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“Best Motel in town!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
2912 Garrison St, San Diego, CA 92106   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 269 hotels in San Diego
1 review
“Best Motel in town!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

We recently stayed at the Dolphin Motel for 3 nights and it was perfect. Very friendly, comfortable and clean! Dolphin motel is the place to go!! Many thanks to Alan for his excellent tour guide informations! Greetings from Italy! :-)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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, October 12, 2013
Thank you Daniel for the generous review
I'll tell Mr. Murdock the owner about Alan's hard work!
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876 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Naples, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

This motel is a gem. We spent 3 nights there recently and cannot recommend it highly enough. As expected, our room was small, but it was exceptionally clean and very comfortable. The staff, from Thomas at the front desk, to Lynn the housekeeper, to owners Alan and his father, were very friendly and went out of their way to accommodate our needs. For example, shortly after arriving at the motel my husband and I took a walk on the dock across the street. A bird pooped on my sweater - a huge mess! I returned to the motel , where Lynn insisted on cleaning it for me. She hand washed it, dried it, and returned it to me spotlessly clean within an hour. I definitely wouldn't have had that type of service at a chain hotel. Every morning at breakfast we enjoyed talking to Alan and his father about our plans for the day. They had great suggestions and were a wealth of information about the area.
The location, right across the street from the sport fishing landing, can't be beat. We enjoyed eating outside at two restaurants, Mitch's Seafood and Point Loma Seafood, while watching the charter fishing activity at the dock.
Clean, quiet, inexpensive, a wonderful staff and a great location - how can you go wrong?

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 12, 2013
Greetings to you Lisa and your husband
Thank you veeery much for writing about your recent stay with us
Your review brought a welcome enthusiasm to our owners as they read it in the morning
It really made their day
Our housekeepers & staff also want to thank you for this kind and very personal review
Yes, those pesky birds are a nuisance once in a while
Being a family-owned business, we do try so hard to make our guests feel like family!
Please mention about this the next time you visit San Diego, we always welcome back our good friends!
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

I stayed here for 4 nights the last week of Sept 2013 and was very happy with my stay at the Dolphin, this is a no frills motel that is in a real nice (and safe) neighborhood that is across the street from the marina. Background: My buddies and I were in town for a weekend of pub crawls and going to Qualcomm to watch the Chargers vs Cowboys game. While planning for the trip (booking flights, researching hotels, etc) my buddies elected to stay in a well known chain budget hotel in the Gas Lamp Quarter for approx. $125 a night because they wanted to be close to the bars. I elected to break away from my buddies and chose the Dolphin based on Trip Advisor reviews. My rationale was I was looking to keep this trip low budget and why should I pay $125 a night for a room since I would only be staying there to sleep and take a shower? I did the math-- the Dolphin is approx $65 a night (costs fluctuates +/- $5 or $10 a night depending on the night), travel to Gas Lamp area is about 7 miles ($20 cab ride one way) or walk one block (45 second walk) to take a $2.25 bus to Old Town Trolley stop to buy a $5 day pass to take Trolley to Gas Lamp Qtr stop and that day pass would cover my return trip on the trolley and bus back to motel . Tip: The bus runs every hour. Just walk up to the bus stop and it has a phone number to send a text msg to and you will receive a text msg back to tell you when the next bus is coming. So for the 4 nights, depending on how inebriated I was or how late in the evening it was, I took the cab 2 nights and public transportation 2 nights. So transportation was $40 x 2 = $80 for cab and approx $15 for public transportation. Still saved alot of money than staying in Gas Lamp. Now onto the Motel-- its a 1960's style no frills unit, the bed is comfy, the room is very clean, wifi good, tv/cable good, the shower water pressure is very strong!, the staff is very friendly and the continental breakfast of muffins, fresh bananas, coffee and OJ hits the spot. I will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
The owner was very enthusiastic at reading your generous review!
It goes to show a little research can go a long way when it comes to budgeting for a weekend getaway
I agree with you, the Downtown Gaslamp area does charge for parking (and most charge for WiFi internet)
Your review is very well written and will give future guests an idea of what to expect
The text message about public transportation is something I just knew about; very helpful!
We will welcome you back in the near future, remember to call as far ahead to reserve a room because we do fill up within a month's time.
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Sammamish, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

I like the location a lot, near the harbor only about 15 minutes driving to the old town, the stuff is very friendly and helpful. The room is small but very clean and cozy. The internet speed is kind slow, but it is free, so I have no complain.

The room is quiet since I only stay there for one night, so I cannot make the conclusion to say it is quiet, but it is definitely not noisy.

If you are in the budget, and need some nice place to stay, dolphin motel is the place to go!!

welcome from the first time we stepped into the office, to the time we were leaving. The proprietors were really friendly, and did everything they could to make our stay superb

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, October 9, 2013
Thank you Chi Z for the pleasant response and for choosing our motel for your recent business stayover
Yes, there is 24 hour staff on duty
Being an small motel, noise does travel around
Guests choose our location because of the quiet, and per the owner's policy we respectfully ask all our guests to keep T.V. & voices down after 9:00pm
My apologies about the WiFi, please notify our staff & we can reset the internet
We have high speed WiFi which the owner paid around $300, sometimes on busy nights the WiFi is not distributed evenly and multiple guests will use it to watch movies
Once again, our owners express their sincere gratitude to you guys for staying with us
We have always been a family-owned, family-operated business and we hope our efforts are appreciated by all our customers
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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

My friend and I planned a girls weekend and I had heard of this place so we booked a room. We absolutely loved it!!! We had a huge porch with table and tons of chairs, free breakfast and water. All the staff were super friendly and helpful! I will always stay here when I am in town they made us feel very special and we were very comfortable and safe!

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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, October 9, 2013
Thank you Heather for your recent visit to our budget motel
Your generous review is very much appreciated by our owners & staff
Majority of our customers do a little research beforehand
Our rooms are small, budget is our niche
Every places is different and doing a little research could potentially save some money
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 deciding the best fit for your needs.
Our owners' hard work is reflected on the staff
Service is a must, because a smile costs nothing
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United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

We only stayed here 2 nights, but were made to feel very welcome from the first time we stepped into the office, to the time we were leaving. The proprietors were really friendly, and did everything they could to make our stay superb. Nice and quiet, easy to get places even without a car, good base for getting anywhere, even to the downtown area. Rooms very clean, and everything you needed was catered for. We were even lent a laptop, so we could research things.
Would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: ask for 2nd floor room - with a harbour view, as some rooms are round the back
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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, October 6, 2013
It is such kind-hearted & generous guests like yourself that make our day!
Your generous review always brings a smile to our hard working owners; really makes our day!
The owner has always advertised our place as a budget motel for budget-minded guests
being a small motel, we take every guest seriously as we depend on their continued patronage
Being an older motel, we do our very best to keep the peace and quiet especially at night.
There is 24-hour staff on duty and we are ready to provide guests service for ANY issues, yes ANY issue
We hope to see you guys again in the near future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

This is a true Ma and Pa motel with great hospitality. Rooms are clean, the location is great ( one block from the harbor), the price is right, and breakfast is complimentary. I would stay here again!

Room Tip: room 12 did not have a harbor view but was great for our stay
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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, October 5, 2013
All of us here at the Dolphin, the owners & staff want to take this opportunity to thank you for staying with us
And also for your generous evaluation of our motel during your recent stay
I'm very sure all the other places also agree with us that it is a pleasure to have such nice guests as yourselves at their location as well.
Our hard working owners Alan & Holly have been in the business for 37 years, and there dedication to providing guests with a budget solution (as well as their hard work) reflects positively on all our staff here.
Their philosophy is written on our sign "Why pay more?" If all you are looking for is a clean budget location to sleep (and a few basic amenities), why pay more?
Once again, thank you Julie and we hope to see you in the near future. Remember to mention you wrote about us next time you stop by San Diego!
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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
#6 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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