Considered one of San Diego's largest waterfront lodges will get a $100M improve — its greatest makeover in 50 years

The final time the getting older Sheraton lodge on Harbor Island received a significant overhaul was in 1994 when the showpiece of its reinvented foyer was a 4,000-gallon saltwater aquarium designed by the identical one that helped create SeaWorld’s Shark Encounter.

Earlier this month, employees labored for per week to dismantle the gargantuan glass tank as a building crew ready to rework the foyer but once more — this time as a part of an intensive $100 million renovation, which the waterfront lodge’s administration boasts is its most bold ever.

The overwhelming majority of the Sheraton San Diego Resort & Marina’s greater than 1,000 guestrooms have already been modernized, together with all new loos, and 130,000 sq. toes of assembly area received a top-to-bottom makeover, together with new digital signage and a clear air filtration system.

Nonetheless to come back: The principle pool space is being resurfaced and up to date with up to date out of doors furnishings and cabanas. And every of the lodge’s 4 meals and beverage venues is being solely reimagined — from a Cali-Baja signature wonderful eating restaurant to a craft brewery pub. The primary of these, Rumorosa, simply opened to the general public this month.

The renovation, which will likely be accomplished by August, marks a large funding for the lodge’s proprietor — KSL Capital — which acquired the 1,053-room property in 2019 for an estimated $69.7 million.

The present challenge grew out of a pledge KSL made to Marriott, the mum or dad firm of the lodge’s Sheraton model, to considerably improve what had turn into a drained property, particularly in comparison with San Diego’s different waterfront conference lodges just like the Marriott Marquis, Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Manchester Hyatt.

The in depth makeover parallels main upgrades of different Sheraton-branded properties throughout the nation, together with the 1,000-room Sheraton in downtown Phoenix, one other in downtown Denver; and the Sheraton Park Resort in Anaheim.

“When our possession bought us in late 2019, they made a dedication in writing to Marriott that they’d renovate the property and convey it as much as a brand new fashionable commonplace,” mentioned Sean Clancy, vice chairman and basic supervisor of the Sheraton San Diego Resort & Marina. “This property had missed just a few renovation cycles when our possession purchased the lodge.

“It was working at 80 % occupancy earlier than the pandemic, however that was largely based mostly on a extra value-centric leisure buyer. It had a big group profile, however lots of them have been lower-spending teams that weren’t at all times going to have vital audio visible and meals and beverage (spending), so the re-imagining of the property is to fulfill the wants of at this time’s buyer however to additionally herald a extra aspirational group within the leisure and group segments and supply the type of facilities that can seize a better share of pockets.”

The lodge already has seen a gradual improve within the room charges it’s in a position to command, Clancy mentioned. And he expects that can proceed to escalate additional as soon as extra room renovations come on line and all the brand new meals venues open in just a few months.

“Because the first new rooms got here on line 15 months in the past, we’ve been in a position to entice teams that weren’t beforehand contemplating us, and we’re extra engaging to Marriott Bonvoy (loyalty program) members who have been beforehand selecting to remain elsewhere,” he mentioned.

“Previous to the renovation, the property had suffered from decrease lodge charges that have been beneath $200 on an annualized foundation. With 700 rooms already renovated, the property is now reaching annualized charges of $225 to $250, and with the completion of the total Marina campus after August, we anticipate to see common nightly charges approaching the excessive $200s to $300.”

Nonetheless on the drafting board is an upcoming improve of what’s often known as the 348-room Bay tower, which is a part of the Sheraton resort however sits about two-tenths of a mile away from the principle tower, additionally fronting the marina. The renovation is at the moment within the design part and can nonetheless want governmental approvals and a ultimate OK from the possession earlier than work can start, Clancy mentioned.

If all goes in accordance with plan, that renovation could possibly be accomplished subsequent yr, he hopes. Clancy estimates a possible price of $40 million to $50 million for the Bay Tower makeover.

Though not the entire renovated areas are but totally seen to the general public, the Sheraton’s new look exudes a much more up to date, clear ethos, with varied design nods to the lodge’s coastal location. The foyer, whereas dominated by refined shades of taupe, may have pops of colour, because of an artwork wall behind the brand new entrance desk pods and a nine-panel video wall that can cycle by with protypical San Diego experiences like sunsets and out of doors actions resembling stand-up paddle boarding.

A significant change for the foyer would be the addition of a ground to ceiling sliding glass wall system going through the marina that can give company and locals an indoor-outdoor expertise. Together with that transformation, the lodge will likely be debuting an enormous 42-seat deck working the size of the yet-to-open Brewery X pub adjoining the foyer that can look out onto the pool and marina.

“We expect that’s going to be an actual winner with each our company and locals,” Clancy mentioned.

A novel addition to the realm off the foyer are two studios which might be turning into more and more widespread in Sheraton lodges as their branded properties are renovated. They’re principally non-public studio areas that company can reserve for a small assembly or to easily work alone, make a personal cellphone name and even have meals delivered.

Given that almost all of the lodge’s prospects are coming there for enterprise journey, the guestroom design took that into consideration. Among the many particular options in every room is a desk that raises up and down in order that it may be used alternatively as a standing desk.

The decor for the transformed guestrooms, which beforehand had a nautical theme embellished with daring pink, white and Navy blue accents, now has a extra tranquil, coastal vibe, very similar to the remainder of the property. The backsplash behind the headboards and rippled sample of the blue carpeting are supposed to mimic the watery panorama that surrounds the lodge.

Extra considerably, all of the loos have been gutted and outfitted with new flooring, showers, vanities. Whereas it’s not a brand new characteristic, all rooms have balconies, which is exclusive to the Sheraton in San Diego, Clancy mentioned. No different lodge of 1,000 rooms or extra can boast that, he identified.

In a departure from years previous, the Sheraton is attempting to broaden its income base by focusing extra on engaging locals to the lodge with a complete new portfolio of eating and consuming choices.

Rumorosa, probably the most bold of the brand new venues, is an expansive two-level area that features a new 16-seat, horseshoe-shaped bar and surrounding seating on the higher degree and a 4,200-square-feet restaurant beneath that faces out onto the marina. Rumorosa, which in English interprets to noisy or boisterous, derives its title from a rugged, mountainous route in Baja California.

It replaces the previous Harbor’s Edge restaurant that had a small bar known as Harbor & Vine hooked up to it.

“They gutted your entire restaurant, and began from scratch,” mentioned Marcos Seville, government chef for the lodge. “The brand new decor may be very colourful and playful, with a contemporary really feel and lots of Baja California contact factors to it. The meals earlier than was extra American model and this can be a marriage of Baja California and California delicacies. We have now dishes like aguachiles, a pozole braised quick rib and achiote salmon.

Nonetheless to come back is Brewery X, which replaces the previous Quinn’s Brew Home. Anaheim-based Brewery X, which has areas on the Honda Heart and Angels Stadium, has a licensing settlement with the lodge for operation of the brand new pub, anticipated to open in June.

“The brewery’s beers and seltzers have enjoyable and funky names, so we’ll proceed that development with the menu gadgets,” Seville mentioned. “As an example, the cheese pizza will likely be known as the ‘Kevin McAllister,” the character from ‘Dwelling Alone’ who solely ate a cheese pizza. We’ll have a rooster and waffle dish known as the ‘sizzling chick’ and we’ll have a ‘crack taco’ as a result of as you chew into it, it has a crunch, which is an ode to the Jack within the Field taco, and Jack was began in San Diego.”

The previous poolside restaurant, Shoreline, is being changed by the 60-seat Solar Glow, which can open in April. Open for lunch and dinner, it would specialise in wholesome California-style delicacies, resembling protein bowls and natural salads, and the bar will incorporate fresh-pressed juices into among the drinks. Together with the brand new eatery and bar, two of the lodge’s swimming pools are getting an improve with new concrete and wooden decking, landscaping, and a brand new new glass enclosure.

Lastly, the lodge’s seize and go venue, Marina Market, is being reworked into Strada, an Italian-style market that can serve gelato from Gelato Paradiso (now solely in Coronado regionally), panini, Roman-style pizza and a brand new espresso

“These eating places are much more thrilling than what we had earlier than,” Seville mentioned. “Prior to now, we’ve been like the everyday lodge eating places. They have been good however not one thing you’d assume, ‘The place can we exit to eat?’ Now with locations like Rumorosa and others, we’ll have the completely different atmospheres you’re on the lookout for, and we are able to entice no matter clientele now we have staying right here. We haven’t had that previously.”

Given the present competitors the lodge faces within the native lodging market and the 1000’s of lodges rooms that the Port of San Diego envisions for Harbor Island, the Sheraton was sensible to make a big funding in upgrading the resort, mentioned longtime San Diego hotelier Robert Rauch.

“They don’t need to find yourself being a budget lodge on Harbor Island,” mentioned Rauch, CEO of RAR Hospitality. “Accommodations don’t final ceaselessly in case you don’t fully reinvoragate them. For this sort of excessive rise, the lifespan is 50 to 60 years.

“Additionally, at this time’s traveler has modified. Gen Z and millennials received’t keep in a lodge that’s dated. They need one thing that’s recent, thrilling, Instagrammable and one thing they will write about on social media. The previous Sheraton wasn’t going to make the minimize.”

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