Poshbrood recently stayed at Kimpton's San Diego property, Hotel Solamar, in the trendy Gaslamp District. The hotel is uniquely positioned within walking distance for many family attractions including: PETCO Park (home of the Padres, one block away) several theatres, Copley Symphony Hall and the AMAZING Children's Museum. It's also 5 blocks from the Convention Center so it is also a plumb hotel for business travelers. When we visited in April, it was a mix of families, couples and business travelers.
At any rate, the hip hotel offers modern sun-and-sea Southern California decor and an amazingly affordable swanky home base for families looking to explore: La Jolla, the San Diego Zoo, Coronado Island, Balboa Park, Sea World. Maritime Museum among many other local attractions. Plus, Solamar's rooftop pool and terrace is an urban oasis that kids of all ages can enjoy. The pool is located on the fourth floor of hotel. The inviting rooftop deck is perfect for a day of lounging or a night of socializing. Surrounded by lush tropical greenery, the large, lap-style pool mirrors the sunny days and the remarkable views of San Diego and the bay. There are loungers, private cabanas and in the evening, fire pits reflecting off the water. The pool is open from 7 am - 9 pm. In the evenings, especially on weekend nights, the pool's bar, LOUNGEsix, attracts more adults than families beginning around happy hour. It's definitely worth having the concierge arrange babysitting for you and your husbs to grab a signature fruit drink at the bar before exploring the Gaslamp Quarter or sharing coastal-inspired small plates at Jsix, the hotel's award winning restaurant.
Our room was a standard 340 square foot Deluxe Guest Room. The guestroom includes a king bed, spacious work area with ergonomic chair, an LCD flat screen television, plush linens, Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities, laptop friendly safe, fully stocked honor bar and those fab Kimpton terry cloth animal print robes. I loved the room's pallete of aqua blues and chocolate browns.
The rooms did have a nautical theme but in a subtle and sophisticated way. The walls were a very cool tan faux stitched leather and the furniture was a dark mahogany. I'm little bit obsessed with the lucite coral beside table lamp. Hollywood Regency, Seaside!
As always we loved Kimpton's signature hosted evening wine hour (free, people!) and the morning coffee and tea. Staff are always welcoming and friendly and at this hotel it was no different. One staffer gave us our time in the business center free (it was probably $30) because the system wouldn't accept my room number and last name and I had no time to grab a credit card. Secondly, we missed the 30th anniversary Kimpton happy hour so they gave us a voucher for some free drinks at the bar. It's the little things!
Other things we loved: The petite but modern and fully outfitted fitness center with bikes, treadmills and free weights. They also have a Wednesday afternoon guided power walk and Saturday morning poolside Pilates for $10. Constructive tips: If you're bringing a car, be prepared to budget $35 a night for valet parking ($17 if you drive a hybrid vehicle in keeping with Kimpton's EarthCare eco program) or ask the reservations department if there are any promotions where parking is included.
The Hotel Solamar is a deluxe and well-priced homebase for family trips to San Diego. Because of the vibrant poolside bar scene (especially on weekends) we recommend you request a room further away from the pool so the little ones (and you) can sleep soundly in those scrumptious animal print Frette sheets.
Room rates start at $219 a night but the hotel is currently offering a Spring Fling package with a nightly rate of $150 and a welcome sea breeze cocktail. The hotel has adjoining rooms and children under 16 stay free. Check the website frequently for deals and specials.