Top 10 Hip Hotels in San Diego
Contemporary urban design makes this beachfront hotel a distinct departure from its competitors.
The drive from the freeway to Tower23 winds its way through business districts populated by mini-malls, casual eateries and chain stores. Although there's nothing glamorous about the neighborhood, the beauty of the hotel reveals itself once you're inside, and again when you see the ocean view. Sleek and sophisticated, the Graham Downes-designed property caters to a style-conscious set. Named for a former lifeguard tower, this 3-story beachfront building makes generous use of glass and geometric lines. It was the brainchild of area restaurateur and business developer Brett Miller (Gringo’s, Moondoggie’s and Cendio), and it brings a touch of class to the typically rowdy Pacific Beach scene.
All 44 larger-than-average rooms and suites are alliteratively summed up into five different categories according to views and available amenities. Spirit, Sky and Surf pads are equipped with flat-screen TVs, Xbox entertainment centers, wet bars and dual-line cordless phones, while Sweet and Sanctuary suites include sleeper sofas and whirlpool Jacuzzi tubs with "chromatherapy" lighting. Spa services are available in guest rooms, but there is no spa on site. The best accommodations boast unending water views (naturally), and if one of the rooms with a private patio is out of your price range, simply head to the shared patio complete with fire pit.
JRDN restaurant (pronounced Jordan) offers mix-and-match steaks, seafood and sushi, and the JRDN Lounge + Raw Bar is a casual venue for small plates and craft cocktails. There is also the Tower Deck, an exclusive venue for guests (and their guests) to enjoy cocktails, wine and a sunset or two. For social events and small business gatherings, JRDN’s private wine room (with a 1,000-bottle wine wall) can accommodate up to 100 guests.
As for the Pacific Beach neighborhood that seemed like a minus coming in, it's actually a plus. Guests without cars can easily walk to surrounding restaurants and shops and not be “stuck in the hotel” as at some remote beach properties. A mix of locals and tourists mingle along the boardwalk that runs parallel to the beach, many of them heading to hang out at the nearby pier.