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US Grant Reopens at Last

Under the everything-old-is-new-again column, you can now put the historic US Grant Hotel in San Diego. Some vintage hotels in Southern California pride themselves on re-creating their original splendor, but under its new owners, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the Starwood hotel recently emerged from a $52 million face-lift that sales and marketing director Mark Dibella likes to call “historically sexy.” The US Grant blended turn-of-the-century style with contemporary chic to produce some of Southern California’s loveliest function rooms. The 5,632-square-foot Celestial ballroom has been restored to its former Art Deco glory, with mahogany cladding of support columns the size of redwoods, updated walls the color of robust cobalt, and slender Italian-glass light fixtures. The delicate Italianate mural of the Crystal ballroom’s original ceiling was copied by hand and remounted. Other distinctive touches in the 96-year-old hotel’s stylish resurrection include $6 million worth of newly commissioned art, such as Yves Clement’s drip-painted headboards in the 270 guest rooms. Guests who are very, very good get to sample the in-room services of Spa Velia. —Irene Lacher
Posted 02.14.07

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