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INDEPENDENT AND UNBIASED - LUXURY TRAVELS REVIEWS 'THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE TRUTH'

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Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter - San Diego, CA

Beautiful Suite, but Disappointing Experience

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Hilton San Diego - Gaslamp Quarter - San Diego, California: Located in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Hilton is perfectly located whether you are in town for a conference at the San Diego Convention center or just in town on vacation.

First Impression/Lobby: First impressions can be deceiving. The hotel entrance and lobby surely made the Hilton look like a beautiful, well-maintained, well-run five-star hotel but looks do not tell the whole story.

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Reception: I was very impressed with reception when I first arrived at the Hilton. The front desk clerk said she had been waiting for us but that our room was not ready yet. She said it would be ready in about two hours and took my cell phone number and said she would call when it was ready.

After waiting for three hours later, we had still not received a call from reception so I checked with the front desk and sure enough, the room was ready (and had been for quite some time), it was just that no one bothered to call. The front desk clerk had good intentions, but follow through or shall I say, the lack there of, made for a disappointing experience.

The Suite: The Junior Presidential Suite was located in the hotel's Lofts on 5th Avenue building. It is basically a luxury hotel located in a connecting building but still run and serviced by the main Hilton hotel. It has 30 unique loft style rooms, which try to take the Hilton to a five-star level.

The suite was a beautiful two-room suite, both of which had tall ceiling to almost the floor windows that flooded the room with light. The d├ęcor was chic and trendy with pale yellow walls, bright white linens and simple but comfortable furniture.

Both the bedroom and the living room were over-sized. The bathroom however, was small for a Junior Suite. It had a nice, deep soaking tub, but just one sink and the shower and toilet were crowded into a small room. The bathroom was definitely not a suite's bathroom.

The feel of the room was relaxing, luxurious and a huge step up from the rest of the hotel.

Room Service: Good, not great food and poor service is what we received from Room Service. The one order that I placed with Room Service was late and not correct. Moreover, the quality was far below what the cost of the order should have been. Overall, the experience with Room Service was one of pure disappointment.

Concierge: Each time I called the Concierge the call either went to voice mail or the front desk. As hard as the front desk tried, they were unable to offer good selections for dinner or to provide adequate suggestions for things to do in the area. The voice mail messages I left, went unanswered. In addition, the concierge is only there until 6 PM.

Housekeeping: Turndown service at the Hilton San Diego was as sloppy and incomplete as I ever seen at any five-star or luxury hotel. Rather than a true turndown service, it looked as if a five-year old came in and hung new towels and this was even after I called the manager to have the turndown service re-done. Disappointing? Yes!

Restaurant: I dined at New Leaf Restaurant, the hotel's casual dining restaurant. New Leaf offers both indoor and outdoor seating in a very casual atmosphere. The food was hotel restaurant decent, but the service made me feel like they wanted me in and out as quick as they possibly could. Rushed and impersonal, the service was in-step with the service I experience throughout the rest of the hotel, poor.

Overall Impression If you look at the Hilton website you are led to believe the Hilton San Diego would be a true high-end, luxury hotel but sadly, it did not come close. The suite was beautiful but that is where the luxury part of the hotel ended.

Service at the hotel lacks at all levels and overall, our stay at the Hilton San Diego was second-rate at best. If you are coming to San Diego and want a five-star, luxury hotel skip the Hilton, there are many other good options in the Gaslamp Quarter.

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