There are few things more refreshing after a long flight than to walk into a luxurious hotel suite that feels like it could be home. Well, that is, if my home were a swanky pad furnished with custom Italian furniture, floor-to-ceiling stone wall spa bathrooms, Brazilian walnut hardwood floors, and the most luxurious bed adorned with fine linens and down pillows. That’s how I felt last Friday night- as if I had walked into a chic dream apartment, when I checked into the Sè San Diego after a six hour flight from New York City.
Located right in the heart of downtown, the Sè San Diego is just a few minutes away from the airport and within walking distance to most of the city’s attractions, restaurants, clubs and shops. The building is rather unassuming on the outside, but the moment you walk through the 9000 lb bronze pivot door, you’re transported into a luxurious world of art, design, comfort and decadence. If I were to pick one word to describe the hotel it would be sensual- as the entire experience is designed to envelope all five senses.
Sight: From first sight to last sight, there is no denying that the Sè San Diego is a feast for your eyes. As a member of the Preferred Hotel Group, The Sè just looks like luxury. The lobby is full of exotic textures from Nepali carpets and silver leaf covered walls to bureaus upholstered in stingray. Artist Ken Gangbar’s ceramic “Finn Wave” wall installation is the focal point of the lobby. The artwork created from hundreds of ceramic “fins” takes up the entire wall in a fluid, Zen, wave-like motion.
Guestrooms and suites are designed in a palette of chocolate with hints of jade and blue. The Sè San Diego is perhaps the only hotel I’ve ever been at that features hardwood floors. The dark color scheme is both sophisticated and calming. Each room also features a custom floor to ceiling white leather headboard and light silver accents scattered throughout to provide the perfect contrast to the rich color scheme. Bathrooms are designed with sleek stone walls, teak vanities, and rain shower heads to create a luxurious spa-like space. Luxe suite rooms also have bathrooms with steam showers and TVs in mirrors. Of course, if you prefer open space and San Diego’s natural beauty, there’s plenty of that too. All rooms have a wall of windows or large balconies (in suites) that either overlook the city or the ocean.
Hear: Located right in the hotel is one of the city’s hottest nightclub destinations- Siren Lounge. The poolside lounge hosts both daytime and evening parties on weekends. During the day, hotel guests are welcome to sunbathe pool side and take a dip in the heated pool. There is however, one caveat to having an in-house club which is that the music plays well into the night. If you’re looking for an extra quiet experience, be sure to ask for a room that does not overlook the pool as you can hear the music even with the windows shut.
Touch: At the end of the day (literally), what I care about most is having a luxurious bed to fall into. The plush bed at the Sè San Diego ranks at the top of some of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever slept in and are dressed with high count linens and real down comforters and pillows. The hotel also offers an unique Sleep Concierge- where guests can choose from a pillow menu offering different fabrics.
The hotel also houses the Sè Spa. Though I didn’t have time to try a service, I did notice that they are offering a 2-for-1 deal currently so it certainly can’t hurt to get one (or two) massages.
Smell: One of the nicest touches at the Sè San Diego is the Sleep Concierge service which I mentioned above. The turn down service includes a travel size kit of Elemis Heavenly Sleep Spray, a lavender scented pillow spray to help you relax. I packed mine with me when I left.
Taste: And of course, what’s a fine hotel with a fine restaurant? During my travels, I realized that San Dieagans really do enjoy the good life and the bustling food scene reflects that. I went for dinner at Suite and Tender the night I arrived and it was the perfect, delicious meal after a long day of travel.
Chef Anthony Calamari’s exciting new restaurant is the place to the seen in the city (we spotted some people on dates as well as a festive group) but also offers unpretentious, cozy service.
The menu recently got a makeover and there were simply too many things I wanted to try so I decided to order a bunch of appetizers to share. It’s like getting a little tasting menu- a route I definitely recommend if you’re indecisive like me. My personal recommendations? Bacon braised pork belly, spiced lamb riblets, duck hash, mussels provencal, and of course, the mac & cheese with black truffle shavings. The prices are extremely reasonable- the truffle mac & cheese clocks in at $5 (compare to the $60 plate at New York’s Waverly Inn!) . Guests are currently treated to 25% off at the restaurant when they check in- which makes it all the more fun to try different plates. And don’t forget to kick back and enjoy a cocktail. My favorite? Hey Gorgeous.
For more information and to book, visit Sè San Diego.