We have just returned from a wonderful two week holiday where we stayed in no less than five different hotels. Although it was a pain to keep repacking the suitcases it was a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of the state and also compare a number of different hotels - all of which had their pros and cons!
The first place we stayed in was the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa. It is set in a lovely location away from the centre of the city but on its very own beach. We stayed there for three nights.
We had one room that consisted of two queen sized beds - ideal for me, my husband and our two young daughters. The room was one of the larger ones that we stayed in meaning that we had enough room to spread out all our luggage. The room was clean with nice crisp bedding. There was an enormous TV alongside coffee making facilities (Starbucks coffee), an iron and iron board, hair drier, and complimentary shower gel, shampoo, conditioner etc. The room was light and in my opinion nicely decorated with nothing to complain about at all. The shower was in the bath and had quite a powerful spray which I liked.
The hotel is really a large complex set on quite a few acres. There is ample parking but unfortunately there is a $25 daily charge for parking your car which I thought was very steep. It was also the most expensive parking charge we incurred at all of the five hotels that we stayed in.
Public areas include a reception area, fitness centre (which I didn't use), shop, bar and dining room. If you want to use the internet in your room there is a charge. However, if you use it in the reception or lobby areas it is free but obviously less secure. This was great for us though as we only wanted to check a few emails and keep in touch with home and it would not have been worth paying a daily charge.
My daughters absolutely loved the swimming pool which was open until 10 pm each evening. It is in a gated area and you have to use your key to get in which means that it is only available to hotel guests. It is a lovely large pool and there are also quite a few sun loungers available and also a pool bar and a table tennis table. Pool towels were freely available as they were at all of the hotels we stayed in. I wish I had known this in advance as we had packed beach towels and they do take up quite a lot of room in the suitcases. The girls also loved the fact that on some evenings, films were shown on a screen at one end of the pool so they could watch as they swam. They thought that was a real novelty!
We stayed in the hotel on a room only basis which can prove very expensive when you have to buy three meals a day for a family of four. We did have breakfast at the hotel each day. You can either go for the buffet option for which you can choose exactly what you want and how much or you can choose off the quite extensive menu. We had the buffet on the first day but it was quite expensive ($22 and half this for children - about £15) unless you want to eat a lot. I tend not to choose buffet options because I know that it will tempt me to overeat which is not a good idea. The other days we chose from the menu and this worked out less but we could still choose pretty much full breakfasts or lighter options. We ate one dinner at the hotel restaurant too which was also quite expensive but I have to say that it was one of the best meals that I ate all holiday and my flat iron steak was one of the best that I had ever tasted.
Children are well looked after in most US restaurants and this was the case also at the Hilton. They always got a colour in menu and packs of crayons to keep them entertained. The children's menu was a little limited though although not dissimilar to all of the kids' menus that we encountered on our visit.
The hotel is well situated for all of San Diego's attractions such as the zoo and the animal park. It is only a couple of miles from Sea world and a lovely bonus was being able to stand on the beach or on our balcony and view the nightly fireworks from across the lake. It also meant that when we went to Sea World we did not feel the need to stay until the end to see the fireworks as we knew that we would have just as good a view from the Hilton!
As we booked our entire holiday through Virgin, I don't know exactly the daily rate that we paid. However, on holidays.com, rooms are advertised from £118 per night.
I have obviously written about my family's experience of staying at the hotel and there are lots of conference facilities and other things that we did not come across. Overall it was a very pleasant stay and the best things were the food, the swimming pool and the proximity to Sea World. The most annoying thing was the parking charge which cost us £75 for three nights (about £55) and if you were staying longer would soon be a huge additional cost to your stay.
The hotel is six miles from San Diego Airport and the address is
1775 East Mission Bay Drive,
San Diego, California, United States 92109