The Pearl Hotel San Diego is one of the rarest venues that offer you really something special: a grandiose wedding party in the city center yet with a pool and cool retro beach ambiance. This hotel is an excellent place to gather your out-of-towners guests and enjoy with them the entire wedding weekend instead of one wedding day.
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Location & Story of the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The Pearl Hotel is located on Rosecrans Street in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego, across the San Diego Bay from the downtown area. Its location is very central: about 4 minutes from Liberty Station (where is located another nice place of San Diego — BRICK venue), a five-minute drive away from the Gaslamp Quarter and the airport. Moreover, it is just a couple of blocks from the harbor, so you’ll find lots of local tourist attractions within walking distance.
The hotel is in a busy part of town and because it’s not big, it offers only about 8 parking spaces for a fee, yet with charging stations for electric cars and loaner bikes that guests can borrow free of charge. Still, you’ll always find a place for your car in the residential area around the corner.
The Pearl San Diego started its story in 1959. It was a 23-room, 2-story motel called “Hotel for Frank Naso”, then “The Sportsman’s Lodge”. So, this building was actually always a hotel for beach lovers and fans of water sports. It has kept many original elements of its midcentury architecture and vintage-inspired interior decor, yet nowadays, after renovations, it has blended it with contemporary design and modern amenities.
The hotel works in cooperation with a restaurant “Charles and Dinorah“ named after the property’s original owners and offers the guests Californian food, nice accommodation, and something more: an unforgettable Wedding Weekend. After all the typical banquet halls and outdoor locations, you’ll find this hotel a refreshingly unusual place for your big day.
Amenities of the Pearl San Diego
The Pearl San Diego hosts ceremonies & receptions for up to 110 guests and may offer you special conditions for your celebration. Actually, you’ll have your own hotel for a Day/Weekend.
- hotel room packages up to 110 people, maximum of 23 rooms,
- indoor/outdoor ceremony & reception sites,
- indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar with customizable menus & cocktails,
- a heated saltwater pool that you can use during the party,
- on-site coordination,
- audio-visual equipment such as a large outdoor projection screen, etc.
Celebrating outdoors at the poolside deck, you won’t have strict noise limitations. Also, the hotel organizes free poolside movie nights weekly, as well as poolside dining (no breakfast service).
If a couple books the hotel, they literally own it for a day, yet in most cases, it’s the whole weekend. The newlyweds book most of the rooms for their guests on Friday night (maybe with an exception of the rooms already booked by non-guests, so check in advance) and further get all rooms on Saturday for the entire weekend. Some guests even can stay Thursday through Monday. In this case, the hotel probably will offer you good rates.
It’s an unforgettable experience to have the entire hotel to yourself. You’ll have the greatest Wedding Weekend of your life, with all your dearest & nearest around you.
Events Areas of the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The entire hotel will be your event location, so you can freely decide on where and how you’ll celebrate the parts of your wedding. Usually, the ceremonies are organized at the poolside deck, the cocktails at the outdoor lounge, and the reception in the Pearl restaurant San Diego. Private spaces can be transformed for any occasion you need.
The hotel will provide your guests with 3 room types: Strand, Jewel, and Gem. All of them have low platform beds and ‘1960-s inspired’ decor touches. The guests will have everything for a comfortable stay: flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, H2O toiletries, and free Wi-Fi.
Still, keep in mind that though Strand Rooms are the largest with furnished patios or balconies, Gem Rooms are really tiny: they mostly suit out-of-towners coming for a day or two and wishing to have a stay near the beach yet right in the city center. Jewel Rooms are somewhere in the middle, some of them have additional space like patios or balconies, and all have king-size beds.
However, every room — big or small — will be 5 feet from the pool, 5 feet from the restaurant/bar, 5 feet from the parking lot, and within a short drive from the beach: a great experience for guests coming to celebrate with you your best day.
Bridal & Groom’s Preparation Areas of the Pearl Hotel San Diego
Usually, the newlyweds book the largest room of the hotel for themselves: the Pearl Suite with 300 square feet of extra space and luxury, so it serves as a perfect bridal dressing area. The room has its own private balcony, a large walk-in shower, and a lounge area. The retro design with tiki details, a lot of space, and great lighting from big windows will make your get-ready photos lively and expressive.
You can hang your wedding dress on the balcony as well as outdoors on the succulent wall as we did. The relaxing cool vibe of the room adds to the atmosphere in the photos: you’ll get very warm, informal, and fun pictures in your wedding album.
Wedding Party & Family Photos at the Pearl San Diego
Wedding party shots we took right after the preparation. The groom’s party was excited to snap most shots in the lobby bar: it’s a light large space downstairs, great for small or big group photos. You will also have a possibility to photograph everybody during the cocktails in the lobby.
We also took many shots outside in front of the building: it’s the easiest and time-saving way to take photos with elder family members, without using stairs or moving far from the event spot. However, with your wedding party, you can use the staircases of the hotel to take some nice shots from many angles.
Anyway, the most popular place for group pictures is the poolside deck. In the afternoon, light is already softer, the sourroundings are mostly in the shade and there is much space to place everybody for a big family photo. You can take it right after the ceremony as we did, or before.
First Look & Couple Shots at the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The couple whom you see in the photos didn’t make their First Look (you can read why it may happen here) yet they didn’t refuse the couple shots and decided on a small walk to the harbor to capture the moments of two loving ones. The pier is just 5 minutes walking from the hotel. We were lucky that that day it was breezy yet not windy and the pictures turned out very romantic, full of light and relaxing coastal vibe, with blue sky, sea, and yachts as a backdrop.
Ceremony at the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The poolside & the outdoor lounge of the Pearl hotel comfortably combine both the ceremony & reception site making the wedding here different from all others.
The role of the altar spot plays a succulent wall that actually does not demand many decorations. Still, you can add some personal touch like lights or draperies in your wedding theme. (Some of the possible colors for your summer wedding theme are listed here). Around the swimming pool, there is enough space for about 110 guests: elderly ones will take their seats on the chairs, a younger generation standing on the balconies, staircases, and at the cocktail bar will see you clearly from every angle. One of the nicest perks of this small setup is the possibility to take photos from above and actually from any angle you like.
You’ll make your bridal entrance by coming down the stairs, from the bridal room to the succulent wall by the deck. The green leaves and blue surface of the pool provide a refreshing Hawaiian feel to the entire ceremony. After the vows are exchanged, you can snap immediate shots with your wedding party and family at the ceremony spot.
Another possible option is to have a ceremony on the beach and come back to the hotel for the reception. The closest beach will be Ocean Beach (a 10-minute drive). The Pearl hotel is centrally located, so you’ll find most things in Downtown San Diego are about 10-15 minutes away by car.
Reception at the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The main idea of any Pearl hotel San Diego wedding is to celebrate in an intimate circle and encourage everybody to mingle and socialize after the formal part is over. So, the party time will be the most fun and enjoyable part and the essence of your Pearl hotel wedding. It will really be a pool party wedding.
At the wedding in the photos, food was rather informal: a buffet-style from the Pearl restaurant San Diego, with some food stations. There were high tables and then tables for everyone to sit. A musician was invited to play by the pool at the ceremony and later. The couple used the hotel’s 13 ft. outdoor projection screen for the photo slideshow to begin the evening. All speeches & congratulations were made at the pool in the light of twinkles that created an unforgettable ambiance after dusk. So, the overall atmosphere was as informal as possible.
The highlight of the party is a heated saltwater pool with comfortable poolside cabanas around. It has an original oyster shape that reminiscent of the hotel’s name. The restaurant and bar are right at the pool, so your guests can enjoy their cocktails at the pool throughout the evening. Yet the great grand finale of any Pearl hotel San Diego wedding is to leap into the pool fully clothed. Surely, not at every wedding, you’ll see that a bride will seriously jump into the water in her wedding dress. Having a pool party with all the guests is probably the most exciting part of the Pearl hotel wedding. You can also set up sparklers to add extra magic to your day.
Advantages of the Pearl Hotel San Diego
The Pearl Hotel is a unique wedding venue unlike anywhere else in San Diego, with the bar, pool, lounge, and a super cool hip vibe. It’s the perfect place to gather your loved ones for an informal home-style wedding or reception party for up to 110 guests and enjoy with them not the day, but the whole weekend.
You can book the entire hotel and fill all the open rooms: it’s very convenient in case you’re planning to invite many out-of-towner guests. (just 5 minutes from San Diego Airport). The guest rooms are cute & comfortable, with the 60’s retro beach details yet modern amenities. Most rooms have furnished balconies or patios. Your guest will also love the brunches around the pool with open cabanas and towel service, and a short distance to the beach and attractions.
For your event, you won’t need to worry about anything like lighting, extra decorations, tableware, linens, etc.: all this is arranged and provided by the hotel. Your ceremony by the pool will have this relaxed Californian vibe as the whole property.
When the official part will be over, you’ll experience probably the most exciting after-party that you could only imagine: jumping into the pool in open, loose atmosphere. So, the Pearl Hotel is a great option for those looking to celebrate their wedding rather intimate and informal and at the same time spend the weekend by the pool under the Southern California sun.