About 2 years ago, I stayed in a standard room at THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection hotel and really enjoyed my stay. So, I was really excited to return back on my weekend visit to San Diego. My friend and I arrived in San Diego Saturday morning on the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak and walked from the train station to the hotel which only took about 10 minutes.
Disclaimer: I stayed at the property in February of this year before the COVID-19 situation worsened.
AMEX FHR Benefits:
My friend has the AMEX Platinum Card, so we booked the US Grant San Diego through the AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts portal.
With AMEX FHR you get:
- Daily breakfast for two
- $100 Dining Credit
- Room upgrade at check-in, when available
- Noon check-in, when available
- 4:00 p.m. check-out guaranteed
- Complimentary Wi‑Fi
My friend also is Platinum with Marriott Bonvoy, and tried applying a suite night award upgrade but it was denied. The highest suite offered through suite night awards was the Landmark Suite.
AMEX FHR Upgrade for the Win!
At check-in, the manager said she pushed our upgrade up just a little bit, as the highest suite that one could get an upgrade to as a Platinum and AMEX FHR is the Landmark Suite. We were given the Grant Suite, which was the next category above the Landmark suite. The manager described the room as an enhanced version of the Landmark Suite. I was excited to see!
The lobby is quite grand, and has plenty of seating to relax. Certainly lives up to the “presidential” experience. The hotel was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of president Ulysses S. Grant, who named the hotel after his father.
The Room: US GRANT San Diego, Grant Suite
The room was located on the 8th floor, and upon entry a very posh living room awaited. The shades of blue with the historical architecture go very well together. The hotel website says Grant Suites range from 500 to 675 square feet. I think our room was definitely on the larger side. If you would like to see my YouTube video of the room, check it out below.
Before entering the bedroom, there’s a nicely sized half bath/powder room right off the hallway. A nice touch! The website didn’t state the Grant Suite had an extra half bath, so I wonder if only certain Grant Suites offer it.
The bedroom was quite spacious and large, with a nice plush king bed. The bed was as comfortable as I remembered it! I slept so well. I honestly love older hotels as they also seem to have much better insulation than newer hotels. There was barely any outside or room to room noise that I could hear.
Bathrobes and slippers were provided. Toiletries were provided by Byredo, and I quite like the scent! Cotton swabs, shower caps, and the works were all provided as well. The en-suite master bathroom was a good size and featured a nice stand up shower, but no tub unfortunately.
The room had a Nespresso machine as well as a hot water maker. That was a nice touch, because often hotels provide Nespresso machines but nothing to make hot water for tea.
A nice touch is that they have coffee and tea in the morning served in the lobby. Additionally, the hotel has a pretty nice fitness center on the basement level, with a good amount of equipment.
Another interesting touch is that the hotel offers bagged ice, rather than having traditional ice machines. The bagged ice containers are offered on every floor outside the elevators. The ice is already prepacked in a bag for you. Love this!
Grant Grill Breakfast and Dinner:
Since we had a $100 dining credit, we opted to use if for a dinner at the Grant Grill as we also had a $75 credit for breakfast.
Dinner was subpar, to say the least. I ordered the scallops and they were too sweet and did not taste that great.
On the other hand, breakfast was amazing! I got the American breakfast with a side of avocado toast and sliced tomatoes. Great portion size, and delicious!
Service was sufficient, but a bit below expectations. Front desk was fine, but the valet porters were not really friendly at all and never greeted us at all. Restaurant staff was alright as well- a bit below what you would expect.
In the bathroom of our suite, a tissue box was left empty, which was unfortunate. Minor flaw.
On the plus side, the nice lady at the concierge was super friendly and helpful in getting us reservations for dinner! And she remembered us and greeted us when she saw us during our stay.
Additionally, a little negative would be turndown service- it isn’t standard and has to be requested.
On my last review, I really complained about the hotel’s location. While it isn’t the best, I have to give it some more credit this time. It’s a quick 10 minute walk to the Santa Fe Depot Train Station, and the heart of Gaslamp is just a few blocks away. Still, I would prefer to be on the harbor in Seaport Village, like the Manchester Grand Hyatt or a nicer part of Gaslamp. But overall, the location isn’t horrible, minus the abandoned mall across the hotel.
Plus, there’s a free rideshare service called FRED, where you can call an electric go kart like vehicle that takes you around for free around San Diego downtown. It works just like Uber where you request a ride and input your pickup and destination. I was able to use it once from the hotel to take me to Extraordinary Desserts near Little Italy.
The US GRANT San Diego is a beautiful property, and one of the only true five star hotels in San Diego. The Grant Suite was a joy to stay in! I highly recommend staying here as it is one of my favorite San Diego hotels.
Check out my YouTube video tour of the room here!
Have you stayed at THE US GRANT San Diego, a Luxury Collection hotel before? What were your thoughts? Comment below!