by Michael C. Lowe | June 01, 2013
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Local Update
The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa opened last June in North San Diego County with 215 guest rooms and approximately 25,000 square feet of meeting space. The property also has a 5,600-square-foot spa, a fitness center, a swimming pool and a restaurant that features a coastal regional menu.

Last July, the 150-room Hyatt Place San Diego/Vista-Carlsbad debuted with 1,500 square feet of meeting space. The property offers guests complimentary Wi-Fi, a business center, several dining options and a fitness center.

The 220-room Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown opened last June with 1,400 square feet of meeting space (divisible into two 700-square-foot function spaces), a fitness center, an outdoor pool and a restaurant.

The Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside is finishing up a $13 million expansion that will add a new 2,000-square-foot lobby, 57 guest rooms, a 3,400-square-foot ballroom and a boardroom. Once complete, the property will offer a grand total of 291 guest rooms and 8,200 square feet of function space.

The Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, completed an 18-month renovation last June. Refreshed areas include the lobby, all 450 guest rooms, all 35,000 square feet of meeting space and the fitness studio. The property also opened a new restaurant and bar.

The 1,050-room Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina recently concluded a $2 million renovation of its 350-room Bay Tower. The property has more than 140,000 square feet of function space, four restaurants, three outdoor swimming pools, and complimentary shuttle service to and from San Diego International Airport.

The 211-room Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island has completed a multimillion-dollar redesign. The hotel features more than 8,000 square feet of event space.

The 258-room W San Diego completed a $5 million renovation last June. The project included a new restaurant specializing in locally sourced ingredients; a new rooftop bar, complete with bonfires, private cabanas and views of San Diego Bay; and revamped meeting areas. In all, the hotel has more than 20,000 square feet of function space.

The 284-room San Diego Marriott Del Mar completed a $3.3 million renovation of its guest rooms and the in-house Arterra Restaurant last October. Function space includes a 7,290-square-foot grand ballroom.

Last August, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants re-launched the Hotel La Jolla following a $4 million transformation. The 110-room property now sports a new lobby, nearly 1,000 square feet of meeting space, a new pool deck and an 11th-floor restaurant with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

With the completion of a $30 million renovation last October, the 52-room Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa reopened in San Diego's Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood with 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

Kimpton's 235-room Hotel Solamar recently unveiled a new 1,600-square-foot indoor meeting space, the Luna Loft, which gives the property a new total of more than 9,800 square feet of flexible function space, including a rooftop terrace that can accommodate up to 240 people for a seated event or 500 for a reception.

Meeting Hotels
Properties in downtown include the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego; 1,360-room San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina; 1,190-room Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel; 511-room Omni San Diego Hotel; 462-room Paradise Point Resort & Spa; 450-room Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego; 420-room Hard Rock Hotel San Diego; 337-room Embassy Suites Hotel San Diego Bay-Downtown; 306-room San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter; 283-room Hilton San Diego/Gaslamp Quar­ter; 270-room The US Grant-A Luxury Collection Hotel San Diego; 240-room Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter; 222-room Best West­ern Island Palms Hotel & Marina, and 159-room Andaz San Diego.

Find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, at

Convention Center
San Diego Convention Center; exhibit space, 615,701 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 72; (619) 525-5000;

Airport Transit
San Diego Interna­tional Airport, about three miles northwest of San Die­go's downtown neighborhood. Transfer cost by taxi, $12.50; via The Flyer metropolitan bus, $2.25

Room tax (city of San Diego), 12.5% (10.5%, plus tourism marketing fee of 2%); sales tax, 8.75%; total taxes and fees on hotel rooms, 12.5%

Group Venue
Immerse attendees in the golden age of the automobile at Evan's Garage, a private, family-owned museum displaying a world-class collection of classic and antique cars, ranging from an impossibly rare 1905 Pope Toldeo racing car to a pristine 1957 Ford Fairlane convertible. Also featured are classic motorcycles and other automotive memorabilia. This exclusive facility, open only to groups staying at the 170-room Lodge at Torrey Pines, about a 15-minute drive away, can accommodate up to 450 people. (859) 539-7722

The San Diego Tourism Authority, (619) 232-3101;