Cabanas for Nothin' and Wiis for Free

Downtown’s LOUNGEsix offers complimentary rooftop comfort

 When downtown’s Hard Rock Hotel cranks up its Sunday “Intervention” party on its rooftop bar called Float, a cabana is a prime piece of real estate. One can rent for $3,000 an afternoon. Granted, that price gets you four bottles of liquor, with each bottle selling for $300.

You could say, then, that the roof over your head and the snazzy sofas are costing $1,800 for the day—a sum that could get you a nice two-bedroom condo (without cable) for a month.

Meanwhile, Hotel Solamar is going in a different direction with the price point of the six cabanas on its rooftop bar, recently renamed LOUNGEsix. “They’re free,” says a spokesperson. “It’s first-come, first serve.”

Yep. The best deal comes on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., when the Urban Playground is up and running. Hotel staff set up a foosball game, a ping pong table and put out toys like Hula hoops. The cabanas are wired with TV sets hooked up to Nintendo Wiis. Some Wiis have the game Rock Band; others have Guitar Hero.

The cabanas are there for the taking. Every night of the week. On Friday and Saturday, when it’s a little more crowded, there’s a $150 food-and-beverage minimum if you want to sprawl out under the tented roofs.

A lot of people are afraid to claim the cabanas. But our lounge spokesperson, who says the cabanas have been a well-kept secret for a little while, says the meek shall not inherit the mirth. “Just sit down and have fun,” she says. “Invite as many people as you want.”

Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.

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