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Oyster Hotel Review
Young, hip party crowd gets rowdy at the bars; rock memorabilia permeates the hotel
The exterior of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is unremarkable and primarily glass windows. Once guests enter the bright, expansive lobby, they're met with rock memorabilia -- think Fender guitars, Shakira's performance costumes and huge photo murals of concerts. Staff mans the four square check-in desks set up in front of a huge projection screen showing various artists. There's minimal seating, just a oddly-shaped gray leather couch. The hotel attracts a young, hip crowd (including many celebrities), so families may feel out of place. The rooftop pool and bar, Float, and bar/nightclub 207 can get pretty loud and rowdy; DJs perform some nights. Guests receive free VIP access for two until 10 p.m.
Exciting location on the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter
The Hard Rock is right on the border of San Diego's exciting Gaslamp Quarter, a block from Petco Park and a five-minute drive from the San Diego Convention Center. There's only valet parking at the hotel and it costs $40. However, guests have access to free Electra bicycles, based on availability.
The historical Gaslamp Quarter, located between 4th and 6th avenues, and between Broadway to the north and Harbor Drive to the south, is a hip, young neighborhood that’s home to some of downtown San Diego's best restaurants, shopping, nightlife, boutiques, and art galleries. It’s also where some of the city’s most popular outdoor celebrations -- Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Street Scene music festival -- take place.
- 6-minute walk to Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres
- 7-minute walk or 4-minute drive to The San Diego Convention Center
- 6-minute drive to Seaport Village
- 8-minute drive to Balboa Park
- 9-minute drive to the Maritime Museum of San Diego
- 11-minute drive to the San Diego Zoo
- 12-minute drive to Old Town
- 13-minute drive to the San Diego International Airport
- 14-minute drive to Sea World
420 rooms and suites with stylish, contemporary decor
Trendy rooms have dark wood furniture and plush white beds, and small but sleek bathrooms have rain showerheads and above-counter sinks. Only some rooms have iPod docks, but all of the 42-inch flat-screen TVs have iPod hookups. Copies of Rolling Stone and Fender magazine are nice touches.
All rooms include:
- Studio: 325 to 350 square feet; king or two queen beds
- Float Studio: 325 to 350 square feet; king bed, patio with view of open-air Woodstock Terrace amphitheater
- Hard Rock Suite: 450 to 515 square feet; king or two queen beds (rooms with two queens are corner suites); sitting area; two 42-inch TVs
- Black-Eyed Peas Suite: 610 square feet; king bed; view of open-air Woodstock Terrace amphitheater; 60-square-foot terrace; large bathroom with double vanity; living room with seating for six; two TVs; bar with sink; VIP access
- Diamond Suite: 1,200 square feet; 490-square-foot terrace; Jacuzzi; great views; two bedrooms; two and a half bathrooms with dual vanities (in master baths); two TVs; living room with leather couch; dining area for six; bar with sink; VIP service (including access to the hotel's bars)
- Multi-Platinum Suite: 984 to 1,070 square feet; king bed; 835-square-foot terrace (but only in one of the two suites); living room with seating for six; bar with sink; 1.5 bathrooms; VIP service (including access to the hotel's bars)
- Platinum Suite: 670 to 850 square feet; king bed; 270 to 300-square-foot terrace; living room with seating for six; bar with sink; 1.5 bathrooms; fireplace (in one of two Platinum Suites); VIP service (including access to the hotel's bars)
- Gold: 655 to 740 square feet; king bed; floor-to-ceiling windows; living room with seating for six; bar with sink; VIP service (including access to the hotel's bars)
- Silver Suite: 610 to 665 square feet; king bed; floor-to-ceiling windows; living room with seating for six; dual vanities; VIP service (including access to the hotel's bars)
A popular rooftop bar and decent feebies (free Wi-Fi, free iTunes voucher, free business services) -- but a steep resort fee
- Wi-Fi is covered in the resort fee
- 24-hour room service
- 24-hour concierge
- 24-hour staffed front desk
- 24-hour fitness center with TVs, cardio equipment, and free weights; must be 18 to use
- Rooftop pool
- Rock shop selling T-shirts designed by rock stars and lots of other goodies
- Rock Spa with five treatment rooms
- Three meeting rooms
- 24-hour business center with free fax, copy, and printing services
- Free use of an Electra bicycle if available
- Parking for a daily fee, valet only
A renowned (and pricey) Japanese restaurant, a casual American restaurant, and two popular bars
The Hard Rock has two restaurants and two bars on site, but there are plenty more food and drink options in the Gaslamp Quarter.
- Nobu: Japanese cuisine and sushi
- Maryjane's: American cuisine served daily for breakfast lunch, and dinner; kids menu available (if you are inclined to take your child to a restaurant named Maryjane's, where happy hour starts at 4:20); free drip coffee is available from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Float: Rooftop bar with fire pits known for its parties and DJs
- 207: Bar on the ground floor with lots of TVs tuned to sports games; local DJs Thursday to Sunday nights
The 420-room Hard Rock, located in the hip Gaslamp Quarter, hosts wild parties on weekends at its popular rooftop pool and bar. It's a haven for twenty- and thirty-somethings (including celebrities), and trendy rooms have big flat-screen TVs and high-thread-count sheets. But it's not particularly kid-friendly (420 rooms and a restaurant called Maryjane's where happy hour starts at 4:20...you get the idea), so families should consider the nearby Hotel Solamar.
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Things You Should Know About Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
- 207 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
- Float Studio
- Hard Rock Suite
- Queen Suite
- Rock Star Suite
- Studio Guest Room
- Woodstock Suites