Tower 23, San Diego, California $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Opened in July 2005 and the first luxury oceanfront hotel to be built in San Diego in a decade, Tower23 is a splashy glass oblong of a design statement with 44 mostly ocean-view rooms and suites. Named after its neighbor, Lifeguard Tower #23, the three-story minimalist building wants to be an urban beach resort for attention-deficit adult kids. Suites have that latest in questionable relaxation equipment: chromatherapy baths. There are also Xboxes, flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, and Wi-Fi access that stretches to the beach. Jordan, the 10,000-square-foot restaurant, and the boardwalk/beach Tower Bar promise to become new centers of hip.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Named for a local lifeguard tower on Pacific Beach, it's the polar opposite of the Victorian-era Hotel Del a few miles down the coast. This sleek creation brings a whole new swagger to the beach scene. Keeping with "PB" tradition, bare feet and board shorts are welcome, and guests can even wash off their surfboards in the reflecting pool. But this is no ordinary surf shack. The 44 spacious guest rooms have flat-screen TVs and Xbox entertainment systems, and the Wi-Fi access extends all the way to the high-tide mark. Suites have whirlpool tubs with underwater lighting and automatic aromatherapy release. The beach-level Jordan, a breezy eatery with killer views, has a creative menu (tagliatelle with sea urchin) and a wine cellar stocked with up-and-coming labels from Washington State and Baja California. 2006 Hot List
When to go: The sea is warmest in summer, but you're more likely to get hot sunny days in fall.
Which room to book: Surf Pads and Sweet Suites, for the ultimate ocean views, although every room has a private balcony or a patio and at least a partial ocean view (doubles, $199–$379).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, BeachSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›