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Marriott Pulse - San Diego - Quick Review

SanDiegoDana

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With a new baby arrived, we decided to forego our regular January trip and instead burned a bunch of points and invited my parents to visit San Diego to see their new grand daughter.

They spent 3 weeks (22 nights) at the Pulse San Diego hotel and here's some quick notes, for anyone thinking of staying there:

  • The location is good. DEFINITELY not "great" as it's a fair walk to get anywhere downtown (it's on the very outskirts of downtown, FAR from the gaslamp district) but you can drive directly onto I-5 or CA-163 (North only) as there are onramps only 2 blocks away.
  • THERE IS NO PARKING. SERIOUSLY: YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PARK HERE. This is the single biggest problem with this location: self-park is $35/day and valet is $40/day. The valet station is small/cramped and fills up quickly (and it's on a busy street) so you will NOT enjoy driving here.
    • I can't emphasize enough how annoying this was. The building is in the same structure as the San Diego Symphony (Symphony Towers) and the opposite tower is an office building: as such you are paying office building parking rates. NOT FUN.
  • The rooms are nice: recently renovated and very "trendy"
    • The rooms either have a shower or a tub (not both)
    • TV and WiFi were as I expected from other MVC locations I've visited
    • The kitchenette is pretty small, but there's a bar fridge and a microwave
    • New beds, comfy if you like Marriott's mattresses
    • In general, a very "upscale/trendy" feel. NOT a family feel (you could bring kids, but think of it as a hotel, not a resort.)
  • No on-site laundry, though vague messages indicate there will be once renovations are done in mid-2017
  • The vague messages also mention a "kid zone" but it's not due till mid-2017
  • The bar is really cool (spacious, good selection) and the food in the restaurant is also good (my parents really enjoyed the breakfasts and the service immensely)
Overall, I'd give it a 3 stars: it's probably closer to 4 stars, but I have to wonder what MVC was thinking in purchasing this specific location: there are SO many better locations in San Diego!

Side note: you could stay here during Comic Con week, but it's quite a walk. There is a trolley station nearby, though....
 

SanDiegoDana

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Oh, and a quick note:

My parents did not participate in the timeshare session, but they did call me (I made the reservation and I my first name is the same as my father's so I kept the Marriott Rewards credits too). The MVC staff in San Diego appears to be run out of Newport Coast, so the people on the phone didn't know the San Diego area very well.

It's a very new property and it's a hotel in a non-traditional vacation city, so maybe it will just take a few months to even out :)
 

BocaBoy

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This review is consistent with my reaction to the Pulse concept, namely that the city locations are a great idea but only if their location and accommodations are truly premier. Based on this review, I would rather stay in a better located full service hotel and use Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt or IHG points. Seriously, there are no on-site laundry facilities?
 

Whoffner

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Great timing!!! I have two nights in April that I was looking for a place to go and this sounded interesting. My only question was about the parking, this review definitely answered my question. I will be using my Hilton points to get a nicer place
 

jtp1947

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Are there any parking alternatives nearby? Any street parking available?
 

GregT

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Marriott: Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas (3BRx5), Ko Olina, Shadow Ridge II, Willow Ridge, Aruba Ocean Club, DC Points HGVC: Flamingo, Sea World, I-Drive, Starwood Bella (x4), SDO, TradeWinds, Worldmark
Are there any parking alternatives nearby? Any street parking available?
Street parking is metered. There are pay lots within walking distance but parking will not be an inexpensive option.

Best,

Greg
 

Here There

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Are there any parking alternatives nearby? Any street parking available?
There's a city-block sized ABM Parking lot one block away, or across the street from the entrance closer to Gaslamp district (Symphony side). You can pull up at Pulse on A Street to unload. As you drive away, turn right at the corner (Eighth) & ABM is one block away, borderd by these one-way streets: Eighth St / C St / Ninth St / B St.
upload_2017-2-3_20-38-33.png

Rates are cheaper -- ~$10-$20 per 12 hours, depending on day of the week. I also know of 2 blocks in a safe downtown area that have a 10-hr daytime meter (8am-6pm) with free street parking during non-metered hours. PM me for more info.
 
Last edited:

Here There

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  • The location is good. DEFINITELY not "great" as it's a fair walk to get anywhere downtown (it's on the very outskirts of downtown, FAR from the gaslamp district) but you can drive directly onto I-5 or CA-163 (North only) as there are onramps only 2 blocks away.
  • THERE IS NO PARKING. SERIOUSLY: YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PARK HERE. This is the single biggest problem with this location: self-park is $35/day and valet is $40/day. The valet station is small/cramped and fills up quickly (and it's on a busy street) so you will NOT enjoy driving here.
    • I can't emphasize enough how annoying this was. The building is in the same structure as the San Diego Symphony (Symphony Towers) and the opposite tower is an office building: as such you are paying office building parking rates. NOT FUN.
  • The rooms are nice: recently renovated and very "trendy"
    • The rooms either have a shower or a tub (not both)
    • TV and WiFi were as I expected from other MVC locations I've visited
    • The kitchenette is pretty small, but there's a bar fridge and a microwave
    • New beds, comfy if you like Marriott's mattresses
    • In general, a very "upscale/trendy" feel. NOT a family feel (you could bring kids, but think of it as a hotel, not a resort.)
  • No on-site laundry, though vague messages indicate there will be once renovations are done in mid-2017
  • The vague messages also mention a "kid zone" but it's not due till mid-2017
  • The bar is really cool (spacious, good selection) and the food in the restaurant is also good (my parents really enjoyed the breakfasts and the service immensely)
Overall, I'd give it a 3 stars: it's probably closer to 4 stars, but I have to wonder what MVC was thinking in purchasing this specific location: there are SO many better locations in San Diego!
I would rate this PULSE a solid 3 stars, as 4 would be a stretch. Besides the poor location, the rock-hard sofa was the worst I have ever sat on -- further affirming my notion that Marriott furnishings are photogenic but user unfriendly. [I subsequently stayed for 2 weeks at Sheraton Desert Oasis and found their patio bench -- a foam cushion over a stucco'd box -- more comfortable.] Although I had requested a unit with a bathtub, by mid-December all the older units had been torn down and the newer units were only furnished with showers.

Which brings up why I consider this Marriott so sub-par: the staff who interacted with the customers were too green, JV, eager to please in their internish ways. Examples:

- the grave-shift loss prevention officer who greeted me at the drive-up entrance asked for my car keys saying that she would ask the valet to park it down the street(!) when I balked at paying their rates...only to tell me 30 minutes later that it wasn't doable due to liability issues.

- the young front desk clerk commented that I wasn't on their list of "paid" reservations -- although I insisted that I had bought an Encore package and therefore not a freeloader.

- the 2 of them took lightly my disappointment in not getting a unit with a bathtub & my need to soak, one of them promising to email me a list of nearby spas which I never received...BUT I found out on checkout day that the "resort" had a hot-tub by the indoor pool adjacent to the gym, which is located next to the front desk area!

Clearly the staffing at this Pulse lacks the polish & sophistication to transform a shoddy location into a worthwhile urban resort. I like visiting SD and would rather stay at the nearby Wyndham, Gaslamp Suites, or Worldmarks than Marriott's latest entry into an 'upscale' market.
 

TUGBrian

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guess i need to add this resort! great info here!
 

TUGBrian

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