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“Might as well charge by the hour...”

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Howard Johnson Inn San Diego Hotel Circle
Ranked #251 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Reviewed October 5, 2006

I had never stayed in a Howard Johnson before, let alone a Howard Johnson Express. I got the chance last week when I was sent down for training. Training was to be held in the Doubletree thats just a few doors down (walking distance easy). My first reaction upon finding the "hotel" was, "Are you serious?" As I entered the "lobby", I was greeted by a life-size statue of Hulk Hogan... very classy I thought to myself. Checked in fine and as I make my way up the elevator and around the catwalk that wraps around the building 4 stories up, (sorry, scared of heights) I began to hope that my room would make up for what the "hotel" lacked in curb appeal. My hopes were crushed as I opened the door and the smell of smoke filled my nose and my eyes adjusted to the dark cave-like room. The room was small, very small, the bed was only a full (maybe a booking issue with personnel) and the lock on the door had to be jimmied in order to actually lock. What do you expect for $59 per night? Although, in all fairness to the "hotel", They did have a small fridge and a microwave in the room. The shower had also recently been re-tiled which was actually kinda nice. Would I ever stay there again? Definately not!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
2  Thank jeniroli28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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723 - 729 of 749 reviews

Reviewed October 6, 2005

I spent one night at the motel, and that was enough. The room was tiny, and while it seemed acceptably clean, things were old. The faucet for the sink was loose, and the room was not well insulated from outside and highway noise. I had gone here because, unlike the rather nice Days Inn Hotel Circle that I had spent the previous night at, it had in-room wireless Internet access, something I needed on this particular trip. However, the access was spotty, sometimes going out for a few minutes.

I ended up leaving very early the next morning, before the free continental breakfast was served, so I didn't have a chance to sample that.

Stayed: September 2005
Thank hawaiian717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2005

We just returned from a 3 day stay in San Diego. We only got about 2 hours of sleep the first night and 4 hours of sleep the next night. Not because of the noise, but because of the lack of comfort in this hotel. Our first room had so much mold in the bathroom that I had an asthma attack within 1 hour of being in there. We requested another room, only to have that room have no air conditioning. When going back to our original room, the cleaners had come in during our supposed transition into a new room and sprayed something that made the asthma so bad that I couldn't even enter the room. So we ended up with a 3rd try for a room. The 3rd room had mold as well but I requested them to not send anyone in to clean it - that I would clean it myself! Otherwise - we would have been searching for room number 4. The carpets in our first room and then our 3rd room were so dirty that the bottoms of my feet turned black within 2 hours of walking in the room barefoot. You may ask why we didn't leave the hotel? Well - the rooms were already paid for by credit card and we were tied into that hotel or we would lose the monies we paid and we couldn't afford that. We were so disgusted with the hotel that we ended up leaving the hotel at 7:00 AM to drive back home to Arizona and deal with the heat instead of staying in San Diego for the rest of the day and driving home that night. We thought Howard Johnson's was a 3 star hotel - with the rates we paid - it should have been. Next time we drive to San Diego, we will stay in a 4-Star hotel. The last time we drove to San Diego, 2 years ago, we stayed in a better hotel that was closer to the beach for considerably cheaper than this one. It was rated a 2 and was cleaner than this one. Manager wasn't around - we received no compensation or discount for these dirty rooms. Traveler Beware!

8  Thank charlie7957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2005

Two problems. First, and worst, the room smelled like urine. It did not reak, exactly, but it was a strong enough smell that I could not put it out of my mind. It made the stay unpleasant, as you can imagine. Second, the ancient coffee pot in the room did not work. I asked if they could replace it or swap me one from a different room. I was told that there were no other coffee pots available. They also told me they did not have any ceramic/glass mugs, when I asked, in order to heat water in the microwave. (The alternative was to heat the water in styrofoam cups in the microwave). Since I got such a bad response on the coffee pot problem, I did not even try to get a different room with a better smell. Also, a minor point, breakfast was lousy, although that is not a big deal, given the price of the room.
But for these problems, the price and in-room fridge and microwave would have made the deal okay. The furnishings and cleanliness were not otherwise terrible for a budget place.
By the way, don't stay on Hotel Circle if you plan beach time. It was a good location for visiting the University of San Diego, but I don't know what else. There is a lot of traffic noise, although the air conditioner will drown that out for the most part. Any lure of an outdoor pool on this road should be ignored, since it is no fun playing in the pool with loud traffic noises very nearby.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank julie5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
632
Reviewed December 13, 2004

Stayed @ this motel Dec 6 & 7, 2004. Rate was fair @ $69/night & staff was pleasant. Room was not the cleanest (complete with crawly critters in the bathroom). VERY noisy location right next to I-8. Sleeping past 7 am was impossible unless you are a really heavy sleeper. Did not feel particularly safe @ this establishment. Door to the room was accessible from the exterior of the property & although the door did have a lock it did not close very tightly. Breakfast consisted of toast or stale cereals & pastries. I understand that for the rate we paid we wouldn't get the Ritz, but would expect the bedding to be free of stains, the carpet to be relatively clean, the doors to close properly & the complimentary breakfast to be semi-fresh. There are LOTS of places to stay in this area, so I would look elsewhere on a return trip.

6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2004

We stayed at this hotel from August 1-2. The hotel was a bit hard to find as Hotel Circle is a complicated setup. Once we found the hotel, we could easily navigate back to it.

Our room was on the second floor near the elevator. It was very spacious and clean. A refrigerator, microwave and safe in the room were all available to us. The air conditioner was loud for me, making sleeping difficult, but not for the other 3 members of my family. There was little space to put toiletries in the bathroom and little space to hang towels.

The pool and hot tub are small yet very enjoyable for my 2 children. The continental breakfast provided daily was great! Several choices of bulk cereal (no little boxes here!), juices, milk, canned fruit, coffee and pastries (not the freshest, though) The breakfast is available in a large room with plenty of seating and a TV to watch the morning news.

A USA Today is available free in the lobby each morning. There are machines near the elevator that sell snacks and bottled water.

Outlet plus were lacking (as they were in each of the 4 hotels we stayed at during our California trip) so I would recommend bringing a power strip if you have things you want to charge. We felt we got a good value for the price paid and would stay again in this hotel if we were in the area.

3  Thank cinmik89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2004

We stayed at the HJ Hotel Circle for 6 days in July, 2004 and returned for the last two days of our trip to CA.

The hotel is a little run down and is in a somewhat noisy area, fronting I-5 and Hotel Circle South. However, we knew this in advance and requested a room on the top floor, in the rear (Room 421) so there would be a minimum of noise. The room was fairly large with a king size bed and a small sofa. There was a room safe (a real plus) with a $1/night automatic charge, a coffee maker, small microwave and refrigerator.

The continental breakfast was fair, with coffee/tea, orange juice, cereal and doughnuts, muffins and toast. A USA Today was free.

The hotel has a very small pool and a hot tub which were OK-nothing special.

The location is very good--there is easy access to I-5 and it is just about 1-2 miles north of Old Town (easy to get to by going west on Hotel Circle South, which becomes Taylor St, going right by Old Town.

San Diego is a fairly easy city to navigate and you can just about anywhere around the city quickly from this location.

While this is certainly not a 4 star hotel, it provided what we needed. The staff was pleasant and the rates were very reasonable (we booked through Orbitz) and the hotel did not gauge us over the July 4th weekend by raising rates significately as do other hotels (just a few dollar difference).

When we return to San Diego we would consider the HJ again.

  • Stayed: July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Pnemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Inn San Diego Hotel Circle

Address: 1631 Hotel Cir S, San Diego, CA 92108-3317
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Mission Valley / Hotel Circle
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #251 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Price Range: $65 - $576 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Howard Johnson Inn San Diego Hotel Circle 2*
Number of rooms: 81
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Express Inn - San Diego Hotel San Diego
Howard Johnson San Diego

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