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“Friendly Staff, Decent Room but EXTREMELY LOUD FREEWAY NOISE” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town

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Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1955 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110 (Formerly Comfort Inn)   |  
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Ranked #61 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
Santa Paula, California, United States
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Friendly Staff, Decent Room but EXTREMELY LOUD FREEWAY NOISE”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

I booked a suite a suite at this hotel sort of last minute as we decided to go to SeaWorld. I read through the reviews of the hotel before booking and found that everyone seemed to be happy with the hotel for the most part and we had just recently stayed at the HIE in Salinas, which was a good experience as well.

As previous reviewers have indicated, the staff is excellent at this hotel. I think every single staff member I walked by during our limited stay said hello and asked how we were doing. That really is a nice touch and appreciated. We were checked in quickly by Jose at the front desk and he let us know the best place to park in the underground area. We stayed in the second building, not the building where the registration desk is.

We had Suite 326 on the 3rd floor, so I was happy we wouldn't have people above us, as a previous reviewer had complained of the noise coming from above, however, I'm not sure what would be worse, the noise from the people above you or the horrendous noise from the freeway. Granted, I realize that HIE can't regulate nor control the traffic on the I-5 freeway and I knew it was close, but our room literally faced the I-5 freeway and the sound of the cars and semi-trucks using their JAKE brakes as well as what seemed like racing street bikes ALL NIGHT LONG was almost unbearable. Once I finally did get to sleep, it was fine and I only woke up a few times during the night, but I literally didn't fall asleep until after 1am because of the noise from the I-5. If possible, when booking a room, ask for a room that is not on the freeway side. Loud is an understatement, and it didn't matter that we had the windows closed and the black out curtains drawn. It was just plain loud.

Room was...okay. I am trying to not be too picky because I'm not reviewing a 5-star hotel, I'm reviewing a Holiday Inn Express and so some things that bothered me aren't real deal breakers when it comes to what I consider a budget-ish hotel. But I did take a couple pictures of things that I think did change the way I felt about an otherwise decent and clean room.

The room was quite large, with a huge living room area with a flat-screen TV, microwave and fridge. There's also a little mini-bar area with a small sink. There is bathroom with door access from the living room and a door off to the bedroom where there was a comfortable King Size bed. Another small closet with an iron and ironing board in there. This room is pretty small with the King size bed and literally the older lower wall unit air-conditioner almost touches the bed on the far side near the window. This was another issue, because I felt that it was either too cold or then too hot if you turned it off because the air conditioner pretty much blows right onto the bed..strange, but nothing they can really do about that given the size of the room and the bed.

There was a jacuzzi tub that looked as if it would fit 2 people easily, although we didn't use the tub during our overnight stay. It was just me and 3 children. There is a separate shower with a glass enclosed shower that sort of reminded me of an RV shower, with it's odd black metal and glass, but it was clean. The tile around the tub needed a little attention and that is one of the "little things" I mentioned above that when my eyes caught it, made me sort of not like the bathroom. It looked as if the tile was damaged and then somehow sloppily regretted, or something to that effect. Again, just cosmetic, but if they would fix a few of these "aesthetic" issues, people would overlook a lot more. It almost made it look "dirty" even though it was clean. They've gone to the effort of updating the rooms in this hotel but some little things like trim, chipped tiles and odd "painted on" grout in some areas take away from that fact.

One other thing to note, at least in this suite in room 326 is that there is a large skylight in the living room area. We did not notice this at night, as we got to the room late and when it was already dark. This is almost directly located over/next to the sofa bed. I had made sure to close all the black out shades in the living room and the bedroom so we could sleep in a bit, and with 2 of my kids on the couch in the living room and my youngest in bed with me in the bedroom, I had left the door open so I could hear them, etc. Well this morning, around 6am, I woke up to a bright light in the living room area and yelled for the kids to turn off the light so we could all continue to sleep. I got no answer so I got up and that is when I realized that it was NOT a light on in the room, the room was literally being flooded with light from that skylight. It was bright as day in there and the fact that we had closed the black out shades made no difference whatsoever. I had to laugh at myself for even closing them, not realizing we had a huge "window" to the sky with no covering. Oh well, we probably needed to get up early anyway to start our day, however, if you have people using the queen sofa bed in the living room, be aware that you will be woken bright an dearly by the sun whenever it decides to come up. (see picture I am including that I took from the bed of the bedroom, just because I thought it was so funny that I had thought the kids were up early and playing with the lights.)

Breakfast was typical HEI fare and the coffee was hot and good. As I said, aside from a few minor cosmetic details in the room that just struck me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the actual accommodations but the noise alone from the I-5 freeway is enough to keep me away. Sad really, because the staff is top notch. I used frequent flyer miles to take care of the room, but I would have been very disappointed had I paid $200+ for a suite and got the room we had.

TIP: Choose and/or BEG for a room NOT near the I-5 freeway side. I don't see how in the world some of the people who left the rave reviews about always staying here got any sleep while they were here.

Room Tip: Specifically request a room AWAY from the I-5 Freeway side. It is VERY loud.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you so much for your extensive review. We work very hard to ensure our facilities and service are superior and we strive to be the best Holiday Inn around. It sounds like we fell below your expectations regarding the noise at our hotel. Unfortunately we are very sorry that you did not have the best nights sleep due to the freeway noise. We take all reviews positive and negative very seriously, and your feedback will help us improve for our next guest or your next visit. Thank you for the pictures in the bathroom, we are taking action and making improvements. Your in depth description helps us be responsive by making our site a better hotel.

We are glad that our staff was friendly and able to assist you and your party. We are glad to hear that you had a great time at SeaWorld. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. Again, thank you for staying with us and taking the time to give feedback.
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (150)
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English first
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

This was the perfect place to stay on our first trip to San Diego, and, yes, you CAN do San Diego without a car. When we arrived, (picked up at the airport),we booked the shuttle ( what attracted us to this hotel, along with included breakfast) for the next two days to the zoo and Seaworld. Ryan was helpful in telling us how to get around once dropped at the transit station. We took the trolley to Petco Field for a game one night and down to Seaport Village, and, best of all, Coronado Beach by ferry. Walk into Old Town and get a taste of Mexico and culture. A lovely place to stay, and thank you to Fernando and Alex, the shuttle drivers. If we'd had one more day, we would have gone on the Midway and back to Coronado.

Room Tip: We were on the third floor overlooking the pool, but only came back to the room to sleep.
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 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.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are very pleased that our shuttle was able to accommodate you and your party during your stay! Here at the Holiday Inn Express we work hard to ensure that all our guests have the best experience and we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us! We are pleased that our staff was able to assist you.
We want to thank you again for your business and hope to welcome you back in the near future!
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Norfolk, Virginia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

I've been staying at this Holiday Inn Express Old Town off-and-on for 8 months. The location is outstanding--very close to Old Town San Diego, USS MIDWAY, San Diego Airport and Commuter Terminal, SeaWorld, and (for salvage enthusiasts) Maidoff Brother's Nautical Antiques. Their breakfast is terrific, rooms always spotless, but what keeps me coming back is the staff!

Kylene, Vangie, and Brian (Roarke) man the front desk and are quick to help out with anything from extra room amenities, to restaurant recommendations, to tips on how to get the best deals on tickets for SeaWorld and Legoland. They've even gone so far as to print out directions for non-local destinations--better service than even the priciest of luxury hotels. They're also terrific for groups, letting some of mine use their lobby, breakfast room, and patio spaces with ZERO hassle (and more impressively zero notice). Fernando, their shuttle driver, is similarly helpful with directions and off-route stops.

Yasmine Zaya is the most engaged manager I've ever seen--I regularly see her checking up on guests and their experiences. I frequently book large groups at her hotel, and she's been able to make and change reservations without any hassle. It's the attitudes of her and her staff that keep me coming back to this HIX.

I spend about 120 nights/year in hotels, and this is by far my favorite! Vacations, business, families, students, fraternities, you name it--all will do well to stay at this Holiday Inn Express.

Room Tip: The hot-tub suite is worth the extra money. The hotel is extremely well insulated, so any room is p...
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  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review. First, we would like to thank you for your return business with us over the last 8 months. We are very thankful to have returning guests like you. We are very pleased that our staff and amenities were able to accommodate you and your guests during your stay. Here at the Holiday Inn Express, we work hard to ensure that all our guests have the ultimate hotel experience and we want to thank you for your feedback.
We train our staff to work directly with our guests, we are happy to hear that they were very helpful. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful experience and we are looking forward to welcoming you again.
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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

I have stayed at this hotel numerous times and I can not adequately express how impressed I am with this hotel and its staff. What makes it great is that its conveniently located in Old Town San Diego with a free shuttle to the airport, and to local main attractions (i.e. Seaworld, Old Town, MSS Midway, etc), they provide breakfast and have great rooms. All of this is to be expected of a great hotel, what takes the Holiday Inn Express at Old Town to another level is their dedicated staff including Yasmine, Kylene, Vangie and the entire staff go above and beyond for whatever is needed. We needed last minute changes to our reservation, they made it happen. We needed access to one of their spaces in the late evening hours, they made it available. I am just so impressed with the entire staff at Holiday Inn Express at Old Town and would recommend it to anyone!

Room Tip: Get one of the corner suites...they are incredible!
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  • Stayed July 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
First of all we want to thank you so much for your return to our hotel! We are so pleased that your stay was great in every way. Here at the Holiday Inn Express we appreciate your comments as this helps us be responsive and make sure we are delivering the best experience possible for our guests. We are so glad that our staff was friendly and able to help in any way possible. We thank you again for a great review and hope to welcome you back again.
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Asuncion, Paraguay
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We stayed for one night and it was great because our primary need was to be next to the airport, and our goal was just to rest for one night and not to do sightseeing. The hotel is neat and comfortable, but if you want to do sightseeing you should better get another hotel. As we had the afternoon free, we took a taxi to the San Diego Zoo (highly recommended) and the hotel had a free shuttle back. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the zoo, but only once at about 9am. Free shuttle also to the airport, you should just arrange with reception.

Room Tip: I read some travellers complained about the highway noise, but I really did not hear a thing. Maybe...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Thank you again for choosing the Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport Old Town. We appreciate your review and we are glad our location was able to accommodate your stay. We are glad to hear that our shuttle service was able to accommodate you. Thank you for your business and we hope to welcome you back again!
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La Crosse, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We had the best service that I've ever had in all my travels. The staff was the most accomodating and helpful group that we have ever had the pleasure of being around. They not only gave us the best tips on dining and travel but their shuttle service was also better than I've ever had. We were there for our son's Marine Corp graduation and time was very short on getting to our plane to leave the last day. They had everything all set up for us and were there and waiting. They picked us up and got us to every point we needed to be at in good time. They were all so very friendly and I have never felt so comfortable that I did there. They were a great group of people and I would stay there again JUST for that reason. Thank you to all of them. Josh, Alex, Kylene, Vangie, Dolores, Ferando, Roark, and a few others that I cannot remember their names. They made our stay there just so much less stressful that it would have been otherwise.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Thank you very much for staying with us, and sharing your feedback! We are so pleased to hear that you and your guests enjoyed your stay with us! We are happy to hear that our staff provided great service and that our location was convenient for your say. Thank you so much for your kind words about our staff - they love what they do, and they had a great time taking care of you. We really appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you again next time you visit beautiful South Beach!
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I had a great time during my stay this weekend. The staff was awesome from top to bottom. I was in town for Comic Con and the staff treated me like a guest in their home. Sounds corny but wholely accurate.

Room Tip: My room was facing the interstate and I couldn't hear a thing.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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.
Lauren S, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Thank you again for choosing the Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport Old Town. We appreciate your review and we are glad our location was able to accommodate your stay during comic con weekend. We are glad to hear that our staff was friendly. Thank you again for your stay and we hope to welcome you back in the future!
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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 Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town

Address: 1955 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110 (Formerly Comfort Inn)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#75 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#96 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town 2*
Number of rooms: 123
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express San Diego Airport - Old Town Hotel San Diego
Comfort Inn San Diego
San Diego Comfort Inn
Comfort Inn Old Town

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