Thanks to my show The Posh Pescatarian, I travel pretty regularly. Sometimes for a few days, but often for weeks at a time. Being on the road is a lot of fun and I often crave new sights and sounds. Some call it wanderlust.
Meeting new people, eating good food and exploring new cities are real passions of mine. But without the right accommodations travel can be frustrating. I don’t know about you but I am willing to put up with airport woes, when I know that I will soon arrive to a hotel that meets my needs.
Finding the sweet spot
Having travelled under many circumstances, I’ve developed a particular taste for lodging. Experience has provided me with priceless exposure to all levels of accommodation – bargain and budget breaking.
During my college years and shortly thereafter, price is what mattered most. Inexpensive chain hotels (often motels) ruled my travel world. If I was splitting the bill with one of my friends or sorority sisters, a moderate upgrade was feasible. The things that mattered back then were safety, a coffee pot, hot running water and proximity to public transportation and restaurants. I was young, hungry for new experiences and crazy for culture!
Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and some things have changed, and some things – not so much.
These days I am most at peace with hotels that offer the essential amenities of high-end hotels at a comfortable price point. Especially when I’m travelling for my show. I call this style of accommodation “affordable luxury”. My favorite experiences have taken place at boutique hotels.
Small and stylish with a knack for personalized service, boutique hotels have a distinctive vibe. They can be independently owned or part of a group or association. Large urban cities like Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami usually play host to these locations, but you can find them in smaller places as well.
As much as I love high-end hotels, with their full spa menu, restaurants, fireplaces and heated floors, I reserve these properties for restful vacations where I plan to stay indoors, order room service and enjoy the view.
To be clear, there are very high-end boutique hotels to choose from. However, I am not referring to those. What I ‘m referencing are properties like Design Hotel International in Lisbon, Portugal, The Bahia Hotel & Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and most recently Hotel Z in San Diego, California.
Hotel Z is a chic boutique hotel located in the East Village of downtown San Diego. It is steps away from the shopping and nightlife scene in the popular Gaslamp Quarter and is surrounded by essential shopping, like the CVS drugstore on the corner, and decadent shops, like the cupcakery located directly across the street and dozens of restaurants.
As part of season two of my show I partnered with the hotel with the goal of introducing viewers to a cool new place to stay in San Diego.
I stayed in room 401, which is located on the street side of the hotel, which gave me a great view of the Gaslamp quarter and the fun-loving partygoers that crowded the neighborhood. People watching can be fun, you know, as an exercise in sociology, but, since I was in town filming episodes for season two, I was concerned that the partiers would interfere with my beauty sleep. I am happy to report that they did not. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning. I think the windows are sound proof so I slept like a baby.
Speaking of sleep, the bed and comforters (there were two) were incredible and cloud like. I crawled onto the bed and was enveloped in softness. The bed literally hugged me. Hours of restful sleep later, I admit to hitting snooze a few times.
The front desk staff informed me that the bedding situation has a name, it’s called the Naked Experience, which includes the Sleep With Me pillows, XL towels, robes, and complimentary slippers. This is one of those high-end, affordable luxury touches that I have come to expect.
Hotel Z is part of a hotel collection known as Staypineapple Hotels. The pineapple theme infuses the lobby and café. I learned that the pineapple is the universal symbol for hospitality, which is a cool concept to build a hotel brand on.
Hotel Z is an interesting mix of affordable luxury and minimalism. The staff is friendly, informative and helpful. At any moment they were ready to pull out a city map and help me explore the city.
Things that I loved about Hotel Z:
Location – its next to everything including a CVS, high end restaurants, late night pizza slices, cupcake boutique, dress shots and show stores
The Naked Experience – Fluffy robe, comfy slippers, soft pillows, great towels
Complimentary transportation – the shuttle runs most days of the week and the drivers are awesome and knowledgeable
Onsite cafe – There is fee in room coffee but if you love espresso, later or chai they have it in the lobby
Cupcake hour – Free pineapple cupcakes in the afternoon along with refreshing pineapple-infused water
Friendly staff – Mostly locals staff the front desk and they were super help fun with directions and special accommodations
Free in-room coffee and water – I love this. Water, coffee (and wine) are my favs.
What could have been better?
I would have liked a real closet instead of the modern open rack because when I’m traveling I typically have a lot of stuff and like to spread out. Enclosed closets help me hide my mess from house keeping.
A flexible shower head wold have also been nice since direct overhead water isn’t always convenient.
I could mention the need for an onsite restaurant or spa but because the hotel is in such a great location all of those things, and more, are located within walking distance.
Overall I had a wonderful experience at Hotel Z. Big up to Sarah and the Staypineapple team for showing me love and partnering on this San Diego Adventure.