Thursday, June 7, 2012

San Diego, CA: Get a Room! (at The Uber Sexy Keating Hotel)

Southern California. Italian design. Ferrari. Stainless steel. Maserati. Bang and Olufsen. Rain showerheads. Just one of these by itself is damn sexy. Put them all together, add a king-sized bed, and you have the uber sexy Keating Hotel. 

The Keating is the first born hotel of Pininfarina, the Italian design firm best known for their works of automotive art: the Ferrari and the Maserati. They have successfully transformed one of the oldest buildings in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district into a hip 35-room boutique lifestyle hotel. Today sexiness oozes out of every black and vintage brick wall, the red carpeted and polished cement floors, and each sleek steel counter. 

The attention to detail at The Keating is seductive. If you listen closely, you might find yourself standing in a particular area with some intriguing acoustics. If you look carefully, you may catch a glimpse of a rearview mirror or a gear shift in places where you would not expect them. When you enter your room, the seduction is complete. With no interior walls (except around the toilet) and vaulted ceilings, you can see everything...

...a Lavazza espresso machine (with herbal tea for those who aren’t looking to buzz)
...Italian linens (by Frette) and goose down pillows
...stylish Dornbracht bathroom fixtures
...a remote controlled Bang & Olufsen entertainment system (that also works the lights)
...a handheld shower head (for the woman who just desires a rinse)
...even luxurious towelettes in la toilette (wow)

Although there is much to see and taste throughout the Gaslamp district, it’s entirely possible to satiate all your senses without ever straying outside of The Keating compound.

Inside the hotel is a mini fitness room, a business center and conference room, and a plush meeting lounge. There's even a resident pet...Smudge, the Boston terrier. (Yes, The Keating is pet-friendly.)

The menu at the main restaurant, the MerK Bistro, was recently restyled by Executive Chef Brian Rutherford and TV Chef Gordon Ramsay from Italian fare to American “farm to table” creations. Whether its breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, you’ll be a bit stumped as to which fresh seasonal dish to choose. As I sipped on a Keating Cosmo at dinner, I believe I may have moaned. I’m certain I did when the roasted beet and burrata salad, fried calamari, and carpaccio with mustard créme hit my tongue. So I was only a tad disappointed that I had just missed Club di Vino, which meets on first Thursday of the month to bestow multiple tastings from a featured boutique winery, food pairings, and a casual enology lesson upon guests. 

After listening to live jazz at Croce’s, descend underground to the swanky and passionately red Sway Lounge where you can store your wine in a private liquor locker next to the former bank vault and toast until 4 a.m.

On the weekend, be sure and sneak out before 3 a.m. to grab a slice of gourmet pizza at the New York City-style Krust Pizzeria. Might I suggest the delectable "Loaded Baker" followed by a chocolate chip cookie that rivals your mom’s? It's now time to return immediately to your room and mess up that bed! 

Oh, yes...I am speaking from absolutely exquisite experience when I urge you to grab your “other” and race to get a room at The Keating Hotel. Pronto!

The Keating Hotel
432 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101


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