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“Left 2 days early due to noise from cargo ship”

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Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Ranked #76 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 23, 2012

My husband and I, who are gold Hilton Honors members, arrived on a Saturday in late July for a 4 night stay for a conference. We paid $319 ( sadly) for a larger, corner room with views of the harbor. We were not given any upgrade. After viewing the ugly, depressing industrial area by the port from the windows of our assigned room on the 9th floor, we were concerned that this working dock area would become noisy by Monday, and that we were paying such an outrageous price for such an awful view. I called the front desk staff person who assigned us the room, explained my concerns, and asked for a room on the other side of the building. His unbelievable response was that there are no corner rooms on the other side of this rectangular shaped building. What? Then, implying I should be grateful for our room, advised me that they typically upgrade Hilton Honors members to rooms with only city views, while we had a harbor view. Only, there was one problem: I reminded him WE WERE NOT GIVEN ANY UPGRADE! I reminded him that we were paying $319 a night for the privilege of looking out over hundreds of flatbed trucks and a gray, miserable, industrial complex. He then advised me that it was a really nice room and that I should stay there. After insisting that we weren't happy, despite his attempts to convince us otherwise, he referred me to the manager. I explained the situation to the manager, and our concern about potential noise on Monday, when the work week began. She suddenly found a room on the 26th floor in the identical location. Hoping that the higher floor would improve the potential for a quieter room, even though the dismal view remained the same, we moved to the higher floor. However, on route to our room, the porter, who helped us move our luggage, casually informed us that the port next to the hotel is the port facility for the Dole Corporation, and that on Mondays, A DOLE CARGO SHIP DOCKS AND UNLOADS ITS CARGO ALL WEEK LONG! Are you kidding?

Sure enough on Monday morning, the Dole ship appeared and was docked below our room. From our room, we could watch hundreds of flatbed trucks line up by the ship as a crane hoisted each container onto the back of the flatbed truck. I wish I could adequately describe the awful nonstop, crashing and banging sounds that emanate from the ship as its crane lifts the containers from the ship onto waiting flatbed trucks.

We were naively hopeful that, at least, the workers at the port would cease working at a reasonable hour. By Monday night about 11 PM, when the noise continued unabated, we contacted the night manager about switching rooms. We were told there wasn’t a single room in the hotel, though she did offer us a conference room which had a sofa bed. My husband, who has a bad back, tried out the unmade sofa bed mattress which had a stain the size of a grapefruit on it. Recognizing that his bad back could not withstand a night on this sofa bed, we asked if there were other options. We were told that they were still waiting for other guests to arrive and that there was nothing they could do until the next day. The manager acknowledged that the sounds from the ship reverberate in the corner rooms with 3 windows, and she acknowledged that sleep was an important issue, but asked us to wait until the next day to switch rooms. I asked her if the work on the ship would continue through the night, and she claimed she didn’t know. I guess I should have asked the porter. He knew. We were never offered any compensation of any kind for what the manager knew would be a sleepless night.

By 1 AM as the dock noise continued, I returned to the front desk, and asked to speak to the manager again to see if there was anything that could be done. The staff member tried to find her, but reappeared and claimed she had gone home for the evening. So apparently, there was no manager available at this Hilton San Diego Bayfront? Facing a sleepless night, we finally had had enough with the Hilton and began looking online for another hotel.

Beyond exhausted, at 1:30 AM, we left the hotel, after finding a hotel room in La Jolla. The worst part of this experience was realizing that the managers of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront are fully aware of the Dole cargo ship and the noise, and still they feign ignorance. I found the deception and the indifferent attitudes to be the most disturbing part of this experience. There was a big conference taking place, so we understood the hotel's limitations, but we told the management from our first day and from our first few minutes in the room, that we were concerned about noise. They could have moved us right away! Gee, the porter knew!

One other note, the Hilton honors’ coupons for a drink and food item for breakfast at the Starbucks, inconveniently located outside the building, were a waste as well, because the Starbucks, unprepared for large crowds, ran out of most of their food by 9 AM.

I wish I had read some of the negative reviews more carefully. It was one of our most disappointing experiences at a Hilton hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank IUJHU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2012

I am sincerely sorry for your experience and I am sorry that the noise from the cargo ships was bothersome to you and your husband. I am sorry that you were not happy with the view from your guestroom and that you would have preferred different accommodations. I am very sorry that you were frustrated that our managers were unable to move you, but being that we are a very busy hotel in the middle of summer, sometimes our availability is limited. I will be sure to relay your feedback to our Director of Front Office Operations so that your concerns are addressed. I feel terrible that you were unhappy with your accommodations and I am sorry that you would have preferred a room on the other side of the hotel. Please accept my sincerest apologies and I want you to know that we do truly appreciate your loyalty as a HHonors member. Thank you.

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3,817 - 3,823 of 4,957 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2012

The Hilton in San Diego is a big hotel, I was recently there for conference for a week. I usually dread the really big hotels because they are hard to operate and sometimes guest service suffers.

Not the case at this Hilton. Every staff friendly and efficient - every single one I ran into.
The room was clean, quiet, nice linens and the building appears fairly new so the problems associated with older hotels are not apparent. Heating and cooling was good, nice flat screen TVs. Elevators were adequate, and the meeting space was nice. Self parking was easy to navigate. The hotel is set on the water, so views are very nice.

I got room service one morning, the food arrived before promised, and was better than the room service food I am used to. Again, hard to run in a big hotel but they seem to have it down pat. Lobby is clean and bright, high celings, color scheme is contemporary and pleasing. Fitness room is a little undersized, but I had no problem getting on machines.

Two cautions, this is not an intimate hotel if you are looking for romantic get away. Also, you have to walk a little to get to to bar district and cross railroad tracks. Not a big deal, but about a 10 minute walk to get to business and bar district.

Overall, much better than I expected, especially for a hotel of this size.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Reginald666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2012

Thank you for your recent review. I am pleased to learn how much you enjoyed the hotel and how impressed you were with the fact that although we are a large property, it still felt warm and inviting and you were welcomed by each employee you came in contact with. I am happy to hear that you loved how beautiful the views were and that you enjoyed the modern aesthetic throughout the property. I am delighted to know that you were pleased with many of the amenities we offer our guests and that you found the food delicious. Thank you for your wonderful recommendations and insight for our future guests and I do hope you come back and visit us the next time you are in San Diego.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

This hotel is perfectly situated on the San Diego Bay. It is walking distance to the Gas Lamp Quarter, Pet Co field and Seaport Village. Our room had a beautiful view of the bay and Coronado Bridge. The check-in process was easy and friendly. When we walked in the lobby was bursting with activity. People traveling with kids will be pleased with all the activities that were offered. The rooms were spacious and sparkling clean. The beds and lines were fantastic quality. Also, the pillows are amazing!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Thank you for your wonderful 5 star review! I am overjoyed to learn how much you loved the hotel and enjoyed your stay. I am pleased to know that you were impressed with your spacious and immaculate guest room with breathtaking views of the bay and Coronado Island. I am glad to hear that you loved the energy of the hotel and that you were pleased with the convenient location of the property within walking distance of some of the best attractions, shops, and restaurants San Diego has to offer. I do hope you come back and visit us again soon!

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

Stayed for 5 nights while attending a convention next door. This is a nice Hilton overall, still feels new and fresh and quite stylish. As others have said, the location is great.
I paid top dollar - upwards of $250 a night - and as a HH Diamond was upgraded to an ocean view room on a high floor. Nice room, nice view but my HH profile says "king bed", I'm traveling alone and I was given a room with 2 doubles. Surprised that there was no mini bar or even a fridge
I found the staff to be competent and efficient, but didn't really experience any real warmth or personal service beyond what I would expect.
The property doesn't have an executive lounge. The amenities that were provided instead were disappointing. A voucher for one drink and one food item at Starbucks per day, but there was a long line every morning and a wait of up to 20 minutes, so after trying this once I used the alternative coupon for buffet breakfast for $10 (usually $24.00). Also received a coupon for a free "tasting" at the bar which was a plate of cheese, crackers and olives. It felt like this property was giving the absolute minimum amenity to HH VIP's that it could get away with - it surely wouldn't hurt to give HH diamond members the b'fast buffet and a free drink each day in lieu of the lounge.
For the final disappointment, I had signed up to a HH promo offering triple points for stays over a weekend. When I got home I checked my statement to find that this hotel was not participating in that promotion, so no points.
I guess if you get a good price here it is a good choice. But as a loyal Hilton customer paying top dollar, I was disappointed overall.

Room Tip: Ocean view.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BozD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Thank you for your review. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the hotel and that you appreciated the convenient location directly next to the convention center and within walking distance to the Gaslamp Quarter. I sincerely apologize that the room you received was not as you expected, but for future reference, please let our front desk know and we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs. I am sorry that the voucher you received for Starbucks was not what you had expected and that the line was a bit long, but I am happy to know that you enjoyed your breakfast buffet at Vela. I sincerely apologize that the HHonors promotion you signed up for while on property was not available with our hotel, but I will be sure to relay your feedback to our Director of Hotel Operations to look into this matter. Thank you for your loyalty as a HHonors member, we truly appreciate your business and your feedback.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

Conference center Hiltons/Marriotts/IC's in the US, as a general rule, are basically four star hotels. Competent, but not much more. This Hilton is by no means cheap (even conference rates were in the $250 range, and that's before taxes). But that can be true of much lesser hotels.

A couple of things make this hotel stand apart. One is the modern furnishings in public areas. These are not necessarily things that cost a fortune, but the attention to detail in so many small matters magnifies one's pleasures, just walking around the public areas.

I can't speak to the quality of the hotel restaurant or room service, which are typically poor when it comes to vegetarian offerings. But the breakfast is another matter entirely. What sets this particular Hilton's apart is that, somehow, the manager had the vision to hire (or subcontract) a pastry chef. The result is morning breads, pains au chocolat, and muffins that are possibly the best I've had in an American hotel. Again, a small detail, perhaps, but one that adds immeasurably to your stay.

Housekeeping in this hotel was first rate--friendly, unobtrusive, but very precise. Again, everything was done meticulously and well.

If you are a Hilton Gold VIP member, you will receive a coupon for one free coffee and food item at the hotel's Starbucks in lieu of a sit-down meal. You'll also be told "this is our take on continental breakfast." This may be immensely pleasing to you if you are a great admirer of Starbucks. But given the quality of the hotel's sit-down restaurant, you'd be well advised to upgrade to the full breakfast.

Now, about the views. You really have only choices--the view of train tracks, the Coronado bridge, and lots of Dole shipping containers being loaded onto or from a ratty old ship. Or you can have a view of the bay. From my window, it didn't seem to me that either was really worth writing home about. The San Diego bay is about as beautiful as the Gaslamp Quarter is scenic. In any case, the most panoramic views are only available elsewhere in the hotel--on the fourth floor balcony, for example

Regarding location, be advised: in Southern California, nothing is as close as it seems. You might see the Gaslamp Quarter from your room, but it's not quite as close as you might think. If anyone in your party isn't willing to take a half hour walk from the hotel to wherever it is you plan to go in the Gaslamp Quarter, just take a cab.

Are there things that the hotel could do better? Yes. Check-in and access to the front desk is sometimes a bit clogged, especially for clients who are not Hilton Golds or Diamonds. Table service at breakfast is slow and not especially friendly. This becomes a problem because you are completely dependent on your waiter for any beverage, and it may be long time coming. And when it does come, there's a decent chance it won't be delivered cheerfully. I had a different waiter each day, and this was a more or less uniform occurrence.


But these are minor complaints. It's rare to find a big-chain four star with this attention to detail near a conference center. This is a hotel that, due to its location, is likely to be full regardless of how good it is. That the management has made an investment, both visual and in terms of service quality, is something that deserves absolute praise.

Room Tip: Don't get too hung up on the view, but do try to avoid one that just faces crates or a railroad...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank eaglehaslanded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Thank you for your recent 5 star review. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and that you were especially impressed with the modern furnishings and unique aesthetic throughout the hotel. I am delighted to know that you loved our breakfast buffet and that you were thrilled to see such variety and also attention to detail regarding the pastry options we provide our guests. I am overjoyed to learn how delightful and attentive our housekeeping staff was all without being obtrusive. I want to thank you for your loyalty as a Hilton Gold VIP member and let you know that we truly appreciate your business as well as your feedback. Thank you for sharing your experience with our future guests and I hope you come and visit us again the next time you are in San Diego.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

Hilton is located near the gas lamp streets so it is easy to walk to have dinner downtown san diego. you need a car if you want to o to pacific or coronado beach. for breakfast there is a starbucks at the ground floor so no need to have it in the hotel. if you have the car rememebr you have to pay as well as for wifi which is free only in the lobby. rooms spacious and clean. you have also the coffee machine in the room. overall a very nice hotel

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
Thank afrikan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to share your feedback. I am so pleased that you loved our bay side pool and that you appreciated the convenient location of the property within walking distance to Petco Park, the convention center, and the Gaslamp Quarter with a variety of shops and restaurants. You will be happy to know; there is a ferry that takes guests directly from the marina just a short walk from our front door in front of the convention center, directly over to Coronado Island for an affordable fee making travel across the bay a breeze. Also, for future reference we have free wifi in Vela, Fox Sports Grill, Starbucks, Odysea, and also iPads in Odysea for our guests to use. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay and that you were pleased with the hotel. I hope you come back for a visit again soon!

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Reviewed August 19, 2012

I booked this hotel because it's proximity to the Convention Center ( in reality there are several others equally as close and will look to use them next time Hotel Indigo, Omni, Hilton Gaslamp ). The property was very unkempt and dirty with litter scattered all about the public areas.

The pool deck and area was one of the worst I have ever seen (it looks like a very busy public pool area with NO one taking care to pick up used towels, trash, used food plates .. etc. ). For the price point (180-400) night (my rate was 200/night for 2 queens), this was inexcusible. Looked more like a one or two star hotel with the trash all about.

Very disappointed in the overall property and will not be returning when our conference is held next year......... All these issues could easily be resolved by good leadership from hotel management.............

Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
Thank Rick Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie E, Manager at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sincerely sorry that there were aspects about the hotel that you were unhappy with. I would like to speak with you further about your stay and see what we can do to rectify the situation. Please email me directly at katie.ellison@hilton.com. Thank you.

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Additional Information about Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Address: 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101-7897
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#27 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#31 Business Hotel in San Diego
#46 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#60 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: $138 - $540 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton San Diego Bayfront 4*
Number of rooms: 1190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step in. From the moment you arrive you instantly feel the difference. All of the vitalizing elements of the sea and sun are embraced on this spectacular waterfront setting. Rising 30 stories above San Diego Bay, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel is a spirited blend of San Diego’s coastal influences, style, innovation and of course the unmistakable vibe. Steps from downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Convention Center, and PETCO Park, this beautiful hotel offers the amenities and lays the best of the city at your doorstep. Now guests have easy access from the hotel by way of the pedestrian bridge, directly to PETCO Park, downtown’s vibrant Gaslamp district, and up-in-coming East Village. Luxury and comfort have no boundaries here. Enjoy magnificent San Diego Bay and city views from our lobby, restaurants and guest rooms. Each one of the 1,190 spacious guest rooms including 30 suites at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront has a Bay view and features Hilton's Serenity Collection® bed and linens, the finest amenities such as Peter Thomas Roth® products, and the latest technology. And true to Hilton tradition, exceptional service comes as effortlessly here as the tides ebb and flow. For a San Diego business trip, family weekend, or a romantic getaway, Hilton San Diego Bayfront accommodations offer something for everyone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel San Diego
Hilton Hotel San Diego

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