Daily fee covers Wi-Fi and other features such as bikes
Poorly designed showers can leak water
The Sofia Hotel Downtown is an upper-middle-range boutique property in a historic building located just four blocks from the Gaslamp Quarter. Convenient for business travelers and tourists, this location provides easy access to downtown offices as well as attractions and the I-5. The 211 guest rooms are small and efficient, with 42-inch flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and mini-fridges. Wellness is a focus here, with 24-hour fitness and yoga studios, bike rentals, and a small spa. The brasserie-style restaurant and bar get high marks from guests, but breakfast isn't free and there's a daily resort fee that includes Wi-Fi. Despite that, The Sofia offers some of the best rates in the area. Guests looking for bigger rooms and additional features such as a pool might prefer the Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego -- rates are typically higher, though.
Set inside a 1926 brick gothic revival building, The Sofia Hotel Downtown has classic charm. Inside, the long narrow lobby feels elegant with high ceilings and interesting circular chandeliers. Decor has touches of '20s-era panache by way of velvet armchairs, while transparent curtains and silver beads extend from ceiling to floor and act as dividers throughout the space. It's a comfortable setting that continues into the restaurant, Currant, which has a modern-retro look with dark-wood floors and black-leather banquettes. The rounded bar can be popular at night, as the hotel's mix of business travelers and tourist couples return from their meetings and sightseeing. The Sofia is more understated than the nearby Kimpton Hotel Palomar, where the common spaces definitely have a younger, hipper vibe.
Four blocks from Gaslamp Quarter, convenient to everything
Location is among The Sofia's best features. Situated downtown, it's just four blocks from the buzzy Gaslamp Quarter filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and theaters. A coffee shop is right outside the hotel, and another one is within a couple of blocks, along with banks, convenience stores, and a farmers market. Seaport Village and Embarcadero Marina Park are within 10 minutes' drive and offer Pacific Ocean views and water sports. Mission and Pacific Beaches are both about 15 minutes away by car, as is SeaWorld San Diego. Sports fans can catch NFL games at Qualcomm Stadium, located about 20 minutes' drive from the hotel. Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres, is about five minutes' drive from the hotel (it's also possible to walk there in 25 minutes). La Jolla is 20 minutes away by car, via the I-5, with on-ramps located a five-minute drive from the hotel. The Sofia is about 10 to 15 minutes from San Diego International Airport by car.
Small and simply decorated, with big flat-screen TVs
Rooms at The Sofia are decorated in a tasteful, understated style that features muted earth tones against dark-wood furniture and white walls and bedspreads. While clean and comfy, with ergonomic desk chairs and pillow-top mattresses, rooms are pretty small. A subtle floral theme extends from wall art to the cover of the room service book, but otherwise these rooms lack any extra adornment. Views are of brick walls or the street, and some rooms can experience street or interior noise, according to guests. Rooms come with either a double, queen-size, or two double beds.
Along with 42-inch flat-screen TVs, rooms have iHome digital music players/clocks, and Wi-Fi is included with the daily fee. Cuisinart coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and microwaves come as standard, along with free bottled water daily (included with daily fee). Bathrooms are also small, but clean and modern, with wide brown floor tiles and glass-walled showers that tend to leak water into the room. Exterior vanities have lighted makeup mirrors and pretty, basin-style sinks. Toiletries, hairdryers, and ironing facilities are provided. VIP Suites add jetted soaking tubs and more decorative flourish. Laptop safes are in all rooms.
Stylish brasserie and bar, 24-hour fitness and yoga, free loaner bikes, and walking tours
The Sofia has a stylish restaurant called Currant American Brasserie that serves upscale American dishes and cocktails, and has outdoor dining on a terrace. Breakfast is served but not free, and lunch and dinner as well as brunch are also available. This is a pet-friendly hotel, and the restaurant also offers a special dog menu. A decently sized fitness center is open 24 hours daily and offers modern cardio and weight machines. There's also a 24-hour yoga studio -- classes are free for guests as part of the daily fee. The small spa offers massage treatments and in-room services are available. Loaner bikes and walking tours of the Gaslamp Quarter are also included with the daily fee. The hotel has flexible event space for up to 88 people, along with a 24-hour business center. Parking is valet-only and pricey.
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