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“Location, location, ... and noise”
Review of Old Town Inn

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Old Town Inn
Ranked #19 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
146 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Location, location, ... and noise”
Reviewed August 8, 2011

This hotel is hard to rate as my sentiments about it constantly move from a 3 to 4.5 star rating. I really wanted to rate it higher, as the staff and management seem to try hard to make it right, but some of the minus keep bugging me.

Here are the pluses.

- First, the hotel has some of the best rates for its location. Few properties that I researched would sell rooms for its rate (about $130 for a 2 Queen deluxe suites, less if you are AAA member) that is so close to most of San Diego's major attractions. The rate includes parking, internet (well, limited) and breakfast - a continental breakfast with packed pastries/bagels, waffle machine, and boiled eggs. Breakfast is pretty decent. Items were constantly refilled, and we found no issues finding a place to sit (hotel was fairly full during our stay, judging from the occupance of the parking lot). With respect to rates, if you are an AAA member, make sure you mention that during your reservation. It is likely that the whoever is handling your reservation will ask if you are an AAA member (a plus, a hotel that offers a discounted rate on the phone). Also, the AAA rate is not mentioned in the hotel website, and the published rates do not reflect the 10% AAA discount. According the the front desk agent, what you should do is to make a note that you are a AAA member in the comments field of your online reservation. Or call in person, they are quite friendly.
- The rooms are quite clean and comfortable. Well appointed and functional. I would say they tend to be on the smaller side (the deluxe 2 Queen, I mean) but it worked for our family of four. The vanity area is separated from the bathroom which is a plus. AC is an under-window unit, a bit noisy, but it works pretty well. The room had also a tv and a dvd unit, where you can check movies at the front desk.
- The hotel is nicely landscaped, and the pool area, although small, is pretty nice. Another plus is the lobby, where you can help yourself with coffee and water the whole day. It also has a computer and a printer station. It is actually a nice area to hang around, and there were even some board games that you can check and play (chess, scrabble), which is what actually excited my 8-year boy quite a bit.
- I believe that the best feature of this property is the location. It is actually close to everything that matters in San Diego. It is walking distance to Old Town San Diego. It is less than 10 minute drive from SeaWorld - and you don't need to hope into the freeway to get to SeaWorld, which is a plus to save some rush hour traffic. The same holds for downtown, Gaslamp quarter, marina, and Balboa park. It was a 10 minutes drive to the beaches and 20 minutes drive to La Jolla. Actually, location is one of the major reason we chose to stay at the Old Town Inn, since its proximity to SeaWorld allowed us to leave the park late afternoon so our kids could have a brief nap and we could enjoy some dinner outside the park, before heading back to watch the night shows, which we found was well worth it. Also within the location topic, there are plenty of dining options right near the property (we had thai in a mall nearby), although I think it would a bit too far to simply walk.
- I should also note that the staff works pretty hard to make it right. They are quite friendly. I wasn't aware of the AAA discount until the second day of our stay. When I mentioned that, the front desk agent automatically gave us discount for the remaining nights - I didn't even need to ask (bring your AAA card, though). The morning helper was also very friendly in giving us information and directions.

Now some minuses
- The first, I would like to say that the Old Town Inn is basically an old motel that has received a nice face lift, furnishings, and landscapting to look it nice. It is successfully most of time. However, there are times that you are reminded that this is an old motel under the facade, for example, when you hear the sound of the pumbling in action early in the morning, and you know nobody is using the bathroom. We were on the first floor, so perhaps this factor is magnified. Nevertheless, it does highlight that this is an older property.
- The property is quite small (which is good and bad), and so is their parking lot. To be fair, we haven't had any parking issue, even arriving late, and the hotel was fairly full. But it does give that feeling of being crowded, not to mention the need to do some maneuvering to fit into some spaces.
- The location is great, but the immediate surrounding area is kinda iffy. I did not feel unsafe in the area (it is just desert, with an industrial feeling, and only runs for a block or two) but I would not stroll around outside the motel after dinner. Still, it is perfectly safe to walk during the day, as a lot of people do.
- In room internet is free, but ... Well, it seems that the hotel does not have a large bandwidth, and if you do try to download something, the server will block your mac address permanently. I don't if that is what happened to us, but I was not able to access the internet after my wife used the computer, and she said the only thing she was looking was CNN. Maybe we were blocked for some accidental news streaming, I don't know. It was a bit of an annoyance, although I was able to remedy by using the lobby computer. At the end, the free perk was not actually free.
- Finally, my biggest quibble is with the noise. From our room, we had an unobstructed view of an elevated portion of a freeway and, hence, the noise had an unobstructed path to our room. The noise actually arrived in the form of "white noise", but very audible. Again, it may be that our room magnified the conditions (rooms facing other directions may not be in the direct path of the noise). I also believe that the gaps between the door and the door frame (which were relatively wide) may have to do with it (sounds seem to flowing through these gaps), meaning that it may be possible to ameliorate the situation by narrowing those gaps. There were also other noises adding to the symphony, including airplanes and the aforementioned toilet flush from the upstairs neighbors. In all fairness, I should mention that I only noticed these sounds early in the morning - evenings were quite ok. Also, wife had less issues with noise - and she is the light sleeper. Also, to be clear, these issues were not deal breakers, otherwise I would not have given a 4 star rating. However, they were reminders that this actually an old motel underneath the nice facade.

I thought that overall the hotel provides an excellent (probably the best) value for your money, considering its ammenities and location. It has a friendly, accommodating staff that works really hard to make it right. However, it does have issues, like noise and crowding, that keep reminding me of its old motel facet. As I said, my sentiments for its rating swings from 3.0 to 4.5, averaging 3.75, so that's why I finally decided to rate it at 4.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank wdl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelGuySanDiego, Front Desk Agent at Old Town Inn, responded to this review, November 9, 2011
Dear WDL - First, let me say that I LOVED your review. I am also one of those people that likes to make sure I include absolutely everything I want to say, which can run a little long sometimes.  I’m glad that you found our lobby to be a nice place to hang around, you should come back and visit us sometime during the winter when we have a cozy fire going in the lobby fireplace. I have to say (though I am just a little biased), that of all the hotels I have ever visited, ours has the most pleasant, comfortable lobby I have ever seen, where people actually like to sit and read, or visit. It also gives us a chance to get to know our guests a little better when they spend time with us in the lobby, which makes it easier for us to give you more personalized suggestions for what you might enjoy doing in San Diego.

As you mentioned our hotel certainly does have quite a few great restaurants nearby. While Old Town is known for the abundant Mexican food restaurants, there are a number of other hidden surprises over there as well. Whenever possible, I try and send some of our more adventurous eaters over to 25Forty Bistro on Congress, and have heard only rave reviews so far. There is also Harney Sushi, Crazee Burger, and numerous other good non-Mexican food options to be found in the area surrounding the state park. But for those who do not want to head into Old Town, we have other suggestions that are close by as well. I think I may have been the one that sent you over to Royal Spices on Sports Arena Blvd, which has a casual atmosphere and some pretty good Panang curry too! But top of the list of all restaurants that ALL the employees at the Old Town Inn love is Phil’s BBQ on Sports Arena. They usually have a long line for a very good reason, their food is awesome!

I was sorry to hear that you found the hotel to be a bit noisy for your tastes. I have stayed in several of the rooms here throughout our property, and have slept pretty well, even in room 201, which is right next to the road, and I am a fairly light sleeper. In fact, I recently stayed her for nearly two weeks, and the noise that I noticed more than any other was actually the sound of people wheeling their suitcases to their rooms. If you do return to stay with us again, make sure to mention that you stayed in the rooms at the very back last time and found that to be noisy, and we can have you test out one of our rooms which faces the lobby building, and see if that location suits you better. Everyone has different needs, and we just do our best to try and find what will work for you. We do hope that you’ll give us another chance on your next trip to San Diego.

Cecily - Front Desk Agent
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

I stayed at the Old Town Inn on a weekend trip to San Diego. I usually stay at another hotel and I never knew about Old Town Inn until I read a review on Trip Advisor. I found the location a bit tricky to get to because there was no left turn lane on Pacific Hwy coming from the Airport, so you have to go to the next light and make a U turn. The parking lot is very tight and when full its not easy to get into a parking place. The room was nice, nothing special but looked clean. The TV was older and the tube had a burn spot in the upper left corner. The bathroom was decent, we did have a cleanliness issue on the wall, but when reported the front desk had it addressed quickly. The shower in the tub was for short people, I had to almost squat to get under the water stream and I am 6'2". The beds were comfortable and for the money it was a decent room.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelalot31310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 3, 2011

As part of a visit to California we booked seven nights at the Old Town Inn for our stay in San Diego based purely on trip advisor reviews and we were not disappointed. We arrived to be greeted by friendly reception team who booked us into our rooms. There were five of us and we had two deluxe queen rooms (one with a handy kitchen should you need it). The rooms were very clean and fresh. The staff work extremely hard to maintain the hotel and it has a lovely welcoming atmosphere.

The pool area is just perfect with beautiful landscaping and we really enjoyed relaxing there. The complimentary breakfast is ideal with cereal, fruit, pastries, eggs and cheeses - really not sure what anyone could find fault with - its fresh, well-stocked and the dining room is very airy.

The hotel lounge is extremely comfortable with free access to the internet. As other reviewers have commented there is also a wide range of DVDs to hire. The staff always have a cheery word for you and were fantastic at providing information on how to get around. On top of that is the very useful laundry room!

We didn't have a car for our time in San Diego and didn't need one either. The transit station is a very short, SAFE, walk away. We used the trolley and the buses to get downtown, out to the Beach and to the shopping areas all for an unbelievable low price. We travelled back late in the evening and didn't have one bit of bother.

The Old Town State Historic Park is on your doorstep and a short walk in the other direction is Walgreens and other shops. This may be an "industrial" area in some people's eyes but by no means could be described as unsafe. We rarely passed another person walking (we always find this very strange about the USA!!!) . In fact we witnessed far more people we wouldn't have wanted to pass in other areas downtown surrounded by 4 and 5 star hotels!

We absolutely loved our visit to California (San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego) and without hesitation would recommend the Old Town Inn to anyone looking for a clean, comfortable and value for money stay in San Diego. Their customer focus is excellent and we only wish it wasn't an 11 hour flight away!!

Room Tip: Check the Old Town Inn website for special offers!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Glasgowtraveller066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orcutt, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

I just had to suggest that anyone with a small event, especially if you or many guests are from out of town, book the breakfast room here and have your guests stay. This met all our needs for my daughter's recent college graduation. We live about 5 hours away and she wanted her local friends and co- workers to help celebrate, and it was perfect. We got our own food and decorations and left it in the same clean condition we found it. It is lovely too, outside are restrooms if needed and it is reasonable. The staff, as always, went out of their way to be accomodating and local guests plus those staying
over at the hotel enjoyed a very special event.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thawsout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shoreview, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2011

Overall we liked the Old Town Inn a lot, with a few reservations.

The hotel was brightly lit, extremely clean, and well appointed. We could tell that the owner cared a lot about the hotel. Service was friendly and the room was great for our purposes. There is also a complementary breakfast, which was definitely on par with the typical 2-star hotel fare.

My only reservation is the location. It's close to Old Town, but the immediate area is under a highway and very industrial. (If the hotel itself weren't bathed in light it would be a little scary.) However, it's convenient to the Sports Arena area which has plenty of shopping and restaurants.

Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank peterhill3505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belchertown, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2011

We stayed at the hotel for ten days in July. The location is terrific, with easy access to everywhere in San Diego. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms are very clean and the air conditioning is excellent. Our only complaints are that internet access in our rooms was intermittent and the continental breakfast was unimaginative. Yet, this did not take away from our stay and we would definitely use the hotel again. You can't go wrong here and the prices are quite reasonable.

Jeff Schrenzel,
Belchertown, MA.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakewood, California
1 review
Reviewed July 21, 2011

Convenient location, very clean accomodations and a very helpful and pleasant staff. We will be back next year.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank upip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Town Inn

Property: Old Town Inn
Address: 4444 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92110-3107
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#19 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#22 Family Hotel in San Diego
#46 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Old Town Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 73
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our rates reflect what we are, a modest AAA 2 Diamond property, family owned with a priority on customer service. Great central location, commercial pocket – we joke that we are nowhere but right next door to everywhere. Amenities include a complimentary expanded continental breakfast, free wireless internet and parking, and heated outdoor pool. Children 12 and under stay free. Pet friendly. We have a wide selection of room types, including large apartments with kitchens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Town Hotel San Diego
Old Town Inn San Diego
Old Town San Diego

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