Stay – A Review of The Guild, Tribute Portfolio in San Diego

The Guild is a new Category 6 Tribute Portfolio Hotel in downtown San Diego. Formerly an Army-Navy YMCA building built in the 1920s, a major renovation project was completed to modernize the building as a luxury boutique hotel while preserving elements of the past. The hotel has 8 floors, 162 rooms that range from 185-1808 square feet, and 18 unique room designs.

The Guild Tribute Hotel: Information about the hotel
The Guild Tribute Hotel: Information about the hotel

On the website, you can book the following room categories:

  • Apprentice: Guestroom, 1 King or 2 Queens
  • Artisan: Guestroom, 1 King or 2 Queens
  • Journeyman: Guestroom, 1 King or 2 Queens
  • Society: Guestroom 1 King
  • Society Suite: Suite, 1 King
  • Master: Junior Suite, 1 King, 1 Sofa Bed
  • Master: Junior Suite, 1 King, 1 Sofa Bed, Partial Bay View
  • 2 Bedroom Penthouse Suite: Bedroom 1: 1 King, Bedroom 2: 1 King, Bathrooms: 2.5

As for dining, the restaurant has two Mediterranean restaurants: Luca and Grace Garden. Luca is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Grace Garden for lunch. The bar, The Guild Bar is open from 16:00 onwards and closes around 23:00 unless there are people still there. They also have meeting and wedding space.

The Guild Tribute Hotel: Luca Restaurant
The Guild Tribute Hotel: Luca Restaurant
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The bar
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The bar

The hotel has a fully stocked gym with cardio equipment, including a Peloton bike and some weight training gear too.

The Guild Tribute Hotel: The gym
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The gym

Parking is valet only at a charge of $50 per day.

The hotel is also pet-friendly; 1 pet is allowed per room at the cost of non-refundable $150 fee. They also impose a maximum weight of 40 pounds for dogs.

During our stay, we stayed in an Apprentice Guest Room with 1 King on the 3rd floor. We were slightly disappointed when they admitted to accidentally giving our upgrade to a Junior Suite away at check-in when we asked why our room type had changed. It happens though!

In this post, we share information and pros and cons of staying at The Guild in downtown San Diego.


  • The location: We absolutely loved the location! The hotel is so close to Little Italy which is one of our favorite neighborhoods in San Diego. We’ve stayed in the Gas Lamp Quarter before and found it way too loud due to the party scene; The Guild offers respite from that. It is also a quick and cheap Uber/Lyft ride from the airport.
Max in San Diego
Max in San Diego
  • The room: Our room was a little on the small side but well-designed and very comfortable. We prefer modern and minimalist style and it delivered on that. The room also had an awesome shower and toiletries from Maison Margiela. In some ways, the rooms reminded us of a classier Moxy Seattle with a touch of the Hi-Lo in Portland. The room also had a safe that was large enough to store laptops. They also have both a hair dryer and hair straightener which is something we wish more hotels had.
  • The gym: For a hotel with less than 200 rooms, the gym is well-stocked and has high quality equipment. Max loved Peloton and tends to seek out hotels that have it.
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The gym
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The gym
  • The bar: Despite being a higher-end hotel, the vibe is pretty casual; the bar offers craft beer on draft and you can take your beer to sit outside in the courtyard.
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The courtyard
The Guild Tribute Hotel: The courtyard
  • The restaurant: Luca is a beautifully designed restaurant in a courtyard with heat lamps, meaning you can fine al fresco here year-round. We enjoyed the food at breakfast a lot and wished we didn’t have to head to the airport so that we could have tried their Sunday Brunch.
  • The service: Overall, we found the staff pretty helpful and friendly. Because we didn’t get our upgrade, we received extra drink tickets for the bar.
  • The rates: Room rates start at $170 which is reasonable for downtown San Diego and the quality of the accommodations. The valet parking charge is pretty high but they don’t currently charge a destination fee like other big cities which means you pay the rate you see online and don’t have to worry about another $20+. The destination marketing tax is annoying though; does California really need to tax people to market itself as a tourist destination?


  • The room: We did like some aspects of the room but it is very small and awkward in some cases. The bed was placed in a way that left no room for a bedside table and is right beside the door that opens to the hallway. The room also doesn’t have space to store luggage or a closet; you can hang your clothes on a wall mounted hanging device and those traveling with large luggage might not have space to store it. There is a desk if you are planning to work but it is more of a table.
  • The ground floor/street-level rooms: Some of the rooms are on the ground floor at street level and offer less privacy and can be noisier. We would have been disappointed had we been assigned a room this low.
  • The furnishings: Overall, the furnishings are nice but it is not good to see tiles in the shower already broken and coming apart. The room also doesn’t have any nightlights and the bathroom light switch is all the way in the corner beside the toilet which seems odd.
  • The Platinum Breakfast Benefit: If you choose breakfast as your Platinum benefit, the only option on the menu that’s included are the two eggs served Applewood bacon or chicken apple sausage, roasted potatoes, and toast. While we did enjoy the breakfast, we were there for a short stay and didn’t have any dietary restrictions or else it would have been disappointing. We did hear that if you speak to the manager, they will waive the extra $1-$2 for the other items but that is a bit of a pain.
  • The service: We were not told of the daily wine reception in the lobby where they serve wine and cheese daily from 15:00-16:00.
  • The parking: Not having the choice to self-park and only use valet is a pet peeve of ours.


The Guild is a nice hotel with a great location and reasonable rates. Travelers who like minimalist design and don’t mind small rooms will enjoy this hotel more than travelers who like traditional rooms with closets and dressers.

A mural in San Diego
A mural in San Diego

We think this hotel is good for a short weekend getaway for adults who are very comfortable with another due to the size of the rooms. This is also not a child-friendly hotel. We would stay here again if only because we don’t like the Gaslamp District and like being able to walk to Little Italy and beyond.

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