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I've been meaning to blog about this hotel since I stayed there last November... but better five and a half months late than never. The TOWER23 hotel isn't the most luxurious hotel at which I've ever stayed (though it's in the top five), but it's without a doubt the hippest.

The TOWER23 hotel is an anomaly, an ultramodern hotel set in a bit of a funky beach town (the Pacific Beach area of San Diego). There's nothing nearby that's like it -- accomodations in the area range from mid-range condominiums to dilapidated cottages set on a pier. But the setting doesn't detract from the TOWER23, and in fact seems to bring it into sharper relief.

I had an oceanfront room, a "Surf Pad," which was delightful. The bathroom was stylish, the shower large and equipped with a rain-style head. The bed was one of the two or three most comfortable I've ever slept on. The flat panel TV was good, and I used the Xbox to play DVDs that I had brought with me (you can borrow movies from the front desk, or there's a Blockbuster next door). The room had both wired and wireless connections to the hotel's free Internet service.

But the star of the room was the view -- a third-story, top-floor view of the boardwalk, the beach, and the ocean. Sunsets were absolutely spectacular.

The TOWER23 has its own oceanview restaurant, JRDN. I had excellent sushi rolls there on two occasions, and the breakfasts were some of the best I've had in the last few years, and reasonably priced. At night, JRDN becomes a popular club -- be prepared to get your Banana Republic on.

The hotel has a second-floor deck with comfortable seating and a fire pit, the modern style with flames dancing over sand. I spent some pleasant evenings there drinking cocktails brought up from the club below.

I wouldn't recommend the TOWER23 for people who want a very quiet hotel. Although the rooms are soundproofed quite well, once JRDN becomes a club at night, it becomes fairly loud, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. This wasn't an issue for me, but I can see some people having problems with it. Nor would I recommend the hotel for people with small children -- the beach is really the only place for them to run around, as there's no pool or playspace of any kind -- it's just not that kind of hotel.

To San Diego visitors looking for a beachfront hotel, a trendy place to stay, or a hotel where one can party into the wee hours, I can't recommend the TOWER23 highly enough. It's less expensive than many of the dull mega-hotels in the city (especially if reserved along with flights on Orbitz), but with better rooms and polite, boutique-style service.



TOWER23 from the Beach

The hotel as seen from the beach below.

Balcony View

The view from the balcony of a "Surf Pad" room.


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Wow, nice! I've yet to visit San Diego, but now I know where to go.

It really is a wonderful place. I was there off-season, and with the Orbitz ticket + hotel discount, I think I paid about $250/night for my room, which was an amazing deal. I'm sure it would cost more in the summer, but San Diego is pleasant any time of the year.

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