Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Less generic than one would expect of a medium-range chain hotel
Residence Inn hotels are generally known for their generic decor, but the Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter is more stylish than most of its sister properties, with a colorful lobby and well-equipped suites and studios. Freebies -- including Internet access and a buffet breakfast -- help make this property a good value.
The 240 studios and one-bedroom suites come with 32-inch flat-screen TVs, and fully equipped kitchens with pots, pans, a dishwasher, microwave, and stovetop (but no oven). The carpets are a little busy, and the bathrooms are no-frills, but dark wood furniture and blue-and-white decor help make the rooms feel relatively tasteful.
Bar Vie, located in the hotel lobby, is a casual spot with modern decor, colorful couches, and interesting signature cocktails, but it is generally deserted (it's hard to compete with the numerous bars in this hip area). Adjacent is the business center, a spacious open area with a couple of computers and a long table with sockets to plug in laptops.
The fitness room has a nice view of the street and of the pool. The heated pool is a little small, but it has beach chairs, umbrellas and a barbecue area.
The hotel's location in the southern part of the Gaslamp Quarter is a short walk to both Petco Park and the San Diego Convention Center.
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, 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.
Spacious rooms with modern amenities and full kitchens
The Residence Inn has 240 spacious studios and one-bedroom suites, ranging in size from 400 square feet to 600 square feet. Most of the rooms have sofa beds in the living area and all come with a full kitchen featuring a microwave, stovetop, dishwasher, and fridge, making them convenient for families.
Despite the location blocks from the Convention Center, there is no work space available in the rooms other than the tiny dining table.
Technology is up-to-date, and rooms come with Wi-Fi and wired Internet access (free throughout the property), and 32-inch flat screen TVs -- though no iPod docks or safes. (There is a safe at the front desk, however.)
All rooms include:
Few amenities other than a small fitness center, a swimming pool with a barbecue, and valet parking
The hotel has most of the amenities you’d expect to find in a mid-range chain, like a fitness center and a pool, but there's not much more than that. The gym is quite nice, though, with views of the street and the pool, and modern machines.
Valet parking is steep ($35 per day when we visited), but it’s the normal price you pay in the area, which is full of restaurants and shops and gets packed at night, making it hard to find a parking spot. However, there are cheaper public garages in the area with self-parking available.
A lobby bar with light fare, and a free buffet breakfast
This mid-range property in the Gaslamp Quarter is surprisingly stylish for a Residence Inn, and one of the most family-friendly properties in San Diego, despite its happening location. It's easy to save money on food here -- rooms all have kitchens, there's a barbecue area next to the small pool, and the buffet breakfast is free. There's also plenty of room for families to spread out: the smallest room starts at 400 square feet, and many rooms have sofa beds. All in all, it’s a great value -- but families may also want to consider the nearby Hotel Solamar.