My wife had to work this weekend for quarter-end shipping, so I took the kids down to San Diego to have fun at Sea World and to stay at the Kimpton Palomar San Diego. It is my first of many Kimpton stays the first couple of months of 2017 that I booked during October’s Kimpton Annual Double Stay Credit promotion.
Booking our room at Kimpton Palomar San Diego
I booked a basic Deluxe King Room for $119, hoping that my Inner Circle status would get us upgraded to a nicer room.
During the booking process, upgrade offers were presented, with 3 options ranging from $12 to $60. Having the King Spa Suite would have been nice, but I’m not interested in paying an extra $60 unless I have to.
Secret Password “Feeling Toasty”
At check-in, I had Timmy tell them the Kimpton Winter Secret Password. The front desk person said that she’d be right back while she grabbed our treat. We were presented with a handmade mason jar filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows, with a shot of Bailey’s on the side. All we needed to do is add a little hot water or milk, and we’d be “Feeling Toasty”!
Kimpton Welcome Amenity
As a Kimpton Karma Rewards Inner Circle member, I get to customize my Welcome Amenity. The Kimpton Palomar San Diego staff hit every request perfectly and added a little extra for our sweet tooth. There were local beers to quench my thirst – Stone Brewing IPA and Modern Times Amber Ale. Two bottles of still water. A Reese’s Big Cup and a plate of yogurt covered pretzels. Plus, they added two gourmet cookies that the kids (OK, Anna and I had some bites too) devoured!
Upgrade to a Premier Suite at Kimpton Palomar San Diego
When we arrived, we were pleased that we were upgraded to the Premier Suite in room 1403.
The living room offers a pullout couch, flat screen TV, and a desk area. Because Kimpton knew I would be bringing the kids with me (from the reservation notes), when we arrived, the bed was already made. Nice touch Kimpton, since there was a strong possibility that the kids would have been knocked out after a fun day at Sea World.
The bedroom area is separated by a lockable door for privacy. Both rooms have large windows that offer views of the San Diego city lights, which has pretty lights at night.
The bathroom was really nice as well. Floor-to-ceiling tile, with a large shower that has a rainfall shower head.
Kimpton Palomar San Diego Pool, Spa, and Gym
The rooftop pool is located on the 4th floor. The pool is open from 7am to 8pm. The pool is heated, but it was still a little too chilly for us to put on our swimsuits in January. If it had been sunnier and a little warmer, we would have taken a dip during the day.
The bar called Summersalt is here for you to grab drinks and snacks. And while the other restaurants are being rehabbed, a poolside breakfast buffet is available each morning.
The gym is a decent size, but the capacity is 10 people. There is a good mixture of free weights and machines that would enable most people to complete a full workout. While working out, you have a view of the street below. The views aren’t that good because the gym is located on the 3rd level, so you’re primarily looking at the buildings across the street. Either way, it is better than if you didn’t have windows at all.
And if lifting weights isn’t your thing, the staff at Kimpton Palomar San Diego will provide you with a map with running routes around the local area. Or, as with all Kimpton properties, there is a yoga mat in the closet, so you can perform some yoga poses in the comfort of your own room.
There is also a spa on the 3rd floor. Nature’s Spa by Jurlique is open 10am to 6pm every day and offers massage treatments starting at $135. Facials and nail care are also available. Through the month of January 2017, Jurlique is offering 60-minute massages for $69 and 90-minute massages for $99. If you’re a local, pick up a Palomar Privilege Card where you can enjoy 30% off all spa services every time you visit!
Kimpton Palomar On-Site Restaurants
The main restaurant and bar on the 2nd and 1st floors, respectively, are undergoing construction. SaltBox (the restaurant) and SaltBar closed and a new concept called Curadero will be opening in the next couple of months.
In the meantime, there is a bar in the lobby that is open daily from 3pm to 9pm. We didn’t arrive in time for Wine Hour (every day from 5pm to 6pm), so we were provided a coupon for a free drink at the bar! Another example of how Kimpton takes excellent care of their guests.
A breakfast buffet is available at the Summerset bar next to the pool. It is a traditional American hot breakfast buffet, with items such as cereal, eggs, French Toast, bacon, fruit, and yogurt. We slept in so we misssed out on breakfast. This breakfast buffet is available daily from 7am to 10:30am. At $15.99 a person, it’s actually quite reasonable.
Parking at Kimpton Palomar San Diego
In a word, expensive. $45 a night for valet parking is steep! Downtown parking is always expensive, which sucks. And don’t worry, in-and-out privileges are included. Many Kimpton properties offer a discount for hybrids and electric vehicles, and the Kimpton Palomar San Diego is no exception. There is a $15 discount for hybrid and electric vehicles… which brings the price down to $30, which matches the public parking lot across the street.
I usually use an app called Best Parking to find cheaper parking. There is a public parking lot across the street that charges by the hour and has a flat rate of $30 per day. There is also a discount if you park after a specific hour and leave before 6am. I’m not waking up that early to save a couple of bucks. I’m frugal, but not that frugal. Be careful with public parking places like this, though, their flat rate is often per calendar day, not per 24 hours.
The Bald Thoughts
Although I like the design of the hotel, the location is not as nice as the Kimpton Solamar. If you could pick up the Palomar and place it several blocks away, the hotel would be perfect. There are numerous businesses nearby that are boarded up and are scarred by graffiti. Homeless people have camped out nearby, and I saw several of them walk by the front entrance to the hotel, which makes me feel a little less safe when the kids are with me. Obviously, this is relatively normal in a downtown area and has nothing to do with Kimpton or the wonderful staff. And most homeless people are good people that just fell on hard times.
But, when you’re a parent, your priority is to keep your kids away from scenarios that could endanger them. When staying at Kimpton properties in San Diego, our first choice will be the Solamar instead of the Palomar.