific. Full range of eateries/pubs in the area.
My fiance and I just stayed four nights at tower 23 and im here today to say it was by far my best hotel experince ever. When we arrived at 23 we found that are room had been upgraded to a suite, and there was a bottle of champaigne on ice waiting as well. The staff was very young, i would say almost everyone that works there is under 25 and beutiful, but they were very professinal in my opinion. When are original stay was over we decided to stay even one more night, they had to give us i different room wich was a sky pad that was very nice. The beds are outstanding, everything was very nice and new. The reasurant jordan was very $$$ but worth every penny. I would give the hotel a 9 out of ten....they lost a point for being completly out of food at midnight when i wanted soom room service, but all in all a very nice place.
Excellent Hotel, great service and location
My girfriend and I recenlty spent 4 nights at Tower 23 and must say it was one of the better hotel experiences I've had in a long time. Once arriving the valet asks for your name and within minutes a bellman was there to take our bags and bring us up to our room, there is no check in at the front desk since they just swipe your card when you get into the room, couldn't be any easier. We had a second floor sky pad with a beautiful view of crystal pier, the lounge area and mission beach. The room was spotless, roomy, a big flatscreen on the wall and new temperpedic(sp?) mattress that was one of the most comfortable I've ever slept in. Great bathroom, excellent shower and water pressure and all types of products that the replenish multiple times a day. In my view you can't beat the location, its literally right on the beach and you have access to a million bars or resteraunts all within walking distance not to mention a boardwalk that goes on forever if you fancy a morning run or walk. The staff was extremely friendly, there was nothing they couldn't provide and room service took 15-20 minutes tops. There is a good restraunt on-site that spills out onto the boardwalk and JRDN is a very popular Bar/lounge which you always have access to as a guest. Even the valet parking is only about 15 dollars a day and contrary to a prior post there is NOT free parking right next store. I'm assuming some of the negative comments from prior reviews must have been due to the recent opening of the hotel although I'm not sure how someone can deduce that people sitting in the lounge are "hookers" or people posing as the hotel owners. If your looking to be on the beach and wake up every morning listening to the ocean and watching the sunset this is the place to be, not to mention they have awesome bathrobes. As a side note I had to get something out of my car which the valet had put on the lower level of the parking garage so I just asked for the keys and as i went down the steps one of the maids was actually on her hands and knee's cleaing the concrete stairwell. I can be a tough critic and during a 9 day jaunt between san diego and santa barbara tower 23 left the most memorable impression.
Great Trendy Hotel
I stayed at this Hotel with my Fiance over the Labor day weekend, which was just 6 weeks after they openned. I don't know what all the complaints we're about, but I thought this place was great. The best way to describe it is like a South Beach (Miami, FL) hotel. Very trendy with clean, simple, cool design. Downstairs in the main restaurant they play great chill/ acid jazz music. restaurant is both indoors and outdoors. Upstairs where the rooms are there's a large patio for everyone to use with bonfire at night that overlooks the ocean and sunset. A waiter will come around and take drink orders if you want them.
The restaurant is good, but is a little on the pricey side. The hotel staff is a little on the unprofessional side, but very friendly. They showed us to our room, did virtually everything that we asked and provided us with directions to any destination we wanted. They also recomended where to go or not to go. The rooms are very nice, clean, flat-panel TV. Very comfy beds- I think the temperpudic ones. Another thing... we could not hear any noise. The only louder area was probably coming from the hall way.
Ohhh, and for breakfast- the rest. at the hotel is definitely overpriced... just walk south to the first road to the small restaurant on the corner of the pier (can't remember the name), but it's just 2 doors down. The price of breakfast is very cheap... I don't think anything's over $5. They give you an enourmous amount of food; however, be aware that if you eat the whole thing it may just be a heart attack waiting to happen... let's just say it's a little on the greasy side.
The area is not the best for familys. It's catered to more of a younger crowd (18 - 30) since a block or 2 away lies the main street with a whole bunch of hole in the wall bars, which can be a lot of fun.
I would definitely recommend this place for a young couple or a place to go w/ a whole bunch of friends... it's not really child friendly.
Hope the review helps.
Awful Service, Nothing Special, Surfer Dude Hotel
Well, what can I say. This place was among one of the worst over-rated hotels I have ever seen. I'm not a nit-picky person, but we were there on our honeymoon. I booked this hotel direct over the phone and was told I would receive an email confirmation. I had to call back for it after not getting it for a week. This was in July. I should have taken this as a sign. I would say the location of this hotel was good, but really, the beach is in front of it and I won't give 23 credit for the beach. Anyone can get to the beach here, and they do. It's public. In fact, there's public parking attached to the hotel. Hotel parking is in their garage under the building. The Lifeguard tower 23 this hotel is named after is NOT in front of it, as the website states. It's down the beach after you go under the pier. It's actually in front of another hotel or some condos. The pier Tower 23 Hotel is RIGHT next to isn't that fabulous either. It's also private as the cottages on it are timeshares or peoples summer homes or something. It reminded me of a trailer park on a pier. So there's no walking down the pier at sunset. It closes at 8:30pm or so. The area immediately around the hotel is similar to a trashy, little city setting. There is garbage everywhere and bums walking around. None of the shops are even nice or quaint, they're junky. It's kind of like the area you go into before getting on the expressway just outside of downtown Chicago. Garbage, bums and nowhere to shop or have a good dinner.
When you arrive at the hotel, you are immediately sent to your room and have your credit card taken in the room by the front desk person who escorted you there. The hotel staff were made aware it was our honeymoon well in advance. Noone ever said 'congratulations' or 'welcome' or anything. It was more like, "get in your room and give us your payment method". I walked in wearing the "Bride" T-shirt my husband bought me to wear for our plane ride. All the girl checking us in said was, "cute shirt". Someone needs to go to hospitality school here. Another review mentioned there are unprofessional children running this hotel. Nothing could be more true. I would even venture to say that maybe this will be a better hotel in a year or two after they get the kinks worked out. But I can't. I don't think this hotel will still be in business in a year or two. I did some research on this place before we booked BECAUSE it was so new. I liked the idea that one of the two proprietors has a background that included W Hotels, which I am a HUGE fan of. Mr. Watson, you need to get over to your hotel and straighten that mess out. The kids you have running that place are not protecting you and your partner's investment. In fact, the evening I was there, there were a couple guys -who weren't guests- on the tower deck - which is only supposed to be accessible to guests and their invitees - who were claiming to be the owners. They obviously were not either you or Mr. Miller. I think the girls they were with were hookers, but I can't be sure. We weren't the only guests who were not happy with the service or conditions and none of your staff seemed to be doing anything about it or even care. Attention Mr. Watson and Mr. Miller: So you have a 'cool' building.... what are you going to do with it?
The bed was nice and so was the flat sceen TV. This was nothing special to me in comparison to the less than average treatment we recieved and the fact that we didn't come to 23 to watch TV. The restaurant, JRDN, was pretty good. I like eclectic food and the menu definately provided that. All the accompaniments were great and the dinner was over all 'good'. We would have went back to JRDN for dinner, but we pretty much didn't want to see the Hotel again after we left.
I'll stop with one last complaint: My husband could see I was not 'feeling' 23 after the check in person left our room. He called and spoke with a manager when I went out to the car to try and make things right for me (he is really a great guy). All they did was send a dessert up to our room. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be some place where I have to ask the staff to treat me well. At a 5 star hotel, I expect 5 star treatment. Not 'roll out the red carpet' treatment, but just be nice to me and provide a nice place to stay and I'm happy. The last straw was that we had a 3rd floor room and were informed that the elevator was being serviced for the entire time we would have been there (4 nights). There were also painters on every floor and the main lobby. Contractors of different kinds seemed to be everywhere. Was this place even ready to be open? Clearly, it wasn't. In the description of services on the 23 website, there are a few other things that are promissed that didn't happen: the mini-bar was not customized for us (I don't know how that could have happened anyway since they never asked us about anything we may have wanted), no spa or massage services are available that we were aware of, the wi-fi wasn't in service, no Chroma-aromatherapy bath in the room (not all the rooms have these, but it doesn't specify that on the site) and there is no 'scene' on the tower deck as described in the room descriptions. There is also no pool at this hotel. When I called and made the reservation, I asked about that. They made it sound like they had a waterfall-type of 'refreshment pool'. It's just a puddle that a 2'x2' pseudo-water-fountain is attached to. The only cool thing about the tower deck was the 'sand pit by day, gas fire pit by night'. I wish we could have enjoyed it without the drunk walk-in's claiming to be the owners and thier tawdry 'lady friends' hanging around.
My husband and I drove down to the Hyatt Islandia and ended up staying there the last 3 nights of our Honeymoon. They were better than great to us and the room and restaurant were both fantastic. Plus, the location is better if you are going to do some sightseeing and the area surrounding is beautiful. While this Hyatt is not on the 'beach' (and I am all about the beach when I travel to the Atlantic or Pacific), it is in a beautiful marina/bay and the view CANNOT be beat. The staff was so nice to us. The grounds were fabulous. The Concierge (which Tower 23 really doesn't have at all) was fantastic (thanks, Rhonda!). Do yourself a big favor and don't make the same mistake we made by hoping the Tower 23 hotel would be everything it makes itself out to be on thier website. Stay at the Islandia. Or anywhere else for that matter. You pay less and feel the REAL hospitality, sights and services that San Diego has to offer. Best wishes, Anne
Trendy Hotel on Pacific Beach
We stayed at this hotel for five nights in August with our 6 and 9 year old children. The hotel is very contemporay and in a great location. The beds are really comfortable and the bathroom/shower is great. The staff is very very friendly and accomodating. There isn't much of a lobby and check in is done in the room with a handheld device.
The location is great for the beach and several restaurants are within walking distance. There really isn't a pool for kids to play in.
Drawbacks include: Not great lighting in the rooms to read in. The bathroom mirror lighting is not great either and there is no magnifying mirror for middle aged eyes. We were awakened on two nights due to disturbances on the street. The hotel bar is very popular and trendy so there's a lot of action there on weekends. That can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for. It's not exactly what I would call and ideal family hotel but we made it work for us and had a nice time. They did have an XBox in the room. Unfortunately everything is so new and high tech it needed several people to hook up successfully. The thormostat controls need explaining too. Our first night was hot and stuffy because a sensor on the patio door thought it was open and would not allow the airconditioning to turn on.
We had dinner at the hotel restaurant on the last night with our kids and they were terrific about accomodating the meal for picky young eaters. The food for adults was terrific and well priced. Lots and lots of atmoshpere. Beautiful place to watch sunsets.
Even though this hotel has trendy written all over it the staff is very nice with no "attitude" whatsoever.
Make sure you stand in line to have breakfast at Konos in the morning.
The hotel was very nice. Right on the beach. Yes...There is night life there,but it is San Diego, where the people work, and play and make the most of life. I did not hear any night life noise in my room. If I opened the patio door, then yes there was some noise. I found the staff very accomidating. Anytime I called for something, they were there. Yes...they are a young staff...but who cares....They couldn't have been more helpful. You do get charged for valet parking....ask up front. The coffee makers for the rooms, not there. Other than that, my daughter and I had a very enjoyable stay. And you can't beat being right next to the pier. Beautiful sunsets......wonderful pictures.
Poor Management - OK location - Nice Room
The management at this hotel is essentially children with little or no experience in the hospitality field. The hotel is noisy for any adult. Yes, the rooms are nice, but dont let this fool you. Unless you are 18-25 and have $325/night to blow on a room, I would recommend many of the closeby nice hotels like Hyatt Islandia, Bahia or the Paradise Point Resort. These hotels are about the same price or less. You will be able to take advantage of the nightlife in the nearby area and still go to bed in a quiet atmosphere with professional service. I would definitely NOT recommend this hotel.
More Nightlife than Hotel
We stayed two nights at Tower 23 in Pacific Beach in San Diego. The place is beautifully designed, but amateurly executed and managed. The views are beautiful as the hotel is right on the beach. However, it's a party all night as the bar/restaurant is open until 1:00 am and the party continues until 3-4 am. It was a very disappointing stay and unless you like the to stay up all night, I wouldn't recommend it.