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“Above average hotel- solid four!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bristol Hotel

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Bristol Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1055 First Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-4890 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #51 of 271 Hotels in San Diego
GreenLeadersSilver level
2 reviews
“Above average hotel- solid four!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

We are glad we stayed at the Bristol for the show last night at the House of Blues. Very close to the main Gaslamp district. Clean rooms and bathrooms. Loved the hybrid vehicle discount for valet! We didn't have time to use our dollar drink coupons, so maybe we will take advantage of that when we return!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear Johnericpearce,

I am very pleased to learn that you had the opportunity to see and hear a great concert at the nearby House of Blues and then enjoy a relaxing Bristol Hotel experience all in the same evening! It does not get much better than that.

Our objective is to provide our guests, clean and comfortable rooms at affordable rates and it certainly appears by your comments that we succeeded. We also recognize that “going green” is very important to all of us. Besides our green cleaning practices and special guest room amenities we also offer discount parking to our hotel guests that drive hybrid vehicles; thank you for acknowledging this.

On behalf of the entire Bristol Hotel team, thank you for staying with us and we look forward to seeing you in the future.

Kind Regards and Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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832 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
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English first
Woodbridge, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

My girlfriend and I recently spent two weeks in San Diego (11/2-17/2012). She spent a few days at a long-planned medical conference, but most of our days were devoted to pure unabashed vacation time. We needed it! When we left for San Diego, our two homes in New Jersey were still without power in the aftermath of Frankenstorm Sandy! Why did we choose The Bristol? Well, the hotel for the medical conference was booked solid, and we needed something close. We also needed a hotel in a medium price range, which was difficult. Finally, we needed a hotel that was accessible, since I use a scooter to get around, and my friend also has physical limitations. And I wanted free WiFi.

OUR ROOM
Amazingly, the Bristol answered all our needs. We were able to get a very nice room with two large beds and night table, large dresser, desk, chair, round table, and floor lamp. The room also had a small fridge and a coffee maker. We had plenty of room to store or hang our clothes, and we also had an iron and ironing board to touch things up. My bed was comfortable, but the pillows were too soft for me.
The climate controls in the room were as modern as one could wish, and setting them to heat or air conditioning instantly changed the temperature in the room. Our room also had small windows that actually opened for fresh air, which I loved. The windows were virtually floor to ceiling, with white drapes that mellowed the ever-present sunlight.

BATHROOM AMENITIES & ISSUES
Our bathroom was accessible; the "throne" was about three inches higher than one would have at home. Our shower was easy to step into, and we had grab bars and a large shower chair. The shower head could be held in the hand, if so desired. The hot water was really hot! Housekeeping provided a mountain of fluffy white towels every day, and bathrobes and slippers were an extra touch. The lotion and soap products were all organic and environmentally friendly. I have to say I was bemused by the "Full Flush/Half Flush" buttons on the toilet. (I kept thinking "Royal Flush" versus "Straight Flush"!)
The Bristol is in the process of being renovated and upgraded, and not all aspects of the hotel are at the same level of restoration. I would have to agree with other reviewers that the bathrooms need improvements, particularly with the bathroom doors, which slide on a track and often stick. To the Bristol's credit, whenever I had to call about the bathroom door, maintenance was there within 10 minutes. The bathroom also lacked a fan, and I had to buy an air freshener.

LOBBY & RESTAURANT
The small hotel lobby is pleasant, with a relaxing atmosphere and comfortable seating groups. Since the Bristol is a "niche" hotel, devoted to being environmentally friendly, flowers and sunlight served to bring the outdoors inside. The front desk was small and unobtrusive, with helpful and knowledgeable employees.
The Bristol has a small formal restaurant with a modest menu that did not really change during the two weeks we stayed there. Four of the dinner entrees, including salmon, chicken, and pasta, were half price for hotel guests. The bar was noisy and busy whenever groups were meeting there. My friend and I ate at the restaurant a couple of times. Our meals were well-prepared and tasty, and we never felt rushed. Like all downtown hotels everywhere, room service was very expensive, and we did not use it. The front desk gladly gave us menus of local restaurants that delivered to our room, so we never felt pizza-deprived.

THE BRISTOL STAFF
One of the greatest advantages of the Bristol Hotel is the staff--from maintenance and housekeeping right up to the executive manager. Previous to our arrival, I had called Mike at the front desk to voice some concerns about potential noise. To my relief, he told me that the old Google satellite photos of a bus depot across the street were out of date; currently, only a quiet parking lot is there. In fact, Mike was so helpful that I asked to speak to the manager to tell him how responsive Mike had been to our needs. The day after we arrived, my friend and I were in the restaurant when Greg, the hotel manager, came by our table and introduced himself. He sat down for a while, and within five minutes it felt as if we were having lunch with an old friend. Wonder of wonders, he even picked up the tab for our lunch!

VALET PARKING
If you have a car or are renting one, your stay will be more expensive. An independent valet service runs the parking garage at the hotel, and the cost is about $26 a day--half that price if your car is a hybrid vehicle (although you can go in and out as often as you wish.) We had rented an accessible van for our stay, and we were concerned about adding an extra $400 to our stay. However, the valet company graciously gave me a substantial discount on the daily rate, which helped immensely. (I have always figured that you never know unless you ask. They can only say No!) If you have a vehicle, be prepared to use the hotel's garage. Very little street parking is available, and the parking lots are almost as expensive as the Bristol's valet service. The young men who move the cars in and out are super guys, friendly and obliging. When moving my scooter up or down the van's ramp, I always had to ask them to watch me, and several times I had to ask one of them to actually move the scooter out and bring it around to the driver's door.

CONVENIENCE
The Bristol is near to many areas of interest, including ethnic neighborhoods, special gardens, museums, and unique shopping.The hotel is also pet-friendly, and I saw several pampered pooches while there, but I never smelled any animal odors. Our room was smoke-free; truthfully, I never smelled bad odors anywhere in the hotel.
I don’t really know any more about the history of the Bristol, but I’m glad that the company that owns it could see its possibilities and is working hard to create a unique “niche” experience for eco-conscious visitors who value convenience, relevance, and amenities. If I come back to San Diego, I would hope to stay at the Bristol—I felt at home while there--and I'm sure by that time the bathroom doors will all be updated!

Room Tip: Floor 9 is a banquet floor, so avoid floors 8 and 10. Elevators are quiet and modern; don't be u...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Sister Elias,

Thank you for your review!

It was so nice to meet you and your friend. It was truly an uplifting encounter and a pleasure to be of service to such great guests.

Your review will be shared with my entire staff. You were thoughtful and thorough and expressed comments concerning every aspect of your stay which is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

You will be pleased to learn, that we have in motion a bathroom door replacement project. The project is scheduled to be completed by December 1st; no more door problems or complaints!

We pride ourselves on great customer service and you had mentioned Mike by name. Mike is truly a gem of an employee and he works very hard to please our guests and your comments will be very rewarding for him, especially when you had taken the time to acknowledge him, thank you.

I hope that your homes are now safe and sound and I do remember our conversation about your concerns of water damage and no electricity. Hopefully, you did not sustain significant damage and only a slight bruise.

I have actually read your comments twice and it is perhaps the best review and TripAdvisor endorsement that I have ever read about a guest experience. With my deepest gratitude, once again, thank you.

My staff and I will look forward to your return visit(s) and please feel free to contact me directly.

Assuring you of my desire to be of service at all times.

Kind Regards and Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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Irvine, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Really had a very good experience at this hotel. It's very "boutiquey" which I know isn't a word, but it works! The staff was SUPER friendly, the food was EXCELLENT in the restaurants and catering and the rooms were very clean and I slept like a baby!!! Highly recommend...

  • Stayed November 2012, 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.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Jon B,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, this has made my day!

As you have acknowledged, we are a comfortable, boutique hotel located in downtown San Diego near all of the city’s major attractions, i.e. the historic Gaslamp district which features retail shopping and restaurants, Little Italy, the USS Midway Museum, Convention Center, Seaport Village, performing arts, etc.

Our restaurant, the First Avenue Bar and Grille offers great food and along with regional beers and wines and our entire staff are extremely courteous, knowledgeable about the area and most of all, very friendly.

Most of all, we appreciate your wonderful review, it means a lot to us. Thank you and hurry back.

Kind Regards and Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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San Diego, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Recommend - Yes
Will I stay again - Yes

Location: Awesome, steps to the Gaslamp and Mall
Room: Clean, cool decor, friendly customer service
Going Green: Room has "green" products from natural soaps to a cool electrical flushing system to conserve water
Parking: Discounted guest parking for Hybrid cars!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Sandro M,

Thank you for acknowledging our environmental efforts! Our management company, Greystone Hotels is committed to staying green and our collection of boutique hotels has been a leader in placing environmentally friendly initiatives in our everyday practices and guestroom amenities.

I was pleased to learn that you enjoyed your accommodations and our great location. I sincerely hope that you will return soon and please feel free to contact me directly when making a future reservation!

Thank you for selecting the Bristol Hotel.

Kind Regards ansd Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I stayed at this hotel for 5 nights when I was in San Diego for a convention. I really struggled to find a hotel as everything around the city centre was booked months in advance. When a room at the Bristol became available I was relieved that I could stay at a decent hotel even if it was for £130 a night. Believe it or not this was the cheapest I could get for a 3 star hotel and above, within 2 miles of the convention centre. For this amount of money I did get a room with 2 kingsize beds (although I only needed one). The room as expected was very large and comfortable and stylishly decorated. The whole hotel was clean and the staff were very polite, welcoming and keen to assist and ensure your stay was pleasant and relaxing. The building is relatively old but well maintained. No breakfast was included in the price but there was a filter coffee maker in the room with complementary filter coffee bags provided on a daily basis. I did try the restaurant on one occasion as I was given a free drink voucher and half of the dishes on the menu were half price for guest. The restaurant was empty and the food was nothing special. I did get complementary wi-fi internet which I found fast and extremely convenient. There is valet parking available if needed.
The best selling point for this place is that it is very conveniently placed in the city centre. It is across the road from the main shopping mall, 5 minutes walk from the Gaslamp Quarter and 10min walk from the convention centre.
Overall this is an ideally place hotel at the heart of San Diego if that is what you are looking for. It is of reasonable standard and provides comfortable accommodation with good service. It is expensive like most hotels in the city centre and not necessary value for money. I would stay there again if I was visiting San Diego for a convention but I would make sure I book way early to ensure a better price.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Ilkley
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

After a great deal of driving around we wanted to end our 3 week visit to the USA with a little relaxation in San Diego. We chose the Bristol because of it's location and the reasonable price for our 3 night stay. Our superior king room was on the 7th floor and provided a view of the bay in the distance. It was nicely furnished and very comfortable. Whilst unpacking we did hear some rather strange noises coming from above and were worried that this could continue throughout the night. We found that staff were moving furniture in a function room above and fortunately the noise did not continue for too long. Being in a city centre there was some traffic noise during the course of the night and early morning but this was not a problem. We found that most of what we wanted to see in the city was either within walking distance or possible to get to by using public transport. We particularly enjoyed walking to Little Italy for a happy hour drink or an evening meal. We found the hotel and it's location to be ideal.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments and thank you for selecting the Bristol Hotel as your destination before heading home!

I have shared your comments with our staff and they were delighted to learn that you enjoyed your accommodations, service and spectacular views!

Our goal is to provide a great guest experience and from your review, it appears we passed with flying colors. Incidentally, if you find yourself visiting our fine city in the future, we are a pet friendly hotel, so please feel free to bring along your dog, cat, canary or goldfish!

Once again, thank you.

Assuring you of my desire to be of service at all times.

Kind Regards and Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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NYC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Clean, well appointed room. Close to Westfield Horton Plaza (typical mall) and Gaslamp Quarter. An easy 5-6 block walk to convention center. Plenty of restaurants nearby. Fitness room tiny without view but relatively up to date equipment. Free use of computer and printer in lobby handy for printing boarding passes.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
bristolMGR, General Manager at Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear lcjmd,

On behalf of the Bristol Team we thank you for a great review. We strive to be an exceptional hotel that offers great value, clean and comfortable accommodations and excellent service.

I couldn't help but notice in your e-mail address that you are from NYC and I hope that this acknowledgement finds you safe and sound from the wrath of Sandy.

On you next visit to San Diego, please feel free to contact me directly and I will gladly handle your reservation request.

Kind Regards and Safe Travels,

Gregory T. Rizzi
General Manager
The Bristol San Diego
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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 Bristol Hotel

Address: 1055 First Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-4890
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in San Diego
#27 Business Hotel in San Diego
#42 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#53 Family Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bristol Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bristol Hotel, a premier boutique hotel in downtown San Diego, offers extreme comfort and friendly service whether your travel is for business or leisure. The Bristol Hotel is a fresh take on modern style - our sophisticated atmosphere awaits you in our contemporary lobby and throughout our eclectically styled San Diego hotel rooms. This modern flair continues throughout the lounge and banquet facilities and is sure to be a perfect choice for business, leisure, group functions, meetings and special events. This downtown hotel’s superb location is within blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter, fine dining, world-class shopping at Horton Plaza, the Cruise Ship Terminal, the Convention Center, Petco Park, Theatre District, East Village, Little Italy, San Diego Concourse and the San Diego Bay. This pet-friendly San Diego hotel is only a short drive to any of the many sunny beaches, the San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld. The Bristol Hotel is one of only seven hotels in San Diego to receive the Green Eco-Leaf Rating and is also a certified member of the California Green Lodging Program. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bristol San Diego

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