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“They try harder” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel

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Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1047 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #67 of 269 hotels in San Diego
San Diego, CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“They try harder”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

My best friend was coming to town for a long weekend in December. The Kimpton group was having a special so I decided to splurge on a room at Palomar so we could park the car and enjoy all the delights of the Gaslamp on foot, without worrying about parking, DUIs, etc. (Caution travelers: San Diego is DUI Central! Don't take a chance, take a cab!)
Our first room had a ho-hum view and was right on 5th Avenue so we nicely asked for a quieter room and were promptly moved to a higher, quieter room with an ocean view. Rooms there are stylish and nicely appointed.
Located right next to San Diego's House of Blues, this is THE hotel if you want to see live music. It's also within easy walking distance of all the best restaurants downtown. Cafe Chloe, a favorite with locals, is just a few blocks away.
Want to liven up your room? Just ask-- they'll give you a goldfish for the duration of your stay.
They offer complementary wine tasting every day. The wines aren't great, but hey, it's free wine, who's complaining? They also give Kimpton members a complementary $10 coupon for anything in the mini-bar. What's not to love about that?
Staff members were extremely friendly and had great dining suggestions.
And to top it all off, the hotel is pet-friendly!
I'd definitely recommend Palomar to out of town visitors and San Diegans on Stay-cation as well.

Room Tip: Rooms not on 5th Avenue are quieter
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
You should be a professional travel writer! Thanks for mentioning so many great things about the Palomar and Kimpton Hotels. Free wine hour, pet friendly, cool staff! And yes, we're so close to so many great places in the Gaslamp, walk or take a cab. Or heck, take one of San Diego's famous PediCabs. You have to try Saltbox Restaurant on your next visit. It is amazing.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (185)
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English first
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We were at this hotel April 11-14, 2013. My husband traveled for business, and the family tagged along. When we arrived at the hotel, the staff was very friendly. I noticed on other reviews there were complaints about the staff. We had only good experiences with the staff who were friendly and helpful at all times.

At check-in, I noticed the hotel was next to the very loud House of Blues. I asked whether our room would be noisy. The front desk clerk said it was on the same side as the House of Blues but down the block. We were on the third floor, and it was noisy, although not as bad as I thought it would be. The 5 am garbage trucks were awfully loud, however. My advice: get a room on a higher floor that overlooks the pool.

The room itself looked like someone had taken an old office and put some beds and a bathroom in it. The walls were kind of dingy without design or art. I think they were attempting a minimalist look, but it felt more like Soviet-style gray apartment.

The most annoying "feature" of the room was the closet door that couldn't open because it hit the bed. I could open the closet doors about 5% of their opening capacity and could not open the interior drawers inside the closet at all. There was enough space in the room to permit opening of the doors and drawers if the beds had been shifted about 10 inches, which could have been done. No idea why it wasn't done. That was crazy. Same problem with the minibar -- fridge opened just a bit. This is something that the hotel should fix because it is inconvenient for guests. I haven't ever experienced such a problem before. And I had no desire to attempt to move their furniture.

Speaking of moving furniture, the wooden floor had deep gashes in it, probably from people trying to move the furniture so they could get into the closet and refrigerator.

My kids liked the slickness of the wood floor and slid around on it on their knees. When they stood up, the knees of their pink pants were black from dirt. This was my first indication that the room was dirty. My kids opened the curtains to discover that there were dark brown stains on the back of them. This looked gross.

Our first morning, I stepped into the shower to discover: left over soap from previous guest; dried shaving cream or similar blue-green substance on shower wall from previous guest; dirty toilet from previous guest; and sink that did not drain.

The price for this hotel was nothing I could complain about because my husband had a group discounted rate, and we only paid out of pocket for one night. I am a Kimpton InTouch member, but there was no wifi in our room after the first night.

Overall, I was not impressed with this hotel. I would look at other places first.

Parking was almost $40/day at the hotel. If you won't be going in and out a lot, consider the garage across the street at $28/day. You'll spend more than $40 at the garage if you use your car a lot, but we came out ahead because we just needed our car for one trip.

Room Tip: High floor, overlooking pool, away from House of Blues might be your best bet if you want quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Wow, I am so sorry you had such a bad stay. I would really like to talk to you personally. My email is mark.vancooney@hotelpalomar.com.

Sincerely,
Mark
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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a suite, room 1904 for a bachelorette party. The room was kind of amazing. Views out 2 large balcony s of all of downtown. The bathrooms and steam shower was a treat. We had a group of about 8 ladies for a party. Service was great helping all the guests get up to the room and assisting with hooking up our DVD player to their TV. They sent someone up right away with salt and paper when we got around to cooking dinner AND sent someone up right away when we couldn't figure out how to operate the stove. Lol. ( cook before having wine next time). We were super thrilled with a surprise gift from the hotel of champagne, Chardonnay, cupcakes and strawberries to the bride. Wow! We had a great stay and great service.
So, this used to be the Se' hotel and it is still a little overpriced for what you get. The rooms are very " cool" and modern but starting to age. Location is great. We really enjoyed the complimentary wine hour as well. House keeping was very slow to show up to empty our trash but they were very nice when they finally came up.

Last note - elevators were jacked up or I was drunk. When you hit up, they go down and then up and vise-versa. User error?

I would stay there again if I found a great discount. Otherwise, the Andaz is my first choice.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We have stayed at a few Kimpton properties in the past hence our choice of the Palomar in San Diego. Its fair to say that overall our experience was good. The hotel was in a good location within the Gaslamp Quarter with close proximity to restaurants and the shopping at Horton Plaza.

Upon arrival, the staff at reception were very friendly and the process was painless. Our room was a fairly small and we struggled to get two large cases into the space provided although it is fair to say that the bathroom is larger than average. Our curtains were damaged and we had to bring in maintenance to get them sorted, although this was done without fuss and was sorted inside of 10 minutes. Another small issue was the TV, once it was turned on, it came on with pre-set volume levels which were very loud (and not ideal for early morning viewing) but there was a good channel selection. However we were on the 15th floor and had great views of the financial district. Disappointingly the room wasnt cleaned to a great standard, with a dust build up evident to the dark wood finish around the bed and on the wall panels.

The bathroom is a decent size for two people with counter space for your toiletries. The shower was reasonabIe although the open glass panel design meant that unless a towel was laid down then the floor would get quite wet. Additionally the frosted glass bathroom door meant that the entire room was lit up during the night if anyone was up. Similarly to the room cleaning, despite using the complimentary bathroom products, these were not replenished on a daily basis.

The beds were very comfortable although the pillows were not to my taste.

The fitness centre was well equipped and was never so busy that you couldnt use the machines that you wanted. The pool area was also nice although the bar at the pool never seemed to be open whenever we went down.

The hotel is nicely designed and very visually pleasing. I would also like to highlight that the wine hour from 5pm to 6pm every evening was very nice, very enjoyable to have a few free drinks within a comfortable and relaxing environment.

Overall this was a nice hotel in a good location and I would certainly recommend it to anyone headed to the San Diego area!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Travelled with 2 kids, Hotel is in Excellent location with polite, helpful staff. Hotel is very clean with nice rooms. Pool is good but was a little cold. Evening wine reception was very pleasant. Valet parking is good and a better bet than the self park across the street. Overall a very nice experience.

Room Tip: An Ocean view is a must!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Thanks DandJ2010 for the great comments. I'm really happy you and your family all had a great stay!
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

The hotel location is great in the gaslamp district and close to the financial district. The staff was friendly and courteous. The room was a bit small and the tv location was to the side of the bed. The best was the blackout shades and got a corner room facing the back on the 14th floor, very quiet with hardly no street noise. Lots of restaurants and boutique shops to chose from and the mall is two or three blocks away from the hotel.

Room Tip: higher floor corner room facing the back = quiet
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

This hotel has a great vibe when you enter. Really nice looking. We weren't crazy our first room and they were pretty accommodating. They found us a better one for the same price, but definitely gave us some lip about it. The room was pretty small and cramped, but hey, "its a boutique" right?

The thing that really set me off was the lack of room service on a major party weekend. I forget what it was, memorial day or something like that. We came home late night and they straight up didn't have room service. Unbelievable! However, breakfast at the restaurant downstairs was really awesome. We had a cool waiter.

When we checked out I couldn't believe how expensive it was. It was a nice stay, but not THAT nice. Probably wouldn't go back there.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel

Address: 1047 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#17 Business Hotel in San Diego
#23 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#25 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#62 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Move into luxury and sophisticated, art-filled style at Hotel Palomar San Diego. In the center of downtown arts and culture, surrounded by award-winning theaters and nightlife and just steps from San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, our boutique Kimpton Hotel is a top choice for both work and play. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Se Hotel San Diego
San Diego Se Hotel

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