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:
- US Grant San Diego
- Andaz San Diego
- W Hotel San Diego
- Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
- Hotel La Jolla (Kimpton)
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.
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.
Just off the lobby is a coffee shop serving Starbucks beverages.
There’s also a business center with some PCs.
I took the hallway leading to the Marina Tower, where my room was located.
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.
The junior suite was a good size, with an entryway and bathroom to the right and closet to the left.
The room itself featured a living area with a couch, two chairs, and coffee table.
There was a king size Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, which is among my favorite hotel beds.
In the corner of the room by the bed was a desk with a rolling chair, along with a sink and fridge.
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.
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.
The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo, with standard Sheraton toiletries.
For what it’s worth the shower pressure was pretty weak, unfortunately.
The hotel’s club lounge is located on the 12th floor in the center tower.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Then they had cookies for dessert, which were too tasty for anyone’s good.
The breakfast spread was also fairly decent, and consisted of fruit, cereal, bread, muffins, croissants, danishes, yogurt, oatmeal, and juice.
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.
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.