The Bristol Hotel is a great choice for the environmentally conscious traveler. It is one of only seven hotels in San Diego to receive a Green Eco-Leaf rating; the hotel is also a certified member of the California Green Lodging Program. The beautifully appointed boutique hotel with just over 100 rooms is situated at the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter, a convenient location to where the action is, yet a bit quieter. This hotel, located on First Avenue between Broadway and C Street, delivers modern luxury with a conscience.
The hotel has been recently updated and has a chic, modern look. When you walk into the all-white lobby, you’re immediately soothed by the light and airy ambiance. High ceilings with colossal round skylights light up the spacious and welcoming area. The expansive gleaming floors, high-end, minimalist décor, Grand piano, and modern comfortable seating combine to create a welcoming casual sophistication. An adjacent lounge area under a two-story glass atrium features contemporary low, white, bow-shaped tables between pairs of deep red comfy chairs with blue, tan, and red multi-striped pillows. It’s the perfect place to settle in to your new surroundings.
The dominant black, white, and grey, colors with splashes of red give the rooms a contemporary feel. Clean lines from the black and white striped carpets to the black and white bedding to the black and white abstract artwork on the walls create a cohesive, sleek, modern look. Black and white tiled bathroom floors are the perfect complement to deep red walls. An iPod docking station, jar of complimentary candies, and ear plugs for light sleepers are extra touches. Other room amenities include a coffee maker with Seattle’s Best coffee, salon hair dryers, plush bathrobes and towels, and eco-friendly bath amenities.
There are three styles of rooms from which to choose: the Deluxe King, the Superior Double, and the Superior King. Of the three, the Deluxe King is the most spacious with an expanded sitting area, desk area, LCD high definition television, and laptop size room safe. The Superior Double is slightly smaller with a more intimate seating area and two double beds. The Superior King is the smallest of the three rooms with a king bed and cozy seating area; both the Superior Double and the Superior King have the same room amenities as the Deluxe King room.
Room Tip: Try for an upper floor room facing the ocean for a peek-a-boo sunset over the water and beautiful nighttime city lights. Rooms across the hall face a more industrial view and lower rooms face a brick wall. However, the higher east-facing rooms are the quietest.
If you’re mixing business with pleasure in San Diego, The Bristol Hotel is a solid choice. They have complimentary Wi-Fi, a shared computer workstation with printer, event and meeting rooms, and a bar and restaurant in the hotel. There is a modest fitness room available that is doable, but lacks the equipment for a serious workout. The Starlight Room would make an excellent wedding or other special occasion venue with huge elegantly draped windows facing the San Diego city lights and a retractable roof that opens the whole room to the outdoors. The Bristol Hotel is pet-friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friends along. Because it’s a green hotel, they offer half-price parking for hybrid vehicles ($26/$13 per night).
First Avenue Bar & Grille is the hotel’s signature restaurant and lounge. A row of bistro tables with black and red leather chairs follow the perimeter of the restaurant along chocolate walls, complemented by the red patterned floor. A massive oval brass-rail bar is surrounded by black and red leather bar stools. Bold-hued contemporary paintings adorn the walls. It has a polished, cosmopolitan feel.
First Avenue has a wide range of menus including separate breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, Happy Hour, and kids’ menus. Thursday nights showcase their Herb Crusted Prime Rib special. Hotel guests can take advantage of the new 50% Off Menu, which apply to some dinner menu selections like Angel Hair Pomodoro, Grilled Salmon, Barbecue Glazed Meatloaf, Signature Chicken, and Flatiron Steak. First Avenue Bar & Grille is open for dinner 5 – 10 p.m. Happy Hour is 5 – 7 p.m. with cheap eats, $3 draft beers, and $4 well drinks and house wines.
The Bristol Hotel is located on the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter where there is always plenty to see and do no matter what time of year it is. It’s less than two blocks along 1st Avenue from Speckels Theater, a 1912 playhouse featuring theater, music, and dance events. Westfield Horton Plaza is three blocks away from the hotel on Broadway and 3rd Avenue. All along 4th and 5th Avenues from Horton Plaza to Martin Luther King Promenade is the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter with all kinds of bars, eateries, and shops. Four blocks down C Street from the hotel is House of Blues, another happening events venue in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Copely Symphony Hall is an eight-block walk from the hotel at the corner of 7th Avenue and B Street. It’s a 14-block walk, or a short cab ride from the hotel to Petco Park at the corner of 7th Avenue and K Street, if you’re ready for a Padre’s baseball game. Right across East Harbor Drive from Petco Park is the San Diego Convention Center, and next to it, Seaport Village. You can even take the ferry from Seaport Village to Coronado Island. If you don’t have a car, this is the perfect area for a hotel. If you do have a car, Little Italy, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the San Diego Bay are also close by.
The Bristol Hotel always has discounted hotel packages available, so check their website to see the latest offerings. Past packages have included the Advanced Booking Special (book 30 days ahead), the Romantic Getaway Package, Parking Package, Tanks a Lot for Stayin’ Package, Pet Friendly Package, Zoo and You Package, and the Great Escape Package. You can also earn points to use toward free nights at other Greystone Hotels with Stash Hotel Rewards. The Bristol offers AAA discounts and specials with your card. You can sign up for The Bristol Hotel’s e-mail Internet Loyalty club and get exclusive offers sent right to your inbox. They also have promotions like stay two nights and get 15% off, or stay three nights and get 20% off, available on their website. With so many ways to save, The Bristol Hotel is a logical choice.