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“Better than negative reviews - busy area”
Review of Dolphin Inn

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Dolphin Inn
Ranked #93 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
Zelienople, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Better than negative reviews - busy area”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My husband and I decided last minute to go away to VA beach for Labor Day weekend. There were not a lot of choices left for places on the beach to stay. I saw the negative reviews on here for the Dolphin Inn, but saw negative reviews for other places... so I take everything with a grain of salt. We got in late Friday night and stayed until Monday morning. The staff was very kind when we arrived. Parking was tight, but we managed to find a spot. (I wouldn't recommend a big truck). We got a "2 balcony" suite. This meant that the room was located on the south end of the building, and there was a balcony facing the ocean, and a balcony facing Atlantic ave. I thought "this is great" - until I realized one bummer of a fact..... the bedroom was on the Atlantic ave. side and there was a large Metal Halide floodlight that illuminated the side of the building to highlight the building (it was not for the parking lot). This shined right in our window and the drapery did not cut it all out - so the room was very bright. Additionally, the Dolphin Inn is almost directly across from a nightclub on Atlantic Ave. that was very loud until 2:00 AM. If we would have had kids in the room, it really would have been an issue, but it was just the two of us, and we were tired, so.. whatever. However, that being said - the next two nights, we chose to sleep on the pullout in the other room so we could be on the ocean side and avoid the lights and noise of Atlantic Ave. It would have been nice if Mgmt. would turn off the large Metal Halide lights after - say 11:00 PM? In regard to cleanliness - it was clean. I did not see any bugs. The shower had a few faded mildew spots, but not bad. The carpet looked new. The couch did not have any stains - until I turned over a cushion...lol then I saw a couple. The pullout bed was clean. It would have been nice if out on the ocean side balcony if the hot air exhaust for the a/c didn't blow directly onto the balcony. We blocked it with a chair and cushions it was uncomfortable. The Atlantic ave. balcony was nice to watch the concert out of, albeit with a light in your face a little. FYI - if you don't get the dual balcony room, the light is not an issue, it is blocked by another wall. The location is in a very busy section of VA beach, there is big public parking lot nearby, so it was crowded at the beach. But all good for us as we were close to the concerts, which was a big part of our decision. Overall - it was clean enough, it was convenient to concerts and the staff was friendly. If you are expecting something fancy - it is not for you. If you are looking for average - it is perfect. Hence my 3 stars...

Room Tip: Rooms with dual balcony can be bright and loud.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Melanie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

If you want a top notch hotel, don't stay here, it will not meet your expectations. If you just need a decent place to crash at the beach, then this is an acceptable solution. For my stay we just needed a room for several friends to crash for 3 days, so our time was primarily spent OUT of the room.

The room was a no frills, pretty clean basic room. It had the necessities that we needed, namely beds, bathroom, balcony, and fridge. The parking situation can be kinda tricky, but we managed.

Every staff member that we ran into or talked with were extremely nice and helpful. If you value a friendly staff, as I do, then you will definitely be satisfied.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jared S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMDOLPHININN, General Manager at Dolphin Inn, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Jared-

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. As you noted, we are not the fanciest hotel on the beach but we take great pride in running a clean, safe hotel with exceptional customer service. And you can't beat the location!

I hope that you and your friends enjoyed you time in Virginia Beach, see you next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Our family spent one night at the Dolphin Inn in Virginia Beach. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and everyone was very helpful. We did not have time to check out the pool, so I can't review it. The room was not what I expected. The first room we were given was not very clean: the carpet had two large areas that were either stained or wet (I didn't feel it), the couch had several stains, and the tub looked like it needed another scrubbing. Since the room was not what we had reserved (I had reserved the room with two balconies), we asked for another room. That one was available soon, and it was better. It was a bit larger and seemed clean, though there was still a small stained area on the couch and the carpet was torn in the master bedroom, creating a tripping hazard for some people. The furniture was older, with several dings, and the wallpaper was beginning to peel at some seams. The beds were clean and comfortable, and the L-shaped couch had double pullouts so that it could be opened in either direction. The second balcony was described as "an additional balcony offering resort views and a great view of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk 17th Street stage which offers seasonal summer entertainment," and it did indeed offer a view of the shell covering the stage (not the performers or the stage itself), but mostly of the parking lot--not what I would call a "resort" view. The music from the stage stopped about 10:30 or 11:00 PM, so it wasn't an issue for us but would be for a family with small children. The "resort" kitchen was clean but not well-equipped: it had a coffee pot, 4 mugs, 4 very small bowls (almost like finger bowls), 4 plates, and 4 sets of silverware--for a room for 6 people. There was a MW and small frig. The site does say there is no stove top, but I expected a toaster or something else to cook with. But since there were no cooking utensils, pots, or even serving dishes that could go in the MW, we went with cereal in paper cups I had brought and microwave pancakes for breakfast.
The room was adequate for one night; it was right on the beach and in the middle of the activity. The staff, again, were exceptionally helpful and welcoming. But the room was just not what I expected from the glowing description on the website nor from the price. Caveat emptor.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, PA
Level Contributor
123 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Believe the negative reviews - the Dolphin Inn is not a great place to stay. I like to stay positive and I didn't want my kids to be terribly disappointed so I didn't tell them about all the negative reviews, but it didn't take long before my 18 y/o was commenting about the less than stellar room. First major issue: I booked through hotels.com and the room was described as 1,000 square feet...that is a major joke. The space is definitely not that big. I even asked about the size when I booked it, but was told 'yes, that's correct'. My husband and I were taking our two kids - 18 & 15 y/o's, plus 2 friends - 20 & 15 y/o's...so there were 6 of us. I really wanted a bigger hotel room since we had 3 big young men. It was cramped to say the least. I contacted hotels.com and also talked to management. They offered that I could leave and they would credit me two nights, but I started looking - there were no hotels that would accomodate 6 people that had vacancy and would accept a 2 night minimum...there are few very suites available in VA beach. So I couldn't move anywhere. So we stayed at Dolphin Inn for the original 3 nights we booked. I didn't want to spend my vacation looking for another hotel either...how relaxing is that?

They were moving new couches into rooms when we arrived in mid-afternoon, but the staff were very conscientous about not monopolizing the elevator so we could use it. We had luggage for 6 people so we used a luggage cart. If you park on the 2nd level of the parking garage...it's almost impossible to use a luggage cart because other people's cars block the elevator access. They really need to think through this issue.

As far as the room - they were replacing the old couches with USED couches. Yes, they were used. It was obvious because our 'new' couch already had fabric pulls. Just like a prior reviewer noted...they do NOT use fitted sheets...just be prepared. Our bathtub was peeling/cracked. I could say more, but just look at the other reviews...people are NOT exaggerating when they show the pics of mold, dirty towels, etc.

Honestly though - EVERYTIME I saw a staff person - they asked how my day was, said hello and wished me a pleasant stay, etc. It's one of those things that stood out...I am sure they hear complaints all day long, but yet they were SO FRIENDLY.

Parking is super tight, but we didn't have any issues. Just have someone help you park.

The location cannot be beat. I booked this hotel (even knowing the poor reviews) in the hopes that the rooms were big and that our kids and their friends would love the location. We would not stay there again, but on the positive side - Dolphin is is located in the midst of all kinds of free nightly entertainment. Just be warned...their current nightly rate is over $300 night - this hotel is not worth that. You are paying for ocean front views and location...expect nothing more and you will be fine.

Room Tip: all the rooms are the same. They all face the ocean. You can see the fireworks from any room - eve...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kendrash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMDOLPHININN, General Manager at Dolphin Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. As you noted, the hotel is in need of a renovation and we have plans under way to complete that this winter. But I especially appreciate your recognition of our staff. Although the property has seen some wear and tear, my team members take great pride in keeping it clean and genuinely want our guests to have a great experience. I apologize if we did not entirely meet your expectations but hope that in the end, you enjoyed your visit to Virginia Beach.

We also would welcome the opportunity to make this matter up to you. Please contact me at stefano.reyes@phrinc.com so we can further discuss. Again, thank you for your feedback and we hope you give us a second chance to serve you in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Rented this place on a last minute basis. The price isn't bad considering the location. It's on the corner of Atlantic and 17th which is the beginning of "Beach Street." There is a DQ right next door and a mini amphitheater right beside with free shows for the kids which is cool. Great beach access and our room was waterfront which was really nice. The rooms are small and not extremely clean. Again it is the beach and if you are here to stay in your room you are here for the wrong reason. With that being said, parking is really tight. Not sure I would particularly stay here again but overall it wasn't too bad. We were only here for 3 nights. It was advertised as a sleep 6 but the room was tight for two adults and two small kids compared to other condos. The place needs some renovations and updating. It is smack in the middle of the strip though which is a great location for everything!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richardajr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new,york
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 7, 2013

DO NO STAY HERE!!!!! The standard of this place is unacceptable!! The room was filthy!! Mildew and mold all over bathroom, bath tub and shower curtain. Filthy carpets and sofa bed. Linens stained and old. The management team at this place is not present or respondent to complaints and there is no accountability for any problems that you report. Please, see photos posted!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kat330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMDOLPHININN, General Manager at Dolphin Inn, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback. I deeply apologize for the unacceptable issues you experienced during your stay. It is our desire to never let a guest leave unsatisfied and we have worked hard to resolve this issue with you. I have also addressed your comments with my staff to ensure a better experience for our guests. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you in the future and thank you again for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burke, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Upon arriving we received a notice that the sofabed will be replaced during our stay. And when they took the sofabed, they did not replace it so we were left using the chairs for an hr before we checked out. The elevators where blocked by the servicemen moving the sofabeds most of the time. The stairs were a serious pain to take because of the jammed doors. The Pool is terrible. I mean what kind of management replaces furniture in the middle of guest's stay? I should've asked for a discount for that.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Inn

Property: Dolphin Inn
Address: 1705 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-3424
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dolphin Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spacious Comfort Right on the Beach! This Virginia Beach, boutique hotel offers you and your family uncomplicated and uncompromised comfort and warm hospitality at a truly great value. Located at the very heart of the 3-mile long boardwalk, this all suite, all oceanfront property provides space and amenities at an unbeatable location. The Dolphin Inn is the perfect place to experience your special Virginia Beach vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Hotel Virginia Beach
Dolphin Virginia Beach
Dolphin Inn Virginia Beach Va

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