My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Palomar over Christmas 2008 and we really enjoyed our stay.
Not only were the rates very reasonable for what we got, but we took advantage of the Kimpton Hotel's upgrade standby programme and we were able to be upgraded for a mere $15 extra a night which we loved.
We stayed in one of their King Spa rooms and were very impressed by the sheer size of the room! A lovely comfy big bed, spacious living area, great writing desk, a double spa bath in the big bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. There was no view (apart from of the apartments next door) but we just kept the blinds shut and basked in the luxuriousness of our room.
The standard of the service was fantastic also. Everyone we dealt with was so respectful and helpful and actioned any request immediately. We were incredibly touched when we were presented with a gift of complimentary chocolates from the hotel on Christmas Day also - such a thoughtful gesture!
My only small negative points are that the lighting the room wasn't brilliant, even with all the lamps on it was a little dim (apart from the bathroom which was startlingly bright by comparison!) and all the lamps also had to be switched on individually which was a bit of a nuisance. Our room service breakfast on Christmas Day was hugely over-priced and the servings were tiny. We had complimentary (or $1) breakfast in the Urbana Restaurant every morning which, although the service was excellent, wasn't really anything to write home about as it was only a choice of muffins, toast or croissants and you still needed to order it as opposed to being able to help yourself to a breakfast spread. Suppose we shouldn't expect much considering we only paid $1 for it though!
However, my husband and I still thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Palomar, we will definitely be recommending it to people and will hopefully get the chance to stay in it again!