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Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

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Toronto
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Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

We're considering the Dolphin Bay for a 1 night stay for our weekend trip from SF to SD.

We have alternate reservations at the Holiday Inn @ San Luis Obispo (only hotel I could get), but I'm really finicky and was nervous about the property. Will the upgrade to the Dolphin Bay be worth the additional $200? Is the view worth it? My kids (12 & 15) will want a nice pool after the long drive as well.

Also, how many hours to the hotel from SF? We're leaving SF 7am on Saturday morning, driving along the PCH and hoping to stop by by Carmel or Big Sur.

Thanks all.

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

RE: View at Dolphin Bay Inn worth the extra $200.00?

That would depend on whether we have fog, which we have had the last couple of days. Most of the time it burns off mid morning to noon, but the Central Valley is hot, therefore.... we have fog. Only you can decide if you want to risk it. If you want to stay in a newer property for less money, look into the Mission Inn in Pismo Beach. Mission Inn opened up earlier this year, so should still be fresh and clean for you.

The hotels I have had the pleasure of visiting and finding very comfortable and clean are the Pismo Beach Lighthouse Suites and the Cottage Inn. The Cottage Inn is the newer of the two, but the Lighthouse Suites was totally remodeled a few years ago by a new owner. Both hotels are nicely decorated, have pools, ocean views, and offer continental breakfast in the dining area on their properties.

A very popular and more affordable beach front hotel is the Kon Tiki Inn. It gets lots of good reviews in tripadvisor, which actually surprised me because it's been here for such a long time. I guess they work hard at keeping it up. The Sea Crest Resort is another good ocean front option with a large viewing area in the back of the property, including a pool.

As for the drive down Hwy 1 from SF: That's a 7 hour drive without stops. So, if you factor in another 4-5 hours for stops, that will get you into Pismo Beach around 6 or 7pm.

If that seems extreme, consider overnighting in Cambria. Lots of beautiful inns along Moonstone Beach Drive or the Cambria Pines Lodge would be good options. The Cambria Pines Lodge has suites and private cabins (this is not rustic like Big Sur.... very nice area and property) that would work really well for a family.

Toronto
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2. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

Thank you so much for that advice!

I was able to reserve an oceanview room at the Mission Inn for the date we needed (w/ breakfast), for the same price that we were going to pay at the Holiday Inn @ SLO.

Strangely though, I couldn't find availability for the dates I wanted at this property when I searched on kayak or yahoo travel. When I went to their Inn's website directly, I seemed to have a selection of rooms and rates.

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

Hi yogarunner

I hope you enjoy your stay at the Mission Inn. Although it isn't directly on the ocean, it is new for our area and should work out well for you.

Let me know if you would like some restaurant suggestions and what kind of food you like.

There is a sushi restaurant across the street from the Mission Inn, if that appeals to you.

Toronto
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4. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

Kibblesmom:

Yes, if you can recommend the most welcoming, cheap (ha!) restaurant near the beach, I would really appreciate it. Something with great coffee, gourmet sandwiches, pies. We're not picky eaters! We usually love sushi, but we may be tired of it after SF. Still, you never know.

Thanks again!

Grover Beach...
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5. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

Hi yogarunner

There's a Coco's Restaurant on Five Cities Drive on the other side of the freeway next to the Union 76 gas station. They have pie. Can't speak for the food, though.

If you want something near the beach, try the Splash Cafe. They're famous for their clam chowder. Other near beach choices are Brad's, Mo's BBQ or Chele's. There is a Marie Callendar's on hotel row that you'll see on the west side next to the Cottage Inn. It sits in front of the Sea Crest Resort. It's a nice spot for a meal, even though it is a chain.

If you like German food, we have a really good one named Old Vienna. It's actually one the better restaurants in our area. It isn't cheap, (around $20 a plate) but it's wonderful!

Gourmet sandwiches? The best place is De Paolo & Sons. It's located off the Spyglass off-ramp. It will be on the southwest corner of Shell Beach Road. You'll find a sandwich making area in the back on the left. You choose what meats, cheeses, condiments, & bread you want. They also have yummy salads and other dinner items in their cold case.

Whatever you do, DON'T eat at Denny's on the opposite side of the freeway from the Mission Inn. I don't mean to deny the employees there of making a living, but a terrible thing happened there last year and I don't want you to be steered there and learn about it after the fact.

I hope you have a great trip and have fun in our beach community.

Orange County...
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6. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

If you like really nice hotels, the Dolphin Bay is something else! The rooms are so beautiful that you will not be disappointed even if there's fog. It's my favorite hotel so far in California, and it's worth the money if you can spare it.

7. Re: Dolphin Bay hotel - worth it and how many hours from SF?

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