Monday, July 18, 2011

Hotel Solamar in San Diego Review

A couple of weeks ago we took the children to Disneyland and San Diego. We had only been to San Diego once to visit Legoland and I had booked a mysterious hotel through Hotwire, which turned out to be near the marina and not really within walking distance of any restaurants or shops. Somewhere along the way, I got food poisoning. Other than realizing that my husband loves me enough to clean up my throw up, it was a trip I'd rather forget.

This time we booked a standard room with two queen beds at Hotel Solamar, a boutique hotel in the Gaslamp quarter near Petco Park. I was a little worried because we were coming from three days in Disneyland where we had a kids suite at the Hyatt Anaheim. Although Allen missed having our own t.v., he admitted the Solamar was nicer than the Hyatt. Because it's a downtown hotel, you have to use the valet parking, which costs $35 but we had 20 percent off when we booked our room with a AAA special. You don't have direct access to our car but you can call the valet anytime if you need them to retrieve something from the car. The valet, Angelo, turned out to be friendly and efficient. We were a little worried about him bringing up everything from our trunk, but by the time we finished checking in and went up to our room, he had moved all our things with the stealth of a ninja. If anything, we should have told him we didn't need him to bring up our whole case of water! There's no need for a coffee maker in the room, because they have a coffee and tea bar in the lobby every morning, as well as a juice bar in the afternoon, and a wine bar in the evening. The small bathroom had a wall-mounted dispenser for body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Phoebe said, "This is the first time I'm looking forward to a shower!"

Guzzling our free coffee and tea

The location of the hotel meant all we had to was walk up 5th Avenue to stumble upon restaurants--lots of pubs and tacquerias. We found a nice Thai place that was open at 330 pm. Afterward, we walked around and found a mall where the girls played a game of giant checkers.

Phoebe finishes Chloe off. Chloe blames her loss on "summer slide."

We couldn't find a movie time that worked at the mall theater so we headed back to the hotel. On the way back, Chloe spotted a Ghiradelli ice cream parlor so I took her there while Allen took Phoebe to the hotel pool for a swim.

Phoebe takes a dip.

The lounge/pool area is really more a swanky place for adults to hang out than for kids to swim but by the time we got there, Phoebe had the pool to herself. Unless you are extremely thick skinned, you pretty much have to order drinks, but Phoebe had a great time so it was all good. Afterward, we had a nice leisurely evening playing Apples to Apples and watching t.v.--so relaxing after braving the crowds and lines at Disneyland!

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