Hotel approved to replace Tio Leo’s in Carmel Valley


A developer plans to replace the Carmel Valley Tio Leo’s restaurant with a five-story, 127-room Hyatt Place Hotel that will include an outdoor pool and spa, fitness room, meeting spaces and one level of underground parking.

A city of San Diego hearing officer recently approved the proposed 106,675-square-foot hotel project, which will be 60 feet tall – down from the 72 feet initially proposed by the developer.

The Tio Leo’s, which opened on the 1.5-acre site in 1983, occupies a one-story, 8,700-square-foot structure. Because it’s less than 45 years old, the structure hasn’t been considered for historical significance.

Three other locations of Tio Leo’s will continue operating. They are located in Linda Vista, Poway and Grantville.

The hotel is required to have 127 parking spots, the same number of guest rooms, because it won’t have any restaurants or other amenities that serve people other than hotel guests. There will also be three spaces for motorcycles and eight slots for bicycles.

The site, 3510 Valley Centre Drive, is located just south north of Carmel Valley Road and just west of Interstate 5.

Surrounding uses include gas stations, fast food restaurants and other hotels. The site is just south of the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. A Hampton Inn and a Doubletree Hilton are just to the east.

The rooms in the hotel will all be suites. The project will include a 2,500-square-foot lobby, 2,500 square feet of bars and restaurants and 1,400 square feet of meeting spaces.

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Group unanimously endorsed the project last year, but members expressed concerns that the proposed design wouldn’t integrate effectively with the nearby Costa Azul development.

That project, also endorsed by the planning group but not yet approved by the city, would include a Westin hotel, an office building and a restaurant at El Camino Real and Valley Centre Drive.

The architect on the hotel replacing Tio Leo’s is W. Scott Ballard of La Jolla.

--David Garrick is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune