The Guild Hotel — San Diego, USA
We suppose it was only a matter of time before savvy hoteliers like Alvin and Kevin Mansour realized the potential of landmark Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego.
Built in 1924 as an R&R base, the handsome bones of the seven-floor Italianate Renaissance building on Broadway have been deftly realigned by interior designer Sormeh Rienne into a 162-room Tribute Portfolio Hotel. The period flourishes of the exterior have been faithfully restored, but it’s the interiors that have been thoroughly spruced up and reimagined – not least the original basketball court and elevated running track, and the underground pool, both now ballrooms.
The bedrooms, meanwhile, pair high ceilings, and city and harbour views with leather headboards, customised artwork by local artists, and Garnier-Thiebaut linen, with the best room in the house – the 2-bedroom penthouse – staking the rooftop terrace.
The conversion of the pool into a ballroom leaves the hotel with neither wet facility nor spa; though that probably leaves you with more time at the outdoor courtyard restaurant Luca – a black and white themed cocoon anchored by an outdoor fireplace – where head chef Justin Vaiciunas mollifies spirits with lobster salad rolls, red quinoa fritters, and tenderloin club sandwiches.§