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“Awesome value” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
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2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 281 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awesome value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

My partner and I had been travelling for four months and mainly staying at hostels to save some money. We paid more at hostels for very basic private rooms without things like a TV, fridge, towels, room service etc. So naturally we were blown away by the standard of these motel rooms for the amount we were paying!

Rooms are a sufficient size, incredibly clean and have a walk in robe, flat screen TV and fridge.

Breakfast was simple yet perfect for us-yoghurt, bananas and delicious muffins!

Location is absolutely fine especially if you have a car. Public transport was easy to get around in but if you don't have a car and plan on spending every day by the sea side, you may find the location less perfect. If you enjoy your exercise however, it's a 35 minute walk through the quiet suburbs to Ocean Beach which we enjoyed! The location has a beautiful view of the harbour and there's quite a few restaurants in walking distance (Umi Sushi is delicious!).

Guests can smoke outside of their rooms on the balcony which is fantastic if you're a smoker but if you don't smoke and happen to have some chain smokers bunking next door, their smoke feeds through the aircon. That's just me being incredibly picky though as I don't like smoking. If you're the same, might be best to request a room away from smokers.

Overall, awesome value motel and great service. I thoroughly recommend anyone stay here if you're looking for clean and basic comfort at an awesome price. Also, definitely worth paying the tiny bit extra for a harbour view room!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jsek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
My Goodness jsek
You are so nice to us!
The owners can't help but smile when they read how thoughtful you are
Thank you for giving future guests a prime description about our little motel, this is very detailed and precise
Yes, the issue with smokers and non-smokers does come up quite often, generally we ask they hang out in the patio area where all the tables and chairs are located.
As always, we hope you return to our motel in the near future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,058 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 (203)
Date | Rating
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English first
Connecticut
Level Contributor
105 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

This place is all that other reviewers have said. Its family run, hands-on, and well located. Don't look for the well appointed room with a couch, work area, etc. Its a well situated place where you can explore San Diego. Its in Point Loma close to the Ocean Beach line. So its a hop skip and a jump to the OB beaches, Cabrillo Monument, Downtown SD, Seaworld etc. Its right across the street from the Shelter Island fishing docks. Their service is great. Just ask and they will respond. The rooms are small, simple but CLEAN.

The breakfast is a simple but tasty one with Trader Joe's products.

If you need a jumping off point to discover the San Diego area, stay here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank adesmar123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Good Morning and thank you kindly adesmar123
it was nice having you guys, even if it was for a brief period
Glad hear you had the time to explore the local places around San Diego
We're kind of a city with a small town feel.
Weather is always great, which is why we get travelers from all over the world. Usually on a next stop from Las Vegas, or Hollywood/Los Angeles.
It was nice having you guys here
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We loved our stay! After coming out of a 5 star hotel in Park City, Utah, one can imagine the contrast! We were just as content if not more so with the Dolphin! We absolutely loved the ambience! We spent a week in Carlsbad/Vista Ca. with our children. We wanted to spend a few days in the area we used to vacation at when we were younger. I looked up that area in TripAdvisor (Pt.Lomas) and found the D.H.! I thought... this is perfect! In return we got to visit a landmark location with wonderful owners and staff. Everyone was eager to please. We are in the hospitality business, so we can appreciate the"excellent, caring service" we received during our stay. We weren't around much but we always returned to a fresh room and safe facility. Parking is easy, WiFi was great, the complimentary breakfast is "continental" and very sufficient. We met guests who were from our home state (PA.) and had a great chat with them. The value is very appreciated in this day and age and in the San Diego area! I so enjoyed meeting Mr. Murdock as he was out and about checking his facility. I am thrilled this establishment is doing so well and recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy such a great experience!! Hats off to the Dolphin for offering such a warm, inviting, friendly, cozy, "clean" and HAPPY hotel !!!
See you the next CA. visit! My daughter even wants to come and stay a night! She lives in Vista!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are pretty much the same...we stayed in the back part and it was very nice. We left t...
See more room tips
  • 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 corvettegal48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Thank you so much for this wonderful review!
So glad we could help you with the new "ipad" set-up, those things confuse me as well!
Its so hard to keep up with technology

Being both owners of a modest lodging location, we both share the "goods and bads" of keeping things running on a daily basis. But it is a pleasure to see a smile on guests when they leave satisfied with a vacation well enjoyed.

P.S. Dad (Mr. Murdock) and I (Alan) hope things are going well with you guys back in Utah, and the ski resort!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
142 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

This motel is fine for a short stay. It is decent value. The room was veey small and basic. It is located close to the harbour and shelter island. Not far from the great views at the lighthouse. Clean and comfortable and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Staff were great. Very friendly and breakfast was laid on outside on the patio. Tea, coffee, juice, yogurt, fruit and lovely muffins. Free wifi and parking. Dont expect any luxuries but a warm welcome is on offer

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1Sheermadness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 27, 2012
Hello sheermadness,
Thanks for the nice things you said and their accuracy. Hope to see you again, there is always room for improvement—come on back!
Sincerely,
Alan Murdock – Owner with Dad
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mid-Atlantic
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

How can you fault a family-owned business in which you not only see, but get to chat with the owners during your stay?!! Every attempt was made to assure a comfortable stay for us. We arrived very late from a flight, yet the front desk clerk was ready to help us. Our room was clean and functional. Breakfast on the patio was a great start to our day!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Canopus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Thank you Canopus
We do try our best
Hope things are going well back in the mid-atlantic!
Come back and see us again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012 via mobile

staff is super friendly and very helpful, parking spaces are available, free wifi too, "free breakfast" means oragejuice,coffee,milk and muffins. the walls are super thin you can hear everything from the room next door and from outside. we found two ants in the bathroom.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Simon Andy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 27, 2012
Hello Simon Andy V,
Thanks for the frank assessment of our motel, and yes, being an older motel, at quiet times you can hear sounds from neighboring rooms.
Sorry about the two ants, it is the season, but no excuses.
I expect the room was very clean otherwise, and I hope the price was a good value for you.

P.S. Our complimentary breakfast also includes banannas, individual yogurts, and newspapers.

P.S.S. Hope you will return, we will try to save you some money on the rent again, and we'll get rid of those two ants.

Best regards,
Alan Murdock - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
91 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

We recently stayed at this motel and found it to be a great value. Free Parkin, free wifi, breakfast and super clean rooms. You can walk to many restaurants and to the harbor. This is a great value and you are only 10 minutes from downtown San Diego.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank btworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, September 29, 2012
Thank you btworld for this wonderful review
We love all our guests from Arizona, who drive over to see the ocean and visit our coastal town!
Wish I had more time to talk to you guys during breakfast
But usually Mr. Murdock, the owner, does that best!
He also checks up on everyone and makes sure their needs are met
We'll see you back next year!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Property: Dolphin Motel
Address: 2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#45 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Highly Rated - Very Reasonably Priced - American Owned and Operated Budget Motel since 1976. Budget very clean rooms with top rated beds, refrigerators and great showers! Best Price! Budget Value! Great location - one block from San Diego Harbor and minutes from the Airport - Seaword - Downtown - Zoo - Beaches and more! Friendly - professional staff ready to help with directions - boarding passes, etc. Every morning say hello to the owners Holly and Alan over continental breakfast. - Please see over reviews. Thanks ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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