The past four days we spent in San Diego was one of the best family vacations we’ve had in years. The weather was perfect, the kids got along, we chose great activities, and the hotel was amazing. While I was pleasantly surprised by all of the above, I was actually stunned by the hotel, for many reasons.
For one thing, it was a Homewood Suites. Not to sound like a hotel snob, but in my experience, a stay at a Homewood Suites is typically not amazing. This totally was. In fact, I would go out of my way to stay at this property again.
Here are the reasons why:
1. The location was perfect
The Homewood Suites Liberty Station is 10 minutes from the airport, Old Town, and the beach. It’s 5 minutes from Sea World, 20 minutes from Legoland, and 30 minutes from the Zoo Safari park. It is also close to Trader Joe’s and Von’s in case you want to pack a picnic or want to stock up on snacks.
2. The staff was awesome
Every staff member we encountered was professional and friendly. This is the kind of place where they go the extra mile. When we first arrived, our room wasn’t ready, so we stashed our bags behind the counter and dashed off to Sea World. When we returned at the end of the day, our bags were already in our room, along with this note:
3. The suites were immaculate, quiet, and comfortable
Our rooms were basic but included everything we needed.
Each suite features a full kitchen, complete with full-size refrigerator, range, microwave, and dishwasher.
Sinks are placed outside the bathrooms, which is always convenient. Bathrooms have showers over tubs.
My one complaint (which is way too strong a word) is that the rooms were a bit small. We had originally booked a 1-bedroom suite, which would have been a little cramped for my family of four. However, if you’ve got younger kids, a 1-bedroom suite would probably be just fine.
4. Tons of extras were included in the price
This is one of the things I appreciated the most. I just love that this property is packed with value for families. Every stay includes free parking, free hot breakfast, and free dinner. This is a huge value! While the offerings weren’t fancy, this is a perk that could be worth hundreds of dollars if you have a large family and stayed for several days.
We enjoyed the heck of out of the free breakfast. What a spread! There were Belgian waffles with berries and whipped cream, omelets, sausage, hash browns, pastries, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, and more.
While we didn’t take advantage of the free dinner, I made a copy of the menu:
5. Lots of conveniences both on-property and nearby
I loved that the hotel has BBQ’s, plenty of outdoor furniture, and an outdoor fireplace. It would be so easy to have a casual dinner right at the hotel! You could zip over to Trader Joe’s for some things to throw on the grill, use the full kitchen in your room to prep everything, and then head down to the patio for a relaxing evening.
The hotel also has a laundry room (!), a game room, and a small fitness room.
There is a bocce ball court, a swimming pool and hot tub on the property.
Nearby, there is a fun playground, a large grassy area, and a little rocky “beach.”
6. This stay can be completely free!
The best part about this stay is that it was free. This was a fantastic award redemption for our family. I used the two Free Weekend Night certificates I received as a sign-up bonus for the Hilton Reserve card, plus 40,000 HHonors points for an award night.
We had originally booked a 1-bedroom suite, which would have cost us $200/night, or $600 total, if we had paid cash. Since we got upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite, our 3-night stay was worth a total of $750 ($250/night).
I think this is the perfect example of how it is important to redeem an award in the way that best makes sense for you and your family. Sure, we could have wrung more “value” out of a different Hilton redemption, such as a stay at the Conrad Maldives, where rooms normally go for $650+ per night, but then we would have had to get to the Maldives. 🙂
This award redemption was packed with value for us, because it was exactly what we were looking for.
What have been your best award redemptions?