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With an eye on courting young, sophisticated travelers, the two Pendry hotels -- one in San Diego and one in Baltimore -- debuted to much fanfare in both cities. We recently stayed at the San Diego location, in the city’s historic Gaslamp District, to see if the property lived up to the hype. Here’s what we found.
Budget Level: Upscale ($150-$300/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
As shiny and perfectly orchestrated as a Restoration Hardware catalog, the Pendry San Diego’s signature is throwback cool with modern attitude. Geometric tile, whimsical wallpaper, and plaid upholstery are brought down to earth by lots of polished wood and leather. The spaces are designed to suit the Instagram filter as much as the eye, although the point of staying here is not to hide in your room, but to see and be seen in the property’s numerous bars and restaurants.
At the Pendry, the parade of hip, fashionable out-of-town guests mixes with a varied local crowd in an atmosphere that never feels sleepy. The hotel really comes alive in the evening, when its social spaces — particularly Lionfish, a seafood restaurant, and Oxford Social Club, an underground bar — fill for dinner or special events. The rooftop pool can get downright rowdy on weekends.
Who Will Love It
Social butterflies, and those with an eye for unpretentious luxury will be very comfortable here.
Who Might Not
If you’re craving sea views or looking for resort-style beach amenities, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The Pendry is located in downtown San Diego — although it does have a rooftop pool.
Provisional, the Pendry’s lobby-restaurant-cum-trendy-giftshop, has great food, dramatic decor, and windows that face the street for optimal people-watching. In particular, we loved its breakfast menu, which includes an egg-topped “pizza” with bacon, pecorino, and spinach, and the chilaquiles.
WiFi, coffee, and bottled water are included. Turndown service includes mini macarons — a nice touch.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
Expect a $25 per night resort fee. Valet parking costs $47 per night.
How to Get a Deal
Stay September-October, when you’ll find rates around the $200 mark. In summer, prices easily go up over $400 per night.
In the Neighborhood
The Gaslamp District is nothing if not walkable, and a stroll around the hotel reveals all manner of shops, restaurants, and bars, from upscale clothing boutiques to dive bars. Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play, is a nine-minute walk from the hotel.
The airport is an easy 15-minute drive or taxi ride from the hotel.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Stay -- and eat, and party -- in style at this convivial new hotel in a historic part of San Diego.