Hotel Review: Tower 23 – San Diego

Hotel Review: Tower 23 – San Diego

What? You thought we just cover design and furniture. Actually, we have a huge interest in pretty things, great designs, nice hotels, food, and the beach. It’s just not often that you combine it all and output a truly wonderful experience while on vacation.

And that is what Tower 23 in San Diego does. Recently, on a little Paradigm Gallery break, I stayed there for 4 amazing days for my birthday. I had strict marching orders: “If it’s cool, take a pic”. Simple enough, but once I stepped into Tower 23, I knew I could waste my entire trip taking pics. So, we’ll share some of the best moments of the trip, including the beautiful design of Tower 23; inside and out.

We arrived at Tower 23, and upon our entrance, we knew this place was slickly designed. Often times,  trendy little hotels have issues with other things, like food, food prices, drink prices, and usually service, so we were not sold just yet. Check in easy, “get us to our room”, I thought. We arrived and a magnificent view awaiting us:

Ok, so it was a little cloudy, but things looked much better 10 minutes into our stay when this arrived:

After all, it was my birthday. We were really impressed by the speed at which this was brought up. Service at Tower 23 was on the right track. And, regarding food, well, desserts, delicious is how we can sum it up.

We hung around for a while, stepped onto the Tower Deck, which is the central mezzanine for the hotel. It’s basically a lounge where you can enjoy the weather, a nice drink, or the sunset. Again, it was cloudy on Day 1, so not much to see, but in the span of our trip, really a great place to kick back:

Our plans in San Diego called for 2 days at Tower 23 and 2 days at the Se’ San Diego, previously known as the Setai. When we checked out, we really wondered why we were checking out. The Se’ San Diego was in the Gaslamp, and while being in the city is cool, West Coast “downtowns” simpy don’t have the same vibe as cities in the East Coast, San Francisco excluded, and Seattle, and Portland. 🙂 We checked into the Se’ and while it was wonderful and luxurious, we missed Tower 23 badly. After 20 minutes, we realized, this wasn’t right. We checked out, called Tower 23, and went back. And, I’m an avid hotel connessiour, but I wasn’t about to have my trip end poorly because of the wrong hotel selection. Don’t get me wrong, the Se’ San Diego is beautiful, great service, etc, but we really NEEDED the beach. So, our time at Tower 23 continued.

Overall, Tower 23 was by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at, trumping the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel. You ask, “how can anything trump the Ritz?”. Easily. Tower 23 provides world class service, great food, a happening locale, but isn’t too stiff. Prices are affordable with rooms starting at $179, and $229 for our ocean front room, suites are $350-$750. Can’t beat that. JRDN, the restaurant on location was delicious, accurately priced, although a bit noisy, but not a big deal. The staff is tremendous. Big kudos to George and Vinny to helped us during our trip. If in San Diego, check Tower 23 out!

Here are some pics:

Crab Cakes at JRDN - the corn relish was tremendous

Crab Cakes at JRDN - the corn relish was tremendous

Wild Berry French Toast from JRDN

Wild Berry French Toast from JRDN

From the outside

From the outside

From the Tower Deck

From the Tower Deck

Room #307

Room #307

Tower Deck Sunset

Tower Deck Sunset

Piece of sunshine

Piece of sunshine

Postcardish

Postcardish

View from #307

View from #307

View from #307 again

View from #307 again

From Room #307

From Room #307

The Pier

The Pier

Sunset from #307

Sunset from #307

Show Us How You Live & We'll Pay :)

Every month, we get pictures from our customers showing us their homes with new Paradigm Gallery furniture. Most of the times, these little snapshots only show the Paradigm Gallery items, but that’s not fair, is it?

We want to see how you really live. Your living room. Your dining room. Your bedroom (if you’ll allow). And any other of the best parts of your home.

We’ll rate, rank, and post the winners of the Paradigm Gallery Home Tour Contest one month from now. Winners will receive a $250 GIft Card for any item on the Paradigm Gallery site.

Instructions:

1) Ensure pics do not exceed 800 x 600 resolution

2) Send at least 3 pics

3) Be creative

4) Have fun

5) Send all pics to info@pgmod.com

Bad Design Trends Say "Bye Bye" in '09

Bad Design Trends Say "Bye Bye" in '09

Recently, we ran across a great post in the LA Times Home & Garden section that listed some of the worst design trends that top experts wish would simply, DIE in 2009. These “experts” included interior designers, designers, retailers, and other design pros, so they kinda know what they’re talking about. Here’s a quick rundown, plus a little Paradigm Gallery analysis 🙂

1) No More Granite

No more granite?

No more granite?

Says accessories designer and retailer Kenneth Wingard:

“Please, in the kitchen, no more granite countertop. It came into vogue in the ’80s, and it makes a place look dated instantaneously. I am pushing for an orange Formica comeback. If you don’t think you can pull that off, then honed white marble is always beautiful, soapstone or poured concrete looks great in rustic homes, and Corian gives a simple look that does not dominate any room.”

Our Take: Yeah, we are equally appalled by the question “Is this granite?” on House Hunters.

2) Residential Kitchens that Look Commercial

We kinda like sterility

We kinda like sterility

“A kitchen chock-full of stainless-steel appliances is cold and old. Viking and Blue Star have a number of custom finishes that give a warmer, fresher look that can integrate your appliances with your cabinetry or add a fun pop of color to your kitchen.”

— Kristine Paige Kamenstein, Jackson Paige Interiors

Our Take: I guess it’s up to you. We’re somewhat split here. Some enjoy a cold sterile appliance set with punchy cabinetry incorporating bright and vibrant red, orange, and blue cabinet covers.

3) Mass Produced, Oversized Club Chairs

You look so small in that chair...

You look so small in that chair...

“I am tired of furniture that is scaled for a giant. Even if you have high ceilings in your home, you can buy furniture that is human-scaled. I love Ralph Lauren’s Colorado club chair, and for a less expensive alternative, a vintage club chair is a good option.”

Andrea Schroder, contestant from Bravo’s “Top Design”

Our Take: You are right Andrea. Seriously, there is comfort, but it’s like clothes. You don’t want to be swallowed with a baggy fit. We certainly prefer a Pavillion Chair or Le Corbusier Chair in petit, grande, or even extra grande sizes. Know what we mean?

4) Oversized Sleigh Beds

Did Brenda Walsh have one of these?

Did Brenda Walsh have one of these?

“If you have a team of Clydesdales, drive this old chestnut straight to the barn. Try something that brings pizazz back into the boudoir, like a headboard of soft gold-leaf leather with a nailhead design.”

— Craig Olsen, designer and retailer

Our Take: ABSOLUTELY! Too much in the bedroom almost chokes your sleep. Sleek, platform beds will be around a while. Take advantage now, like the Worth Bed, shown below:

Clean and mean

Clean and mean

5) Cubed Ottomans and Faux Zebra Prints

Interesting...

Interesting...

“Little cubed ottomans are o-u-t,” designer and retailer Craig Olsen says. “Hexagons and ovals will lead the eye straight to the piece and make the room remarkable.” When it comes to faux zebra prints, designer and retailer Suzan Fellman sounds off: “Good God, how does a zebra print translate onto a cowhide rug? There are superior floor treatments, in a reasonable price range, that do not pretend to be something that they are not. I would opt for an Arzu Firuz vinyl carpet with laser cutouts that create a great pattern for the floor and are so easy to maintain.”

Our Take: Ok, ok, so we offer the “Pony Cube”, so we’re somewhat guilty to a degree, but we do have tons of non-cube ottoman and coffee tables to take advantage of.

So, what do you guys think? Any dreadful Design Trends that you just want to cast off for good?