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“Among the best in San Diego? Are you kidding me?” 2 of 5 stars
Review of BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU

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BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU
6474 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115   |  
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Ranked #38 of 271 Hotels in San Diego
Glendale, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Among the best in San Diego? Are you kidding me?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2008

We've just returned from a one-night stay at the Lamplighter, which we chose based upon the TripAdvisor reviews and rating. For the first time, Trip Advisor has let us down. I find it impossible to believe that the Lamplighter is the second-highest rated hotel in all of San Diego!

It is not great value for the money; it is simply an inexpensive motel, with nothing special or remarkable to recommend it. It is located on a busy street in a marginal neighborhood. The "lush landscaping" of the grounds consists of a few palm trees dotting the parking lot which makes up most of the site, and a patch of grass by the small pool (separated from the parking lot by only an iron fence).

We booked a room with a kitchen because it happened to be the best rate available. The room was large in area, but so badly laid out and drearily decorated that it felt cramped and depressing (the kitchen was a total waste of space, especially since it wasn't stocked with cookware or dishes- the cupboards and drawers were completely empty). The furniture was ugly and drab. The room was not well sound-proofed; each time our upstairs neighbors took a step, it sounded like elephants were marching across the ceiling. The bathroom was fortunately very clean, but the polyester-blend bath towels were thin and not very absorbent, and left a flurry of lint everywhere. The complimentary breakfast did feature a good selection of pastries, cereals, waffles, juices and fruit, but the pastries were stale and tasteless and the coffee (in styrofoam cups) was bad.

The Lamplighter is by no means a dump or a dive; it was clean, and the one staff member we dealt with on check-in and check-out was polite and efficient. But it does not by any stretch of the imagination deserve the inflated rating it now enjoys on TripAdvisor.

  • Liked — Inexpensive and clean
  • Disliked — Poor location, unattractive building and grounds, drab room
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelGuySanDiego, owner at BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU, responded to this review, April 4, 2008
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your review about your recent stay at our hotel. We appreciate hearing from all of our guests. These reviews show us not only our areas of strength, but also the areas in which we can improve.

TripAdvisor measures only one thing, guest satisfaction. It is not a measure of luxury or location. On TripAdvisor, an economy hotel can score very well and a luxury hotel can score poorly. It is clearly displayed on TripAdvisor that our hotel class is a 2-star (we’re a AAA 2-diamond property), with amenities and prices that reflect that rating. There definitely are hundreds of luxurious hotels in San Diego to choose from, but at a much higher cost and possibly a lower level of guest satisfaction. Our rating on TripAdvisor is a byproduct of our single-minded dedication to consistent service, quality, and value.

We are proud of the ambiance we have created with the space we have available to us. We definitely don’t have the grounds that a larger hotel might have, but we have taken great effort to fill our space with colorful plants, flowers, vines, and many lovely palm trees. It’s an expense many mid-market hotels aren’t willing to incur.

Regarding your room, it is a kitchen layout that is very popular with many guests staying for long periods as they have full size appliances and plenty of counter space. While none of them are stocked, we do provide full kitchen packs upon request. We do this to protect our guests. We have learned from experience that by keeping the kits in a sealed container, we can ensure that when a new guest arrives, the kit they receive will be clean, complete and in good condition. I’m sorry this was not explained to you.

Our company culture is to provide outstanding customer service, quality and value to our guests. We manage two hotels in San Diego, we are proud that both are in the top 15 on TripAdvisor.

Thank you again for your review. We do appreciate the comments.


Sincerely,

John Lyon
Proud Owner, Best Western Lamplighter Inn
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577 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Dayton
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2008

Please scroll down and read Crown Jewel Value and Wonderful Hotel, they say it all. We choose this hotel for our week in San Diego based on earlier reviews and agree with all the positive reviews.

  • Liked — The staff was great!
  • Disliked — I found nothing to dislike!
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2008

We had 6 in our party (4 adults, 1 teenager, and 1 child) and stayed for 2 nights. It really is a nice hotel...the staff is fabulous. They are friendly and helpful. Everything everyone else says is true: pretty property, good price, clean and tasteful rooms, beds were comfortable, pool is heated to 85 degrees year round, good breakfast, discount zoo tickets available, free parking and wi-fi, and it is literally a 20 minute drive to anywhere! There is a small Italian restaurant down El Cajon called Etna's where the food is good!

  • Liked — nice clean rooms w/ good beds
  • Disliked — small breakfast sitting area
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut, CA
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
249 helpful votes 249 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2008

Stayed 3 nights for about $75 AAA rates, room 205. The room and the hotel is very very clean. However, I do have the following problems:
-- shower water temperate is unstable - constantly going from hot to cool to hot minute by minute. Water pressure not too good either.
-- very thin walls.- lucky I brought earplugs, and with windows closed and AC off, I was able to sleep. However, once the earplugs fell off in the middle of the night, I was woke up by water dripping...either in my bathroom or next door. It's also located on a busy street and my room is towards the front so there's a lot of noise from cars going by.
-- breakfast area a mess, probably because the hotel is busy during Spring break with lots of families and little ones. It's also very stuffy and I had to eat by the pool which is much nicer.
-- parking - ample but quite narrow. Park in the spots on the right of the driveway when you enter the hotel - those spots are less popular and it's easier to pull out.
-- didn't provide lotion nor conditioner
-- not in the best neighborhood but ok.

Good things:
-- very comfortable bed
-- good WiFi signal from my room
-- breakfast selection not bad (DIY waffle, instant oakmeal, cereal, juices, coffee, hard-boiled eggs, bagels, toasts, danish, plus TV.
-- clean pool, heated.
-- friendly staff
-- definitely affordable rate in San Diego
-- convenient location

  • Liked — affordability
  • Disliked — thin walls
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2008

In the Style of David Letterman, I will give you the 10 best reasons you should stay at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn and Suites.

10. Parking: The parking spaces are not large, but enough spaces are provided that I was able to park right in front of my door both Saturday and Sunday nights.

9. Location: It was very convenient to the Interstate 8 ( College Exit number 10 South, then West on El Cajon Blvd. ) yet far enough not to listen to the road noise.

8. Television: A large (at least 25") television with about fifty channels to choose from. A channel guide on a laminated card and an easy to use remote control were provided.

7: Furnishings: I stayed in a two queen bed room. The beds, desk, dresser and night stand were in lke new condition. A padded bench added extra seating or a place to open your suitcase. At the back of the room was the lavatory on a full width vanity backed by a full width mirror. At the left of this was a hair dryer and the door to the room with a toilet and bath/shower. The shower had a fabric curtain and there were plenty of towels in a rack above the toilet. Soap and shampoo were provided. The curtains were in perfect shape and consisted of a sheer and a light blocking curtain. You could open the window and let in fresh air through the screen or use the very quiet air conditioner below the window.

6. Pool: The outdoor pool has towels draped over the chairs for your use so you don't have to go to the desk for pool towels. This area is used for the overflow seating during breakfast.

5. Maintenance: One reviewer said that the place looks so good that it looks out of place in the neighborhood. I hadn't thought of it that way but but it is truly outstanding. There is great pride of ownership and the In shows it in the landscaping and condition of the rooms. The doors use cardlocks to enter (as does the breakfast room) and everything worked perfectly during my stay.

4. Price: I think that the price was very fair and the value was outstanding. I think that I saved at least $20.00 on breakfast alone. I used the AAA/Senior rate and paid $175.00 total for two nights, all taxes included.

3. Cleanliness: Because I made my reservation only a week before my stay, only a smoking room was available. I called to confirm my reservation and the desk clerk made sure that an ionizer was put in the room to make it more pleasant for my stay. The room and bath (like the whole property ) was spotless and I did not even notice a smell of smoke in the room. I saw the staff cleaning the rooms and they were removing all the bedding in the rooms for washing, even the comforters. During breakfast, a staff member is always present to keep the food stocked and the tables cleaned.

2. Breakfast: The breakfast room is open from 6 am to 10 am. There are only 12 chairs, but you can use the pool area to eat. You have a lot of choices, and I will try to list them all. Muffins, assorted Danish, apple juice, orange juice, coffee, decaf, hot water for tea or oatmeal, 2% or whole milk, two automatic waffle irons, butter, syrup, three cold cereals, bagels, cream cheese, toast and jam, fresh oranges and apples and boiled eggs. There is a television in the room to catch the local news and weather.

1. Staff: The staff was friendly, helpful and treated me as I were staying at a grand hotel. It is from them that all the other great reasons to stay here have originated. I wondered how this Best Western Inn could be so highly rated in the San Diego area. Now I have stayed here I know that it is the constant attention that the staff gives to you that makes this place so outstanding.

  • Liked — Breakfast
  • Disliked — Narrow parking stall
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lamplighterinn, General Manager at BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU, responded to this review, March 22, 2008
Thank you so much for your wonderful review regarding your stay with us. I was elated that you & your family enjoyed your stay in our beautiful city & our hotel. All of us here take great pride in our property & our guest services. From the Front Desk Staff to Housekkeeping & Maintenance Department. All of us here want to make sure that each & every guest has an enjoyable & memorable stay. We look forward to having you back again. Sincerely - David Birt/General Manager
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San Leandro, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2008

I booked this hotel based on Tripadvisor reviews. This is a well-run and well-maintained older property. The facility is in a fairly run-down college neighborhood, so the nice grounds almost look out of place. The rooms are small and outdated, but the decor is up to date. One thing for sure, the staff is EXTREMELY friendly and helpful. We only stayed one night, and checked out early, so we didn't use the pool or eat in the breakfast room, but I peeked at both, and they appeared acceptable. What I didn't like was the location. Other than SDSU, there is not much in that neck of the woods. It's not very convenient for the ocean, but not TOO far from Balboa Park. I think this would be a good place for a family with kids who want to use the pool, they have some rooms right over the pool area.

  • Liked — Friendly and helpful staff.
  • Disliked — Location and small room
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2008

The Lamplighter staff led by Len did a great job to make our stay a good one. This is a place that gets the importance of customer service and recognizes that accomodating the individual needs of its guests helps to greatly enhance those guests' vacations.

  • Stayed March 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lamplighterinn, General Manager at BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU, responded to this review, March 13, 2008
Thank you for your wonderful response regarding Len my Front Office Manager & the entire staff. As we take great pride in our customer service. I know you will enjoy your stay at our hotel. Sincerely - David Birt/General Manager
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Additional Information about BEST WESTERN Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU

Address: 6474 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#25 Family Hotel in San Diego
#48 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#86 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Best Western Lamplighter Inn & Suites (a AAA 2-diamond hotel) is conveniently located 3/4 miles from San Diego State University, and only 15 minutes from Downtown, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. Many of the rooms include kitchen facilities, making this the ideal place for an extended stay. Amenities include: complimentary expanded continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi and parking, and heated outdoor pool, Children 12 and under stay free. Pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Lamplighter Inn And Suites At Sdsu Hotel San Diego
Best Western Lamplighter Hotel
Best Western San Diego
San Diego Best Western

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