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“Awesome stay!”
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #38 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

This hotel was great. Affordable, clean, great shower, HDTV with many channels, breakfast... WHITE linens (no 70s brown here). Front desk was helpful with dinner recommendations. Great location across from boat docks. Loved it!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank MelindaRatesThings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2013

Thank you for this generous review Melinda!
White = clean
We want to convey we are clean to all our guests
We end up throwing away alot more towels/sheets though
Others' color sheets will "cover" the stains
Hope you come back and visit us

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422 - 428 of 1,117 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2013

The Dolphin can best described as a niche motel....unsuitable for some but beloved by many. The intricacies of this unique little place include "no fish in room", quiet hours....which translates to simple consideration for other human beings, and a shampoo-less shower that can be rectified with a .25 travel bottle, from the front desk. I read many reviews on Trip Advisor and I found all to be very accurate, however, the one aspect of this motel that can't be reduced to words is the true and honest concern that every employee has, for your enjoyable stay at their "home." You get the feeling that you are lodging with family, here.....real people who take an sincere interest in you and how they can best assist you in making your stay, as pleasant as possible. When my son and I checked in we were told of several places to visit that would give us an overview of San Diego. First, Cabrillo...where you can see how the entire area is laid out. Next Sunset Cliffs and the walking trail along the breathtaking coast. Next La Jolla and the children's pool...where we saw seal pups being born and 200 other seals sunning themselves, oblivious to our curiosity. It was wonderfully refreshing not to be told to visit Seaworld or the zoo.....for we are travelers and not tourists.

The rooms are simple and serviceable. Snow white in color with a flat screen TV on the wall, refrigerator, 2 night tables, a comfortable bed with dense pillows, a small bathroom with a shower surround, sink and venting window......this is not the place to go to be pampered and spoiled. You will save real money here since the highest cost room is about 75.00....starting rates between 50.00 and 55.00. The location is outstanding with easy access to Rosecrans, I 5, the airport, Shelter and Harbor Islands. The free breakfast includes bananas, OJ, coffee, tea, milk, yogurt, and muffins. I went to a local Sprouts market and picked up some great granola and had it with my milk, for breakfast every morning.

If you want your trip to include an interesting place to stay, wonderfully caring people to watch over you, and some extra dollars saved in YOUR pocket, The Dolphin is a unique find. Kudos to Horace and his staff.

Room Tip: Harbor view rooms are 5.00 extra. You don't get a great view but I think it probably was worth t...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank John11058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2013

First off, thank you very much for staying at our little corner of the world
What a thorough descriptions!
This is one of the most detailed reviews on tripadvisor
Yes, we highly recommend having a car to visit all the places in San Diego at your leisure & convenience
Prices vary depending on season, weekday/weekend, holidays. Please call early to get prices and availability
You are correct, we are across the street from the "harbor" (not ocean). There are boats and seafood eats, you will not see waves splashing on the cliffs or dolphins jumping around! =)

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Reviewed March 17, 2013

Location - Awesome! Surprised that it was quiet in the rooms once we headed to bed. It is located directly across from the Marina. Located amongst other high end hotels.

Rooms - Pure White Square with clean beds, floors, bathrooms. Was so surprised by this. It is not by far a 5 star hotel, but it is pretty great. Extra blankets in closet. The Air Conditioner was a bit loud. We turned it on while we went to supper down the street and came back and turned it off while we slept.

Breakfast - Muffins, coffee, yogurt, coffee, juice

Staff - Gracious, Helpful, friendly

Free Parking & WiFi which is a rarity in any city esp San Diego. Parking was great and almost right outside your room.

Room Tip: Motel is 2 floors and I didn't see an elevator for those who need one. No Restaurant or Swim...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Fiddlemaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2013

Thank you kindly Fiddlemaster for choosing our modest little motel on your recent visit
We value all our customers and make the most of our limited accommodations: rooms are small, budget is our nitch
Hotels + WiFi in san Diego can be charged at other higher chain hotels or free, really depends on where you are staying.
It all comes down to doing research beforehand and deciding the best fit for your vacation.
Although I did read some complaints at other locations about internet fee
Sometimes its a struggle between guests assuming certain things are free, and the hotels deciding to charge

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Reviewed March 14, 2013

I looked for a place to stay that was reasonable as I was there on business only for an hour. I also did not check in until 2 a.m. The front desk clerk was very personable for that hour and checking out the same day. Although the room was on the small side and older, it was clean and comfortable with a few small appliances (even though the room comes with a free breakfast). The only complaint was that walls were thin and you could hear everything next door. Checking out 10 hours later, I was so surprised to open my door and see the boat marina across the street. What a nice way to wake up in the morning. As I was going down stairs with my bag, the maid and the owner both offered to carry it down to my car. I would definitely come again, just to get away.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank PLO528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2013

Thank you very much PLO528 for your recent stay at our little motel
The issue with noise is an ongoing one for us and I am sure every other motel/hotel
We apologize for that and I have always advised our guests to contact the front desk and our staff will do our best to address this,
either by telling the party next door to keep quiet or moving you to another room
We always make the most from what little we have, we hope all our future guests can do a little research beforehand and decide for themselves if we are a good fit for them.
Also like the previous guest stated, we are very basic motel.
Therefore sometimes we get guests who have expectations that we can't meet: example: shampoo & conditioner, pool, phone, work desk, alarm clock, body lotion.
We appreciate you taking the time to write about us and hope you come back next time around

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Reviewed March 13, 2013

We were looking for a deal for a one night stay in San Diego to attend our grandson's robotics competition. Charmed by the Tripadvisor reviews of The Dolphin Motel, we decided to stay there. The pluses were that the white room, sheets, blankets, curtains, bathroom, etc. were spotless, and the staff was gracious. The location near the beach would also be a plus, although for us, the short visit and the rain did not allow for any sea side exploration. The price was also far more reasonable than the competition. But, don't expect run of the mill lodgings. There was no phone, no clock, none of the usual shampoo and hair conditioner, body lotion travel bottles. The mattresses were hard. There was no desk so, if you have a lap top, plan on using it in bed. The room was small. There was a nice overhead flat screen tv. , They did provide soap, and I went to the front desk to purchase a dollar's worth of shampoo. The bottom line is that The Dolphin Motel is a clean, very clean, modestly priced motel for the budget traveler. Per the title of this review, my husband said he felt like he was staying in a monestary. And, yes, the shower pressure was great! 'Clean' is worth a lot, but, don't expect the feel of a regular motel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Diana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2013

Hi Diana S, Thank you for the good and honest review. It is well traveled individuals like yourself who give a good description of our niche motel.In our efforts to keep room rates low in this economy we do not have phones, (cell phones available for loan in office),clocks (also on office) and hair conditioner etc.Sounds like our little budget motel may have been a little too " budget " for your higher standards. ( sorry about no body lotion travel bottles ). Our high internet rating does fool the occasional traveler in to thinking we are like the higher end chains, but at a budget rate.Instead of desks we do have folding computer tables hiding against the walls. Regarding our beds--It is the Goldilocks dilemma-too hard--too soft--just right. It comes down to personal tastes, sorry you were uncomfortable.We do not believe in nickel and diming our guests with hidden fees sooo--complimentary use of cell phones-GPS-laptop comp.-irons and boards-hairdryers-LUGGAGE WEIGH IN SCALE for airport-print boarding passes-free parking etc.WISH THIS WAS THE CASE EVERY WHERE. Hope you will come see us again even if you come just for that strong shower power wash. Best regards Alan Murdock

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Reviewed March 10, 2013

Dolphin Motel is the perfect stay for San Diego. Location - this place is perfectly located just near the airport and close to downtown. Price, very clean and the staff and owners are friendly and welcoming. I will definitely stay here again. Thank you!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Russ P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2013

Thank you kindly for writing about our motel, and thank you for giving us a chance to be a part of your recent vacation Russ
We are so pleased to have many warm hearted guests at our family-owned motel
As always, we hope all our future guests read carefully about our motel and our accommodations.
We are an older motel and rooms are rather small, we may or may not have what everybody is looking for
But please don't hesitate to inquire about us
That is the wonderful thing about tripadvisor, it gives a glimpse into a place beforehand
And it is written by normal travelers like yourself

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Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

Position around 100 feet from the waters edge. Close to a great fish restaurant. Whale watching booking close by. Room very clean and had a frig and Tv. Breakfast included which was great. Best coffee I have had since being in the USA. Overall great value. Simple but clean, great value

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
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3  Thank Simians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2013

We appreciate you taking the time to write about our little motel
Your description of our location is exact
We highly recommend Point Loma Seafoods which is right across the street
(Never had a complaint about their food either, only thing is they close rather early: 7:00PM!)
Thank you Simians for this generous review
We hope all our future guests will be as pleasant as yourself

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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:
#3 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: $73 - $189 (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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