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“Not as good as advertised”
Review of La Pensione

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La Pensione
Ranked #121 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Guadalajara, Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Not as good as advertised”
Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

Very good location in Little Italy, and the website and reviews make it look awesome. Good deal through Expedia, with translated into hidden problems such as a tiny room and hidden charges of $15 for overnight parking. Major problem was no wifi signal in the room, and a wifi signal in the business center too weak for Skype. Front desk staff said wifi service was from restaurant next door and suggested we go there. Who wants to do that, especially if the restaurant is closed during late night and early morning hours? We checked out after one night, and hotel did not want to refund charges for second night. So we had to contact Expedia and arrange the credit. Not what I expect of a $150 per night hotel stay.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank DonMiguelLasVegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Thanks for giving us a try! We know Wifi is of paramount importance to our guests, and we're currently weighing out different options to provide Wifi for every room. Since you booked through Expedia and you paid directly to them, they would handle any refunds - not the hotel. Most Expedia bookings do not include parking charges in their rates, so that is why it was a separate charge. Our $15 rate is one of the lowest found in all downtown hotels in San Diego. Sorry it didn't work out this time around, and hope you give us another try in the future.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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English first
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

This hotel served our needs perfectly...clean, friendly, modern decor, helpful staff (Andre at reception was really helpful), great location. It's in the heart of Little Italy which some people will tell you is away from main attractions. Firstly, it's right next door to lots of restaurants and bars (cafe zucchero is a must for breakfast) and secondly it's a trolley ride from everything or a walk if you are able and willing to do so (approx. 15 mins walk from seaport village and approx. 45 from the zoo). If you want a nice, clean place to lay your head after busy days of exploring, this place is for you. Our bedroom was small but newly decorated, the bathroom was lovely and we had a big full length mirror and a fridge. Downsides are that there are no tea and coffee facilities in the room but this didnt matter too much. Also the ice machine in the hall was a bit noisy but i would always recommend people travel with ear plugs wherever they go. If you want a fancy hotel with a swimming pool, gym, fancy bar etc then this is not the place for you. If to do stay here, take a trip to Old Town for an evening if you can as its a fun and busy atmosphere.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank BBFarnham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thanks for staying with us and for the awesome review! We hope we see you again on you next visit to San Diego!
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Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Great location, great redone hotel if you don't mind small. This is a restored hotel which means it has trendy updates and a comfortable bed, but the rooms are much smaller than nowadays hotels. The staff was super nice, there is a great little snack spot next to it and a bar diagonal from it (English Pub with good food and prices).
We really liked it here, the location was great. Super easy access to the highway, right near the harbor (walkable) and only like a mile from the airport. The neighborhood is really nice as well.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AdventurePig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Hi - we appreciate that you took the time to leave us a good review! Sounds like you had a great time exploring. We hope to see you again soon!
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Santa Clarita, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Il Gioiello Nascosto Della Piccola Italia!!! (The hidden gem of little italy)

This place is truly beautiful!!! I did alot of research of little italy hotels as well as surrounding areas to prepare for our adventure ...I was looking for a place walking distance of ALOT of bars & restaruants as well as being close enough to the harbor & beach for the great views!!!

We checked in to La Pensione around 4pm after our Downtown/Little Italy Food Tour ended @ the Cafe Italia which is located ground level of the hotel. I fell in love with the location the second we walked up. The little Italy sign is RIGHT outside the windows of the hotel & standing on the street looking up at the sign & out on the street you feel like your in italy! On saturdays theres a farmers market on the street right outside until 3pm & there is an amazing place for food, beer or wine everywhere you look. Just park your car & start walking..you will find something delicious or incredible with every turn!

Checking in was pleasant...the front desk were helpful & friendly & I would to if i got to work in such a lovely place every day. We made our way up to room 414 on the fourth floor...walked in & our huge smiles turned into ear to ear smiles!!! The room was GORGEOUS!!! It is a bit smaller than a normal hotel room...but its not a problem at all!!! Boutique hotels are more chic & stylish vs size...the bed however was sooo comfy & the overall ambiance made us feel pampered & fancy! Our window was perfect!!!! It looked down onto little italy & at night we got to see the sign & the whole area lit up...we would hang out of our room window sippin a beer being serenaded by the accordian player down below..it was truly breathtaking!!! It had the greatest rain shower head with an open door shower & a large flat screen TV. The linens were clean & soft, the decorating was beautiful & the views all around were breathtaking!!!....overall we didnt want to leave!!! Theres a few vending machines downstairs in the garage if you are needing a late late night snack or beverage but you can just walk out the door & find something to nibble or sip on.

The only reasons they didnt get that last half a star was because parking was $15/day (ouchies) & the spots are very limited, maybe 10 spots max down in the garage. Finding street parking is plosable but during the busy nights & dinner rush as well as the saturday farmers market FORGET ABOUT FINDING A SPOT. Also i couldnt find an ice bin anywhere so if you are wanting ice I would stop & bring some with you. The wifi didnt reach up to the rooms, but if you bring an ethernet cable that is free & it definitely manages during your stay. The 2013 Tech freaks may have a hugeee problem with having to partake in such an archaic tradition as using an ethernet cable....but its a tiny trade off for the location & hotel itsself. The tiny minuscule issues are seriously nothing compared to the amazingness of this place so I would never let these things keep me away!

This hotel really is a hidden gem amongst a beautiful part of San Diego & this will be our go to spot when visiting downtown. You can not beat the location or overall GREATNESS of this place. We are definitely in love with LA PENSIONE! We cant wait to return.

Room Tip: Bring an ethernet cable if you want internet (for free) Room 414 Has An Amazing View Onto Little It...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MiaaBellla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed August 15, 2013

I was pleasantly surprised by this hidden gem!! I will definitely go back. The rooms are exquisite and the prices are very reasonable! The views include little Italy, downtown and the waterfront. You feel like you Are in the heart of Italy.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jgirlsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, General Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Hi,

Thanks so much for staying with us! We're all about offering San Diego travelers more boutique for their buck :) We hope to see you at our property and in Little Italy soon!
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Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2013

This was a pleasant change from the same old big chain hotels. La Pensione really fits in to the European vibe of Little Italy, with stylish touches, windows that open onto the street, and an open-air cafe in the public atrium area. Only two or three blocks from the water's-edge path along Harbor drive, and surrounded by popular restaurants, this is a good option for a visitor to downtown SD.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JamesB_ontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, General Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Hi James,

Thanks for the review and for staying with us! We hope you had a lot of fun times exploring the neighborhood and the rest of San Diego. We hope to see you again soon! Awesome pic by the way.
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San Juan Capistrano, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Location was great and enjoyed Little Italy. Very disappointed by way my wife and I were initially treated on our 10-year anni. No parking in garage and had to park 2 blocks away for overnight parking, but only good for a 12-hour period. Smoke alarm in neighboring room went off multiple times during the times of 2:45am and 3:15am. Ice machine next to room was also acting up. Had to get up at 5:00am to move car as no one could offer quality solution for parking dilemma. Lady at front desk (early morning shift) was only one that was helpful and understanding and did offer discount. Sometimes the stars don't line up for those special occasions. Biggest disappointment was parking and hotel should had at least more resources (i.e. info, knowledgeable staff) on how to deal with parking overflow.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc H, General Manager at La Pensione, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Dear Tim,

First off, I'd like to wish you a wonderful 10-year anniversary. What a milestone!

We understand that parking - especially in our busy summer season - means that we have to send guests to alternate areas to park in the neighborhood. That's why we handed you a parking lot map when you checked in, listing all the other options in Little Italy, including paid 24-hr lots. It sounds like you parked at one of those, but only paid for 12 hours. Not your fault at all, the sign is really confusing in the lot and we've mentioned it a few times to the parking operator.

We apologize for your inconvenience of being next to guests who kept setting off the smoke alarm. We went up to their room several times to resolve the situation as we hated the thought of waking up other guests.

I truly apologize that it did not work out this time around. We hope you'll come back to enjoy Little Italy again and give us another shot. If you have any issues, please do not hesitate to ask for me directly!
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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 #121 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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