pros: million dollar view, great location, professional staff, nice sheets, not musty, clean rooms, heated pool, beautiful courtyard smells like roses, firepit, quiet at night, off the main drag but close, right on the water, gorgeous sunsets, comfy lounge furniture on patio, good coffee in the morning, microwave and mini fridge in every room without a full kitchen, excellent wedding venue, good energy.
Cons: some furniture in a few rooms a little rough around the edges; not enough parking for a wedding (though the church across the street accepts donations for use of theirs); after taking suitcases to car and returning to their room to get it out of the fridge, our friends discovered the maids were already eating some leftover wedding cake our friends had saved.
From the moment my fiancée and I walked through the entrance into the courtyard, we knew this was the place our wedding was going to happen. With 26 rooms of varying size and capacity, a pool in the courtyard with beautiful teak lounge chairs and tables on the upper terrace overlooking the water, a firepit and more comfy, cushy patio furniture around it on the lower terrace, I knew our guests would enjoy it as well. The landscaping surrounding the pool includes bright green grass and beautiful, tall roses that, as the hotel manager promised, were in full bloom for our wedding. I didn't have to decorate much for the wedding, as there were so many beautiful flowers potted all over the hotel.
The presidential suite was phenomenal! I'm really bummed it was such a hectic weekend that we never had the chance to soak in the hot tub overlooking the ocean, but I can say the bed was heavenly! The sheets were luxurious, and fresh, despite the proximity to the water. The rooms with full kitchens were the perfect place to gather around the table for a few drinks or spread some food out. The queen rooms were small, but comfortable, and after all, one doesn't spend much time in their room in a place like that. Our friends walked down to Newport Ave to check out the local scene and do some shopping. The groom and all the guys had a fun bachelor night at the bars. Our parents' friends easily found nice places to eat in nearby point loma and downtown.
As far as holding your wedding there, you get the entire hotel to yourselves, no strangers staying among you, no one passing through. There's one entrance to the place, so I didn't have to worry about security (gifts going missing). I did it the easy way and hired Phil's BBQ to cater my wedding. They provide a bartender as well, so that was covered, too! The hotel has enough tables and chairs and linens for the maximum allowed capacity. They moved all the teak furniture, and actually utilized some of it for the dj, guest book, gift, and cake tables, and set up their tables the morning of the event. The only things I had to rent were the table settings. And more lights (the Inn purposely leaves the patios unlit to be able to enjoy stargazing at night with less light interference). Raphael's rentals has worked events at the inn before, so that was another easy decision, as they were already familiar with the location and its quirks, like overspray from heavy surf potentially damaging a dance floor set up the night before.
Oh yeah, the surf... We had to time our wedding around low tide because at high tide, there is potential for a water show that rivals the bellagio's, especially if it is a particularly high high tide.
The staff: I should have put this at the top of my review, because the staff is what really made the day exceptional. From meeting with Gavin, the hotel manager, to discuss the layout of tables and buffet and dance floor, I knew I was in good hands. Planning your own wedding is stressful, and his eneregy was always calm and reassuring. He was my coordinator, reminding me to send him a picture so he could have personalized room key cards made for the event, contacting my vendors for me to acquire necessary contracts, informing me of available rooms so I could help organize my friends and family into suitable rooms. The day before the wedding Gavin helped us through our rehearsal, coordinating the dj and music with how long it takes to walk down the ramp and aisle; he told us where to pause for pictures (making sure our photographers were aware of the plan as well. The photogs were our friends and were present at rehearsal). The day of, by the time I woke, his staff were already moving furniture, setting up tables and chairs, power washing the patios. My florist was able to put out the centerpieces and decorate the other tables when she arrived. Throughout the day, Gavin was right there to let me know it was time for the ceremony to start, time to make the grand entrance, time for cake. It's hard to explain how Gavin and his staff were simultaneously invisible, but always right there when needed. I can only describe their service as beyond professional! Once things started winding down, and the majority of guests who were not staying at the Inn had left, the staff started to take away tables and replace them with the patio furniture, creating a comfortable, social environment for us to hang out around, play music on the iPod and continue to dance. and they danced all night, which was a sign to me that the event was a success and our guests enjoyed their stay.
In fact, I didn't hear one complaint about the place from anyone I spoke with after our wedding.