The Sofia Hotel is a cute little boutique hotel (comparable to the Bulfinch Hotel in Boston, for anyone who's been). First, a price note: there's an $8.50 per night guest charge that is not included when you book through a third party website, but
it's worth it: in addition to wired/wireless Internet (and I've been at hotels where they charge more for that alone), you get free printing/faxing at the business center (which also has computers if you don't want to schlep your laptop), access to the gym (more on that later), and a complimentary bottle of water per day.
The cons: As other reviewers have noted, the rooms are tiny, but since I was traveling by myself, it wasn't an issue. The lighting was somewhat of an issue -- you couldn't make it all that bright, and there was only one small window that overlooked... other rooms. But most people probably don't spend as much time in the room as I did (I had to work, sadly).
Also, no full-length mirror, which was a tad annoying because I was there for a job interview. But the vanity mirror is a good size, so it wasn't a *huge* drawback, just a noticeable one.
But the big deal for me was the temperature control, or lack thereof. The rooms come with thermostats, but the one in my room, at least, only sometimes set it to the temperature I wanted. Sometimes I would set it to 67* when it was at 73* or so, and the room would actually become *warmer*. I like my rooms cold, so this was the number one drawback for me.
Oh, and don't eat the food from the bar at the hotel. Maybe the regular food is fine, but I will be unable to trust a hamburger again for a while.
Okay, with all of that negative stuff out of the way, I do actually have many positive things to say about the hotel.
The Sofia Hotel is one of the few hotels I've stayed in (and I've stayed in quite a few) where they include a mini-fridge and microwave in every room. Since I was traveling on a budget, this was very much appreciated.
I read a previous review that said the showers have no doors -- mine had a perfectly functional glass door, so I'm not sure what was going on there. Also, as far as the little toiletries go, I didn't use the shampoo or the conditioner, but the soap and lotion were actually quite nice.
On to the gym. At many of the hotels I've stayed at, especially the small ones, the 'fitness center' is usually one treadmill, one stationary bike, and maybe an elliptical. Now, while this wasn't one of the humungous gyms that they have at the larger chain hotels, this was a good-sized gym that included quality TVs with about 10-15 channels on all the cardio equipment (they have weights too, and a yoga room attached).
The hotel also offers a complimentary walkabout tour around the Gaslamp Quarter on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 am (I didn't have time to go, but I think it's neat they offer it).
Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Short walk from hotel
Downtown San Diego is fairly small, so everything is within walking distance: the pier down to Seaport Village, Little Italy, and the Gaslamp Quarter, all of which are worth seeing.
We arrived late and were greeted courteously although there was a moment of confusion due to name misspelling. The room was small but beautifully appointed with VERY comfortable beds.
We were out so early we did not miss not having breakfast at