Staycations are a great way to save on travel time, while appreciating the beautiful city in which we reside. In San Diego, deciding on the best place to plan your getaway can be challenging; so many choices! From beautiful beachside hotels to bustling downtown high-rises, the differences are stark, diverse, and offer their unique versions of fun. Hotel Palomar and TOWER23 are perfect examples of these diversities, get a peek at each here.
Located on Fifth Avenue near Broadway, Hotel Palomar’s location isn’t ideal. This part of downtown is taking a while to develop, and the hotel’s boutique size and dark exterior make it easy to miss, unless you’re taking in a show or meal at the neighboring House of Blues. Like many other downtown hotels, there is no available parking, and valet is a whopping $47 a night. So, if you can swing it, take an Uber.
Otherwise, what it lacks in location, it makes up for in customer service and style. The Summersalt Pooldeck and Lounge offers fun summertime pool parties with a bar for craft-cocktail imbibing and snacking. Saltbox Restaurant & Bar has garnered great accolades, the gym provides views of the city below and the Spa by Jurlique gives this hotel its extra oomph.
The 5,000 square foot spa offers an intimate salon, lounge, and best of all; private showers in every treatment room. If you’re feeling a splurge coming on (one 60-minute massage will cost you $145) take pleasure in the fact that while this spa doesn’t offer saunas or steam rooms, you’ll have a private steam shower that provides a waterfall-like rinse for 10 minutes after your treatment. Hello, best shower you’ve ever had! Friendly staff, spa water, tea and a calm, crowd-controlled environment, add to the spa’s specialties. There’s even a couple’s room with a Jacuzzi bathtub and double shower for special romantic occasions.
Prices per room vary from $200 a night to $315, all the way to $1,115 for the Skyline Penthouse Suite. The views from those Skyline Rooms, though, are wow. These are a collection of 50 rooms featuring incredible views of San Diego’s gorgeous skyline.
Perks: free bike rentals, free evening wine hour, Wi-Fi and since it’s a Kimpton Hotel, personalized preferences if you’re part of their Kimpton Karma Loyalty Program.
1047 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 515-3000
For a boutique getaway right on the beach, Tower 23 is your hot spot. Set in the heart of Pacific Beach, it is unlike any other venue in the area. Chic, upscale, yet approachable, it features 44 guestrooms with personal balconies or patios, a deck for sunbathing, and it houses the deliciously unique JRDN.
While PB is most known for its young, college-aged clientele and spring break-friendly bars, JRDN is its breath of fresh air. A contemporary Californian restaurant, it serves breakfast, a very popular brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. It features an indoor/outdoor bar with views of the boardwalk and beach, outdoor patio dining, and an exclusive wine room.
Chef DJ Tangalin is JRDN’s newest addition, having just completed his first year as Executive Chef this month. Born and raised in the Philippines, he brings his international tastes and extensive national experience to his cuisine. Getting a taste of all he has to offer is easy by indulging in the “chef’s tasting menu” ($85). This six-course menu varies by season, but if you’re lucky enough to try his octopus, you’re in for a treat; perfectly cooked, with a slight char and flavor uncommon of octopus, it perfectly accompanies the Specialty Produce veggies found artfully assembled on the plate. Other menu items, like the foie gras with chocolate cake, left something to be desired; dry, and lacking flavor, it missed the mark, but that’s the point of tasting menus: the adventure. The cocktail program is also tasty, but the wine is where they shine, and wine director Chris Delaney will do an excellent job of steering you in the right direction.
While TOWER23 may lack some of the amenities other larger hotels provide, like a pool and gym, it makes up for it in other qualities. Positive service, stylish rooms, ocean views and a restaurant that’s a destination itself. This is evident in the price, as some rooms range from $450-$600+ a night, depending on room size and season.
Perks: $25 a night valet parking, free beach cruiser bike rentals, beach chairs, Wi-Fi, and other beach-friendly amenities.
723 Felspar St. San Diego, CA 92109, (858) 270-2323