My wife and I recently spent our 10 year anniversary at The Dana on Mission Bay. I want to review the hotel based on my experience trying to pick the hotel for our trip. I think this will help those of you looking at this hotel, but not sure if the rooms are nice or if you should up grade or not.
The Dana can be broken down into two parts: The older section and the newer section. As you may have noticed, many people love the newer section. I decided to take a chance and stay in the older section (even though many people said it was terrible). We stayed in the Marina Bay rooms, although ALL the standard rooms would be the same (you just would not have the same view). Despite what people have said, these rooms are EXACTLY as pictured. They were small, but very well kept and clean. I would not hesitate to stay in them again. Don't be afraid to get the standard rooms, unless space is an issue. If you want lots of room, then go with the deluxe rooms. Since we were gone all day anyways, the room was not an issue for us.
The hotel itself was beautiful. It had two good size pools and hot tubs. We found it very enjoyable to walk around the hotel grounds during the evening. It is also a 15 minute walk to Sea World, which was awesome. The entire staff was great to work with. The Blue pearl restaurant was very reasonable and had great food (we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each one time). Overall, the hotel was perfect. Just what we wanted.
Some have mentioned that the hotel walls are very thin and you can hear everything. I had not such experience. I heard the other people's door shutting, but that was it. It is a HOTEL, not a single family home. Not sure what some people expect....
Wi-Fi is free and easy to access. It is great to check e-mail and other quick things, but not much else. I assume they keep slower for a reason.
Extra Charges / fees
Some things to note:
-They charge 9 dollars per person to use their shuttle from the airport. If you have a group of 3 or more, it would be cheaper to just take a taxi. Plus, since the taxis are right at the air port, and you don't have to wait for them, you would get their faster. My wife and I had a real problem with this. I think a small charge is reasonable, but 18 to get us to THEIR hotel was pretty ridiculous. Most hotels don't do that (atleast the ones I stayed at)
-They also charge 20 dollars a night to park. There are other parking lots/streets around, but I am not sure if I would trust them (especially since we had a rental). Our first two nights we did not have a car. Then we got a car the last two nights we were there. Not sure how, but they did not charge us for parking. Not sure if they just missed it or what. I was kind of glad since I think that is pretty ridiculous.
If you want to save money on buying food, there is a small bait shop / fishing store right by the hotel. They have sandwiches, chips, cereal, etc. It is a little bit pricey. Your best bet is a target store about 1.5 miles up the road. Easy to get too and can save you some money. Within 3-4 miles you have just about ANY restaurant you would want.
As people have stated, there is a public transportation bus stop right in front of the hotel. We found that very useful to get to old town. It is only a ten minute right straight to the hub and old town is right across the train tracks. I had originally planned using the bus to get to other locations like the LDS temple, USS Midway, and Zoo. However, I found it would have taken 1-2 hours EACH WAY using the bus. That is assuming you get off at the right spot. Since I did not know much about San Diego, I decided not to use the bus to go very far. As stated it will take you anywhere, but I think it takes more time than it is worth. It cost less than 50 dollars for a rental car for 2 days. Well worth, since we drove to Universal Studios our last day their.
My overall impressions are good. The hotel itself is fantastic and exactly as pictured on their website. Don't be afraid to stay in the standard rooms, as long as you don't want lots of room. Try and avoid the extra fees of the shuttle and parking if you can. If you are going to sea world, don't rent a car that day. It can save you on parking. You will enjoy your stay at the Dana. We plan on taking the kids to Sea world next year, and will definitely stay again.
ALL the rooms are exactly as pictured. The less expensive rooms are very nice, but a little small.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.