Any place that hands me a glass of wine upon arrival is going to score major points. My husband and I arrived in San Diego on a Friday night at around 8pm to loads of young people, lipsticked and perfumed, roaming the streets of downtown. We gladly handed the keys to the valet and stepped into our mini vacation.
The charming hosts in the lobby of the Andaz greeted us, not from behind a counter, but freely roaming and offering up the aforementioned glasses of wine! Our personal belongings were gracefully lifted from our hands and swept away to our awaiting suite. Our host efficiently checked us in and led us through the lobby, onto the elevator and down the hall to our room. Once inside, he pointed out all of the amenities, pulled back the window treatments, and directed our attention to the beautiful fruit and cheese delights on the desk. Ahhhh, the good life. I showered, nibbled on fromage, and slipped into a big, fluffy Andaz robe.
Since our room was equipped with a duo of overstuffed queen beds, I felt compelled to jump from one to the other and back. And back again. And again and again while Nico was showering. I couldn’t help myself! The beds are so big and comfortable, and there are no low-hanging lamps or fans, so it’s perfect for this back and forth. I had my iPod all set up in the little dock on the desk, so I jammed out and jumped for about half an hour. This is such a great way to decompress from Friday night traffic that I’m trying to convince the husband that we need two beds at home.
I decided I’d write him a letter about the 2 beds from the room, using the pad of Andaz-emblazoned paper atop the desk. I was stoked when I found a pencil, a pencil sharpener and a rubber eraser (with “oops” printed on it)! I intentionally pushed so hard on the pencil lead that it broke, and I made all sorts of grammatical errors just so I could use all of my new gifts.
Not much else happened on Friday night, sad to say. I mean, nothing I care to share with the general public on the worldwide web, anyways. No offense, but Nico and I are private people! I don’t dare go on and on about the Beauty Parlor “sensual” items available in the mini bar here at the Andaz. No, I will not describe the “Karma Sutra Kit” or the lipstick sized vibrator, or the ribbed condoms! Forget it!
There are big white cushy platform beds, palm trees and a bar on the roof of the Andaz, in addition to the huge beautiful pool. All of the walls up there are platen glass, so the view is 360! We could see the harbor, the stadium, and the whole city skyline. We nabbed one of the platform beds and soaked up the sun for hours while the rest of the world scuttled around on the mean streets below (I know that sounds dramatic, but that’s totally how it felt!).
As the sun went down, we cruised back to our room and cleaned up for drinks at the bar. The wine list is great here, and the bartenders are nice. Kind of Midwestern nice, you know? Like nice, regular guys with good arms and strong teeth. I’m not sure what that means, really, but it’s what comes to mind, “nice guys with nice teeth”. We had a couple of drinks and decided to go back up onto the roof to see what it was like on a Saturday night.
We needed a wristband from the charming hosts, proving that we were hotel guests, since it’s some kind of private thing up there on the weekends. Once we were there, we noticed that all of the tables, chairs, and the platform beds were ‘RESERVED’. Essentially, there was nowhere to sit unless you ordered the bottle service. If you’re there for just 1 or 2 drinks, you are relegated to standing around; your glass shall never touch a table. So, we bailed. We went back downstairs and asked the concierge if he could recommend a nearby bar that wasn’t a nightclub. Took him a few minutes, then he busted out with a nice place with “an older crowd”. Me? Nico? Older crowd? What? Are we part of the “older crowd” because we didn’t want to go to a nightclub? We actually wanted to talk to each other? Weird. Maybe it was true. I did have a cane and he does wear a hearing aid, but come on! Anyways, we walked around and had a couple of drinks out side of the hotel, although we were hard-pressed to find a place without a mechanical bull or a stripper’s pole on the dance floor. Since we were now part of the “older crowd” in San Diego, we called it a night.
As we walked back to the hotel lobby, the doorman greeted us with the biggest, warmest smile. He checked in with us about where we’d ended up for a drink, and did we have a good night. NIco and I were both totally blown away by the fact that he’d remembered us. We hadn’t spoken to him or acknowledged him when we left, but he remembered us! I have to mention this part, because these are little gestures that really stoke people out. He took the time to recognize us, and seemed to be genuinely interested in our experience. I don’t know, it just really touched both of us and I wanted to say “KUDOS TO YOU MR DOOR GUY! YOU TOTALLY MADE OUR NIGHT!”
The line to go onto the roof was now in full effect. Mini dresses, dudes with too much cologne, blingy watches and stilettos lined up in front of the elevator. As hotel guests, we did get some preferential treatment, thank goodness. We zipped up to our room and locked ourselves in. The sound from the hallways came in, too, though…all night long. No big deal, we just couldn’t figure out what the people from the roof were doing wandering around the halls of the hotel. Nabbing butter pats from the room service pick-up trays outside of the rooms? Who knows.
I do know that Sunday morning came around too quickly. We woke up late, packed up our stuff, and stumbled down to check out. We were pleasantly greeted with coffee and croissants. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this kind of stuff! Lavish me with complimentary treats, and I’ll love you forever!
The Andaz in the Gas Lamp District of San Diego, a lovely place. Smells good in the elevator, offers guests a ride to the club in a Cadillac Escalade, and treats them to Orangina in the room! It’s the little things that count, and they count them all over the place.
-Amy Jo Diaz
600 F Street
San Diego, CA 92101