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“excellent value, extremely impressed”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #13 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Escondido, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“excellent value, extremely impressed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

I stay at the Dolphin whenever I have to work in San Diego, and every time I am impressed. Its a vintage hotel, so the room's are small and not fancy, but the service is top notch, friendly, and personal. The room's are always clean and quiet, and the breakfast is good. No other hotel I have stayed at in this price range has come close, I have stayed here 4 times, and I will definitely be a long time customer. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: they say the upstairs rooms are quieter, but I've had both and the downstairs was fine too
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Thank you for Nate for taking the time to write about us!
Our hard working owners always appreciate our return guests as they keep coming back year after year
As always, please mention this when you book with us. We always always appreciate return guests!
Once again, thank you for this generous 5-star review (and I think you mis-clicked the 1-star on service, but really meant 5-star for service).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,094 reviews from our community

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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 (211)
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Alexandria, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

If your going to San Diego and you are not a hotel snob then you would do a lot worse than staying at the Dolphin Motel. We arrived for a five night stay last week and could not have been happier. The reception staff offered us ideas for sight seeing,as did the motel owner the next morning. We did five of the six things they recommended and all where worth the drive. ( these were over and above the sea world, zoo, safari park etc tourist stuff we had already booked).
The rooms are small but perfectly clean. Your room is made up every day with clean towels and the location across from the harbour is good for visiting shelter island and other eateries nearby.
Thanks to all at the dolphin motel. It just shows that a little bit of effort on the guest relations pays dividends. I challenge the bigger hotel chains to visit the dolphin and learn some lessons.

Room Tip: We where in room 32 (or was it 34!!!) anyway, it was upstairs looking over the harbour. Nice to sit...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian_Roper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
It was a pleasure to have you stay with us Mr. & Mrs. Roper
I remember you guys checking in and the pleasant conversation we had in the morning
Looking at the many reviews you wrote for other locations, you guys are avid travelers!
I'm sure all the other places welcomed you guys as you are among the most generous and kind-hearted guests around!
Our small rooms & modest amenities reflect on our pricing
Many guests may have second thoughts when they see us as a "motel", because hotels usually get all the credit for accommodations & features
However, our hard working owners are dedicated to providing the best price to value ratio in town
Hopefully we continue to get such wonderful guests like yourselves
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
337 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

At under one hundred dollars per night (varying significantly, however, depending upon the day of the week), this was a good find for our party of four (two couples, two rooms). Rooms were small. Furniture and fixtures in rooms and bathrooms were Spartan and dated but clean. Air conditioning was wall-mounted. Small fridge in room was appreciated. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Breakfast was fine for those who are okay with the "continental breakfast." Location was sufficiently close to tourist attractions. Neighborhood felt safe enough and appeared to be focused on the marina and the businesses associated with it (i.e., chartered fishing trips). Parking seemed limited and a bit awkward (you could only back out of the small lot). We would definitely return to this motel the next time we are in SD.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank westernfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Thank you guys for making our modest motel a part of your recent trip
Point Loma is just off the main downtown area & airport by 10 minutes driving
I would describe it as a quiet fishing town near Downtown
(since we are across the street from the Fishing Landing)
Lots of action lately as boats come & go during the busy sport fishing season
Being an older motel, our owners try so hard to fix minor issues & keep up with changing technology
(buying flat screens, upgrading to fast internet so guests can watch movies)
We hope our efforts are noticed by all our guests.
It's also commonly known that problems will motivate guests to write about a certain place more than good things
But your review will give future guests a good idea of what we have to offer
We hope all our future guests will do some research and decide if we are the right fit for them
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newman Lake, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

If you are going to San Diego to spend all your time in your hotel room, this is not the place for you. BUT, if you are going to San Diego to get out and see the sights, enjoy the atmosphere and want a clean room to lay your head down in at night at a reasonable cost the Dolphin Motel is for you. The Dolphin Motel is an older 1950's era motel and looks it-smaller rooms and not terribly upscale, but clean and well kept with a friendly staff and owners. What other hotel will you ever stay at where the owner will greet you every morning and make sure everything is satisfactory? Yep, that is true! This is a family-owned property and it shows. The love and care that has been taken of this property was reflected in everything about The Dolphin Motel. True, the breakfast fits the continental style-muffins, fruit, juice, milk, coffee, tea-but the patio on which it is served is wonderfully shaded and a delightful place to spend the morning before you venture out to take in the whole of San Diego.

Room Tip: Well-priced and right next to Fisherman's Pier and down the road from Shelter Island
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roberta H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Thank you Roberta for bringing the family to enjoy sunny San Diego
The season is changing but we are still enjoying the last days of summer with its no clouds and warm beach weather. That's also why its so expensive to live here!
That being said, our hard owners have been dedicated to providing budget travelers a haven from the many pricey options available.
We fill up every weekend because majority of visitors are looking for a clean, budget place to sleep
We have little in terms of luxury accommodations so most of our guests are not of the rich type.
But we do get such nice guests. We hope all our future guests will not judge us based on what we don't have, but what we can offer them in terms of savings money.
Once again, the owners and our staff thank your generous review of our motel
See you next summer!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

Perfect balance between price, quality, and distance from the bay. The staff brings their A game and they really care about your experience from all the review responses here. The owner is always there doing rounds in the daytime visiting with guests. I like the white color everywhere as it lets you KNOW the place is is clean. There's very little I can suggest to improve the place, but there's nothing wrong in requesting perfection in a place you already love, so here it goes: The weather strips on the room doorway were about half gone which may have explained the spider in the bathroom (or it could have hitched a ride in our luggage from the Days Hotel where we had the same problem). I would like to see a room safe in future visits if the budget allows for it. Other reviewers complained about the gratuitous use of caulk to fix cracks in the wall or grout. Sure, I'd like to see them grind away bad areas and redo them, but I'm sure they'll save that for doing all in one go and use a cheap fix in the interim. I would also like to see more fruit than just bananas in the breakfast (maybe oranges or apples added to the mix). Many reviewers also complained about small room sizes. If you're a family of 4 with hyper kids, then yes, I can see this being a problem. Otherwise, who cares? You're not getting a motel room in gorgeous San Diego to stay cooped up all day, right? Other than that, this place is awesome and a real joy to stay at. We'll definitely be looking at booking here again in the future and are looking to hear from the owner in a response.

Helpful?
Thank BeeRye
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Thank you so much for this generous review!
The owners Alan & Holly can't help but smile as they are reading this review
They recall talking to you guys during the morning breakfast, and recommending a few places to visit including Cabrillo National Monument (before the park was closed due to the government shutdown!)
Being a small fish in the open sea of competition, we can't help but thank you guys for writing about your recent stay!
We treat all our guests like family, because we are family-owned & operated for 37 years!
And if the owners recommended any of the so-so restaurants in San Diego, they do apologize.

I remember one time there were some guests staying with us and they didn't like the food at one of the Old Town places, they talked to the manager and got 1 item taken off as well as a discounted bill in total.
That being said, always let them know. If they still want to do business, they will listen to the customer!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in the Dolphin Motel for 2 nights and chose the motel based on the trip advisor reviews. I was impressed with the service from the point of booking - within an hour of sending an enquiry email I received a reply although it was the middle of the night in San Diego!

The motel is very close to the airport in Point Loma and the area felt very safe. It is within driving distance of the main attractions in San Diego and there are a few decent restaurants around (Miguels especially!)

The room was small but adequate, and was very clean. There is no safe but the reception is 24hrs with cameras on the premises which gave us peace of mind. There was a good sized fridge which is more than we had in some more expensive motels on our trip.

The only real complaint is the noise - we could hear a lot from other rooms and from the road etc. Management have done their best to minimise this however by requesting guests to keep the noise down after 9pm, and this was appreciated.

The free breakfast was ideal - the muffins were excellent!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LM82
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 24, 2013
Hello Mr. & Mrs M.
Thank you for staying with us on your latest round trip from Vegas to Southern California
The West Coast route is a very popular route as most people from Europe, Australia & the U.K. choose (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Diego)
I remember having a pleasant conversation with you guys during the evening.
The owners & our staff thank you for staying with us
As our accommodations are limited, we fit the budget traveler
Many of our guests are like you guys and do a little research prior to booking to see if we are the right fit.
We urge all our guests to contact us to see if we fit their needs.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
60 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

We found exactly what we needed. It a motel located in a hotel area in San Diego. Like 10 mins from downtown (In car). The rooms are quite small but clean and perfectly organized. The staff is something remarcable. They are always with the best service attitude. If you are looking for a clean space just to sleep this is the best option.

Room Tip: They have small details such as baggage weigh, boarding pass printing and breakfast. The webpage i...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alejandro M
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 18, 2013
We thank you Alejandro for making our place your first choice during this summer
It really tells alot when all the employees are enthusiastic about helping the guest
Our hard working owners Alan & Holly are so generous to us in all aspects
Our work environment is such a pleasant place to be
It is the trust that took many years to build
Fro the most senior to the junior, our staff have been around for at 3-38 years
And we strive to reflect that energy to our customers
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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
#5 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#44 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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