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“Good value. Clean room. Friendly service.”
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #41 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 25, 2012 via mobile

Dolphin Motel is close to Point Loma, and from the outside does not look too impressive.

But once you check in, you are greeted with friendly service, a clean room (albeit small) but enough amenities for a comfortable stay. The heat works. The bathroom with a standing shower is clean. Towels are provided, so is a LCD screen TV with satellite channels. The room rate is unbeatable for San Diego. There's wifi provided as well.

Free breakfast is included, although not a full hot spread, it is sufficient to get you powered for the day (muffins, fruit, coffee, OJ, milk, tea) so you don't start your sightseeing on an empty stomach.

The owner came by to help me when I was getting my breakfast on a rainy morning. He helped me carry my plate up with me to my room as I held my coffee.

Recommended for quality budget stay!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank MrsKoh
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 reviewResponded January 2, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to describe our motel MrsKoh. Not all places charge for a smile, and certainly here at the Dolphin, our smiles are FREE! We certainly do our best to give our customers the honest faithful service that the owners mandate; it is our pleasure to do so.

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462 - 468 of 1,121 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2012

This is about our 3rd stay here. And it was great as always. The price is reasonable, location is great (close to the airpot near shelter Island), and CLEAN. Yes the rooms are very clean. Mind you they are small but very clean, The harbor is right across the street. Shelter Island is walking distance (maybe 5 blocks or so). They offer a simple, nice continential breakfast. I know of no other place in San Diego that offers these ammenities for the price. Yes, next time we are going to San Diego, we will be staying here.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EdG321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Physically, the Dolphin Motel looks pretty much like any other budget motel scattered across suburban America (with rates to match!). The difference is in the quality of the customer service and the little touches. Check in was a breeze even though I arrived early, Steve at the Front Desk gave me some good pointers on restaurants and public transportation, including a card good for a free appetizer at some of the nearby restaurants. The breakfast the following morning was fine, fresh coffee, supermarket OJ, muffins, bananas, and yogurt. They put out a few newspapers for those who still read offline, and they helped me print my boarding pass. Rooms were fine, and I appreciated the flat screen TVs that included HD channels. The place is not perfect: walls are thin so one can hear one's neighbors pretty clearly and, even though there were three bars of soap in the bathroom, there were no bottles of shampoo.

A word or two about location. I read where an earlier poster said he had walked from the airport to the hotel in Point Loma. Actually, that's true with light luggage like a backpack. Took about 40 minutes along Spanish Landing Park. Picturesque walk along the harborfront though, on the raw and rainy day that I picked, it wasn't too much fun. Point Loma is a relaxed waterfront place concentrating on pleasure boating, and you can walk from the motel to Shelter Island and America's Cup marinas. Good public transit links to Old Town and then the Trolley or a short walk to a bus that goes directly to downtown.

Room Tip: Both streets facing the motel seem noisy, though the rooms in the interior may be slightly quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Trotamundos09
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 reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thank you kindly for writing about us.
The owners have always maintained a nicely-run but small motel
That way, they can focus on the little details and all our guests are greeted by the owners in the morning during breakfast. They take great pride in their work!
Most importantly, our guests decide for themselves if we are what they are looking for.
We have the basics and nothing more. We hope all future guests will read carefully what we have to offer, then decide for themselves if we are what they need.
We really appreciate you taking the time to write about our motel, and hope you will return to San Diego

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Reviewed December 21, 2012

I stayed at the Dolphin Motel for a few days in the summer whilst travelling round the states and so had a small budget. The rooms were exactly as described, breakfast was what you would expect of a motel and the service was excellent.
Close to public transport and within walking distance to the sea front. The owners were lovely - I missed the bus into town on a Sunday with the next bus being in an hour and the owner even drove me to Old Town.
I would recommend to others

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank NicolaWL
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 reviewResponded December 24, 2012

All of us here thank you NicolaWL for taking the time to write about us
We try our best to fulfill all our guests’ needs
And wonderful guests (like yourself) in the future the right expectations. (no unexpected surprises!)
We are not a luxury place, nor do we advertise as such. We have basic rooms at competitive prices and are suited for the budget-minded traveler.

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Reviewed December 16, 2012

The quality of the motel is excellent. Sheets and towels are all first class. Breakfast is not extensive, but it is good and they serve it starting at 5:00 am. One of the perks is something that you can't get at a large hotel: if you are from the east coast and make the mistake of thinking that you can get by in California without a computer, the motel will loan you a laptop! And it worked very well. There are two bus routes that will take you into town. Some of the reviews describe the rooms as small, but they are not tiny. Highly recommended

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Tom N
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 reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thank you Tom N for your generous rating of our motel.
The owners are reading this with a smile, and thank you for every word and description of our motel
You pretty much summed up our motel in one go!
We hope to see you next time you visit this corner of the US

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Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

The Dolphin Motel is such a fantastic stay for the budget minded traveler. The staff is very kind and helpful. The location is perfect and close to public transportation. The breakfast on the patio every morning was just great and very relaxing. The motel is in a
nice area with several good restaurants. The Dolphin is also near a marina and we enjoyed seeing the huge fish that the charter boats brought in every morning. Although the rooms weren't huge or glamorous, we liked having the small refrigerator to store snacks and sodas.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Catalina48
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 reviewResponded December 12, 2012

Thank you Catalina48 for this recent review!
You took the time to describe our motel and help future guests decide if we are the right fit for their vacation.
The owner was very pleased so to hear you enjoyed your stay with us, despite us being a budget motel with small rooms.
He is always pleased to know such wonderful guests like yourselves found our breakfast satisfying, and our cleanliness & courtesy up to his highest expectations!
I do hope you visit us again on your next trip to San Diego!

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Reviewed December 9, 2012

We stayed at the Dolphin during the week of Thanksgiving. We had such a wonderful stay; the rooms were small but so clean and fresh. The breakfast included juice, sweet muffins, bananas and yogurt. We think it would be a nice addition to have some type of bread that's not so sweet as the muffins! And also herbal tea, for the non-caffeine visitors. The staff was very helpful for all of our needs at all hours of the day and night! The Dolfin is right across from the pier and it is such a fun place to venture. The neighborhood is safe and the bus stop (for those public transportation types) is right on the corner. The owners are also very kind and concerned that their guest have a great stay. You just don't find that these days. We have stayed at more expensive places in San Diego, but you can't beat the Dolphin's prices and service! If you enjoy simple and clean, stay here!

Room Tip: Ask for a room that looks over the marina. If they are full, that's okay...........stay anyway!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank scooterpair
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 reviewResponded December 11, 2012

Hello scooterpair
Those are some pictures you took of our motel & the harbor area!
All of us here at the Dolphin appreciate nice folks like you guys

A little bit of research before vacation will pay off in saving time and money!
It is true we don't have much in terms of luxury or fancy, we hope all our future guests will take that into consideration
We sincerely hope you come visit San Diego in the future, the weather here is always nice

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Address: 2912 Garrison St, San Diego, CA 92106-2770
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#9 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#44 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: $72 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Dolphin Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 35
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 our staff over continental breakfast. - Please see over reviews. Thanks ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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