Urban Boutique Hotel in Little Italy with 55 rooms is a true boutique hotel. Given a complete facelift in 2014 when it was converted from a residential hotel, the four-story renovation included new paint, carpet, and remodeled bathrooms in guestrooms and cosmetic updates throughout the rooms and hotel common areas. The updated lobby is open and simple with an intimate seating area in neutrals to your left, and a modern guest registry area to your right. Light-colored walls are adorned with the vibrant artwork of local contemporary artist, Joshua Helland. This hotel is a good choice for solo travelers, business travelers, and couples, as all guestrooms have two-person limits. The economical price point makes is a best value choice as well.
Rooms at Urban Boutique, ranging from 250 to 350 square feet, are individually decorated with a contemporary neutral palette. Shimmery gray window coverings, bright white deluxe bed coverings with gray accents, chocolate-colored furniture, glass and brushed metal lamps and accents, and striped or patterned carpet are common to many guestrooms.
Updated bathrooms tiled in subtle shades of grey or tan, have either showers or bathtub/shower combinations with contemporary fixtures. Lighted vanity areas with sinks and decorative framed mirrors are just outside bathrooms. Bath accessories are bright white, and signature spa products are provided.
Guests at Urban Boutique Hotel may choose from five guestroom options; 350-square-foot king bed, 300-square-foot queen bed, 250-square-foot ADA accessible full bed, 350-square-foot ADA accessible queen bed, and 250-square-foot full bed. All rooms are non-smoking. Room amenities include mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker with coffee and tea, flat screen TV with cable channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, and an in-room safe. Irons and boards are standard with rooms, but hair dryers may have to be requested for some rooms.
Note: Pet-friendly rooms have painted concrete floors; other rooms are carpeted. Earplugs are provided for those sensitive to urban noise. There is a nominal nightly fee for using the in-room safe that is automatically added to your bill. If you opt not to use it, let staff know upon check-out to have it removed.
Urban Boutique hotel provides continental breakfast from a marble breakfast bar in the lobby area. Guests will find fresh juice, coffee, tea, pastries, fruit-infused water, fruits, and cereals. Take breakfast to your room, eat in the comfortable lobby or at the bistro tables out front, or grab something on the go. Complimentary workstations with Internet are available at a large marble desk with buttery-soft brown leather swivel chairs and computers. A flat-screen TV is above the workstation, and several pamphlets for local attractions are available here too. Other amenities include free long-distance calls within the U.S. and 24-hour front desk service.
The hotel allows up to two dogs in pet-friendly rooms for a nightly per dog fee. Pet-friendly rooms have painted concrete floors instead of the usual guestroom carpeting. There are doggie treats in a bowl by guest registry to welcome your furry friend. A doggie water bowl is right outside the hotel entrance on the patio.
Although you won’t find a fitness center, spa, or restaurant at this quaint European inspired hotel, they make it easy to access the amenities you need. Little Italy has a number of fitness gyms in the neighborhood that offer single-use rates. Check with the front desk for a gym near the hotel that suits your workout style. The hotel is also four blocks from Waterfront Park and the San Diego Bay boardwalk which make for excellent walking, jogging, and biking. Urban Boutique rents beach cruiser bicycles for a small fee too, so you have choices when you want to get your workout on.
Visage Beauty Lounge is next door to Urban Boutique Hotel and offers clients a full menu of beauty treatments including facials, microdermabrasion, peels, retinol and salicylic acid treatments, anti-aging sunless spray tan, eyebrow shaping, and moisture replenishing eye treatment. Hair services include, cut, blow out, up do, hair extensions, color, ombre, hair relaxer, Brazilian blow out, perm, and deep conditioner. Urban Boutique Hotel guests receive a 20% discount on all salon services.
The neighborhood has an astounding array of eateries, independent shops, and art galleries. Quirky Queenstown Public House is a block away at the corner of Cedar and Columbia Streets. The fun New Zealand-themed restaurant serves American food “with a Kiwi twist.” Bencotto Italian Kitchen, where everything right down to the pasta noodles is homemade, has earned “Best Italian Restaurant” honors by San Diego Magazine every year since 2010, and features handmade pasta and eight different made-from-scratch sauces for “pasta your way” selections.
Buon Appetito provides classic Italian fare in a cozy setting behind the hotel on India Street, and modern Burger Lounge serving 100% fresh, single source, American grass-fed beef across the street, are two other great tasting options. Princess Pub & Grill offers British ale and pub food, and Ironside serves up seafood in a funky ambiance. Devante Enoteca is next to Buon Appetito if you like your Italian food with upscale flair. All of these options are within a block of Urban Boutique Hotel.
Note: The hotel has 55 rooms and provides seven paid self-parking spaces – the problem is an obvious one. A new public underground parking garage with 50 spaces is in the making on Columbia Street. There are 24-hour pay lots nearby now. If you fly into San Diego, consider San Diego’s excellent downtown public transportation system or Uber.
From the early 1900s to the 1970s, Italians that flooded into Little Italy led the tuna fishing and canning industries until Little Italy became known as the tuna capital of the Western United States. Now, Little Italy’s 48 blocks are a model for urban development that continues to exude old world charm, and has become one of the new art districts of San Diego.
If Piazza Famiglia isn’t quite finished when you arrive, be sure to make your way to Piazza Basilone where Italian-American soldiers are honored. You’ll find generous seating where you can people watch, or simply enjoy the tranquil peace of the piazza and fountain.
Another must-visit place is the “Jewel of Little Italy,” Our Lady of the Rosary Church, only a block from Urban Boutique Hotel. Consecrated in 1925, the small church is a religious icon of the Italian community. It is most notable for its incredible Italian architecture, and special masses – one in Italian, and the other Gregorian chant.
San Diego Waterfront Park is a 12-acre open space park that separates Little Italy from North Harbor Drive and the sparkling San Diego Bay. The north gardens of the park introduce several plant species into the neighborhood that are not usually seen in urban parks. Numerous walkways with intermittent benches wind through the gardens. There are six large civic green lawns, which frequently host events, and a long row of reflecting pools with interactive spray fountains that you’re allowed to splash around in.
The walkable neighborhood of Little Italy is filled with things to do and see. Urban Boutique Hotel is also five blocks from the Maritime Museum, ten blocks from Balboa Park, and ten blocks to the Gaslamp Quarter. Guests can walk down to San Diego Harbor and catch a ferry across the bay to Coronado Island for a completely different San Diego experience.
Urban Boutique Hotel rewards guests who book directly through their website by offering the lowest possible rates of any site. Once you’ve booked your room on the hotel’s website, simply print out the coupon and present it upon check-in. Your rate will be adjusted accordingly for one, two, three, or more nights.