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Hard Rock Hotel San Diego:Always Bustling

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
has 420 Rooms.

Courtesy photo

Curt Cobain guards the fourth-floor elevator nook. No, not the ghost of the late Nirvana lead singer; rather, a black-and-white photo of Cobain, onstage, with those haunting eyes. On another wall by the elevator hang lyrics from an ancient Jackson Brown song. And 24/7, there’s piped-in rock music—I hear strains of Squeeze after check in, and Paul McCartney is crooning during departure.

My retired parents would not enjoy a stay here. It’s loud. Even when there’s nobody around, you feel like a bustle is just waiting to break out. It took me a day to realize you have to pretend you’re a touring rock star—or are at least “in the band”—to find your groove as a guest at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.

Sleep Here: There are 420 rooms in the hotel—and mine is one in which the front door lock rattles every time somebody walks down the hall. The front desk graciously switches me to another suite.

The layout is playful. There are essentially three comingled spaces—a living room and bedroom (each with a 42-inch LG flat-screen TV) separated by a bathroom area. Hotels have taken to naming their bedding—these are called “Sleep Like a Rock” beds.

I get a kick out of the bathroom setup—but traditionalists won’t. The shower door is on the south side of the suite; the toilet door is on the opposite wall. The sink is out in the central common area. It’s good use of space. But again, it would confound my ’rents.

Nearly anybody can dig the hotel’s 17 ultra-VIP Rock Star Suites. Most have two glammed-up bedrooms, and one suite comes with an outdoor deck and hot tub. The Black Eyed Peas Suite—designed exclusively by the pop foursome—has all that, a bag of chips and the band’s memorabilia hanging on the walls.

Eat This: Maryjane’s Coffee Shop was empty when I walked in at 10 p.m. It was a little more crowded at lunch the next afternoon. It’s designed like an Americana diner. Kitsch fans will be impressed, but your nutritionist will have a seizure when he looks at the menu.

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
The Hard Rock Hotel Black Eyed Peas Suite.
Courtesy photo

A cardio burger has double bacon, double patties and double cheese. Boneless chicken wings come in a stack piled high, and are served with three levels of hot sauce—mild, wild or insane. Maryjane’s also serves a TV dinner of the day (“for those who love nostalgia and compartmentalized dining”).

A pricier onsite option is upscale sushi chain Nobu. Sashimi tacos come with yellowfin tuna, lobster or crab. Signature dishes include scallop tiradito, sashimi salad and broiled black cod with miso.

Do This: TheFloat Bar is a sexy al fresco lounge, with some seating, fire pits and poolside cabanas with flat-screen TVs. The 207 lobby bar is somewhat more casual. It’s dark, with black leather seating and oversized crystal chandeliers.

By The Way: If you over-imbibe, the Rock Spa can revive you. They do seriously good work—but I glanced down though the massage-table head brace and giggled at the sight of my masseuse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars canvas hightop sneakers…Keanu Reeves has used the elliptical machine at the Rock Gym…The hotel is 100-percent condo hotel—meaning somebody owns each guest room.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: (619) 702-3000
  • Name: Hard Rock Hotel
  • Address: 207 5th Ave