REVIEW: Westin San Diego
San Diego will always have a special place in my heart. When it comes to California's cities I hold what may be a controversial view - I'm unimpressed with LA and I find San Francisco has potential but there's a lot holding it back from being a place I would actually enjoy on the regular. San Diego, on the other hand, is my kind of town. I might be a bit biased as this is a city that I used to call home when I was a young child, but if that's the case so be it. Calm, clean, and casual are the adjectives I most associate with the city at the bottom of California's long, lanky form. It's my favorite destination on the west coast and thought I don't get there often enough, I never turn down an opportunity to visit.
The last time I was able to stop in to visit San Diego, I stayed at the Westin. Now, there are two Westin properties in San Diego - the Westin and the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, which is only a few blocks away. The Westin in the Gaslamp Quarter tends to be more expensive (but of course not always) than the simpler named Westin, so being a budget minded traveler I bet you can guess where I ended up on my stay.
The Westin is only a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the airport and is located within walking distance of the coast. The area around the hotel has quite a few restaurants if, like me, you're not generally inclined to eat where you're staying. There's a lot to do in the area and it's within walking distance to public transportation options to get around the city if your pleasure takes you elsewhere, though admittedly San Diego isn't exactly excellent in the realm of public transit options.
I was focused on other things during this trip, so I didn't manage to snap too many pictures for this report, so I'm going to keep things a bit simple and to the point.
The hotel is atrium-style, the entrance allowing guests to walk into the open air lobby and immediately to the front desk. There are only two desks for guests, which is pretty insufficient for the number of people the hotel can hold. One of my biggest issues during my stay was the wait time during check-in and check-out - about 15 minutes each. The hotel does offer check-out through the television but for some reason it wasn't working when I was checking out and I had a question about the bill. Hardwood floors are a nice aesthetic touch but make for a rather noisy lobby space with the rattle of luggage and click of high heels and dress shoes echoing through the open space.
Despite the longer wait the staff at the desk were quite friendly and did their best to process things quickly. Once it was my turn to get checked in it only took about 2 minutes from welcoming hello to having my key in hand. As I made my way to the elevator I passed a nice display of fruit-infused water which was always filled and available throughout my stay.
Once I made it into the elevator I was greeted by an odd sight - an inflatable sheep hanging from the railing with various things written all over its body. I couldn't figure out whether it was from a bachelor or bachelorette party, but the arrow pointing to the sheep's ass did indicate whomever left it was on the tip of high brow comedy.
Once on my floor I found my room and opened the door. I was met by a bit of a surprise - this room wasn't laid out like your standard issue hotel! So many hotel rooms are designed so that you open the door into a small hallway with a closet, a bathroom on one side and the living space straight ahead. This room had the door open directly into the living space as there was no small hallway. The room is very wide but not very long, expanding horizontally along the wall.
The desk was glasstopped and had small cubbies underneath to hold magazines and the hotel information booklet. In the corner of the desk was a machine to make coffee or tea. Right next to the desk was a large air purifier. It was never clear to me whether the provision of the air purifier was an amenity for customer or a necessity due to the quality of air in the room?
To the left of the desk and door was the bed. A robe was laid out on one corner, the head board built into the wall and taking up the entirety of the wall space behind. The side tables were built into the headboard and floated above the ground. A nice concept but there were so many cords sticking out of the outlets below the table that it actually came off as a bit messy/sloppy. The bed itself was, as promised by the marketing, "heavenly."
To the right of the desk and the door was a storage bureau with a flat screen television on top. It's possible that a mini-bar fridge was located in the cabinet below, though to be honest I didn't snap a picture of it so that leads me to believe there wasn't one there. It's been a minute since my visit so I'm having a hard time recalling this specific detail though.
Also on top of the bureau was a bucket for ice, some glasses, and bottles of water. The two bottles in plastic were decorated with signs indicating they were complimentary, though the fancier VOSS water in the glass bottle was only accessible through a fee. Along the wall next to the TV was a smaller closet space with the standard issue luggage rack, iron, and ironing board.
Through a door between the desk and television was the bathroom. The toilet and combination shower/bathtub was directly in front of the door. The shower head was of the rain shower variety. Bath toiletries were typical for a Westin - white tea aloe scented. I know many folks aren't a fan of this line but I enjoy the scent.
Inside the bathroom to the right was the vanity, a dark stone top with a large mirror above it that was encircled by a bright light border. While it looked really nice from a design perspective the light provided by the mirror border just wasn't sufficient enough for my needs. I found myself constantly leaning in close to the mirror because standing normally meant I couldn't see enough when shaving or fixing my hair.
The view from the room wasn't that great as the shape of the building obstructed a large portion of the view.
My overall impression of the hotel is pretty obvious if you noticed a bit of descriptive repetition going on above - standard issue. Nothing particularly impressive, though no real glaring negatives either. It's exactly what you expect when you book a stay at a mid-tier hotel property in the United States. The room is clean and of a good size for one or two people. The service is friendly yet a bit hurried because they're processing slightly too many customers for the staffing that's there. Westin San Diego is interchangeable with so many Hyatts, Hiltons, and Marriotts across the US.
So - a solid hotel offering that does very little to stand out from the crowd. I'd stay here again, but only because nothing better or more interesting was available at a good price point.