This summer was full of jet-setting opportunities - from African safaris, to cocktails in Dubai, to hiking the Cinque Terre! While it's been a summer to remember, we're cooling down on our travel time and settling back into reality. That being said, we're all about the weekend getaways! Living in Orange County, the options are endless when it comes to pretty places to stay... This time around, we opted for a quick weekend trip down to San Diego. We wanted downtown luxury mixed with classic, San Diego charm. There's no better place to stay than the U.S. Grant Hotel!
If you are at all intrigued by hotels with history, this is the spot for you. Do yourself a favor and check out the U.S. Grant’s website and read about everything that has gone on there since they opened their doors in 1910. It was built by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. in honor of his father, the 18th President of the United States. We'll be the first to say that Ulysses S. Grant Jr did an AMAZING job - in more ways than one! The U.S. Grant was once famous for an incredible Palm Court above the massive grand lobby, which was literally an oasis of palm trees on the second floor - complete with a gorgeous view of the downtown. They have a Turtle Soup at the Grant Grill that is unbelievable… And don't let the word turtle scare you. It used to be turtle and now it’s mock-turtle, and is actually made with beef tongue! The hotel used to house a speakeasy during the prohibition era called the Plata Real Nightclub, where there was booze secretly brought into the hotel through underground steam pipes. Also, there was a sit-in at the Grant Grill in 1969 that carved the way for women’s rights in San Diego. We’re telling you… a lot has happened at this historic spot!
As for our stay… we arrived to find a elegant lobby with classic furniture and decor. There are beautiful chandeliers throughout the hotel, as well as numerous cozy nooks to sit, sip on a cocktail, and people watch. One detail we loved was that the U.S. Grant has their trademark “G” logo all over the hotel in really creative places. If and when you visit, make a little game out of it by walking around and seeing how many G’s you can find. Similar to looking for “Hidden Mickey’s” at Disneyland. (You know we love Disneyland!!)
Our room was AMAZING. We could really dedicate this whole blog to our room alone!. It had a big, cozy bed with the kind of bedding that makes you never want to leave. Ever. The headbord was a painted one-of-a-kind art piece by French artist, Yves Clement. It's touches like this that we have come to really appreciate… beautiful modern, abstract art fitting in wonderfully with an elegant, timeless bedroom.
We were excited to eat turtle soup at the Grant Grill and had also heard great things about their cocktail menu. It definitely did not disappoint. Our waiter, Brendan, started us off with a couple cocktails and a small loaf of bread, because that’s how all meals should begin right? Bobby had the most incredible Manhattan, while Alli had a tequila concoction that was torched with fire before she drank it. The turtle soup ended up being one of our favorite dishes - it was really tasty! And no turtles were harmed in the making of the soup!! We were stuffed with more amazing food including pork belly, halibut, and lamb loin (which is like the filet mignon of lamb). While our tummies were stuffed, we had to try some dessert. (Duh!!) Our server suggested we have the mango beignets with mint sauce, which ended up being a perfect light option!
We finished the night off with a short stroll of the Gaslamp and headed back to our room to enjoy a lovely air-conditioned night sleep (our home has been really hot with no AC - come on Southern California! Don't you know it's Fall?!). We slept in the next morning, and did not want to leave. The U.S. Grant was such a treat! It was a perfect weekend getaway and we cannot wait to go back!
Conveniently enough, today the U.S. Grant is celebrating their 105th anniversary!! Congratulations, U.S. Grant team!