I almost canceled my stay here after reading so many negative reviews of this hotel. But it suited our need for two rooms and a reasonable price, so we kept the reservation and hoped for the best. I was impressed that management responds to TA reviews, so I decided that was a good sign that they care about what the guests think. We stayed for 5 nights in August 2012 in high tourist season. Overall, we were very pleased and we will stay here again.
The biggest take-away point from this hotel is that they try very hard, and in many ways succeed, to offer a clean, comfortable, reasonably-priced family hotel. My biggest observation is that they lack an attention to detail. When we arrived in our room, there were a few missed pieces of trash on the floor (a pretzel, a toothpick, a wrapper), toilet bowl cleanser on the outside side of the bowl, and a spider web in the door-frame. I cleaned it all up and that was that. Another day, they accidentally left behind a bag of trash that they had pulled out of the can. But, while they obviously don't clean with white gloves and a toothbrush, I also did not feel like the hotel was gross or filthy or run-down. It just struck me as people working hard but perhaps a bit too quickly to catch all the details. I did observe them cleaning other rooms and they do strip and change all the linens, vacuum the floor, clean the tub and toilet, etc. The rooms were clean and I felt safe, sanitary, and comfortable. Every person I encountered on the staff, including the housekeeping staff, was very pleasant.
Our toilet seat lid and bathtub stopper were both broken but maintenance came right away to fix them.
The rooms are small and have a bit too much furniture in them, but I think their size is reasonable for the price. I saw furniture out back near the dumpsters so it makes me wonder if they are refurnishing some rooms to remove the bulkier pieces. We stayed in the smallest suite. The bedroom had a bed, two bed tables, two wall lamps, a wardrobe, and a dresser with a TV. A pair of sliding french doors with sheer curtains separated the two rooms. The interior room had a pull out couch, an end table, a smaller table, a desk, a desk chair, an arm chair, two lamps, and an entertainment center with a TV.
The breakfast was good, though like all buffet breakfasts, was carb-heavy. Every day they offer yogurt, oranges, bananas, toast, bagels, dry cereal, waffles, muffins, cold hard-boiled eggs, milk, juice, and coffee, and one rotating hot-item, which was almost always a kind of egg dish. I think they underestimate the portions as they usually ran out of several things before breakfast was over. Go early for the largest selection.
This hotel is definitely oriented toward families. If you hate the sound of kids yelling and having fun, this really is not the place for you. All day long, kids romp and yell in the pool, run up and down the halls, lounge on the patio. It's very very welcoming to families and we really enjoyed it, but if you're annoyed by kids, this is not the place for you.
We found the bed to be very comfortable. The pillows are small and soft but they gave us plenty of them so we just piled them up. Our room was very quiet, which makes or breaks a stay for me because I'm such a light sleeper. The hotel worked hard to find a room in a quiet corner of the property for me because everything wakes me up.
One small minor annoyance-they have redone the bathrooms, but they hung the mirror over the outlet so that you can't get anything with a high profile cord in there. I had to run to Target to get a low profile extension cord so that I could plug in my fan and flat iron. Bring one if you have it.
The pool was clean and at a nice temperature. The jacuzzi was a nice temperature, but it was covered in dirt/sand on the bottom, but the next day it was closed. The following day, it was opened again, and clean. I don't know if the dirt was the reason for the closure, but they definitely took care of it.
They do charge you $8/day for parking which was annoying, but typical of all hotels in the area. From calling around, I do know that their parking fee was lower than most others in the area.
The location is awesome. We were right next to the I-8 freeway, and 10-15 minutes from Old Town, Balboa Park/Zoo, Sea World, Mission Bay, and the coastal beaches. This hotel was substantially less expensive than Hotel Circle Hotels, and only 3 miles farther away. A gas station, a local diner, a Denny's, a TGI Fridays, and a Wendy's are all on the same side of the freeway as the hotel. On the opposite side is a large outdoor mall with a Target, a Macy's, a Movie Theatre, several small mall retail shops, and lots of food options. The freeway bridge is too small for the traffic so allow an extra 5 minutes to any drive because it can get pretty congested .This will make sense when you get there: No, you can't go left out of the parking lot and go anywhere. It dead ends at TGI Fridays.
I think there are a few things the hotel could do at low cost to them that would enhance the guest experience. The pool is open 9:00am-10:00pm. It is almost always full of children. I would have appreciated an adults-only hour before or after the regular hours so that I could actually swim, as the high number of kids in the pool make it pretty impossible. There were several mornings I was up at 7:00 and would have loved to go down and swim while the morning was quiet. I would like it if they would put outlet covers in the outlets in the rooms, or offer them at the front desk. Since their target-market is families with young children, I don't think this is unreasonable, nor is it expensive. Secure the bottom edges of the wall mirrors hanging in the rooms--my son kept tugging at it and pulling it away from the wall. I also think they could benefit from another Waffle Iron or two, as the line to use one each morning was very long.
I think the hotel can definitely use some fine-tuning, but at $50 less per night than comparable two-room options, I think what we received was very reasonable. I was highly satisfied with our stay and our room. We hope to be back next summer.
Some rooms have the bathroom attached to the bedroom, and some have them attached to the kids' r...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.