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First Look: Hotel Republic

Marriott debuts another top-end Autograph Collection in Little Italy


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Some hotels are better than others. Some divisions of hotel empires are better than others, as well. And Marriott’s elite, luxury model is the Autograph Collection. Nothing against standard Marriotts. But Autographs are like the baby siblings of the family, pampered to the edge of spoil. The design of each is original. The restaurants are among the best in Marriottland.

And now San Diego has its second. The first was Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach, a Silver Leed-certified beachfront ditty with gaping-maw views of the Pacific. The new arrival is the just-opened, 19-story Hotel Republic.

Located at 421 W. B Street, many locals will remember the space as former home to W Hotel, whose shuttering was big news in a bad economy at the time.

Republic gets three dining spins, designed by San Diego’s Bluemotif Architecture (Cowboy Star, Kettner Exchange) and L.A.’s Forchielli Glynn (who’s designed a bunch of Le Meridiens and Four Seasons), going for a beach house-meets-yacht club vibe—with wicker, wood, comfy granddad-den leather, pastel resort-style lounge-chair cushions, Cape Cod royal-blue textiles, and some funky chandeliers that look part tumbleweed, part art project, and part giant sea anemone fossil.

To consult on the restaurants (the Autograph series is known for tapping local food talent), Marriott partnered with San Diego’s Patio Group (The Patio, Saska’s Steakhouse, Fireside, etc.) and executive chef Amol Thanky (who worked his way up as a line cook at Restaurant Gary Danko, then a sous at San Francisco: The St. Regis, before running things at Patio Group).

The first concept is the al fresco third-floor Topside Terrace Kitchen & Bar, doing weekend brunch, happy hour, and small bites, with fire pits and post-yoga brunch burbling. Second is Trade, a 57-seat restaurant and cocktail bar off the main lobby. And third is The Patio Marketplace—a quick-service, gourmet bodega of sorts with healthier dining options to go, plus a major coffee program (serving The Patio’s brand, Swell), fresh-pressed juices, local kombucha, plus craft beers and wines.

Hotel Republic is open now. Below, gander upon the design and envision yourself, yoga pants or no. 

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