A wedding on a Coronado navy base with my girlfirend sounded like a nice Valentine's weekend, right? Not right. How did I end up at the Lowes hotel? Well, the answer is that I was stupid enough to think that I could find a place about as nice as the Del Coronado but a little easier on my wallet (I'm sure a lot of you are thinking the same thing). I had also thought I could drive around Coronado and find something that LOOKED nice without checking tripadvisor or anything else. God was that stupid and this is why:
The Lowes is TRICKY. It looks nice from afar. The hotel is sort of on a nice little islet. It is layed out nicely and there is a cute little harbor with boats next to it. The website is good. The lobby is really pretty cool. It is basically the only part of the hotel that has had work done on it in the last 25 years. The lobby is big part of the reason people hand over their credit cards. THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE LOWES IS NOW OVER!
They gave us a "walk in" rate of $250 at the front desk (only about $40 less than the Del Coronado). We walk into the room and like the hotel itself, it looks Ok from a distance. I pull out the TV and lay on the bed and realize that the mattress hasn't been turned in 25 years. My back is almost on the floor. I struggle to the middle of the bed and hang on for dear life, but end up falling into the indentation on the other side. In the bed, there is a dead, dry, rose petal, most likely from Valentine's Day two days before. The bedspread is filthy and has white stuff caked on it (not kidding you at all). Before I can call the desk and ask for a new room, I have to go to the bathroom. You wouldn't believe it--$250 and the bathtub is grimy. There are at least 5 curly hairs in it (not long enough for head hairs, but short enough for, well, you know) , and the tub is still wet. The shower is even worse. Not only was it caked in grime like the tub, but I could see immediatly the dirt and hair coming out of the drain. I turned the water on and as I thought, the shower was barely draining.
So, I called and told them that the room was disgusting and asked to change rooms. They sort of acted like they were expecting my call about 4 minutes earlier. They sent someone up with a key for a room down the hall. It wasn't so disgusting. It was like something you'd walk into a Motel 6 and see and say, "This isn't so bad." But this is where it really get's good. Later that night, I used the toilet for the first time. I only went #1, I promise, but the toilet started overflowing. Water poured out everywhere and wouldn't stop. My girlfriend was about to stab me with the frozen snickers from the mini bar that was way too cold (this was sort of our Valentine's day trip) so I took off my socks and tiptoed through my pee so I could try to dismantle the valve. The water would only stop if I held a lever inside the back of the toilet so I stood there for about 10 minutes while we waited for maintence. The guy who showed up was just great. It was obvious that he kept the hotel, or whatever is left of it together on his own. He fixed the toilet, mopped up the bathroom (just used the towels to dry the floor, no real mopping (girlfriend thought that was disgusing but I was OK with it since it was my pee), and then restocked the towels all by himself.
The next morning I call the front desk and ask for the manager. Someone takes down my name and room number and says the manager is in a meeting and he will call me back. 1 hour later and nobody calls, so I call back and say I'll hold until they can find him. It gave me the feeling that they are used to complaints to the manager and found that if they don't call back, a lot of people will give up complaining. Anyway, when he finally gets on the phone I tell him about everything from switching rooms to standing in my own pee. He says that he will give me half off of the first night (we are staying for two nights) and sort of laughs when he says it like I'm ripping HIM off! I wanted to ask him to take a shower in that first room we stayed in but was worried he would get the wrong idea--me being from San Francisco and all.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Actually, this place is so awful that I will go on. I was stupid enough to get a massage. Like the rest of the hotel, the spa looked great from the outside. They gym sort of sucked (TV's couldn't really be seen from machines), but it was OK. The locker room was newly remodeled or newly built and was just great. It was clean and had nice amenities. Because of this, again becuase things looked so nice on the outside, I got tricked into paying $200 for a 80 minute massage. That's as pricy as a massage gets, and it would have been Ok except the therapist (only one there), gave a massage like my little 13 year old sister might give me. It was like she'd never been to school, didn't know anatomy, and was just moving her hands in the same motion the whole time. She also forgot my calves--$200/80 minutes!! Finally, my girlfirend scheduled a hair appointment since she was in the wedding and whoever scheduled it made it for the wrong time and she couldnt' get it done.
When I was checking out, I told the lady at the front desk how awful the stay was when she asked. She was very helpful even though I remember she was the one who gave me the first room upon check in. I'm glad she asked how the stay was or I would have let it go. After telling her all the woes of my stay, the discussion ended with her going to the back room and talking to the manager. When she came back she told us that we would get the first night free. So, all in all I ended up paying about $500 for two nights and one massage...STILL FELT SCREWED OVER!!
Next time, if someone puts a gun to my head and makes me go over that bridge from San Diego to Coronado, I will pay whatever it costs and stay at the Del Coronado.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centered between the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Bay, Loews Coronado Bay Resort epitomizes the true Southern California lifestyle. . Taking full advantage of the resort's waterfront location, the hotel's new design artfully combines San Diego's sun and surf with the casual elegance of an oceanfront home, including a new lobby, Bay Terrace, Cays Lounge, Market Cafe, Market To Go and all 440 sea-inspired guest rooms and suites. Resort features include direct access to the Silver Strand State Beach, three tennis courts, a private 81-slip marina and panoramic views of the San Diego-Coronado Bay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Loews Coronado Bay Hotel Coronado
- Loews Resort
- Loews Bay Coronado
- Coronado Loews
- Lowes Coronado
- Coronado Bay Resort