22 November 2011

Friendly comfort at Solamar San Diego

I’ve written before how much we like Kimpton hotels. When we plan a vacation, we always check to see if the city we’re traveling to has a Kimpton, and if it does, we always check the rates. (They’re usually very affordable.)

So that’s what we did when we started planning our short trip to San Diego. San Diego was our destination because I would be attending a dairy conference there. But we decided to go a few days early for some relaxation. The conference was at a resort in Mission Valley. We also looked into La Jolla, but we were there a year ago for a wedding. We usually prefer staying downtown where there’s good choices of restaurants, preferably in walking distance, and options for nightlife. The fact that there was a Kimpton right in the Gaslamp Quarter, and they offered a special rate, clinched it for us. So we made a reservation for three nights at the Solamar.IMG_0352

The first pleasant surprise was when we checked in, the desk clerk wished me a happy birthday. I can’t figure out how he knew. Maybe it’s on my profile for the Kimpton In Touch (frequent stayer) program. As I noted in my next post, our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we wandered into the Gaslamp Quarter to have some lunch. When we returned and got checked in, while were were unpacking in our room, there was a knock at the door. The manager sent up a bottle of wine and a birthday cupcake, along with a nice note. Really cool!

One of the things we like about Kimptons is that most (maybe all) have a nightly wine reception in the lobby. We enjoy having a glass of wine before our evening activities and chatting with the other guests. It’s very cordial and relaxing.

It turns out that the special rate that we reserved also included two coupons for a free cocktail for each night of our stay. I had totally forgotten that detail. The Solamar has a really cool rooftop pool and lounge. So we enjoyed a couple of cocktails up there during our stay.

Kimpton prides itself on having staff who can help guests find fun and unusual things to do. We got a lot of good advice from the staff when we asked. We did have rain on one day during our visit. That spoiled our planned activities for the evening. However, the desk clerk gave us a recommendation for dinner (Asti Ristorante), got us a reservation, and also got us complementary admission to Jim Croce’s Jazz Bar a block away from the restaurant. It was a fun evening.

Needless to say, Kimpton hotels remain on our list of places to stay when we’re traveling.

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