We arrived in San Diego with reservations for a resort called the Bahia. It was not a discount place, in fact it was relatively expensive to stay there. When we booked our place we requested water view, renovated beachfront room, and non-smoking with a kitchenette. All options that are presented when you make your reservations so it is not as if we were asking for something they could not supply.
Upon arrival we get the keys to our room and drive down to it. The door into our room is underneath the staircase to the upper level. Hmmm. Enter the lower level room, pull open the blinds to see the view…of a wall in front of the parking lot. Not good. Notice the smell in the obviously not-renovated room, notice the ants crawling around inside the cupboards in the kitchenette, notice the wife getting agitated…prepare for return to front desk…anyway, shortly there after we are checking into the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.
Drive up to big wow factor. Immediately thinking “way too expensive”. Valet approaches, says leave the car there, no problem (a term we hear time and again during our stay at the Hilton). Caragh goes in and gets us a room…at a fraction of the cost of the Bahia resort! Valet guys load all our Saskatchewan eel-skin luggage onto a cart and hauls it down the hallway to our room. All smiles and welcome to the Hilton etc. Obviously very effective training for the front end staff has been put in place.
The room itself. Love the feel of decent quality sheets with a thread count higher than 250. Love it. Four pillows per bed, a little safe for our use in the closet, beauty of a flat screen LCD or plasma tv…I don’t know the difference, I just love that HD picture quality. And did I mention that there are two queen size beds? Perfect for us and the twins.
Bathroom is a newer design. Tasteful tilework has been done on the floors with a granite countertop. Nice. Big sunflower shower head with monster sized spray. I love it, Caragh not so much. Bathroom sink faucet is the type that you do not have to jam your hands against the back of the sink in order to get under flow of water. I like.
And the next morning I relaize I have no shaving cream. Being the kind of guy who enjoys the meditation of shaving, I call housekeeping and in minutes a housekeeper is there with a mini can of shaving cream. Sweet.
Funny thing is that there are no signs about saving water and detergent by reusing towels etc. Nothing about saving water. Odd. As well, I see no recycle bins in the room. Can you recycle bottles or cans or papers or what? More odd stuff. Perhaps they sort it all out somewhere else?
Realize that there is no microwave in the room…needed to warm baby bottles in the night…we call the frontdesk. $25 for one for the week we stay. They send housekeeping down with a microwave right away.
One complaint is that wireless internet is only free in the lobby of the Hilton. If you want it in your room you pay $16 for 24 hours. Or you go to the lobby, login there, use the internet and then go back to your room. And it stays connected for a few hours. Just a hint.
And about the lobby. It was undergoing a massive renovation when we checked in. Everybody is apologizing about the noise and the dust and the inconvenience…it was not that bad. Also, when we checked in they made it very clear there was a large party of young people booked into the hotel for New Year’s eve. And then on New Year’s Eve day, we received a written note under our door describing the actual size of the party…1500 people between the ages of 21 and 28. Yep, 1500. There would also be 75 San Diego police on site plus the entire Hilton management team. Yikes.
New Year’s day rolls around and we did not even hear a hiccup in the night. Other than our regular 1am feeding call. The only way you could tell there was a party there the night before was from the smell of cigarette smoke in the hallways. Apaprently a number of the 1500 people ignored the no-smoking policy and light up anyway. Expensive smokes because then they have to pay for the room cleaning.
To wrap it up, we had a fabulous stay at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. We do not have a single complaint. The housekeepers were great; everyday we left the room looking like a bomb had gone off and upon our return the room was back to looking fab. The valet guys were helpful with suggestions for where to find good home-cooking Mexican chow and the best cheap eats for breakfast…thank you Matthew. Aaron steered me right on my quest for a bottle or two of single malt scotch. Great crew who knew enough about our hometwon to make conversation. These were some of the onbly people who knew the 2010 Olympics were being held in Vancouver and Whistler!
So, the Hilton gets four thumbs up from Caragh and I. Very nicely done, and cheaper overall than the Bahia!