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Room Report: Westin Hotel San Diego, California

Westin San Diego guest room
Westin San Diego guest room
Westin

Arrival Experience: The iconic Westin San Diego hotel is one of the crowning jewels of the downtown skyline that marks the arriving scenery for those seated on the left-hand side of all San Diego arriving planes. It blends together office and hotel buildings into one (evidenced from the glass elevators as they climb along the building), and the recent renovation is evident. Westin's refreshing energy is evident throughout the public areas, and it begins with the signature scent that permeates the lobby. Staffers man individualized pods meant to handle reception formalities at a more personalized level. What most travelers will be surprised to learn is that this downtown property offers free airport shuttle service. Yes, the airport is quite close to downtown, but this business-friendly amenity is a life saver for those on a corporate budget. Just a few blocks away is the entire downtown business district, Gaslamp Quarter, convention center, and waterfront.

Dining: Coast serves tasty meals beginning with breakfast, which is a formal affair stemming from a massive buffet offering everything from fresh fruit to hearty oatmeal and made-to-order omelets. Westin is known for its Smart Food breakfasts, which here includes master chef-composed smoothies and California-grown organic fruits. Servers circle the dining room offering the option for buffet service or a la carte options, and the friendliness never wanes. To top it off, the food and beverage manager is often seen in the dining room (no matter what time of day) checking on guests and thanking repeat visitors for their business. While lunch and dinner may not be as busy, it is nonetheless tasty and worthy of a look.. Many locals with business in the neighborhood often make this their preferred lunch spot. A similar menu is offered in the lobby lounge where diners can sip local wines and enjoy an abbreviated menu served from the same kitchen. A deli and coffee shop offer to-go snacks and drinks.

Accommodations: The hotel recently underwent a top-to-bottom renovation that involved everything from bedding and soft goods to furnishings. What resulted is a pleasant, Californian look that is apparent throughout all rooms. Natural colors are evident in the whites and Earth tones chosen for the décor, and large windows survey either the downtown skyline or the marina (all of which are part of the hotel's excellent location). Heavenly Beds are still in place with pillowtop mattresses and thick duvets. All rooms also feature the beloved white tea-scented toiletries and waffle towel robes in bathrooms. Suites add slippers and whirlpool tubs. The Presidential Suite, which crowns the building on its own floor, features dual bedrooms that are connected by an uber-modern living area with grand piano and own kitchen area. Renovations here have made this San Diego's a contemporary, hip business hotel, and the environmentally friendly aspect of the operation adds to the appeal for modern-day travelers.

Conclusion: A skyline swimming pool provides stunning city views although it is not meant for Olympic pursuits. Still, the pool deck is a popular place to gather and survey the surrounding cityscape. The air conditioned fitness area features the latest cardio and weight lifting equipment plus chilled towels and water to tide users over between sets. Meeting space is ample here often accommodating some of the city's largest events. Many conference attendees are quick to mention their positive experience, which almost always includes a staffer asking if they need anything or how they can make their visit even better. And, it is that attitude of constant improvement that is visible within each employee at every turn. You cannot leave the Westin without feeling better about yourself, and there is no better calling card for a business hotel than a happy staff. Happy employees equal happy guests, and that statement is multiplied at this downtown gem.

Charlotte-area travelers can fly nonstop to San Diego on US Airways (part of the new American Airlines).