I'll start by saying that I am a Hilton Gold member, so I am very loyal to this chain and enjoyperks such as free breakfast and room upgrades. We went to San Diego, then Carlsbad while on Christmas vacation with the kids. We stayed at four hotels (all within the Hilton chain) and this was by far the best. We had planned to stay at this hotel for two nights, but loved it so much, we changed our reservations and stayed another night here. This is a new hotel, opened in 2012.
We were greeted by very friendly staff, starting with the valet, then the concierge, then the desk staff. All were smiling, welcoming, very genuine, and friendly. We were upgraded to a King sofa suite room, given our breakfast coupons and keys. We had our three children with us, so the clerk offered four room keys. This was great, because the kids are always arguing over who gets to open the door with the key and we end up misplacing the cards.
The room was beautifully decorated and smelled great. There were two plush robes and new slippers waiting for us in the closet. There were ample toiletries, which came in handy since there were five of us. The sofa bed was even comfortable, and the extra blankets were nice and cozy soft. The shower is massive and has a beautiful glass door. We did not have a balcony; however, this was not an issue, since we have little kids and balconies are a safety concern for us. Some of the rooms do have balconies. There was also a fridge and microwave in the room.
We ate at the restaurant five times. The food was wonderful, especially the breakfast pastries. They offer a breakfast buffet or a la carte. The service was good, but not 5 star. The wait staff was very friendly and attentive, but you can tell they are still learning and inexperienced. One of our waiters spilled a little orange juice on the table while pouring it into my glass and didn't even come back to clean up the spill. He was young and apologized for spilling, but it was obvious he was very inexperienced. All of the food was delicious. My husband had the beef short ribs for dinner one night and said they were great. I also had the lobster and shrimp tacos and they were great.
The pool was heated and really warm, which was welcome in December. The hot tub was very clean and big. We used both every day. The pool towels were plentiful, plush and large. The lounge chairs were also really nice and plentiful. There are three fire pits, but we never saw any of them lit during our stay. We didn't use the spa, but it looked nice. There are lots of couches, gathering spaces, a big screen TV area, and even a computer center with five PC's and a color laser printer, which the kids loved and used to print Dora Christmas pictures they created on nickjr.com.
We are from the east coast, so oceanfront to us means a hotel that is directly on the beach with beach chairs, umbrellas, and service. This hotel is not on the beach, so if you are looking for true oceanfront, don't come here. However, there is a nice crosswalk and beach access path directly in front of the hotel, but no chairs or hotel services. This didn't bother us, because we enjoyed the pool and hotel more than the beach anyway.
Overall, I can't say enough great things about this hotel. This is a truly upscale Hilton property. I highly recommend it, and will go back again if in the area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With sweeping views of crystal beaches and the Pacific Ocean atop a series of gently rolling berms in sunny Southern California, Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront is the destination for luxury. The Resort features 215 expansive guest rooms and suites, the full-service Ocean Crest Spa and world-class dining at Chandler’s Restaurant & Lounge. Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities including an ocean view swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and over 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor banquet facilities. With easy access to miles of beach, recreational activities like surfing, fishing and water sports are readily available. For families, Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront is a short drive to LEGOLAND California, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Disneyland California. As well, the resort is minutes from Palomar Airport and less than a 45-minute drive from San Diego International Airport. ... more less
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