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“Great little retro modern hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Pearl Hotel

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The Pearl Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1410 Rosecrans St (at Fenelon), San Diego, CA 92106   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2014
San Francisco, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great little retro modern hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

Our trip to San Diego was brief, just two days. We booked it sight unseen and at the very last min. (We got the last room) Our objective was to book something cheap and comfortable.

At first glance, the Pearl felt like a forgotten mid-century hotel that had been recently renovated. It struck a perfect balance between maintaining the original charm and injecting just enough modern style. The attention to detail didn't go unnoticed, from the iconic Pearl logo, to the stylized postcards and t-shirts the staff were wearing. A great blend of the old and new.

We stayed in one of the standard rooms for two nights. While the room was on the small side, it was perfectly adequate. It had been mostly updated with new furniture, carpet, and tv. The bathroom renovation seemed to stop at the tub, which was original and run down. It also lacked a full sized mirror and had a loud AC. However, the room was equipped with a fighting fish named Felix!

In the daytime, the Hotel was relatively quiet. It is located on a busy street, but the noise wasn't really a factor. Come evening, it turns into a totally happening bar/ restaurant, which was completely packed. We had a couple of drinks and a dessert, both were excellent. When we went back to our room, the noise went away as soon as we shut the door.

To summarize, we found The Pearl to be ideal for our needs. The awesome Shelter Island location, proximity to the beach/downtown, the cool retro modern style, warm pool, free Wifi and use of bikes made this a memorable stay.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2011
Thanks for the detailed review. glad you had a great stay at the Pearl. we strive to create great and memorable guest experiences. While i agree our property is awesome, it's guest like you that truly make it special and unique. so thank you. will pass on the good word to Pearl crew on the details and vibe they create. come stay with us again soon. we appreciate the support.
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610 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (133)
Date | Rating
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English first
Glasgow
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

The pearl hotel is a trendy hotel. It has a trendy bar and restaurant which is frequented by the locals (except when it's closed on a Sunday) and the look and feel of the place is very modern with tasteful decor and funky furniture.

There was a little hic-up at the beginning of our stay when we were given the wrong room. However the hotel made up for this by giving us vouchers for the restaurant and some free drinks and got us in the right room for the rest of our stay. I have to say though, the staff did seem a little confused and overwhelmed at times and organization was not the best.

The rooms themselves were nice. We had a pet fish which was a nice touch. We missed having a fridge though, and there wasn't much storage space for clothes etc. I can't help but get the feeling that they decided to spent the money on the look of the place rather than on the extra room provisions that would have made our stay a little more comfortable.

They run a film night by the pool/bar which was a neat idea, except that we couldn't hear the film, so that kind of ruined that. Shame. You'd be better off going out for a nice meal/drink and going to the cinema afterwards!

Overall though, our stay was pleasant enough, location was good, although you need a car (free parking available!) as a taxi to the gas-lamp quarter will set you back $25 each way. The gas-lamp quarter is the place to go for food/drinks. Good atmosphere and plenty to choose from.

If you can fly to/from San Diego rather than LA then do it as the airport if literally 5 minutes from this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2011
Appreciate you taking time to write a review about the Pearl. you note about being unorganized at times had a bit of truth to it. we were in the process of hotel manager changes and that created a week of challenges, etc. very sorry. Thank you for your kind words about how cool and unique the Pearl truly is. we appreciate it. hope you will come stay with us again soon.
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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

When visiting scenic San Diego, travelers can do themselves a favor and stay at one of the more unique and charismatic hotels in the area. The Pearl is truly a textbook example of not judging a book by its cover. The unassuming exterior of the hotel conveys that the building was once an apartment complex as it sits quietly on the corner of a residential neighborhood.

Upon walking a path from the parking lot to the lobby, I noted that the courtyard of the hotel is taken up by pool and patio and had a very lively party underway in the middle of the afternoon. The lobby is essentially a small check in station to make more room for a cozy lounge opposite the bar and restaurant on the other end of the room. The lobby lounge area is essentially a collection of carpeted nooks with pillows and all manner of classic games such as Rock-em Sock-em Robot where guests could entertain themselves while they enjoyed a drink.

Upon checking into our room we were delighted to find a very comfortable room decorated in an artfully retro and unique style. The vintage Art Deco theme works very well and I found the inclusion of our own beta fish to be a nice touch. I learned that each of The Pearl rooms come equipped with its own beta, each with their own introductary name plate. For our stay, Willie contently swam in his bowl offering a homey charm. The bed was extremely comfortable and the high-def flatscreen television offered several channels for viewing enjoyment.

The room made great use of space and offered plenty of storage for extended stays, as well as a couch and table and all the usual amenities. The bathroom was full-size which gave me the understanding that at some point in its past our room had been a studio apartment. The platform bed was extremely comfortable and with a strong AC system, my wife and I slept very soundly during our stay.

As active as the social scene was at the pool it was amazingly quiet in the room even with parties going on. I learned that The Pearl prides itself on being a very active hotel that appeals to energetic adults. This became very clear later in the evening when the hotel started showing its poolside movie. In keeping with the cool Rat Pack-era vibe and motif of the hotel, we watched classic episodes of Get Smart from the bar. While more modern films are shown it is nice to see that the hotel isn’t afraid to mix things up now and then and having the option to either watch a movie from the poolside or from the bar overlooking the pool just emphasized the laidback and relaxed ambience.

The cocktails offered by the bar were highly enjoyable and while we did not get a chance to enjoy the restaurant during our visit I noticed the extremely impressive menu and that the dining options has been cited for excellence in several publications.

The hotel is located near Shelter Island in downtown San Diego and offers unique and value accommodations for travelers. There are several restaurants and convenience stores all within walking distance of the hotel should you choose not to dine on-site. This is good as parking is a bit limited at the hotel but the very friendly and helpful staff does have spots marked off by cones which can be accessed upon check-in.

One does not normally find as comfortable a room in a friendly and energetic place when traveling, especially amongst the higher priced, more sedate hotels. It was refreshing to find such a unique place and friendly staff doing things their way instead of being a cookie-cutter of the larger chain hotels which often dominate the travelers options.

The Pearl was a very unique and enjoyable experience punctuated by a friendly staff that went out of their way to ensure that the guests have a good time. Larger hotels can definitely take a lesson from these folks as they are clearly doing something right and I encourage you to check out The Pearl during your next visit to San Diego.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2011
Thank you very much for writing a very detailed review of the Pearl Hotel. we greatly appreciate it. Hope you will come visit us again soon. will pass on the kind words to the staff.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

Well we booked a room here since my gf likes boutique hotels and laid back atmosphere they usually provide. This hotel was not in the area we thought it was in, actually it was pretty far from what we expected. As it turns out that was a good thing. We weren't to far from Ocean Beach which is a fun experience in itself, and not to far from Pacific beach as well. They provide free beach crusier rentals and we had fun taking those out to get around quicker. Now the Hotel itself is in a somewhat run down area, and there isn't anything to see unless you bike for 30 minutes but we had an adventure because of it. Downstairs as all the other review say is fun. You can play board games get a drink and hang with a mixed crowd of people while enjoying a seat by the pool. The room is average, maybe a little below. It was clean (other than stain on sheet) and for the age it was descent. But we need to point out that the age does make a difference. The bathroom is dated, and the basic feel is a converted Motel 6 into a retro style hotel. But then again we didn't stay in the room long so those facts didn't bother me. The staff was friendly and very personable which makes up for the hotels state of disaray. I would recommend this hotel if you are open minded, enjoy people and music, and like the out of the box experience that you can't have at a huge hotel. Go have an adventure, get a bike and cruise to Ocean Beach.. just doing that makes the day rememberable.. LOL

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2011
Thanks for the review. very good suggestion on borrowing the bikes and going for a ride. it's a great way for guest to see Pt. Loma, Downtown or Ocean Beach. we appreciate your support and hope you will come visit us again soon.
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Las Vegas, Nevada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

I can't say enough good things about our stay at The Pearl. My husband and I traveled to San Diego from Las Vegas for a quick anniversary get away. I've had a number of bad hotels. This was a huge leap of faith for me and I couldn't be happier with the decision to stay at The Pearl. From the moment we arrived, the service was top notch. The front desk was very helpful in working through some credit card issues, let us check in over 2 hours early and were just as friendly as could be. There was Sunday brunch going on and I wished we hadn't eaten breakfast. Everyone out in the pool/bar area looked like they were having so much fun! I was so pleased with the room. It was so, so cute. We had a great night sleep on the comfy bed as well. We really enjoyed having after dinner drinks back at the hotel. Johnathan (the bar manager, I think) was so nice to sit down and talk to us about the history of The Pearl. He also was helpful with information on things to do in the area and great surfing spots. We also found Megan, Christina and Erica to be helpful and just really "cool." Though it is obvious the hotel is aged and doesn't offer all the amenities other larger hotels do, it wasn't even an issue to us. For the price, location, and ambiance, I don't think anything else would compare.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2011
On behalf of the entire Pearl Hotel crew we appreciate your business and support. it's guest like you that make it all worth while. hope you come visit us again soon. thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

Treated us well and took great careof all our requests.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, July 13, 2011
To our valued Pearl guests: thank you very much for taking time to write a review about the Pearl Hotel. we appreciate your support. come visit us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

Staff was very friendly, courteous, and helpful. Got to the pool before the bar/lounge opened, but they told me a liquor store nearby where we could grab some supplies and bring to the pool. The rooms are very stylish and techy, beds are super comfortable too. They screen movies on Wednesdays at the pool too! We are already booking our next stay!

Room Tip: Rooms are various sizes, so inquire when booking.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
ModernTraveler10, Owner at The Pearl Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2011
On behalf of the entire Pearl Hotel Crew, thank you very much for your kind words and review. we greatly appreciate it. see you soon.
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 The Pearl Hotel

Address: 1410 Rosecrans St (at Fenelon), San Diego, CA 92106
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#22 Family Hotel in San Diego
#35 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#37 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Pearl Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pearl Hotel San Diego
Pearl San Diego

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