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Although I live semi-local I had occasion to stay at the DoubleTree San Diego Downtown hotel again. Having stayed there at least two times prior I was hoping to see improvements. I was disappointed. It remains as I knew it. Not bad, per se. Just, meh…
The DoubleTree brand tends to be hit or miss anyway with as many tired properties as it has nicer ones. The DoubleTree San Diego Downtown Hotel seems to typically have pretty good rates for a downtown hotel and while my conference was a Marriott, I prefer to get my Hilton Honors points. Besides, the Marriott was like $600.00 a night.
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The Location & Price
The DoubleTree San Diego Downtown Hotel is pretty conveniently located – with easy access to the convention center (via a long walk or a short Uber). It’s key advantage is it’s close proximity to San Diego’s Little Italy district which continues to be a fine San Diego destination. The DoubleTree San Diego Downtown Hotel is a 3 minute walk from Little Italy where you can find great food, atmosphere and all kinds of new development.
The downside to the hotels location is it’s directly across from a bridge of sorts that is frequented by homeless people. The bench immediately outside the hotel reeks of urine and while I never felt unsafe in any way, I am sure some people might have.
As mentioned, the price always seems to be pretty fair.
The hotel is located at: 1646 Front Street, San Diego, California, 92101, USA
The Lobby and checking in
As is often the case with DoubleTree’s the Lobby was quite nice (and as I remember it). It’s a fine piece of modern architecture with friendly enough staff.
Although I arrive around 2pm-ish my room was not ready and I needed to wait 30 minutes or so. Not a big deal, although the next fella checking in after me went straight up as did the 8 members of the Alaska Airlines flight crew. I guess my Diamond status isn’t that powerful… LOL. Again, not that big of a deal.
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I’d have preferred if the clerk had offered to call me when it was ready, but he did not. Instead I had to query him for an update – even though he could see me sitting in the lobby (I chose not to leave the hotel).
By the way, the parking garage is quite tight, which I recall. But that’s to be expected for an older hotel in a big city.
The dirty little trick DoubleTree’s play on you is that their lobby’s are typically nice, but the rooms tend to be tired.
Such was the case here. The floor was tired, but not dirty. Just old decor and a musty odor that many travelers know.
The room was definitely musty. Not horrible. Not bad enough to change rooms, but it needed to breathe a little.
The bedding was nice as is the case in most Hilton properties these days. I didn’t get the upgrade – but that’s not a huge deal (although I often do get upgraded).
The decor was standard, but not overly modern or current. Various nicks and dings were evident with a hotel that needs a remodel. The bathroom shower had two settings: Off and Terrifying Hellaciously Hot and there was clear mildew at the top of the shower surround (probably the source of the mustiness).
Again, it wasn’t a bad room, per se, but it definitely could not have been better. In fact it was almost exactly as I remembered from my last stay almost 3 years or so ago. No discernible upgrades / changes.
The DoubleTree San Diego Downtown Hotel had the standard amenities, nothing too insane (but that wasn’t expected). Breakfast was good and the continental was free for Diamond members).
They have a sundries shop onsite with the normal fare of overpriced items if you need them.
And of course the cookies…which are always good. I grabbed two.
Listen, I am never too expectant when it comes to DoubleTree’s. For the most part they never blow me away. I’ve stayed in Hampton Inn’s that are nicer. In general, they are “tired.” But they are also not horrible. In this case, it was, once again, just meh…
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Worth the money for a budget conscious traveler and acceptable for the business traveler – but not going to blow your socks off.
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