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“Cozy Gaslamp Location”

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Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Ranked #64 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Houston
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Cozy Gaslamp Location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

We stayed at the Palomar for Comic-Con this year. It was JUST close enough to the convention center to be able to walk there every day - a straight shot down 5th about 8 or 10 blocks. Unless you are an avid walker, though, I wouldn't recommend staying any farther north than Broadway if you are making the trip several times a day like we did.
As noted in some of the other reviews, there were quite a few homeless people in the area, but maybe they just congregated where there were a couple hundred thousand extra people in one place at one time with disposable income. If you have experienced Comic-Con you understand.
The room was small but adequate for my husband and me. The glass sliding door separating the bathroom was interesting, but you would need to be very comfortable with your traveling companion since it's like being in the same room with someone using the bathroom or taking a shower. The location was good if you want to be near the restaurants in the Gaslamp District - close enough to walk, but far enough away to be out of the main crowds on the street. It's right next door to House of Blues. The staff were all cordial and friendly. There was a wine tasting every night but we never made it back from the convention in time to try it. We didn't object to the $36 daily parking fee because it was worth our sanity not to look for a parking space. Did I mention the 200,000 extra people in town - all trying to find a parking space?
The only reason I would not give the Palomar a full 5 stars is little things that may only matter to me. I have come to expect no coffemaker in hotel rooms but no water glasses? Not even plastic ones? We bought some cheap glasses at the 7-11 next door and just left them in the room when we checked out. There were a couple of lightbulbs that were burned out, a TV that would only get a few channels without static, and we had to use one tiny bar of soap between us for the whole 6 days and 5 nights that we stayed there. The other toiletries (shampoo, etc) were not replaced, either, after being used, but luckily I had brought my own supply. We finally asked for toilet paper and tissues when we saw the housekeeping staff because the roll was almost empty and there wasn't a spare and the tissues were gone. That's not something you want to have to call the front desk for in the middle of the night. They were very friendly and apologized for not having the supplies in the room already, but I didn't like having to ask. We never got another bar of soap, so we made do. The one thing that my husband was most concerned about was blood spots on the sheets. Granted, they were small stains, but still stains from someone else's blood. We asked that the sheets be changed and they were, but it was still disconcerting.
I'm willing to cut them some slack since Comic-Con is pure madness, but it's those little things that make a difference.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank QueenSandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
I am really happy you loved the location. I am sorry about the lack of amenities in your room and the other issues you experienced. I would like to chat with you about your stay when it's convenient for you. Please contact me personally.

Sincerely,
Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

We arrived at the palomar as part of our honeymoon touring the west coast of California. As such we have experienced a lot of different hotels in a short amount of time. The palomar was exceptional in every regard (apart from some pretty steep parking charges!)

Upon arriving we were congratulated on our marriage and told we were upgraded to a suite on the sixteenth floor. The suite wasn't quite ready when we arrived but we were invited to have a complimentary glass of wine in the lobby with the other guests for their wine hour - it was a lovely way to relax after our journey. The room was ready quickly and upon entering we were very impressed. The living space was lovely; modern decor, comfortable and a great tv! The bed was huge and comfortable and the bathroom was excellent. Some other reviews have criticised elements of the bathroom but we found it to be excellent.

The balcony overlooked the pool area so we ventured down for happy hour. Contrary to other reports we found the staff to be very helpful and we had two $5 cocktails which were both delicious and strong! Indeed one was a little too strong and the staff immediately brought fresh lemonade and an extra glass to help dilute the drink at no extra charge. The pool, loungers and general ambience were lovely and we spent quite a lot of time there as it was the perfect place to relax.

The front desk also couldn't have been more helpful. They not only provided maps and directions but also recommended a few bars - which we tried out and indeed had an excellent night out.

The only issue as mentioned was the price of parking - $35 per night, however it did mean that they car was safe so really must grumble.

Perhaps the greatest demonstration of what the Palomar is really about came at check-out. Having asked how our stay was, the assistant front office manager, Johnson Menezes asked where we were going next. When we told him (the Bellagio in Vegas) he said that he knew somebody who worked there so would let them know we were coming. True to his word, by the time we arrived in Vegas that evening, we had a message waiting for us from the team at the Bellagio who said they knew we were valued guests of the Palomar and as such they wanted to help us in any way that they could. You simply cannot buy that level of personal touch and as such, we would now only stay at the Palomar when staying in San Diego - something which I really happens again soon.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stu R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

A typical boutique hotel just on the edge of the touristy Gaslamp district. The immediate area is actually pretty seedy with lots of homeless and drunks but it was always busy and we never felt menaced. Two blocks away is the start of the Gaslamp area which is a fine location for a family. Lots of transit connections nearby. We also could walk to the harbour.

Arrival was complicated by the fact that the room which we'd bought via Hotwire was not configured properly (one bed not the 2 promised) and the desk staff said nothing was available at first, saying it was Hotwire's problem and we could pay for an upgrade and then argue for HW to pay. After a lot of pouting on our part, the manager "found" a 2-bed room and all was well.

The room was new, clean and big enough with a decent, but not huge, array of amenities. Like many such hotels, there are those weird quirks like a sliding panel on the bathroom and no door on the shower. No problem for a family or couple, could be awkward if sharing with a friend. Various little touches were missed - lights burned out and not replaced, broken toilet roll holder that took 3 notes to housekeeping to finally get reattached, had to ask for non-plastic glassware for the bar and bathroom.

Staff was always pleasant. Concierge helped with a lot of planning and sells zoo tickets at normal price so we avoided the line-up

We ordered room service once and everything was truly gross. We never tried the restaurant proper.

Pool is small and nice with California style lounges and a bar. Fitness centre was clean and modern, not huge though. Business centre is rudimentary.

Generally, they did not over-deliver, but provided reasonable value for the money.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarkToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

My girlfriends and I came to San Diego to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We stayed downtown at the Kimpton Palomar and could not have been more pleased with the location, room, service, and phenomenal views of the city. The hotel has a chic, uptown feel, and having it right on fifth avenue in the Gas lamp district made it a prime location for shops, dining, and attractions (short cab rides to the zoo and SeaWorld). The service was phenomenal and any questions we had about dining locations were met with rave reviews by our palates (Seersucker and Cafe 21 are a must). There is complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby in the mornings and in the evenings they have a complimentary wine happy hour -- what's not to love? I would definitely stay here again and the service and quality is top notch.

Room Tip: the high floors have a great view of the city. We were in 1705, a one bedroom apartment with a full...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travel_Bug_Fanatics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

This hotel could be more accommodating... I've stayed here twice and both times there were little things that just made me decide I will NOT come back here again. They were not flexible as they could have been with check-outs. The rooms were just OK... and service mediocre at the front desk. If they could just be a tad more flexible and helpful it may turn things around... but reviews are right.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
I would like to discuss your last two stays when it is convenient Caroline814. Summers and weekends are really busy for us and late check outs are hard to extend. However I'm sure we can work something out for your next trip.

Best regards,
Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbados
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

i was a little hesitant reading some of the other reviews about an akward shower door and not getting hot water. I didnt experience any of these things.
Well first let me say i stayed in a suite room. Has kitchen, sitting area and dining room table.

The hotel was very pleasing and relaxing. The kitchen has every utensil, appliance,and kitchen item that you can think about: fridge, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, sink, microwave. Then had from pizza cutter, to oven mittens, to bagel toaster, to platters, to knife set, to tongs,to everything you can think about.

i love that theres a tv in the sitting area and another one in the bedroom.
The bathroom was wonderful. They even provided bathrobes.

i had only one bad experience. I came back to the room after being out the whole day, and saw a charger on the kitchen counter. I then got a call that it was brought to my room in error and if a service person can come collect it. I said ok. A few moments later, someone pushed my door and came inside to collect the item. I really thought he should have knocked first not just use his card to enter.
the second thing i dont like, and this has happened before, when i first came, i got a floor mat for use before the bathroom sink. by the next day, they replaced it with a white towel. go figure.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FrequentTrippur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

I was impressed that the decor matched what I'd seen on the web. Very nice at government rates.

My room was dark when I arrived but the maintenance man responded pretty quickly and replaced three bulbs. The view was of the hotel in back of the Palomar, but I didn't expect a view paying per diem rates.

The bed was comfortable and the cleaning ladies did a nice job while I was at my conference every day.

So, why only average?

After settling in I went to the pool and saw "happy hour" signs all over the place. The "happy hour" must have been only in the main restaurant, because the pool bartender charged me $9.70 for a gin and tonic in a plastic cup (I realize the plastic is for safety, it's the price that made me unhappy.) I wouldn't have ordered another drink at that price, which was fine because the waitress didn't even look at me the whole time I was there.

The drink put me on guard, and investigating the main restaurant's (the Salt Box) menu I decided I'd be eating somewhere else. Even the breakfast menu was quite pricey.

The design of the bathroom was exotic over functional. The walk-in shower had no door or curtain, just a piece of glass on the shower end that didn't do a good job of keeping water off the floor. I have a slight handicap (foot drop) and was concerned about having no hand holds at all. Everything except a bar of soap was in toothpaste-like tubes that were pretty annoying with wet hands. The two towel racks were placed to require a trip outside the shower. The exhaust fan was missing or very weak. The door itself was a sliding frosted glass thing that again emphasized the exotic over the functional.

I didn't bother checking the prices for the snacks and drinks in the room. I bought a liter of pop at a nearby CVS and just had room in the 'fridge for it. Guest services said there was no ice machine, but sent up a valet with a big bucket of ice. I honestly forgot to tip him. The next night I asked for another bucket of ice and after half an hour called again. The valet came on the second call. I did tip him.

The room had no coffee maker.

The DirecTV connection was poor and most of the stations reverted to ads for pay movies.

The Wi-Fi was $10/day unless you signed up for their rewards program.

The comfortable bed made up for a lot, but unless you are unconcerned about money the only thing you'll want to do here is sleep.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CptAhab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Van_Cooney, General Manager at Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, responded to this review, July 31, 2012
I am glad you liked our exotic decor and had a comfortable night sleep. A good night sleep can mean the world. I am sorry about the drink price you encountered at the pool but hope the gin and tonic was tasty. Our prices in all of our areas are very competitive with other dining and drinking establishments in the Gaslamp. Please let us know when you are returning. We have complimentary wine hour every night at 5pm and complimentary coffee in the mornings.

Cheers,
Mark
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego

Property: Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Address: 1047 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
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:
#15 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#17 Business Hotel in San Diego
#22 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#23 Green Hotel in San Diego
#26 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#62 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego 4.5*
Number of rooms: 211
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Move into luxury and sophisticated, art-filled style at Kimpton 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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