by Sarah Bromley
Location: The US Grant Hotel, owned by Starwood Hotels, is located in the heart of the sophisticated city of San Diego, combining the best of the cities past and the energy of Downtown San Diego. The hotel is furnished with nine foot high carved ceilings paying homage to its colourful past yet is combined with modern elegance. The Celebration Fine Art Gallery is the largest gallery in downtown San Diego and is perfectly positioned in the hotel lobby, displaying many works of the brightest luminaries in todayís art world. Across the street you have the colourful Horton Plaza and the historic Gaslamp Quarter which is bursting with the cities finest restaurants, retails shops, theatres and art galleries. The beautiful natural harbour is also just a few blocks away, where you can soak up the surrounding inland mountains and view San Diegoís dazzling cityscape of urban revitalization.
History: Built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr, and originally named for his father former president Ulysses S Grant. Although itís Edwardian stature may not be old in comparison to various European grand hotels, but for California it is old, wise and full of old tales. Throughout the years, it has hosted many from history books such as Charles Lindbergh, Albert Einstein and president and Mrs Eisenhower. Since Starwood Hotels brought the establishment in 2003, it has undergone a $52 million renovation, trying to keep original features and building components whilst complementing the nine decade legacy of the building, creating a timeless masterpiece. In artwork alone, the project team commissioned more than $6.5 million worth of custom designed pieces. Renovation included the three ball rooms: the Crystal Ballroom, the President Ballroom and the Celestial Ballrom.
Rooms and Suites: Each guestroom integrates commissioned French art, like a custom Yves Clement drip-painting, into historic wall finishes while complimenting the totally palate with artist designed custom crafted furnishings, giving each room a cultural yet light and contemporary feel. Original Native American art adorns the bedroom foyer and bathroom, while plasma screens and WiFi are tastefully integrated into the room features. 270 guest accommodations include over 47 suite options including 3 Presidentials, rightfully designed as the hotel has played host to 13 United States Presidents. The 11th floor Presidential Penthouse Suite is the ultimate choice. Providing panoramic views of San Diegoís skyline, San Diego Bay, and the Coronado Bay Bridge, it offers an unparalleled glimpse of the cityís unique character.
Restaurants and Bars: The hotelís Grant Grill restaurant has an interesting history, commemorated by a brass plaque at the door. The room admitted men only, until 1960s when a group of 6 lawyers booked a reservation under the first name of Sydney. When the group arrived, restaurant staff realised the Sydney was one of the firmís female partners and has since then been serving innovative cuisine for both for men and women to enjoy. Not surprisingly, the décor has a distinctly masculine feel, with rich, dark woods and leather. The menu offers a selection of Californian native regional cuisine, a fusion of local seasonally grown and market fresh produce, and grilled specialities complemented by regional wineries and local breweries.
and Spa: Spa Velia is an award-winning day spa a few blocks from
the hotel but they provide in-room spa services for guests of the
US Grant Hotel. The Spa Veila offers an intimate, old world boutique spa
destination for the ultimate luxurious pampering experience. The spa has
a feeling of entering a secret medieval lair, with its earthly tunnel-like
hallways and waterfall sounds, lulling you instantly into a state of relaxation.
The spacious co-ed Aromatic Steam rooms are outfitted with refreshing cold-plunge
showers and the spacious Veila Swiss Showers are designed to fully massage
and relax either before or after treatments. You can share the spa experience
in the Coupleís suites where two therapists work in tandem for you and
your chosen guest.
Room Rates (in dollars):