Posts Tagged ‘balboa park’

Summer Hotel Spotlight: Se San Diego

Friday, August 5th, 2011

se san diego hotelLooking to vacation in San Diego this summer? Maybe you’re thinking about getting up close and personal with a wide array of animals at the San Diego Zoo, enjoying a bevy of exciting rides at SeaWorld San Diego, hitting the popular shops and restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter, and taking in a Padres game at PETCO Park. Whether it’s an extended stay or a weekend getaway, you’ll need a comfy hotel to retire to at the end of the day, and Se San Diego fits the bill.

Located in the historic Gaslamp District, the beating heart of downtown San Diego, Se San Diego fuses world-class amenities with cutting edge design to offer travelers the perfect base for exploring all the city has to offer. Featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Hot List, the luxury hotel is conveniently situated next to Horton Plaza shopping, House of Blues, PETCO Park and the San Diego Convention Center. Roughly a 10 minute drive from the hotel is Balboa Park, which boasts 15 museums, lush gardens, a myriad of art galleries, and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Nature lovers can picnic at Torrey Pines or explore colorful marine life inside the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Se San Diego’s accommodations marry elegant textures with an Asian-influenced design. Ranging in size from 340-700 square feet, all rooms and suites boast Zen-inspired furnishings, Brazilian walnut floors and bathrooms finished in Jerusalem bone. They also feature flat screen TVs with premium movie channels, iPod docking stations and minibars. And for those who love to gaze out over the city, the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that provide sweeping views of either the downtown skyline or San Diego bay.

Se Spa, with its extensive menu of spa treatments, makes the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate the senses. Alternatively, you can squeeze in a workout at the on-site fitness center. Bring your appetite to Suite & Tender, whose fresh seafood and mouth-watering steak options rival those of any restaurant in San Diego. (Be sure to ask about its extensive wine and cocktail list.) Meanwhile, Siren, Se San Diego‘s stylish rooftop pool bar & lounge, is the place to be for nightlife aficionados. It features a Function One sound system, day beds around an infinity edge pool, and a wide selection of cocktails and light cuisine. This summer, don’t miss Summer Friday or Saturday Nights, which showcase some of the hottest DJs from around the world spinning your favorite hits while films are projected poolside.

Other amenities include a multilingual staff, nightly turndown service and housekeeping.

Book today with today and take advantage of hotel rates from $189 at Se San Diego.

Southern California: Hotels, Shopping, Entertainment and Nightlife Galore

Friday, May 27th, 2011

hollywood sign los angelesIf you’ve never traveled to or vacationed in Southern California, you’re missing out on the experience of a lifetime. Boasting beautiful, sun-soaked beaches, endless entertainment options, popular shops and vibrant nightlife, it’s hardly a surprise that SoCal draws millions of travelers year-round. The area comprises Los Angeles and San Diego – the two most populous cities in the state – as well as Anaheim, which is almost synonymous with the Disneyland Resort.

The mere mention of Los Angeles brings to mind images of movie stars and the iconic Hollywood sign perched atop Mount Lee. But L.A. is also home to such sought-after attractions as the J. Paul Getty Museum, Kodak Theater, LA Fashion District and Griffith Park. No trip to San Diego, some 120 miles from the City of Angels, is complete without a visit to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and the 16-block Gaslamp Quarter, whose shops, restaurants and festivals entice travelers the world over. And if you’re thinking of stealing away to Anaheim, you can take in a movie and enjoy a game of bowling with friends at The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk before catching an Angels game at Angel Stadium. All three cities, in fact, are hotbeds for sports; professional teams with a strong fan following include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Diego Chargers and Anaheim Ducks. If you’re a devoted thrill seeker, you will find a bevy of exciting theme parks in each city, from Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles to SeaWorld San Diego to Adventure City – a smaller, less crowded alternative to the Disneyland Resort – in Anaheim.

gaslamp quarterIf you’re looking for Southern California hotels, whether of the five-star or budget variety, you’ll be happy to know that Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim offer scores of them to suit every budget. For one, Los Angeles has a broad range of fine hotels in or near Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills and other major areas. A myriad of Anaheim hotels on are within walking distance of the Disneyland Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm. What’s more, we have hotels in San Diego that put you within minutes of the San Diego Zoo, PETCO Park, and the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Below are a few of our hand-picked Southern California hotels, each offering top-notch accommodations, fine service and the latest technology.

Hotels in Southern California

Los Angeles Hotels

The Standard Hotel Downtown Los Angeles – Features luxury hotel rooms, a 24-hour restaurant with outdoor patio, heated rooftop pool, poolside bar and cafe, and red astro-turf sundeck with waterbed cabanas – all just blocks away from the Staples Center, Nokia Theater and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

LA Sky Boutique Hotel – Set on Westwood Boulevard, this 28-room urban oasis offers travelers peace and tranquility while placing them near the excitement of Hollywood, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles.

San Diego Hotels

Paradise Point Resort & Spa – A private 44-acre island tucked away on Mission Bay, this San Diego luxury resort includes California beach bungalow-style guest rooms; Baleen San Diego, a critically acclaimed restaurant; and SpaTerre, an Indonesian-themed spa.

Bahia Resort Hotel – Fun is the order of the day at this Mission Bay hotel, which has an outdoor heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, fitness and exercise center, 2 tennis courts and a video arcade.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines – Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the AAA 5 Diamond resort features 170 spacious rooms and suites, two restaurants, and a 9,500 square-foot full-service spa.

anaheim stadium 2Anaheim Hotels

Desert Palms Hotel and Suites – Boasts 189 tastefully appointed rooms and suites, heated pool and fitness center. Fuel up with a complimentary breakfast before walking next door to Disneyland Resort.

The Anabella Hotel – Located across from Disneyland’s California Adventure Park, the boutique-style property features the award-winning Tangerine Grill & Patio, plus 358 stylish guestrooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Before booking your vacation, check out more of our Southern California hotel deals at

Fun-Filled San Diego Events for the Holidays

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

balboa park december nightsIf you’ve traveled to San Diego, you’ve likely shopped and dined in its historic Gaslamp Quarter, caught a Chargers game at QUALCOMM Stadium, relaxed in one of its sandy beaches or enjoyed SeaWorld San Diego’s world-renowned rides and attractions. If you haven’t been in San Diego for the holidays, however, you’re missing out on some of the best holiday celebrations anywhere. Whether you’re interested in winter entertainment on the water, eye-catching lights displays or family-friendly holiday exhibits, these San Diego events make perfect ways to celebrate the holiday season and spread plenty of cheer in the process. Below is a handful of holiday festivities taking place in the place nicknamed “America’s Finest City,” plus noteworthy San Diego hotels that lie near them.

1. Balboa Park December Nights: Balboa Park – the nation’s largest urban cultural park – features 15 major museums, lush gardens, famous performing arts venues, and the hugely popular San Diego Zoo. It is also home to Balboa Park December Nights, a two-holiday event that kicks off the holiday season in San Diego with sparkling lights, mouth-watering food, music and entertainment. Now in its 33rd consecutive year, December Nights will be held Friday, Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 4 from noon to 10 p.m. Participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both evenings.

This is hands down the  largest free community festival in San Diego, as Balboa Park December Nights is expected to draw more than 300,000 visitors over the two-day event. Highlights include the Fossil Mysteries exhibit set to holiday music inside the atrium of the San Diego Natural History Museum, foods and crafts from around the world at Cascades Holiday Marketplace, a holiday tree adorned with the Schlappi collection of unique ornaments by Elizabeth Schlappi and the late Florence Hord at the Timken Museum, and rousing musical performances by local groups on The Palisades Stage. Balboa Park is less than two miles away from Se San Diego, the U.S. Grant Hotel and The Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego.

2. Holiday of Lights: The Del Mar Fairgrounds north of La Jolla will be transformed into the largest drive-through holiday liholiday of lights del mar hayrideght show on the west coast for Holiday of Lights. The event runs most nights (closed Dec. 6 and Dec. 13) from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. More than 400 stunning displays, all centered around such themes as Toyland, Treasures by the Lake, Candy Cane Lane, and Elves at Play, will be set around the Del Mar Racetrack. Visitors can delight in the holiday displays from the comfort of their vehicles as they drive along a 1.5-mile stretch through the lively Fairgrounds. On select Fridays, you can tour Holiday of Lights on the much-touted Holiday Hayride, which was introduced in 2009 and quickly became a crowd favorite. If you’re looking for nearby accommodations, check out L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa, a seaside estate-style property that is ranked among the best luxury resorts in the country by Condé Nast.

3. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: If your idea of spreading holiday cheer involves being on or near the water, don’t miss the 39th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, which happens to be San Diego’s only Christmas parade. Boats of all shapes and sizes decorated for the holiday season will parade around the bay as more than 80,000 spectators watch in awe. The parade has grown so much in popularity that it’s held twice annually; this year it is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec.19, both evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The theme for 2010 is The Sounds of Christmas, and the festivities will kick off with a fireworks show at 5:30 p.m.

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights will begin at the east end of Shelter Island and travel eastward, past Harbor Island to North Embarcadero. From there, it will head south along the Embarcadero near the 10th Street Terminal. The parade will then make its way toward Coronado before moving west to Ferry’s Landing. And if you’re curious about San Diego hotels in the area, the 44-acre Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, as well as  the 25-story Westin San Diego, are both less than 4 miles from the event.

4. Garden of Lights: You don’t have to be a nature lover to appreciate San Diego Botanic Garden’s Garden of Lights, which runs from Dec. 9 through Dec. 23 and again from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 (5-9 p.m.) With over 100,000 sparkling lights, live music, a Nutcracker exhibit, horse-drawn-wagon rides, marshmallow roasting and much more, it’s easy to see why children and parents alike can’t enough of this family-friendly winter wonderland. Located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas, San Diego Botanic Garden boasts the Hamilton Children’s Garden – the largest interactive children’s garden on the west coast – as well as the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Visitors can stay at Del Mar Motel on the Beach, set approximately 6 miles from San Diego Botanic Garden.

Sweet Valentine’s Day Getaways

Friday, January 15th, 2010

valentine's day getawaysWith February 14 right around the corner, many people are getting ready to proclaim their love and devotion to their special sweethearts. Candles are sure to be lit, cards exchanged, chocolates eaten and roses delivered on what is arguably one of the most widely celebrated holidays of the year. Valentine’s Day lands on a Sunday this year – a definite plus for romantic couples wanting to get away from it all for the weekend. Whether you crave to spend it near a pristine ocean, amid the hustle and bustle of city life, or within close proximity to a world-famous theme park, the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding a romantic destination that suits your preferences. Pack your bags and indulge in a memorable getaway to any one of the romantic hot spots listed below.

New York City: Before catching a Broadway show with your sweety, a leisurely stroll along postcard-ready Central Park sets a romantic tone for the day. If a romantic dinner is in the agenda, sparks will decidedly fly and palates will be delighted at the Top of the Tower Restaurant, housed inside the Art Deco Beekman Tower Hotel. The rooftop restaurant offers stunning views of the New York skyline, lending a panoramic backdrop for a wedding should you decide to exchange vows 26 floors high on Valentine’s Day. Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and stores like Tiffany’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are minutes from the hotel, in case you wish to purchase jewelry or any other last-minute gifts.golden gate bridge

San Francisco: Set sail into the sunset as you enjoy a romantic board ride under the scenic Golden Gate Bridge.  Only minutes away is Hotel Nikko, whose 24-Hour Health Club features stress-melting men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms both you and your special someone can enjoy. When you and your Valentine have worked up an appetite, you can savor EuroJapanese cuisine in the on site Anzo restaurant, after which you can enjoy a relaxing Shiatsu massage.

Phoenix: Phoenix enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, hence the reason why it’s been dubbed the Valley of the Sun. If you and your partner plan to venture to Arizona’s sun-drenched capital, you can stay at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, which lies at the base of Camelback Mountain. If peace, tranquility and a closeness to nature are what you’re after, look no further: The hotel is set amid lush courtyards and gardens, boasts a Four-star Spa, and features rooms loaded with old world charm. Your partner might also be happy to know that Royal Palms Resort and Spa is a proud member of the Historic Hotels of America National Trust for Historic Preservation.

seaworld san diegoSan Diego: There is no shortage of attractions in San Diego, whose history, records show, goes back at least 10,000 years.  Couples can spend the day watching dolphins and whales leap from the water at SeaWorld San Diego, or strolling through Balboa Park – home to 15 major museums, world-famous art venues, and the San Diego Zoo. The Dana Hotel on Mission Bay, which enjoys an exquisite waterfront setting and is less than a mile away from the beach, features two sparking pools, two spas, and two restaurants from which you can dine the evening away. Adjacent to Sunset Park, The Dana Hotel is the closet property to SeaWorld San Diego.

Orlando: Orlando, home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, offers couples the opportunity to lose themselves in all the fun and excitement such thrilling parks have to offer. The AAA Four-Diamond Celebration Hotel, only five minutes from Walt Disney World, gives a nod to the past with its 1900s Florida-coastal architecture while offering modern amenities such as high-speed internet access in all accommodations. What’s more, The Plantation Room – the waterfront hotel’s restaurant – has earned a AAA Four-Diamond award itself and was rated as one of Florida’s Best Places to Dine by Florida Trend Magazine.

Chicago: The Windy City, with storied sites and attractions including the imposing Willis Tower, historic Navy Pier and legenchicago theatredary Chicago Theatre, makes yet another great Valentine’s Day destination. Whether you prefer a lazy jaunt around Millennium Park or a look at the many exhibitions found inside the Museum of Contemporary Art, you can call it a night at the James Hotel, just footsteps away. Located on Ontario Street, right off the Magnificent Mile, the boutique property is near fine dining and vibrant nightlife in downtown Chicago. Rooms feature amenities such as fully stocked cocktail bars, bath products and dimmable lighting, all combining to set a romantic mood for an unforgettable stay.