Starting off, I stay at a lot of hotels. Even during Covid, my career takes me on a lot of road trips and a lot of nights spent away from home; I average between 140 and 200 nights a year in a bed other than my own.
I have started to trend toward the major chain properties, with Marriott and Hilton being the mainstay of my lodging. As such, I am Platinum with Marriott, Gold with Hilton and Diamond with BW; I have begin to shy away from Best Western properties in recent years for the same reason I am giving the Yacht Harbor Hotel a rather negative review.
BW, on average, is an inconsistent product with a wide-ranging target of what to expect in your experience. Unfortunately, the reason I stayed here was the relatively good reviews via Tripadvisor. I am ashamed to say, the reviews aren't reflective of my experience and I would hesitate to stay here again.
I am in San Diego on business. There is a personal component to this trip as well, and I was looking to pinch a penny or two on the typical nickel and dime aspects of staying in a metro area: namely, having to pay for parking at the place you're already paying to stay at. This is a major hot-button issue for me; I will dump a typically promising property simply because they charge ridiculous parking fees, a disturbing trend that seems to increase regularly. Well, the Yacht Harbor is delightfully parking fee-free. And it is in a very promising location, only a mile from SAN airport and walking distance from Shelter Island.
It was easy to find, with an off-street portico to pull into for checking in. However, once through the front doors the illusion of this being a nicer place to stay all but shattered. Low ceilings, disheveled employees behind the plexiglass encased counter. Checking in, I was never acknowledged as being a status member with the chain nor thanked for the reservation. Instead, I was slid a piece of paper that served as the "breakfast menu" (more on that later) for the Covid-era take-out morning bag and my keycards. When I found out I was placed on the ground floor, I was dubious about what my prospects would be. Directed down the hall behind the check-in desk, I found a row of 5 hotel room doors on a dead-end corridor.
I opened the door to my assigned room and was met with the smell of dirty carpet and a squealing HVAC unit. I spun around and marched right back to the desk to ask for a different room. They said the hotel was sold-out and no rooms were available to move into, and that a maintenance man would come to look at the AC. Annoyed, since I had made the reservation months (December 2020) in advance, I returned to my room and waited for the maintenance personnel. Once he arrived, it took him 20 minutes fussing with the unit to quiet down what ever the culprit was, though it never truly has gone away. Now in my room alone, I couldn't but notice how incredibly tiny the space was. The King bed fills the small room, with barely the width of side tables on either side. The bathroom is equally small, and the "ocean-view" balcony instead looks at the parking lot of the business next door. Seriously BW, you place a Diamond member with a months-ahead booked reservation in the worst room?
Making lemonade out of lemons, I looked to grab some ice from the ice machine and make a beverage before setting down to work on the tiny in-room desk. I check the vending area on the 1st floor: no ice machine. I go to the second floor: no ice machine. I go back to the front desk to ask, to be told the only ice machine for the whole property in on the third floor. Which can only be accessed by the elevator, not the stairs. Finally with my ice, I sit down back in my room and get to work. Then go to bed.
The walls are paper thin. I can hear toilets flush. I can hear doors slam. I can hear other people cough in their rooms and children wail at three in the morning. The bed itself was decently comfortable, and the room nicely dark, but the final straw was when morning traffic began on Harbor Drive out front: you hear every vehicle accelerate from the stop light. Rest was not really that restfull.
Finally, the brown bag breakfast. Before Covid, a standard BW hot breakfast buffet was the typical fare here, or so I was told. Now, you get a Jimmy Dean sandwich to reheat in your room microwave, a processed pastry, an orange and a cup of coffee. Not breakfast at all, and completely inedible.
Looking back, I wished I had booked at the Marriott property down the street at Liberty Center and just paid the parking fee. If you are looking for a below-average highway motel experience, Yacht Harbor may fit the bill. Otherwise, steer clear of this place. less