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“What an awful place: Do NOT stay here!!!!”

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The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina
Ranked #109 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Reviewed 24 August 2013

A long time believer, reader, and writer on Tripadvisor, I usually find it a great resource. But frankly, this time, I wonder about the glowing reviews for this hotel. That anyone could call this place "excellent" is literally unbelievable.
Keating calls itself "boutique." Maybe boohootique, for you will want to cry once you realize what you've paid for. Cool? Sexy ?Maybe if you are stumbling in drunk after clubbing nearby, not realizing til the next morning what your room looks like.
Whoever designed this hotel must be delusional, on drugs, or both.
Picture Costco divided into tiny pods filled with small black box bits of furniture. Put a "romance kit" of feather, lube, and other unmentionables--all priced outrageously--on the bedside table. Oh yes--don't forget the mirror above the bathroom sink (not the bed!!) and you've imagined a room here. Oh, now i get the "boutique" description--it's a bootytique hotel!
There's a painted concrete floor -in an ugly grey color, no less. A tiny closet for clothes. Not even a folding luggage rack--so the suitcase had to be opened on the floor. However, the bed is very comfortable, with nice soft sheets.
So if you want a vacation where you never leave bed, and are blindfolded so that you don't see the depressing surroundings, this is your place.

I could go on and on, but i hope whomever reads this gets the idea: do not waste your money here/ You may not know me, but you'll thank me. I'm not a fan of the Gaslamp District as an area in which to stay in San Diego, but if you want to be in this area, there are loads of decent hotels nearby.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms. The view out your window is of the side of the adjoining building
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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12  Thank calinurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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564 - 570 of 796 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2013

Pros: Super comfy bed, great location in heart of the Gaslamp District. The rainwater shower was nice but was so open it felt like showering in a gym locker room. Free wi-fi and continental breakfast (coffee and pastries) and very friendly staff.

Cons: Very noisy - we could not hear the street noise but could hear other guests talking in their rooms and playing music at all hours of the night including at 6am. You wouldn't know about the free wi-fi and continental breakfast unless you asked the hotel staff about them as there is no "hotel information" card or booklet in the rooms describing all the amenities of the hotel. Who knows what else we missed out on. Apparently the hotel has a restaurant but I never found out where it was or what it served?? The room was cold and industrial - would it be so bad to put a throw rug or two down on the cold, bare, cement floor? The fixtures on the sinks were less than shiny-clean and didn't drain well giving the bathroom area a dingy feel. The bathrooms mirrors are so far away and the lighting is so bad that the mirrors are rendered useless. The toilet broke during our stay but was promptly fixed. There was also a general lack of consistency everywhere, from the toiletries left in your room to the breakfast offerings.

Bottom line - The Keating needs to stop trying so hard to be European and do away with some of the bells and whistles (Lavazza coffee machines in each room, etc.) in favor of more creature comforts. If you are wondering, as I was, "what were they thinking?" when they designed this hotel, check out the episode of Hotel Hell featuring The Keating right on the hotel's website. Unfortunately it seems not too much has changed since that episode aired. It's no wonder they have to rely on Hotwire to fill their hotel.

A side note - The Keating is located in the heart of the Gaslamp District across the street from the Horton Plaza mall and about a ten minute walk from Seaport Village and the USS Midway. Super convenient location, but I did not feel comfortable walking around San Diego by myself, day or night, due to the large homeless/vagrant population. Nothing to do with the hotel - just something for other travelers to keep in mind!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank LeeR81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

This hotel is in desperate need of an overhaul. First, my wife and I check in and our TV does not work, I try to call down to the front desk and the phone is cutting in and out and the girl at the desk could not hear me. I had to call the hotel using my cell so that she could hear me. The rooms are like living in a dorm. The shower and sink are in the same room as the bed. Very tight quarters. Our room was directly over the two different clubs and was so loud that the floor in our room was literally vibrating. This went on until 3AM! We have stayed at hotels and resorts where we have had club noise but this was insane! Do yourself a favor and stay at one of the more established properties available in the Gas Lamp District. We gambled and lost!

Room Tip: Request a high floor interior room if you really want to stay here.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank M J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2013

The Keating was not the hotel for me. I personally don’t enjoy taking a shower in front of other people so I found it a little odd that the show had no door and was in the room, not in a separate bathroom.

The noise from the outside was unbelievable. Instead of wasting money on the sound system and TV’s the owner should have invested in sound proofing the windows since you can hear all the noise from the club/bar next door, each night of our stay we did not get to sleep till after 3am because of the noise. They did try to provide ear plugs, but since they were not individually wrapped I didn’t want to take the chance of any previous guest having used them.

We left our room around 10 am on Saturday and when we returned at 3 the room still had not been made up by housekeeping. I finally had to ask the front desk to send housekeeping over on our way out for the evening.

We booked on Hotwire and what they didn’t tell us at check in is that there would be a charge for booking on an external website or about the resort fee charge. So we were surprised by these charges at check out. I still don’t actually know what these charges are since their system froze while I was trying to check out they told me they would email me my receipt. That was Sunday it is now Tuesday and I still haven’t received that email.

As nice as the staff was no amount of nice can make up for lack of sleep, and the extra charges at the back end.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Ulvgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

This is a piece of history with an incredible "update" on the interior. It's located deep in the heart of the Gas Lamp district. SO many bars and restaurants to choose from. If I can see a detractor here, it would be the noise level til the wee hours, but if you like that sort of thing then this is ideal for you. Perhaps we're a bit to old to appreciate it. It may have been a subtle sign when we checked in and found furnished earplugs in the room (they might know something we didn't).
One of the most comfortable beds, "ever". Gordon Ramsey did a fantastic job reinventing this hotel on his series "Hotel Hell". Very expensive European feel, from the Rain Room (large walk in shower with overhead spout) to the Bang and Olufsen TV and sound system. Turned a cockroach into a butterfly!
The staff is friendly and informed. Valet is lightning quick (must have run track in HS).
An easy walk to anything you could need.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank boboso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Just stayed one but really liked the location. Close to excellent restaurants and nightlife.
Our room was very comfortable. The staff at front desk were terrific, really provided a warm welcome. They have a nice lounge area on the 2nd floor to hang out in.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ed_conwayCornvilleAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Staying at the Keating was a great experience. The room was lovely and the bed especially comfortable. We loved the unique features of this boutique hotel. It was located in the heart of the gas lamp, an absolute perfect location. The valet parking service was excellent. I can't say enough of how much we enjoyed staying here.

All the staff at the front desk went out of their way to be helpful. They provided great tips of where to eat, where to go out for an evening...basically anything we asked them about they had an answer for. A special shout out to Brentney who went that extra mile to ensure our stay was awesome.

Note: The hotel is in the entertainment district so the noise of the nightlife does go late into the evening. We were on vacation and partook in the nightlife so this did not affect us.

Room Tip: If you ask the concierge when you book they will try to accommodate you if you need a 'quieter...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HipsterCDN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Keating Hotel by Pininfarina

Address: 432 F St, San Diego, CA 92101-6118
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Spa Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: £104 - £304 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Diego’s first true luxury boutique hotel that transformed the Gaslamp District from bland to chic. Situated in a building dated from 1890, The Keating is Pininfarina’s first hotel creation -world-renowned master designer behind Ferrari and Maserati. The result is a rare fusion of past and future. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Keating Hotel San Diego
Keating San Diego

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