To paraphrase Pete Townshend (and if that’s the best I can ever do as a writer, I won’t be too upset), I have a soft spot for Kimpton Hotels and I think I’ve caught them looking at it: a few weeks before leaving on a trip last month to San Diego, my wife, daughter and I were invited to stay at Hotel Solamar (that’s the non-gauche way of saying our stay was free).
This 235-room boutique hotel in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter made that soft spot get larger. (Read about my afternoon with the chef at Hotel Solamar’s restaurant in BlackBook’s “Jsix’s Christian Graves Gives Us His ‘Chef’s Kitchen Experience.’“)
Our 570-square-foot Masters Suite was spacious, even for three people and the mass of luggage required* to travel with an infant. Heck, we even gave our daughter her own room, setting up the crib in the suite’s sitting room and hooking up our baby monitor so we could listen to her from the adjacent bedroom (yeah, that was excessive, but we’re first-time parents so back off). The cabana-esque decor seemed out of place at first. But then I remembered I was in San Diego. And a few minutes later I remember San Diego is on the water. So shame on me rather than the hotel.
From our window we could look down on guests drinking cocktails by the fire pit at LOUNGEsix, Hotel Solamar’s active fourth-floor rooftop poolside bar. Now, there’s a time and place when, 11 p.m. and three-hour time change be damned, I’d have been down there to cure what ails me with a nightcap. Alas, that time and place was not after my first cross-country flights with a child, as well-behaved as she was. Instead I just ransacked the room’s mini-bar with its assortment of 200 ml bottles–for you non-metric folks, those are huge–and passed out.
(I’m lying. I just brushed my teeth, gargled my mouthwash for a bit too long in an attempt to take in some of its alcohol through osmosis and went to bed.)
Of course the chic Hotel Solamar contained the usual bevy of Kimpton amenities (yes, I mentioned many of these in my write-up of Chicago’s Hotel Monaco):
- a deep soaking tub in the bathroom
- complimentary Wi-Fi for Kimpton InTouch members (join, it’s free)
- a nightly hosted (another non-gauche way of saying free) wine party in the lobby
And the hotel’s location in the Gaslamp Quarter makes it easily accessible to many events (like Comic-Con and San Diego Padres baseball games) and some of San Diego’s best restaurants.
Rates can be found online for as low as $109 a night.
*Debate about what is required to travel with an infant and what is optional is now entering its sixth month in my house. For the time being, let’s just assume my pack-as-lightly-as-possible approach has lost.
435 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Photos: Courtesy Hotel Solamar