There are a lot of reasonably priced accommodation choices around the San Diego airport but after some research online, by email, and by phone the Holiday Inn Express San Diego stood out because they offered a free airport shuttle and complimentary breakfast. This is a great deal if you are traveling with constantly hungry kids and are on a budget. We had an overnight layover with an early departure so I had some questions about breakfast arrangements.
I was feeling pretty good after my email from Holiday Inn Express San Diego said in part "We can provide a breakfast bag to go around 5:00 a.m at your request as long as you make arrangements the day/nigt prior", and in another email, "there is absolutely no charge for the shuttle. It is a complimentary service that we provide to our guests. Breakfast bags are also complimentary. You can pick one up the evening before you depart, or the morning of. We do have someone at the desk 24 hours a day, so any time that works for you to pick one up, feel free to do so."
There was no shuttle and no breakfast.
July 2 -after the assurances of the earlier email I still called the front desk the day before we arrived and explained that we would be arriving at 8:35pm the following day and would like to use the complimentary shuttle for 4 people. The front desk said "no problem, just call us when you arrive".
July 3 8:30pm -called front desk when we landed. The front desk said there was no driver so they could not provide a shuttle. They said they were "authorized" to reimburse up to $15 for a cab ride. A short negotiation with the cab driver got us an $18.50 flat rate and I rounded it up to $20 for hitting every green light through downtown San Diego. Not a big expense but frustrating after the emails and phone calls to confirm that we would have a shuttle. If you are left stranded at the airport and get the taxi rebate offer remember to get a receipt from your cab driver.
July 3 9:30pm -there were no bag breakfasts available at that time but I was assured they did this all the time and there would be bag breakfasts available in the morning. I said that I would like to "make arrangements" per the email I had received but I was told it wasn't necessary.
July 4 5:00am -from the front desk worker -"Jeez guys, it's been one of those mornings. I'm all out of breakfasts. Let me see if I can get anyone in the breakfast room." After holding the phone for a couple minutes he disappeared into the back and we waited the 15 minutes until the shuttle took us to the airport. At the airport the comparable to a bag breakfast for 4 ran just under $30.
This property is OK and if they deliver on their promises it is an excellent value. In this situation there were other options that would have been a better value and nothing was worth the frustration of starting our vacation on this disappointing note. This hotel set the bar high and then walked right under it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is our pleasure to welcome you to the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express San Diego Downtown. This 100% non-smoking hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of America s finest city. San Diego s most popular attractions are within minutes. With our staff's dedication to customer service, the San Diego Holiday Inn Express is a popular choice amongst all visitors.The hotel is within walking distance to the Gaslamp Quarter. For your convenience, take our free shuttle to the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Cruise Ship Terminal, and the San Diego Airport. Enjoy our complimentary hot new breakfast bar featuring fluffy scrambled eggs or cheese omelets, bacon, sausage patties, flaky biscuits, and sausage gravy. The hotel offers free WiFi Internet access, refrigerators in all rooms, and a free business center with three dedicated computers. The hotel is two blocks from the San Diego Trolley which will take you to Qualcomm Stadium in less than 10 minutes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express San Diego Downtown Hotel San Diego
- Holiday Inn San Diego
- San Diego Holiday Inn