Set in a meticulously restored 1910 building, the budget-friendly Found Hotel has historic charm and a modern attitude. Unique rooms at the European-style inn range from a cozy queen with a shared bathroom to apartment-like digs. Found Hotel, which has a charming hedge-bordered courtyard, a side yard with patio tables, and palm trees out front, offers free Wi-fi and a daily complimentary breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Tucked away in the urban Little Italy neighborhood, the hotel is close to shops, restaurants, bars, and convenient public transit.
There’s no parking at the hotel but you can park overnight on the street/metered spots, but you have to move your car by 8 am; some streets have free two-hour parking during the day (check street signs for details).
Rooms, which boast hardwood floors, range from cozy queens with shared bathrooms to apartment-like suites with full kitchens. The eclectic decor is a mish-mash of contemporary Ikea and antiques that somehow works for the place.
Little Italy is directly under the flight path for the nearby San Diego airport. Don’t be alarmed when you see jets flying so low over the city that the palm trees whip around in their wake. The jet noise subsides quite a bit at night when the airport only allows incoming flights.
Bathrooms are mostly modern, with blue walls, beech vanities, and tiled shower-tub combos, though some are vintage originals. The spa room comes with a jetted tub.
The lobby is also eclectically decorated, with a mix of ornate, old-fashioned furniture and more modern accents. The hotel’s complimentary continental breakfast is served here.
Found Hotel offers a daily complimentary continental breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m.
You can catch the San Diego Trolley at the Little Italy Station, an 8-minute walk from Found Hotel. The trolley’s Green Line services the Gaslamp Quarter, Convention Center, Seaport Village, Old Town, and the Fashion Valley shopping center. Buses also service San Diego’s attractions. To explore the coastal communities to the north of Downtown, stroll to Little Italy’s historic Santa Fe Depot and catch the commuter Coaster train, which stops in Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. You can usually catch a cab for shorter rides in the Downtown area; car services like Lyft are also a popular option.
Little Italy’s pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with stylish boutiques and eateries. Naturally, Italian food is the star here, and you’ll find plenty of options, including the casual Filippi’s Pizza Grotto (4-minute walk), a local favorite since 1950, which serves hearty Italian fare like pasta and pizzas topped with the perfect amount of cheese. For a more upscale experience, the urban-chic Bencotto (5-minute walk) -- which means “well cooked” -- is housed in a Dwell-worthy modern building by local starchitect Jonathan Segal and serves exquisite Italian cuisine with sidewalk patio seating. Just down the street, Ironside Fish and Oyster (5-minute walk) has fabulous vintage-industrial decor and an extensive selection of seafood-focused dishes.
You’d better make reservations if you want to experience False Idol (5-minute walk), a hip secret tiki bar that’s hidden inside the Craft + Commerce gastropub. The dark, cozy bar -- which is packed to the bamboo rafters with tropical decor and bottles of rum -- serves strong tiki drinks in custom glassware. The Waterfront (5-minute walk) has been a local institution since 1933, a divey pub with cheap, stiff drinks and a great burger.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Located in one of San Diego’s most walkable neighborhoods, Found Hotel is a budget inn with a lot to offer, including clean, comfortable rooms and proximity to public transit. The outdoor spaces are particularly nice.