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“Great little motel - super friendly staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
2912 Garrison St, San Diego, CA 92106   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 268 hotels in San Diego
Seoul
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great little motel - super friendly staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We’re just back from a three week road trip around California, Vegas and Northern Arizona. We stayed in seven hotels – everything from one star to five star properties. The Dolphin Motel was by far the friendliest, with the smartest staff.

When we were checking in, I told the guys at the reception that I was going to take the family to Sea World. A couple of minutes later they had given me a voucher for cheap tickets, told me to go on line and buy, and then e mail the tickets to them which they would print. Amazing! Fifteen minutes later I had tickets which not only saved me $75, but also gave me us an extra day at the park. Brilliant!! They also gave us great directions to the park.

The rooms are just fine – a little small, but super clean which is down to the monitoring the senior management put into their work. The large TV screens are a real bonus. The breakfast in the courtyard is good – family really liked it. We found all of the staff, everyone from the cleaners to the senior management, super friendly. I really enjoyed talking to them all.

The hotel also has a great location, close to the water, convenience stores and malls. Great place. Thank you!

Room Tip: Book early for a good rate. Ten minute drive to Sea World
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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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 16, 2013
That sounds great Westhash!
We thank you so much for making our motel a part of your recent trip to the West Coast of America
Mr. Murdock is so pleased to hear you kind words of praise!
He wanted to emphasize the point that our customers define who we are
And it is wonderful customer like yourself that keep our small motel alive in these difficult times
Isn't it strange that budget places rarely make top rankings on tripadvisor?
There simply is no place anymore for budget-minded guest looking for accommodations
Many of our guests say they were "abused" by these limited choices
We hope things will change for the better
Once again, thank you guys for your kindness and hope you visit San Diego in the near future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (156)
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Aalst, Belgium
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
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
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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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
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 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
70 helpful votes 70 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
88 helpful votes 88 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
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 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Address: 2912 Garrison St, 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): $
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! 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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