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“An Enchanting Oasis on the Pacific” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Dolphin Inn

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Blue Dolphin Inn
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Cambria
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“An Enchanting Oasis on the Pacific”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

The Blue Dolphin Inn is an amazing hospitality establishment. Staff consider their guests' every last need and want. The front desk staff made a special effort to walk me through every feature of my room upon check-in. We splurged on an ocean-front room with a semi-private patio looking out onto the ocean. Having breakfast there was like a dream with the waves crashing, the pelicans flying along the coast, and the great expanse of water beyond. Not to mention the food was great! The rooms and bathrooms are sparkling clean. Really, everything is perfect at this quiet, peaceful little inn... When I get back to California, I might return to Cambria just to stay at The Blue Dolphin Inn!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Helpful?
3 Thank AEP77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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725 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (236)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Culver City, California
Level Contributor
147 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

We had been to Cambria many years ago, staying at one of the numerous small inns/motels along Moonstone Beach Drive. I recall it being a pretty setting but we did not have an ocean view at that time. On our return trip, we decided to splurge and chose this property based on the stellar Tripadvisor reviews and gorgeous photos on the hotel's website.

We were not disappointed. This is a very classy inn with beautifully appointed furnishings, wide hallways and a very professional staff. We chose the Biscayne Bay room, one of the ones on the first floor, ocean front. These very special rooms have access via sliding glass doors to an expansive patio directly across from the ocean. During out two days/nights there, we spent a lot of time sitting on the patio chairs, enjoying the view and ocean air. Our room had a large bathroom with a large whirlpool tub and separate shower. There is no air conditioning in the room (Cambria never gets too warm) and for heat, there is a gas fireplace. There is no pool at this hotel. There is very convenient parking all around the hotel and in the back.

Included in your room rate is a breakfast box for each person, with items you choose the night before. These might include scones, hard boiled egg, danish pastries, parfait, juice, etc. You can make coffee in the room and/or walk to the lobby where there is always coffee/tea/water available. Although be no means gourmet, this was a nice touch for maximum privacy (no having to make small talk with strangers in a breakfast room when you're still half asleep). We enjoyed our breakfast in our robes, sitting on our patio.

Cambria is a beautiful little town and Moonstone Beach is its jewel. Moonstone Beach Drive is not a big street so even though all of the hotels are across the street from the ocean, this is not a major detriment. An easy, safe walk across the street leads you to a wooden boardwalk that seems to stretch for a mile north and south. From the boardwalk, you can reach lookout areas where you can see seals, pelicans and, if you're lucky, whales. Also, there are scores of squirrels and rabbits hanging around, begging for food. A lot of people were walking their dogs on the boardwalk as well.

The beach is not a swimming beach; too cold, a bit rocky. There are some tidepools as well. Some areas have sand but it is more dirt-like than sugary. We spent an enjoyable half hour searching for "moonstones," little rocks or pebbles with translucent chalcedony that are polished by the waves. Although the area does not feel built up at all, there are more than a dozen modest inns/motels along Moonstone Drive.

To be consistent with my other reviews (where I rarely award 5 stars), I would have to rate this hotel only 4 stars. It does look like the nicest place to stay on Moonstone Beach Drive but the price definitely reflects this. We went during peak season when it was hot in Los Angeles and perfect (about 75 degrees) in Cambria so the rates were undoubtedly at their peak as well. I award 5 stars for an exceptional experience and/or value. My gut tells me that you can find a different hotel on the Drive with an ocean view and balcony/patio, and perhaps a little more basic furnishings, for less. But if money is no object, this is a very nice place to stay.

Room Tip: I believe none of the rooms have balconies and the only rooms with patios are the four on the first...
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Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank traveldan21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy (Houston), TX
Level Contributor
121 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We just got back from our CA vacation. We only got to stay at the Blue Dolphin Inn for one night but we just loved it. We stayed in a second-story corner room facing the ocean. The room has a name, not a number and I can't remember how to spell it but it was awesome! When you first see the Inn, it looks like someone's well-maintained little home but it's very big inside and very elegant. The picnic breakfast was very good and we enjoyed eating it on the beach while watching the seals. Don't want to repeat everyone else's comments - all the good is true. We had the bagels 'n lox and egg breakfasts, which were both very good. There's a stand beneath a tree in the back with things to wash your car windows but you can also use the cloths to wash the sand off your feet. Beach towels are in a basket in the reception area. We bought a robe - it's so awesome! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Room Tip: Ask for the corner room on the second floor.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank mgkamish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corona del Mar, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

My hubby and I came up here last weekend to escape the madness in Southern CA for Labor Day. We lucked out and selected Blue Dolphin. We come to Cambria at least once a year for a getaway, and LOVE this town. ALWAYS stay on Moonstone beach, regardless of the hotel you choose. Most of them are pretty nice, we've stayed in a few. But this one stood out! It's a much smaller hotel, but absolutely guest-focused. All the staff is really nice, most of them will address you by name, you get homemade cookies in your room every day! A boxed breakfast of your choice is included in your stay each day, your room has a Kuerig machine with all kinds of coffee/tea blends, the lobby has hot cocoa, coffee, tea and lemon water each morning and evening, free Wi-Fi, free unlimited movie rentals from their huge collection- I could go on and on. We stayed in room 100 which literally backs up to the lobby (it's right behind the front desk). I was a little apprehensive about potential noise or privacy with people coming/going, but never had any issues. The hotel is really quiet and nice. I believe it is adults only, so no screaming kids running down your hall in the morning. =) It's a cozy and beautiful hotel. Although the rooms were beautifully decorated, had fireplaces, and the bathrooms were beautiful- most of the hotels we have stayed at on Moonstone I could say the same for. What REALLY makes Blue Dolphin shine and totally sets it apart are the goodies!!! (FREE Wi-Fi/ FREE delicious breakfast you actually want to eat/AWESOME staff/FREE unlimited movie rentals/cookies in your room each afternoon). We will definitely be back!!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank rachelynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Pedro, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Loved every moment here, from the comfy beds and well-thought out renovation of the rooms, to the excellent take-away breakfast! Great idea! The staff were all very sweet and friendly--loved them and loved the VERY loud sound of the ocean as we went to sleep. Went with girl friends from High School, and it couldn't have been more perfect--but it's plenty romantic too!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank jilljaxxSanPedro_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, MN
Level Contributor
84 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012 via mobile

We read many of the reviews before we booked this place. Yes, I could nit pick a bit. There is traffic, during daylight hours, between then Inn and the ocean. Full ocean front rooms are pricey (300+). Not many (1) restaurants within walking distances, rooms are about ready for some TLC (caulk in bathroom) but we did not come here expecting an ocean front resort experience but rather a relaxing get away and they get 5 stars for that. Reception desk staff was very pleasant, got us checked in early, gave us a tour of our room and recommended various dining options. The room was well appointed and on the second floor directly overlooking the ocean across the street. The breakfast was delivered promptly with a hot ham and egg sandwich as well as varied pastries. You are given a choice of items at check in. The sound of the ocean breaking on the beach and rocks is amazing and almost loud at night. Wish we were staying for more than one night!

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank wallywanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alta Loma
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

No children at the Blue Dolphin Inn contributes to the quiet, relaxed, and peaceful atmosphere. The rooms are fairly large and well-appointed, and the ocean can be heard from every room. We like to take our preordered breakfast across the street, sit on a bench and watch the ocean. If you like to socialize with other guests around the pool or the breakfast table, this is probably not the place for you. But if you like to spend most of your time walking along the beach watching pelicans, otters, and squirrels, and then come back to a cozy room----this is the place for you. It's an easy walk into town and perusing the various shops. Be sure to walk about 100 yards to eat at the Moonstone Grill. Sit outside and watch the sunset over a glass of wine.
And drive up the coast to Piedras Blancas to view the elephant seals.

Room Tip: I don't like the rooms by the downstairs exit door.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
3 Thank cefritz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Dolphin Inn

Property: Blue Dolphin Inn
Address: 6470 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA 93428-1808
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > Cambria
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cambria
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambria
#3 Family Hotel in Cambria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Blue Dolphin Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you are looking for the perfect place to escape and enjoy everything Cambria and Moonstone Beach have to offer, Blue Dolphin Inn is the ideal place. Tastefully appointed guestrooms providing every detail offer a sophisticated environment in this adult-only property. Blue Dolphin Inn is situated steps from the beach and seaside boardwalk that runs two miles along the coast. Take in the scenic sunsets while sipping a glass of renowned local wine. The six full oceanview specialty rooms feature places in the world where dolphins are found in abundance. The lower full oceanview rooms provide spacious patios to delight in the scenery and coastal breezes. The upper level full oceanview rooms allow unparalleled seascapes. Breakfast is individually prepared from a selection of foods designed to fulfill every appetite. If a celebration of any kind is in order, Blue Dolphin Inn is a perfect place to recognize an accomplishment or milestone. Grab a loved one or meet an old friend for an unforgettable getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Dolphin Hotel Cambria
Blue Dolphin Cambria

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