Let me start by saying that the staff at this hotel is very accommodating -- though young. They are welcoming and eager to help; however, even the best staff can't make up for what adds up to a very strange hotel experience.
First, the area is geared to a very young crowd -- think Spring Break on Padre Island. Lots of drinking establishments with young patrons screaming and yelling. Remember that old beer smell in the frat house? It wafts out from every bar around here.
Second, the noise level is uncomfortable. I actually found earplugs waiting on my pillow when I first entered the room -- not promising.
Third, there is a mild odor of "old house" in the entire building. Not sure if this is intentional (a cleaning product or incense?) but it made me feel like I was touring a crusty old museum.
Fourth, the room (I stayed on the 5th floor on the Penthouse level) could not be less welcoming. Concrete floors, stainless steel countertops, multiple "cool" electronic gadgets (including the lights) that I had to struggle to figure out how to work (nobody came to the room with me, which is fine -- preferred, actually -- in a "normal" room, but not here). Intriguing Lavazza coffee machine, but nobody bothered to tell me how to turn it on (luckily, Starbucks across the street). No reading lamps beside the bed. Plugs hidden low (had to move the bedside table) to plug in my phone (I like to have it nearby when traveling). Nice city view, but the windows were filthy.
On the plus side, the room was meticulously clean and I liked the high ceilings. The bed was also very comfortable and I slept quite well once I got over the noise outside.
Basically, if you're under 30 and in San Diego to party, then this is the best hotel ever. If you're not -- and you're here on business, like me -- then head to one of the dependable standbys (Marriott or Hilton) nearby and with water views instead of bar views.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- San Diego’s first true luxury boutique hotel that transformed the Gaslamp District from bland to chic. Situated in a building dated from 1890, The Keating is Pininfarina’s first hotel creation -world-renowned master designer behind Ferrari and Maserati. The result is a rare fusion of past and future. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Keating Hotel San Diego
- Keating San Diego