We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Exellent Budget Motel”
Review of Dolphin Motel

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Dolphin Motel
Ranked #11 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Exellent Budget Motel”
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Stayed at the Dolphin Motel for 3 nights. The service level of the staff was excellent all the way. The quick reply on my emails regarding the room, quick check inn, the free water bottles when my friend got sick.

We stayed in Room 28 and it had a patio with chairs and table.

This motel comes highly recommended and i will stay here again

Room Tip: Room 28 had a patio with chairs and table
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Petter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
You came through for us Petter! I can't stop complimenting you for taking the time to write about our motel.
It will be seen by all future guests looking for a budget friendly place in San Diego!
Like yourself, most of our guests know our rooms by number and request it year after year.
Be it within local (California/Arizona) or international (Europe/Australia) we will always appreciate return guests like an old friend coming back.
I'm sure our hard-working owners will read this & thank you guys.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,103 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    692
    316
    71
    13
    11
See reviews for
197
500
117
58
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (213)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed May 5, 2014

We stayed there for 3 nights and it was awesome! Complimentary internet and breakfast. The room is very simple but comfortable. If you are planning to stay out most of the day and want to save money on a hotel definitely come here. Plus it is pretty close to many things in San Diego (right by the water too).

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Azzurra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Thank you guys for finding our motel among the hundreds of others.
We aren't necessarily the priciest (luxury hotels) or cheapest (international hostels).
I would describe our motel as a balance between price (what you pay) versus accommodations (what you get).
Across the street from Fisherman's Landing & Point Loma Seafoods, the best way for sightseeing from our location is by automobile.
Your review will compliment to our unique motel image and our owners' dedication to keep it running.
It is wonderful guests like yourselves that keep our business alive
We thank you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

This was our first motel experience and we were very happy with our stay here - the staff are extremely helpful and friendly, the rooms are clean and have all amenities - cupboard, fridge, air con, bathroom with shower, plenty of room for all our suitcases etc. The walls are very thin and the baby screaming next door was frustrating!! But turning the air con up at full blast helps to block out the noises so we slept well on the comfy beds. The breakfast is basic (yoghurt, juice, muffins, tea and coffee) which is all you need to start the day. The location is excellent with plenty of restaurants nearby and very close to Old Town Historical Park - 10mins drive. Room also comes with free Wifi, which is very good.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Guest Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, May 3, 2014
Thank you Laura for choosing our little Dolphin Motel during your recent stay in sunny San Diego
Our owners & staff have read your review carefully, we are grateful that you gave us a chance.
We are delighted that we were able to accommodate you guys during the busy weekend
Your review is so generous and from looking at your other reviews, the other places will agree with me that you are a pleasant guest to have anywhere!
Our sincere apologies about the neighbor's kid making noise, we do try to keep the peace 24 hour staff.
We do our best to prevent kids running & screaming around because its not safe.
I remember one time I caught a little 4 year old as he ran up the stairs.
The parents were grateful I caught him from behind as he tripped on his blanket running up the stairs. What a nightmare if he had fallen!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2014

We stayed here 20/04 to 22/04 and wish we had stayed longer. We were in room 28 which was fantastic, we had our only little patio area outside the room which overlooked the harbour - absolutely beautiful. The room was sooooo clean, everything is white so you can see how clean things are. The beds were really comfy and the bathroom was nice, great shower. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly, couldn't do enough for you. The breakfast in the courtyard was muffins, yoghurts, coffee and bananas, just enough to set you up for the day. I would recommend this motel over any 5* hotel any day - it was heaven.

Room Tip: Ask for a second floor to enjoy the views. 28 and I think 36 come with their own patio area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jamesmomanddad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Thank you guys for taking the time to share your recent stay at our little motel by the harbor
It is wonderful guests like yourselves that make keep our owners & staff motivated!
As part of the wedding group last week, we were so thrilled to have accommodated many family members.
I'm sure you must have spoken with the owners Holly & Alan throughout your stay, and we are honored to have been a part of this most joyous day.
I spoke with a few members who stayed near the office area & thank you all for choosing our place!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
111 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2014

You cannot go wrong staying at the Dolphin. Great location at a great price. Simple healthy breakfast and friendly helpful staff and free parking. Walk to the wharfs; great seafood and Mexican dining a stroll away and an easy drive to most of the highlights of the city. Only real critiscm is the wifi speed is good enough for surfing the net and e-mail but not for Netflix. Highly recommend; amazing value for $$.

Room Tip: If you do not need two beds you may want to request room with one bed - gives you more space in the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KingstonBWB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Thank you guys for giving our motel a try, we appreciate all our guest input.
Our place caters to budget-minded travelers who have done some research.
They have looked at many other options but chose our location based on what they pay vs what they need; that's our little niche.
I apologize about the WiFi not meeting your needs:
Last week, I read an article on CNN news about the internet bandwidth & Netflix movies
There is a debate about Netflix customers using high volumes because movies demand the most. (They want Netflix heavy users to pay for priority connections)
Last year our owners essentially doubled our bandwidth (they paid 2x the costs to upgrade!) to accommodate the growing demand.
On busy nights more than half our guests log onto the network (we have 4 WiFi networks) & watch movies which puts a strain on bandwidth; as a tech savvy person myself, I am at my wits end. =/
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

I came over from the Uk and stayed here with my wife,daughter and her boyfriend for 3 nights on the recommendation of my wife's nephew,his marriage being the purpose of our stay-he recommended the Dolphin;and rarely if ever will you find in a city of the quality of San Diego,in such a top,well placed location,a motel or hotel that is such amazingly good value for money-the staff are ever helpful,so polite and eager to help;the rooms are ok for size,spotlessly clean,with a daily sheet change,a good wall mounted flat screen TV,decent shower; a breakfast in a small seated area of muffins,coffee,yoghurt bananas etc; Staff printed off our boarding passes,arranged a 5am cab,and were in all ways simply marvellous.If there is a criticism it is that the buildings are insubstantial and old fashioned,with thin walls and noise carries fairly easily from other guests however the staff are on the premises 24 hours and from what I can tell keep excess noise down very well.If you are after the best value in town,don't read any more reviews-just go and book your stay!We loved this place.

Room Tip: 1st floor near to the Office has good views over the harbour.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Graham E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 22, 2014
It was an honor for our motel to accommodate you guys for the Easter weekend wedding.
Our owners & staff were just as excited as you guys to be a part of this celebration
I remember loaning you guys the broom for the jumping over the broom ceremony!

Being a budget motel, we don't have much in terms of luxury (but some of the party did stay at the Hotel Del Coronado).
What we offer is an alternative balance between what our guest pays vs what they get.
We hope all our future guests will read your wonderful review & consider our location.
Our upstairs rooms are very limited so please book 3+ more months in advance!
We are already 90% sold out mid-July Comic Convention.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tehachapi CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Where do I start, I reserved the room for Sunday, we arrived Friday for a fishing trip, the sport fishing parking lots were closed for A Day at the Docks , The Dolphin Motel let us park in there parking lot while we were out fishing. We got back from fishing and my Wife was sea sick the hole trip, Even though check in time is 1:00 pm they got us in at 10:00 am. They went so far out of there way for us, THANK YOU DOLPHIN MOTEL

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BHBCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinMotel, Guest Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, April 16, 2014
Thank you guys for choosing our motel for your fishing & parking destination.
It's good to hear from you guys again!
I remember talking to you guys last Friday when you left & Sunday when you came back.
I'm glad you felt better now, we did our best to get the rooms ready
I agree with what you guys said, Day At the Docks was like a zoo!
Parking spaces were being fought over, & people everywhere!
For 1 day (across the street) it is the busiest day every year!
Yes, we do offer 7-nights free parking when you stay during the off-season (excluding certain days & summer months).
The summer is fast approaching & the vacation season looks to be hustling & bustling
Of course, warm stable weather brings guests to San Diego year round!
Hope you will return and book for a much shorter fishing trip (maybe 3/4 day fishing trip) next time.
Glad you have you guys here!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these San Diego hotels
Mission Valley / Hotel Circle
Kings Inn San Diego
Kings Inn San Diego
#34 of 279 in San Diego
2,069 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
The Pearl Hotel
#23 of 279 in San Diego
966 reviews
Old Town Inn
#19 of 279 in San Diego
1,838 reviews
Downtown
Hotel Z - A Staypineapple Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Dolphin Motel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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:
#2 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
#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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity so you can book your Dolphin Motel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing