My Con buddy Melinda took the time to write up this review on Hotel Solamar. I pretty much agree with everything she has to say! I loved the hotel and would stay there again in a heart beat.
Hotel Solamar Review
By: Melinda Ray
I could go on and on about the hotel we stayed at this year, but I decided to break it down in some small bite sized bits to help you get a feel for what it was like:
YOU WILL NOT NEED A CAR. You can get one, sure. But why spend the money for the rental and then the fee for daily parking (about $40/day). We cabbed it to places to far to walk and walked everywhere else (I think it was $6 bucks to House of Blues/Horton Plaza and $8 to the Zoo). Great central location. One day, we even took the bus – though this should be reserved for the brave. I think we would walk about three blocks to the Convention Center as it took us maybe ten minutes with pedestrian traffic. There is a CVS just two blocks away in case you forget anything or want to get some snacks. I don’t think many people know it’s there either because every time we went, it was empty. Also, you are a half block from The Broken Yoke, which is yummy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
BEAUTIFUL, head to toe. I loved the décor and the overall feel of the hotel. It’s very modern and up-to-date and they don’t spare any expense to make it luxurious. The pool deck is amazing, with great views and a small pool, just deep enough and of course a bar! Bonus, it’s very clean (which is a big plus in my book).
CELEB CENTRAL! No joke. SyFy has taken over this hotel for the past two years and several of their “talent” and staff stays at the hotel. We know for a fact that Eric Belfour, Eddie McClintock (and wife), as well as the cast of Being Human were all staying there in the hotel. We ran into all of them several times throughout the week. Also, there are parties most nights on the 4th floor pool deck at least three of the five nights of Comic-Con so you’re bound to see celebs coming and going. This year we saw the above mentioned celebs as well as David Zayas and C.S. Lee (Dexter) — who apparently enjoy riding elevators…or perhaps they were lost, Nick Swardson, Danny DeVito (who is shorter than you can imagine. In heels I appear to be two-and-a-half Danny DeVitos tall), and Kristen Bauer (True Blood) just to name a few. The parties also drew others to the 4th Floor Pool Deck including Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Zachary Levi, Joshua Gates, Olivia Munn, Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley.
QUIET. Yes, I said quiet. We were amazed that when we shut our window (yes the windows actually open!), we couldn’t hear a thing from any of the parties going on around us or from the street noise. A perfect way to decompress!
SUPER NICE STAFF. The staff went out of their way to make sure our stay was pleasant. We were always greeted when we passed them in the halls or at the front desk or even in the elevator! It was great to be greeted every single time we came back. I’m sure by Monday they were tired of seeing us though.
PRICE. However I must admit that we probably got a good deal on our stay since we booked so far out. In the long run though, I wouldn’t mind paying even more for the convenience of everything. There is an honor bar in the rooms…but it’ll cost you as well. But if you are a member of their rewards group, you get a $10 waiver for your stay and you get free Wi-Fi. Like I mentioned above too, there is a daily parking fee should you bring the car. We paid on average about $199/night not including taxes and fees. I’m sure others paid more – booking early helps!
CELEB CENTRAL! Yes, this can be a con. While most days were okay, some nights became a little hectic. We had to show our room keys on Saturday night and then wait for an available elevator to take us to our rooms. Not too bad since we got to wait in the lobby with some of the famous. HOWEVER, you will find it hard to confront said celebs because they are usually flanked by a handler. Generally they are a big burly looking guy with sunglasses and a pin that lets you know it’s their job to stop you from talking to the talent. We saw quite a few handlers without talent as well – I guess just extra security.
NO DIRECT SHUTTLE FROM THE AIRPORT. Hotel Solamar did not have a shuttle like many hotels did from the San Diego Airport. But you can book with Super Shuttle and they’ll take you there or you can contact the hotels concierge and they’ll be happy to set up a car service or taxi for you.
Would I stay here again? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. It was so nice to finally feel like we were actually a part of Comic-Con instead of the red-headed step-child at Thanksgiving like last year when we stayed out in Mission Valley. What was great is if you get into town before the Con actually begins, you get to see the Gaslamp district transform. I highly recommend getting hotels in the Gaslamp District for anyone, especially the Hotel Solamar.