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“It is what it is,brilliant budget motel.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #8 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It is what it is,brilliant budget motel.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

Am on a 4 week visit to US from the UK starting in San Diego,saw the Dolphin on line and loved the look of the place.Stayed for 4 nights and cannot be more pleased with my choice.Rooms are a good size and very,very clean,lovely fluffy white towels,great shower and comfortable bed.What I think makes this motel stand out is the staff.Always friendly and helpful,giving directions and advising on where to visit.An example of this help and concern happened when I arrived back at the motel after not having enough change to pay at a automatic toll booth and driving through the red light.The duty manager found and called the relative authorities and the problem was sorted without fuss,brilliant.
This motel is of the old style and some may think a little worn,but I believe this adds to its charm,works for me.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nicho1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you so much Mr. Nicho
It is a pleasure serving such wonderful guests like yourself
It is no secret we may not be the right motel for everyone.
Especially guests who have higher expectations (want bigger rooms, telephones in rooms, need bath tubs, etc)
We do try our best with what little we have; as we are an older motel
We hope many of our guests are as nice as you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,076 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (209)
Date | Rating
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English first
VA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

The only reason why you would pick this hotel is because of TripAdvsior rating and the price. However, if you can get a room at another better rating hotel in that area for less than or equal to 90 bucks (which is unlikely) then dont choose this one. The rooms are small. There is no telephone in the room. The A/C unit makes loud noise. You can hear people talking in the next room or parking lot in the night. Very small bathrooms. 70 bucks is still probably pricy for that room because I dont see where I am spending that 70 bucks in that room. Yeah, service and people are great and very friendly, the room and the bed is very clean. I am not saying this as to insult and no offense, I would say 50 bucks is good enough still.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Hello S.K. I am sorry we did not meet your expectations, though with all due respect, I believe your expectations we unrealistic. Budget motels do have A/C wall units that you can hear, and yes you can sometimes hear your neighbors inside or in the parking lot. Motels get their name from small hotels with guests' cars parked outside their rooms. (Motor hotels-Motor Inns). Yes the rooms are small but no suprise there(See Trip Advisor reviews). Cell phones, GPS, laptops, irons, hairdryers, etc. available for loan out upon request in the office. (Not much demand for cell phones, most everyone has one). Sorry you did not believe we are a good value. Fortunately, the great majority of our guests disagree and understand they will get a no frills, neat, clean room with a wonderful location and even better service. (Once again, see reviews). Regarding the $90-$70$50 comments, I kindly suggest that you check pricing in the area for a family at this time of year. Finally, no insult taken regarding your comment that our family room is worth $50. I am not aware of any 2 bed room family room in San Diego for $50. Sincerely, Alan Murdock, owner with my Dad
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

Our flight home was cancelled, so we needed a place to stay last minute. I had read about the Dolphin Motel on Tripadvisor, and we happened to be in Point Loma. I thought we would stop by and see if they had any available rooms. They did, and I was impressed immediately by the very friendly staff. Asked to see a room, and it was spotless. Couldn't have beat the price, and the location was great. The room was small, which wasn't a problem at all for us. The only problem we had was the bed wasn't the most comfortable. If it wasn't for that, it would have been perfect. I wouldn't stay there for a long trip, but for a night or two it is a great place to stay.

Room Tip: We got a room on the second floor, and it had a view of the harbor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tripmanIdaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Thank you for staying with us recently tripmanIdaho
You are correct, our rooms are do not have much space
If all you are looking for is a place to sleep, we are perfect for your needs.
All in all, we do not advertise ourselves as fancy or with many extras (we don't have telephones, or bath tubs) but we make up with service and cleanliness.
We hope all future guests will take into consideration that we may not fit everyone's needs.
But please contact us and see if we have what you need.
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Mpls., MN
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

The Dolphin is at most, 15-20 min. from anything you'd want to see in San Diego. The staff couldn't be friendlier or more helpful.
Small rooms, few amenities in each room originally. However, they have hair dryers and GPS available for your use during your stay. (no charge- just ask.)
My only suggestion would be have coffee pots in the rooms. Also, it's too bad they don't have a pool, but, at those prices, you can't complain too much.

Room Tip: Ask for water view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank psat41313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you psat41313 for staying at our motel recently
Our office is open 24/7 for our guests if they have any questions, information about places to go, or to borrow a hairdryer, iron, or print boarding pass
Hope you come back in the near future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

My first time in San Diego had a wonderful time! The Dolphin lnn is a nice budget motel. The staff was very courteous and helpful, the owner even gave us a map and pointed out some local attractions. I only have one suggestion, it would have been nice if the refrigerator in our room was plugged in before our arrival time, we thought the refrigerator didn't work and called for some assistance. But overall a very nice place to stay and would definitely stay again!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jcsms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Thank you jcsms for writing about your recent stay with us.
All in all we thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at our little motel
Your review will help others evaluate if our place fits their needs
As said a hundred times, we are a budget motel best suited for budget travelers.
For our future guests: if you are looking for a clean place to sleep, we are perfect for your needs
However, we may not have all the accommodations that some guests expect from places they might otherwise pay double the price.
Please contact us beforehand to make sure we are "the right fit"

Minor note: to conserve electricity (and not overfreeze the frig), we keep it unplugged.
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small town usa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

We stayed at the Dolphin hotel for 3 nights and must say the service was excellent. They were very helpful with any questions we had regarding San Diego. The location is perfect central location. Easy to drive to all attractions. The hotel was spotless! I mean spotless. I have been in 4 star hotel that aren't as clean as the Dolphin hotel. The parking and internet is free! love that!! I agree the internet is slow but unless you are on business, not that important. I would recommend staying here to anyone who doesn't have to have 4 star hotel but enjoys good location, and great service!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luv2travell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you kindly luv2travell for taking the time to write about your recent stay with us.
We pride ourselves in cleanliness, service, and value.
As stated many times over, we really want all future guests to read about our motel and see if we are the right fit for them. Sometimes we may not have the accommodations they need; and some guests may find our motel sufficient.
Your recent review will help everyone get a glimpse of our little motel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lutterworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

We wanted a more budget room for one night whilst staying in San Diego. We were greeted by a very smart friendly staff member who i think could have been a part time comedian and made us feel very welcome. The accommodation was a small but clean room and as a motel, my husband did complain that he could hear all the traffic through the night from the nearby road. All fittings were dated and quite shabby and there were staples in the curtains. Distance from downtown San Diego was a little too far. Breakfast was included in the price and was perfectly fine with a range of cold items.

This was a good value money motel for a short stay

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank phil e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Hello Phil,

Thank you for the honest review. There is always room for improvement. Sorry about the traffic noise. We very rarely get comments on that since we are not on a major street. (See other reviews). Was your window open? Regarding the dated fittings, yes we are an older motel that appeals to the budget minded traveler, and thank you for the "clean room" and "good value" comments. We would love to have you back, we can do better. As one of our regular "no frills" guests commented the other day, "The money I save here, I can spend elsewhere."
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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

Property: 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:
#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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