There are many great sights and sounds that come to mind when thinking about my recent escape to the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. There are ocean breezes flowing through palm trees; a crystal blue pool, sparkling in the sun; sprawling Tahitian-inspired grounds surrounded by a sandy beach; and ducks – yes ducks.
For some reason I keep thinking of these web-footed creatures. Maybe it’s the soothing sounds their feathers made against the water when they swam past our room. The sound was similar to a trickling fountain, and it went well with a glass of wine and the sunset on San Diego’s Mission Bay.
My getaway to the Hilton began when a friend and I checked into a comfortable suite at the 357-room resort. The room overlooked Mission Bay and a sandy beach, as well as an ocean-front bike and walk path, and the resort’s sports dock, where Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, small boats, bikes and surreys are rented.
The Southern Californian-styled room featured bright and festive hues and came with a large flat screen TV, comfy king bed, lounge chair, office area with Internet, and a big balcony. From the balcony we could scan the beautiful bay, watch kayaks and boats drift past, ducks paddle by and the sun set into the water.
When not in the room, we explored the rest of the four-diamond property. Celebrating 50 years on Missions Bay the resort is a recreational paradise on 18 acres. Just six miles from the San Diego International Airport and 15 minutes from the Gaslamp District and La Jolla, the resort and spa is also conveniently located one mile from Sea World.
One of our favorite hotel spots was the pool area, where we swam in the warm water and relaxed in a big cabana with soft recliners and lunch from Fresco’s Grille and Bar, the outdoor pool café, which offers a full menu of grilled favorites, snacks and refreshing cocktails.
After lounging at the pool I liked working out at the fitness center or hitting tennis balls on one of the resorts many championship courts. Next to the tennis and gym is the hotel’s renowned full service Spa Brezza.
Signature indulgences at the spa include the popular Island Fresh Scrub, with raw sugar exfoliation, coconut oil and a fresh tropical scent and rinsed with an invigorating Vichy shower. The spa also offers manicures and pedicures, including its popular Mojito Manicure / Pedicure where guests may sink their hands or feet into a sugar rimmed bath with floating lime slices and mint leaves.
For dinner at the hotel we experienced Acqua. Led by award-winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer, Acqua serves eclectic American fare and more than 3,000 bottles of wine from around the world. The design is highlighted by a wrap-around patio, with awesome bay views and with fire pits.
Our dinner began with griddle crab cakes on fire roasted tomato pepper vinaigrette; a beet and goat cheese salad with roasted nuts, frisee and white balsamic vinaigrette; and seared diver scallops on pancetta, chanterelle mushrooms and truffle essence.
For the main course we devoured filet of North Atlantic salmon on roasted fennel, thyme tomatoes, haricot vert and coriander-saffron broth; and a big, juicy filet mignon with madagascan green pepper sauce, potato trio and baby vegetables. We complemented a tropical rum cocktail and a Bloody Mary. After dinner we took moonlit walk along the shore past crackling fire pits and through a park located next to the resort.
The San Diego Hilton Resort and Spa also features a gift store, coffee shop, a 9,600 sq-ft Garden Pavilion that can accommodate groups up to 1,100, and a 9,600 sq-ft Ballroom, divisible into six separate meeting rooms. The resort is located off the 5 Freeway, at 1775 East Mission Bay Drive San Diego, 92109. For more information, current specials and reservations, call (877) 313 -6645 or visit: www.sandiegohilton.com.