Our apartment in the Downtown area was undergoing renovations and we had to quickly find an extended-stay solution for the duration of the construction. Downtown hotels were prohibitively expensive for long-term stays; the very cheapest being $170/night + tax, but most were far more expensive. We needed about a month until our apartment was ready. A major concern was for the well being of our two small pets, and so there weren't a lot of attractive options available. I'm sure we could have found something relatively inexpensive in the industrial abyss of Downtown Circle, and motels in SD are abundant; but we're not staying in a motel.
I found Sommerset on an online search and contacted Jen Cruz, a booking agent for the hotel. She was able to set us up with an attractive price, and went the extra mile to knock off fees wherever possible. She was very empathetic about our situation with our animals. Highly recommend using Jen for your booking (I have no affiliation). She was able to get the best deals, and her professionalism and promptness to everything is first class.
Given its location just off the main drag of Washington Street a few hundred yards from the 163 S offramp, I was honestly expecting a hooker hangout. Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised by a tastefully appointed lobby that gave the feeling of an old European hotel. The one concierge at the desk, Taylor, was very professional, and it was clear that the staff was trained in hospitality etiquette. It's not a modern or fancy place, but they gave it a homey sort of feel that belies the rather bleak exterior. I would call it "tasteful."
We stayed in a studio suite, which was quite cute. Nicer in certain ways than the rooms I've found in many 4 star hotels. Again, not modern, but tasteful. Small kitchen and cooking area, cabinet space, office desk & chair, dresser and Queen sized bed. My wife checked the cleanliness of the mattress and bedding, and I was surprised that she gave it the writ of approval. There was a small porch with a small coffee table and a few chairs. The bathroom was nice, the shower had plenty of pressure and heat, and of course there was AC/heat in the room.
My only complaint would be that we could hear a visitor above us stomping around. The walls seemed a bit thin, but when I look at the big picture and take into account all of the amenities and the price point vs. this one particular, then it becomes somewhat negligible.
The view was nothing to write home about. We looked East on Washington, and it's a rather bleak view of roads and traffic. However, the hotel could not be better positioned for access to all of Hillcrest's hottest cafes and boutiques. While the location of the hotel may seem a bit bleak at first, once you cross the street and pass the hospital, at the very first corner heading South you are smack in the shopping hub of Hillcrest. So the Sommerset gives up some views for perfect access to Hillcrest exploration. Restaurants, cafes, you name it.
The pool is small and raised above the deck, around which there are umbrella tables and chairs for lounging. There are two soda machines on one end, and the little dining room looks out to the pool area. The design of the outter parts of the hotel looks decidedly dated -- maybe 70s-80s, but it's all well cared for and comfortable. Our pets had plenty of grass to do their business on in the block around the hotel, and there were two easy access points for entering and leaving the hotel.
There's a cute dining room and a basic breakfast available; there's a nice lady who will make you waffles or pancakes (just give her a dollar or two in the tip jar).
The covered parking garage below was adequate although sometimes it was a slightly tight fit given the narrow parking lines. On certain days, there were few available spots, but the fact is that we never had a day where we couldn't find parking for both our vehicles.
Most of the people at the hotel were older, some with animals. No hooligans or bottom dwellers that we could detect. This made our stay very pleasant and event-free. We never had any security issues, or problems of that sort.
The staff was professional and courteous and made every effort to ensure we were taken care of. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again for an extended stay.
For me, it's a pragmatic solution. It's not a honeymoon paradise or a Hard Rock Hotel, 4 Seasons, Mondrian, etc. Rather, if you're in town for a while and you're willing to compromise "views" and luxury for convenience - you'll likely be very happy with the Sommerset. It's a great, practical little hotel in a super location despite the drab immediate surroundings. Good for extended stays, pet owners, those seeking treatment at the local hospitals next door, et al.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- While here, enjoy a variety of complimentary services and amenities, like Wi-Fi, deluxe continental breakfast each morning and access to our refreshing outdoor pool and spa with BBQ pits. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sommerset Hotel San Diego
- Sommerset San Diego