Goodbye Vagabond Inn, hello AC Hotel Point Loma


The Vagabond Inn on Scott and Emerson streets, built in 1960 and owned by Vista Investments, will be demolished to make way for the new AC Hotel Point Loma (a Marriott brand), which is also a Vista Investments hotel.

The existing inn is two stories tall with 40 guest rooms. The new hotel is set to be an 87,270-square-foot, three-story building with 91 guest rooms (51 singles, 30 doubles, 10 king suites). The building will be 30 feet high, in keeping with the height limit for the Coast.

Project manager Megan Campbell presented the hotel’s plans to the Point Loma Association at its July meeting, and stated AC Hotel Point Loma will bring in an estimated $1 million to the City of San Diego. She explained that the hotel is designed to be more “community-friendly” than the Vagabond Inn, with a ground level open to the public.

The ground floor will have 11,500 square feet of public space that will include a lobby/lounge, conference area, 14 guest rooms, fitness room, and a café that transitions into a bar at night.

The café will be positioned on the main corner of the intersection, with tall glass windows that will provide views through the lobby to the raised pool deck in the back.

Vista Investments’ architect Amanda Smith Mauceri told Point Loma-OB Monthly that the point of the public ground space is “to give pedestrians something nice they can actually walk in to.”

She added: “I love to pop into a hotel lobby and grab a cup of coffee. They always have really nice seating and they always have a nice ambiance, so that’s what we’re hoping for. (The AC by Marriott brand) is not trying to compete with restaurants, so they always have just snack-y food, but the goal is to be the place that people grab a drink before or after dinner, or they grab a cup of coffee in the morning. And it also makes guests feel like they’re participating in the community, as opposed to being isolated in these faceless hotel brands that could be in any city, anywhere.”

The 5,200-square-foot-pool and the fitness room will be for guests only.

Parking for the hotel will oblige the City’s one-space per one-room requirement. Though parking for the Vagabond Inn is on Scott Street, the new hotel’s parking will be located beneath the hotel. There will be a one-way entrance to the parking lot on Emerson Street and a one-way exit on Dickens Street. The garage will be water-tight, with back-up pumps in the event that water comes through the entrance or exit.

Mauceri stated the hotel has gone through two rounds of comments and corrections with the City for entitlements, so the majority of the plans will not change. Construction should begin January 2021.

Mauceri added the public’s chief concern has thus far been in regard to parking, and she emphasized her desire for the public to enjoy the hotel.

“We’d love to hear what people think,” she said. “We tried really hard to design something that fits the community.”

—Vista Investments welcomes feedback and questions, by e-mail to with the subject title “Point Loma Hotel.”


Get Point Loma-OB Monthly in your inbox every month

News and features about Point Loma and Ocean Beach every month for free

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Point Loma-OB Monthly.