DoubleTree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley – Presidential Suite

If you know me well, you probably know that I go to San Diego occasionally for work, and as such I’ve been able to try a number of hotels in the San Diego area, some good, some “meh”, and one that I think is a real gem: the DoubleTree Hotel Mission Valley (not to be confused with the DoubleTree on Hotel Circle which is a mile or so away). Having spent nearly a third of 2013 staying in this hotel in various multi-week trips, I think I have a pretty good feel for this property, how they treat elites, and the amenities on offer. Although I will touch on those things, really the focus of this post is their single Presidential Suite, of which I was fortunate enough to stay two nights in as part of a leisure trip I took to San Diego with my younger brother for Memorial Day Weekend.

That also means I won’t go into how he had a three hour delay leaving Milwaukee that resulted in him missing his connection in Denver or how a “controlled” burn jumped the only highway from Panama City Beach to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, resulting in the road being shut down, and me missing my flight after attempting to take a 34 mile reroute through most of Panama City Beach, Panama City, Lynn Haven, and so much frustration. But those kinds of frustrations and issues just made the room upgrade all that much more awesome and appreciated.

The Hotel
Actually, given how much time that I have spent at this hotel, I’m actually surprised that I have never written anything up about it. Especially since I keep going back time and time again for very good reasons. Let’s start with location: Mission Valley. Yes, this isn’t hip and cool downtown San Diego, but it is very, very accessible via practically all modes of transportation with all the major highways (CA 163, Interstate 8, Interstate 805 and Interstate 5) and public transit (the San Diego Trolley Green Line stops right in front of the hotel across the street). It’s no more than a 10-15 minute drive to/from the airport in a rental car and about 30 minutes to downtown on the Trolley. When I am out here for weeks on end for work, this gives me ease of access to get out of the area on my free weekends or to head to the Gaslamp Quarter responsibly and cheaply. Given that this trip was purely for fun, that was all so important.

The staff at this hotel are nothing short of exceptional for the most part; they are largely friendly, helpful, and competent. Something that I cannot say about a lot of hotels where you have staff that just don’t care. Even with my absence of nearly 6 months since my last stay (it’s been a slow year for work travel), I walked in and was instantly recognized. The doorman/valet guy, whose name I’ve never caught (despite him retrieving an endless number of boxes that I have had shipped to the hotel, welcomed me back to start. At the front desk there were familiar faces, who all welcomed me back, including one individual who strangely enough graduated the same year as me from UCF and knew one of my roommates in college; how’s that for a small world?

Then you have bar staff, which for the most part are really good; great conversation, friendly, knowledgeable about drinks, and of the local area. Several of the bartenders are pretty good, especially Gibson, who is more or less a fixture at this hotel. I think he has claimed to have worked there since it opened and is usually good conversation and is knowledgeable not just of drinks but local places. I only went to the bar that first night on this stay, more or less, just to get a pre-dinner drink and of course tap the knowledgebase for some recommendations downtown.

The Room
Having stayed here frequently for work, I’ve pretty much stayed in all the other room types in this hotel, but I’ve never been so lucky to stay in the Presidential Suite. This DoubleTree has one of this room type, and I have to tell you, it’s something. Now, to start, I didn’t book this room in advance, this was an upgrade from a standard two queen bed room (lowest tier room) that I only paid $179/night for. For the record, I do have HHonors Diamond status, which was largely earned based on stays at this property in 2013. So, when it came time to give the upgrade to that or one of the regular suites, I’d like to think that my property loyalty played a part in that. Either way, it is always awesome to get these kinds of upgrades!

Located on the 11th floor, it’s the only room that has a double door leading into it. Opening the door leads you into the entry way which has a small bathroom and a closet off to left and access to the bar area to the right. The small bathroom off to the side is just a toilet and sink, but extremely helpful when you are traveling with someone like your brother and then one doesn’t have to wait on the other to get some of the way ready. While they didn’t stock the mini-fridge with any goodies (but not expected since the other rooms in the hotel don’t have minibars), there are all the tools there if you need them: coffee maker, microwave, sink, ample counter space, the aforementioned large mini-fridge, and bar stools for two.

Double The Doors, Double The Fun

Suite Entry

Bar Area

The dining area is directly across from the bar and has more than enough seating; in fact the large table has eight(!) chairs around it!

Dining Area

From there, you can see the large living area with the couch (which must have been comfortable as my brother slept two nights on it – and not with the foldout bed deployed), chairs, and plenty of space. Then you have the TV, which is probably the largest TV that I have encountered in a hotel room/suite at 52 inches! Given how large the living area is in the suite, I’m actually very glad that went with such a large screen; makes watching it from pretty much everywhere in the room comfortable.

Living Room – Large TV!

Living Room / Dining Area

The suite has one fairly standard bedroom with a king bed, lounge chair, TV and a dresser. Nothing out of the ordinary and is the same as the beds in the rest of the hotel; decent, but unfortunately not exactly my favorite hotel bed either (the W Hotels Bed still ranks #1 there). There is a sliding door between the living room and the bedroom, so you are able to close off the space should you need to.

Bedroom – King Bed + Lounge Chair

Bedroom – TV + Dresser

As for the bathroom, it was massive. Perhaps as large if not slightly larger than the one in my suite at the Conrad Macau in November 2013. A very large Jacuzzi tub, that if I’m sure I wanted to I could have fit multiple people into; a very large shower (again, thinking one could fit many people into), and the rest of your standard bathroom features.

Large Jacuzzi Tub

And A Large Shower

One feature that was very nice about the suite was that there was a lot of natural light; as for the view however, it looks out over Mission Valley to the East, meaning you get a good view of Hazard Center (shopping area), several office buildings and so on. This is actually the “better” view from the hotel; on the opposite side one gets a view of CA 163 and a large mall.

While the DoubleTree Mission Valley isn’t a high end property by any means, it has become one of my favorite hotels. It may not be the W Hong Kong or W Montreal (the two hotels that I can never decide as my absolute favorite), but the staff here deliver a solid experience whether a low level Silver or an up there Diamond member. I can’t remember a time over the past two years where the staff wasn’t friendly or willing to work with me when I needed a specific accommodation or request. Perhaps it’s a function of having stayed here for weeks at a time and having become familiar with so many of the staff, but I would think that any other traveler would get the same experience. Perhaps not to the extent of getting an upgrade to the Presidential Suite, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great stay.

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