Downtown San Diego’s Palomar Hotel gets a $25 million makeover – and a new name

More than a decade after transitioning to a new name and brand, the Palomar Hotel in downtown San Diego is gearing up for another identity change. Discover the new Kimpton Alma.

Managed by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, the 211-room hotel is in the midst of a major overhaul expected to cost $25 million, said Nick Gregory, Kimpton’s senior vice president of hotel operations. The investment, he said, will go towards a “complete makeover” of the Fifth Avenue property, including a refresh of all rooms and suites, new restaurants and kitchens, a more inviting pool and lounge areas. updated meeting.

The lobby is also redesigned to make it airier and brighter, but also to give it an indoor-outdoor feel, with large sliding doors that open to the sidewalk.

Rendering of the new hotel lobby

(Polygraph Creation)

“If you think about it, we’ve had the same design for 10 years, and although we’re working hard to give it its best, it’s at the end of its life cycle, which is why you have to invest,” Gregory said. “So you have to bring it to life for both the current and future traveler.”

The new name – Alma – was specifically chosen to reflect a warmer, more inviting environment, in keeping with the relaxed vibe that defines San Diego, Gregory explained. Alma, he says, means soul in Spanish. Kimpton, as a chain, he said, prides itself on creating unique properties. Almost all have their own name, although Palomar is an example where there were several hotels with the same name.

“If you think about Kimpton’s signature service, which is sincere care, personal experiences, we think Alma is a perfect alignment with that,” he said. “San Diego already has this real chill vibe so the spirit of the free soul is well represented in the Alma name.

Work on the 20-story property’s overhaul began in February and enough progress has been made that the first phase of the lobby and all five floors of renovated rooms were completed in time for Comic-Con last month, a said general manager Carmine Iommazzo. The room mix, which includes 23 suites and two 1,550-square-foot penthouses, won’t change.

The Kimpton Hotel Palomar, Iommazzo said, had a darker feel, defined by bronze tones and dark wood floors. The redesign will be “a very coastal California,” dominated by shades of deep blue, white accents and beige window treatments, he said.

“It’s very clear and coastal Southern California now, and there are pops of color throughout the artwork,” he added. “It’s going to be a very bright and airy Southern California vibe.”

A key feature of the Kimpton Alma San Diego will be new food and beverage venues, including a new signature restaurant to replace the now-closed Curadero, a coastal Mexican-style restaurant that debuted in 2017 after the closure of the hotel’s former Saltbox restaurant.

Iommazzo said Kimpton isn’t ready to reveal the new restaurant’s culinary style just yet, but said he’s teaming up with Los Angeles chef Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice to help create three new locations. In addition to the more upscale main restaurant, there will be a more casual all-day dining venue in the lobby and food and beverage offerings on the fourth-floor pool deck, which will include a pizza oven on the wood fire.

The pool deck is also being redesigned to eliminate what used to be a huge bar. Instead, there will be a smaller bar with more tables and chairs and day cabanas. The whole project should be finished at the beginning of October.

The location of the new Hotel Alma has had a checkered history since the original opening in late 2008 of what was then the Hotel Tony Sè. It wasn’t long before the expensive project went bankrupt, and the hotel was bought at a 2011 auction by Kimpton Hotels for $49 million, far less than the $150 million estimated for develop the hotel. A few months later, the property was renamed the Hotel Palomar.

Two years ago, Kimpton sold the hotel for $62.8 million, according to brokerage firm Atlas Hospitality Group.

Comments are closed.