Monday, September 8, 2008

HIlton San Diego Resort & Spa

Sitting on a cushioned sunbed in a cabana - open-sided tent - in scorching temperatures besides a shimmering pool is a luxurious way to spend the day!

Beyond the pool is a sparkling lake and as we gaze between palm trees we see the tips of sails race by, their windsurfers unseen below.

Around us are beautiful grounds filled with palm trees and flowers, and a thin ribbon of pale sandy beach contours the lake.

We have found an ideal retreat in the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa. Tucked in on Mission Bay, it is an hour's flight away from San Francisco.

On this sweltering afternoon we are enjoying watching lots of people have fun in the pool from young couples to families with children. Even tiny babies are having a gentle swirl.

And we have found the ideal cabana! For the first time we are poolside with internet access and a TV!

With wifi and power points, we can send pics to our family or work if we have to! Or keep up with the news or watch a film on the TV hanging in the corner on large hooks. All whilst reclining on luxury orange sunbeds.

This is supposed to be a holiday location, but the couple next to us seem quite happy to spend all day on their laptops!

Of course this cushioned indolence comes at a price, costing an extra $75 dollars a day at the weekend but was free yesterday (Friday) though whether there is seasonal variation on charging, I can't say. If you simply want to check your email, a tip is that you can pick up a free signal by sitting close by.

For our money we have also been given a complimentary fruit bowl - I expected an exotic fruit platter but it is only four crisp apples, and definitely not for the dentally-challenged! - a jug of lemonade and a few bottles of water.

The poolside service here is excellent, too, with a great cocktail selection, mostly with rum as you would expect for a city with one eye on the Caribbean. And also has a charming Paris look-alike as hostess!!!

This is Rajah-style living in the New Millenium in San Diego!

Across the lake we can see the observation tower of Sea World ascending and descending only a mile away, and during the season up to the end of August, the nightly firework displays can be watched from here.

The resort also offers a comfy, shady seating area with hot tub, a spa, wedding services and a wide range of water sports and activities.

Today wedding preparations are in full swing. A white-painted, wooden bower decked in red bougainvillea stands on the grass giving views across the lake. In an area to the side of the pool, paper lanterns are being hung and pink sashes tied in bows to chairs. The wedding party have been here celebrating since yesterday.

...I have just made a trip to our room and coincidentally caught sight of the bride in musical procession making her way down the 'aisle'. Apart from the absence of a church, there are all the attractive trappings of a traditional wedding...

For those who wish to be active, there are bikes of all sizes to hire to cycle on the path around the lake, including ones for small children and ones with a child's bike attached. Or simply the opportunity for a scenic walk.

And then there are water sports, hugely popular on a day like today. Wind surfing, kayaking, sailing including on yachts and catamarans, jet and water skiing, scuba diving and snorkelling. There is also beach volley ball for anyone aspiring to an Olympic gold!

As usual, the day ends with food! A review of a bar and one of the restaurants is in my next blog.

Overall, the amenities, location and service are highly recommended. The resort appears to be particularly family-friendly with children's facilities, and the staff are especially pleasant and attentive.

For further info on the resort click here.

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