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“Overrated but still very OK” 4 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 271 Hotels in San Diego
Aalst, Belgium
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Overrated but still very OK”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Come on guys I see only 5 scores for this motel. For me it is a 3.5 to 4. It is true that the rooms are very clean but also VERY small.

The staff is VERY nice and helpfull.

There is enough parking around the building and the neighborhous seemed safe to me.

It is a short (20 minutes) drive to Sea World and to Disneyland.

What was negative for me is the internet that was VERY slow and threw me out a couple of times.

The breakfast is basic but for a couple of days this is not a problem.

Tip: use the Mitch seafood restaurant across the street for dinner.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Hello Bosserpe, Thank you for the nice comments. It's always appreciated. Also I am glad you wrote "Very Small" for our rooms, to give our future guests more notice. I write "more" notice because about every 3rd review mentions the small rooms. I hope this was not a suprise to you? I hope the room size was adequate for your needs. Most every establishment with wi-fi experiences glitches now and again. I apologize to you for the inconvenience. At this time wi-fi is as usual, working well. Best regards, Alan Murdock and my dad, owners.
P.S. Since we advertise as a budget motel--- I hope our room rates were acceptable.
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908 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (167)
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English first
Malmö, Skåne Län, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

This was a great place to stay for a couple of nights in San Diego. Cheap, nice and safe area, close to the water if you wanna take a nice little walk and there are restaurants nearby. I think the best thing though is just how nice and friendly all the staff were, and for a motel very soft and good towels :) . The only thing they could improve to me would be the breakfast as there were only muffins and bananas - add some cereal and its all there!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Thank you for your kindness Emma A for choosing our modest little motel on your recent summer visit to San Diego
We thank all our customers who do research about our motel before going on vacation
Our rooms are small, budget is our niche
Many of our customers tell us about being overcharged at other locations for services which would have been free
Unfortunately, every places is different and doing a little research beforehand could potentially save them
Parking, WiFi, Breakfast in san Diego can be charged at other higher chain hotels or free, really depends on where you are staying.
It all comes down to doing research beforehand and deciding the best fit for your vacation.
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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We used the Dolphin Motel as a base of operations for visits to Seaworld and the SD Zoo. That meant we weren't there much - we needed a good value, clean and comfortable place. We got it, though not without some shortcomings. The room was small (just big enough for a full and a twin size bed) with a very small bathroom. The fixtures were dated, but functional. The bed was reasonably comfortable and the room was clean. Breakfast was minimal, but at least it was something. Parking was very tight. No swimming pool.

Noteworthy were three things that stood out:
1. The staff was VERY engaging and helpful - one of the better staffs we have encountered. You really felt like they love their job, and they were truly pleased to have you there.
2. The room rate is less than half the Ramada across the street.
3. Very interesting location across the street from the marina. We didn't have the time, but I would have loved to poke around some of the shops and restaurants that line the marina.

All in all a good stay - we recommend it - and we would definately stay there again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Hello Happyrocker
All our staff and the owners have read your review and thank you for giving our little motel a try.
We do try our hardest for our guests!
As we are a small time budget motel, we hope all our future guests read carefully about our motel and our accommodations.
We are an older motel and rooms are rather small, we may or may not have what everybody is looking for
But please don't hesitate to inquire about us!
Tripadvisor is the best thing that has happened to the consumer, it offers future potential guests an idea of a place before they commit. Reading both “goods” and “bads” about a location beforehand and weighing the options
Hope to see you again!
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Just like the other reviews say, this is a great place to stay. Few frills, but what differentiates it is the service which is incredibly welcoming and friendly. Very clean rooms. Plenty of food options nearby. Superb value.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you so much Enfilade405!
Your review brought a smile to the owners Mr. Murdock and Alan
And all our staff!
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Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

From check in to check out this motel was perfect. No frills budget motel with clean rooms, comfortable beds, excellent staff, simple but good free breakfast, great location and the owners and staff went out of their way to answer all questions and give helpful suggestions! We will definitely stay the next time we're in San Diego. A BIG thanks to the staff and owners!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thank you Diane07 for taking the time to write about us.
It has been a pleasure to have met you guys.
Hope things have been well for you guys in Ohio, it takes a little time to get the comments through on tripadvisor
Not all places charge for a smile, and certainly here at the Dolphin, our smiles are FREE!
We certainly do our best to give our customers the honest faithful service that the owners have established 38 years ago
And it is such wonderful customers like yourself that make it all possible!
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is a great value motel for San Diego. Our room was quiet and clean and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Plenty of parking and lots of food close by. We will stay here again when we hit town for a Cadres game.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
A review straight to the point
Many thanks Slowpainter, hopefully we continue to welcome future budget-minded travelers like yourself
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philadelphia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

If you don't like to spend a lot on a hotel, but want a clean, comfortable place, this is the place for you! The rooms are immaculate -- everything is white and very clean (even the bedspread! you couldn't pay me to sit on a usual hotel bedspread but this one was obviously very clean). The bed is comfortable and the bathroom/shower worked great. We loved having the little fridge in the room, what a terrific little amenity. The staff are friendly and helpful. Breakfast is yogurt, muffins and coffee/tea/juice -- basic but fine. You are walking distance to Point Loma seafood and the harbor. You can walk a block to rent a SUP board or a kayak to tour around the harbor, and you are very close to the beach. We enjoyed our stay and really had no complaints about how the hotel is run. The only caveat is that while the hotel management does its best to curb the noise, sometimes you have an inconsiderate guest who makes noise after hours. This happened 1 night of our 4 night stay. The rooms are close together so if someone is loud, you'll hear it. I'm sure if I'd complained the manager would have taken care of it, but who wants to get out of bed at 2am? Not the hotel's fault but if you are noise sensitive I recommend that you bring earplugs or a white noise machine (and don't expect to be able to keep the windows open).

Now, I gave this hotel 5 stars but be realistic -- it isn't the Ritz. The rooms are small and very basic. But if your view is that you just need a nice bed and bath/shower and you don't need the lap of luxury, this is the place for you. Plus, I had all that extra money to spend on fun things like food & activities. Highly recommended. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor probably quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Greetings hikergirl11,
All of our staff at the motel (and especially Mr. Murdock & Alan) sincerely appreciate this generous & honest review
On behalf of everyone here, we thank you for giving us a chance to be a part of your recent trip to san Diego
I'm happy to hear you liked the fresh fish at Point Loma Seafoods, the local favorite, right across the street
Shelter Island & Fisherman's Landing offers a peaceful walk as this is a busy fishing season, and fishermen bring in the catch from the ocean
If they ever catch something big, they will surely hang it out to show everyone!
I apologize for the noise late at night, we do our best to keep the peace around the motel.
There is a 24-hours staff to watch the property.
To all our future guests, please book ahead of time as our popular Harbor View rooms sell out quickly
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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
#44 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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