Omni San Diego Hotel
“You can see the game from here, Mom!” My three-year-old daughter said when she looked out of the window of our hotel room and into the big mouth of Petco Park Stadium.
San Diego is an irresistible travel magnet for families. Surrounded by theme parks, clean beaches and year-round good weather, one more great addition to “America's Finest City” is the all-American sport of baseball. Families come to Petco Park all season long to watch the Padres. If you want to experience the stadium at it’s fullest—there’s no better way than with the Shortstop Baseball Package at the Omni Hotel San Diego.
Omni San Diego Hotel: Shortstop Baseball Package is available May 5 - September 30, 2012 and includes a room with a view of the stadium, two tickets to a San Diego Padres game, breakfast for two at the hotel’s restaurant or in-room dining ($40), complimentary valet parking ($35), and a candy bar from local chocolatier, Chuao. Rates start from $269 per night ($299 for field box seats). Additional tickets available at $18 (general admission) or $61 (field box) per ticket.
The Omni San Diego is uniquely connected to Petco Park by a single Skybridge. The bridge makes the ball park accessible to the hotel from the fourth floor and hotel guests who have tickets to the game can use the bridge without going through the crowds at street level.
On a recent visit, we came for a two-night stay at the Omni San Diego. It was a treat to sit in the Field Level seats that came with our package — close to first base and surrounded by excited fans. These seats are terrific if your kids are old enough to sit through a few innings and actually pay attention to the game. But if you have younger kids – toddler – to about age 7, you might prefer to sit in Petco’s “Beach” just beyond the right field fence.
Cora, who is three and a half now, has been enjoying The Beach since she was old enough to sit up on her own. It’s a special section out in the bleachers area with a sand pit in front of the seats. Only kids are allowed in the sand, and they can build sand castles and make friends while their parents soak up the ball park atmosphere. These seats are reserved for "Bleacher Ticket Holders" and cost around $10.
On some game days, you can find face painters out by the grassy hill behind this section as well. If you don’t pack your own picnic you can even find a $5 kids box with a sandwich, carrots, applesauce, and juice box at the vending stalls nearby. Did I mention the bathrooms are right around the corner? These seats are so convenient for taking kids to Petco Park!
The world-renown "The San Diego Zoo is one of the biggest highlights for families visiting San Diego and we weren’t going to miss it. Barely a ten-minute drive from the Omni, we got there in no time. There is so much to do at the zoo, you really have to prioritize which animals you want to see, especially if you intend to see anything else at the surrounding Balboa Park San Diego.
Since we had been to the Children’s Zoo at the Discovery Outpost on a previous trip, we opted to take the Skyfari to the Giant Pandas and Polar Bear exhibit. There were all sorts of fun outdoor activities for the kids in the Polar Bear Plunge, from big life-sized polar bear statues to take pictures with, to sea lion tunnels to crawl through, to a helicopter to climb into and more.
To get back to the front, we bought some cheap bus passes and got to see the elephants and giraffe from the rooftop deck. Tip: Sit on the left hand side of the bus if you want photos of the giraffes and sit on the right if you want photos of the elephants.
It can be hard to get your kids to leave the Zoo, but the fact that there’s a train ride and a merry go round across from the parking lot usually does the trick!
When we got back to the hotel, Ewa, our concierge was able to get us a reservation at The Old Spaghetti Factory, even though they don’t take reservations and there’s usually a line. A smash hit with my pasta- loving preschooler. Especially since it’s tradition that they serve ice cream with the kids meals.
On Monday, after enjoying a slow morning with breakfast from in-room dining, we tore ourselves away from the lovely view and walked over to the New Children’s Museum. The New Childrens Museum is an impressive center for kids of all ages to learn about arts, crafts and science. There are many different rooms catering to a variety of ages including a painting and clay sculpting area, a bubble zone, a rock climbing wall, the rain house and many exhibits that educate kids about our nation's trash production.
This Summer Omni Hotel San Diego joined other Omni Hotels across the country in offering families a special Camp Omni package. Children get a back pack filled with goodies including S’mores flavored marshmallows, a lanyard activity kit, water bottle, a $10 gift card to use at the hotel (Cora put her money towards a little stuffed teddy bear from the gift shop), and a scavenger hunt that leads to a yummy surprise. This is of course in addition to the goodies that Mom and Dad get -- 15% off deluxe accommodations on a two-night stay, and a pre-trip call from the camp's "counselor" or concierge and free breakfast for the kids.
Even though Cora was only three, she still got into the excitement of going on the Camp Omni scavenger hunt. With a little help she was able to complete the activities including a hello to the man with a hat outside the front doors and finding the oldest baseball in the Omni Hotel San Diego’s collection of baseball memorabilia!
And counting the sails by the pool. Of course.
To say we had a good time was putting it mildly. Were there any complaints? Sure. There was a party next door that was too loud for our room to be enjoyable on Saturday night. Nothing I couldn't handle myself by talking to our neighbor when we met in the elevator, though. You can be sure, Cora and I will come back to the Omni San Diego Hotel, and next time, we'll bring her dad.
To see more of Cora's adventures and her review of the Omni San Diego, click here:
Room rates can begin as low as $209 a night.
For more Camp Omni scoop, check out the review of Omni Parker House in Boston on Ciao Bambino!
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--Submitted by Jen Leo, mom to Cora, L.A. Times Web Buzz writer, Blogger, Conde Nast Traveler and Co-founder BestKidsApps.com.