Road to the Roadshow: Best Western Hacienda Hotel Old Town

On our last two trips to San Diego, we got a good rate for the Kona Kai. This time, though, no such luck, so I started researching elsewhere. Everything by the convention center was sky-high, and everything in my "comfy zone" for which I could've strategically bid on Priceline meant possibly getting a valet-only downtown hotel. Have I ever talked about my fear of valet parking? Perhaps I'll save that rumination for whenever we make a proper trip to LA...

At some point I thought, hmmm, this "Old Town" place, would that be interesting?

And that's how I came to never stay at the Kona Kai again, even though I think it's such a great hotel in a great location. Once you go (deep breath) Best Western Hacienda Hotel Old Town, there's just no going back.

Although there are a couple of hotels almost as close, the let's-just-call-it-Hacienda is as close as you can get... oops, save the new boutique hotel on the main square of Old Town that I guess has opened since then, but that doesn't count.

The Hacienda sprawls along the bottom edge of Old Town, sitting directly behind the Whaley House and a mere couple of buildings away from the historic cemetery.

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Main Entrance

That's the lobby, around the corner from San Diego Ave, and across from the free parking lot (in case you don't want to pay for parking). We became more familiar with the pedestrian gate at the other end. You can't see it in this photo, but there's the hotel behind these retailers:

San Diego Old Town - Looking Back at Hotel

The Hacienda is no boxy rooming house; we were assigned to the building furthest from the lobby - both horizontally and vertically. That meant two elevator rides and a small mountain climb. Here's the view to Elevator #2:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Looking Down to Elevator #2

Looking out toward the airport:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - View

I mentioned the mountain...

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Looking up from the Gate

Not so bad the other way, though:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Down to the Gate

Closer view of water wheel near bottom:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Wheel by Gate

(And no, I apparently don't know how to expose photos taken during "June Gloom.") And who just became advisor for her school's photography club? Embarrassing.

The room itself was quite comfortable. Shutters on the windows (overlooking the park behind us - like Northwoods the night before all over again), little sitting area, plump queen beds:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Two Queens

This was Room 631, by the way:

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Room Number Tile

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Bathroom

The room also came with a safe, coffeemaker (unused by us, as usual - I wish more places would throw in some hot choc packets), and - the item by which Mike measures all accommodations - a refrigerator. Ours came with two complimentary bottles of water per day. (In theory. We only got one bottle the first day. However, we'd brought plenty of our own.)

We would soon discover that we really liked Old Town, so the location is fantastic. The property is truly lovely, too. Flowers, flowers, everywhere.

Hotel Hacienda Old Town - Steps

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - More Flowers

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Flowers

Hacienda Hotel Old Town - Mike and Flowers

(Our building can be seen in the top left corner.)

The staff was nice. Sometimes we did get the last parking spot in the garage closest to our building, which was worrying, but I think there were plenty of spots in the other garage. We were given breakfast vouchers for a bar on the corner, O'Hungry's, but we never bothered going. Maybe next time.

Next time would be our next cruise on Carnival Spirit. (Ought I to mention Cabin 7258 again?) So, as long as the Hacienda Hotel stands, Kona Kai is out. (Sorry, KK.) But maybe, since we have so much time to plan, this time we should stay at the Holiday Inn directly across from the port terminal? Wake up, walk downstairs, walk onboard? But... but... it's not as pwitty. And we won't be able to stroll down to Cafe Coyote or meander by the "ghost" spots of Old Town. But it is dang convenient. I just don't know.

I think I'm still hoping to find a coupon code for Hotel del Coronado...

10 October 2010 |



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