Tower23 is San Diego's first new oceanfront boutique hotel in 10 years

Along with all the scenery at San Diego's new Tower23 comes quite ascene. The hotel, named after a nearby lifeguard tower, adds atouch of minimalist grace to the fun and funk of the city's PacificBeach neighborhood. Think of it as the anti-Del: If the the Hoteldel Coronado celebrates 19th-century elegance, Tower23 is all about21st-century cool.

As a Tower23 guest, you become part of the beachfront action,which includes the hotel's bar and its restaurant, Jordan ($$$$;call for hours). Whether from a lounge by the reflecting pool or abalcony room facing the water, it's fascinating to watch bicyclistsalong the beach slow down to take a look at this glassy apparition― and to check out who is staying here.

Rooms are furnished simply but filled with creature comforts,including high-tech foam mattresses and 32-inch flat-screen TVs.But then again, who needs the tube when the best scenes happen justoutside your window?

Info: Tower23 (from $359; 4551Ocean Blvd., San Diego; or 866/869-3723)

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