Hello from San Diego – A Waterfront Stroll & a Tour of the Historic Sofia Hotel

Strolling back out into the lobby we turned right into “Currant”, the sleek modern 120-seat restaurant on the- main floor of the Hotel Sofia. Established in 2007, Currant offers upscale American-French cuisine and is open every day for hotel guests and the public. High ceilings, graphic tiles, elaborate chandeliers, uniquely-styled furniture and a private room secluded with sheer curtains, offer a sophisticated ambience.

Beautiful high ceilings and arches inside “Currant”


Heading upstairs now we were on the mezzanine level where several of the Sofia’s awards are proudly on display. Within less than two years since its reopening, the Sofia Hotel has won two Best of Citysearch awards as well as an Expedia Insider’s Select Award. This distinction is only granted to the top 1% of hotels. The restaurant has also won some awards, and the Sofia has also garnered an ASID Design Excellence Award.

Some of the Sofia Hotel’s many awards


Around the corner Brian and Danny took me to two state-of-the-art conference rooms that are equipped for video conferencing and projection. The larger boardroom holds 32 people while the smaller 20-seat boardroom is anchored by a massive antique wooden table. Down the corridor we stepped into the Yoga and Fitness Centre, an amenity that is open 24 hours a day. The hotel even has its own yoga trainer and offers guests TVs, DVD players, fresh towels, bottled water, and infused orange water. The Sofia Hotel has even produced its own yoga DVD!

A antique wooden table in the conference room


After the common facilities Brian and Danny took me to room 633, a corner room. A standard room with a queen bed, this room offers an excellent view towards the Port of San Diego. A smaller-size but well-designed room, it features high-quality beds, therapeutic queen pillow tops and luxurious down comforters. A flat-panel TV, digital safe, ironing board and iron, and blow dryer add to the amenities. A coffee maker and a microwave allow guests to look after their most basic needs. Ice machines on different floors provide the necessary cooling power for a private evening retreat with champagne.

Suite with a nice view over Broadway Avenue


The hallways are decorated in a sophisticated sage green colour scheme and the carpet is of upscale quality. After the renovation, the number of rooms was reduced to 211 guest rooms, down from the original 242 rooms. The extra space was taken up by the conference rooms and the yoga / fitness studio.

The Yoga Studio


Steps away in suite 601, Brian illustrated the conveniences of a private bedroom featuring a queen size bed and a sofa pullout bed in the sitting room. A queen-size suite can therefore accommodate up to four people. High-tech reading lights can be angled in any direction, and the alarm clock radio comes with an Ipod / MP3 docking station. Flat panel TVs are available in the bedroom and the sitting room. All the vanity areas feature attractive dark wood cabinets, all adorned with real orchids. Upscale soaps and toiletries pamper the guests, and bottled water is complimentary.

Just steps away: the Horton Plaza shopping centre


To conclude the tour, Brian and Danny gave me a few tips for exploring San Diego: Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Old Town, Seaport Village and Coronado are among the most popular local tourist attractions. The upscale area of La Jolla and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography are a little further afield. I was already looking forward to joining tomorrow morning’s tour through the Gaslamp District, offered free by the Sofia Hotel. A visit to Balboa Park would round out our adventures in San Diego.

Balboa Park – one of San Diego’s prime attractions


Not only had we found a great central location in San Diego; by staying at the Sofia Hotel we had also connected with local history and discovered a unique place that has tastefully preserved a 1920s property and brought it into the new millennium with top-notch modern amenities.

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