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Glam Getaway: Sè San Diego Exudes Cachet

Submitted by on March 30, 2009 – 2:20 amNo Comment

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Luxury Hotels: Life is busy. Too busy. I often get the urge to leave the daily grind behind and take single evening “power vacations” at local San Diego-area hotels near my home. You’d be surprised how cathartic even a one-night stay at a luxury hotel nearby can be. My enduring quest for hospitality-driven R&R led me to Sè San Diego Hotel, where I decided to take a romantic Saturday night sabbatical with my husband. And, to borrow a phrase from Kimora Lee Simmons, this property has “fabulosity” pulsating from its masterful architecture and uber-chic contemporary décor.
Having lived in South Florida, Hilton Head, Las Vegas and now San Diego, and travelling extensively both domestically and abroad, suffice it to say I’ve seen my fair share of fabulous hotels. Sè San Diego Hotel ranks high on the list of those I’ve been most impressed with – proximity aside. This due to the artful visual appeal of the thoughtfully designed surroundings, coupled with the hotel’s impressive array of amenities and a service staff apparently hell-bent on ensuring the utmost satisfaction of each and every guest. 

Located in San Diego’s downtown financial district, this 184-room luxury hotel is nestled among the eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and nightlife that largely comprise the famous Gaslamp Quarter. It’s also mere minutes away from multiple beaches and the numerous sights and attractions that “America’s Finest City” has to offer.

Many words come to mind, and feelings evoked, when thinking of Sè San Diego’s design aesthetic: sleek, modern, sophisticated simplicity, and downright sexy. Designed by the Rockwell Group, the 23-story building is an artful steel and glass structure that stands out amongst the downtown architecture.

Inside, the hotel’s ultra-modern, Asian-inspired décor has a quiet elegance that envelopes your senses and calms your nerves the minute you step foot into the lobby, which boasts two custom-made 9,000-pound bronze pivot doors, black ebony columns, Shanghai pavers, teardrop crystals, Nepali carpets and silver leaf covered walls and shagreen upholstery. And, this is just for starters, with hundreds of artistic visual and touch points spread throughout the property as a whole.

With just a few steps in the door we were welcomed and offered immediate check-in at a lounge seating area rather than having to approach and stand at the front desk. There were given a floral infused vodka and champagne beverage to refresh us while the paperwork was being processed.

Within minutes we were whisked away to our extraordinarily well-appointed “standard” room. But, I can assure you there was nothing standard about this room, which contained custom made linens, Brazilian walnut wood floors, Jerusalem Bone Limestone, and teak vanities. All standard rooms also have a plasma television, wireless Internet, custom Italian furniture, luxury linens, iPod/mp3 docking stations and in-room coffee and tea service.

While Sè San Diego has 144 standard rooms with city side, city light and sky views, which start at $249 per night, it also offers 17 one-bedroom suites with balconies and 20 Luxe Suites and two Penthouse Suites for the jet set.

The property is also currently cultivating a Grand Penthouse soon-to-be-revealed. This 8,400 square foot space will purportedly be the most exclusive and largest suite on the west coast, featuring three bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, entertainment center with a full bar and six flat screen televisions as well as a wine wall, a patio terrace with private sundeck and Jacuzzi soaking tub, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer 360-degree views from Mexico to Coronado Island.

After reveling at our lovely accommodations, I perused the rest of the hotel and got a sneak a peek at the property’s incredible 3,400 square foot ballroom with walls adorned with Sapelli wood, upholstered silk panels and silver leaf. Towering two-story windows bathed the space in natural light. A 1,758 three-story skylight atrium area is also available, serving as a perfect venue for cocktail receptions and other soirées. I learned Sè San Diego employs a full banquet staff, a meeting planner, and even a set designer on-site for business meetings and special events.

The hotel’s other notable amenities will soon include a private screening room with luxurious oversized armchairs and a state-of-the-art recording studio for performances and VIP recordings, which seems fitting since the property is located right next door to the House of Blues.

With my curiosity about the property satiated, it was time to head out to a romantic dinner at Siren – Sè San Diego’s new poolside uber-lounge and rooftop oasis that had actually just opened the weekend of our stay. After settling in, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the electric outdoor atmosphere as we sipped cocktails and savored the restaurant’s gourmet “small plate” style cuisine designed by executive chef Anthony Calamari.

While the portions of each selection were bite-size, the incredibly artfully presented fare made up for its size with abundant flavor. My husband and I saw fit to order most of what was offered on this concise menu, with each plate ranging in price from $3.50-$5.00. Among our selections were the lemon & olive oil cured scallops with an edemame puree and mushroom confit, and chilled lobster medallions with mache salad, cantaloupe and citrus dressing. While each dish was divine, far and away our mutual favorite was the rare filet mignon with julienne red onions, scallions and cilantro leaves with a soy and honey glaze.

Siren is situated adjacent to the hotel’s pool deck and VIP pool lounge – an Asian-inspired “chill zone” with lounge seating perfect for soaking up the SoCal sun in style. Private cabanas offering bottle service, food, and spa treatments are also available on deck. The infinity edge custom pool is even equipped with underwater surround sound to ensure swimmers don’t miss a beat.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s)
detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions
expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any
way as per the disclosure policy on our “Legal” page***


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