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I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel La Jolla for the second time recently. Our first visit was a “babymoon” weekend before we had Baby Scarlett in early 2015 and this time was for work meetings. My stay was a week after the Hotel La Jolla left the Kimpton brand and the last night that they provided Kimpton stay credits.
Our previous visit to Kimpton Hotel La Jolla
It was a couple weeks before Baby Scarlett was born. We received an awesome upgrade to a room on one of the highest floors. Not only did we have an awesome view of the ocean, the room was a suite and it was huge!
And the Kimpton Inner Circle welcome amenity was the usual assortment of water, beers, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, other goodies, and a personal note from the staff.
Anna was able to enjoy her morning coffee as we enjoyed the sunrise together.
Timmy was happy because they brought “Glowy” (what he names all the Kimpton goldfish) up to our room.
Overall, it was a great “staycation” about an hour south of where we live in Orange County.
Hotel La Jolla leaves Kimpton
In early February 2016, I received an email stating that, effective February 4, 2016, the Hotel La Jolla would no longer be part of the Kimpton family. This was very concerning to me for two reasons… 1) you hate to see a brand you love lose a great property and 2) I was staying at the Hotel La Jolla a week later and booked with a “double stay” credit promotion, so I didn’t want to lose out on the accelerated renewal of my Kimpton Karma Inner Circle loyalty level.
Kimpton still has a few properties in San Diego, but the Hotel La Jolla was much more affordable than those. My stay this time was $149 (plus tax and $30 valet parking), while the San Diego properties were well over $300 a night. As much as I like to be pampered, I try to do it while spending as little money as possible!
My stay at the Hotel La Jolla
I had meetings in San Diego for work, but had the unexpected news that the kids’ school was closed for the President’s holiday on Friday. Since Anna and I both work, we didn’t know what to do! Luckily, their Godmother lives in San Diego, so she offered to watch them during the day on Friday while I was at work.
The kids fell asleep in the car (Timmy after 15 minutes of watching the Minions’ movie and Scarlett after 45 minutes of crying) so that made for an interesting arrival. I left them in the car (bad parent?) with the valet watching over them.
I was greeted and thanked for my Kimpton Inner Circle loyalty level. I was told that I received an upgraded room on the 6th floor with an ocean view. Good start to a nice evening!
Getting to our room
The valet carried all of our bags up to the room in his car, while I carried two sleeping kiddos in my arms. What a sight that must have been as we walked through the quiet lobby. I made sure to tip the valet well, then we settled into our room. Timmy stayed asleep as I put him into bed, but Scarlett is my night owl and she wanted to check out the room before calling it a night.
The room was spacious and had one King bed, a desk area with the normal Kimpton snacks and mini-fridge, and a flat screen TV on the wall.
The bathroom was large, with a good-sized glass shower and floating sink. Honestly, I think my kids’ bedrooms are about the same 80-100 sq ft size of the bathroom.
The balcony and view of the ocean
Luckily there are blackout shades on sliding glass door out to the balcony, but the sun is bright and the view is amazing. There’s no way the kids would have slept in without them!
When the kids woke up, they loved checking out the balcony and see the ocean.
Breakfast at CUSP on the 11th Floor
In the morning, while waiting for the kids’ Godmother to show up, we ventured up to the 11th floor for breakfast. At night, CUSP is a bar with an impressive nighttime view.
For breakfast, we enjoyed a traditional breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Timmy loved the chocolate chips! I love the view and how happy Timmy and Scarlett were with the food. The service was fantastic and very attentive. Although I tend not to eat at hotel restaurants due to the higher-end price, the service here made the price palatable.
Mixed signals — have you left Kimpton or not?
After arriving at night, much of everything at the hotel looked the same as the last time we stayed. The entry sign remained the same “Hotel La Jolla, a Kimpton property” and the Kimpton soaps and signage were visible in the room.
The leopard-print robe and yoga mat were also tucked in the closet, awaiting the use by someone much more motivated (and kid-free) than me. Even the Kimpton notepad and pen were in their usual place on the nightstand next to the bed.
You know what wasn’t there, though? The usual Kimpton Inner Circle welcome amenity. <<sad face>> So, I politely called down to the front desk to ask about the usual welcome amenity. They told me that they were able to upgrade my room as a thank you for being a loyal Kimpton member, but the hotel’s management had done away with the Kimpton welcome amenities as part of their departure from the Kimpton brand.
The Hotel La Jolla is a nice property, and we were treated very well while we were there. If it wasn’t for the missing Kimpton Inner Circle welcome amenity, we wouldn’t have been able to tell that the Hotel La Jolla was no longer part of the Kimpton brand.