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Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
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Reviewed October 13, 2013

We had but one short night in San Diego, and booked this hotel using our aeroplan miles the night before we left based purely on photos from the website, etc. We figured it looked good, it was costing us nothing, it's one night, what have we got to lose? Well, I'm very pleased to say...nothing at all!

This was exactly what was advertised - amazing location, beautiful views. Upon arrival, we were greeted by an amazingly efficient and friendly front desk staff, who were able to get us into a room immediately, even though we arrived well before check in. My only complaint (and it's not really a complaint) is that the room we were assigned, although very nicely appointed on the interior, was located on the first floor of the oldest section of the hotel, directly off the parking lot. I noticed the door to the room had no sealant on it - i.e., when the door was shut, you could easily see daylight flooding in all around the edges - not a huge issue - it was HOT when we were there...but my mind did wonder about creepy crawlies and other small critters that easily could have entered through the cracks. I figured being assigned this room was probably a function of our "free room" status, so I figured what would be the harm in asking about an upgrade?

I'm very glad I did - for only $30, we were cheerily and efficiently reassigned a gorgeous room in the "Casa Marina" section of the hotel - again on the first floor, but this time with a beautiful view of the marina, with our own private patio, and beautifully appointed interior. The room was quiet, the bed was supremely comfortable, in short, we were very disappointed our stay at the Island Palms was only for one night!

We made the most of it though...we enjoyed a sunny afternoon by the pool sipping Mai Tais, and very much enjoyed the perfect music mix that was emanating from the rock shaped speakers surrounding the pool. A wonderful way to decompress after the long flight from Toronto - paradise found. Had we had more time, I'm sure we would have taken advantage of an outdoor meal on the patio above the pool - the fare being served to others looked delicious! (Given that our time in SD was short, and we had never travelled there before, we did go off site to explore the city during the evening).

In short, our experience at the BW Island Palms not only met, but exceeded our expectations. Yes, we paid next to nothing for our experience there, and yes, our time was short, so I can't speak to what a longer term visit here would be like - but might I suggest that this might be exactly the BEST way to review a hotel - they had one brief window to get it right, and they knocked it out of the park! This hotel will now definitely be our #1 choice for any return trips to San Diego, without question (and we would willingly pay full price). Upon checkout (again served by an incredibly friendly front desk employee) we were advised that should we call them directly to book future visits, we'd receive 15% off. A nice final touch - we'll be back! :)

Room Tip: Rooms in the Casa Marina section of the hotel are newer, quieter, and have better views.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Noelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We had a 2x queen room single storey next to the pool. The rooms are wooden and single glazed, you can hear pretty much everything going on in other rooms and outside. The actual room was well appointed, bathroom a good size with nice shower. Pool areas great, fantastic views, massive tv, microwave, fridge, coffee making. Very hospitable staff at desk, maid didn't speak a word of English. Our friends stayed in a suite, with kitchen, it was well equipped. Overall lovely, just maybe not for the light sleeper, but it is a sizable hotel with lots of buildings, maybe away from a pool area????

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lee F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

This is a very decent hotel...when the price is right. The restaurant is "ok" and the bar is cozy.
Free parking is also a plus. The other hotels nearby charge a fee to park.
This was originally two hotels. These days they are both operated under the Best Western mantra. But unlike many BW hotels, breakfast is not included and the morning choices in the restaurant are less than stellar.

I prefer to stay on the older side of the property. The Casa Marina side is a long way from the lobby, bar and restaurant and quite honestly, not worth the hype. At $100-$125, this is a very decent hotel. When it tops $150...pick another in the neighborhood.

There are (4) hotels on Shelter Island that share a common website (just search: Shelter Island Hotels). One of them always has a deal going. I stayed at three of the four several times this past summer and they are all decent....when you book their deal. At full price, not so much.

Room Tip: Marina views are available, at a premium. Don't fall for it. There's no need to pay extra to watch the live aboard boat people....seriously.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bogusmalarky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

I spent three days here on a road trip around California. All staff I came in to contact with we're very friendly and efficient.
The bar man was happy to recommend wines and chatted freely with all customers.
I asked at reception where to catch the bus to go into town, not only odd the receptionist tell me but she also printed off a map and gave detailed info about different ticket prices.
The room was large, tidy, and very clean. The only negative comment would be that from outside the rooms looked very old but once inside they were wonderful. I did find that there was quite a lot of noise from staff in the nearby staff rest room (I was in room 144).
I would happily return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cranbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

After driving from Las Vegas what a delight to discover we were staying here. Ideally located near all the popular things to see and do in San Diego, Located on Shelter Island with the Marina one side of the Hotel and the Harbour inlet the other. Lovely walks and a delightful pier just across the road where I spotted seals and plenty of pelicans trying to catch the fish along with the fishermen. Room had everything we needed and a lovely comfy bed and pillows. No where close by to eat except for the hotels but 5 mins drive away was Ralphs- a supermarket with everything you would need including hot chickens,soup, salads a Starbucks etc which was ideal for taking back to the room. 2 pools and ideal for a swim and rest after a busy day sightseeing. Lovely 3 night stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank meatybj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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