Tower 23 – A Snazzy Pacific Beach Hotel and a Great San Diego Alternative to Staying Downtown

We were looking for a beachfront hotel that was easy to handle, and we found it at Tower 23. Touted as “the only lifestyle hotel on the beach,” it is certainly a great choice in San Diego. Pacific Beach is one of the first beach towns north of downtown San Diego, and it is replete with food and funky store choices. Indeed, from the rear hotel window my daughter could see next door a block of stores for her to spend hours while not on the beach: Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, Board & Brew, Baked Bear. She could find poke bowls and açaí bowls nearby for further sustenance.

Tower 23 leverages its ocean-front position on the bluff with a very crisp, glassy architecture. The second floor deck is positioned to maximize relaxing while the surfers shred below. We enjoyed several sunsets on the deck, with beverage service from the bar below. In the evening, the smoothly changing colors of the sky are reflected and refracted with subtly positioned lights inside the hotel.

The hotel offers a range of free rentals: beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and bikes.

Tooling along the sidewalk on the hotel’s beach cruisers was glorious. Weaving easily among the walkers, joggers, strollers and skateboarders we made our way one morning to the awakening scene at Belmont Park. The roller coaster was yet to get in gear, but the imagery was reminiscent of classic east coast beachfront amusement parks.

Service at Tower 23 was friendly and efficient. The staff was quick to supply us with beach towels and other equipment, thereby avoiding our conundrum to bring or buy these items.

One night we sat in the bar area adjacent to JRDN, the hotel’s restaurant, and played several rounds of our family’s traditional board games Qwirkle and Hive, neither of which actually have a board.

The rooms at Tower 23 come with cheeky names. Our ocean front room was sufficiently spacious. The king bed was comfortable, and all appointments were modern. There is nothing like the steady thrum of the waves to induce a solid night of rest.

Tower 23 is a well-balanced property, neither stuffy nor scruffy. It fits perfectly into the atmosphere of Pacific Beach, and we’ll be back.



Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.