The high seas beckon out the windows of the Marina Tower Club in San Diego.


The high seas beckon out the windows of the Marina Tower Club in San Diego.

Big Town on the Water

Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

The view does not get any better than this.’ That is what continually popped into my head on my recent visit to the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. Due to its unique location on Harbor Island, no matter where your room is you will have dramatic water vistas. Higher floor locations look out over the marina and harbor to the northwest or downtown San Diego and Coronado to the southeast.

The Town

Viewing downtown San Diego from Harbor Island is reminiscent of the Miami skyline in places. As you walk on paths cut through the heavy Bermuda grass and lined with palm trees there is a similarity, especially looking at the newly constructed high rises in view. Thoughts of Don Johnson in Miami Vice crossed my mind here.

There is much to do these days in and around downtown, including Little Italy and the Gas Lamp Quarter for dining and drinks. The San Diego Padres baseball team plays at nearby Petco Park. World-famous San Diego Zoo is only 10 minutes away, too.

The Hotel

This is a very well-designed property with an elegant lobby area. The nautically themed entryway flows directly to the Harbor’s Edge Restaurant overlooking the marina just behind.

Our Marina Suite in the Marina Tower was warmly designed, again with a nautical theme, and had two balconies. The sitting area was very relaxing with a wet-bar area to the side. The bedroom section included comfortable down bedding and an oversized bathroom as well as large closet space. The view of the bustling marina down below extended to San Diego Harbor with occasionally large vessels passing by.


Harbor’s Edge at the Marina Tower

We dined at both Harbor’s Edge and Quinn’s Ale House — the former for drinks and snacks to take in the relaxing harbor view. The latter for a much-needed serving of fish tacos expertly prepared. In addition to good food, Quinn’s has multiple large-screen TVs to take in all your favorite sports action.

Our Sheraton Club Level access was also very handy. This high level private experience is available for upgrade, and I would strongly suggest it. Breakfast was great and the evening snacks also very hearty. The room is decorated like a private yacht club and has floor-to-ceiling windows to take full advantage of the panorama.

The combination of the views and Sheraton Club experience here are worthy of 5-star pricing. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that the rooms are much more reasonably priced. This property is a true value and rare to find these days. Visit for complete details.


This is perhaps the best place in San Diego to host a conference. The meeting space flows to outdoor areas right on the harbor. This area is easily accessed from the hotel. Any medium-sized event would do well to get a quote here before making any decisions.

Fitness and Pool

Downstairs from the lobby and right on the marina is the elegant palm tree–laden pool area. Directly behind is the state-of-the-art Fitness Center which was as good as any I have visited in recent months. The flow from the hotel to these outdoor areas will remind you of a Hawaiian resort with its ease.

Getting There

On this trip I took Amtrak all the way. This is an effortless way to navigate the crowded SoCal freeway system. Make sure you hunt around on the train before settling in on seats. The conductors often do not tell you about the adjoining cars that are mostly empty. Business Class is available on the Pacific Surf liner route but not always the best option. This section fills up quickly, and I prefer to have some open space on such a long jaunt.

You can Uber to and from the San Diego Amtrak station which is just a five-minute drive. The San Diego Airport is right across the street from the Sheraton should you have need or be picking someone up.

If driving, some thought on traffic flows is needed. Heading south, I would leave Santa Barbara around 9 a.m. That should give you the least traffic. Sunday morning would also be good. Just about the same advice on the return but perhaps a stopover on the way back for dinner to miss the heavy commute-hour traffic.

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