The Westgate Hotel is a well-known luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown San Diego. It has been a popular destination for travelers and locals alike for many years, but have you ever wondered what this beautiful hotel was before it became the Westgate?

If you’re curious about the history of this iconic hotel, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Westgate’s past and explore what it was before it became the hotel we know and love today.

The Beginnings of the Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Hotel is a historic luxury hotel located in downtown San Diego, California. Before it became the Westgate Hotel, the building had a rich and interesting history.

The building that now houses the Westgate Hotel was originally built in 1970 as an office building. It was designed by architect William Lewis Pereira, who was also responsible for designing the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

For many years, the building served as an office tower for various companies. However, in the early 2000s, the building was converted into a luxury hotel.

Early History of the Building

Prior to its construction, the land where the Westgate Hotel now stands was home to the U.S. Grant Hotel, which was built in the early 1900s. The U.S. Grant Hotel was a popular destination for wealthy travelers, and it quickly became one of San Diego’s most prestigious hotels.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Grant Hotel suffered a major fire in the 1960s, and much of the building was destroyed. Rather than rebuilding the hotel, the decision was made to construct a new office building on the site.

Conversion to a Hotel

In the early 2000s, the building was purchased by a group of investors who saw its potential as a luxury hotel. The building underwent a major renovation, which included the addition of a rooftop pool and lounge area, as well as a spa and fitness center.

Today, the Westgate Hotel is one of San Diego’s most luxurious hotels, and it has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. Its prime location in downtown San Diego, combined with its rich history and elegant design, make it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

The Westgate Hotel in the 20th Century

The Westgate Hotel, located in downtown San Diego, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. Over the years, the hotel has undergone several changes in ownership, renovations, and upgrades to become the luxurious property it is today.

Changes in Ownership

Since its opening in 1970, the Westgate Hotel has changed hands several times. In 1980, the hotel was acquired by the InterContinental Hotels Group, which managed it until 2011. Today, the hotel is independently owned and operated by the Bartell Hotels Group.

Renovations and Upgrades

Over the years, the Westgate Hotel has undergone several renovations and upgrades to keep up with the changing times and meet the needs of its guests. In 1991, the hotel underwent a major renovation that included the addition of a new tower, a fitness center, and a pool. In 2018, the hotel completed a $10 million renovation that included upgrades to all guest rooms, the lobby, and the pool area.

In addition to the physical upgrades, the hotel has also implemented several environmentally friendly initiatives. For instance, the hotel’s laundry facilities use ozone technology to reduce water and energy consumption. The hotel also has a food waste reduction program in place to minimize its environmental impact.

Famous Guests

Over the years, the Westgate Hotel has played host to several famous guests, including actors, musicians, and politicians. In 1996, the hotel hosted the Republican National Convention, which was attended by then-presidential nominee Bob Dole.

The hotel has also been the location for several movies and television shows, including “Top Gun,” “Terriers,” and “The Bachelor.”

It is worth mentioning that the Westgate Hotel is not the only luxury hotel in the area. Other popular hotel chains in downtown San Diego include the Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt Regency.

The Westgate Hotel Today

The Westgate Hotel, located in the heart of downtown San Diego, is a luxurious and historic hotel that still retains its classic charm. The hotel features 223 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, all of which are equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, high-speed internet access, and luxurious bedding.

Current Amenities

The Westgate Hotel offers a wide range of amenities that cater to the needs of both business and leisure travelers. Some of the most notable amenities include:

  • On-site dining options, including the award-winning Westgate Room and the casual Plaza Bar
  • A rooftop heated pool and hot tub with stunning views of the city skyline
  • A fully equipped fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
  • 24-hour business center with high-speed internet access and printing services
  • Concierge services to help with travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, and more

Guests of the Westgate Hotel can also take advantage of the hotel’s prime location in the heart of downtown San Diego. The hotel is just steps away from some of the city’s top attractions, including the Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Convention Center, and Petco Park.

Events and Activities

The Westgate Hotel is a popular destination for events and activities of all kinds. The hotel features over 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, including elegant ballrooms, intimate meeting rooms, and a stunning rooftop terrace.

Guests can attend a variety of events at the hotel throughout the year, including holiday brunches, wine tastings, and live music performances. The hotel also hosts wellness retreats, cooking classes, and art exhibits for guests who want to engage in more immersive experiences.


In conclusion, the Westgate Hotel has a rich and interesting history that spans over a century. From its humble beginnings as an office building to its current status as a luxurious hotel, the Westgate has undergone many changes over the years. Despite these changes, however, the hotel has managed to maintain its elegance and charm, making it a beloved destination for travelers and locals alike.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the Westgate’s past and present. If you’re ever in San Diego, be sure to check out this iconic hotel for yourself!

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