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Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego 4.5

Downtown, San Diego, California

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Review Summary

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  • Stylish boutique hotel with unique design and lots of energy
  • Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, filled with restaurants and bars
  • Huge guest rooms with luxe decor and rainforest showers
  • Skyline Suites have views over the city 
  • Saltbox serves tasty, creative American fare and cocktails 
  • Outdoor pool with spacious deck and seasonal bar
  • Full-service spa with couples treatment room and soaking tub
  • Walking distance from waterfront and museums
  • Fitness center with cardio and weight machines 


  • Fee for Wi-Fi (except Kimpton members; free to join loyalty program)
  • Breakfast not included in rates
  • Valet-only parking carries fees
  • No coffee/tea facilities in rooms

Bottom Line

Located in the lively Gaslamp Quarter, Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego is a hip luxury property with unique design touches and a young vibe. Surrounding streets are filled with bars and restaurants, while the waterfront is about a 20-minute walk. The on-site eatery earns raves from guests for its creative American fare and cocktails, and the fourth-floor pool has a relaxing deck and seasonal bar. The 211 rooms and suites are massive and modern, with luxe touches like Italian linens and rainforest showers with Jerusalem stone. Many options also feature incredible views of the city skyline. Other features include a fitness center and a full-service spa with a couples soaking tub. There are fees for Wi-Fi and breakfast, though. The US Grant -- a Luxury Collection Hotel has a more classic elegant feel, but higher rates. 

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Trendy boutique hotel with youthful clientele and a friendly atmosphere

There's nothing boring about this Kimpton Palomar property in San Diego's bustling Gaslamp Quarter. For starters, the front door is more like a heavy, hinged wall -- some guests find it intriguing, while others think it's a case of form over function. Regardless, the entrance makes a design-forward statement that continues throughout the hotel. Inside, the lobby has all the hallmarks of a modern, urban boutique: low-lying furniture, natural-wood accents, a vintage cruiser bicycle, and a gastropub off to one side. It's an attractive and inviting space, flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling windows, and furnished with couches topped with velvety throw pillows. Fittingly, a stack of fashion and design books rests atop a chunky wood coffee table. Hallways feel moody and and a bit edgy, particularly one with graphic carpeting, and black walls adorned with skateboards. The atmosphere is cool and young but not unfriendly, and guests tend to be couples. A popular gathering place is Saltbox, the on-site gastropub with a luxe-industrial vibe courtesy of grommeted black-leather chairs and dark-wood floors. 


Smack-dab in the Gaslamp Quarter, 20 minutes from the water 

The hotel is in the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego. It's a popular and lively area where historic Victorian architecture combines with trendy restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Guests here will have no shortage of options when it comes to nights out or interesting meals. Otherwise, there's the San Diego waterfront, including Waterfront Park and the Maritime Museum, within a 20-minute walk. The San Diego Air and Space Museum, set within Balboa Park, is a seven- to 10-minute drive away. The San Diego Zoo and Natural History Museum are also found within Balboa Park, and can be reached in about 10 minutes by car. San Diego International Airport is only about a 10-minute drive from the hotel. 


Big and bright with luxe touches, some with skyline views 

Rooms and suites are available, and while some are incredibly large, all are very big and modern -- starting from 430 square feet. Decor is luxe and earthy, done in a palette of soft browns and grays, or moody blues and olive greens. Floors are carpeted and furnishings are modern and simple, in deep woods and neutral fabrics. There are interesting touches, such as striated wooden wall panels, and plush built-in headboards. Other accents are more attention-grabbing, such as motorcycle-style sconces and surfboard-themed headboards. 

All rooms have beds topped with Italian linens, along with stocked minibars and 36-inch flat-screen TVs. Wi-Fi, however, comes with a fee for guests who aren't Kimpton members (but joining the loyalty program is free). Bathrooms are likewise opulent, with Jerusalem stone walk-in rainforest showers with glass doors. High-end bath products are provided. Skyline Suites feature balconies with views of the city skyline, and the largest option, a two-level Skyline Penthouse Suite, measures a whopping 1,500 square feet. The Spa Suite, with its stone soaking tub, is another good choice for those in the mood to splurge. 

Most rooms have a single queen-size or king-size bed, and rollaway beds are available for a fee. There are also Deluxe Guestrooms with Two Double Beds.


American fare and craft cocktails, outdoor pool, and gorgeous spa 

The on-site restaurant, SaltBox, serves creative takes on American classics, like burgers, salads, and mac and cheese. All meals are served daily (plus weekend brunch), but breakfast is not included in rates. There's also a bar that focuses on craft cocktails and offers daily happy hour specials. The outdoor pool is on the fourth-floor rooftop, so it tends to be shaded by surrounding buildings during the day. Its deck is spacious and comfy, lined with sunbeds and featuring a separate area with wicker seating and tables. The seasonal poolside bar, SummerSalt Pooldeck and Lounge, serves light snacks and cocktails during the summer months. Sometimes, the pool area hosts DJs as well. 

The hotel spa is spacious and soothing, with stone and mosaic-tile walls and seven treatment rooms for massages and face/body treatments. A couples room has a private soaking tub, and the facilities also include a nail studio and relaxation lounge. The hotel's fitness center is a good enough size, with several cardio machines as well as weight equipment, and natural light. For business travelers, the hotel has 20,000 square feet of event space, including a penthouse. Pets are allowed, with no extra fees. 

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1047 5th Ave, San Diego 92101-5101, United States


(619) 515-3000

Also Known As

  • Palomar San Diego

Room Types

  • Balboa Luxury Flat
  • City Center Luxury Flat
  • Coronado Luxury Flat
  • Deluxe Double Double Guestroom
  • Deluxe King Guestroom
  • Gaslamp Luxury Flat
  • Luxury Three Bedroom Penthouse
  • Luxury Two Bedroom Penthouse
  • San Diego Harbor Luxury Flat
  • Skyline View Double Double Guestroom
  • Skyline View King Guestroom
  • Skyline View King Suite
  • Skyline View Queen Guestroom

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