Shelter Island is such a pleasant location, you can't go wrong staying there - in any season. With miles of walking paths, picnic tables & benches everywhere, very little traffic, and lots of great views, you won't spend much time in your hotel room.
Parking: Free with permit from the hotel, well-lit, and close to the room
Buildings: We live in AZ, so we find architectural extremes fascinating... everything looks the same here, and 'historic' buildings are few and far between.The hotel lobby was in a whacky hi-low A-framed woody building that must have been cutting-edge in the late-50's / early 60's. I think there were rooms in that building as well, but our room was in a building down the street - more of a Hollywood-style building from the 30's. Due to the age of the building and proximity to the ocean, it did have a musty smell, but they used fresh-smelling cleaners (smelled like Fantastik), and perhaps carpet freshener in the hallways, and they also opened a door at the end of each hallway so fresh air permeated the building. Pretty much any older building (including homes in that area) have the same smell; locals probably don't even notice. Again, coming from the arid desert, it's probably more obvious to us.
Views: The buildings face the harbor - you see ocean, Coronado Island and the cityscape (breathtaking in every direction). Behind the buildings is a huge Marina with every type of sailing vessel you can imagine. There is a small pier and a small beachfront with fire rings right across the street from the hotel on the harbor side. Walkways are everywhere with grassy areas, benches, picnic tables, and beautiful trees.
Room: We were on the 2nd floor and we couldn't find an elevator, so if stairs are a problem for you, it is worth mentioning when you are at the front desk. The room had white plantation shutters and a cut little balcony with a French door. There was a Night Heron who slept in a tree right outside our balcony during the afternoon - awesome! The room had all the details you'd expect in an older, well-made building - big, thick white baseboards and beefy white wood trim around doors and windows - from an era when wood was cut generously. The walls were covered in a light-colored subtle textured wall-covering - they were spotlessly clean as if they were painted and covered the day before we arrived. The floors were covered in carpet for sound dampening, but you could feel the uneveness and hear some creaking underfoot from what must be the gorgeous, original wood floors. Everything was in great condition, and while a smallish room, it was adequate for us and our belongings. The king bed was a 'real' king and very comfortable, as were the wide range of pillows to chose from. The TV sat on a long, spacious granite counter, leaving plenty of room for a desk and catch-all area. The free WiFi worked perfectly from the room! There was also an easy-to-use laptop safe in the closet (although, you have to actually get into the closet to read the instructions). The room stayed a comfortable temperature throughout our stay and we never heard any heating or AC come on, or had to fool with any controls - that's a bonus!
Bathroom: The bathroom was also quite clean and bright, and fairly spacious with a generous counter area. The floor tiles were giant and travertine-looking; really nice. The bathroom counter, while spacious, looked like it belonged to a different room and a different building - it was done with colorful Spanish tiles with huge grout lines and didn't go with any of the other decor. That being said, it was clean, functional and in great shape - just unexpected. The hot water was plentiful and instant. There were plenty of towels, soaps, etc... Here come my two biggest complaints: (1) The fashionable rain-shower head didn't seem to have any settings other than 'rainfall' - which is not adequate if you have to get shampoo out of a good head of hair. My daughter and I had to rinse under the tub spout. (2) The *only* mirror was on the other side of the deep counter (above the sink), and didn't extend the length of the counter. I have three issues with this - first, I am nearsighted, and wear glasses, so it's nearly impossible to put on eye makeup when there is no mirror I can get up next to. Second, the mirror was only large enough for one person to use at a time, and there was no other mirror anywhere in the room. Third, it was only a half-length mirror and there was no full-length mirror.
Noise: No traffic noise. Outside, you can hear the sea lions bellowing, but not inside. Neighboring room noise was a problem - I think only because of the optional adjoining room doors; that's where the sound seemed to be coming through the most. The neighbors were loudish - 20-something guys, but it didn't last long, so no big. I slept fine without earplugs, which is unusual for me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on San Diego's Shelter Island, the Island Palms Hotel and Marina is surrounded by the blue waters of San Diego Bay. Nestled among 6 acres of lush, tropical landscaping, this spectacular setting overlooks our private yacht marina and San Diego's largest yacht basin. Features and amenities include 227 beautifully-appointed guest rooms and suites, 2 heated waterfront pools and spas, waterfront restaurant and bar and over 6,300 square feet of water view meeting space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel And Marina
- Best Western San Diego
- San Diego Best Western