Hotel Review: Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

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For a recent visit to San Diego, I was deliberating where to stay for a night.  I settled on the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, which overlooks the Torrey Pines Golf Course where the annual San Diego PGA tour takes place. It’s the same golf course where I stood hushed as Tiger Woods leaned down in front of me to sign a child’s hat during the 2008 US Open.

While on the Hilton website, I saw that there was a specialty suite available on points. Called the Vista suite it was 1275 square feet and came with an extra deep whirlpool tub. Just what I wanted! It was 77,000 points per night but looked pretty amazing. I booked, and received the email confirmation.

Arriving at the hotel with my rental car a few days later, I saw the valet talking with another guest. I got my belongings together and pulled my suitcase out of the trunk. By the time the guy asked me if I wanted help I was already through the door on my way to the lobby. I had brought with me an order of In-N-Out, and wanted to get up to the room quickly to enjoy while it was still hot.

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Alas, check-in took a while. There were only a few guests in front of me, but each one took a long time. While waiting, I noticed that the lobby area had a large seating area, and a computer available for use.

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Finally, it was my turn. The hostess was friendly and gave me the room keys to a suite on the 2nd floor. I hurried on up.
After wolfing down my dinner, I took a look around the suite. Just inside the door there was some artwork, and some large sea inspired pieces.

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French doors led out to a patio.

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The entrance to the living room gave a nod to an ocean decor, and the large plant gave the hotel room a homey feel.

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There was a huge couch, and lots of lighting. The TV remote sat on what appeared to be a petrified wood block, which was a nice touch.

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The formal dining room had well-cushioned chairs, a heavy and gorgeous tree sculpture in the middle of a large table, and seating for eight.

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There was a wet bar with fridge just opposite of the dining room.

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In keeping with the nature inspired theme, there were a few dried trees.

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There was a coffeemaker with Coffee Bean Morning Blend selection.

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The fridge had a digital temperature control, which was a great feature even if I did only put a vitamin water in there.

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The closet looked like an oversight tucked away in the bedroom corner. It was not wide enough to accommodate a regular rollerboard suitcase when open, so first I tried setting the suitcase on top of the safe and leaving the door open. That didn’t turn out to be a good solution, since the closet light stayed on until the door was closed. So the suitcase ended up on the floor in front of the closet.

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The bedroom looked welcoming, and the carpet had a branch pattern, as did the bed comforter. Sliding glass doors led out to a separate side patio. Everything was very clean.

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The bathroom had double sinks, lots of small towels, and the amenities were by Peter Thomas Roth.

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The shower was huge, with two shower heads and soap holders. But…where was the deep soaking tub I had been planning to relax in? And why did the suite feel smaller than 1275 square feet?

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I padded back to the front door to take a look at the floor plan. It looked like this was the largest suite on the floor, but I could have sworn that it was supposed to have a tub. I called down to reception to inquire. I asked if this was the Vista suite, and she said it was.

I asked if there was another suite available with a tub, because I was sure that the one I booked had a tub and this room did not. I told her I had really been looking forward to soaking in a tub this weekend. She said that the only suite with a bathtub was the Presidential suite and unfortunately it was booked. She did offer the Diamond breakfast via room service instead of at the restaurant, which was nice. But it was slightly disappointing there was no tub since I’d had visions of a warm bubbly bath in my head. I was also a little perplexed how I had mis-read the information for the suite I had booked.

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The next morning I enjoyed breakfast in the suite. The weather was just a bit too chilly, otherwise the terrace would have been a great place to have it.

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The expansive golf course and ocean views from the terrace were peaceful. There were also little paths around the property, and there were some happy birds greeting the morning from the nearby trees.

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The hotel is U-shaped, so being on the corner I could see the other side of the hotel as well as the pool and spa in the middle. Being at the end of the U it was also very quiet, which I loved.

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Later in the day I walked by the hotel’s newly renovated restaurant, the Torreyana Grille.

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Besides breakfast and lunch, there’s a happy hour between 4 & 7pm, and here is their dinner menu.

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With a water feature and private dining rooms inside and fire pits outside, it looked like a lovely place to enjoy the sunset. Since I had more work to do though, I retreated back to the room. I called down to request a late check-out at 3pm, but was told that a “VIP” guest was checking in that night and the latest they could offer was 1pm. As a Diamond, I was curious what sort of “VIP” was trumping me. She explained that there was a golf convention coming into town. After some back and forth, front desk was able to confirm with housekeeping that a 3pm check-out would be acceptable.

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I worked in the bedroom for a while with the TV on, and at one point thought I heard a faint knock. I came out of the bedroom and noticed that housekeeping had just left the room and had removed all of my room service food from earlier, even without my requesting for them to do so. Efficient, yes. But I didn’t appreciate them entering my room and removing things while I was in there, especially since the “Do Not Disturb” sign was on the door. They hadn’t taken the In N Out bag from the night before either.

About an hour later when I was lounging on the patio in my bathing suit, someone else from Housekeeping opened the door even though the “Do Not Disturb” sign was still on. I reminded them I had a late check-out, and they left. I knew they were in a hurry to get the room cleaned, but since a 3pm checkout was being honored I don’t think they should have entered the room…again.

After checking out and returning home, I was still puzzled. I logged onto my email and found the confirmation for the Vista Suite. I went onto Hilton’s website and didn’t see any pictures of the bathtub, but found the Vista suite caption – “Pamper yourself in our handsomely appointed bathroom with an extra-deep Whirlpool tub – perfect for soaking after a long day of work or play.” Hmm. So I had booked the right room, but hadn’t been in it. Not sure why the front desk agent had said that was the room I had, but judging by the website, I had been in an 850 sq ft. Terrace Suite. Still nice, but not the room I had booked or expected to receive.

I sent off an email to the GM to inform them of the mix-up. 77,000 points per night is an especially large number when you don’t get the room you booked. So now what? I’m curious to see what the response will be. To be continued…

UPDATE: I was contacted by the GM after writing this. Seems they had been in the process of changing over to their new website when I had booked, so the suite that I booked was not the suite that I received. He apologized, and gave Hilton Diamond customer service the ok to refund all of the points I used for the stay.  The mix-up was understandable, the gesture of goodwill was nice, but more importantly, the quick response of the GM and his attitude was appreciated. Mistakes happen, but it is how they are handled that matters. I would stay at this property again.

Hilton Category 6. 50,000 points for a free night (the specialty suite I booked was 77,000).

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

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Good To Go

+ Views are gorgeous
+ Rooms have been renovated
+ Hotel is right on golf course, especially convenient location if attending tournament

Good To Know

- Self parking is $25/day

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4.5/5 Magic Stars

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