There’s something softly psychedelic about the colours, lighting, mirrors and wonderment at W San Diego – the beneficiary of a $5 million refurb by Mister Important Design, whose brilliant Chambers Eat and Drink we fell in love with last year. MID would have us think of surfing sunrises and sunsets out in the pacific ocean; I kept thinking about Oliver Stone’s imagining of the desert peyote trip in The Doors. That may say more about me than it does the design.
There’s certainly a desert dryness theme going on here, evident in the desiccated plant-frond lighting fixtures and the extraordinary stacked-chair fire pit. This place also has all the warmth you could wish for. Brown and gold from the furniture complement the reds and oranges seen on every table and wall in the more relaxed areas, although the madness is turned down a notch in the formal dining spaces to create something more refined.
W San Diego definitely looks like a decidedly chilled place to hang out when the heat of the day dies away, a place for sundowners, for tall drinks and post-surf tall-tales. Just lay off the psychoactive cacti, it well could tip you over the edge.