Review: Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

After my Gulfstream IV flight of a lifetime from Boeing Field to San Diego I was originally planning on flying Alaska Airlines back to Seattle immediately.

That was on Tuesday, and on Thursday I was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Guangzhou on China Southern to kick off my Korean Air SkyPass A380 award.

A friend talked some sense into me and pointed out that it didn’t make sense for me to fly San Diego to Seattle on Tuesday and then Seattle to Los Angeles on Thursday, but rather suggested I spend a couple of days in SoCal. So instead I decided to spend the night in San Diego, then the next day fly from San Diego to Los Angeles, and then spend a night in Los Angeles before kicking off my trip to Asia. Besides, 65 degrees and sunny in SoCal is better than 40 degrees and rainy in Seattle.

I’ve reviewed several hotels in the San Diego area, including:

So I decided to check out one Starwood property I’ve yet to visit, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. This is typically one of the cheapest Starwood properties in San Diego — the rate was about $120 for the night I stayed there.

The cheap rates at this hotel are hardly surprising, given that the hotel has over 1,000 rooms and is literally located next to the airport. On one hand it’s kind of silly to stay at a San Diego hotel that’s not in the city, given how close the city is to the airport. On the other hand I had a lot of work to get done before my trip to Asia, so I figured it was as good of a hotel as any to check out.

From the outside the hotel looks rather run down, though it has recently been renovated, so is a bit nicer from the inside.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina exterior

There was no queue at check-in, and I was quickly helped by a friendly associate. She thanked me for being an SPG Platinum member and informed me I had been (proactively) upgraded to a junior suite. She reminded me as a Platinum member internet would be free, and offered me 4PM late check-out. She also made me familiar with the club lounge hours. My room was in the Marina Tower, which is the right-most tower.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina lobby

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina lobby

Just off the lobby is a coffee shop serving Starbucks beverages.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina coffee shop

There’s also a business center with some PCs.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina business center

I took the hallway leading to the Marina Tower, where my room was located.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina hallway to tower

I was assigned room 1043, a junior suite on the 10th floor. The hallways of the hotel felt really fresh, especially compared to the exterior of the hotel.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina hallway

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina room

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina floorplan

The junior suite was a good size, with an entryway and bathroom to the right and closet to the left.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite entryway

The room itself featured a living area with a couch, two chairs, and coffee table.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite living room

There was a king size Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, which is among my favorite hotel beds.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite bed

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite bed

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite living room

In the corner of the room by the bed was a desk with a rolling chair, along with a sink and fridge.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite desk

The TV was located in the middle of the room, but could be turned so that it could be viewed from bed or the living area.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite TV

The room had a small balcony with some furniture that was well past its prime. On the plus side, the views of downtown San Diego and the marina were pretty great.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite balcony

The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo, with standard Sheraton toiletries.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite bathroom

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite sink

For what it’s worth the shower pressure was pretty weak, unfortunately.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina junior suite shower

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club floor elevators

The hotel’s club lounge is located on the 12th floor in the center tower.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club entrance

Breakfast is served from 6:30AM till 9:30AM on weekdays (till 10:30AM on weekends), and evening snacks are served from 5PM till 8PM daily.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club hours

Physically the lounge was nice, and I have to commend them for their dedication to the “nautical” theme. They tried really, really hard, cheesy as it may be. The lounge had a variety of seating areas, including a small business center with a PC and printer.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge

The lounge also boasted nice views of the marina, including of the “far” tower of the Sheraton, which might as well be a separate hotel.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge view

For a US club lounge I thought the spread was quite good. In the evenings they had chips and hummus, veggies, cheese, salad, and two hot options (even if they clearly came out of your grocer’s freezer aisle).

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge fridge

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

Then they had cookies for dessert, which were too tasty for anyone’s good.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge evening spread

The breakfast spread was also fairly decent, and consisted of fruit, cereal, bread, muffins, croissants, danishes, yogurt, oatmeal, and juice.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina club lounge breakfast spread

Certainly not great compared to non-US lounges, but compared to most other US lounges I thought it was pretty darn good.

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, they have a couple of pools, though neither of them were overly impressive. Besides, it was too cold to swim, and I’m not much of a pool guy anyway.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina pool

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina pool

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina pool

Bottom line

The Sheraton exceeded my expectations. Given the rate and the exterior of the hotel I wasn’t expecting much, though was pleasantly surprised. The room itself was nice, I appreciated the proactive upgrade, and the club lounge was better than most in the US.

That being said, if in San Diego I generally prefer to stay downtown given how much there is to do. While the hotel isn’t far from downtown, public transportation in San Diego sucks, so it’s rather advantageous to stay in the area where you want to spend most of your time.

That being said, I’d definitely return if I had a quick overnight layover, as the hotel has an airport shuttle.

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Comments

  1. Great review as always!

    But I think you mean Seattle to LAX instead of “San Diego to Los Angeles” at the start of the post. Cheers

  2. Growing up in San Diego I remember my NY family coming and visiting, they would stay at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina hotel this was back in the early 70’s so the hotel has been around. When I come back to San Diego for either business or leisure I too stay there. I have stayed at all of the SPG hotels in San Diego and by far the one I like is Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. Now, I average 150+ nights in a SPG hotel, so I know a little bit about them. Yes, it’s an older hotel, but for the location it can not be beat, I usually get a Bay view room (away from he airport) and to wakeup each morning to that view, is priceless. I usually can find rates as low as 99/n there, so over all it sure beat the $300 at the US Grant or $225/n at The W downtown.

  3. I really like the Sheraton Four Points in Downtown San Diego. The rates are often < $100 and it's walk-able everywhere in the Gaslamp district. The only downside is that the hotel has no suites, but the deluxe rooms are huge

  4. I lived in Coronado for a few years, so i highly recommend you stay over there some time. Just a wonderful place. But glad you had a good stay at the Sheraton. Looks to be a good value.

  5. I think that hotel was originally built as a destination spot and it flopped as such. In today’s market it is just too large. And the convention hotels are grouped well north of the city… No wonder the rate was so good. The inside looks fairly good, but the in-room furnishings sure don’t impress. Can you imagine the logistics of maintaining such a huge building in a salt-spray environment. Give is 5-8 years and property owners will build something else.

  6. I stayed here last October and hated it. I don’t have enough status for an upgrade, so I was put in a standard room at the outer tower. I forget the name, but it’s a good 10 minute walk from the main tower where your photos were taken. Bottom line: The tower is a dump and the service was awful. I posted my comments on Trip Advisor and they replied with an apology, but it doesn’t matter. I won’t stay here again.

  7. @Jamison you walk to the Gaslamp district from the Four Points Downtown… Pretty brave move. BTW, that hotel was a Holiday Inn for 40 years until last year.

  8. i stayed there once and enjoyed the walk to the east far end of harbor island drive at night. really stunning views of downtown

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