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“Was not what I had hoped:(” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Solamar - a Kimpton Hotel

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Hotel Solamar - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   435 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)   |  
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West Coast Winter 20% off
Ranked #48 of 271 Hotels in San Diego
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Was not what I had hoped:(”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

I had been looking forward to visiting San Diego for quite some time and had researched quite a few hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter before deciding to book the Solamar. I had arranged this stay for a group of my friends and family who were travelling together and I really liked the fun, yet sophisticated and stylish look of the hotel from pictures I had seen online.

It was our arrival at the the hotel that I feel disappointed me most. We were a group of 8 persons checking-in at around 3pm in the afternoon - I had sent an email to the hotel advising them 2 members of our group were members of the Kimpton In Touch program and I had advised their membership numbers. It was evident the membership numbers were not in our reservations upon check-in, even though I had sent the email 2 weeks prior. My sister enquired about arranging a massage while we were checking in and the person at the desk suggested she join the Kimpton In Touch program to gain a discount? My sister was one of the persons in our group who I had advised the hotel was already a member!

After being allocated our rooms I went up to mine. I called reception when I got inside as I had wanted a room with a walk-in shower rather than a shower over the bath. The person I spoke to, who was the same person that checked me in said that they could move me and my partner and advised I bring all our bags down to reception where they would give me the key to our new room. I double checked with them they could move us, as my partner was dropping off our rental car and I was going to have to move all the luggage back down stairs myself to change rooms, the person confirmed yes I was to do this. When I got down stairs the person who I was speaking with on the phone was with another guest and I told their colleague what I was advised. I immediately felt as though this request to change rooms was unreasonable, there was some huffing and they checked on the system where they could move me too. After a couple of minutes they advised there was no other room to move me to - it had already been allocated. I said can you please check with your colleague as they had confirmed there was another room just 5 minutes ago. The person I was dealing with advised me again there was no other room. At this point I was annoyed, but thanked them for their assistance and went back up to my original room. When my partner got back I told him what had happened and he called down to reception, he asked to speak with the manager and was told sorry the manager is on vacation at the moment? We were confused a hotel of this standard had nobody in charge while the manager was on vacation?

Generally this hotel is attractive and nicely decorated. The service like in many "trendy" boutique hotels, lets it down though. I have stayed in Kimpton hotels prior to this stay at the Solamar and had had better experiences than this. I think for the price you probably could get better value for money in the Gaslamp Quarter I am sorry to say.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
MarkDibellaGM, General Manager at Hotel Solamar - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, November 8, 2010
Please know that we take all guest feedback very seriously and your comments are important to my team and I as we continue to improve our service. First and foremost I do appreciate the compliments on the hotel design and decor and was pleased to see our high rated cleanliness ratings; thank you. Unfortunately I am very sorry to see that our services did not measure up to these same standards which is not acceptable. We recognize how much work can go into planning a vacation and to encounter glitches upon arrival is not our expectation of a great start. San Diego has much to offer and Solamar strives to be the best hospitality location for visiting guests and we will definitely use this example to improve our 'can do' attitude for great service.
Thank you, Mark Dibella - General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
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Malmo, Sweden
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

Stayed for one night. Arrived in the afternoon and joined the complimentary wine and snack thing in the lobby. The white wine was unexpectedly good!
Great room - fantastic bed lots of pillows to choose from.
Free wifi (if you signed in on the Kimpton website) and a very nice lobby area (loung style).
Walking distance to everything you need in Gas lamp district.
Friendly staff.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

The hotel is conveniently located in the Gaslamp district. From the airport, the driving time was about 15 mins. Be warned that the hotel does not have a designated self park, and valet parking is somewhere around $35 per day. We were able to find free parking at parking meters around the hotel every night except for Saturday when the nightlife in the district was very busy. After being stuck in traffic and circling around for a couple times, we ended up parking in a parking lot several blocks away for $15 overnight.

There're restaurants and boutique shops around the area, in daytime the area is pretty quiet. We went to Coronado, SeaWorld, SD zoo, wildlife animal park, legoland, etc... All within close driving distance. Farthest we had to drive to the destination was probably 40 mins.

We liked the ambiance and interior design and layout of the hotel. However, we were disappointed with the service. The housekeeper did not do a good job with keeping up with supplies in the room. Everyday, there was something missing: it was either toilet paper, or lotion, or other random things. When we did ask for the supply, it would take a long time for the items to arrive to our room. It also seems like they didn't put much effort making the bed. Apparently the hotel maid did not like re-arranging the pillows; the pillows were left at the corner of the bed every day when we returned to hotel. I guess the maid just didn't bother putting that finishing touch.

The nice part of the hotel is that there's complimentary coffee and tea everyday in the lobby. However, the staff who's responsible for maintaining the station looked like she was about to kill someone. It wasn't hard to tell she hated her job. When I was at the station making my tea, I guess I was in her way and she just stood there staring at me with an attitude. I looked back and asked if I was in her way, she just said no and went away to do something else... Pretty unusual experience for a hotel with this star rating.

There is a complimentary wine hour at the hotel too, I believe it was from 5-6. We've never tried it because we were always out doing something.

Despite the negative experience with the housekeeping and unfriendliness of staff, I wouldn't mind staying at this hotel again if I can book at the same rate again ($99 per night through Hotwire). It is good value given the location and cleanliness of the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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durham, NC
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2010

The Solamar is a boutique type hotel in the gaslight district of San Diego, 3 blocks from the convention center, good location. The rooms were nice, the service excellent, nice wine reception each evening, rooms quiet, but a few caveats/ peculiarities. 1) No chest of drawers/ shelves in the rooms. 2) There are a few shelves in the large closet but latter hard to access because the door opens to only part of it . 3) No bar soap in the bathroom, only liquid dispensers. 4) Only 1 towel bar in the bathroom. 5) Nothing to hold onto getting in/out of shower/bath. 6) no in room coffee although available in lobby. 7) Fitness center totally inadequate with just a couple of treadmills and one elliptical, a few free weights. They do offer a $15 day pass to a nearby club. If your own center is that bad, the pass should be free. Wi fi access is free if you join the Kimpton club. If you're looking for a smaller alternative to the large chains, consider this if you can live with the above.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2010

My husband and I and our teenaged daughter spent the weekend for my son's SD university Parents' Weekend. We ended up spending more time at this fun boutique hotel than on campus, and my son opted to stay with us in our hotel. The hotel is chic, the service wonderful, the food from both room service and the restaurant was first rate, and the location right next to Petco Park and one block from the main drag was perfect. The 4th floor rooftop pool was so nice - away from the noise of the street, but enough going on (there's also full screen TVs in the rooftop bar to watch the Giants win the pennant) Our room actually faced the bar/pool which made me a tad anxious as to noise, but we heard nothing whatsoever. We walked everywhere, and had rented a Prius, so the overnight parking fee was cut in half (take note if you're staying - the parking rate is $35 which seems like a lot but all the downtown hotels charge the same - there is a public lot across the street for $20, but with the hybrid car rate of $17.50 we had somewhat of a bargain) Also to note: dogs are welcome - there were 5 or 6 staying, but we rarely saw them, and were glad when we did. (Heard no barking.) Something else to note about downtown San Diego in general: LOTS of homeless around (and I'm from San Francisco!) but it seems they mainly hang out down near Broadway - very sad.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2010

Went to San Diego for a long weekend to go see the Patriots play the Chargers. Chose the Solamar for it's location right in the middle of the GasLamp district. What a perfect location, close to bars, restaurants, the trolley and bus lines to go to the Zoo or Old Town. Plus the pool bar on the 4th floor is amazing. Great atmosphere and service!!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

The Hotel Solamar is located in the Gaslamp area of town. Though it provides quick access to the bustling area of town, as well as the ballpark (we could see the ballpark from our windows) it is set off enough from the action.

We did not experience any issues noise wise though could certainly see how rooms that front on the popular night spot that is the rooftop bar/pool could be quite noisy.

Our room was clean and spacious (with a nice seating area and large bathroom) and the staff was most welcoming and helpful. The hotel had the usual Kimpton perks (wine and cheese hour in the evening, plush animal print robes, excellent selection of snacks in the mini bar)

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Solamar - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 435 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Downtown , East Village
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:
#2 Green Hotel in San Diego
#6 Business Hotel in San Diego
#11 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#11 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#15 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#32 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Solamar - a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the apex of cosmopolitan downtown San Diego, the boutique Hotel Solamar lounges between the exciting Gaslamp Quarter, trendy East Village and stunning San Diego Convention Center. These vibrant neighborhoods complement the luxury hotel’s coastal cool décor and personable service. Home to the sassy rooftop LOUNGEsix and adjacent Jsix restaurant, Hotel Solamar is also moments from PETCO Ballpark, San Diego Bay, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo and miles of beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Diego
Hotel Solamar San Diego

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