I stayed at the Hilton Del Mar for three of the last 8 weeks for business travel. The hotel is well-maintained and the inner courtyard is beautiful with the gorgeous pool, fire pits, and local greenery. It definitely feels more like a resort hotel, and my stay was pleasant.
== ROOMS ==
The rooms were all very clean and well maintained. I had four different rooms over the course of my stays there. All were well laid out, except one (#3091) which had one of the two queen beds right up against the closet doors. The rest of that room was spacious though. That room also had an odd layout in the bathroom too - it needed a hook for your towel at least within an arm's reach from the shower.
I'm a fairly private person, so my favorite room (of the four) was #1073. It sat in the corner of the hotel and had a little hallway to get to the main part of the room. This seemed to give the room more space and it was away from any thru traffic from main hallways. I'd suspect that #2073 and #3073 are the same.
Note that the hotel rooms are laid out like a large horseshoe. If you are on the inside of the horseshoe, you may get a balcony, but you risk having to hear any commotion out at the pool (closes around 10pm) or fire pits on into the night. If you are on the outside of the horseshoe, the risk is some traffic noise from the nearby highway.
== ROOM AMENITIES ==
Each of my rooms had a fridge, which happily wasn't loud at all. Additionally, many of the room lamps had plugs built into them for charging your cell phones and laptops. I appreciated that feature.
The beds were very comfortable, firm but not backbreaking. The pillows were also great, making me think that I need to buy some new pillows for my home. I also like when hotels don't use those weird throw covers over the bedding, and are able to take the covers off of the comforters to wash them.
The TVs were okay, but the remotes were terrible in every single room I stayed. I'd say it was a 50/50 shot if I could push two digits in a row and get the TV to recognize both digits. The TV service has no live guide feature, and so the only channel listing that you have is the leather bound Guest Amenities book from the hotel. I wish they simply had a laminated copy of the channel listing that I could take with me around the room.
Lastly, each room has its own air conditioning unit. In San Diego, this feature likely isn't used often, but my weeks there happened to line up with some 85-95 F heat waves. In all my rooms, the air conditioners kicking in were enough to wake me up at night. There's a stirring jolt when they kick on. Again, you'll likely not have to use this feature due to temperate San Diego weather, but I figured I should mention it just the same.
== STAFF ==
The cleaning service did a good job each day. My only confusion was with the bathroom towels. This hotel has the little note about if you put your towel on the floor it will be replaced. Every day, I'd hang my towels on the hooks or keep them off the floor, and they'd be replaced anyway. It isn't a problem for me, but just odd.
I had one issue when I first got a hotel room where the tub drain was backing up (and someone else's hair along with it). I reported it and it was fixed within 2 hours, with a little note from the repair staff indicating the completed repair.
The staff at the restaurant were great. At the start of my third visit, the staff there recognized me and already knew what beverages to bring me without asking. Also, on a morning when I was in a rush, they helped move things along for me to help me be on-time.
Lastly, I want to talk about the Front Desk staff. Of all the staff in the hotel, they were the ones that rubbed me the wrong way the most. Let me point out first that they did get my tub drain issue addressed quickly as well as switch rooms from one by the stairwell to elsewhere in the hotel (see traveler tip for info). All of my other interactions though were left with a cold tone and a rude feeling... like how dare I bother them at the Front Desk. This feeling happened on every single check-in/check-out, when I reported that the pool was out of pool towels, and when I asked if they knew of a local pharmacy in the area. I don't know if they are overworked or what-not, but it would be good to be nice to guests.
A specific example was when I asked if there were any good places to go for a jog in the mornings. They handed me a slip of paper to read. My follow-up question was where these locations were and why they're good for jogging. They just pointed to the sheet. After talking to others and driving around, it turns out that there is a path that runs along the nearby lagoon, as well as beach access nearby where the sand is solid enough when the tide goes out. I just wished they could at least have pretended like I live a few states away and know nothing about the local area, taken a few minutes to talk to me, and then gone back to whatever they were doing.
== HOTEL AMENITIES ==
Again, the pool was wonderful. There were times when it was a little overcrowded in an evening, but that wasn't the norm. Note that there is an additional hot tub off in one of the corners of the hotel, away from the pool area. I never made it over there, but you can likely use it to escape any potential crowd at the pool.
The fitness center was good as well. It was much better than other hotel fitness centers that I've been at, with multiple treadmills and ellipticals, while also having some free weights as well. It is definitely enough to get a comprehensive workout in while your are traveling.
The breakfast was good every day and the staff did a great job. I appreciated the amount of available fruit on the bar. My only beef with it was the price - $18. That seems a bit high when other hotels are including breakfast as part of the package. Some of my colleagues wandered down the road to Milton's Deli for breakfast just down the road and found it a better value.
Note that there is a shuttle that goes to/from the beaches in the area. It starts around 615/630 in the morning. I did not use it, but it would likely help with parking down close to the beach. For example, the parking slots on the street near Powerhouse Park were taken up by 630am.
== SUMMARY ==
All in all, it was a good stay and the hotel was very good. If I had to distill this post down into my top 3 favorites and also top 3 things to fix, it would be:
- Friendly restaurant and bar staff
- Beautiful pool and landscaping
- Comfortable beds and pillows
- Front Desk staff needs attitude change towards being helpful and better area knowledge
- Adjust breakfast prices
- Replace room remotes and print out a channel guide for the room
Lastly, I should note that I did receive a note under my door on my last stay to come chat and have a cup of coffee with the hotel manager. Unfortunately, though, I was under work-related deadlines and did not have a chance to take advantage of this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Unwind in one of our 257 vibrant, yet sophisticated guest rooms, while taking advantage of our 17,000 sq. Ft. Of versatile indoor meeting and banquet space, outdoor heated swimming pool, first-rate fitness center and world-class local farm-and-sea cuisine at our very own coastalKITCHEN restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton San Diego/Del Mar Hotel Del Mar
- Hilton Del Mar