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“Great spot, (potentially) good value”

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Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Ranked #41 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Los Angeles
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great spot, (potentially) good value”
Reviewed April 16, 2008

The Solamar is a lovely space in a great area of Gaslamp, easy walking distance to just about everything. Inside it's elegant, comfortable, and beachy, exactly what we were hoping for on our SD vacation. Great room, friendly service, and the poolside rooftop bar is one of the hottest spots in town.

  • Liked — Aesthetic
  • Disliked — really nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank nick_rh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
Reviewed April 9, 2008

The Hotel Solamar is a wonderful hotel near Petco Park and smack in the middle of the Gaslamp district. Perfect walking distance to the convention center. As other reviews have stated, it is quite noisy on Friday and Saturday nights, but the bar by the pool is great place to be on those nights! If you are planning on a nice quiet evening in on one of these nights I wouldn't count on it, but there really isn't a hotel in the gaslamp district that isn't affected by the nightlife on the weekend. The service here is fantastic! You'll feel like royality when you stay here. However, I would not recommend the hotel restaurant JSix. It is extremely expensive and small portions which would have been ok if the food was exceptional but it is not.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — the noise and restaurant
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ggirl27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
1 review
Reviewed April 2, 2008

Like other Kimpton Hotels, this hotel has a unique, boutique feel to it with very cheery, helpful staff. I stayed here on a recent business trip without issue... until the Friday night, before my very early flight Saturday morning, I had a frustrating time getting sleep as I had to deal with the noise of the outside, pool-side bar. The noise, noticeably louder than previous nights, made me wonder if the hotel was more concerned for its 'scene' and the experience of those bar hoppers than those of their hotel occupants, some of whom need to, shockingly, sleep. I laid there contemplating, "Is this place a hotel or is it a bar?" If sleep is your preference, I advise you either avoid the side of the hotel facing the pool on the weekend, or avoid the hotel altogether.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank JackTheH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2008

After reading some of the reviews, I was a little apprehensive about booking rooms here for my second stay at a Kimpton Hotel (1st: Hotel Palomar, WDC, Oct '08). Soooo glad I placed more faith in Kimpton's outstanding service than in a couple negative reviews.

The whole experience was fantastic from the moment I pulled up. Yes, the valet parking is expensive (everything is expensive in SD, and Solamar's rates are consistent with the market). Based on earlier reviews, was very careful to reserve a quiet room and specified away from and above pool level. Front desk offered me exactly what I asked for, but also offered an upgraded room away from the pool, but on the pool floor. Made the right choice by taking the upgraded room. The room was around the corner and as far from the pool as possible (#434). Stayed here a whole week and did not once hear a peep from the pool.

Having spent about my share of time at the pool, I can believe that some of the lower pool facing rooms might have a valid complaint about the noise from the pool's bar--especially if they open their windows--so consider requesting a room away from the pool.

One of the reviews complained about thin walls. Don't really know what they're talking about--that wasn't my experience. The side walls of the rooms are as quiet as anywhere else. Yes, you can hear your neighbors when they're talking too loudly in the hallway as they walk by. But that's no different that almost any other hotel I've stayed at (and I'm pretty sensitive to extraneous noise).

If I have to find faults, they are these: (1) The hotel's exterior windows (at least my room's) are getting a __little__ dirty. They open, but not in any way that the hotel could wash them without hiring a professional window washer. This is probably not the sort of thing that would bother most guests, if they noticed it at all (the hotel, firmly in Downtown's center, doesn't enjoy views of the Bay); (2) Got some bad advice from staff member trying to be helpful responding to my subjective questions: was told "nothing to do at the Embarcadero" (it's a nearby park that might be useful for walking your dog at this pet-friendly hotel) and "free parking is tough up by Balboa Park" (that just totally wasn't my experience--maybe I was there on an off day?); (3) Not too thrilled with the light filtering curtain set up--they open & close with rods that are attached to the sheer fabric by a nut & bolt--a pretty flimsy setup that was wearing out in my room. Gee, that's my biggest complaint--closing the curtains. Life must be tough.

Someone mentioned the guests are pretty young here, and that's right. All ages are represented, but the bell curve skews toward the late 20s/30s. During the Saturday night of my stay, Pepperdine U. had a formal event for some of their students, who were staying at the hotel--so my experience may not have been the norm. Surprisingly, heard no ruckus from these kids!

Hotel has a great location in SD's Gas Light District. No shortage of things to do/places to eat. A 5 minute walk from the Convention Center. Oh, the 5-6PM wine hour is a great way to start off a crawl to the nearby restaurants.

Hotel's restaurant (J Six) and poolside bar are very good. Both a little expensive (but still within market prices). Food was at least as good (had both dinner and breakfast here) as 75% of the nearby restaurants, but maybe a notch shy of excellent.

Staff is __extremely__ helpful; if you've never stayed at a Kimpton, you'll just have to understand that this chain sets the standard for service quality. Everyone....front desk, restaurant/bar, valet, housekeeping, and maintenance goes out of their way to acknowledge you and make your stay as comfortable as possible.

I'd unhesitatingly recommend this hotel to anyone going to stay in Downtown SD. It's not the cheapest hotel around, but it's worth it. There are also other choices nearby if you want to get lost in a megalithic hotel (e.g., Omni; Marriott; Grand Hyatt, all nearby). But if you want outstanding service in a first rate hotel with swanky styling and a great location, but with the classic warm feel of an inn, this is for you.

  • Liked — Kimpton's consistently excellent service
  • Disliked — No significant complaints (see review)
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank BostonPeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, California
Level 4 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2008

I usually try to stay within the top 25 hotels reviewed on Trip Advisor but this hotel being listed at #35 gives me much hope for future hotel bookings.
We booked the Solamar as a post cruise stay. We were treated like VIP's. Sean at the desk was especally gracious. They even held our friends from the ship, luggage as a courtesy, while we visited.
We stayed in a corner room on the 9th floor, with a very deep spa tub. Everything was really clean (something I am always concerned about). The hotel has a very classy, contemporary feel to it. The rooms are much better looking in person than in pictures. The roof top pool and bar was a great place to hang out and have drinks and food (even a swim). Complimentary coffee in the morning in real mugs, crazy animal pattern robes, central to many things to do and see. Our stay was all that I was hoping for and more. The parking was $30 per day which I think is steep but it is catching on at many places.
I believe you will love the Solamar

  • Liked — Classiness
  • Disliked — Bar Waitresses were not as good as they could have been
Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank chirp78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newport beach
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2008

we are in the design industry and we know a value based stay verses cheap hotel overcharging because location and cheap design. we new it was bad just when we pulled in to see $30 per night to park... we asked the valet what were the other options and he just smiled and said there are no other options. he was lying... parking is just around the corner if you can find it or a $4 lot behind the building. with the valet it was a $300+ per night stay. we were here for a conference and most of our peers felt this place was probably worth may be a $125-150 stay. i understand this is downtown san diego but this isn't new york or los angeles. we felt this hotel was trying to make a buck where ever we went with their $5 in room toothbrushes to $120 zebra print robes in the closet. should you feel super frisky there was a cheetah print silk pajamas tank top or boxer for $30 each. this place is lame with their cheap excuse for complementary wine @ 6pm and poor design. we also didn't like the 10th floor (just getting our of the elevator) smelling like a fart either.

  • Liked — the marketing and website looked great
  • Disliked — the hotel didn't deliver what they promised in marketing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank jovenile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2008

We just returned from a trip to San Diego where we stayed at the Hotel Solamar for four days. This is a Kimpton brand hotel. It is located in the heart of the Gaslamp District, which is by far the best area to stay for entertainment and dining. Our room at the hotel was perfect. With a beach theme, leather walls, great view, and a comfortable bed we could not have asked for more. They have a wine hour everyday from 5pm to 6pm which is the best way to start off an evening there. They also have a roof top bar by the pool that is beautiful. The staff is some of the best I have ever seen in any establishment. They were extremely helpful with our needs within the hotel and throughout the city. The hotel definitely made our trip all the more memorable and we will be returning there as soon as possible. In one word the Hotel Solamar is: amazing!

  • Liked — The great staff and the look and feel of the hotel
  • Disliked — The fact I had to leave
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Denver_jetsetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimpton Solamar Hotel

Property: Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Address: 435 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-7007
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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in San Diego
#7 Business Hotel in San Diego
#10 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#12 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#15 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#31 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Solamar Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the apex of cosmopolitan downtown San Diego, the boutique Kimpton 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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