Hotel Review: Four Points Sheraton San Diego
By Kathy Chin Leong
"Is this... part of the decor?"
I stared at the red, white, and blue men's Speedo bikini dangling on the edge of the shower rod. My husband Frank chuckled. We had just checked into the remodeled Four Points Sheraton in San Diego , and to be greeted by another
guest's undergarments was quite the surprise. I knew one thing for sure: this was not a welcome gift. With much trepidation, I picked up the teensiest edge of the fabric and tossed it into the bathroom garbage can.
I was determined this garment wouldn't color my review of this beautiful room. And it didn't. We enjoyed a two-night stay in the standard room of the Four Points and were instantly impressed by the complimentary amenities. Complimentary Internet is always a bonus for us as we tend to stay in touch with friends and family via email. Frank was also finishing up some business, so he needed to stay connected. While other hotels may charge up to $10 or more a day, this freebie was a joy.
Other than being welcomed by Mr. Speedo, we were greeted with two bottles of complimentary water, a nice bonus for weary travelers. We liked that benefit very much. One ding was for housekeeping because the staff did forget to refresh the bottles each day.
We found the hotel to be very family-friendly, and that's precisely the goal of the Four Points chain. Friendly, warm, and comfy underscore its quest. Even the colorful red, yellow, blue and light blue pinwheel logo speaks of its commitment to a fun and whimsical stay. The 200-plus rooms and seven suites are outfitted with a microwave and amply-sized refrigerator. And
each room is equipped with a wide-screen, flat panel TV. And who doesn't like that?
The bathroom features a fun descripton of the special bath products that were custom made for the Four Points and sets each soap, shampoo, conditioner on a colorful ceramic tray with icons to show where each item should be laid. There is even an rectangular indentation for the toothbrush.
Useful too is the room's wide desk with plugs for cell phones and laptop adapters and a nice task lamp to emit enough light to get work done. The official office chair is comfortable too.
Outside the hotel room, attention to detail and service and value is consistent. A value breakfast for $8 is an excellent bargain with two eggs, two sausages,and two pancakes. The all-you-can-eat buffet is only $14. As of this writing, the hotel’s Citrus Restaurant will have completed a renovation with new furnishings and layout, so I am looking forward to seeing that again.
The independently-owned Four Points has its own golf course, (9-holes), and guests only pay $10 to play. (It would be nice if breakfast were bundled in, for I know many families do base their choice of hotels upon the free hot or continental breakfast, but the other freebies make up for this).
As for activities, there is a decent sized swimming pool, and large outdoor hot tub. And a golfing clinic for kids is available upon request. Facing the water is a small workout room with a treadmill, stair stepper, weights, bicycling machine, and ellipitcal. For the size of the hotel, I feel the workout room is too small. I spent an hour there, and felt cramped when another guest came in for a workout. He must have felt slightly uncomfortable too, for he left after 15 minutes. Having the room to myself was ideal. There is no space on the floor to do exercises and thus, no mats or jumpropes or stretch bands or exercise balls.
Service at the hotel is very good. People are friendly, attentive and polite. There is an excellent transportation program available in few hotels these days. Free shuttle to and from the airport, to shopping centers, to businesses within six miles, and to attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and Seaworld. Free parking is another bonus. Once I was in
San Francisco , and the hotel I stayed at charged a whopping $40 a night.
The casual atmoshere is refreshing, and the lobby area is designed to look warm and inviting with a flat screen TV, books, couches, and newspapers to read daily. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today are available to guests for free upon request.
The Four Points Sheraton San Diego is a little off the beaten path in a commercial zone. The area is quiet, and that is a plus if you have to put kids down to bed at a decent hour. The exterior of the hotel is not fancy.
It is white with a waffle-style exterior, with lots of windows in a cross-hatch rectangular array. With this institutional shape, I wondered what it was before. Turns out it was a former Holiday Inn-go figure. The hotel features three extremely long separate wings-aptly named A,B, and C. The skylights emit plenty of light, and the three-fingered corridors are
so long and wide, I felt as though I could run laps. This is unusual for hotel architecture. We were on the second floor, and the handy elevator got us up and down quickly.
The Four Points meets its goal of being a comfortable place for families to stay while romping around S.D. for a weekend. For business people, the sheer size of this place is a great spot to meet for conventions. With a variety of amenities and convenient transporation, I'm looking forward to coming back-Speedo or no Speedo!
Four Points Sheraton San Diego
3110 Aero Drive
Rates: $99 and up
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