Everyone loves San Diego. The weather is great, the people are cool, it has a city, beaches and a harbor. But no matter what city or town you are in it’s always terrific to find a perfect family hotel that is, well, a Traveling Family’s Treasure. What exactly does the it mean to for a hotel to be a “treasure”? It depends on what type of vacation you have in mind. But I can tell you some of the things I look for when shopping for a family hotel: location, area transportation (trolley, bus, train), cost/specials, noise and its overall kid-friendliness.
The San Diego Omni meets every standard above and we knew it from the minute we pulled up. Once the car was taken by valet we didn’t need it again. The hotel is located on the southern edge of the Gaslamp Quarter where we had our choice of restaurants and even a local drug store for when we realized we were running low on Pull-Ups for nighttime. The San Diego Trolley is a one block walk and the Seaport Village is only 1/2 mile away as is the New Children’s Museum (NCM).
Upon check-in the bellboy or, “the really, really nice guy who helped us with the bags” as my son says, retrieved two children’s “backpacks” filled with an assortment of delights for all of the senses: glow-in-the-dark gummy worms, jacks, kaleidoscope, a scented bracelet and a kids cup that gets free refills in the hotel’s restaurant. As we rode the elevator the kids were anxiously awaiting the moment they could peek inside. When we got to the room the kids ran and jumped on a bed and explored their bag’s content – a perfect distraction while we grownups unpacked.
The next thing that grabbed their attention was the view from our 21st floor room, which included city views and the PETCO Park where a Padres game was just wrapping up. The hotel connects to the park via a skybridge.
The San Diego Airport’s flight path skims downtown, and is pretty far from the hotel, so there isn’t any airplane noise. The kids had a blast watching the planes play “peek-a-boo” behind the downtown buildings.
The hotel’s restaurant has a terrific kids’ menu (don’t forget that free refill cup!). The great menu also shows up on the room service menu.
The Omni has various packages but the one that stood out for me was the SeaWorld Family Package. The promotion includes luxurious room accommodations, complementary valet parking, breakfast for two adults and two children, and SeaWorld passes also for two adults and two children.
In the mornings there wasn’t a need to go searching for our must-have Starbucks, because it is served downstairs in the coffee shop. The staff was also super friendly. The concierge was there to answer all of my questions and even gave me a map of the area and the valet guys were terrific. You can tell by the photo they were great at entertaining the kids as we waited for our car to pull up. You can’t buy service like that.