Outdoor rooftop pool at Pendry San Diego, California, USA

Pendry San Diego
San Diego, California, USA


The very first outpost of Pendry Hotels and Resorts, Pendry San Diego, is a stylish and comfortable base from which to explore ‘America’s Finest City’: upon checking in, we immediately feel wrapped in a luxurious envelope of warm hospitality blended in with a good dosage of SoCal flair.

The exceptional service at Pendry San Diego starts at the kerb. The moment our car arrived at this stylish corner of the Gaslamp Quarter, our door was opened, luggage swiftly transferred inside and we were ushered into its magnificent lobby complete with a roaring log fire.

The relaxed grandiose vibe of the lobby is the prelude to your stay. What it wants you to know is that Pendry San Diego does nothing by halves. Each doorway you walk through is predisposed to evoke the same sense of wonderment by combining sumptuous luxury with jaw-dropping views and a snug homeliness to the finest balance.

Our fifth-floor room held nothing back. As soon as we entered, our gaze was stolen away by the hypnotising view of San Diego harbour through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Incidentally, the glass-front shower looks out to the same view. There’s a lot to be said for showering while watching yachts sail in to one of the most scenic ports in the world. The impossibly large bed, wrapped in Fili D’oro bedding sends you to a dreamlike state even when you’re awake. That is all the explanation we have for ordering room service so many times during our stay.

The hotel brand’s signature plaid chaise lounge, thoughtfully placed by the window, sends the message that this is a room to look out of. However, none of this comes at the expense of what’s within the room. The ocean-inspired palette and upscale lake-house vibe furniture fit around you as if you placed them there yourself. We reached in to the wardrobe to grab what must be the most indulgent of robes. And just like that, we were home.

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While you’re Out There
The hotel’s location places you within walking distance of some of San Diego’s top tourist draws (although driving is very much the order of the day here!). One of our favourite things to do in the area is to visit the San Diego Civic Theatre, which boasts an impressive calendar of live performances, from music to comedy and beyond.

If the rooms are for sanctuary and contemplation, then the rooftop pool and whirlpool are certainly not. Come here to see and be seen. The Pool House serves a relaxed dining menu with cocktails to be enjoyed in private cabanas or by the pool. The restaurant with al fresco dining is open to the public, so expect a crowd with a side of magnificent views of downtown San Diego and the bay.

Pendry San Diego’s dining options were arguably the standout experience of our stay. The Pendry Breakfast at Provisional includes pesto aioli potatoes that we are hard-pressed to forget. Lionfish, the fine dining restaurant, is great for celebrating on any night. Nason’s Beer Hall, which is more of a sports bar, was packed to the brim each night. We didn’t have enough time to check out Fifth & Rose cocktail bar or Oxford Social Club, but if the rest of the hotel is anything to go by, we have no hesitation in recommending them.

We found the whole feel of the staff and the hotel to be completely relaxed and casual – in true Californian fashion – despite its high-end offering, making the experience lavish without overpowering. Another thing worth noting is that the hotel is dog-friendly. One dog per room can stay for free, so there is no need to leave your pooch at home.

The real litmus test for any hotel is if you’d ever go back. We are happy to say that we’d return in a heartbeat.


Photography courtesy of Pendry Hotels

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