The most useful review of the colossal Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina entrance from the outside

San Diego is a veritable tourist’s paradise. And the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina stands out among other San Diego hotels with its picturesque location on Harbor Island. Located right across the street from the San Diego airport, with plenty of dining options nearby and at the edge of the beautiful San Diego Marina waterfront, it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. If you’re coming from far or a California local just needing a change of scenery to destress, this Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina review will give you the full reveal of this resort.

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Check-in

First of all, I stayed here at a very busy time. The Sheraton San Diego Marina hotel was hosting what was called Noise-Con and there was a steady stream of guests checking in and out. That being said, the check-in process was not as pleasant as it had been at recent Sheratons I had stayed at. The check-in agents seemed slightly overwhelmed and a little disinterested. But again, it was busy, so I cannot say whether this was characteristic of this hotel.

Check-in at the San Diego Marina Sheraton is 4pm and check-out is at 12pm. However, Marriott Bonvoy Elite members may be able to check-in sometime before that. If you arrive by car, self parking is an extra $36/day or $45/day for valet parking. And if you are flying in, the hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that runs every 15-20 minutes. 

The wide open lobby at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. The lobby ceiling resembles the hull of a ship.
The lobby ceiling resembles the hull of a ship under construction at this nautical themed resort hotel

Click here to book at Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina direct with Marriott

Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina resort fee

The resort fee at this Sheraton San Diego is an extra $26/day which includes:

  • high speed internet
  • a $10 food and beverage credit good at any of the resort’s restaurants or for room service
  • a 1 hour tennis, bike or non-motorized water sports rental (ie. kayaking, paddle board, pedal boat)
  • a morning yoga class

Admittedly, for a dollar more than the resort fee charged at the Sawgrass Marriott where I stayed recently, you didn’t get quite as much in my opinion. However, the resort fee pays for itself if you manage to take advantage of all these amenities. As well, it is considerably less than the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina which charges a $35/day daily amenity fee.

Platinum Elite Welcome Gift

Marriott Bonvoy states on their website that the Platinum Elite Welcome Gift consists of points, a breakfast offering or amenity. And the gift varies by brand. At the San Diego Marriott Marina hotel you can choose from:

  • breakfast buffet each day of your stay at the Harbor’s Edge hotel restaurant (regularly $26) 
  • “taste of San Diego”- a local beer and snacks (ie. nuts, dried fruit)
  • 1000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Granted, if you are Platinum Elite or higher with Marriott you get lounge access where a continental breakfast buffet is provided. And the hotel bar had a pretty nice happy hour. So, needless to say the 1000 Bonvoy points might be your best bet.

Click here to book at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina with Booking.com

Sheraton San Diego Bay Tower vs Marina Tower

Thankfully, I received an upgrade to a Pacific Suite in the Marina Tower. The Marina Tower is the main part of the hotel where you check-in and where the conventions are held. As well, all of the hotel restaurants except for The Bay Tower Lounge restaurant are located in the Marina Tower. 

In addition, if you are looking for that resort feel, the Marina Tower Lanai pool is much nicer and bigger than the one at the Bay Tower. And lastly, this San Diego marina hotel has a Club Lounge which is also located in the Marina Tower. However, if you end up staying in the Bay Tower it is only about a 5 minute walk from the Marina Tower. Or, you can take the hotel shuttle between the two towers.

Room

Queen bed and nightstands against a nautical navy blue wall in the Pacific Suite at this San Diego Sheraton

Although this is not the most modern of the San Diego marina hotels, the resort’s fun nautical theme can be seen everywhere including the navy blue themed rooms. And without a doubt, an upgrade to a Pacific Suite is worth asking for. It’s not a huge suite but you will be grateful for the extra space.

View from the balcony window of the Marina Tower over the marina with the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina Bay Tower in the distance
From the balcony of our Pacific Suite in the Marina Tower you can see the Bay Tower, just to the left of the Sheraton S symbol.

The sweeping views of the marina is one of the greatest things about the rooms at this San Diego Sheraton. Harbor Island provides a beautiful backdrop to take in the sunrise and sunset from the balcony.

View of the sun shining on the San Diego Sheraton marina full of boats from a balcony in the Marina Tower.  As well, in the distance is the Sheraton Bay Tower. San Diego weather can be enjoyed at the Lanai pool and outdoor Shoreline restaurant which can be seen in the foreground, surrounded by palm trees.
The stunning Lanai pool at this Sheraton on the marina, San Diego

Honestly, the view of the marina and the Lanai pool really made this suite. And the balcony was an added plus.

Pull-out sofa bed, coffee table, sitting chair and desk in a semi-dated suite at this Sheraton in San Diego. The balcony that overlooks the San Diego Marina can be seen in the background.

Unfortunately, the room was definitely showing its age and the furniture and decor was a little dated. The pull-out sofa bed was so worn that sadly, it looked quite dirty. It goes without saying that it didn’t get any use during my stay.

View of the bed and smart TV from the sitting area of the Pacific Suite in the Marina Tower

As with most Marriott’s now, the TV allowed you to sign into your Pandora and Netflix, Hulu or YouTube accounts to watch internet TV.

View of the entire Pacific Suite in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, including bed, sitting chairs, coffee table, couch, desk and balcony

Overall, the Pacific Suite was a welcome upgrade. The extra room it offered definitely helped us get the most out of our short stay. As usual, the suite was equipped with a single serve coffee machine and Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea supplies.

Single serve coffee maker and Starbucks/Tazo supplies on a desk next to a lamp
A small hotel safe sits on a shelf in the closet above the hangers
Ethernet cable, room service menu, complimentary water with an attached coupon for the Island Breeze Spa at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego CA

Additionally, there was a safe in the closet and an ethernet cable on the desk. Lastly, around the neck of the complimentary water bottles was a $10 coupon for services at the San Diego Marina Marriott Island Breeze Spa.

A large mirror sits above a white sink in the nautically themed bathroom in the San Diego Sheraton and Marina hotel. Sheraton exclusive Le Grand Bain toiletries, a soap dish, 2 glasses, a Kleenex box and facecloths sit next to the sink. And in the mirror is a reflection of the white tiled tub shower.

The stunningly white bathroom was accented with nautical inspired navy blue pinstripes. And the tub shower was equipped with a single shower head with adjustable spray settings. As per usual, Le Grand Bain toiletries were provided. Their citron and vetiver scented shampoo, condition and body lotion are exclusive to Sheraton.

Sheraton Marina San Diego Club Lounge

Tables, comfy directors chairs and large sitting chairs fill the sitting area in the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina Club Lounge. The lounge is decorated in white and navy blue and an accent piece filled with shells and coral is in the foreground.
Club Lounge seating that overlooks a beautiful view of the marina

As Sheraton Club Lounges go, this one was not bad. For starters, the view from the Club Lounge floor is spectacular. From one side of the Sheraton, downtown San Diego sprawls into the distance. And from the other side, you will be mesmerized by the sunlight playing on the waters of the marina.

A full continental buffet breakfast is served every morning from 630am to 930am and until 1030am on Saturday and Sunday. This includes among other things cereals, cold cuts, cheeses, oatmeal, yogurt, a selection of fruits, sausage, bacon, eggs and Starbucks coffee.

Breakfast setup in the Club Lounge consisting of Starbucks coffee, juices, cold cereals, cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt parfaits, yogurt and fresh fruit.
Assorted pastries, breads and bagels at the Club Lounge breakfast in the Sheraton hotel in San Diego CA. As well, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs are in the cast iron pots in the background.

Then, in the evening hors d’oeuvres start at 530pm until 830pm. The spread consists of such things as veggies, cold cuts, various cheeses, hummus and pita, soup and various finger foods. And, you even get a choice of a dessert or two.

Various cheeses and cold cuts at evening hors d'oeuvres in the Club Lounge
Salads and veggies at evening hors d'oeuvres. Fruits, granola bars and cast iron pots holding hot appetizers are seen in the background.

Lastly, the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina Club Lounge is open 24 hours outside of these 2 meal times. They provide 2 Starbucks coffee machines, Tazo teas, chips, granola bars, water, pop and seltzer water. I have to admit, the one Starbucks coffee machine made a pretty good double espresso and steamed milk. Additionally, a computer and printer are also available in the lounge.

24 hour amenities of the Club Lounge- Tazo tea, 2 Starbucks specialty coffee machines and a cooler holding cold drinks. A computer and printer are on a desk in the corner.

Dining at the Marriott San Diego Marina hotel

By no means is there any lack of restaurants in this Sheraton. San Diego downtown is nearby, but if you want to spend all your time in the resort you could. Here are all the dining options in the Marina Tower:

  • Harbor’s Edge- this restaurant is directly after the check-in counters at the Sheraton. San Diego Harbor Island provides a beautiful backdrop for breakfast, lunch and dinner they serve here on the harbor’s edge.
  • Quinn’s Ale House- right beside Harbor’s Edge. Pub food and a nice happy hour.
  •  Marina Market & Cafe- to the left after check-in. They serve Starbucks coffee and snacks and sandwiches that are a little overpriced in my opinion.
  • Shoreline- an outdoor restaurant beside the Lanai pool. They are open seasonally and have a lighter menu and beautiful views.
  • Harbor & Vine- a chic restaurant with a wide variety of wines.
Seating at the Shoreline outdoor restaurant beside the Lanai pool at this Sheraton hotel, San Diego.

I personally ate at Quinn’s Ale House a few times during my stay. The food there was reasonably priced and not bad for hotel bar food. Plus, they were open late for grabbing those late night snacks. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, some even within walking distance, but many a short ride away. Plus, Little Italy, Gaslamp Quarter, SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo are all under a 15 minute drive from this San Diego Marriott.

♥ Pro-tip: It may make sense to forego the $13 cold box sandwich from the Marina Market & Cafe. Especially considering that for a just a few bucks more you can get something hot to order at Quinn’s Ale House. 

The open doors at the entrance to Quinn's Ale House in the hotel. A few people are seated inside at the tables.

Amenities

Not only does the Sheraton at the marina San Diego have a fabulous outdoor pool area, it also has gorgeous views of the marina right beside. In addition to the large outdoor pool and hot tub, there is ample seating and fire pits on the Marina Tower side. As well, the Shoreline restaurant is right beside the pool, under the wavy blue roof. You can also bring drinks and food from Quinn’s Ale House out to the pool. Pool hours are 7am to 10pm. Though much smaller, the Bay Tower also has its own pool and outdoor lounging area.

View of the Lanai pool, lounge seating and Shoreline restaurant from above. Palm trees and other greenery surround the pool and seating.
View of the Marina Tower pool and its 3 spraying seahorses on a sunny day. The Shoreline restaurant is in the background.

Regrettably, I was too busy to take advantage of the gym, but it had a good selection of cardio and weight machines. The Island Breeze Spa is right beside the fitness center and offers a range of services and specials.

Weight machines and other equipment in the fitness center of the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Find more San Diego hotels with Booking.com here

Kwafare conclusion

In the final analysis, the Sheraton Hotel and Marina San Diego has a range of dining options, a fantastic pool and a decent Club Lounge. As well, the hotel is in close proximity to so many things to do in San Diego. However, the fabulous views don’t hide the fact that the rooms in this category 5 Marriott have really started to show some wear and tear. That being said, if your search for a San Diego hotel brings you to the Sheraton, opt for a room in the Marina Tower vs the Bay Tower if possible.

Pinterest graphic for the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina full review with the hotel pool and palm trees in the background
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4 thoughts on “The most useful review of the colossal Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina”

  1. I love San Diego, even though I’ve only stayed there once. I’d love to go back, it’s so beautiful! Your photos are amazing!

    1. I love it too! There is just so much to do there, so it’s definitely great for repeat visits:) Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

    1. Totes! I’ve always loved a nautically or beach theme bathroom 😉 And my favourite in the bread and pastry buffet was the apricot pastry- too good! Thanks Alison, I really appreciate it!

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Hi! I’m Rebecca. KwaFare is a play on the French expression quoi faire or what to do? Follow along with me as I share essential tips for various travel destinations and the best ways to get the most of your travel. I love to explore the world on points and I’m passionate about spreading smarter travel. Subscribe to my newsletter for valuable tips and reviews. When you know what to do you’re halfway there!

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