1920s boutique hotel in downtown San Diego features French bistro and 24-hour yoga studio
Hotel at a Glance: The Sofia Hotel
When it was built in downtown San Diego in 1927, The Sofia Hotel was known as the Pickwick, a swanky art-deco spot hidden inside a red-brick Neo-Gothic building. Celebrating its 90th birthday, the hotel recently underwent a multimillion-dollar overhaul to restore it to its former grandeur. Guests can embrace the decadent spirit of the Roaring Twenties by sipping aperitifs in one of the Sofia’s recent additions, an elegant French-inspired bistro.
- Savor duck confit and wild salmon salad amid sparkling chandeliers and checkered floors at Currant American Brasserie, the hotel’s restaurant.
- In-room amenities: pillow-top mattresses, WiFi, and large flat-screen TVs.
- Neighborhood tour: The hotel conducts walking tours of the nearby Gaslamp District.
- Indulge in aromatherapy and a variety of massage, body, and facial treatments in the spa treatment room.
- Yoga classes available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings.
- Press mention: Frommer’s says the hotel “works for a lot of different crowds—business travelers, downtown revelers, and serenity seeking vacationers.”
San Diego, California: Electric Nightlife and Historical Attractions
San Diego’s sunny, comfortably warm weather and 70 miles of coastline have long attracted out-of-towners, but the city’s inland scene is no slouch, either. The Gaslamp Quarter is arguably the trendiest listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The area forms both the historic center of town and a hub of nightlife, with nearly 100 Victorian-era buildings occupied by high-end boutiques and gourmet restaurants.
A stroll through iconic Balboa Park takes you past 17 museums, as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo. There’s also the vibrant Spanish Village Art Center, a living gallery where local artists produce pottery and oil paintings. In Old Town, shops in Mission-style stucco buildings sell colorful woven baskets and maracas. Nearby stands the Whaley House Museum, dubbed one of the Most Terrifying Places in America by the Travel Channel. Ghosts of former residents are said to inhabit the rooms, which are filled with Victorian furniture and eerie dolls.