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Sè San Diego, San Diego 
$$$$

1047 5th Avenue
Fort Baker
San Diego , California
92101
Tel: 619 515 3000
Tel: 877 515 2211 (toll-free)
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Though the Sè is very much a visual feast—with a massive bronze front door, a grand staircase framed by faux sand dollars, lamps covered in gray stingray, an entire wall at the spa covered in tiny green Chinese teacups—it's more than just a pretty face. The staff seem to be genuinely thrilled to help you, and the 184 rooms, in a steel-and-glass building perched atop a Victorian-era structure, are small but well appointed. Yet the thing that really sticks in your mind (and belly) is the complimentary breakfast in bed with chocolate croissants, serrano ham and melon, and granola. All of this from chef Christopher Lee, whose Suite & Tender restaurant is surf and turf with a twist: pork belly and scallops, hamachi fish tacos, carpaccio of Kobe beef. The spa, too, is a pleasant surprise—especially the harem-style lounge, where you can curl up with a good book (or another warm body).—2009 Hot List

When to go: The adjacent Gaslamp District rocks year-round.

Which room to book: Suites in the northwest corner (rooms 909, 809, 709, etc.) have balconies overlooking the rooftop pool and downtown San Diego.

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