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“Seriously quirky” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Horton Grand Hotel

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The Horton Grand Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   311 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101   |  
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Ranked #76 of 269 hotels in San Diego
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Seriously quirky”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012 via mobile

I wanted to love this hotel, but it's not easy. Certainly the location is fabulous for conventioneers, a couple of blocks from the convention center and right on the edge of the Gaslamp District for easy access to restaurants. And despite numerous complaints from other visitors about the uncaring staff, I thought they were just fine, friendly, chatty and helpful, just not particularly 'corporate'. They didnt seem like career hoteliers, just nice folks. The lobby was a study in floral upholstered wicker and freezing cold during my visit. The in- house restaurant was fine for breakfast, although we found the Cafe 222 down the street to be much better. It was the rooms that made it so difficult, as they weren't just old fashioned, they were run down and positively reeked of mold. It's the first time I have ever felt that I had to go out and buy a scented candle, which didn't help all that much. When I asked the maintenance guy who came to show me how to adjust the temperamental room thermostat if all the rooms were so stinky, he told me that it was from new carpeting and curtains. But we all know what new smells like, and this wasn't it. The oddly shaped bathrooms had pedestal sinks without adequate room for toiletries, and the shower head was installed at such a low height it was barely manageable even for me, 5 foot 0 inches. The much touted in-room fireplaces have a single candlesized gas flame burning in a corner without even the benefit of some fake logs. The bed was comfortable. Had the owners tossed the synthetic gold colored 1960s Howard Johnson's looking bedspreads and gone with patchwork quilts or Victorian lace, the whole atmosphere would have been upgraded while staying in theme. And felt a great deal cleaner. For a hotel that caters so frequently to conventioneers, greater effort should be put into providing free or affordable wifi and adequate smartphone charging stations. Still, the atmosphere was so homey, so much like staying in an old house, that I adjusted quickly and focused on the coziness rather than the annoyances. I don't think it would necessarily be my first choice for a return visit, but at the $130 convention rate, neither would I object.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

If you are used to the amenities and styles of the larger franchise hotels then I'd not recomment this for you. If you are not into the chain hotels then definitely worth a stay.

Pros:
Right in the heart of the Gaslamp District; easy walk to more food and entertainment than can be described in a book! If you can't find it, it doesn't exist!
Friendly staff and good restaurant
Fireplaces in rooms a nice touch

Cons:
No coffee maker
Tiny (versus full size) ironing board
Nightclub across the street will definitely be heard if a band is playing late hence my "poor" rating for sleep quality

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Toronto,Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

The Hotel itself is lovely with a beautiful lobby. The rooms have some antique features and are very comfortable. On each landing is a piano that you will wish was not there when guests start playing it at 1:30 in the morning.If you want to get some sleep on Fridays and Saturdays ask for a room away from the street facing the Flex nightclub. We did not but they moved us(smaller room than we paid for ) when we asked.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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victorville
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

We had stayed in a large chain hotel for two days and decided to switch to the Grand Horton for our last night. We wish we had known earlier how nice this hotel was we certainly would have preferred the Grand Horton. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 309 and had an extra surprise.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Bethesda, MD
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

Lovely boutique hotel within 5 minutes walking distance of San Diego Convention Ctr, lots of restaurants and stadium. Hotel has great wood, fireplace in room and ambience.

Room Tip: internet charges but starbucks in a block away!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bellevue, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

Great location...very interesting history and lovely period decor...however, with one exception service was very poor and staff appeared unfriendly and apathetic to needs of customers. Disappointing, compared with responsive staff at The Westgate and Hosteling International in the Gaslamp area!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundalk, Ireland
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

The hotel has an excellent location just off 4th avenue. Its a minutes stroll to some excellent bars and restaurants. I would highly recommend a wine bar - Bon Vin on 5th between market and island. The atmosphere is excellent and they do a very good wine tasting. You can follow that by heading across the street to the Marble Room for some good food while listening to some live music. Just one of the excellent options in the Gaslamp.
The Horton Grand is full of charm and certainly not a sterile business hotel. Each of the rooms has its own fireplace and many are themed.
A couple of things to watch for when you are comparing rates - Wifi is charged separately and there is no breakfast included. The Cheese Shop has located to the same premises where you can get breakfast. We tried it once but found the service very slow.
I've stayed here twice and got a good rate on line. It is a good option for good value in an excellent location.

Room Tip: Get a room on the top floor - the gaslamp area can be noisy and because its an old hotel there can b...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Horton Grand Hotel

Address: 311 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#66 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Horton Grand Hotel 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Horton Grand Hotel is in the heart of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego, CA, with over 100 restaurants, bars, and night clubs located within four blocks. Four Blocks to Convention Center, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza Shopping Mall. Old Town trolley stop in front of hotel. Every Guest and Grand rooms have gas-burning fireplace, complimentary WiFi, coffee/tea maker with signature selections, and HD TV. Valet parking available for charge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Horton Grand Hotel San Diego

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