San Diego’s InterContinental hotel opens its 4th floor roof deck to the public
New Layover lounge and bar, plus debut of day passes for the public to enjoy the fourth floor outdoor pool, will mean more business for the upscale hotel
Not everyone can necessarily afford an overnight stay at the now year-old InterContinental downtown, but the luxury hotel is about to make it a little easier for the public to enjoy a bayfront getaway when it opens this month a new rooftop lounge and bar it’s calling Layover.
In a move to take advantage of the hotel’s premium vistas of San Diego Bay and Coronado, the hotel is opening up its fourth floor pool deck, now available only to hotel guests, to the public with the debut of the new dining and drinking venue. And if you want to expand your visit to a day-long poolside experience, the InterContinental will begin offering later this month day passes that can be purchased for roughly $25.
Layover, which will be able to accommodate up to 150 people, occupies roughly a third of the hotel’s 8,000-square-foot rooftop area on the fourth floor where its pool is also located, along with a spacious rock garden. Multiple seating areas and six outdoor fireplaces are planned for the venue, situated outside the immediate pool area, along with a diverse menu of lighter offerings like ceviche, pizza, and fruit and cheese plates, plus a robust selection of canned cocktails, beer and wine.
The name was inspired, in part, by the hotel’s proximity to three airfields — Naval Air Station in Coronado, the San Diego International Airport and the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station.
The latest addition to the $217 million hotel, located off Pacific Highway and facing the Embarcadero, is part of a still evolving effort to maximize the hotel’s terraces that are underutilized and also happen to offer the best water views.
The InterContinental already has Vistal, its signature indoor-outdoor restaurant on the third floor and the independently operated, two-story Del Frisco steakhouse, both on the waterfront. And still to come is an expansive 19th floor rooftop venue being built out by CH Projects, whose rapidly expanding portfolio includes the swanky Born and Raised steakhouse and the more recent Morning Glory breakfast and lunch restaurant, both in Little Italy.
The multi-million-dollar venue, which even the hotel’s executive team claims to know little about, is expected to open early next year. CH Projects co-founder Arsalun Tafazoli has yet to reveal details about the project and would not comment on its status.
Layover, scheduled to open this Saturday, is the brainchild of new Food and Beverage Director Jeff Josenhans, who joined the InterContinental in May following the departure of executive chef Paul McCabe earlier this year. He says he his hatching still more ideas for innovative drinking and dining venues — with a view.
“Our Layover project was completely under the radar and now we’re launching before the 19th floor (rooftop venue),” said Josenhans, who most recently was at the U.S. Grant in the same position. “By spring next year, you’re going to have a collection of rooftop-accessible assets unrivaled in San Diego.”
He currently is eyeing another area of the fourth floor pool deck — the rock garden on the east side of Layover that Josenhans says may morph into a chefs garden or a recreational area where you could play lawn games like cornhole and bocce ball.
He’s also contemplating another dining concept — a speakeasy on the same level as Vistal — that would make use of third floor rooftop space currently inaccessible to hotel guests as well as the public. And he’s also planning on working with Executive Chef Amy DiBiase on tweaking the menu at Vistal.
“What brought me here was all the space not being utilized and having a blank canvas where we could go way beyond the confines of the hotel,” Josenhans said. “The hotel had several underutilized spaces, which we are now activating (Layover being the first) to put us on par with the likes of the Pendry (in the Gaslamp Quarter) and other luxury hotels in terms of hotel F&B offerings and distinctive experiences.”