by Erin Chambers - 9246 Reviews - 161 List
From beachy, boutique motels to monsterous convention hotels, we're keeping track of what's new and now on the San Diego hotel front.
Updated: August 07, 2009
Lauded as the only five-star hotel downtown, the Se San Diego has already attracted tons of celebs and VIPs since its opening last year. Likely, in part, because they are the only ones that can afford the $300+ per night cost of their most basic rooms. We do love the swanky steakhouse Suite & Tender (think modern surf and turf menu) and the alcohol-friendly Se Spa. Spa-tinis, anyone?
The soaring new tower next to the convention center looks as big as the San Diego Bay that sits next to it. Inside, though, the new Vela restaurant somehow feels intimate and keeps the vibe local with a slow-food-focused menu of local seafood and produce and an ever-changing lineup of entrees focused on the best seasonal ingredients.
Though not new construction, the L'auberge in Del Mar recently underwent a complete overhaul in 2008. Everything's updated, from the ocean view deck and pool area to the interior rooms and the on-site restaurant Kitchen 1540 (formerly J Taylor's).
The Hard Rock folks like to say that this is the place to "stay and play like a rock star," and our editorial team has got to agree. There's music playing in every single room, hallway, bathroom and corner of the hotel, memorabilia (signed guitars, costumes, microphones) in every niche and even guest rooms designed by pop stars like The Black Eyed Peas. We love the rooftop lounge Float for a fancy cocktail and great people watching on Thursday nights, and we can't get enough of the retro-chic, easy-on-the-wallet grub from cute Mary Jane's cafe in the lobby.