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“Enjoyable Stay”
Review of La Pensione

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La Pensione
Ranked #124 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Upland, California
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Stay”
Reviewed April 23, 2012

This hotel is located in Little Italy, San Diego -- one of my most favorite spots to visit. La Pensione is located in the heart of Little Italy. It is walking distance or a train or bus ride to all the hot spots you will want to visit. The hotel rooms are small; yet, quaint and cozy. The only negative would be that there was no a/c when I stayed. However, there is a ceiling fan and if the temp is not too high out, a/c is not needed anyway. Also, parking can be a pain, so try to get a spot in the garage and plan to keep your car parked. Public transportation is excellent in this area.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank uplcmnm2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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ireland
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

The lady at reception was a bit grumpy, but this doesn't matter since this hotel is so well located. Underground car park is handy but not cheap. The rooms are small but functional. Plenty places nearby to eat. The coffee place next door has free wifi so you can piggyback on it.
Some hairs found in the shower from the previous guest, but other than that clean.
Great place to locate for a week-end away (if you are patying out of your own pocket!)

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank corkboy2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2012

I stayed at La Pensione Hotel because of the great value. This was part of the package that had been offered, but I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem, particularly with the location.

It is a small place, but if you do not intend to spend all your time in the room, which I don't, it works. It's in the heart of Little Italy and is surrounded by some nice restaurants. The other plus was that public transportation was very accessible.

Room Tip: I highly recommend the pizza place one block up on the opposite side of the street. Not much on atm...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DayTripper084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

Recently stayed here for 5 nights in March while doing the tourist thing in San Diego. It's a well-priced alternative to the usual expensive San Diego hotels, and extremely well located in the heart of Little Italy - walking distance to almost everything except Old Town. About 15-20min to Horton Plaza and Gastown, good 20-30 min (uphill) to Balboa Park, easy 10min to the waterfront, and then along towards the Midway Museum, ferry to Coronado, etc. Little Italy itself has lots of restaurants, and a cute Saturday morning mercado (market) right ouside the doors of the hotel. There is definitely a "high-end dorm" feeling to this hotel compared to more expensive hotels, but far and above staying at a hostel etc. A warning - the rooms really are TINY, but that is the trade-off for the price. Also I think some of the rooms might be better in terms of size and view than others - I unfortunately got a room with a window facing a very near wall of the next building, but I couldn't be bothered to ask for a change since I was out-and-about exploring the city all day and really only in the room at night. Rooms are simple, but nicely updated and modern, the beds very comfortable, fridge in room, and for the price compared to other San Diego hotels, this is really a good deal if you're on a budget and don't require luxury but don't want to go too cheap either. The rooms were clean, but I did notice that some non-main areas had a good layer of dust (TV, top of head-board, top of clothing shelf, etc) and my bathtub wasn't really cleaned well each day, oh well. It was also quite late in the day before rooms got cleaned, sometimes I'd be out from 9am-2pm and the room still had to be done. No alarm clock and no coffee makers in the rooms. The coffee shop downstairs though was really good (Cafe Italia). I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone visiting San Diego wanting to be walking distance to everything without breaking the bank, and would easily stay here myself again also.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank KatCanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

First of all, if you are in town for a conference forget the $200 hotel and stay here. It's $110 with free wireless internet! What is not to love about that. It is a great part of town with plenty of restaurants and a great vibe. The rooms are small yes--rather European like. But if you are in town for a conference you are only using the room to sleep and shower in anyway. The rooms are small, no clock, and no conditioner provided. On the up side--free wifi, a frig in the room, great counter space at the sink, and a place to hang up your clothes.

This hotel is a gem. If you like to exercise there's a small exercise room and running along the bay is great. I highly recommend this hotel!

Room Tip: Rooms in the middle face the courtyard, rooms out the front face to the street. Some have a view of...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank WCO6Girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
215 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2012

A terrific hotel in a great location. The old adage goes that you get what you pay for - and in accommodation this is very true. But La Pensione delivers more than you expect for the tarrif they charge. A previous reviewer made some mention of a dorm type feel to the place and that is the case. But it's almost like staying with a remote relative. The rooms are clean and well maintained without being luxurious, and the public spaces are pretty limited. I disliked the fact that no tea or coffee was available in the room, but they have a cofee shop downstairs which would have been better than instant anyway. But overall, it would be hard to get better value in the area, maybe even in San Diego.

And right across the road is Mimmos - the best Italian food this side of Sicily!

Room Tip: Great place from which to explore San Diego on foot.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank markjackson100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2012

I recently stayed at La Pensione for 4 nights while attending a conference in San Diego. It was a perfectly adequate hotel, though certainly not one of my all-time favorites.

La Pensione met all my basic needs: the price was excellent, the hotel is about 3 blocks from the County Center/Little Italy trolley stop, and I thought the surrounding neighborhood was fun. The hotel is about 4 blocks from the waterfront, where there's a lovely promenade. I also really enjoyed the coffee shop downstairs (Caffe Italia). The rooms themselves are small but modern and look recently renovated. Everything was spotless. The room lacked a few small accessories that would have been useful (like, an alarm clock, more hangers, and a notepad and pen), but the bed was very comfortable.

That said, there were some definite downsides to my stay here. I stayed in Room 416, and intermittently throughout the day and night, there was a loud vibrating, humming sort of noise that made the room's walls and furniture vibrate. I investigated a bit, and it looks like there is mechanical equipment of some sort on the roof of Room 416 (heaters? water pumps? Not sure what exactly). The noise would cycle on for about 10-15 minutes, go off for an hour or so, and then cycle back on. This was annoying. I complained to the front desk, and they basically did not believe me.

The second problem relates to the staff members. I got the distinct impression that the employees are overworked, underpaid, poorly trained, and don't get along with each other. On multiple instances, with no prodding from me, the employees complained to me about the management and/or each other. I was told by various employees that others don't know what they are doing, that there are only 2 maids for the entire hotel and that is why they have to work so late (I personally observed them cleaning rooms as late as 7 pm), that some of the clerks don't know how to properly charge credit cards, and that the managers do not listen to input from the employees. One such incident would be unremarkable, but the fact that this was so repeated gave me some pause. Beware that the interpersonal dynamics of the staff are not so great at La Pensione, and the low room rates may be due to unusually low wages or staffing levels, even by hotel industry standards.

Room Tip: Do not get room 416! Mechanical equipment on the roof causes an intermittent vibrating or rumbling n...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank merryleisure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Pensione

Property: La Pensione
Address: 606 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101-2526
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #124 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Pensione 3*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Considered one of the most affordable and best-kept secrets in San Diego, La Pensione Hotel is a historic property located in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. La Pensione Hotel offers 68 guestrooms, a relaxing courtyard area, free high-speed internet, limited underground parking spots, conference room and a workout facility. After a property refresh in summer of 2011, La Pensione now offers air conditioning in every room and a new class of guest rooms called the Argento Collection. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Pensione San Diego
La Pensione Hotel San Diego

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