Kimpton Alma, San Diego

Opened in 2022, and nestled in San Diego’s trendy Gaslamp Quarter, the Kimpton Alma Hotel is infused with new energy and a relaxed sense of luxury, a welcome addition to the City’s diverse and stylish offerings. The impressive hotel towers above the historic downtown area, offering guests a choice of 211 rooms and suites, all with upscale amenities and a consistent modest style. With its trendsetting initiatives and an unpretentious bold presence, the Kimpton Alma Hotel has quickly become one of the most popular hotels in the city.

Background and Concept 

The Kimpton Alma has been thoughtfully designed to reflect the welcoming and diverse culture of the city. From mesmerising street art at the pool deck to custom local coffee served in ‘The Cafe’, the Hotel provides an authentic nod to the neighbourhood around it. With 211 stylish guest rooms and suites, the hotel offers some of the best accommodation options for those wishing for a touch of luxury with their travel plans. Relax in one of the spa suites, or unwind in style in one of the 1,550 square-foot penthouses. With floor-to-ceiling windows and the stunning views of San Diego, it’s easy to feel at one with the city. 

The design-led interiors by Indidesign pay homage to the rich Mexican heritage to the south of the City, expressed through lush fabrics, woven textures, and graphic illustrations throughout the Hotel. Despite the grand settings, the “no fuss”, “understated luxury” vibe created by Kimpton Alma Hotel is designed so that egos are checked at the door – according to Carmine Jommazzo, GM. Our two-night stay in this inspiring retreat definitely delivered on that vibe. 


Located in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, guests can enjoy breathtaking views for miles around. It can be easily reached by a 10-minute taxi ride from the airport, allowing guests extra time in their day to explore the San Diego area. The hotel provides complimentary bikes for guests wanting to ride to the beautiful La Jolla Beach or explore the chic shops, and restaurants of Little Italy. You won’t need to go far to find exciting attractions when staying at Kimpton Alma, as it’s situated near Balboa Park, which features over 1200 acres of captivating museums and galleries.

Guests can experience the excitement and energy of the Gaslamp Quarter, where they will find a variety of options for a cosy, intimate meal for two or a street party and celebration.

With endless possibilities, Downtown San Diego offers a range of activities, from live music at House of Blues to Michelin-starred dining experiences, or rollerblading along Mission Beach.

Rooms and Suites – Overview

Boasting 211 impressively luxurious guest rooms and speciality suites, the Kimpton Alma has something to suit every traveller. The guest rooms and suites are impeccably designed and feature the finest amenities, including Italian Frette linens, Atelier Bloem bath products, and luxury coffee machines. Laid-back luxury is truly at its finest in this hotel, with stylish decor, geometric patterns, botanical plants, and expensive windows that fill the room with the city’s beautiful golden hour light. Grab a glass of wine and cosy up in comfort in the hotel’s signature Frette pink robes, while taking in the impressive skyline views from your room, no dress code requirements here. Each room and suite offers something unique for guests looking to relax in a fuss-free environment. Guest rooms also include walk-in rainforest showers, large LCD TVs with HD channels, Kimpton’s signature yoga mats, a personal safe, and an ample workspace.

Signature suites take the hotel’s cool factor up a notch, with breathtaking penthouses and suites to choose from. All suites feature separate living and sleeping spaces, allowing guests to find their moments of calm and tranquillity in the thoughtfully designed spaces. Penthouse suites feature multiple walk-in wardrobes and bi-level living spaces, providing guests with the perfect space to unwind after a busy day exploring the city.

The Skyline Penthouse

We were recently hosted in the impressive 2-bed Skyline Penthouse of the hotel. The 1,550 square-foot accommodation offered stunning views and was even more spacious than we’d imagined. The suite was light, airy, and drenched in the same relaxed style that extends throughout the hotel. The suite had authentic, modern nods to the city’s heritage, such as the colourful woven art on the walls next to the upstairs workstation. The suite spanned two floors, with a full-size living/dining area, a small but perfectly proportioned kitchen downstairs, two bedrooms, and a workspace upstairs. 

The master bedroom was luxurious, featuring a divine king bed with the finest Italian linens and one of the most enormous bathrooms we had ever experienced. The upscale luxe extended to the two walk-in wardrobes, leaving us plenty of space for our luggage and our holiday purchases. 

My teen son had his own sanctuary with two double beds, his own bathroom with an oversized rainforest shower, and a cosy window seat to relax and watch the city. 

The generously sized 2-bedroom suite also featured a beautiful balcony with tables and chairs, where I loved to unwind with a glass of wine after a busy day sightseeing. The suite was tastefully designed with curated art and stylish furniture, making it the perfect base for our San Diego city adventure.

Food, Drink, and Dining Facilities 

Renowned chef Jason Neroni has brought Kimpton’s sumptuous food and beverage offerings to fruition, serving up exciting and wholesome locally sourced culinary creations across the Hotel’s three dining venues. The star of the show is The Desmond, an elevated dining experience created with luxurious, soul-nourishing food. Despite its elevated status, The Desmond manages to avoid feeling intimidating, and if you choose to dine here you’ll see the restaurant is the heart of the forward-thinking hotel.

Guests are encouraged to come as they are and reminisce about times gone by while indulging in a gastronomic feast. You can lose yourself in conversation with your dinner date in the stylish surroundings or watch in awe as the talented chefs prepare your meal in the open-show kitchen.

Guests can expect classic cocktails with contemporary twists and a locally sourced, inspiring menu that hits the spot every time. House-made pasta, fresh local seafood, raw bar items, and grilled fish and meats are all on the mouthwatering menu. Served up with top-tier service, The Desmond is a dining experience not to be missed.

The Cafe is an all-day casual cafe located in the hotel’s lounge area that functions as the perfect pitstop to fuel up before a busy day. The coffee and croissants are always fresh and delicious, and guests can also indulge in homemade pancakes or healthy smoothies. Not just the perfect breakfast spot, guests can also stop in and shake off a long day over one of The Cafe’s signature cocktails. Sip on one of the house staples, or trust the bartenders to whip up something delightful for you instead.

At the hotel’s impressive rooftop pool, you’ll find Leave of Absence, perfectly located so that guests can enjoy delicious snacks, wood-fired pizzas, and cocktails while watching the sunset or the stars shine. With such a chic, atmospheric space, guests will leave feeling nourished in both their body and soul. 

With the stunningly beautiful, comfortable, and spacious rooms and suites on offer, in-room dining can be an appealing option, with a wide range of culinary delights available. Whether you prefer fresh salads or homemade burgers and fries, you can create and receive restaurant-style dining in the comfort of your own room. 

Other Facilities – Work and Social Spaces:

The Kimpton Alma provides a flexible workspace and social area spanning over 20,000 square feet. It’s an ideal spot to catch up with friends or work colleagues. The pool deck offers a vibrant space that can accommodate larger gatherings, coworker catch-ups, and everything in between. The colourful textures and patterns in the area are inspired by the bustling city around the hotel. 

The luxury lifestyle penthouse suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious work and social areas, and a style that inspires productivity and creativity, perfect to kickstart your next business project.

24-hour on-site gym 

Complete with the best hi-tech equipment such as Peloton bikes, there’s no need to derail your workout regime while you’re away. With everything you need to keep your mind, body and soul energised throughout your stay, the Hotel’s fully equipped gym definitely provides you with an excuse to make the most of the dining options on hand.

Rooftop Pooldeck

Kimpton Alma’s stunning pool deck truly must be seen to be believed. Stepping onto the deck, guests are transported into a vibrant world of colours, patterns, and ambience. Soak up some Californian sun on one of the pastel daybeds or snuggle up with loved ones next to the fire pit under sparkling lights. 

Pet Friendly

The downside to some holidays is the thought of leaving our furry friends at home. But at the Kimpton Alma, guests never have to choose between leaving their pets behind and having a wonderful holiday. It’s hard to believe that anyone could love your furry companion as much as you do, but the team certainly give it their best shot, letting your pampered pooch feel like they’ve won the luxury lottery. Whether you have a Saint Bernard or a Chihuahua, big or small, all furry friends are welcome at no extra charge. Your pet will be welcomed with water bowls in your guest room, poop bags for walks around the city, and there’s no limit on the number of pets you can bring. 

Other Points of Interest

You’ll never be bored at Kimpton Alma, as guests have plenty of attractions located conveniently near to the hotel. Spend a day exploring the world-famous San Diego Zoo and their incredible animals, or visit Belmont park, a nostalgic theme park where visitors can have fun strolling the boardwalk or riding roller coasters. San Diego has an abundance of choices, with something for everyone to enjoy!

Unique Selling Points:

Kimpton Plant Pals Program

With an increasing amount of proud plant parents, as well as increasing knowledge of the benefits that plants have on our bodies and on the environment, the Kimpton Alma has launched the “Kimpton Plant Pals Program”, designed to improve guests’ well-being and mental health during the chaos and unpredictability of travel. To participate, simply ask at the front desk, and you’ll receive a dose of botanic magic delivered directly to your hotel room. The hotel has carefully selected locally sourced plants and provided simple care instructions to help you take care of your new plant during your stay.

Forgot it? We’ve got it! Anthropologie Accessories Collection

Kimpton has got your back when it comes to holiday accessories. They know that accessories are often neglected or forgotten on a packing list, so they have launched their Anthropologie collection to provide guests with trendy and complementary items. Curated by Anthropologie stylists to help guests look and feel their best without buying new items and taking up precious luggage space, this program encourages sustainable fashion choices. 

The collection offers a new lineup of accessories inspired by 2024 spring and summer fashion trends. Whether you want to embrace the Mermaidcore look, or experiment with Pantone’s colour of the year (Peach Fuzz), all you need to do is ask the Kimpton front desk about the program and they will provide you with a menu of Anthropologie accessories to choose from, which can be borrowed at participating Kimpton hotels. And if you fall in love with a piece, you will have the option to purchase it directly on through a virtual storefront. It will be shipped directly to your home, leaving your luggage space untouched.  

Final thoughts

The Kimpton Alma is an excellent choice for those seeking a stylish and comfortable stay in central San Diego. Situated in the lively and atmospheric Gaslamp Quarter, it is just a stone’s throw away from all the excitement and adventure that the city has to offer. With a range of luxury amenities and authentic food and drink options on-site, the hotel is an ideal choice for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the culture and colour of San Diego, both inside and outside of the hotel. The brand’s innovative and creative offerings ensure that it is one of the top San Diego city hotels.

TLE Top Tip 

Book a suite: from the floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of the city to the fully furnished patios, the suites are worth the splurge.

If you’re in need of a morning pick-me-up on the way out, the Hotel offers a complimentary tea and coffee service at The Cafe, found next to reception.

Don’t forget to join the daily hosted social hour from 5-6 pm, did we mention there’s free wine?

This property is included in our guide to the best hotels in San Diego

Sign up for our newsletter for inspiration, exclusive previews & luxury tips