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Omni Hotel San Diego

A Convergence of Time and Hospitality

Omni Hotel, San DiegoPhotos and Story by Jim Kelly

Left: at dusk, the Gaslamp Quarter heats up. View from the Omni Hotel.

At the confluence of three rivers of time, the four-star, Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego rises to elegance.

Bordering it to the north is the renowned Gaslamp Quarter, a favorite late-night party spot for visitors and locals alike.

Across the street to the west is the San Diego Convention Center, a national hub of commerce (let us not forget Comic-Con).

To the east and joined with the Omni is PETCO Park, home of the intrepid Padres.

What could be better than the perfect location and some of the best views of San Diego?

Great service.

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Our Experience with Omni Hotel San Diego

On a recent visit to San Diego, we stayed at the Omni because Carolyn was invited to attend an awards ceremony hosted there. It would not have been our first choice, mainly because the Omni was built in 2004 and we were not familiar with it.

We are familiar now and it has become our hotel of choice in San Diego.

We first entered the lobby after a late-night flight from Oakland, and found staff friendly and upbeat. This was unexpected at such an hour but the greetings appeared genuine. "Good management," I thought. "Staff is well trained."

The Restaurant is Outstanding

The next morning I toddled down to breakfast at McCormick & Schmick's, Omni's partner restaurant, while Carolyn ordered up room service. Carolyn loves room service.

On the way down to McCormick's, I passed a handful of staff and, again, found them cheerful and friendly. Pausing at the elevator, I said good morning to one young lad and asked him why everyone on staff seemed so upbeat.

"This is a really good crew here," he said. "We all like working together."

"Fair enough," I thought as I found my way to the restaurant. "The friendliness is genuine."

After an exceptional breakfast (my standard is bacon and eggs - boring but good) I asked my server, the same question.

"We're happy because we all work well together here at McCormick's," he replied.

The service and attitudes were so seamless between the Omni and McCormick's I had failed to realize they were under two different managements.

Staff is, Indeed, Excellent

On my way back to the room, I stopped to talk to Angelo Gomez at the desk. "Is it possible to have someone take a look at our bathtub?" I asked. "We had a little trouble filling it up last night."

"I'm very sorry," Angelo said. "I'll have it taken care of."

After tidying up a bit, Carolyn and I left to do a reconnaissance of the Grand Ballroom where the soiree was to be held that evening. After seeing the venue, we explored the hotel a bit more and were met by friendly greetings from everyone working there. It felt just like being back in Ireland.

It was approaching lunchtime so I suggested eating in McCormick's again.

We were seated by Antoinette, the day supervisor who I had met earlier at breakfast. "Your staff is exceptional," I said when we were seated.

"Yes, we all work together," she responded. Later, I was able to talk with Sharon Andreasen, the general manager of McCormick & Schmick's. She echoed Antoinette's sentiments and said many of her staffers had been there for over five years.

Carolyn and I opted for Dungeness crab on a bed of avocado and mango. It was even better than it sounded.

After lunch, I stopped at the front desk again to check the room status with Angelo. "Do you think the bathtub is fixed yet," I asked him.

"We're moving you to another room," he said. "We didn't want to bother you while we fixed it."

"Wow, that's nice," I responded, a little in shock. The hospitality at the Omni just kept getting better and better.

Yet another friendly employee met us at our room and gave us our new room keys. "Would you like help moving?" he asked.

"No thanks," I replied. "We only have a couple of suitcases."

Omni Hotel San Diego, view on San Diego HarborLeft: San Diego Harbor, Coronado and Point Loma from the 21st floor of the Omni Hotel

So up we went to the 21st floor and, perhaps, the best room in the house.

It had a lovely harbor view to the west and a panoramic view to the north where we could see five buildings on the skyline where four generations of Carolyn's family, dating back to 1908, had practiced law.

The event in the Grand Ballroom went well (it was the Omni, after all) and Carolyn gave a lovely speech.

Afterwards we went back to our room where we gazed at the view for what seemed like hours.

Sometimes Travel is about Making Friends

The following morning we checked out to the melody of pleasant staff and made our way to the airport. We felt like we made a new friend, the Omni Hotel in San Diego.

In truth, we made a number of new friends, Angelo, Antionette and Shannon among them.

Give Omni a Chance

So, the next time you're in San Diego, give Omni a chance. They are pet friendly, have great service with lovely rooms and you can walk to anywhere in the downtown harbor area.

Oh, did I mention? They have really friendly staff.

Omni Hotel
675 L Street
San Diego, California 92101
Phone: (619) 231-6664, Fax: (619) 231-8060

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