Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Mid-range hotel with harbor views and LGBT-friendly rooftop scene
The exterior of Porto Vista Hotel has an Art Deco motel vibe with outdoor hallways, white balconies, and the hotel moniker displayed on a giant cube projecting into the air. Inside, the wood-grained front desk feels a bit dated. The Glass Door restaurant on the fourth floor is much more appealing with plenty of charming, dangling lantern lights and a long bar with bistro bar stools. Tall chairs are lined up in front of the glass balustrade on the balcony where guests can dine and take in the views of the harbor. On the roof, a spacious bar has plenty of rattan couches and chairs with bright orange cushions where guests can lounge and enjoy a cocktail. The space hosts events like LGBT happy hours and drag revues. Overall the atmosphere is stylish and hip, if lacking polish.
In Little Italy within walking distance to restaurants
Porto Vista Hotel is located off Highway I-5 in Little Italy and within walking distance to plenty of restaurants. Broadway Pier is about a 20-minute walk from the hotel. The Gaslamp Quarter, a historical neighborhood home to nightlife and entertainment venues, is less than a 10-minute drive away. There are three beaches within a 30-minute drive including Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and La Jolla Shores, and the airport can be reached in less than 10 minutes by car or public transportation.
Simple rooms with mini-fridges and free Wi-Fi, but some furnishings are worn
Rooms decor at the Porto Vista Hotel varies. Most rooms have some modern accents, such as floor-to-ceiling photo murals, and some of the standard rooms are more stylish and renovated, with blue headboards, orange chairs, and zebra wood veneer furniture. The color palette in many rooms is plainer, with whites, browns, and more dated laminate wood furnishings. Guests report occasional maintenance issues, and rooms start at a cozy 170 square feet. Amenities include coffee/tea facilities and wall-mounted flat-screen TVs; some categories have mini-fridges, microwaves, and balconies with bay views. Upgrading to a suite gets you a sofa bed. Bathrooms have basic shower/tub combos and makeup mirrors, but the white stucco walls and sink vanities are in need of a renovation. Rooms have outdoor hallways, and some rooms get noise from the restaurant or rooftop. Wi-Fi throughout is free.
Rooftop terrace, charming restaurant, and hair salon
The Glass Door, located on the fourth floor, has great views of the bay, an outdoor terrace, an upscale American menu with local, seasonal ingredients, and a weekend brunch. A limited breakfast (only two options) can be included in some room rates. There’s also a rooftop terrace with plenty of lounge space and a bar. The hair salon offers shampoos, blow drying, and styling sessions, and there’s a small fitness center with hand weights and some exercise machines including treadmills and a resistance machine. The hotel has valet parking for a fee and a free airport shuttle. Pets can be accommodated for a fee. There is an Internet corner with one computer and a printer, and a banquet and boardroom are available for private events. Wi-Fi throughout is free.
The 193-room Porto Vista Hotel offers a mid-range option with a ‘60s motel vibe, a restaurant with harbor views, and a cool rooftop bar with plenty of lounge space. But despite the veneer of trendy decor in some areas, this is a no-frills property: Rooms have motel-style, exterior entrances, and the hotel's location in Little Italy, right off the freeway, isn't ideal for exploring Downtown San Diego on foot. A free (limited) breakfast is included in some room rates, and the hotel has a free airport shuttle. Wi-Fi throughout is free. Those who don't mind giving up an on-site restaurant and gym may prefer the nearby, charming Hotel Vyvant for around the same price.