If you want a great place to stay in San Diego that is easy to get to, has great views, and access to water sports, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is ideal. There's a shuttle that runs between the airport and the hotel's two towers from early in the morning until about midnight. There are more than 1500 rooms, so it's possible you'll be able to check in before the 3 p.m. check-in time. I was able to get into my room by noon. The rooms have incredible views, especially those facing the marina in the Marina Tower. The rooms are a good size, every one has a balcony, and they were very clean and well-kept.
You can play in one of the two pools at the hotel (again, the Marina Tower has the better pool), plus hot tubs. They are very nice pools and plenty of towels outside. The Marina Tower pool also has servers that offer poolside drinks and snacks. Other amenities in the Marina Tower include a lobby bar, pub/bar, restaurant, gift shop, ATM machine, Starbucks, free WiFi, computers in the lobby for public use, business center, spa, fitness center, bike rentals, and full-service water sports rentals (sailboat charters, paddleboards, jet skis, pedal boats, kayaks, etc.) It's an ideal location and (theoretically) you could spend a couple of days and not have to leave the hotel grounds. There's an additional bar/restaurant in the Bay Tower.
My biggest problem with the hotel was the outrageously expensive, but mediocre-at-best food. We had a beer, margarita (served in a high ball glass), and shrimp cocktail and it cost us $40. At the bar in the Marina tower, a hamburger, salad, order of onion rings and two drinks set us back $91. I don't mind paying for good food, but this was just not that great.
I had a spa treatment at the spa (you can follow the signs to the spa, on the ground level by the pool, but enter the door marked Fitness Center - nothing on the door indicates the spa is inside). It was a good treatment, my therapist did a great job. However, the relaxation room didn't have any water and the only magazine was a Sports Illustrated. I thought it was strange that a woman had her little kids in the dressing room changing into their swimsuits with all the women running around in towels or without clothing between lockers, sauna and showers. The spa is very small, but with just a few touches, it could be a really great feature. I was distracted twice during my massage with kids and adults running between the pool and the restrooms. I think the hotel should not allow the public to come into the spa to use the facilities - it detracts from the experience of your massage because the public is running around playing and laughing right outside the door to your treatment room. My therapist was very professional and did a fabulous job.
The front desk service was adequate. Nothing special and I had to wait about 10 minutes to get my luggage from the bell desk after my room was ready. The bellman was outside, I believe, but no one inside the hotel came over to the desk or asked if I needed assistance.
One other minor detail is that hours and amenities listed on the hotel's website are not accurate. I went to the Bay Tower at about 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, but was told I couldn't sit on the patio because the hotel didn't have enough staff on hand to service the patio. Only a dark corner of the bar was open (unacceptable when I'm vacationing at the beach). I wanted to have a drink poolside and the website said the bar was open until 9 p.m. However, it was closed up tight by 6 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, despite the fact that the pool was packed with people. I went in on Saturday about 3 p.m. to enquire about renting bikes, but no one was at the desk and after about 10 minutes of waiting for someone to help me, I left.
So, in the final analysis, I would definitely recommend the hotel because of its location, clean rooms, comfortable beds, great views. But, be prepared to leave the hotel for food. Definitely take advantage of the water sports rentals on site.
Select a room in the Marina Tower, facing the Marina and the pool. If you opt for a Bay Tower room...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.