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“A generous 3. There wasn't a 2.1 option.”

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The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina
Ranked #117 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Reviewed May 15, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Avoid the street side.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank mark h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrooks227, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Thank you for the review. Once upon a time, I was very interested in design myself and I can understand why the general layout and amenities of the hotel caught you off guard. As you know, we were designed by Pininfarina, most widely known for Maserati and Ferrari sports cars; while many of the elements within the room were made with this thought process, we strive to balance out the industrial feel with genuine personalized service. Our personalized check-in is intended to make even the most technologically inept individuals feel comfortable; our team of Personal Concierges want to ensure that each guest feels above all else comfortable within their stanza before leaving them to fend for themselves. As for the double-paned windows, when the hotel opened in 2006, we were under very strict limitations issued by the San Diego Historical Society as to what modifications could be executed; all exterior features of the building, including the windows and masonry work are original, dating to 1890. I can assure you that we have made many attempts to rectify this since day one, including installing test city-windows in several rooms as well as most recently installing a white-noise sound cancellation system throughout the second floor. It seems that as we make progress, the noise level in the Gaslamp Quarter continues to advance as well; I myself live only one block away and also experience the sounds you described. I truly and happy to hear that despite your dislikes with the basic design and street noise, the staff stood out as a positive in your memory; as mentioned before, we truly pride ourselves on exceptional service standards above all else. I thank you for choosing the Keating Hotel, and appreciate your valued feedback.

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

From the moment I called & spoke with the Concierge to the time we checked out, Every aspect of the Hotel Experience was 5 Stars! Sincerely, couldn't have felt more "At Home". We used a Groupon and they still treated us marvelously! (Many times that does not happen with Groupon...)
Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for renovation... Our only negative was the noise... Oh My Goodness, it was unbelievable how loud it was and we were on the fourth floor. It was a negative, although not enough to not return to The Keating!
Looking Forward to our next trip to San Diego and staying with them!
Thanks to all of the Staff!!! We had a Wonderful Time!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank CarmellaR_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christos B, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and received such great service from our Personal Concierge Agents. We truly do our utmost to provide memorable service to all our guests, no matter the origin of the reservation. I do apologize for the noise from outside, we are currently working on a new project with the city to allow us to install a second window within the interior frame; we have been very restricted from this solution in the past, and hopefully this new proposal will be approved by the Historical Society as it does not infringe on the historical properties of the building. I hope to meet you on your next visit to the Keating Hotel.

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

Keating was a top notch hotel. From the staff that meets you at the curb to the turn down service at night. The hotel was full of historic architecture with a modern touch. I would recommend anyone to stay here for a weekend retreat.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank Finnhunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrooks227, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Thank you very much for the kind words; it brings me great pleasure to hear that you had an enjoyable and memorable experience. Hope to see you again during your next visit to San Diego.

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

After reading some reviews on this property, I was initially skeptical. However complaints about the noise were unfounded. There was one rowdy group we encountered in the halls, but we slept well both nights -- and these were Friday and Saturday. Of course we were out fairly late -- it is the Gaslamp, after all.
Two big pluses are the location and the exceptional staff -- helpful, friendly, and professional. I would not hesitate to return next time I am in San Diego.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank JmanLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrooks227, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

I am so thrilled to hear that despite the things you may have read, you still gave the Keating a chance – however I am even more excited to hear how much you enjoyed your time with us. I hope to see you again soon – and possibly even grab a cocktail together. As you said, it is the Gaslamp, after all

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

I was beyond impressed with the staff, amenities, personalization and I could go on and on about how wonderful it was. I stayed for the weekend with my boyfriend and his mastiff dog who were visiting from LA. Upon check-in ALL of the staff knew the dog's name, they knew what company I worked for in San Diego amongst many other things. There were 2 bottles of wine, a cheese plate and a nice handwritten note waiting on the desk and the concierge brought up a dog bed and bowl for his dog. I could go on and on about how wonderful the experience was, but I would recommend just trying for yourself. I have never raved about any hotel before, especially in my hometown but it was the perfect 'staycation' for me and my boyfriend. Phenomenal experience!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Kiersten N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christos B, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

This review brought a genuine smile to my face – because it made me think your MOOSE! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and that you and your boyfriend had a memorable stay at the Keating. On behalf of all of us at the Keating, we hope to see you again soon, even if it is just on a dog-walk during your boyfriends next visit to town ☺

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

The Keating, conveniently located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter where there are lots of shops (Horton Plaza is just up the street – you can also hop on the trolley here too), restaurants and bars close by (although the night revelers can cause a bit of noise to filter into your room). The hotel is housed in an older building, yet the rooms are modern and lush (note: there are no rugs on the floors – concrete and painted gray which we got used to and actually liked it that way). Our room had a large flat-screen, entertainment center, espresso machine, etc. The shower is glass enclosed yet open to the bedroom – something you should be warned about. The staff was the highlight of our stay. Everyone was so friendly and helpful – even with our complaints – which I will explain now in more detail. We “won” this 3 night stay (as in cheaper than the normally charged rate, but still we were charged a hefty price) from Luxury Link, which was supposed to include the following for two: Welcoming drinks (we never got), a bottle of wine and select cheeses (did not receive upon arrival, but did finally get on our last night after requesting it several times), breakfast daily (never got) and $100 towards dinner at their affiliated restaurant (presently the Brick & Mortar – which we did receive and will post a positive review of same). When we complained, we were told various stories with the most often one being the restaurant affiliated with the hotel at the time of our winning the stay had changed hands and they no longer served breakfast. After several attempts to resolve the situation, they finally gave us a $21 gift certificate to the 21 Café down the street. $21 did NOT get us much at this place (although the food and atmosphere was wonderful – try it if you ever get the chance!). We’re still communicating with both the hotel and Luxury Link to get what we agreed to, but we fear we will not be compensated for their breach of our contract – an unfortunate situation.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank nala22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrooks227, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Thank you for not only sharing your experience online, but also bidding on a stay at the Keating. I apologize that you did not receive what you expected due to recent changes in our food and beverage departments that occurred after your auction was finalized. We had recently been visited by a “celebrity chef” who attempted to give our original restaurant, the Merk Bistro, a bit of Hollywood flavor, however after several months and the airing of the television program, the truth is we realized as a company, our strengths were truly those within the guest service sans an internal food and beverage department. We have partnered with Brick+Mortar as well as PCD Dollhosue to ensure that our guests still receive the full package of dining, dancing, drinking, and indulging that one should have at a hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. With all changes comes a transition period, I am very sorry that these details were not sorted out prior to your stay. I assure you that as soon as the change with our restaurant and breakfast were made, we contacted all third-parties to relay this information to guests whose contact information we did not have. Since your experience in particular we have worked to correct the items you have brought to our attention. Currently Brick and Mortar opens daily for lunch and dinner, with brunch limited to only weekends, they have also begun serving breakfast as a room service only option. Welcome cocktails are served in the Dollhouse, open Tuesdays, Friday and Saturday night.

As for your wine and cheese – please rest assured that we never leave these items in a guest room prior to your arrival and have always delivered them upon request should you be delayed and/or prefer to enjoy them at a later time during your visit – our cheese selection is delivered fresh daily from a local venue and we aim to serve them as so.

Should you return, I will personally make sure that you receive these amenities, which you originally were expecting. Again, I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations on your last visit. I hope you will give us a second opportunity.

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

The hotel design is beautiful. The room is nice but there is a lot of noise on weekend nights. They even leave complimentary ear plugs on the bed… The breakfast is served in a restaurant around the corner (Mortar). The best waffle I've ever had!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Paula R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cbrooks227, Manager at The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Thank you for the kind words, I am glad you appreciated the unique design and your breakfast. I will be sure to pass on your compliments to the Chef. Hope to see you again on your next visit.

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Additional Information about The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina

Address: 432 F St, San Diego, CA 92101-6118
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Spa Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: $170 - $521 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 35
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

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