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“Beautiful Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104   |  
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Ranked #37 of 273 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights and got to try 2 different rooms, we booked an additional room later and the suite we had the first night was sold out for the second night. We loved the suze suite. as a family of four it was nice to have two bedrooms and bathrooms. The kids enjoyed their own space. The room was clean and well decorated. The second night we had a pool side room, it was also nice though not quite as clean as the suite. The pool was beautiful, the first day there was a large group of people drinking and playing loud music, it took the edge of the place a little. Overall we did enjoy the hotel, we loved the decor and feel to the place. Meme at the front desk was very friendly and helpful. We would come back here.

Room Tip: suze suites are great if you are sating with family, not far from the pool but a little quieter if y...
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Green Features: we liked the light sensors and recyling bins in the room. The body care products were lovely and free of junky ingredients.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 14, 2014
We're all very happy that you enjoyed the Suze Suite with your family, they are indeed a perfect fit for those traveling with children (ask us for chalk for the chalkboard!). We do apologize for any inconvenience with our pool parties, which we have on Saturdays and Sundays, as we are open to the public for a small fee and sometimes there are quite a lot of people who show up. I will pass along your generous comment to Meme, I'm sure she will be thrilled that you mentioned her! Also, all of our bath products are organic and we do our best to stay as green as possible. Thank you for choosing the Lafayette, we do hope that you return soon.
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601 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 (216)
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Murrieta, California
Level Contributor
118 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

What a sweet little place the Lafayette Hotel is. Located in the intercity of San Diego, it's a mere 10 to 15 minute ride to the zoo, Petco Park, downtown, Qualcomm Park or the beach. Once in the hotel you'll escape to the large pool and party atmosphere around the big splash. There are oversized checker and chess games for the kids and kids at heart to play. The underground, gated parking and clothes wash facilities were most welcomed as was the charming lobby with Baby Grand piano. For an Indy, this group pulls out all the punches to be competitive with the chain hotels. Our king room was spacious with plenty of room for 2 adults and one 11 year old child. The on site restaurant served a nice breakfast and the San Diego Chicken Pot Pie shop is just 4 blocks away to the right as you exit the hotel. To quantify my 4 rating, this place really isn't a 4, it's more like a 3.75. With only a 3 or 4 to choose from, it would be a travesty to rate this fine property a 3. Stay here and be surprised and save a little money while your at it. Several restaurants and bars in the immediate area with additional higher end restaurants available in Mission Valley just a 5 minute drive down Texas Street.
My only recommendation would be to change out the mattresses that are hard as a rock (room 103).

Green Features: blue recycle cans out and about, there is an eco friendly towel wash program in place as well with fresh towels optional.
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Thank you for your candid feedback, we appreciate you taking the time to provide it for us. Almost all of the local attractions you mentioned are what makes us perfectly situated for travelers to experience everything that San Diego has to offer. Also, we're all happy that you were able to enjoy the hotel's numerous amenities (it seems like you got through pretty much all of them!) as well as the local restaurants. Since you mentioned the Baby Grand I would have to mention that on Wednesday's and Thursday's from 4-6pm there is a live performer named Normandie Wilson that comes and entertains for our guests. I have shared your comment about the mattresses with our Executive Housekeeper, thank you for providing the room number you stayed in so that he may address it for future guests. Hopefully you'll be able to visit San Diego again soon, but it does seem like you're a globetrotter so if not - enjoy and take care!
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

The hotel itself is wonderful. Great decor. Loved that there was an improv club attached. Was so excited at check-in as it's such a cool set up with amazing history and clearly a lot of thought into how to make it a unique hotel. Staff is super nice and helpful. But based on this we really expected a different experience.
Upon check in you sign a form signing off on multiple things: limit to alcohol in rooms, room capacity, noise levels etc… When we got to the pool it was clear that form was in play for a reason. It was a total nightmare of really drunk, obnoxious, people with rooms right off the pool. At 2pm. There were about ten to a room, blasting music, getting wasted and throwing each other in the pool.
Security had to come multiple times but nothing was ever done. We were there on a vacation to have drinks poolside and party. But this was on a whole other level. It was like a bad Vegas pool experience trapped in a beautiful, SMALL colonial hotel.
We paid $300 for the night, and ended up booking a dinner and going out just so we could escape the hotel. Happy to pay that but for the cheesy Vegas scene that happens there, would expect to pay $100/night - if that. They have it all set up for wanting to really be there. Unfortunately the scene is really off and you just want to escape immediately. Definitely not for couples. Definitely not for any relaxation. Even with friends you'd probably want to run elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
We sincerely apologize that you did not find your stay enjoyable due to others on property, we do our absolute best to limit these types of inconveniences which is why we have certain policies in place that everyone agrees to upon check-in. When we host our pool parties on Saturday's and Sunday's we do see a larger volume of people as non-hotel guests can purchase a day pass to spend time at the pool. Given this fact we generally advise those who want to avoid this scene to schedule time to swim earlier in the day or later at night, although we recognize the issues in timing this presents. Thank you for staying with us, and again we apologize for all the negative occurrences, please take care.
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Beverly Hills, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Nightmare on el cajon ... I stayed at this hotel for the first time during Gay Pride Weekend because i was told gay hotel and gay pool party ..I paid 700 for 3 nights and got to room bone dry decor bed nightstand and lil plasma . I was just hoping air condition worked but nope runs loud but no payoff . I fig well lets try to make the best of it so endured the hott room sleeping with all windows open and just tried to stay gone as much as i could to sea world or zoo or festival . Nightmare came to the end and went to checkout and was told i had 100 extra in liquor charges to my room. I advised that i hadn't been around to bar and i never ever charge stuff to my room. I was told ok give us 24 hrs to investigate ..was chged the full amount that night called and was told we need to reinvestigate ..ummm ok wasn't that what happen first time.. I told the lady look i stayed there at that crappy hotel paying 700 for weekend u think i would dispute 100 if it was me ..ok this was tuesday ...left 6 messages and not until my lawyer called and threaten to report them and court will make them post a sign out front of overcharging did i get a call back 7 days after original dispute was i advised i will get my 100 credited back ...avoid this place (i wish i did !!!!!!!!!!

Stayed August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 2, 2014
We do apologize for any inconvenience you had regarding your dispute, generally reversal of charges are dealt with through your bank/credit card representative. We did our due diligence before we responded back to your concerns, and we did refund your card the amount in question the day you spoke with our Manager on Duty. Unfortunately the refund is dependent on your bank. A number of our guests provided amazing reviews from the weekend you stayed with us, so again we apologize for your difficulties and we do hope we can make it up to you in the future. Take care.
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Johannesburg, Sudáfrica
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Arrived on Sunday in time for the pool party, lovely way to spend the day by the pool listening to music! Loved the quotes outside each room. Also the big fluffy white towels and the recycling bin in each room. Reception could assist with queries re surrounding area, how to catch the bus to town etc. Overall great stay.

Room Tip: Would recommend that if you don't want the noise of the pool area - book a room that doesn't...
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Green Features: Had recycling dustbin in the room and option for towels to not be washed during stay.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Awesome timing! Our pool parties on Sunday's are from 1-5pm and our live band Rip Carson plays rockabilly music to everyone's enjoyment. Every room inside the Manor has a designated celebrity attributed to it with a quote from one of their starring roles, it's quite interesting to walk around the hallways searching for your favorite (personally my favorite quote is the Duke's). The front desk is always happy to assist in recommendations for dining and entertainment as well as the public transportation system for San Diego. There are a lot of options for transportation around the hotel, we can certainly arrange a taxi for anyone in need. Thank you for choosing the Lafayette, enjoy the rest of your vacation!
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Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

We decided on this hotel since it was close to University avenue and the gay pride festivities during the gay pride week. Loved the colonial decorations. The rooms are fine and up to standard. The pool beautiful and there were some great parties there over the weekend during the daytime so the nights were quiet and restful. But what made this hotel great was very extremely nice staff. I will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Thank you for choosing the Lafayette for your visit during Pride weekend. We are located only 3 blocks from University Ave (it runs parallel to El Cajon Blvd) and also to Hillcrest where a lot of the festivities took place. Hopefully you'll be able to make it back for next years parade and celebrations. Our pool parties are generally on Saturday's and Sunday's although we had a special event on that Friday that was sponsored by a local publication as the kick-off for the entire weekend. I'm glad our staff was able to take great care of you - I will pass on your comments to all the departments here. Thanks again and we do hope to see you return next year!
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Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

First, let me say we had a fun stay at the hotel.

However, we had a poolside room (ground floor) and it smelled awful. We had a large group at the hotel and confirmed other rooms smelled as well. The rooms are carpeted and just next to the pool, so our room smelled like wet carpet, mold, and mildew. When we asked the cleaners they told us that is how the rooms always smell. It was really pretty terrible, so we stayed outside as much as possible.

Our room also didn't have a fridge, so keep that in mind.

The pool was a great spot to hang out. The food/drink service was awesome, the porches outside the rooms were great, and there's a lounge area with couches just off the pool as well.

I had breakfast at the hotel all 3 days, and while the menu makes everything sound great, each meal was just so-so. It was fine, but nothing special.

There also isn't a ton to do within walking distance - the BBQ joint across the street is pretty tasty, but the bar next door is a real dive, and not in a charming way.

So, if you want a great pool and aren't going to spend much time in your room I'd say go for it. Hopefully they will rip out the carpet at some point and put in tile, because the current flooring is not at all working for them.

Also, we had the bungalow thing rented as well, which is basically a converted townhouse/apartment that they bought. It's kind of weird, and isn't anything special except that it's large.

Room Tip: The second floor poolside rooms with balconies may be less wet - I would recommend trying one of tho...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
We are very sorry that your experience with our ground floor poolside rooms was so unfavorable, we will certainly address your concerns with our Housekeeping and Maintenance team in consideration for future guests. We do appreciate your review and are glad that your stay was overall very fun, despite the flooring in your room. Our restaurant, Hope 46, does serve drinks as well as tasty food poolside and the area you mentioned is our single cabana that is able to be rented out separately through our Sales and Catering department. Within walking distance there are actually a wide range of restaurants and downtown North Park is about a 15-20 minute walk away, where there are plenty more as well as entertainment (a lot of places have live music and there are some shopping options as well). A lot of our guests enjoy North Park but there is always the option of going downtown to the Gaslamp District and taxi's are on average around $20. Thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback and hope your trip home was quick and easy.
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Additional Information about The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

Address: 2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in San Diego
#65 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1946, the Lafayette has been the site of historical glamour, and offers a unique change from a typical hotel experience. Among its famous guests were Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Betty Grable. Inside, the Mississippi Ballroom took center stage where Hollywood’s stars came to dance the night away. Conveniently located to all shopping, entertainment and business areas, the historic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is, indeed, the best lodging choice in San Diego. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lafayette Hotel San Diego
Lafayette San Diego

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