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“Swanky Exterior, Motel Interior” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Porto Vista Hotel

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Porto Vista Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #110 of 273 Hotels in San Diego
Fountain Valley, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Swanky Exterior, Motel Interior”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Quick Review: While there isn't anything awful about Porto, please note that it is a MOTEL. Your front door opens right onto the balcony over looking the parking garage. It is a thin wall between you and the world and the room layout is identical to most motels. Only the lobby and front facade looks like the picture.

Pros: If you can get it for $100/night, then you've paid a good price to be in the heart of Little Italy and walking distance to many things.

Cons: Bait & switch photography, thin layer of privacy, room over the garage can be noisy

Review:
Porto Vista is very posh on the outside and in the lobby, but inside it is just a plain, relatively clean motel. Minimal, if any upgrades inside are noticeable. If you're laying in bed, you can hear, quite clearly, anyone that walks past your front door. You can also hear the echos from the garage below.

My only issue with Porto is that they present one image and the reality is another. Were it not for the moderate expectations they set before I arrived, I would've been happier with my check in. Of course, the parking garage is valet only and depending on how you booked, it is included or it is $18 (I believe). This is typical for downtown SD so we can't fault them really.

Overall, I would stay here again but for no more than $125/night.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Expedia. We appreciate both the positive and constructive feedback. We have recently added new photos of our renovated rooms to our website. I am pleased that you enjoyed the location and our lovely staff.

We try very hard to give our guests both great service and a wonderful place to stay and visit San Diego. We hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,353 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (288)
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English first
Garland, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

This is the 3rd or 4th time I have stayed at the Porto Vista over the past 5 years, Just as always, I was very happy with the accommodations and the people. My room was spacious and comfortable, and the free wi-fi is a real bonus. The location is good, right in little Italy, and a short walk to the waterfront. They have a shuttle for a low price which took me to the event I was attending at a hotel charging over twice as much, The Glass Door restaurant and bar is very nice, with good food and a great view. I travel a lot, and have stayed at many places that charge more and give less. I would recommend this place to anyone. The towel service could be better, and the shower is low flow (as are most), but overall, Porto Vista is excellent in my view, and I will stay there again when in San Diego. It is also extremely convenient to the airport.

Room Tip: I was down a very quiet hallway on the 2nd floor. Higher up and east, you may get some airplane nois...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the positive feedback. I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay and have come back to visit so many times. I am glad you enjoyed the location, rooms and the Glass Door restaurant. It really does have one of the best views in San Diego. Thank you for your wonderful review!!

We try very hard to give our guests both great service and a wonderful place to stay and visit San Diego. We hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Stayed here on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The Friday and Saturday nights were very noisy due to people coming back to the hotel after being out partying. The Sunday night was fine with very little noise so plan your stay to be on a week night if possible.
There is only valet parking at $22 a day, and there is very little street parking so you are stuck with this options. The valets are very efficient though at bringing you car out for you though.
The lobby looks very posh, but the rooms are a little dated in comparison, but very clean and comfortable.
The lift can be slow, so use the stairs to come and go and save yourselves a few minutes.
The location of the hotel is fantastic, close to get down town and also onto/off the freeway.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the positive and constructive feedback. We are in the process of updating our rooms, amenities, and public spaces this year which is scheduled to be completed in December 2013. I do apologize for the noise, I will speak with Security about keeping the weekend nights a little quieter. I am pleased you enjoyed our beautiful location.

We try very hard to give our guests both great service and a wonderful place to stay and visit San Diego. We hope to see you again in the future.
Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We stayed here on 9/5/13. The outside of the hotel looks nice but once you go inside, brave yourself... it looks like you're in the projects!

This looks more like an old motel (very old). They advertised "free parking" but the only free parking you'll find is on the street and depends on the times. Otherwise you have to pay $20 for valet parking.

The rooms are extremely small. The prison is only a few blocks down. I did not feel comfortable walking around the area at night.

Check-out time is at 11:00am but housekeeping was knocking on our door at 9:00am.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the constructive feedback. I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. We have begun a major renovation on our rooms this year which is scheduled to be completed in December 2013. Our valet parking rate is the lowest in this area. We are nowhere near a prison and this area is in a very safe neighborhood.
I would love to change your opinion of our hotel. If you would like to stay again, please call and I will make sure your next stay is more enjoyable.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

Walking distance from Little Italy's restaurants and cafes!! Great staff and menu @ The Glass Door!! View from the restaurant balcony is fantastic!! Incredible valet staff too!!
Get out n about & enjoy the area!! Rooms are nice, great a/c and quiet. Value is amazing for this location.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the positive feedback. Thank you for the wonderful comments on our valet and restaurant staff, they try very hard to give our guests the very best service. I will definitely let the chef know your lovely comments on the restaurant and its food. I am glad you enjoyed the view from the restaurant as we have the best location and view in San Diego

We try very hard to give our guests both great service and a wonderful place to stay and visit San Diego. We hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I booked this hotel for my bf's birthday weekend. The location is great! Little Italy is right down the street! Very nice! Also the Gaslamp District is very close. (We took a cab there). Anyway, the King Size Deluxe room 4th floor was nice. Very clean the restroom was big and we were able to get ready at the same time. To be honest the only problem was that I felt I was at a cheap motel everytime I stepped out of the room. The inside of the actually building just looks like low income apartment homes. Not the best sight! The elevators take forever! By the time you're able to get into it, it's packed! Also the customer service isn't that great. The valet attendants were more courteous than the front desk staff! We travel a lot so we know what to look for, but for the price i guess you do get what you paid for.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the positive and constructive feedback. We have begun a major renovation on our hotel this year which is scheduled to be completed in December 2013. I do apologize for the lack of customer service you experienced. I am pleased that you enjoyed both our beautiful location in Little Italy and your room.
I would love to change your opinion of our hotel. If you would like to stay again, please call and I will make sure your next stay is more enjoyable.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We were looking for a boutique type hotel and AAA recommended this as someplace special. It was a little tough to find the entrance but thanks to Siri we found it. We checked in at 4 on a Sunday and the room wasn't ready. We were offered a complimentary glass of wine in the bar (fantastic view). We asked if we could have a bottled water instead of the wine and we were told that this wasn't part of the process and had to be approved by the manager. . When I became agitated the bartender said we could have the water. The room was not boutique but a motel. There was one waste basket for both the room and the bathroom. There was only enough towels for one person. The Bathroom was gigantic and had 4 handrails in the bathtub. The toilet was much lower than normal and did not have any grab-rails. The air conditioner uses a remote control which did not have any directions. Unfortunately the breakfast restaurant stopped serving so we had to go elsewhere. There was an additional charge of $30 over AAA rates. We got the car from the valet and when I got home, there was a ding on the front bumper. Even though the car had only been in the hands of the valet, I could not prove the damage. Also, it was disturbing to hear the screeching of tires.

Room Tip: Try someplace else for better value.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donna K, Manager at Porto Vista Hotel, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the constructive feedback. I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. I will speak with Housekeeping, Valet, and the restaurant about the issues you encountered.

I would love to change your opinion of our hotel. If you would like to stay again, please call and I will make sure your next stay is more enjoyable.

Sincerely,
Donna Kostenko
Director of Revenue
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Porto Vista Hotel

Address: 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Downtown , Little Italy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Porto Vista Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy an urban hotel experience in Little Italy with newly remodeled minimalistic Queen and Double Queen rooms. The Porto Vista Hotel calls to mind the casual elegance of Europe in the 60's, is famous for its friendly staff. The local-favorite GlassDoor restaurant features amazing views of Downtown and San Diego Bay. A great location, convenient amenities and shuttle service to San Diego International Airport, Cruise Ship Terminal, Convention Center, and MCRD make this a popular getaway for couples, business travelers, convention attendees, and families! Our European theme will be just what you need to get you out of the normal hotel experience, and our prices for a San Diego Downtown hotel are hard to beat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ascend Collection San Diego
San Diego Ascend Collection
San Diego Clarion

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