Rated 5 out of 5 by LifetimePlatinum The true Flagship resort property in San Diego!
The Sheraton San Diego Harbor Resort. This has been my go-to-mini-getaway vacation spot in the past year since I've been living out here in California.
The magic of this property is in the fact that despite the proximity to the airport, you truly feel like your escaping to a tropical ocean oasis. It's almost like you've left the State and gone to some quaint Cape Cod coastal village.
The first thing that strikes you about the property, is how clean and updated everything is. Every room has been exemplary and there has never been any type of "strange" odor or messiness. The Housekeeping staff is truly one of the best I've encountered in all my travels. There is something really special about checking into a hotel room and feeling like it's brand-new.
I know in Las Vegas they pump oxygen into the casinos to keep everybody more energized, but if it's even possible for a hotel to have an Aura, this one has an organic energized feeling of happiness, joy, bliss and positive energy. I mean isn't that the reason why we take vacations in the first place, to go to a place we feel happy?
I chose to take my family for the Labor Day weekend from Los Angeles to this property.
Of course it's not just the beauty of the location nor is it all about the beauty of the surroundings. At the end of the day it's the staff and the team members of the property that make the biggest difference. In a way, they are the engine that powers the experience here at this hotel.
I'd like to make some honorable mentions of some of the team members that really went above and beyond and created the ultimate guest experience for my family.
As the saying goes, you can never get a second chance to make a good first impression. And for me the first impression was actually before I walked into the hotel. It was meeting Carlos my valet. Carlos greeted us as we landed. He seemed to have a list of all the guests arriving that day and welcomed us by name. He was friendly and extroverted and it was like a real homecoming. Helping us get our bags, asking us if we needed anything and ensuring that the drop off of the vehicle went flawlessly. Upon checking in, it got better. Then the front desk check-in experience. Addison checked us in. She has only been with the property for about three months (but you would never know it) and had exuberant energy and was so welcoming to us. She was very personable, there was no pretension. (There's nothing worse than having a pretentious clerk at the front desk.) She was all about the laughter and smiles. This property goes way beyond most properties in celebrating the loyalty of the status preferred Starwood guest. Wether you are silver, gold or platinum, you really get the VIP treatment. In this particular visit, we got upgraded to a beautiful premier suite and the second room that I had for my 18-year-old daughter, She was upgraded to a studio suite. And my "little Queen" was so happy to have her own room! LOL
We ordered room service that night, and the food that they prepare in the hotel restaurant was definitely a four and a half star YELP REVIEW. It arrived quickly, hot, and fresh. We had a burger, pizza, beautiful salad, and some desserts. Emeline delivered our food to us, and then actually spent about 10 minutes chatting away with us sharing with us some of her suggestions for things to do here in San Diego for the weekend. She really engaged the kids, asking them about what they're doing, how school is going, and it was like being served by your own mother :-)
I also would like to mention that I had a great concierge experience with Austin. He's extremely knowledgeable about the area and has ability to be very personal as well as maintaining at professional corporate attitude. He is the "Go to Guy" if you want to find out where to go while you're on your visit.
The next day we opted to have lunch by the pool side. This was the million-dollar view. Sitting alongside a beautiful harbor with the beautiful ocean breeze underneath palm trees, being served by happy competent staff members. Sarah was our pool server. The only thing better than the actual food was her service. Again it's either something in the water or something in the air in San Diego but how is it that everybody is just so happy all the time?!?
I love great service. To the point where I had to do some inquiry, how was it that everybody that I've experienced in the restaurant side of this property is so spot on? Well, my inquiry lead me to meet the food and beverage manager from Ottawa, Jimmy came by the table and hung out with us for a while and shared with me some of his management strategies and techniques. He should write a book :-)
I am going to enclose some pictures of the property so you can really appreciate what I'm trying to describe in words. I'm also going to offer some insider tips to share:
1) When you are coming to the hotel, if you do want to do self park and avoid valet, there is a parking lot to the left and a parking lot to the right. I've noticed that the parking lot on the right usually has more spaces available closer to the property.
2) If you have an opportunity to do a last minute upgrade, which often they present you as an opportunity when you book online, take the upgrade to the club floor! It's worth paying the extra to have axis to the most incredible club lounge on the top floor of the hotel property overlooking the harbor offering an almost panoramic water view from all directions. You have access to complementary bottles of water, (you know in a hotel that can save you some serious bucks!) As well as sodas. Free use of the computers in a mini-business center area. Lots of tables that offer privacy and it's actually a great place to bring a client to have a meeting. Included with the club lounge access you experience the most stunning spread of complementary hot and cold appetizers buffet style every night.
And I'm talking quality freshly cut vegetables and fruits, exotic cheese and crackers, and hummus. The hot plates had delicious it barbecue chicken as well as scrumptious Mexican stuffed burritos. I mean you almost could get away without having to go to dinner based on the quantity and quality of the food that they provide to you. They offer a similar array of delectable delicacies for breakfast. And the best thing about it, it's never overly crowded. Just exceptional value for what you pay in the additional charge. So upgrade! upgrade! upgrade! You won't regret it.
3) The Poolside Evening Fire Pit: Dating back to primal times, and I think despite all of the technology advancements of the 21st-century, there is still something very humanitarian when it comes to sitting around a campfire. This hotel property, outside by the pools, has several incredible fire pits. Something really magical about being next to the water sitting next to a fire pit. And it does invoke some primal instinctual memory of what it is to sit by a fire with your community and exchange ideas or share thoughts and have a real communal experience. It provides that elusive connection that is so seldom found at a hotel property and it's called community! Can't tell you how many new friends we made simply by sitting beside the fire engaging our next-room neighbors. Had great quality conversations filled with laughter, telling jokes, sharing background experiences of other places of travel, and even just short bios. It takes people watching to the next level. So make it a point to go out there and make some new friends.
The last time I stayed at this property I remember having an amazing time but something has happened in the last 12 months. It's transcended to the next level of incredible experience. Adam is the manager of the property, and truly he has worked very hard to train the team how to deliver not only an exceptional guest experience but I believe he's actually set the bar now and has become the example for other flagship properties to try to emulate. I know he spends more time at the property than he does in his own home. He's always there. And he really makes it a point to connect with the guest. He really values Guest feedback. He is not just looking for the positive... Adam wants to know the stuff that we find underneath the carpet. That other hotels may try to brush away. He has his MBA in Hospitality from Cornell University but more than that, he has life experience from being involved for a very long time in this industry. He understands how to go above and beyond the expectation of the valued guest. If you have a chance, ask for Adam, and see firsthand what I'm talking about.
And last but by far not least, one of the highlights of my families experience was having the opportunity to meet Didier, the properties new general manager that arrived here from Montreal. This man has an incredible energy! only way I can explain it without trying to sound too "new age", is just powerful positive energy. He is authentic and genuine and real. There's no pretension. He will take the time to connect with you and talk with you. Didier has wonderful stories to tell, and it's impossible not to smile because his exuberance is contagious. Very sharp intelligent man, it's humbleness speaks of his integrity. By the way, being that he's originally from France but he spent a lot of time in Montreal. I am attempting to indoctrinate him to become a very big LA Kings Hockey fan, so if you really want to make his day bring him a LA Kings cap or a LA kings shirt! lol.
Well, I hope you find this review helpful. And look out for some of the team members that I mentioned in this review. It really will make a difference to your stay. Remember, whatever we find something of great beauty our first impulse is to want to share it!
Thanks for reading and remember where ever you are for the night, make it your home sweet home!
September 7, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Dan714 WORST BUSINESS HOTEL I HAVE EVER STAYED AT
I went here for trade show and starting with being mislead about type of bed in my room as soon as I checked in, went down hill from there. Room 361 VERY UNCOMFORTABLE TWIN BEDS, toilet that ran all night and HORRIBLE VIEW of parking lot and vacant tennis courts. I wouldn't let a dog stay in this room, let alone a seasoned business traveller. HORRIBLE ROOM. Really, the worst. Never stay at this place if you can avoid it.
September 2, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Wantedtoeatgoodfood1 Not worth it
Food overpriced, tasteless, bland, how do you mess up a salad?, plus room service...24% charge plus $5 to knock on the door? And one person was professional when calling the front desk, the rest sound bored
September 2, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by MrsS44 Wedding Coordinator, Ben Schulze, is a pro!
When considering several venues for her wedding, our daughter was impressed with the professionalism, warmth, and wit of Ben Schulze which swayed her decision to have the wedding at the hotel. We were not disappointed! Throughout the planning process, complex room reservations, and a near rainout on that day, Ben remained calm and attentive to all of the details and even stayed through most of the reception to insure a special flawless event. The hotel staff were extremely helpful in setting up the room and the food was so delicious. Even so, if it weren't for Ben, the wedding may have been held elsewhere. He is a gem!
August 31, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by norefrig staff needs training
No refrigerator in room. Needed for medication and it took 4 hours to get one. check out was good but I asked them to hold my bags. It took 30 minutes to find my medication because it needed to be refrigerated and that was cutting into my departure time.
August 31, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Mil352 Fails to deliver hospitality services as promised
Room smelly and overheated. Furniture, especially the armchair, filthy and worn out. AC unit in the room doesn’t cool but makes a lot of noise. “Engineering” came three times but unable to solve the problem. Venting system for my room sucks up cigarette smoke from the neighbor. AC unit on the roof makes the room underneath vibrate, impossible to sleep without ear plugs. The overall quality of the sleep is horrible.
Bathroom dirty on arrival. Never perfectly clean during the whole stay. No pressure on the tab. Not enough water to clean the toothbrush for example. Limited amount of towels. No shower gel during the whole stay. No pressure in the shower.
Breakfast hours at the lounge are ridiculous for a supposed holiday resort. Weekdays it closes at 9:30. Everybody rushes in for 9:15. As a result it is overcrowded, service is bad and lacks food at this critical moment.
The dark blueish corridor carpet is not hoovered. The number of crumbles and dirt increased day by day and was most visible at the entry of the service room.
This small example is representative for the whole hotel. It tells you that there is no quality control, no middle management and that the people working in this establishment don’t take any pride in doing a good job.
The hotel seemed to be run by juniors and students.
This place is a source of “negative energy” avoid it.
August 18, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by JCatRAMMY Glad I trusted my gut instinct and ignored some of the reviews
Prior to arrival I checked the reviews for the hotel and if I had not been staying there as it was the best location for running the AFC half marathon then I might have been tempted to choose an alternate hotel. Am I am glad I kept the booking !
My wife and I arrived shortly after midday on the Saturday, the lobby area was busy and there was a queue for checkin - had no issue with that there was registration for a 5000+ run and wedding going on. The line (I better use US terms) moved quickly, there were no frustrations or tempers.i
Allocated our room - wow 8th floor overlooking the marina.
Originally had planned to get takeout pizza for dinner as we were running at 7am Sunday, but looked in at Quinns Ale House, again a good decision, friendly attentive staff, great burgers and diet soda (had to forego the beer as we were running).. After the run on the Sunday morning called in at Starbucks on site for coffee and sandwich - real friendly staff. Sunday evening went back to Quinns again great food this time with beer - friendly staff, recognised us from the previous night.
Monday morning used the great pool area.
Very smooth checkout.
I travel a lot across Europe and the U.S. and have no hesitation in recommending this hotel.
Did anyone remember the run? We both finished, hot day but really pleased with the achievement and the great San Diego support.
August 17, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Pamsbirthday Disappointed
Upon arrival, I was disappointed, booked a room with a view, I was told the only room available was over-looking the pool or a ground level (choose the latter). The room dirty, sliding glass door had dirty hand prints and smudges. Room service slow 1 1/2 hr for 2 sandwiches.
August 16, 2015