Hotel Palomar San Diego
Formerly the Sè San Diego
The Gaslamp District was once a ramshackle area of downtown San Diego, but it has recently been reborn as the city’s hippest neighborhood. Where to stay? At the sexy-chic Hotel Palomar San Diego, designed by David Rockwell, best known for hotel interiors such as those at the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, as well as sets for movies from Hairspray to Legally Blonde. Unlike his candy-colored films, however, the Hotel Palomar forgoes California Technicolor in favor of black and gold, leather furniture, and modern Asian accents. The lobby itself is a work of art, with a floating staircase. Upstairs, the 161 luxury guest rooms, one-bedroom suites, and enormous penthouses have excellent views of the city’s skyline and harbor from floor-to-ceiling windows.
In the evenings, go in search of San Diego’s preening crowds at the fourth-story cabana-lined pool deck, which is transformed into an open-air weekend nightclub—one of the hottest tickets in town. (When we stayed, Rihanna was visiting.) With the House of Blues next door and parties that go well into the evening, you may not get a full night’s rest, but you’ll surely have some fabulous stories to tell back home.