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“A 3.5 star hotel in a 5 star clothes! The good, the bad and the ugly...”
Review of The Westgate Hotel

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The Westgate Hotel
Ranked #30 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Maple, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“A 3.5 star hotel in a 5 star clothes! The good, the bad and the ugly...”
Reviewed April 19, 2008

I (along with my significant other) spent 2 nights at this property to attend a wedding beginning of April 2008. If you walk in here expecting a 5 star property like a Four Seasons or some of the 5 star Hyatt's you will be disappointed as this hotel is:

In terms of decor, amenities and general facilities: At best a 4 star (Correctly reflected on Expedia star rating for this hotel)
In terms of management, service and attendance: At best a high end 3 star.

I will try to get in to the guts of stuff:

Location
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This hotel is located in an area bordering the Gaslamp District so you will find a lot of nice restaurants to eat at. It's also very convenient to get to from the 5 freeway. We didn't go out much so I won't comment much here.

Overall I give Westgate a 4 out of 5 here.

Lobby & General Hotel Areas:
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The designers aimed to go for the "antique" look throughout the hotel including old looking yellowish lighting pretty much all over the place. This means without a powerful external flash most cameras will have a problem with white balance and pictures WILL come out yellowish. The sofas in the lobby need replacement as they are not in the best shape specially if you are trying to sell your hotel as a 5 star property!
The one time I needed to use the Business center at around 11 AM on a Saturday it was closed with a "Will Be Back" sign for 12:30 PM! The Elevators must be the S..L..O..W..E..S..T I've ever encountered in any hotels! While there is enough of them (or so it appears) for some odd reason the wait is sometimes longer than (gasp!) 10 minutes! (I kid you not!)

Overall I give Westgate a 3 out of 5 here.

Rooms
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This is where the hotel actually did NOT fall too short. The rooms are generally of a very good size but the fake "antique" theme from the lobby and general areas continues here with similar yellowish lighting (albeit much more subdued) but the carpet needs a good cleaning as ours wasn't the cleanest. Also the design of the rooms here are such that they will open in to a foyer that you share with your neighboring room before reaching to a double door linking both rooms to the hallway. What does this mean? It means amongst shared access also shared noise from the next door room! Also, there is NO in room safe and NO coffee maker! Also the bathroom door knob while looking "antique" and nice falls short in ergonomics forcing us to use towels to avoid getting cut by the flawed design. The actual shower while looking all nice was:

A: Not very clean, signs of mold clearly present.
B: Not very easy to get in and out so be mindful as the tub has a long ledge.

Bed was comfortable enough but no match for the beds in lower star rated hotels like Sheraton or Marriott.

Overall considering they have just refurbished the rooms in 2007 I was not impressed at all.

Overall I give Westgate a 3 out of 5 here.

Service and Staff:
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This is where this property falls flat face down! Westgate, if you truly believe you're a 5 star (or even a 4 star) you NEED to get service right! This means you need to have your staff greet the guests at every occasion! You need to have staff who jump out of their way for a quest! You need to have staff who will proactively (and seamlessly) work together.

None of these were present in this hotel at our stay. While the staff are generally nice there is nothing that will again justify the rating. They will feel at home at a chain national 3 star anytime!
The exception was the Valet service which for $25 / Day (Ouch!) and as the sole option for parking wasn't too impressive but more attentive than some of the other staff we encountered.

I particularly had a very hard time with the check-in when I tried to switch my room and extend a day at the same time, it took me 10 minutes of explaining in very simple terms for them to finally figure what was it I wanted and even at that they could NOT meet my needs.

The concierge basically consists of a single person (who is very nice actually) so if you need service while she's on break or doing something then you're out of luck! This was the most understaffed concierge that I had seen at any higher end hotel.

Overall I give Westgate a 3 out of 5 here.

Restaurants and Quality of Food:
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I just had to comment here about the quality of the food. While we never attended the hotel's restaurant and couple of bars per se the food we received at the wedding (which WAS from the same kitchen as the hotel's restaurant) was just terrible!

Although the bride and the groom had spent a staggering amount of money, had I received that food in any other occasion it would go straight back to the kitchen! The steak I got was over cooked and very firm something like an Airline rubber chicken! The presentation was just awful with some artichoke's laying messy around the plate along with a couple of cut carrots. If this is what they serve in their restaurant (which I'm pretty sure is) I'd recommend to stay away and just spend time in one of the great eateries in the Gaslamp district within 10 minutes walk.

Overall I give Westgate a 1 out of 5 here.


I guess by now you know I'm not a big fan of Westgate Hotel in San Diego CA and I would NOT recommend it to any of my own friend's or family, specially for the prices they ask.

There are so many other options out there so unless you're drawn to fake antique look or yellowish lighting and are willing to put up with the deficiencies and specially willing to accept the fake 5 star rating then go right ahead, it is by no means a bad place to stay at, it's just not up to what it claims to be or the premium $ it charges for the privilege of letting you stay there.

One last thing I remembered to mention, I read their internal hotel magazine and I had a few remarks on that as well:

First of all Westgate, get a proper illustrator if you're serious about this! The layout and fonts are so amateurish it would hardly pass for a class magazine let alone the "Premier Magazine of Westgate Hotel".

Secondly, STOP plastering pictures of your owners, your owner's sons and daughters, your manager and your manager's wife! Pretty much %50 of the 10 or so pages magazine was dedicated to these pictures. I just do NOT find this is very professional.

To sum it all up:

This is NOT a 5 star hotel. Heck, it's not even a very good 4 star at that either! I would accept it if it was a 3.5 star and would do away with the pretence and I probably would have rated it high accordingly but what they really need is a Four Season's opening in the area, which is just inevitable as there are none in San Diego, and that would give the management here a much needed kick in the rear.

  • Liked — Location, Room Size.
  • Disliked — NO Wireless net in rooms! Food that was disgusting.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Payam81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Coral Springs, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2008

I went to the Westgate for 2 days in February for business. The room was very comfortable and the whole property very elegant. It was pretty easy walking distance to the water and to the Gaslamp district.
The only problem I had is that the outlet in the dressing area was not working and it was difficult blowdrying my hair next to the tv!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank hopegreaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
124 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2008

We enjoyed how quiet the hotel was. The service was first class; they even brought strawberries and lemonade, free of charge. The lobby was very elegant. The only objection is that parking costs $27/night, which seemed excessive. Having said that we definately would stay there again.

  • Liked — Quite, excellent service
  • Disliked — Parking fee was excessive
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ExperiencedTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 15, 2008

Having just recently returned from a business trip in San Diego, I felt compelled to send in my review of The Westgate Hotel and my fabulous experience. The rooms were beyond my expections in comfort and decor, meals and service excellent and, to top all of this, the Bell Captain, Sergio, went above and beyond in providing service. Specifically, after the taxi called for us left us at the curb, Sergio directed us into the shuttle and personally drove my co-worker and me to the airport. We were totally impressed with his attitude and service and he is definitely an asset to your establishment.

Helpful?
1 Thank SophieArizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamden, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2008

I joined my wife who was there for 2-days worth of work meetings and we had a great time! Pleasant experience from the moment we entered their lobby and checked in until the moment we left. The word elegant has been noted in several of the reviews and that is just what you'll experience. If you are looking for a chain property that is cookie cutter or cutting edge this isn't for you. Yes, some of the fixtures look a little worn and, no, they don't have flat screen TVs, but with everything else going for them we didn't miss those items a bit. Old world charm abounds from the lobby's ornate marble, amazing wood work, furniture and fixtures through to its unusually large-sized rooms that you just don't see anymore in the chain properties. Marble in the bathrooms, glass doors on the showers and a huge king bed made this a great experience. I'm a stickler for the staff/customer service component and this was a memorable experience in that regard too. Everyone greeted us pleasantly and even looked us in the eye whenever we came upon them in the lobby, elevators, front desk, etc. They actually held the front doors and elevators for us. You just don't see that anymore. Only hitch, my wife needed Internet access and due to a problem with their SBC connection she couldn't use her laptop for the Web. We ended up in the business center where a wonderfully friendly staff person, Linda, let us use one of the desktop PCs without cost and continued to push the property's IT dept. to fix the problem for us which they did. The lower concourse has the gift shop/business center, gym and parking. Gym was nice-sized and quiet so no trouble for me getting time on the equipment. We didn't have a chance to try the bar or restaurant, but would definitely do so on our next trip. The hotel caters to high-end receptions and has a great roof-top deck with fountains that our room overlooked.

As for the hotel's location, it's right downtown so great to venture out and see the sights. Ample fast food around and a huge mall, Horton Plaza, just across the street with a great food court, movie theatre and tons of shopping. Just a 10-15 minute walk down Broadway in front of the hotel to the harbor and all its atractions.

Would definitely go back - highly recommend!!

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
5 Thank Sailguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2008

Overall I really loved this hotel. Concierge and staff were terrific - very helpful. Wonderful food at the restaurant and a lovely bar. My only complaint is that despite the high floor, my room was very noisy. I heard a lot of street traffic noise - trucks, drunks, and car alarms.

  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank carpinkly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2007

I stayed at this hotel when i managed a conference for one of my clients. I found it to be truly on par with many luxury european hotels i have visited. The decor throughout the hotel is decadent, and the rooms are reasonably sized and well planned. I had the pleasure of working with the entire staff, who were for the most part very accomodating. Gabor (banquets) and Shraddha (concierge), were extremely knowledgable and went out of their way for myself, my colleagues and our clients. The catering director, whose name i have regrettably and embarrassingly misplaced, was just as excellent. The sales staff, however, left something to be desired. Though personable enough, they did not seem to be very experienced in hosting a large event.
The hotel restaurants are fantastic, serving upscale California fare, and room service was impeccable. The location is not a great one for the tourist, as it is in the business district of the city. I was able to find some excellent restaurants and nightclubs nearby, though. And it was not a far walk from the trains, trams, buses, or ocean! On the whole, my company and our clients were very pleased with the event and our stay there.

  • Liked — decor, food, room, staff
  • Disliked — location isn't wonderful
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank alouisemcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Westgate Hotel

Property: The Westgate Hotel
Address: 1055 2nd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-4811
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#11 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#28 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#57 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westgate Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Westgate offers the ease and pleasures of the world’s finest metropolitan hotels, and the best of Southern California! Minutes from the airport or the San Diego Convention Center, steps from the trolley/train station and readily accessible by freeway. Within walking distance is the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Opera and the Symphony, Horton Plaza shops and Gaslamp Quarter energy. Return to the quiet of your private room and relax in luxury, then consider a visit to Le Spa or the Fitness Center, a glass of wine in the intimate Plaza Bar, or an elegant dining experience graciously served in The Westgate Room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westgate San Diego
Westgate Hotel San Diego

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