Setai San Diego

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

1047 5th Avenue, San Diego, California, 92101, United States
Palomar San Diego, A Kimpton Hotel
Enter dates for best prices
Compare best prices from top travel partners


Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 5 star hotels

Show Prices

Good For Solo
  • Families79
  • Couples79
  • Solo88
  • Business78

More about Setai San Diego

Pleasant Surprise in San Diego

by TripAdvisor Member FTRVLR

I recently stayed in the new Se San Diego and was very pleased with the experience. The staff was very polished and appear to sincerely enjoy serving the guests, the rooms very comfortable and the complimentary continental breakfast was superb! The club and dining room were very hip and have a great vibe - I would highly recommend the Se for business or leisure - great location and service.

Decent leisure hotel, not great for business

by TripAdvisor Member global_trash

I stayed at the newly opened Se San Diego for two nights at the beginning of February as I had business in the area.

The lobby, rooms and spa are all decorated in an Asian theme, with lots of dark wood and limestone. Its very tasteful and the finishes are high quality but it isn't especially original (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

The staff are both efficient and keen to help, and the location - at the edge of the Gaslamp district - is great for restaurants, bars and shopping.

There's a small gym with brand new equipment that has all of the regular cardio machines, and the pool - which hadn't yet opened when I was there - looks gorgeous. It will doubtless be quite the party area!

The spa is lovely; each treatment room has its own steam shower which is a novel experience and the facials use Ling products which I hadn't seen previously.

Despite all these positives, I'd hesitate in returning here for business as I got the impression that - regardless of the financial district location - it's targeted at leisure travelers.

The rooms are TINY; there was barely space to move around the bed and the closet door wouldn't open properly as a consequence. There was a desk but the TV was on it and it all felt so cramped that I ended up decamping to a Starbucks to work. The internet access ($10/day) died for a day of my two day visit (probably just a teething problem, but still annoying) and the iron was completely hopeless. Not only did it not iron at any temperature, but it poured water all over my suit. If there was a business center, I couldn't find it.

Overall, I'd probably stay here again for leisure if the rate was good but it's not a practical choice for business.


by TripAdvisor Member kikid

The Se' hotel was truly a superb experience. From the very, very (did I say very) attentive staff to every design detail. Dark brazillian hardwood, leather coated walls, stingray skin inlay in the bar area, subdued lighting.
Comfortable and very chic is how best to describe the hotel
Spa was beautiful and very peaceful. We had an opportunity to enjoy the couples suite which was pure heaven (Janelle and Eric rock!) Do try the hot rock massage..
Rooms are small but very pleasant. Large king bed, luxurious linens and supple mattress. We did not have a room high enough to view the city light's but I can just imagine if one were to stay above the 13th floor.
Ask for Drew if you need a ride in the 'complementary' escalade. No drinking and driving necessary.
Would we go back? In a heartbeat!

Every Detail Superb with fabulous staff!

by TripAdvisor Member eveyh

This hotel is beautiful and very cool. We came for our anniversary and every staff member seemed to magically know and congratulate us. All of the minor details were perfect and added up to a fantastic stay including greeting us by name at every turn, a welcome champagne cocktail, fantastic European continental breakfast, comfy bed, super friendly staff. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner that included generous cocktails, fresh oysters, wonderfuly prepared entrees (Sea bass for my husband & the special, veal and crab, for me...yummy) They even had a dainty & delicious homemade candy gift for after dinner. I can't wait to stay here again.

Beautiful hotel, great unpretentious staff, and they pay attention to details!

by TripAdvisor Member erykahhh

We live only a few blocks away, but went to get a night alone. We weren't sure if we would go out that night or stay in. Once I saw the room, it was time for a nightie and some cocktails. What an awesome relaxing evening, followed up by a leisurely shower and a late check out. YUMMMMMMMMMMMY

brand new, contemporary, and sleek

by TripAdvisor Member Ex-LA

I was there for two nights on business. I had a basic room on the fifth floor, front of the hotel, facing 5th avenue. On Saturday night, it was very loud on the street: thumping subwoofers from adjacent night clubs (House of Blues is next door), people on the street, the occasional sirens, etc. If you are a light sleeper, be sure to ask for a higher floor (above 10, for sure) or a room in back, or bring some really good earplugs. There is a parking garage across the street that goes up about 6 or 7 stories; I think this tends to echo street noise back at the hotel.

This hotel is NOT in the gaslamp district. It is a few blocks north of the GLD, toward the so-called financial district. It is just a little tiny bit gritty- a few homeless folks, slightly shady looking storefronts, etc. But I would not characterize the neighborhood as bad or even borderline- I never felt unsafe or threatened at all. I only mention this as full disclosure. It is a pleasant 15 min walk to the convention center.

The hotel is very nice- it is virtually identical in look/feel to Hotel 1000 in Seattle: very contemporary, chic, and sleek. Brazilian hardwood floors, leather seating surfaces, aromatherapy candles, lounge/chillax music in the elevators. The lobby bar scene on Sat night was hopping- great cocktails! I strongly recommend the "Energize."

Room was well-appointed and clean. Bed was reasonably comfortable. Oddly, not enough plugs in the room: there is an in-room coffee maker in the closet (you take it out on a tray); finding a wall plug was a bit of a challenge. The TV was fine but it has that really slow satellite TV reaction time that I find annoying. Walk in shower only, no tub, with the "rainforest" type of showerhead- nice. Nice toiletry amenities.

They make you PAY for internet. $10/day or $16 if you want a faster connection. I realize times are tough but charging for internet access? Please. Small gym facility which was functional but not extensive (bikes, treadmills, a few weight machines, and barbells).

Service was excellent. Black-clad concierges were helpful. Free continental breakfast in the restaurant was very good. Value-wise compared to other comparable places I've stayed, I'd pay 250/night to stay here but not much more than that (especially since they make you PAY for internet- OK, I'll stop harping on about this). The fact that they throw in breakfast makes it a decent deal.

All in all, a nice hotel that I would go back to. I don't think I'd bring the family but would bring the wife for a weekend getaway.

Exceptional service, but won't stay here again.

by TripAdvisor Member lhgirl

Stayed here this past weekend and enjoyed it for the most part. The rooms are smallish, but basic, simple and elegant. Beds and robes are comfy, and they have complimentary breakfast. But the real stand out in this place is the superb service. With exception of one of the valet managers we encountered, the rest of the staff is top notch and eager to please. If only we saw this kind of service at other places.

Despite the pleasant decor and attentive staff, it pains me to say that I do not recommend this place. I've listed below my reasons why. If these things aren't issues with you, then by all means, stay at the Se, you won't be disappointed.

- First hiccup encountered was with valet parking. We had to circle the block three times before we decided to finally block traffic and wait for a space to open up to get in line for valet. Second was when we went to retrieve the car. It took close to 15 minutes, even though the valet manager said about 5. Would not have minded, except we were already late picking someone up at the airport.
- They called us in the morning about our car in valet around 9 am (I thought it was a strange phone call). Five minutes later a staff member comes to retrieve our luggage, even though we were nowhere near leaving. We figured there must have been a mix-up. No big deal really, it just seemed odd.
- Another oddity, they asked us which paper we wanted when we checked in, but never delivered a paper. It was okay though as we asked for a paper at breakfast.
-I paid more for a sky view room, and though we did have a view of the skyline, the thing that stood out the most was the ugly roof of the parking structure next door (we were on floor ten of 20).
-My biggest gripe, and the reason why I wouldn't stay here during my next visit to San Diego, is the noise. Granted, I should've known better since the HOB is literally right below you, but the noise kept me awake until 2am (and we were on the 10th floor, imagine being on a lower floor!). That combined with paper thin walls and some noisy people on our floor made the comfy beds useless. We heard them go in and out about five times from 10 am - midnight. We could hear every detail of their annoying conversation, doors opening and closing (though it sounded like slamming), elevator retrieval (even though elevators are "buffered" by a wall to the door of our room), the person above us walking around in her high-heels (either that or she was playing an odd round of ping pong). It really was too much. And to think, this is my third hotel stay in the past month and never before have I been kept awake by noise.

There, you have the good and bad. If noise doesn't bother you and you sleep like a log, then this is the place for you. If customer service is another priority, then the Se can't be beat.

Thank you Sé.

by TripAdvisor Member GeGa

My friend and I stayed in the Sé for 4 nights at the end of February (26th. Feb to 1st. March) in room 913.
It was a wonderful experience. Check-in was not only painless it was a pleasure and the welcome cocktail is a wonderful idea. The room, while a bit on the small side, was very comfortable and the bed..oh the bed..... I could have stayed in bed all day it was so comfortable. The Bathroom is beautiful and the toiletries are by Molton Brown. Throughout the room the attention to detail & quality was very evident. The view was of downtown but who goes to San Diego to spend their time gazing out windows!!!! The Restaurant is well designed and comfortable (only gripe I had was the loud, awful music being played during dinner - it really was annoying, please note, dining room not the place for 'house' !!) The food was imaginative and the idea of choosing your own knife was a novel and fun idea. Breakfast was good and again well thought out (we had the complimentary continental style breakfast) and was more than adequate to set us up for the day. The bar is beautiful, we enjoyed cocktails and nibbles there after a day at the Zoo. However, where this hotel shines is not the building, which is truly beautiful, but the staff. Wonderful, thoughful, helpful, professional and courteous. I have stayed in a few 5 Star hotels here in the US and in Europe and some of them are staffed with people who seem to think they are doing you a favor in being there in the first place, they tend to 'look down their noses', but not the staff in the Sé, from the moment we got out of the taxi on arrival to the moment we pulled away from the hotel on departure we experienced excellent service from EACH & EVERY member of the staff. So refreshing.
I imagine that this hotel will quickly become the 'in place' to stay in San Diego, I have a hope that it will not lose that friendly welcoming atmosphere but will continue to be what it has started out to be - a wonderful place to stay with a staff who know what 'hospitality' ,as in 'hospitality industry' ,really is all about.
I could go on but I won't, go see the Sé for yourself and be surprised and delighted. Thank you.

Elegant, great service and great food!

by TripAdvisor Member Atalanta51

I stayed at the hotel this past weekend. We had no wait for the valet parking and our luggage was brought to the room immediately. Upon entering the lobby we were greeted with a refreshing drink - you had the choice of alcohol or not. The design of the lobby is beautifully designed and very artistic and creative. When you are in the restaurant one level up the light fixtures from the lobby become a work of art to behold in the diningroom.

We were offered a tour of the facility and then were taken to our room. We had a one bedroom suite and were pleased to see that it had 1 full bath that was luxurious and a half bath in the livingroom area. The furniture in the livingroom and the bed were very comfortable. High speed internet was available in the room as well as a business center on another floor. We also had a balcony that ran the full length of our room. By the time the hotel opens they will have furniture on the patios and that will be the perfect finishing touch. There were some outside noise issues but they are being addressed.

We went to the hotel's restaurant for dinner and had the most enjoyable dinner I have ever had. We had a group of 7 people and were introduced to a new philosophy of dining. You had the opportunity to build your own appetizers with a list of your items to choose from. There was a very nice selection of wines and the presentation of the food was beautiful. The restaurant is pricey but we totally felt as if we got our monies worth.

We were told that once the hotel has its grand opening in April that there will be an open bar at the pool. The pool area is very unique and luxurious looking. Most definitely it is a place where you could host a function for a convention or conference. My girlfriend had a massage and said it was the best she has ever had - she has traveled all over the world so she had plenty to compare it to. I checked out the gym but did not have time to use the equipment. The exercise equipment is top of the line and no expense was spared.

This having been said, the hotel is still working out little details for the grand opening. I think that once those things have been ironed out you will enjoy this hotel thoroughly.

Amazing Hotel! Excellent Service!!

by TripAdvisor Member whitrun6

From the moment you walk into Se, you feel like a rock star! Personal attention, immaculate facilities, an amazing spa, not to mention the uber chic, relaxing rooms. I forgot my blackberry cell phone charger at home and one of the employees lent me his personal charger to use. I cannot say enough about the staff and service. And the food...incredible! Try the mini fish tacos...excellent. I'd highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting San Diego. It's right in the heart of gaslamp with easy access to all of the many restaurants and bars. Check it out , you won't be disappointed ... well worth the trip!


Popular Hotels in San Diego

Residence Inn San Diego Scripps Poway Parkway

12011 Scripps Highland Drive, & Scripps Poway Pkwy, San Diego

Show Prices

Pacific Terrace Hotel

Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

610 Diamond Street, San Diego

Show Prices

Homewood Suites San Diego-Del Mar

11025 Vista Sorrento Parkway, San Diego

Show Prices

Courtyard San Diego Downtown

Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

530 Broadway Street, San Diego

Show Prices

View all San Diego hotels

View all San Diego hotels

Latest San Diego hotel reviews

La Quinta Inn San Diego Rancho Penasquitos
85 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 8, 2014
Comfort Inn Mission Bay SeaWorld Area
107 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Paradise Point Resort And Spa
2180 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Bahia Resort Hotel
1561 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Holiday Inn San Diego On The Bay
1094 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
Holiday Inn San Diego-Mission Bay-Sea World
689 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Premier Inn Sports Arena
69 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 27, 2014
Catamaran Resort Hotel
1484 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
2168 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Seacoast Palms Inn
170 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
1559 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
1735 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
La Pensione Hotel
260 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
West Park Inn Hotel
98 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 3, 2014
DEFUNCT Sunburst Court Inn
1 Review & Opinion

 Setai San Diego

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Se Hotel San Diego
San Diego Se Hotel

Address: 1047 5th Avenue, San Diego, California, 92101, United States