Tower23 in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego is just steps from the famous Crystal Pier off Garnet Avenue. The beachfront property is a high-end independent hotel that caters to the savvy adult traveler. It’s sleek, modern architecture opens onto the ocean with a glass front open-air dining and lounge area. The shifting play of light on glass reflects the sun’s glimmer bouncing off waves, merging outside and inside; soft blue hues of the Pacific Ocean, rich teakwood furnishings, and bright white luxurious bedding and linens underscore the clean, fresh minimalist appeal. Casual beachy meets stylish sophistication at this award-winning hotel that was named among the “Best Hotels along the California Coast” by CNN. In-room spa services set this hotel apart even from the most luxurious hotels. At Tower23, it’s all about providing guests with a high level of service in the trendiest hotel in PB.
Tower23 Rooms and Suites
The sleek, minimalist décor of the rooms feature signature Serenity beds alluringly dressed in white, from the Egyptian cotton sheets to the pillow-soft duvets. Teak, glass, and chrome punctuate a backdrop of cool blues, contributing to the modern tranquility of each room or suite. Bathrooms carry through the ocean vibe with H2O spa products; some with rain showers, and spa tubs. Each room or suite also has a balcony or patio; several fully face the ocean, and many more have partial ocean views.
There are six styles of guestrooms from which to choose; Sky Pads on the second and third floors offer partial ocean views, Serenity Pads overlook the Tower Deck and have full ocean views, Spirit Pads overlook the Tower Deck and Zen water garden, Surf Pads offer unbeatable full ocean views. Besides the four room styles, there are two styles of suites among the guestrooms.
The Sanctuary Suite is a junior suite that features a sitting area, large balcony or patio, and boasts a Jacuzzi tub and rain shower. It has a partial ocean view. Sweet Suite offers the ultimate in privacy and luxury. The two-room suite features a bedroom with a door that separates it from the living area; the king bed faces a private balcony, and the bathroom offers a Jacuzzi tub and rain shower. The living area has a wet bar, 42” television, and second balcony. Both balconies have full ocean views. Some Sweet Suites can be turned into two-bedrooms with a connecting Surf Pad.
Tower23 Guest Room Tips:
Previous guests rave about the West facing rooms (toward the ocean) on the third floor for the best views of the sunset, the most privacy, and the quietest location. Many travelers without children prefer the second and third floors for the views and peaceful atmosphere. Families favor the first floor rooms with cabana patios facing the Zen garden heated wading pool for easy access to the amenities of the Tower Deck, restaurants, and beach. Surfers also tend to prefer the first floor rooms for convenient access to stored surfboards and the ocean. Some families opt for the junior suite with a sofa bed and kitchenette. Note that hats, visors, and a large tray of snacks are appealing placed in each room for purchase – something parents may not appreciate.
The Tower Deck
The exclusive second floor Tower Deck is available to guests and their guests only. By day, it’s a fun place to watch the summertime shenanigans of the people on the boardwalk, take in the expansive ocean views, cool off in the long, narrow wade pool, or chill with some fruity cocktails while basking in the sun. As evening draws near, there’s no better place to watch the sunset (except maybe from your Tower23 private balcony). Never fear when the night air begins to cool, lounging around the toasty fire pit keeps guests warm and cozy with good drinks and good music. It’s the perfect spot for conversation with friends and other guests. Tower23 calls the Tower Deck at night, “Southern California cocktail casual.”
This trendy, upscale restaurant has made many “Best Of” lists by reviewers such as Zagat, Discover San Diego, Gayot, Open Table, and others. JRDN serves casual California cuisine with a sophisticated twist by day, and morphs into a chic steak and seafood restaurant by night in an upscale and dramatic ambiance. Chef Nick Shinton is also a three-time “Best of the Best” award winner. His culinary magic begins with humanely managed beef cuts, seafood from sustainable sources, and fresh locally grown and organic ingredients. His dishes are stunning in both taste and presentation.
At night, JRDN draws in the young, hip, professional PB crowd along with the guests of Tower23 for dinner and after-dinner. Sophisticated, trendy, and even romantic would be apt descriptors; kid-friendly would not. Most kids won’t appreciate the menu selections, and they’re quite pricey to be snubbed by their underdeveloped palates. Hotel guests with young children would do better to stroll down the boardwalk for more kid-friendly cuisine – and there is plenty of it.
Tower23 Hotel is named after the real lifeguard tower #23, so naturally the first choice in entertainment is the beach. At the end of Crystal Pier, visitors can fish (there’s a bait and tackle shop on the pier), watch the surfers up close, take photos, or just watch for passing whales and dolphins. If guests don’t opt for the hotel’s resort fee, they can rent bikes a block away at Bicycle Discovery on Felspar and ride along the boardwalk all the way to Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Stroll the boardwalk the opposite direction to Tourmaline Surf Park for a quieter, more relaxed vibe.
Visitors can get a great lunch at Burger Buddies, one block walk up Garnet from Crystal Pier. Go left on Mission Boulevard from there to The Baked Bear for the best homemade ice cream sandwiches ever. If you’re out too late at night, hungry, and find everything is closed, do what the locals do and hit up Ramiro’s Taco Shop on Mission for authentic Mexican food; try the California burrito.
You can get cool souvenirs at Milton’s Shell and Gift Shop or Wahines on the boardwalk next to the Crystal Pier. Make sure to walk the three blocks up Felspar from the beach to the corner of Cass Street and have breakfast at Café 976 before you go home; it’s the totally out of place 1920s cottage on the left surrounded shade trees and flowers. The food is great and the service slow, just the way laid-back Californians like it. All this and more is just a few blocks from Tower23; explore the neighborhood, it’s an interesting beach community and completely safe.
Tower23 Promotions and Discounts
Just because Tower23 is a luxury, boutique hotel, doesn’t mean you have to give up value. Pay the optional $15 a day resort fee, and you’ll get the beach gear you couldn’t bring on the plane – including chairs and umbrellas. You’ll also get free bike rentals and discounts on San Diego shops, water sports, and restaurants. Tower23 always has unique specials on offer. Past hotel stay specials have included Cali Dreamin’ Family Vacation, Wine Escape, and Hang23 Surf Retreat, among others. Check the website for current offers.