A friend and I stayed at the Keating for Business. I make a habit of staying in boutique hotels wherever I go. i am a designer, and always love to see how different people approach hotel design and service. The Keating, while staffed by very nice people, ranks quite low in my boutique experiences. Design-wise, the idea of sleek. Italian automotive design melded into a classic Victorian building seemed like an odd concept. I was right. It's pretty nuts, and can't quite sort itself out. Although I love stainless steel and industrial design, the battleship sink unit was way too imposing and cold for the modest room. I thought it was strange when the nice young lady at the desk kept insisting she come to our rooms to explain how they worked. But she did come up, and what followed was a dizzying technical treatise on the bizarre Italian television, remote and coffee maker that I really needed to write down in order to remember the first thing. Design in hospitality works best when it's intuitive, this was anything but. After a day of traveling, I really was not in the state of mind to hear a 20 minute recitation of a technical manual. The open shower, while cool to look at, was a bit freezing to use. I opted not to use the television and the music, since I knew I would flunk the test. The location was great. We walked around forever, found a great restaurant, and a great bar after. But unfortunately the architect spent all the budget on customized carpet for the hallways, and none on double-paned windows. The lively scene we had enjoyed earlier that evening soon turned to a drunker, louder and much more aggressive one, and we could hear every shouted word of it well into the wee-hours. I understand that space in historic buidings is what it is, but the restaurant/bar being located up the street and around the corner was less than optimal. When I did go there, it was a cool space, but had televisions set ear-splittingly loud on different sports channels. I was a little shocked, knowing pretty well what kind of clientele seeks out and is willing to pay for boutique hotels, most of whom pay a premium to avoid exactly the situation of trying to talk over deafening hockey and football at the same time. So, overall I would give it a miss. The two really positive things were the location and the staff, but everything else is kind of a mess.
- 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