An initial caveat on my rating--this is not a 5 star hotel, it is a 5 star 4 star hotel. In other words, for a 4 star hotel, this property deserves 5 stars. It is not a Four Seasons type of property (nor does it charge Four Seasons prices--just don't have that expectation).
With that out of the way, this IS my favorite Marriott branded property in the system. It is an example of what happens with an owner (Host Hotels) continues to invest in a property. The hotel itself was built around 1987. Fortunately, at the time it was cutting edge architecture that has withstood the test of time.
Location: The location is excellent, right on the water but within an easy walk to the Gaslamp Quarter. Better situated than the Hilton Bayview--on the waterfront walkway to Seaport village. I also prefer the location to the Marriott and Hilton Gaslamp properties, because you are still close to the "action," but get an outstanding view at the Marquis that you don't have at the Gaslamp hotels.
Public/Outdoor Spaces: The hotel has undergone a significant renovation of the lobby and it shows. There is also a new restaurant, Marina Kitchen. The restaurant used to be on the bottom floor and was pleasant. Now it is at the lobby level and very visually appealing (and huge). There's even outdoor seating. The pool area has always been very nice, but they've added some fire pits and seating areas that are quite pleasant on cool evenings. Overall, the vibe is relaxed, but modern. There is a good sized store, a full service Starbucks, and a takeout food option called the Exchange.
Dining: Had breakfast and several lunch entrees. There is a takeout service at Marina Kitchen which works well (pickup at the bar). Breakfast is excellent. The brioche French toast is remarkable and one of the best I've ever had. Food portions are large across the board--for instance, one piece of cheesecake easily serves two if you want to bring some dessert back to the room. It isn't cheap, but in line with what hotels generally charge.
Rooms: Probably the weakest point, but by no means weak. First of all, its worth paying for the bayview balcony rooms. The balcony isn't huge, but there is two chairs and a table. Ask for a high room, which we had. The view across the bay of the bridge and Coronado is great. The rooms themselves are an average size but well designed. The furniture is in good condition--no obvious scrapes or dents. The sink is outside of the bathroom which I always like. Shower was fine, nothing fancy but perfectly adequate. There is a nice couch/sitting area near the balcony. Beds were comfortable. The HVAC system is old and a negative. At low, the fan in our room made an annoying sound--for some reason at high it was actually quieter. However, otherwise we actually found the room to be quiet and weren't bothered by any noise.
Staff: A plus. Eager to please and friendly. Front desk was well run, and the clerk went out of his way to be helpful.
Parking: The only issue we had was inadequate parking on a Saturday night. We had chosen self parking but were forced to valet. Not only where we still charged for valet, but the line to get the car was ridiculous--25 minutes. They were clearly overwhelmed. I'm not sure what they could do about it as they had a lot of people working hard, I think it was just a capacity issue. The front desk did adjust the charge at checkout without an argument.
Overall, I wouldn't stay anyplace else in San Diego. Other Marriott franchisers should emulate what Host has done with this property. It is very versatile--its a convention hotel, but great for getaways, families, etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Soak up the sun in style at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Unique to other downtown San Diego hotels, Marriott provides an environment that easily transitions from dynamic meetings to resort-style relaxation with luxury guest rooms, 280,000 square feet of meeting space and a 446-slip marina. Adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center and steps from the Gaslamp Quarter, our San Diego hotel in downtown is at the center of many popular attractions including Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village, SeaWorld(R) San Diego & LEGOLAND(R) California. Experience grand service and thoughtful amenities during your stay with exceptional dining options, a resort-style pool with cabanas and a bar, spa and state-of-the-art fitness center. Relax at the end of the day in well-appointed guest rooms featuring plush bedding, the latest technology and breathtaking views of San Diego Bay. No matter what kind of getaway you're craving, our luxury hotel in downtown San Diego delivers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- San Diego Marriott Marquis And Marina
- San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina Hotel San Diego
- Marriott San Diego