Review: W Hotel San Diego

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

I spent this past weekend in San Diego and decided to check out a few different hotels while there. The first night I stayed at the W San Diego. I’m usually not a huge fan of W Hotels, though the rate was good and a local friend recommended it, so I figured I’d give it a try. Furthermore, my last few W stays have actually been quite good, including at the W Taipei and W Sentosa Cove Singapore.

For what it’s worth the rate was $151, which I found to be pretty reasonable. The W is a category four property, meaning if I had redeemed points it would have cost 10,000 Starpoints per night. Obviously I’m much better off paying cash with a rate of $151, especially since I was earning credit towards the “Bring On The Nights” promotion that Starwood is running at the moment.

I took an early morning flight from Seattle, and got to the W at around 9AM. The hotel is only about a 10 minute drive from the airport, and upon arrival the bellman offered to help me with my bags.

W Hotel San Diego exterior

W Hotel San Diego entrance

The lobby was quite nice and typical of the W brand. The front desk was located to the left, and once there I was helped immediately.

W Hotel San Diego lobby

The associate was friendly and insisted it wouldn’t be a problem to check me in so early. While I didn’t want to push my luck (given how early I was checking in) I nicely asked if any upgrades might be available, and he looked through their room inventory and found a Cool Corner Room on a high floor, which I appreciated. He confirmed that as a Starwood Platinum member I’d receive complimentary internet. He also asked what I’d like as my Platinum amenity. I chose breakfast in lieu of the 500 Starpoints, which comes in the form of either continental breakfast for two, or a $24 menu credit plus two drinks at Kelvin Restaurant. I appreciated the flexibility.

W Hotel San Diego lobby

W Hotel San Diego lobby

The elevators were just next to the front desk and required key access, and I headed up to my room on the 17th floor.

W Hotel San Diego lobby

W Hotel San Diego room entrance

The Cool Corner Room had a large “L” shaped entryway.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room entrance

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room entrance

The room had a comfortable W Bed (similar to the one I have at home), a chair with an ottoman next to it, and then a TV and desk.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room bed

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room desk and TV

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room desk and TV

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room chair and ottoman

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room

The views from the room were of downtown San Diego. Ultimately there are better hotels in terms of views, as I’d much rather be facing the bay.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room view

Over near the entrance was the minibar and a Keurig coffee machine.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room coffee machine

The bathroom was located near the entrance and was fairly large. It featured a sink, walk-in shower, soaking tub, and toilet.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room bathroom

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room sink

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room shower

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room bathtub

The toiletries were all Bliss branded, which I’m a fan of.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room toiletries

I was rather puzzled by what the fuzzy chair near the toilet was. It looks kind of like a stool you’d put in front of a vanity, except there wasn’t a vanity mirror or anything.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room toilet

The room was nice on the whole, though there were some aspects of the design that really pissed me off. And I feel like W almost does this on purpose, because I’ve found it to be the case at almost all W properties I’ve stayed at. For example, there were no easy to access outlets near the bed. Instead I literally had to move the nightstand to find an outlet.

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room lack of outlets

Similarly there weren’t any trash cans in the room.Ā  There was only one recycle bin under the desk. The only trash can was by the toilet. Why on earth?!?

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room lack of trashcans

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, on the second floor was a “living room” of sorts with lots of couches and a foosball table.

W Hotel San Diego pool lounge area

W Hotel San Diego pool lounge area

That’s also where the pool was located, which was tiny.

W Hotel San Diego pool

Next to that was the gym, which was on the small side though had modern and varied equipment.

W Hotel San Diego gym

W Hotel San Diego gym

W Hotel San Diego gym

Up a set of stairs was the rooftop.

W Hotel San Diego stairs to pool

There’s also a rooftop bar open in the afternoons and evenings, though I didn’t have a chance to check it out when it was actually open.

W Hotel San Diego rooftop

W Hotel San Diego rooftop

In the morning I had breakfast at Kelvin Restaurant. It was fairly empty and there was no wait. I sat outside given that it was a nice morning.

W Hotel San Diego Kelvin Restaurant

W Hotel San Diego Kelvin Restaurant

W Hotel San Diego Kelvin Restaurant outdoor seating

The service was friendly and I had a whipped egg white omelet and cappuccino, both of which were tasty.

W Hotel San Diego Kelvin Restaurant menu

W Hotel San Diego Kelvin Restaurant whipped egg white omelet

On the whole I enjoyed my stay at the W. I found the service to be good across the board, and was grateful for the upgrade and that they let me check in early. There are some things I’ll never understand about W properties — like why they don’t have trash cans or easy to access power outlets in the room — but if the price is right I’d definitely return.

Stay tuned, I have a couple more San Diego hotel reviews coming up shortly.

  1. It’s nice that they’ve added blackout curtains in the rooms. They used to have only white louvered shutters (which look like they are still there behind the curtains). The shutters looked nice, but did next to nothing to darken the rooms.

  2. I’m usually a big fan of W hotels but the W San Diego is one of the poorer ones from the brand. The rooms are so outdated and their pool is a joke. But I think SPG gets this so it’s appropriately priced as a Category 4 unlike other W hotels which tend to be Cat 5 or 6.

  3. They totally hired an Ikea designer. It looks OK for $151/night. Tiny swimming pool would be a no go with kids and San Diego weather.

  4. This hotel really looks like shit.
    South Beach is one of the only non-cheesy looking W’s in the system.
    I think I just hate the brand.


  5. Being that I work essentially next door to this hotel, I’m glad your take on it was essentially the same as mine. The last time I was there was before their renovation, however, so it was good to see what has changed.

    I do agree, however, with others that this hotel is not nearly as impressive as some other “W” properties – though at $150 and listed as a category 4, it meets expectations.

    Curious to see your other reviews. We enjoy an occasional “staycation” and have drifted among several of the local properties.

  6. The room was already turned down at 9:00 a.m., with curtains drawn and robe splayed across the bed? Not cool.

  7. Interesting.. Agree the pool is useless. Rooms dont look too luxurious for the brand. How was the area around the hotel? Were you there on a weekend? Curious about noise from the rooftop. Headed to San Diego ourselves this spri g and have nights at the Grand Hyatt Manchester (been there?) and the Park Hyatt Aviara (read your review).

  8. Totally unappealing to me. Looks very cheap and tacky. We stayed at the Hyatt Manchester over the holidays and loved it. Recently renovated so the public spaces are really nice, rooms were comfortable, lounge on the 33rd floor is huge with good offerings for breakfast and evening snacks. Their pool area is also very big with fire pits. A family was roasting marshmallows when we were there, but we were too late to get the s’mores kit they sell at their deli on property. Next time we’re in the area, we’re definitely trying that. Oh, and great views of the water. Definitely our ‘go to’ hotel when we’re in San Diego next.

  9. @ Mark S. — Generally agree, though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. My guess is they expected a guest to arrive late the previous evening, and hadn’t “unturned” down the room yet. I can’t hold that against them when they let me check in so early. šŸ™‚

  10. Probably zero people care about this, but I find two things infuriating about Kelvin Restaurant’s name.

    1) “Kelvin is the unit of measurement to gauge COLOUR TEMPERATURE.” Uh, sure, but it’s also a unit of measurement to gauge HEAT temperature.

    1a) Why on earth did they spell “colour” with a “u”? For that matter, why is “COLOUR TEMPERATURE” in capital letters?

    2) The degree mark (Ā°) in front of the K shouldn’t be there. Room temperature is not 295 degrees Kelvin; it’s simply 295 Kelvin, which is rendered simply as 295 K.

    :end rant:

  11. I used to live in SD and compare to the other big hotels the location of the property was a little bit strange for me, on the back side of both commercial area and Little Italy with tons of homeless people sleeping on the surrounding streets

  12. I really don’t get their showers either. There’s basically a foggy glass wall separating them from the main living area, which is a huge privacy issue. I do like the brand, designs and service though.

  13. @ Steven L — glad to see I’m not the only one who couldn’t figure out why there’s a degree sign in from of K on their sign!

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