The Hotel Solamar San Diego
On my recent trip to San Diego, I spent two nights at the Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. This was my first stay at a Kimpton property, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Five days before my scheduled arrival I received an e-mail from the hotel,
Greetings from Hotel Solamar! We’re delighted you’re joining us and look forward to welcoming you to sunny San Diego. At the Solamar we’re about Sun and Sea, but we don’t want you to miss someone special at home so we invite you to send us a photo and we will have it waiting in your room.
I was impressed. I’d never stayed at one of their hotels, wasn’t a loyal customer with thousands of loyalty points, and yet they reached out to me. In a time where there are so many options when choosing a place to spend the night, I think customer service is a huge factor in the final decision, and Kimpton seems to “get it.”
When I walked into my room, not only was there the photo of my children I’d e-mailed them, but also a handwritten note from the front desk welcoming me to the property. Such a thoughtful touch, that is easy and inexpensive, yet very meaningful after a long day in airports.
The bathrooms have a very modern feel, with the raised sinks, but the lighting is terrible. I felt like I was showering in the dark. I did like the way they use large dispensers for the Gilchrist & Soames shower gel and shampoo. The dispensers made them easy to access, you don’t have to worry about dropping or spilling anything, and it reduces the amount of bottles that need to be recycled.
As an InTouch member, Kimpton’s loyalty program, I had free wi-fi, and a $10 credit to be used on anything in the mini-bar. Hotel Solamar’s mini-bar stands out from others, as its stocked with organic treats and local craft beers. Its great to have healthy choices for a midnight snack, when the munchies hit!
Kimpton properties are pet friendly, so if you wake up easily or aren’t an animal lover, you may want to request a pet free floor. My corner room was on the 10th floor, and so spacious. Instead of working from the desk, I spent time in the overstuffed chair while answering e-mails. Three large windows provided lots of natural light, and I could see Petco Park, as well as the rooftop pool and lounge from my room.
Tip: They have complimentary wagons in the lobby, so Moms and Dads can pull the kids around downtown.
Hotel Solamar definitely has the perfect location for anyone that wants to explore the Gaslamp District and downtown San Diego on foot. We walked to lunch at Basic Pizza, walked to dinner at Searsucker, and I walked to the Padres game at Petco Park on Thursday night. After the game, we chilled with drinks at the trendy rooftop LOUNGESix, a popular spot for locals and hotel guests.
The on site restaurant, JSix, serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and 24 hour room service with a menu that focuses on locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Even the cocktails are inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients like the refreshing Sage Bramble, made with sage and blackberries.
In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and support local businesses, they use wine and water glasses made from old wine bottles, wooden cheese trays cut from old wine barrels, and display flowers in recycled liquor bottles. The funky, chic glasses, made by a local company, BottleHood, fit well with the eclectic design of JSix. (They’re also such a cool conversation piece, I may have to order a few for my home bar.)