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Review of the Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, California

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

The Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego definitely has a rock star/party feel, so real business travelers intent on doing some business on premises might feel a little put off. However, if you’re looking for a cool place to unwind after a conference or long day in meetings, it’s happening.


  • Funky, upscale vibe
  • Unique rooms, large flat screen TVs, customized music for your room
  • In the heart of the trendy Gaslamp Quarter
  • Nice rooftop pool, hot tub, and club
  • No discernable hallway or room noise


  • 207 club on first floor can be noisy for guests above it
  • Living like a rock star isn’t cheap. Valet parking and mandatory resort fees can add up.


  • 207 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 866-751-ROCK (7625) Hotel Direct 619-702-3000 www.hardrockhotelsd.com
  • Sleep Like A Rock® bedding with 300-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton, custom designed furniture, specially selected artwork
  • 42" LG Flatscreen HDTV with connectivity for most personal technology devices
  • Wired and wireless internet, in-room safe,
  • Complimentary streaming music channels

Guide Review - Review of the Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, California

The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is the type of hotel that makes traveling for business fun. Sure, it’s just a hotel, but it’s unique enough so that you’ll probably remember the hotel more than your business meetings.

Keep in mind, though, that the emphasis is on “rock” at the Hard Rock. If you’re looking for a low-key place to retreat and charge your batteries after at long day at the convention center or in business meetings, this place may have more energy than you’re ready for. But for those business travelers looking for some San Diego nightlight, the Hard Rock is a great place to start.

It’s an impressive hotel, right next to the San Diego convention center, in the hip, happening Gaslamp Quarter. There are TONS of bars, restaurants and shops around, all within easy walking distance, in addition to two trendy clubs in the hotel itself. There’s also a Nobu restaurant in the hotel, as well as a modern 24-hour coffee shop (which serves the best orange juice I’ve ever had in a hotel!).

The rooms are decent sized, and are amazingly hip, while still being comfortable. My room even had a nice sized in-room safe with light built in so you make sure you could see what you stashed there—nice touch!

I also loved the music they pumped into the room through the large HD TV set—I kinda thought it was a novelty when they asked at check in what type of music I liked, but when I got to the room, it was actually pretty nice to have a custom “electronica” soundtrack automatically on. The large, flat screen TV streams music that can be selected at check in, or you can connect your iPod or MP3 player using cables they provide.

Nice shower, with double heads-a rain shower head and a normal one. Towels were amazingly thick—too thick for me, personally, but I know that some people would love them.

Valet parking is $25/day, but there is a self parking garage next door which is cheaper. The hotel also has a resort fee of $17 per night, includes Internet, phone, access to the fitness center, access to the business center, a paper, a Rolling Stone Magazine, turn down service, and a custom CD.

Overall, the hotel is very modern, new, and trendy, but in a good way—as long as you know what to expect. For example, I walked in the side door, and tried checking into the concierge desk (which looked like a traditional front desk), until I was redirected across the lobby to the small podiums that look more like a self check-in kiosk at an airport. However, the staff quickly had me checked in, and it did make the experience feel a little less like a hotel, and little more like an event.

The whole area does get hopping, so be prepared to maneuver through groups of people (some pretty loud) in the lobby. Noise can be a problem on the floors overlooking the convention center and right above the Hard Rock’s club 207, since on busy nights people congregate outside on the sidewalk to smoke, talk and drink.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
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