ONE OF THE BEST LITTLE ITALY HOTELS
The word is spreading about La Pensione Hotel. As one of Little Italy San Diego’s best hotels, we’re often featured in news stories and travel publications.
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Insider Guides: La Pensione Hotel. In the land of splashy beach resorts, La Pensione Hotel’s 68 compact rooms and central location give it a refreshingly urban, Euro-chic air. Ask for one of the 15 Argento Collection rooms, recently updated with faux-ostrich-leather headboards, Italian linens, and mod furniture.
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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
See The Urban Side Of San Diego
Skip the beach and fish taco stands for galleries in the barrio, “gastrocantinas,” and dive-crawling in Tijuana.
1. Where to Stay
Get a little European flair at La Pensione (from $99), a modest spot that gives you access to the walkable Little Italy arts district. The hotel is in the midst of a $2 million makeover, and 15 of its 68 compact rooms now feature ostrich leather headboards, Italian linens, and rain showerheads. Ask for an “Argento Collection” room, preferably #317 or #320: They have the best balconies for sipping wine and people-watching.
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San Diego's Little Italy: That's Italian
Take any Little Italy in the Northeast or Midwest, add palm trees and T-shirt weather most of the time, and what do you have?
Little Italy in San Diego.
Yes, San Diego isn't just that other southern California city known only to the uninitiated for its zoo, Sea World and the Chargers. America's eighth-largest city has a gem that L.A. doesn't: an authentic Little Italy that's hotter with the locals than the almost-constant sunshine.
Sure, this neighborhood may not be as old or as large as some (though it's bigger than New York's and San Francisco's combined). But what's there is the real deal, and it's well-worth a visit if you're planning to be in Southern California and are homesick for the real thing.
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3 Hidden Gems In San Diego
In the early 20th century, when tuna fishing meant more to San Diego than conventioneers, Italian fishermen lived on and near India Street. Then the tuna industry began to shrivel, Caltrans put a freeway through the neighborhood, and Little Italy dwindled. Now it's back, with thematic emphasis, and India Street buzzes with shops, restaurants, bars, the occasional butcher and barber, and a handful of lodgings, all within about five blocks of the Embarcadero's historic ships (www.sdmaritime.org and www.midway.org) and eight blocks of the downtown train station. Stroll India between Beech and Grape streets, roll a little boccie in Amici Park at State and Date streets, maybe check out the galleries and design shops along Kettner Boulevard. For dinner, grab a table at Bencotto (750 W. Fir St., San Diego), where the Italian food comes with warm service amid cool, sleek design. Afterward, step over to Craft & Commerce (675 W. Beech St., San Diego), a bistro pub full of repurposed wood and red metal chairs, but no vodka or ketchup. (It's a flavor thing. Let your waiter explain.) Then La Pensione (606 W. Date St., San Diego) is waiting with 68 rooms upstairs. Failing that, the 23-room Little Italy Inn (505 W. Grape St., San Diego), which occupies an old building and feels more like a B&B, is just a few blocks away. Both offer rooms for less than $200.
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3 Stylish Sleeps
In the land of splashy beach resorts, the centrally located La Pensione Hotel has a refreshingly urban, Euro-chic air. The 68 compact rooms have been updated with faux-ostrich-leather headboards, Italian linens, and mod furniture. From $120.
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From Little Italy To Del Mar, S.D. Hotels Are On A Serious Refresher Course.
The Italian Job
Little Italy is booming, baby. The latest proof comes by way of La Pensione, a boutique hotel that underwent a $2 million urban-chic makeover courtesy of S.D. interior designer Deniece Duscheone.
"I wanted to integrate the richness of the neighborhood," says Duscheone, who custom-designed the mod lighting and furniture. The white and silver color palette accompanies historic photos, while balcony rooms put you front and center in the bustling neighborhood where Italian gentlemen gesticulate at sidewalk tables.
Fridges are stocked with Champagne and fresh Bellini mix, so pour yourself a flute and get in on the action.
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HOTELS: SAN DIEGO
Pacify your inner banker without sacrificing comfort at La Pensione Hotel, a Mediterranean-style 75-room inn in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood. Rooms from $80. 606 W. Date St.