Good afternoon everyone. After our short Alaska Airlines flight from Santa Rosa / Sonoma County to San Diego, we took an Uber to the Courtyard San Diego Downtown Hotel. I picked this hotel because the “hotel is in the former San Diego Trust and Savings Bank building, and the old vault has been converted into a one-of-a-kind meeting space that your colleagues will be talking about for years to come.” I love staying in old, historic, charming hotels, like my Amazing Stay at DoubleTree Arctic Club Hotel in Seattle (Historic Building Built in 1917).
This hotel costs 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night, so I used my Free Night Certificate from the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card to book the first night and then I used 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for the second night. Somehow, I received 5 free Suite Night Upgrades in my Marriott Bonvoy account (probably from combining my SPG & Marriott Rewards accounts and from having several Marriott credit cards with elite nights stacking). I decided to use my last 2 Suite Night Upgrades at this hotel because they were going to expire on December 31, 2019, and I don’t have any other Marriott stays booked or planned for the rest of the year. This turned out to be a great use of my Suite Night Upgrades…
When we arrived at the hotel, the front desk agent said she had upgraded our room to the presidential suite (which used to be the architects office and then the bank manager’s apartment). We were totally surprised and gladly accepted the major room upgrade. Later that evening, I looked at how much the presidential suite was listed at for the following weekend and nightly rates were close to $1,000 / night. Wowzers!
The front desk agent instructed us to take the elevators up to the 14th floor and then walk straight to the second gold elevator. We were in room 1402, so we took the second gold elevator to floor 14G.
The presidential suite was massive. When we walked in, there was a mini bar in the living room, with a guest restroom near the front door.
The living room was huge and had room for 10 people to sit and hang out by the TV.
Lots of seating and a big dining room table in the middle of the room.
There was a desk and a nearby closet, with coat hangers and a safe.
More chairs and a painting of the bank manager who used to live in this room. The bedroom was large with a small couch.
The bed was very comfy and there was an armoire next to the bed.
The bathroom had 2 sinks and a large walk in shower.
Perhaps the best feature of the presidential suite was the huge walkout balcony with views of Petco Park (where the San Diego Padres baseball team plays), the San Diego convention center (where Comic-Con is held), and the rest of the Gaslamp Quarter. There were a few tall chairs and a tall table. There were also soft wicker couches and a table. We relaxed and hung out here admiring the view.
The views were great even in the evening. Above our room, there was the lighted Cupola.
To hopefully give you some perspective on the shape of our room, here is the emergency exit plan. We took the 4 elevators at the bottom (4 X’s), walked to the single elevator (X), went from the 14th floor to floor 14G. Then walked straight and turned right to the orange star.
Oh, I almost forgot, at check-in, the front desk agent gave us 2 $10 food and beverage credits to be used at the Lobby Bar. Only 1 coupon can be used per night.
The food and drinks at the Lobby Bar were great. On Friday night, we split a big cheeseburger and had a glass of wine and a beer. On Saturday night, we had a peach cobbler with ice cream and split a flight of beers. The food was excellent and not overpriced, plus the decor was pretty great too.
If presidential suites are not your thing, take the elevators down to the vault & safe deposit floor. There is a huge vault with thousands of safe deposit boxes inside. The vault has been converted into a conference room, but you can walk in when it is not in use. We also learned that the vault door weighs 43,000 pounds and takes 2 people to close the vault door.
The vault is really cool. You can do some exploring and open some of the safe deposit boxes. I heard that when they were opening the safe deposit boxes, they found a pickled human finger. Some safe deposit doors are missing because members were allowed to take their safe deposit door when the bank closed.
There are a few phone booths for communicating with the upstairs tellers. There is also a framed photo about the bank.
Around the corner, there are 2 smaller vaults that have been converted into a banquet hall.
If historic bank buildings turned hotels are not your thing, I recommend heading to the Stone Brewery. It is near the San Diego airport, so you can do some plane spotting before catching yuor flight.
If you have any questions about the Courtyard San Diego Downtown Hotel, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!