In the heart of San Diego’s infamous Gaslamp Quarter, Hard Rock Hotel inspires absolute fun and energy through its colorful, modern design and amenities
Spending my young adult life in downtown San Diego, many of my memories are on the rooftop bar at Hard Rock Hotel, sipping cocktails and mingling or dancing to the DJ during a weekend pool party. The hotel was quite the scene when I was younger, and as I walked through the door now, it was pretty obvious, things hadn’t changed much. Busy bridesmaids were unpacking all kinds of silly contraband, stylish people were coming in and out of the wide doors and plenty of tourists were sitting on the outside terrace, just taking in the San Diego sun. Hard Rock Hotel is still a hot spot, thanks to the cool vibe and fantastic location and Chris and I were so excited to spend a few days back in our old neighborhood.
When we were in San Diego visiting family, we wanted to get a way a bit and explore the downtown we were starting to miss. There were so many new restaurants and bars (plus a few of our old favorites) that we decided to make a night out of it. We spent the days reminiscing, walking to our favorite places (Neighborhood Bar still has a great beer selection - they even had Duchesse on tap) and checking out everything that has changed. There might be a few more sky rises and new restaurants since we were last in town, but the sun shining down on the pavement and that laid back attitude of everyone walking around in flip-flops and sundresses was still totally prevalent.
About The Hard Rock Hotel
At 420 rooms, The Hard Rock is massive and takes up almost an entire block. Bright colors and fluorescent lights emanate from the building, making it hard to take your eyes off of it. The inside of the hotel is decked out in rock and roll paraphernalia, and the theme is carried on tactfully throughout the rest of the hotel. Song lyrics are etched into the walls, clips of concerts play on various screens, and décor is placed sporadically depicting everything from Janis Joplin to Adele. The hotel is modern, and while the rock and roll theme is certainly present, it’s not overdone. The design is classic, sharp, and trendy in a way that made us want to have fun!
During our stay at Hard Rock, we enjoyed a modern styled suite that was spacious and full of entertainment. Entering the suite, we found ourselves in a nicely sized lounge area that would be perfect for pre-dinner drinks with friends. The suite had a small balcony and floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, which revealed amazing views of the buzzing city. We appreciated the flat screen TV with every kind of plug in for electronics and premium programming, plus the speedy wifi. Overall, the design of the room was modern and colorful, with bright notes of red throughout the space. Our suite felt more like a modern studio than a hotel room, which added to the comfort of our stay.
Hard Rock Hotel has every essential amenity you could desire, and then some. The hotel offers a full service-spa for those seeking a little more rejuvenation, even providing services like the “Revival Oxygen Treatment” for partiers looking to rally. Other amenities include the Rock Shop, for cool souvenirs, as well as a 24-hour business center, fitness center, and free bike rentals to roam San Diego. One of the true highlights of the Hard Rock is FLOAT, voted the best rooftop bar in San Diego. Hanging out at FLOAT makes you feel like a genuine rock star, overlooking the lights and action of the Gaslamp Quarter.
The Hard Rock Hotel is located right in front of the Convention Center—it would have been the perfect front row view of Comic-Con if we were there for the event! Because of its location, the hotel is ideal for business travelers, but it’s also close to clubs, restaurants, and bars, making the hotel perfect for anyone looking to have a fun night out in San Diego. Petco Park is on the other side of the hotel, too and worth checking out if you’re there during the season!
Dining At the Hard Rock Hotel
Hard Rock Hotel is home to two well-known restaurants, Maryjane’s Diner and Nobu. When we arrived at the hotel, we had lunch in the sunshine on the terrace of Maryjane’s. The diner features usual American fare, and the quinoa burger is a must try! Maryjane’s is open until 3 a.m. on Saturdays, so it’s a perfect stop for post-party munchies.
Whatever you do, be sure to make reservations at Nobu. The sushi at this world-famous restaurant is so fresh that you can’t possibly be disappointed. Rumor had it that the Yellowtail Sashimi with jalapeño is a must, and the rumors are correct! Do yourself a favor and order this dish. The fish was fresh, the sauce was spicy and tangy, and my only regret was that we didn’t order two.
When we go out for sushi we usually prefer small and intimate, so we like to sit at the bar. Plus, it gives you a chance to talk with the chefs and get the inside scoop on what’s freshest and tastiest. We started with the yellowfin tuna with jalapeño, and though it was only six slices, it was deliciously gratifying. After, we had a plate of nigiri and the chef’s recommendations of bluefin, salmon, and pink snapper. Make sure you order one of their ishigama dishes, like the cauliflower and jalapeños. The roasted cauliflower is drizzled with a spicy jalapeño sauce that will rock your world! I still can’t believe I lived in San Diego for most of my adult life and never went to Nobu...
Final Thoughts About the Hard Rock Hotel
Simply put—staying, partying, and eating at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is pure fun. Surrounded by music, bright lights, and tasteful design in the middle of a hopping city, it’s impossible not to have a blast. The hotel offers plenty of entertainment in itself, but is also centrally located to experience San Diego to the fullest. The hotel is in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, where you have the nightlife, shops, and restaurants to keep you busy for a lifetime.
For more information about Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, visit their website: