The Area: Downtown San Diego.
The DNA: Built in 1924 for the Army and Navy, and long time a YMCA, the handsome bones of the seven-floor Italianate Renaissance building on Broadway have been deftly realigned by interior designer Sormeh Rienne into The Guild Hotel. The period flourishes of the exterior have been faithfully restored, but it’s the interiors that have been thoroughly spruced up and reimagined – not least the original basketball court and elevated running track, and the underground pool, both now ballrooms. The conversion of the pool into a ballroom leaves the hotel with neither wet facility nor spa; though that probably leaves you with more time at the outdoor courtyard restaurant Luca – a black and white themed cocoon anchored by an outdoor fireplace – where head chef Justin Vaiciunas mollifies spirits with lobster salad rolls, red quinoa fritters, and tenderloin club sandwiches.
Suite-Me-Up: The bedrooms pair high ceilings, and city and harbour views with leather headboards, customised artwork by local artists, and Garnier-Thiebaut linen, with the best room in the house – the 2-bedroom penthouse – staking the rooftop terrace.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 162 rooms (18-32m) (200-350 sq ft), including 13 suites (41-163m2) (450-1809 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2019 • interior design: Sormeh Rienne • parking possible on-site (charged) • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible