City Snapshot

San Diego, CA

Each month we pick one of our favorite #DynamoDestinations that should be on your map for hosting conferences, meetings & events. Plus, we’ll reveal our top venue picks in the same 5 corporate event categories for each destination so that when you’re in a pinch and need to find the very best picks right now in a given city, you’ve got the Dynamo-approved go-to’s.

San Diego – Our September 2020 Feature

For our September #CitySnapshot we’re highlighting yet another one of our local favorites, beautiful San Diego! We just love how well they’ve reimagined hotels and event spaces during this pandemic – and couldn’t wait to share some of their cool tools with our #eventprof community.

Like many of the great neighboring cities, San Diego is known for its beaches (all 70 miles of them), parks, and warm climate. And although anyone would enjoy time in their downtown center, it’s particularly eventful for music lovers!

That’s right, downtown San Diego is home to the famous San Diego Symphony, The Shell. Sitting bayside, this unique shell-like dome hosts concerts and one-of-a-kind outdoor events, and also features a variety of dining options and art installments. Did we mention that it’s right next to the San Diego Convention Center and Downtown skyline? Well, now we did.

Sold on sunny San Diego for your next event? Try out their new virtual site visiting experience to vet venues from the comfort of your home. That’s right! The San Diego Tourism Authority is now providing virtual site tours to accommodate the needs of meeting planners in the era of COVID-19. Talk about accommodation!

1. User Conference

Mission Bay Resort

Chain: Independent
Brand: Independent
Total meeting space: 50,000+ sq ft total event space
Guest rooms: 357
Nearest airport: San Diego Airport, SAN (About a 10-15 minute drive)

Why we love it:

With a 21 million dollar revamp, the Mission Bay Resort provides an ideal basecamp for guests looking to explore San Diego’s vibrant culture. Plus, with all their meeting spaces on the same floor, we think this spot is perfect for your next User Conference!

The resort gets its name from its location in Mission Bay Park, the largest aquatic preserve in the United States. We love this area because it’s close to nearly all of San Diego’s main attractions – like the Gaslamp District, Historic Old Town, Balboa Park, and La Jolla.

When it comes to hotel and venue amenities Mission Bay hits the mark. With luxury bedding and linens, designer furnishings, and an open, airy vibe, your guests will feel completely at ease and relaxed the whole time. Moreover, their flexible venue space offers three distinctive ballrooms, a Garden Pavilion, an executive boardroom, break-outs, and captivating outdoor venues that provide an ideal environment for meetings and social occasions.

We recommend using their 10,000 sq. ft. International ballroom for your General Sessions. It fits up to 750 guests Banquet Style or 1,000 Theater.

For meals, consider enjoying them out on their almost 9,000 sq. ft. Garden by the Bay area. It offers unique dining experiences, like the option to choose a signature menu specifically designed for your group – with authentic Mediterranean to contemporary coastal cuisine, there’s an endless amount of possibilities.

2. Sales Kickoff

Intercontinental San Diego

Chain: IHG
Brand: Intercontinental Hotels
Total meeting space: 95,000 + sq ft total event space
Guest rooms: 400
Nearest airport: San Diego Airport, SAN (About a 5-10 minute drive)

Why we love it:

With 60,000 sq. ft. of outdoor settings, water view terraces, and a view of the historic Lane Field Park, the Intercontinental San Diego is a dream. Add their 35,000 sq. ft. of meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows for natural sunshine, and you’ve got yourself the perfect venue for your next Sales Kickoff!

Your guests will love their distinctive dining venues overlooking San Diego Bay, like their signature restaurant Vistal, the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, and their rooftop and pool bar.

We recommend their Bayview Ballroom for your General Sessions. Not only does it have their signature floor to ceiling windows, but it comes with a view of the ocean, natural lighting, and blackout capabilities for when you’re putting on a show.

For receptions and meals, the Bayview Terrace is spacious and has another incredible view of the oceanfront.

We also love that all their event spaces are conveniently located on one floor (the 2nd), making breakouts a breeze to get to! All breakout spaces have cityviews with natural lighting and we can’t forget their signature floor to ceiling windows.

3. Executive Summit

Hotel Del Coronado

Chain: Hilton
Brand: Curio Collection by Hilton
Total meeting space: 65,000 + sq ft total event space
Guest rooms: 679
Nearest airport: San Diego Airport, SAN (About a 15-20 minute drive)

Why we love it:

Currently undergoing a 400 million dollar transformation with a late 2021 deadline, Hotel Del Coronado will be a MUST for any Executive Summit.

Although the first phase of the hotel’s reimagination was completed in 2019, there are still so many great changes to come – like new meeting rooms, bar experiences, and a pool. By 2021, their Event Center will also be complete! It’ll have state-of-the-art features, a 15,000 sq. ft. ballroom, 10,000 sq. ft. of pre-function and break-out meeting spaces, and a completely new look. They’ll also have a new 14,000 sq. ft. outdoor space, with views of the historic hotel.

Not only does this place have a lot of amazing new event options en route, but it’s just minutes away from downtown San Diego and the International Airport. It’s located on the Pacific’s edge on Coronado Island and offers beautiful panoramic views to prove it.

Right now, they’re using Hilton’s EventReady program to gather people and create event experiences that are safe, clean, flexible, and socially responsible. By providing creative food and beverage solutions, thoughtful tech resources, redesigned spaces with social distancing, and best practices, they’re creating a safe and comfortable environment for planners and attendees.

When it comes to food, they’ve also got it completely covered. Planners will be able to choose from specially curated event menus or allow the hotel’s Culinary Team to create a custom menu. Either way, you’ll find nothing but exceptional service and award-winning menus. We really can’t wait for this revamp to be finished!

4. Road Show

Pendry San Diego

Chain: Montage Hotel & Resorts
Brand: Pendry Hotels & Resorts
Total meeting space: 15,000+ sq ft total event space
Guest rooms: 317
Nearest airport: San Diego Airport, SAN (About a 10-15 minute drive)

Why we love it:

Located between 5th and 6th Avenues, Pendry San Diego is in the heart of the historic Gaslamp District – just blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, Petco Park, bars, restaurants, and the vibrant nightlife that come with it!

With 6 unique on-site bars and restaurants, your guests can indulge in culinary delights from some of the most talented chefs in the city. For that reason and many others, we absolutely recommend this venue for your next Road Show!

The Pendry offers fun experiences like tasting menus, wine events, live music, and pop-up shops. And, the best part is that their programming changes every season and holiday so there’s always something fun and new to experience when you visit.

Their meeting rooms are intimate, filled with character and style, and their Grand Ballroom offers a beautiful floor-to-ceiling window, with +8,000 sq. ft. of space.

If you’re looking for something more discreet, the Provisional offers private dining for events with an extensive menu and delicious meal options. Overall, a complete stunner of a venue!

5. Incentive

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Chain: Accor
Brand: Fairmont Hotels
Total meeting space: 31,666 sq ft total event space
Guest rooms: 234
Nearest airport: San Diego Airport, SAN (About a 20-25 minute drive)

Why we love it:

Last but not least, our top 5 favorite venues in the San Diego area is the Fairmont Grand Del Mar! Recognized as TripAdvisor’s #1 Luxury Hotel in San Diego, this beautiful resort combines the old world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant hotel. And with a Tom Fazio golf course, 5-star spa, and exquisite dining, you’ll definitely feel the luxury. Not to mention, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is home the only MICHELIN-starred restaurant in San Diego. Experience Addison, it’s Californa Gastronomy offered in five or ten courses, on their secret rooftop terrace with views of Los Peñasquitos Canyon. Now that is luxurious!

We recommend having your event on the Aria Lawn. It has a statement pavilion with views of the golf course and canyon preserve. They also have a large amount of flexible meeting space, flowing perfectly from indoor to outdoor, with beautiful high ceilings.

If you’re in groups, enjoy their hiking, horseback riding, golf, seasonal cooking classes, or wine tasting. There’s really no shortage of fun activities here, and that’s partly why we love it so much!

If you love California just as much as we do, check out our other #CitySnapshots: Downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim, Orange County, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles’ West Side.

Which city would you like us to cover next? Send us a message to let us know!

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