In this report, I will cover:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- San Diego, California
- Carlsbad, California
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Mexico City, Mexico
Getting There: Uber is authorized to pickup at the airport. I Ubered the two block walk from the US Grant.
After the white glove service of the US Grant, it was time to return to the chic lifestyle. In San Diego, this means staying at one of two hotels: The W or the Andaz. Even though I love SPG, I’m not a big fan of the W brand. Stays at the W Hollywood and W Scottsdale were memorable for the wrong reasons.
The Andaz, on the other hand, has the same cool factor as the W without the pompous arrogance. I booked a standard room at the Andaz and informed the front desk that I was participating in the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. Unlike challenges of old (see Diamond Challenge Argentina) participants aren’t given temporary diamond status, making suite upgrades a thing of the past, or so I thought.
To my surprise, I was upgraded to a suite on the sixth floor, the top floor. During check-in I was offered red wine and told of the open wine bar happy hour during the evenings. Since my room was not ready, I was also given two free drink tickets to be used at the rooftop pool bar.
The pool had a DJ spinning chillout tracks and a good man grilling delicious tacos, 3 tacos for $5. The clientele that day featured a popular member of the adult entertainment industry among other interesting characters. Maybe because it was San Diego not Scottsdale or West Hollywood or maybe because it wasn’t the W but the people were a lot more friendly.
After finishing a locally brewed, commendably made saison, I went back to the lobby to get my room key.
The lobby is cool, man. It has great ambiance, funky art, and interesting decorations. The mobile front desk featured in the Andaz where laptops are all over the place is a silly idea as I was paraded from one computer to the next until we found one that worked.
The Andaz Suite is a perfect room most notably comparable to the suite at Le Parker Meridien NYC. There is a great king size bed, large TVs, and plenty of space to make a mess.
The only necessities in life are a great bed and shower. This has now come to include reliable Wi-Fi. Still, the original two features are why it is worthwhile to graduate from hostels to the points good life. The Andaz Suite had an infinity shower and bathtub for unwinding.
Nothing is worse than hotels that don’t include a free bottle of water. I will never pay for the Evian no matter how thirsty I am. The Andaz takes it a step further and offers free refreshments and snacks including Coke, Diet Coke, orange juice, and candy. After a day at the pool and a night out on the town, these treats come in handy.
Paying cash instead of points is advisable for this hotel. I paid the full rate of $180 for a Sunday night because spending 20,000 GoldPassport points is better saved for the Park Hyatt Shanghai. Even there, I’d use the cash n points option.