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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Hotel Review: Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego 2013

As a native San Diego resident, I relish the opportunity to quickly head downtown from my home to board a cruise ship sailing from America’s Finest City, especially those on roundtrip itineraries.

However, even if you don’t live here, San Diego is one of the most convenient homeports there is with the cruise ship terminal, international airport and a stretch of stunning high-rise hotels all within a short mile radius along our beautiful bay. For relaxing pre- and post-cruise stays in San Diego, the Marriott Marquis & Marina, nestled between the San Diego Convention Center and the outdoor Seaport Village shopping park, is a prime choice.

The Hotel’s Main Drive and Entrance

Hotel Overview

The two football and crescent shaped towers have been a fixture of the skyline since 1987, yet they remain decidedly modern in their appearance with a sleek mirror-glass exterior and a bright and earthy interior. Complete with sizable onsite convention facilities, the hotel makes for a perfect standalone event space, as I experienced just last week at Social Media Marketing World 2013. Additionally, the hotel provides handy overflow room for events that max out the adjacent San Diego Convention Center, such as the annual Comic-Con International, as I too have seen firsthand.

Earthy Decor Lines the Lobby

The Marriott property sits right along the very bay cruise ships sail in and out on, and as you would expect, the coastal views are magnificent. Aquatic marina activities can be arranged onsite, and for other R&R, a tropical lagoon-like pool complex rests between the two towers and the waterfront Roy’s Restaurant, as well as under the shade of a grove of palm trees. Extra facilities include an exclusive concierge lounge, serving complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. During our stay, we enjoyed delicious coconut-encrusted chicken strips and a wide selection of cheeses.

Between the Two Towers is a Lagoon-like Pool

The snazzy Marina Kitchen Restaurant & Bar cooks up full-service American cuisine with the Tequila Bar & Grille serving poolside. Quick eats can be had at Exchange or Starbucks, and room service is always a pleasant indulgence when staying at the hotel. A bucket of brewskis sent up to our room was a nice bonus during our conference visit.

The Convenient Concierge Lounge


The hotel features 1,360 guest rooms and suites, and we had the pleasure of staying in a corner Executive Suite with an unobstructed bay view from the spacious living room, bedroom and bathroom even. Floor-to-ceiling glass panels and patio doors open up to an exceptionally wide balcony from the living room.

Executive Suite Living Room

The spacious common area also doubles as a second bedroom thanks to a convertible sofa-bed. Handsome furnishings are conducive to multiple guests with sectional seating and ottomans, and a flat panel television and desk area complete the offerings. Like at most Marriott properties now, the room is decorated with casual photographs more-or-less associated with the local area.

Executive Suite Bedroom

The comfortable bedroom features a handsome warm-toned header at the bed, and at the foot of the bed is another flat panel television plus a sink and closet area leading to the bathroom. Behind a separate door, you just might find yourself in the toilet and shower compartment longer than necessary because of the breathtaking view out the bathroom’s own window.

Sink and Vanity

What was once a bathtub has since been remodeled into a freshly tiled shower with clear glass, and thanks to the mirrored tinting on the windows, you can easily bathe in privacy with a view of the beautiful bay beyond. But if you prefer, there is a curtain that pulls down as well.

A Shower with a View

No matter your room selection, the Marriott Marquis & Marina will host a very comfortable San Diego stay before and after any cruise from the city. With only a 10-minute drive from the airport and a 5-minute drive to the cruise terminal, cruise-related visits do not get much easier than at this fine hotel property.

For more information on the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina and to arrange for your own stay, visit the hotel’s website here.

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