While most oceanfront hotels are known for traditional beach style with seashell decor and lots of kitsch, Tower23 in San Diego couldn’t be a more unique getaway. This modern hotel appeals to tourists, surfers, or simply anyone who needs a chic retreat in the area. Located in the Pacific Beach neighborhood, it has the vibe of yesteryear’s Venice, surrounded by urban buildings, shops, skateboarders, and locals. The neighborhood has an authentic SoCal vibe that’s felt from the lobby, to the rooms and restaurant.
Designed by beloved local architect, the late Graham Downes, the concrete exterior of the building stands out from the other properties in the area. Downes is known for hospitality, entertainment, and urban mixed-use projects including Neuhaus Ateliers, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, and the Padre Hotel.
Both bold and linear, Tower23 Hotel has a translucent quality to it. The exquisitely crafted glass box is a true contemporary celebration of the elements. With expansive glass walls on the west and east sides, the Neo-modernist design reflects the energy of the sun, ocean, sky, and sand as well as the vitality of the Pacific Beach boardwalk.
Tower23 has 38 guest rooms and six suites. There are rooms available with double queen-sized beds as well as king-sized beds, many of which have ocean and partial ocean views.
Luxe, soft and comfortable, with earth-toned carpeting, the decor of the rooms isn’t particularly beach-inspired. Rather the spaces have a modern look which includes brown walnut wood headboards and furnishings. Adjacent to the beds are built-in nightstands with sconces.
One of the smartest design features of the space is that it’s incredibly easy to work, so guests can easily do business at the beach. The generously sized desks are built into the wall and have some separation from the sleeping area.
The bathrooms have modern finishes including white rectangular tiles and grey stone countertops that house vessel sinks. The large, walk-in showers are practical for cleaning off sand after a long day at the beach.
Some rooms have both showers and bathtubs. But the best bathroom in the hotel is located in the Oceanfront suite which has a jacuzzi tub which fills up from a faucet embedded in ceiling.
The Best Views In The Neighborhood
Many of the rooms feature stunning ocean views that make guests feel as if they are waking up on a cruise ship without the seasickness. These rooms have balconies with seating. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and a sunset.
Guests will certainly want to keep the balcony doors open while enjoying the room to have an authentic experience of the indoor/outdoor lifestyle the area is known for— or at the very least, keep the curtains open.
A Truly Accessible Hotel
Tower23 is very welcoming to guests with disabilities. There are two different types of ADA-compliant, wheelchair-accessible rooms. One of these is a Deluxe King which has a view of the rooftop deck, as well as a bathtub with grab bars and a moveable transfer seat. The Queen room has partial ocean views, two queen-sized guest beds, a roll-in shower with a bench, and a handheld water sprayer.
These rooms also feature a variety of assistive devices including TTY, a telephone ring signaler, a ClearSounds clock with telephone signaler, telephone in-line amplifier, door knock alert, bed-shaker, and a visual strobe smoke detector.
In the middle of the hotel is a courtyard space that faces a dipping pool. With a view of the ocean, it’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, relaxing, and socializing.
Plushly padded beach chairs, umbrellas, and sofas provide a semi-private way to enjoy the beach without being on the sand. However, the hotel provides chairs and umbrellas to guests.
Tower23’s restaurant JRDN feels like the heart of the hotel. It’s a fun gathering spot. The space was designed to complement Mother Nature’s sense of style, even featuring a 40-foot wave wall that offers a dramatic theater of light.
It was recreated to compliment the beauty and renewal associated with Pacific Beach’s renowned sunset.
Best of all, there is a retractable glass wall and a spacious outdoor ocean view patio that allows for al fresco dining any time of year. With plenty of heaters available, it is possible to enjoy the glorious view even on colder nights.
The inside of the JRDN has a glassed-in kitchen along with a 1000 bottle glass wine wall. Concrete ceilings with wood accents, ocean-hued finishes, and an open-air feeling make this restaurant a highly desirable place to dine.