Bahia put a smile on my face, and hopes for a return asap. Here's why:
The location is fantastic, adjoining Mission Bay with its beaches right at the hotel; an easy walk to the Pacific Ocean beach-town atmosphere and and alleys of beautiful white-sand Mission Beach; activities such as paddle boat rental available right at the hotel; a five minute walk across the road to Belmont Park with its roller coaster and miniature golf; an enormous, room which is more like a suite, with sitting area and kitchenette, for $89 at AAA rate (and NO resort or parking fee!!!); room with large patio on a lawn facing the bay and friendly visiting ducks who amazingly seem trained to avoid entering the room. I cannot think of a better place to stay in San Diego, especially for families with children, because of activities right at the resort and within easy, quick walking distance.
Staff: AMAZING!! Every single person is helpful, professional and truly (not plastic-like) friendly. Kudos to the entire reception area's folks and the concierge/bell desk people (wish I recalled names-- all are fantastic!), housekeeping and grounds staff. Every Bahia employee you encounter treats you like they're sincerely glad to see you.
An example: The morning I (sadly) had to leave, hostess Lorena in the restaurant asked if I wanted breakfast. All I wanted was a cup of coffee to-go. She then returned not just with a paper cup, but with the cup on a set-up tray with napkins, cream, silverware. Sure, she could have just brought the cup, but she added that extra graciousness that sends a guest off with a smile. Oh--and the coffee was delicious, better than at most hotels.
The room was enormous-- more like a suite. If you want a super modern somewhat sterile place with identical rooms, look elsewhere. My room at Bahia was not brand new, but it was super spotlessly clean and had "character." Yes, there were a few worn areas in the carpet, and a scuff mark on the bathroom walls, and the water didn't get hot for one minute. I understand that many of the rooms have been recently upgraded and modernized. Perhaps the wing where my room is located is next, but honestly, it doesn't matter, for the excellence of the whole place outweighs the small "dings" which actually add to the charm of Bahia.