Core-Columbia combines two of Downtown San Diego’s seven districts – Civic Core and Columbia; together, they form Downtown’s business district. Civic Core is the business epicenter; it contains the city government, all major banks, and many financial and corporate institutions. Symphony Tower, Downtown’s tallest building and home to the University Club – San Diego’s premier private business and social club, is in this neighborhood. Next door, Columbia is home to San Diego federal and county courthouses, and county government offices.
These neighborhoods are filled with historic architecture. Visitors will enjoy the gracious façades of the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank building, the Owl Drug building, the US Grant Hotel, and the 100-year-old historic Santa Fe Depot. Other highlights include the San Diego Civic Theater, Copley Symphony Hall, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. Millionaire Row – a stretch of luxury condos along Pacific Coast Highway, Waterfront Park, Tuna Harbor Park – home of “The Kiss” statue, and the boardwalk along San Diego Bay also bring life to the business district.
Hotels in Core-Columbia fall into three categories: boutique, historic, and best value. Hotel Palomar, The Bristol Hotel, and The Sophia Hotel are small boutique hotels that emphasize upscale amenities, green consciousness, and healthy living. Palomar San Diego also has a rooftop adults-only pool and lounge. The Bristol Hotel’s green program offers half-off parking for hybrid cars. The Sophia has an on-site spa, a yoga studio, and on-demand fitness trainers.
The historic luxury US Grant hotel is the ultimate epicurean experience. Architecturally, it is a neighborhood icon that stands side-by-side with other legendary Downtown buildings along Broadway. It is the sole historic luxury hotel in Core-Columbia. The US Grant, Hotel Palomar, The Bristol, and The Sophia all advertise themselves as Gaslamp hotels, but in fact, they are in Core-Columbia on the outside edges of the Gaslamp Quarter. The DoubleTree Downtown is on the edge of Little Italy, and the Wyndham is the only waterfront hotel in the district.
Who Should Stay Here
Core-Columbia is a clear choice for business professionals. The proximity to city and county government offices, courthouses, banks, and other financial and corporate entities makes doing business in San Diego more convenient. Image-conscious, budget-minded, and overworked business professionals can find accommodations to suit their needs. These hotels can provide a retreat from the pressures of business, or an invaluable support to close the deal.
Core-Columbia boutique hotels cater to adult travelers. They offer upscale design details and hotel amenities like Italian sheets, rain showers, signature spa products, balconies, epic views, wine receptions, and award-winning restaurants. The US Grant, king of historic hotels in Downtown San Diego, offers unmatched luxury and amenities like a state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service spa, fine art gallery, and cocktail lounge – all better appreciated by adults. The district’s best-value hotels, DoubleTree Downtown San Diego and Wyndham San Diego Bayside would be more family-friendly choices.