Stylish 4-Star Hotel in Bustling Gaslamp Quarter
Judging from its stately Romanesque exterior, you’d never guess what The Keating Hotel looks like on the inside. Built in 1890, the building has served as a public library and a bank over the years—in fact, the original vault is still intact in the basement. More recently, a team of prestigious designers got their hands on the historic hotel’s interior. Pininfarina Extra, the Italian auto house behind Ferrari and Maserati, completely revamped The Keating, incorporating bright-red minimalist decor. The loft-like stanzas—Italian for “rooms”—come with exposed brick walls. The furniture is custom-designed, and the modern amenities include in-room espresso machines.
Located in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District, the hotel is within walking distance of some of the city’s best dining. But there are some excellent options onsite as well. Brick+Mortar, a modern American onsite eatery, has a selection of creative Italian-inspired dishes, including pizzas topped with grilled prawns and wild-mushroom gnocchi. In the evening, hip patrons gather for cocktails in the basement-level lounge, Pussycat Dolls Dollhouse, which has a mixed ambiance of interactive nightclub with costumed performers.
The Keating Hotel features four different types of rooms, ranging in size from 300 to 1,200 square feet. Even standard rooms include goose-down duvets and feather beds. Stay in one of the Chic suites for a little extra space; these rooms have a corner area with lounge seating overlooking the bustling Gaslamp Quarter.
San Diego: Historical Attractions and Electric Nightlife in Southern California
San Diego's sunny, comfortably warm weather and 70 miles of coastline have long attracted vacationing out-of-towners, but the city's inland scene is no slouch, either. The Gaslamp Quarter is arguably one of the trendiest listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The area forms both the historic center of town and a hub of San Diego nightlife, with nearly 100 Victorian-era buildings now occupied by high-end boutiques, jewelers, and gourmet restaurants.
A stroll through iconic Balboa Park takes you past 17 separate museums, as well as the world-famous and much beloved San Diego Zoo. There's also the vibrant Spanish Village Art Center, a living gallery where local artists continuously produce pottery, handblown glass, and oil paintings for sale.
Farther north, in Old Town—site of the first European settlement in California—shops in Mission-style stucco buildings sell colorful wrestling masks, woven baskets, and maracas. Nearby stands The Whaley House Museum, dubbed one of the Most Terrifying Places in America by the Travel Channel. Ghosts of former residents are said to inhabit the rooms, which are filled with Victorian furniture, eerie dolls, and squeegees for ectoplasm cleanup.