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“Cozy boutique for cool people” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Sofia Hotel

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The Sofia Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   150 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #95 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
ELP
1 review
“Cozy boutique for cool people”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

We were initially apprehensive about staying in a hotel with "small" rooms (as other reviewers mentioned), but we loved it! The hotel had history and charm and was still trendy and upscale. We got a good deal on Expedia for 4th of July weekend and went with the queensized room. The room was small but no space was wasted and the bed was amazingly comfortable. Our room was next to the elevator but there was no noise at all. We loved the staff, the service and the onsite bar/restaurant. If you are looking for a typical big chain hotel then this is not for you. If you are looking for something a little different, a little more hip, and you can handle a small space with awesome linens and decor, go for it! We enjoyed our stay immensely and will stay there again.

  • Liked — Authenticity of the hotel and the beds
  • Disliked — small space
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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944 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Glasgow
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2008

We have just returned from a week at the Sofia. The hotel is magnificent and we have never experienced such incredible room service/cleaning. It was so lovely to stay at a small boutique hotel in an original building built in the 1940's. ideally located in the Gaslamp Quarter and yes is located right next to bus station but no noise or distrurbance experienced. There were a few vagrants hanging around but they did not bother us at all.

Overall I would say this is a fabulous option when staying in San Diego and was a brillant end to our journey from the UK via our direct flight with Zoom airlines.

  • Liked — Location of hotel
  • Disliked — Reception staff were not very cheerful
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2008

My boyfriend and I just had a mixed experience at the Sofia Hotel this weekend:

THE GOOD:
THE PRICE - The Sofia was almost half the price of our other favorite San Diego hotels.

THE LOCATION - While the immediate neighborhood can have some sketchy characters (it's next to a bunch of bail bond shops and a Greyhound station), it's literally a couple of blocks from the Gaslamp, and never really felt unsafe.

THE ROOM - The rooms are very clean and well decorated in a very attractive modern, but not overly flashy style (the photos they post are very accurate). We got a corner room with a nice view out of two of the windows, so the room felt a bit bigger than it might have otherwise.

THE BUILDING - I think the Sofia might be a historical hotel, and it definitely does have more character than most of the Gaslamp hotels I've seen. Almost like an upscale NYC brownstone.

THE BED - It's a good pillowtop bed with two duvets and nice, clean white sheets. It's no W heavenly bed, but it's comfortable.

THE STAFF - Very helpful, professional desk staff. Not "warm," but on top of their game.


THE BAD:
THE WEBSITE - This is partly my fault, but I didn't realize until the day of our trip that the Sofia never sent me an email confirmation. We called and they did have the reservation, but this turned out to be a problem for the next reason.

THE SURPRISE PRICE GOUGE - When we checked out, we noticed that our rate was $20 higher per night than quoted on their site. It wasn't taxes or fees... it was just $20 higher. Unfortunately we had no print out to prove it had gone up. If you book a room with them, make sure you print out the confirmation page and take it with you... it's the only time I've ever had this happen at a hotel and I've stayed at a LOT of hotels, both chain and independent.

THE SOUND - The Sofia's walls are pretty thin, and in the morning, we were awakened at around 6 am by water in the pipes, doors shutting and people talking.

THE WINDOWS - Don't open, which was surprising given the character of the hotel. We had to keep the A/C running all night just to eliminate the stuffiness.

THE ROOM SIZE - They're smaller than normal American hotel rooms... more on par with European hotels I've stayed in.

  • Liked — Character, location, room decor, cleanliness, price
  • Disliked — Booking problems, thin walls, small rooms
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Milwaukee, WI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2008

So, I read several reviews of The Sofia and I was pretty confident in the research I'd done, most reviews were great....and then there were some not so great reviews that concerned me. But, I realize that different travelers have different needs and expectations. So here goes:

My husband and I (early 30s and extensive travelers) stayed at the Sofia over Memorial Day weekend. We took the bus from the airport, 992 ($2.50 pp--exact change) and arrived at the Sofia within 15 mins of the airport. The Sofia's location is unbeatable. We were without a car for the trip, and it was totally fine. We walked to Balboa Park, the Embarcadero, Little Italy, and the eateries in the downtown/gas lamp area. We are very active and the walks didn't bother us one bit, but if you don't want longer walks, the bus stops right in front of the hotel.

The hotel itself--perfect, boutique hotel. If you are used to chain hotels with huge rooms, this may not be it for you. If you like ornate features and if mileu matters to you, this could be the place for you. We had a standard room, which came with wonderful linens and a down comforter/duvet, and the bed was amazing--we have never enjoyed a hotel bed more than our own! The room had a flat-screen tv, small refrigerator, microwave, closet for hanging clothes and a small sitting area. The bathroom was also lovely, we liked the separate shower/toliet area from the sink...and I admit to being a bit snobbish about the toiletries, but these provided were really good quality. I could actually comb through my long hair after using their conditioner.

The workout room was also well equipped with individual tv on each treadmill, weights and other equipment. I used the yoga studio 3x and I was the only person in there 2 out of 3 times. It was really peaceful and had a great set up. The hotel also offers bottled water, which is great.

The service was also quite good and we didn't have any issues. However, I would suggest doing your own research at their internet area downstairs if planning to rent a car at last minute or doing an activity of some sort...not sure that the staff is up-to-date on pricing. The noise level of the hotel was fine, not a problem with their urban location, we weren't bothered one bit with city noise. The only noise we had was one night of partyers coming home late...

  • Liked — It's location and panache
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Vero Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2008

I stayed at The Sofia for 6 days in June 2008. The hotel is on the National Historic Register and was built many years ago. It was completely refurbished a year or two ago and they have done a really nice job with it. The rooms are small, as can be expected with any older hotel, but nicely appointed with very comfortable beds. I have seen a few pics of the "scenery" from your window and read a couple of reviews on problems with noise. I didn't really mind the lack of scenery from my window and didn't experience problems with noise at all. There are basically three individual hotel buildings, with one main elevator. B/c of this, your view is likely of the room across from you. Not really a big deal when you think of all San Diego has to offer and that you're hardly in your room at all. From what I understand, and the research I did, this hotel is one of the most reasonably priced in he city. Very close to Horton Plaza (kitty corner from it) and a few blocks from the Gaslamp District. Also walking distance from the Midway ship tour (8 blocks). There is a greyhound station next door but you don't really notice this unless looking for it (it's not like there are buses parked out front). A few questionable characters but I saw these folks all over San Diego. I was staying by myself for all but one night when a friend joined me. We walked back to the hotel together after 10 pm and I felt safe. Great restaurant for breakfast in the lobby area - Currant. Breakfast was wonderful but DON'T buy the $15 "coupon" at the front desk when checking into Sofia. The restaurant offers many other lower priced options ($10 on average). The $15 is for a HUGE breakfast. Incidentally, I ate there for dinner once but their menu is limited and you can find something better in the Gaslamp District. Overall, I would recommend the hotel and would stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2008

I stayed at the Sofia hotel while I was in town for a convention. It is in a very convenient location - in the evening we walked from the convention center through the Gaslamp Quarter and right to the hotel. There are many restaurants nearby, it is a very quick ride to the airport, and the corner coffee shop is a great plus!

I had a queen room - very tight but fine for my needs. It was very clean and nicely appointed with an exceptionally comfortable bed and nice soft linens. My main complaint were the truly paper-thin walls. The first night after I went to bed my neighbor turned on his wall lamp by the bed and it was so loud I could have sworn he was turning on mine! I heard every word of his agitated morning phone call and could tell when my neighbors showered, flushed the toilet, or opened and closed their closets. I wouldn't say it's a show-stopper...the hotel is extremely nice...just think twice if you're a really light sleeper.

  • Liked — Nicely furnished room and lobby
  • Disliked — Thin walls!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2008

My wife and I decided it was time to take a vacation with our dog instead of leaving him with my in-laws. We found this one and decided to try it out. When we arrived and were checking in the staff was very friendly and they even offered dog biscuits to our dog. They showed us places that were pet-friendly in town and were friendly every time we saw them. The room was a little smaller than we're used to and the shower kind of sucked because there was no way to close a door (because there wasn't one). The location was terrific and they even accepted a lower price we found on another website. We didn't get to try the Currant restaurant because they're not pet-friendly, but that's not their fault. All-in-all we were very satisfied and we're staying there again next time.

  • Liked — Pet-friendlyness
  • Disliked — Small rooms
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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 The Sofia Hotel

Address: 150 West Broadway, 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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#54 Business Hotel in San Diego
#60 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Sofia Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of San Diego, The Sofia Hotel offers luxurious accommodations to please every taste. Weather you are traveling for business or pleasure, you will indulge in an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofia Hotel San Diego
Sofia San Diego

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