Andaz San Diego: Bottom Line Review

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I recently was in San Diego for a couple of one-night stays and decided use one of them to check out the Andaz San Diego, a property that I’ve been curious about for awhile. Like most Andaz properties, this one is smaller and tries to put the emphasis on quirky design touches and thoughtful extras in an effort to obtain more of a “boutique” feel.

It’s located in the hopping Gaslamp Quarter, right around the corner from 5th Avenue, the center of the action in the area. The highlight of the property is undoubtedly the killer rooftop area that has the main restaurant/bar, pool and the fitness area. Especially at night, the panoramic views are great and it’s a terrific place to hang out. The service in the hotel is prompt and efficient; extra Andaz touches like a happy hour and drinks at check-in are appreciated.

That said, it ends up being a mixed bag instead of an unqualified thumbs-up. The property feels quite worn; my suite had torn curtains and stains on the couch. I’d read many complaints about the noise in the building from the Gaslamp nightlife and assumed it was overblown…it wasn’t. The provided earplugs were needed, due to a combination of the salsa night upstairs and the bars outside. It’s also smack-dab in the middle of a sizeable unhoused encampment. While I didn’t feel uncomfortable walking around alone, I know that my wife would have, probably not helped by the front desk agent advising me not to go out after dark alone (!).

Andaz Suite at the Andaz San Diego

Andaz San Diego Bottom Line Review

Bottom line: The Andaz San Diego is a property with an absolutely sensational rooftop pool/restaurant and that has lots of fun, quirky touches. That said, it tries to be a hip, boutique property and doesn’t quite succeed. Worn rooms and public areas, a significant amount of ambient noise, terrible internet and a somewhat sketchy neighbourhood keep it from being a complete thumbs up.

  • Points Price: Category 4, 12,000-18,000 points per night.  Bookable using a Category 1-4 certificate from the Chase Hyatt Card.
  • Cash Price: There is a decent bit of variation.  The night that I was there, it was ~$295, but it can get upwards of $300-400/night (or as low as $150)
  • Points Value: It’s often a good value for a points redemption or a category 1-4 cert. Rates are usually $250+, making the points value above our reasonable redemption value for Hyatt points of 1.6 CPP.
  • Resort Fee: There is a “Destination Fee” of $30/night (waived on award stays).           It includes:
    • $10 nightly F&B credit
    • Daily local beer and wine tasting from 5pm -8pm
    • Guest package delivery up to 40lbs
    • Computer usage, printing, and faxing
    • Round of bubbles at STK with dinner reservation
    • Shoe shine
    • Branded tote bag ($2 value)
    • 1 Hour Standard Kayak OR Paddleboard with Seaforth Boat Rentals per stay ($12 – $20 Value)
    • A variety of discounts to various area tourist attractions
  • Parking: Valet parking is available for $52/night.
  • Turndown service: None.
  • Housekeeping: Everyday for all guests.
  • Internet: Absolutely terrible. Unable to do basic browsing/downloading/streaming.
  • Dining:
    • The Rooftop by STK is open for breakfast daily from 7am-12pm, lunch from 12-4pm and dinner from 4pm-9pm daily (11pm on the weekends). The bar stays open late. This is a dynamite place to hang out, with great spaces and terrific views. It can get fairly clubby in the middle of the night.
    • STK San Diego is an independently run (and VERY pricey) Steakhouse. It’s open for dinner from 3pm-11pm (12am on weekends) and has a happy hour from 3pm-6pm daily.
  • Spa: None. There is a small, outdoor pool (no hot tub) on the rooftop with a marvelous view
  • Fitness Room:The fitness room is located on the 6th floor. It’s unremarkable and has a small assortment of a few weight machines and free weights alongside 12-13 cardio machines (treadmills and ellipticals) that were quite full in the morning.
  • Hyatt Globalist Elite Benefits: 
    • Suite Upgrade: I booked a standard room and was upgraded pre-arrival to a 515 sq ft. Andaz Suite on the 2nd floor. The suite was functional, if somewhat worn (stains on the furniture, nicks in the walls).
    • Club Lounge: None.
    • Free Breakfast: Served daily at the rooftop bar (one entrée, one side, one N/A beverage). I had an early morning flight and wasn’t able to partake.
    • 4PM Late Checkout: Applied automatically without asking.
    • Free Parking: Yes, free valet parking on award stays.
  • Would I stay again?  Given the state of the facilities, the amount of noise and the sketchiness of the immediate area, I would probably choose another property and come her for a drink at night.
  • Andaz San Diego pros:
    • If you’re looking to hang out in the Gaslamp Quarter, it’s right there.
    • The premium suites look awesome.
    • Beautiful rooftop bar/pool area.
    • Like most Andaz properties, some fun, quirky decor.
    • Emphasis on local products in-room and at F&B locations.
  • Andaz San Diego cons:
    • Property is worn in places and seems like it could use some freshening up.
    • Between the neighbouring bars and clubs (as well as its own rooftop bar), it was quite noisy.
    • Neighbourhood has a sizeable homeless population with tent camps outside. Upon checking-in, they advised me to use a taxi if travelling by myself at night.
    • Bar none, the worst internet that I’ve ever had at a Hyatt property.

Image Gallery

Hotel Lobby

Complimentary coffee station in the lobby
Corridor to restaurant, meeting spaces and elevator.
Art installation in lobby.

Andaz Suite

A hint at what’s in store.
Andaz Suite bedroom.
Andaz Suite Living Room
Coffee station. Andaz used to have a complimentary n/a mini-bar, but that’s been discontinued at most properties, including this one.
Entrance and external sink

I liked the emphasis and local-ish product, even in the coffee station.
Like the complimentary earplugs, another way that the hotel tries to get in front of potentially uncomfortable problems…which is commendable. It’s also indicative of the magnitude of the issue in this neighbourhood.

Fitness Area

Rooftop Pool

The pool was small, but magical
There’s a few “cabanas” around the pool. By the sounds of it, they are pretty much always open.

The Rooftop by STK

They do a great job of creating multiple nooks around the rooftop for smaller parties to hang out in.
Ample outdoor heaters mean that it was still quite comfortable outside, even on a chilly night in November.

 

 

4.3 3 votes
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Ethan

I found many hotels generous with elite upgrade seem to be victim of the generosity .
Current in a Hyatt Regency almost always auto upgrade Globalist to suites, and their suites surely are more worn than standard rooms.

JustSaying

We checked in a few months back and I immediately went to the lobby to call my Hyatt concierge to get us out of there. I couldn’t make the call or use the internet from my room. We were departing less than an hour after our arrival. I will give them credit for rebating all the points tied to the reservation. It’s a sad state of affairs for this property.

Robert

Stayed here earlier this year. The hotel was nearly full and we were lucky to get upgraded to an Andaz suite. The room was worn and pretty dirty. The lobby was rough, a strange supporting column in front of an elevator. The pool area looks like a good idea but was incredibly cramped. One family in the pool meant every lounge chair was wet from splashing. The pool is not deep, conceivably you could lap swim if no one else was in the pool. There were few towels and bar food/plates everywhere. Breakfast was fine but the majority of tables seated 2 only so we waited every morning for 20+ min to be seated. The food was fine but we would have been better off finding somewhere else to eat.

Overall the hotel was fine but there’s no way I’d recommend it. Dirty, worn, poor service on the rooftop. Really the only good thing was it’s close to a sneaker reseller store my kid wanted to visit…

Laslo Toth

I’ve stayed here twice, once in 2014ish and again in 2021. The pool area is the only draw. The hotel is definitely tired and slightly worn out now and the internet is barely functional.

There are some cool suites but can only imagine how partied out they are by now.

Other than Park properties, Andaz is my next favorite (anyone think differently?) but for this one they need another category like ‘not that Grand’ or ‘Old Place’. They should rehab this and turn it into a Centric, or upgrade it and make it into a Tommie/Thompson combo.

Isn’t worth more than 12k as is.

Alex

A few years ago I frequented San Diego for business and used to alternate between Andaz and Grand Hyatt. Andaz has more intimate feel. Was not worn out at that time. GH had nicer breakfast buffet – at Andaz breakfast was made to order but I had to keep cycling through the same set of options after the first week. Homeless are all over downtown but I recall Andaz was still better than down at the Central Library. Best of all, rates at both Andaz and GH during the weekdays were sub $100. Seriously.

Biggie F

Yeah, I think my mostly positive impressions of this place (a couple of 3-4 day stays just pre-Covid) were conditioned on some low $100s room rates. Double them and I would double or triple my low standards.

Again, this was pre-Covid, but I remember the breakfasts as the highlight of the place — outdoors, leisurely, and some good, filling foods.*

*Remember, the whole point of being a Hyatt Globalist is making your late breakfast half of your food for the day… and free.