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“Smoke and Mirrors” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Pensione

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La Pensione
Ranked #110 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Tucson
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Smoke and Mirrors”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2005

Upon checking in, this place looked beautiful...very quaint, fireplace in the lobby, tastefully decorated.
The rooms are very, very small...cannot over emphasis this. Two people in the room have to coordinate their every move to have access to other points in the room. The bed takes up the entire space with a small space between the end of the bed and the TV.
Parking is tight, and we found two trashy cars parked, both with people sleeping in them. We notified the desk person, who said he would tell them to leave.
The next evening, both cars were parked in the cramped parking quarters below the hotel, with people living in them still! We complained again to another desk person, who said, "So you're the ones complaining about them. I'll make them leave if that will make you happy!" He was screaming at us! We asked to see the owner, and he proclaimed, "I am the owner."
It became obvious to us that this person was "renting" out very limited parking spaces to people living in their cars!
You would be better off at a motel in Motel Circle than staying here.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank simon111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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518 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    86
    34
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Swedish first
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2005

I loved this little hotel. I had read that the rooms were fairly small and they were but plenty big enough with a good size bath. After all it was a place to sleep not play the piano or run around the room. The staff I found to be very friendly, helpful and professional. I spent a little time talking to some of them and they were great people. The street noise didn't bother me. It just added a sense of life to the fullest. The little English Pub across the street was a fun place to sit out and have a drink and visit. Everyone was very friendly everywhere we went. The food in the hotel as all we tried in Little Italy was wonderful.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2005

I think that I could go again. It was relative near from the convention center, Downtown, among others. I think that worth the money that you pay. The fact that is in Little Italy, it was great. Restaurants, cafe just down the stairs or at a very short walking distance. Also, it has a trolley station very near. Yes, you heard the train, but not always is passing. The room is not so big but is cozy and comfortable. You always have clean towels and the staff was friendly and ready to help.

  • Stayed March 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank kariluz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2005

We stayed in a wide variety of hostels, hotels and motels in 5 different west and southwest states in July '04 before ending up in La Pensione in San Diego for 4 nights during ComicCon, and I can honestly say that this is the only one we chose that's still annoying me more than 6 months later.

The trouble with La Pensione is that it *looks* great, it really does. Decor is great, twinkly fairy lights on the outside at night, really extraordinary mural on the inner courtyard wall... sounds great. Enough to sell it, anyhow. The lack of air conditioning didn't even bother me much, even it was slightly sweltering in July, the ceiling fan noise wasn't so bad. They weren't so efficient, either, though, and the minute you pull back the funky purple curtains to open the window... the noise hits you. Front facing rooms are on a crossroads, across the street is a tacky 'English Pub' with outside tables and lots of noise over weekend nights. There's lots of light right outside the window, its near the rail tracks and airport and there's lots of foot and vehicle traffic that got really bad on the Friday/Saturday nights - not fabulous if you want to crash and get a good nights sleep...

What really bugged me was that, booking several months in advance, we didn't realise that each room only has a single queen size bed. (I don't recall seeing it on their website at the time, and it would have been a factor in choosing a hotel - I note that they do make a point of it now on the website.) This wasn't the case at any of the dozens of other places we stayed at, and it really wasn't big enough if you need a twin room. If we had realised, we would have booked 2 rooms and been done with it - of course, that wasn't an option when a convention had just descended on town, so we were stuck for the next 5 days. We weren't the only people caught out by this - there were at least 2 others in the queue ahead of me with the same problem when I went to bug the receptionist about it.

What annoyed me more was her attitude - it was quite obvious that she would rather have been getting back to the dinner she was apparently eating behind the desk at the time!! None of the staff were particularly friendly or helpful (except the bellhop who fetched us blankets!) and you generally got the impression they would rather the guests weren't there intruding on their precious hotel. God forbid you should want an apology for anything, cos you're not going to get it!

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been so bad if we'd had another room, or hadn't been stuck there for quite so long. Little Italy is pretty and quaint, but the Gaslamp Quarter and Convention Centre is a good 15 minute walk away and it's probably worth spending a bit more and getting a bit nearer if you're conventioning... Quite frankly, I like my sleep too much to go back there in high season anytime soon!

  • Stayed July 2004
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2005

Lets try to be positive- the staff are friendly and the hotel is clean. However, we knew when we booked this hotel that it was budget accommodation but we never realised how basic.
A room(323) as large as a shoe box. No curtain over the window to darken out the light. No information of any kind in the room, not even a TV channel guide. Wakened early each morning by the noise of street traffic, the nearby trains and the church bells just over the road.
At $88 a night it wasn't even cheap. The guys who voted this hotel the no. 1 budget hotel in San Diego sure get their money easy. If this is the best, I would really hate to see the worst.
Only stay here if you would be happy living in a shoe box.

Helpful?
10 Thank NIrishtraveler
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
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 #110 of 279 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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