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The hottest new hotel to grace San Diego is Ivy. Open barely two weeks, the kinks continue to be worked out at this classy, cosmopolitan and chic venue.  It’s upscale to the nines, yet casual and certainly a place where you want to be seen. Buzz recently had a look at this latest entry into the Gaslamp’s lineup of upscale boutique hotels. Ivy is the only downtown member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

For Buzz, Ivy is all about textures, in sight and touch.  In the entry, notice the columns covered with woven brown leather that contrast with a nearby white upholstered bench done in what feels like soft sheared sheep skin. A colorful abstract covers a huge wall visible from the lobby.  The bars and lounges feature deep couches (some almost bed-like) that make you want to want to slip off your shoes and tuck up your legs–otherwise, unless you’re tall, sit sideways, or lay down, your legs dangle like a kid on a big chair.  So deep are the sofas you can give your abs a workout as you recline and then move forward to retrieve a drink on the table.

Downstairs, just off the lobby, a sleek casual bar backs up to the handsome presentation cooking area of Quarter Kitchen restaurant.  The eating bar, surrounding the open kitchen with its huge stainless steel hood, makes a perfect place to watch chefs cook while you eat. Modern and open, the restaurant faces the corner of F Street and Sixth Avenue and is done in muted black, gray, and beige. Also downstairs to the right through the lobby is Envy, an ultra lounge that opens at 5pm with a separate nightclub open only on the weekends. Upstairs, from the nearly all white rooftop bar named Eden you can practically watch a baseball game at Petco Park.     

Interesting touches to note:  Each venue has its own signature matches in small boxes that look like cigarette packs; don’t be surprised when you hit the bathroom for Eden–men and women share a common sink area; smoke if you must downstairs in sumptuous glassed smoking areas open to the sky (and the elements); ogle the fetching bar servers wearing lacey, low cut, mini skirts serving drinks while tottering in spike heels; and valet park for $30 or $20 if you eat in Quarter Kitchen.

More later about the food, it’s really too soon to speak fairly about it. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The evening menu features entrees that range from the upper $20’s to upper $30’s and beyond for such things as Kobe beef served by the ounce and priced accordingly.  Ivy Hotel, 600 F Street, San Diego, 619-814-1000. 

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