Planning a week long vacation to San Diego in Sept. 2013. My husband and I plan to take in the sites, go to a Padres game, eat at great restaurants and hit the beach. I'm wondering which of the subject line's hotels would best meet our needs. We are not into late night bar hopping or clubs. We're wondering how easy is it to navigate the city from each hotel. Is there public transit or is it recommended to rent a car?
I was in San Diego recently for Comic Con and can shed a little bit of insight. If you like to be in the downtown bay area I would recommend Coronado Island Marriott over the Marquis and Gaslamp. I have not stayed at any of the three properties but did tour around the Coronado Island Marriott and the Marquis while I was in town. The Coronado Island Marriott was more like a resort and offered fantastic views of the bay and San Diego. In addition to a beach area there are lots of shops and restaurants on the island. There is also a water taxi available that goes between the Coronado Island Marriott and the Marquis. The fare is $6 each way.
As far as transportation goes I personally would recommend a rental car. The Trolley can get you around to most places in the city but not everywhere that you may be interested in going. The Trolley is easily accessible from both the Marquis and the Gaslamp hotels. In addition to the downtown area I recommend that you check out Hillcrest when in town where there is lots of unique shops and restaurants. Hope this helps! Safe Travels!
Marriott Marquis for sure. I am a Southern California local and have stayed in the Marquis many times. The pool area is outstanding. It has Roy's Hawaiin Fushion restaurant overlooking the beautiful bay area. The boardwaok is straight out the back of the hotel which where you can walk along the waters edge to many other restaurants, musuems, etc. You can even rent a boat or w2averunners and take them for a ride. In addition, out the back left side of the hotel is the Marriott or San Diego bay water taxi you can take across to Coronado Island which is gorgeous for less than $10 round trip each. Their is shopping there, restaurants, and nice beaches as well.
A rental car in this part of the San Diego area is a huge mistake. First their is no parking anywhere and if you do find some it cost absobant amounts of money. A great way to get to the Padres stadium which is only about 8 blocks a way is a pedi cab ride, cab, or just walk. The water taxi's are the way to go to get to Coronado Island. The cost to take these around all day and night long is far less than a rental car and way more conveineint.
As for the other hotel thumbs down unless you want to party and go clubing all night long and even if that is your cup of tea one night as it is mine from time to time the Marquis is still just as conveinent and a all around nicer place to vacation.
Hope this helps! Have a great trip and let me know if my suggestions helped. :-)
I read the other recommendations and have stayed at all three. Each has strong points. I think it depends on what you want to do and how often. I agree that the Coronado is more like a resort, the Marina also has some resort feelings and the gaslamp area is city like; resturants and shops. Since you mentioned the beach, Coronado has some of the finest beaches around. The hotel is not on the beach but it is not that far by car. The others are farther from the beaches. The marina is close to Seaport village which has shops and resturants and you can catch the water taxi across to Coronado but it is around a mile to the beach area. I have not gone to the baseball stadium by public transportation but am sure that you could get there easily from either the Gaslamp or marina hotels. Both the Coronado and marina hotels are on the water.
Have you considered spliting the stay and choosing 2?
By marina I am talking about the Marquis. I have been going there before the name change.
Good luck with your decision. I think you will have a good time one way or the other.
I have stayed at the Courtyard San Diego Old town, when I had my Dad, Sister and kids with me for my uncle's funeral. Everyone enjoyed being there, and being able to walk to old town for shopping and restaurants. It was a much needed break from the funeral. Also stayed there a couple of times before cruises to Mexico, for the same reason, convenient to walk around old town, great restauarants, and a short taxi ride to the port.
Also stayed at the Marriott Marquis and Marina prior to using the Ferry/Day Cruise ship to Ensenada, and also for conferences. Very nice property, but then, I wasn't paying the bill either.
I do tend to pick my hotels based on location, what is either walking distance, has Marriott transport, or a short cab ride from where I need to go. I generally don't rent a car unless I am working at a customer site and need to get back and forth to the site.
If I was just there on vacation, I would probably go to Coronado Island, as I love the place. Use to go to that hotel before it was a Marriott for drinks, listen to jazz, sit on the beach. I also like taking the ferry over to the mainland, instead of driving across on the causeway, and enjoy the carnival like waterfront, with shops, restaurants, small boat rides, etc. When the kids were little we took them to leggoland. When they were tween/teens they liked this waterfront arcade/carnival strip.
For me, no trip to San Diego is complete without being on a boat out in the harbor. We grew up with my uncle's stories of boating on the waters around San Diego, and often on various boats and yachts he was selling. Matter of fact, we had his funeral on a boat in the middle of the harbor, as this is what he wanted.
As answered, it is on the water but no beach on property. The beach is a little over a mile and about a half hr walk or couple of min drive. The Hotel Del is worth seeing. They have a nice museum that is free. A short walk along water to several restaurants. I had some really excellent seafood at one of them.
I love the Marquis and Marina location. I have stayed there several times. It's really not a far walk to Petco Park to watch the game either. Gaslamp is a bit closer to the park but I really like the view from the Marquis. I've not been to Coronado Island but it seems like you would have more transportation issues staying there (although I have heard its a famous place to go where several movies were filmed back in the day. I may have to take the ferry over when I am there in July!! Will let you know
I have stayed at the Coronado, Gaslamp, Marquis and Downtown Courtyard. If you want to visit downtown San Diego nix the Coronado. If you are going to do Coronado you should have a car. The Gaslamp hotel is right next to Petco Park. The Marquis is short walk to Petco. The Courtyard is the farthest, but still in walking distance for me. Another one you might consider is the Downtown Residence Inn, which is just a couple of block from Petco Park. Marquis, RI and Gaslamp are all right in the Gaslamp area of San Diego. If you are looking for the "best" Marriott I would go for Marquis. The Coronado is OK, but it is an older property that Marriott purchased and refurbished. It is off the beaten path in Coronado and you need to drive everywhere. If you do not want to rent a car that you have to pay to park, look at Car2Go. They are Smartcars that you rent by the minute and then park on the street when you are done. You will see them parked all over downtown San Diego.
Woud go with the Marquis!
Have really had very few hotels that were this nice!
View of downtown from one of the rooms!
That's the ballpark, pictured from the hotel room! A close walk!
A great picture from the Marriott, looking to the Pacific!
No matter where you stay, you will have a great time!
I have stayed at every resort in San Diego. Just recently stayed at the Marquis. As a Platinum member I was treated like first class, a killer room upgrade to a corner room that had views from the Coronado bridge to the USS Enterprise. I strongly suggest staying there. In addition the lounge for Platinum members is as good as it gets, nightly deserts and drinks, a HUGE hot breakfast set up, Starbucks, on and on. The Coronado is ver nice, but also quiet and a distance to nearly everything. Staying in Coronado requires a car or taxt to most places.
the marquis is three blocks from Gaslamp, so walk to dinner or the Enterprise, Little italy, or many other places in downtown SD. Look for a AAA deal that includes parking if you are not using your points. be aware that it is attached to the convestion center, so the lobbby area may be full at times, but walk to everywhere!
This is so true!
We need to pick properties within our budget.
This weekend I needed to be in NYC, and on central park, so I stayed at the Essex House which I could get a room from $200-300/nite, and not the Ritz which is $500-700/nite, though they are a block away from each other.
If I needed to stay on Central Park again, I would stay at Essex House. Its a beautiful place, staff was wonderful, buffet breakfast wonderful and free. And I am sure there will be more premiers at Ziegfield's and after parties at Stone Rose Lounge.
But its not the most convenient for my lifestyle as I normal take the train into Penn Station and can walk to RI Times Square South, or FFI. Both cost substantially less, and give me much better room upgrades, to the best they have with a great view.
My platinum upgrade at Essex House gave me a large room, but the view was of an inner courtyard.
also, the restaurant was closed for lunch and dinner, so I had to eat room service. When I was alone this was fine, but I did need to entertain, and really couldn't ask folks for more than drinks. There was a nice lobby for them to wait in but we had to go out. Had I been upgraded to a suite (like platinums always use to be) I would have ordered dinner in the room.
since the relatives are in the movie business, and we were attending a premiere, this might have opened some doors for Marriott when the studios need to put up film crews for movie shoots. Instead all I got was why Essex House, why not the Pierre (where we went for high tea).
They would not have asked that had I been in a suite, overlooking the park, ordering in room service.
Have mainly been to the Pierre for tea, as my cousin's wife loves having tea there. Very old world dining room, formal french wait staff. Below is a link to the history which is very ineteresting, and the link for high tea. Another of my GFs prefers the St. Regis (3rd link below) because of their tea.
She has tried them all and settled on the St. Regis as being best.