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New Margaritaville Hotel to Open Downtown

HOSPITALITY: ‘Coastal Luxury’ Inspired by Hit Song

A new hotel is set to open downtown, Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, with a theme built loosely around the hit song by Jimmy Buffett.

David Meisner
General Manager
Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

“Coastal luxury is the best way to describe it,” said General Manager David Meisner, adding that the hotel has been redesigned “from scratch to a very coastal” look.

Singer Jimmy Buffett’s influence is firmly embedded in the hotel’s ambiance. “As you’re walking through the common areas of the hotel, the music you’re going to hear is Jimmy Buffett,” Meisner said.

With 235 guest rooms, the hotel at the corner of 6th Avenue and J Street at 616 J St.  is the first city-center hotel for the parent company, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts.

“I believe it’s one of the best locations in the city, close to everything, but not on top of everything,” Meisner said.

When finished, the renovation will cost close to $30 million, Meisner said.

The look of the guest rooms is meant to evoke a casual, tropical seaside feel with white shiplap walls, rattan furnishings and a beach color palette.

The carpeting in the rooms has been replaced with vinyl wood plant tile.

“We’ve got some amazing soft wood grain that’s being used in all the furniture,” Meisner said.

The color palette is powder-blue, blue and soft grays with wall accents of white vinyl with posters of palm trees.

The rooms range from 380 square feet to suites of 1,250 square feet, Meisner said. Nightly room rates will range roughly from $300 to $400 for a standard room, depending on the season and location of the rooms in the hotel.

Meisner said that there are 34 room configurations.

Keeping to the hotel’s overall theme, the main restaurant is called the Landshark Bar & Grill with what the hotel calls “a breezy beach vibe” and a menu that features – what else – margaritas, along with craft beers, cocktails and frozen drinks.

The plan is to have live music in the Landshark.

Fueled by Fun

Further evoking a casual theme, the hotel’s poolside rooftop bar is called the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar.

Within view of Petco Park, the 8,500-square-foot rooftop bar and pool is the largest in San Diego, with a capacity of 220 people – and a bar that will seat 18.

The views of Petco Park, the views of the Coronado are just spectacular from different vantage points,” Meisner said.

The renovation includes opening up the lobby to “make it a much more free-flowing space,” Meisner said, with finished concrete pillars exposed and a concrete fireplace. “It really will be the heart of the hotel, a gathering area for people to meet.”

The reception desk is being redone to fit in with the new casual feel. Prior to the renovation, Meisner said that the lobby was “a little more compartmentalized” and done in dark wood and maroon.

Another new addition will be a ground floor Margaritaville Coffee Shop that will carry grab-and-go sandwiches in addition to beverages.

Margaritaville Hotel’s pitch to attract guests is that it’s “fueled by fun and escapism, inviting guests to drift away to their own version of paradise.”

Meisner said that the hotel will likely attract a business clientele during the week. “Thursday to Sunday, it will transform into the leisure crowd,” he added. “Based on our location, we’re going to be able to expose this brand to a little bit of a younger demographic.”

San Diego will be the second California location for a Margaritaville hotel, with the first in Palm Springs.

“This was a great opportunity to expand the footprint of the brand and bring something unique to this market,” Meisner said. “For me, what makes it special is the ability to create a destination within a destination.”

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