Over the last 12 weeks I’ve made plenty of experience in this hotel. Now, as my time here has come to an end, I would like to share my experiences with you. First off, I am wrong to use the term “hotel” when talking about Vantaggio. The accommodation is humble and the average age of the customers is somewhere around 21. Vantaggio Suites seems to me rather like a frat house or a cheap youth hostel. And by cheap I mean both, price and quality.
To start with a positive point, it has to be acknowledged that everybody is having a really good time at Vantaggio. This is true, even if the reason is definitely not Vantaggio itself. It’s true because of the young and open-minded people who came to party and to enjoy an unforgettable time in San Diego. More than 90% of them come from Switzerland, Brazil, Saudi Arabia or South Korea. There are some French-speaking folks from Belgium and France, as well. These groups barely mix up; everybody makes friends and spends most of the time with compatriots. People at Vantaggio speak their native language very often. I don’t say this is particularly negative. However, for people who want to study English, Vantaggio is not the right place to be. Especially if you have higher goals such as an “Advanced Certificate of Cambridge English” I highly recommend NOT going to Vantaggio. In this case a host family may be the better choice: you are in contact with real Americans, you learn their language and their culture. Additionally, you spend less and get more. You can live in a real house, where they cook for you and clean your room. Living within a host family does not mean you stay at home all the time. You will make a lot of friends at school with whom you can spend your free time, go out and party.
In contrast to some host families, Vantaggio can proud itself on a prime location in Little Italy. It takes 5 minutes to the next trolley station and 15 minutes to the city center by foot. The fact that 1000$ per month is an appropriate amount of money for this kind of location, is the major asset of Vantaggio Suites. Little Italy is magnificent and one of the most charming regions of San Diego. The coffee houses are very original and the Italian food you get there is simply delicious. This is crucial since the kitchen at Vantaggio is filthy and no real alternative. And with that said, it’s time we took a look at Vantaggio’s downsides.
The kitchen is without a doubt unhygienic and represents the improvable condition of the entire building. There are some points that cast a rather poor light on Vantaggio Suites, especially if you compare it with other apartments in San Diego such as “Avalon”, “J Street Inn” or “Newport Place”. There are some criteria I would like to elaborate on.
Noises. Vantaggio is an extremely noisy place. Depending on the room, you will hear drunken people yelling all night. This can be very annoying if you need sleep because of an important exam or a trip the next day, or if you’re just not feeling good that day. Furthermore, the walls and ceilings at Vantaggio are very thin and under every door there is an unusually big gap. You will hear if people outside are talking. You will hear every single step of the person that lives on the floor above you. Sometimes you will even hear how he or she opens a drawer or is lying in bed. As you can imagine, this can also impair your own privacy… Furthermore, there are noises outside. On one side of the building there is a church whose bell is ringing loudly every full hour. On the other side of the building there’s an elementary school. Every morning there are children blowing their whistles to get other children across the street safely. To make matters worse, every room has an obsolete refrigerator. Day and night it is buzzing at a surprisingly loud level. Some of my friends unplugged the power cable, I just slept with earplugs because I didn’t want the milk to go off.
Odors. On every floor there is a room where you can trash your garbage. The smell that comes out of this room is rather disturbing. And everybody is exposed to it because the garbage room is just next to the staircase. Moreover, you will have a problem if you feel bothered by the smell of cigarette or marihuana smoke inside the building.
Sanitary facilities. Just like many other things at Vantaggio the sanitary facilities are way too old and need replacing. In most of the rooms there is the annoying noise of endlessly dripping water in the shower or the sink. The thing that bothered me most, though, was the cold water. There were days I had to wait hours until the water in the shower turned warm. There were also days I waited for nothing. I remember when I was taking a shower, my head full with shampoo, and all of a sudden the water turned ice cold. I got so angry. And there were even bigger incidents. Once, the toilet flushing didn’t stop releasing water. Until I realized that, the whole bathroom was flooded. This story leads us right to the next point:
Service. So I went downstairs to inform the receptionist who happened to be the boss of Vantaggio at this time of day. He assured me the internal technician of Vantaggio would repair it until 4 PM. The next day, after nobody had shown up at my place, I went down to the reception again. It took those guys yet another day until my toilet was finally repaired. Everybody makes mistakes, me too. Once, I forgot to pay my monthly rent by the 1st of the month. I learned so when a shabby piece of paper was put through that really big gap under my door. It also said I had to pay 50$ extra for the delay. So I went down again to the boss of Vantaggio to pay my rent. I asked him if he could maybe forget about those 50$ since I was having a stressful time with my final exams and I reminded him of the fact that I had to wait 3 days until my leaking toilet was repaired. He didn’t really care. In the end he had me pay the money. And this guy is not even the most unpleasant person of Vantaggio’s receptionists. There’s this Mexican girl. She is the human form of disinterest. She is unfriendly, dismissive and if you have a question she says: “Ask Miguel. He is always here until 3 PM.” Miguel is quite a pleasant and helpful guy. He must be the reason why the administration of Vantaggio is still working, more or less at least. Seems legit that he is pissed by his lazy co-worker.
Internet. The Internet was the reason why I had to change my room. If you are unlucky when checking in, you will get a room with no access to the Wi-Fi at all. I’m really not that type of guy who hangs out on Facebook all day long, but if you can’t even check your WhatsApp or your e-mails – it drives you mad.
Fire alarm. Now, this is just a bad joke. The fire alarm goes off so often - I remember one day it went off like 10 times - nobody takes it seriously anymore. Once it went off at night. Fortunately, the buzzing refrigerator had forced me to sleep with earplugs, otherwise I’d possibly still be suffering from a shock. This incredibly loud, high-pitched noise of the fire alarm is so obnoxious, it feels like your eardrum gets torn apart.
Alright, it’s high time for a conclusion. Originally, I wanted to rate Vantaggio with 2.5 out of 5 stars. Since there are only full points to assign, I decided for 3 rather than 2 stars. This is a generous rating, though, and should not be misinterpreted. Although I got to know some really cool people at Vantaggio, staying there was sometimes very annoying and altogether not a good experience. San Diego is an amazingly vibrant city with so many things to enjoy. I had a great time here and I want to come back soon. Next time, however, I will know better and stay away from Vantaggio.
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- Also Known As:
- Vantaggio Hotel San Diego