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“DESERVES THE #1 RATING FOR PRICE RANGE ON T.A.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
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2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“DESERVES THE #1 RATING FOR PRICE RANGE ON T.A.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

There are many reasons that this hotel is rated so high on T.A. First of all, you cannot beat the price. Second of all, it is clean. Third, it has the most helpful and pleasant staff ever encountered. A big thank you to Steve for providing us with a big morning smile and everything that we needed and more. The Dolphin Motel is lucky to have such a long term devoted employee. The location is perfect by the pier as well as having plenty of great restaurants and bars nearby A laundromat is also close. There is an ice machine for free use. The breakfast consists of Trader Joe's O.J., fresh brewed coffee in a coffee pot (not big metal urn), milk, as many muffins (blueberry or chocolate) ,yougurt, and bananas that you want. We didn't really find the rooms that small, but we were in a room(#11) with a double and twin bed. The bathroom, though, is smallish. We liked our location at the back building (quieter and away from the breakfast tables) on the second floor. It wasn't noisy at all. There are security cameras at the buildings that are on all the time and monitored in the office, so it felt super safe. We had a nice flat screen t.v., small fridge, and two chairs on the outside small landing at the top of the stairs by our room. Also, if you like to sleep in, this room doesn't get any morning sun.The curtains are black out and there are individual manual air conditioners in each room. Room tips: the most desired rooms are in the main building on the second floor. They have a view of the water. I think it would probably be noisier there because of the office and breakfast tables. However, you can't go wrong with any room here. I wish that there were more hotels/motels like this. Until next time!

Room Tip: Room #11 has a twin and double bed. It is located on the second floor in the back building. It is...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
That's a very thorough description of our motel you made
Thank you so much for this generous review guys!
All our rooms are the same size, same cleanliness, same quality.
There is no difference
But yes, as you said. People do prefer the rooms on the harbor side
I assume it gets more recognition because it is across the street from the harbor
You get to see boats :)
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914 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
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Jerusalem, Israel
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We stayed few nights there and recommend to stay here because many reasons .First of all the price is reasonable.The rooms are clean (but small).The owner and his staff are helpful and very kind ( it was nice talking with you ) and they explained where to go to the different points of interests in San Diego.The location of Dolphin Motel is close to the marina great view and restorants.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tai-po, China
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We were not familiar with the climate in california but it was very good this time.
Based on the reviews this place was a good fit for my family's week long california vacation, and 3 days in san diego visit
we booked 2 rooms with 1 bed each for $65+. it was a good fit, we came late during the night but the young asian guy helped us order pizza.
We were having a late night conversation but he told us to lower our voices
They try to keep the place quiet which I respect
The owner and his father come by in the morning, breakfast was basic and simple muffins and coffee.
This location is not a hotel class, so it is cheap for our needs. The employees were helpful and friendly.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

You get more than you pay for.....doesn't happen often, but certainly the case with the Dolphin motel. Great location, clean rooms, nice little breakfast and super-friendly staff. We walked at night to the boat docks and watched the fisherman claim their catch. Some good restaurants nearby.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 16, 2012
Thank you Kumiko B for this generous review!
Short and sweet
We do pride ourselves in the down-to-earth staff and the clean rooms we offer our guests
We are a small but well maintained motel
The owners put alot of heart into their work
We will see you guys next time!
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Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

Accepting this is a cheapie, it's a great, great place to stay. Straight across the road from the Shelter Island marina and its bars and restaurants, close to town, Beaches and most of the tourist spots, the location is hard to beat. The rooms are small and monastic but they are spotless and there are chairs with a view outside each room, good for a quiet sundowner.

The staff are really friendly. The owner circulates morning and evening to check on every guest,and the free breakfast is served in a small sunny patio area where strangers pause to chat. And a personal story, the guy who checked us in was in the local wine pub when we went for dinner. A quiet hello on the way in, a nice touch. But when we came to pay our bill we found he had paid for our first round of drinks.

A great find, we will certainly be back next time we are in town.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Thank you sooo much Gerard B for this generous review!
Yes, I do agree
The owners Mr. Murdock and Alan do run a tidy place because they take great pride in their work
Being a family-runned operation, they have dedicated their heart and soul into offering you guys, as well as future guests what they need.
Even though our small-time motel is not a fit for everyone, we have always been ideal for the budget traveler.
We look forward to these good guests the next time around!
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

It's no 5 star resort, but the Dolphin Motel lessens the gap between it's higher profile rivals with wonderful service, a lovely little breakfast (included) and staff that were consistently pleasant through-out my week long stay (In San Diego for a conference). Clean, cheery and unbelievably affordable, the Dolphin compares very well with it's personal touch. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Hello Davidthommo
and thank you for this review.
The owners agree with your description
We have the bare basics in terms of accommodations
So we make up for it with competitively lower prices compared to the other hotel/motels
What we can offer you is cleanliness and service!
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Montreal
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

When we tried to reserve a place to stay in San Diego, we were surprised to see how expensive it was. So, based on tripadvisor reviews, we decided to settle at the Dolphin.

The room we stayed in was small but perfectly fit for its primary purpose: sleep. Pass the initial "surprise" we realized that the room and the bathroom were incredibly clean and efficient. Even at this small size, we managed to work in the room for a couple of hours. And even with the air-conditioning units around we slept perfectly with the windows opened.

We didn't try the breakfast as it was not big enough for us. We went to Deny's one corner away.

Of course, location was also nice. We were by car and going to downtown was fast and easy. Parking availability was also great.

The staff was also nice and helpful. When we left, they gave us bottles of water for the road, a nice attention which we appreciated.

Internet access was free and surprisingly fast. You don't get that often at much higher priced hotels.

So, if you want to put your money into good use, we strongly recommend this place. Not a luxury hotel, but definitely an excellent value.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Thank you Goldorak-007 for writing about your vacation when you stayed at our motel.
Every little review counts towards future guests who want to get a glimpse of what our motel is.
We are not a luxury place, nor do we advertise such.
We are perfect for the budget-minded traveler if they just need a clean simple place
No thrills!
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Address: 2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#45 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Highly Rated - Very Reasonably Priced - American Owned and Operated Economy Motel since 1977. Basic very clean rooms with top rated beds, refrigerators and great showers! Best Price! Budget Value! Great location - one block from San Diego Harbor and minutes from the Airport - Seaword - Downtown - Zoo - Beaches and more! Friendly - professional staff ready to help with directions - boarding passes, etc. Every morning say hello to the owners Holly and Alan over continental breakfast. - Please see over reviews. Thanks ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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