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“Old Town Inn a little disappointing”
Review of Old Town Inn

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Old Town Inn
Ranked #21 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Old Town Inn a little disappointing”
Reviewed February 26, 2007

We stayed at the Inn for three nights after having stayed at the Candy Cane Inn( which we loved) in Anaheim for 7 nights. The rooms were pleasant however they were lacking many items. There was no fridge, safe and the rollaway bed they brought us was probably thirty years old.

The staff was pleasant when we booked in, gave us great maps for getting around and arranged for us to have extra pillows and blankets. Our room was near the road and we heard everything. Unless we had the air conditioning on high we had a hard time sleeping. I slept well in Anaheim but after the second night at the Old Town Inn both my husband and I had sore backs. I was tired after sleeping at the Inn. The rooms were clean and nicely appointed, however our rollaway bed was never made the three nights we spent there.

The breakfast was just okay, the first morning we had to go find staff to restock as there was nothing left and it was still quite early with a lot of people standing around waiting for food. The breakfast room is small and they ask you not to eat outside of the breakfast room. I'm not sure where you should eat if you can't get a table. ( standing up, I guess). The pool is fine and clean. There is no hot tub. Parking became difficult if you were one of the last in the parking lot. It is small and difficult to manage.

We would have rated our stay okay until we went to check out. We had checked in using our CAA Visa Travellers Cheque Card. They accepted this and yet when we went to check out they told us they could not accept this ( even though we had no problems with our other hotel, restaurants and shops for the last 10 days). We had to go and get cash from the bank. When we returned home, we notice on the statement, they had put the money through on our Visa when we checked in and then taken our cash at check out. This has been resolved but only after calling them . Apparently the girl who checked us in should not have accepted our card. We spoke with our CAA and Visa and they said they have never had anyone reject this card. It is the same as a travellers cheque but in the form of a card which makes it much easier to use. Old Town Inn is the only hotel which we know of that does not accept it. I think perhaps the Inn should get up to date on new payment methods.

Would I return? No. And obviously I would not recommend this to anyone else. The inn was okay but the check out definetly turned me off. I'm sure there are other hotels in San Diego where you can get a better nights sleep and more up to date staff and management.

Stayed February 2007
5 Thank northofsouthfarms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2007

Absolutely a great stay.
After reading the great reviews I was concerned I was setting myself up for disappointment.
Not to worry. Our stay was very nice and exceeded our expectations.
I was greeted by Maria who provided my family with the quiet room we asked for and when asked for some Mexican dining tips over at nearby Old Town she kindly provided me with a map and 3 great suggestions, two of which we used and were very happy with.
Anna is like a San Diego travel agent and gave me great advice on visiting "over the boarder" and on Sea World.
My kids loved the beautiful pool, and the breakfast room is a great way to start the day.
My opinion.... ignore any negative comments you read here. The staff here aim to please, and if things are not right (hey things happen) I am confident they will do there best to make it right given the chance.
It is not the Hyatt, but it is not $350.00 plus per night either.
And they do not charge for internet, $9.00 for a juice and bagel, or $20.00 flat fee for a 2 minute long distance call to Canada like the Hyatt does either.
I would stay here again anytime.
Thanks Anna, Maria, and staff! Great Job.

  • Liked — Easy access to Old Town and Sea World. Value. Breakfast Room
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7 Thank RebelsFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
142 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2007

My husband had a convention in San Diego and we were booked at the Ramada on Hotel Circle. After reading reviews of it we cancelled and decided to try the Old Town Inn. Our "deluxe" room was clean and pleasant. The walls were thin but fine with the fan turned on. The inn has attractive grounds and a nice breakfast room although at many breakfasts all the tables were taken. It's a very convenient location. It was $100 a night less than the Ramada. We stayed six nights and I would recommend the Old Town Inn to friends and would stay here again. The money we saved went to very good dinners including El Agave and Cafe Pacifica in Old Town and Monsoon downtown.

  • Liked — price and convenient location
  • Disliked — thin walls, breakfast room was not large enough
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank biondabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2007

We were looking for a place to stay in San Diego for a week. It had to be close to a trolley station so that we could get by without a car. It also needed to be clean, quiet and affordable. After weeks of searching and reading reviews of hotels, I was beginning to feel that I would never find the perfect hotel. Then I stumbled on the reviews for Old Town Inn. It sounded just perfect for what we wanted. I called the hotel and the person on the phone was extremely polite and helpful. So we booked in for a week. When we showed up, I wondered if it would be as good as it had sounded. And it was. The Trip Advisor reviews had been right on. It was a real find!! We had a delux room with a kitchenette. The room was very spacious with a sofa and coffee table. We would have preferred to have a table and chairs rather than a desk with an extra chair drawn up to it, but that was a small thing. If you book a kitchenette, it does not come with the dishes, etc in the room. You have to ask at the front desk and they will deliver a large case full of dishes, utensils, dishclothes, detergent, etc. But if we were to do it over, we would have not spent the extra few dollars for the kitchen unit. Each unit has a microwave and fridge, so we really didn't need the gas burners. We could have saved the extra 5 dollars a day and just bought some paper plates. The bed was really comfortable and the room was very quiet. One of the best things about the hotel is the location. It is a 5 minute walk to the bus and trolley station. From there we were able to get to anywhere we wanted cheaply and easily. A day pass was only 15 dollars for 4 days so you can't beat the price!! The Old Town area is right next to the trolley station, so we were able to wander around there whenever we wanted. There was an Italian restaurant by the trolley station that had a 5 dollar pizza special each day. So we were able to take it home and have a delicious dinner for next to nothing. The breakfast at the Old Town Inn was truly amazing. Yes, technically it was a deluxe continuental breakfast. But it had make yourself hot waffles and hard boiled eggs, so there was a lot of variety. They also had tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice, yogurt,fresh fruit, fruit salad, assorted cold cereals, instant oatmeal, about 5 types of bagels, 4 types of danishes, toast, etc. We were there for a week and I doubt we repeated the same breakfast choices. The meal filled us up enough that we rarely needed lunch. It is also a really nice breakfast room, so we often stayed and chatted with our friends for an hour. It was definitely the nicest continental buffet I have had at a hotel.
The hotel wasn't cheap, but was on a par with what all the other chain hotels were charging. But our friends wanted to save a few bucks so they had booked one of the hotel's economy rooms. These rooms are fairly small, but they are able to fit in a table and 2 chairs. They also had a fridge and microwave. Their bathroom was small, but did not have a hairdryer. But since they were not planning to spend too much time in their room aside from sleeping, they felt it was fine for their needs. Their bed was also super comfortable. They paid about 20 dollars a night less. If I was staying for just one night or if I wanted to save a bit of money, I would not hesitate to stay in the economy room. They are currently renovating rooms in that wing, so there was a bit of extra construction noise earlier in the day for them. But if you don't mind the extra cost, go for the bigger deluxe room. I think it was worth it.
There were several restaurants within a ten minute walk fo the hotel, so we really didn't miss having a car. On days when we were out all day at Sea World, etc, we often stopped on our way back for dinner and then just hopped on the next trolley or bus. That is the benefit of the day pass!!
We are already planning another trip to San Diego, and we will definitely staying at the Old Town Inn. It is a real gem of a hotel. The staff is top notch. Nothing was too much trouble and their attitude was great. I also loved being able to use the lobby computer to check my emails. The hotel has a very spacious and comfortable lobby with a fireplace. The Old Town Inn is an oasis in the middle of an industrial area. We never felt unsafe. Even though it is near to a highway, the hotel is very quiet. I can't imagine anyone complaining about anything at this hotel.

  • Liked — the location and breakfast
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank Torontoteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, WA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2007

I wanted an affordable place to sleep close to USD, the airport, Seaworld and convenitent to the rest of San Diego attractions. I only paid about 65 bucks for the night in a room with 2 double beds within a row of a motel like structure, which is likely the older of the structures on the property. I was tired and did not notice the traffic from the nearby street and close elevated I-5. No noise from neighbors and a clean room made this a bargain. It was indeed convenient. A car is still a good idea in SD. However, nearby are bus and trolley routes.
On arrival about 4 PM, I noticed a very strong "room freshener" which was definitely overdone. My advice to the hotel is to insure that non-smoking rooms are absoulutely maintained non-smoking and that room fresheners be far more subtle and sparingly used.
The bathroom was 1950s design with a small shower stall, toilet and small updated vanity.
The two double beds would be adequate up to a 6 foot tall person but not beyond. If you are tall get aroom with a queen bed. The decor had a cheerful bedspread and paint scheme. TV was very basic cable.
The lobby was warm and welcoming as was the staff. There is only one person at the desk. If more than one person is ready to check in or out there will be a wait, so don't wait until the last minute to leave.
The breaksfast was adequate and convenient self serve. Bagels, dry cereal, instant oatmeal, pastries and make your own waffles. The waffle batter was bland to paper mache' in flavor and texture - might be improved with a longer cook time and perhaps a different batter. One piece of advice to the staff - get a sneeze guard and keep the food out of children's reach. We observed one hacking, sneezing child spreading her germs over the pastries and bagels. We stuck with the non-descript waffles. Eating breakfast out may be worth it.
All in all, if you just need a convenient place to flop, this place works out well. Just don't expect too much.

Stayed February 2007
3 Thank saberman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hollywood, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2007

Bottom line, this is a very pleasant place to stay and was convenient for us since we were visiting the U of SD and Sea World.

The bad news...

In general, there was a bunch of little things that were kind of annoying for us, We are two men in our 40s that rented 2 rooms (a small one and a larger one (the larger one had a kitchen and sofabed as well as a queen)-- both non-smoking)

1. The first "larger room" they gave me had a strong cigarette smoke smell. The carpet actually had cigarette burns in it in spite of the fact that this was supposed to be a non-smoking room.

2. I was transferred to another room (no smoke smell) but it (and my friend's room) both had a perfumy/disinfectant kind of smell that we both found unpleasant. (Perhaps, it's that Fabreze stuff and you might not mind it but both of us left the windows open to get rid of it).. The second room also had cigarette burns in it (these were on the blanket). In addition, the back of the door to the room had some heavy scratches and dents on it as if something heavy had been thrown against it.

3. When I returned later to my room, and turned on the tap to brush my teeth, there was an overpoweringly strong sulphur smell (rotten eggs smell) coming out of the tap.

4. I went to buy bottled water and the vending machine I tried was out of water; the second one stole my money and failed to dispense my water.

5. When we arrived, The pool had a sign on it saying that the water heater was broken although I saw people swimming in it later in the day who said it was warm.

6. The "make your own" waffles for breakfast were pretty tastelss and the cereal had a stale taste. The cereal was dispensed from large glass jars via scoops. I thought it strange that the scoops were stored by hanging them by the scoop-part (not by the handle) on the wooden knobs that were screwed into the center of the jar lids. In this way, every "dirty" hand that came in contact with a jar lid -- and left its germs on the lid's knob --resulted in those germs being transferred to the scoop which in turn was repeatedly inserted into the jar. (Yeech!). I believe that the reason the cereal tasted stale was that the jars were never emptied and washed -- just re-filled from time to time.

7. The remarks of the prior posters notwithstanding, there was some traffic noise from the street. My room was about 1/2 way back from the driveway entrance and you could still hear some noise in the distance (with the windows closed). It didn't disturb me -- I feel asleep easily but it might affect light sleepers, especially if your room was closer to the street. FYI, the smaller rooms (what they call "the bungalows) are farther away from the street than the larger rooms. in general.

Ok, the good news...

1. The lobby was very nice -- there was the fireplace and attractive furnishings.

2. Check-in was a snap. Mary at reception (who later changed my room) was a delight as was everyone who worked there.

3. The rooms were very nicely' decorated: even the smaller room was nice -- the only slight drawback was the smaller room's bath which had the "original tile" which while clean looked a little old..

4. Everyone who worked there was very helpful and kind. When I lost my money in the soda machine, the deskclerk led me to the third machine (in the laundry room) and gave me the money I had lost.

5. The Orange Juice and tea at breakfast was tasty. I did not try the bagels but they were large and lots of people appeared to be enjoying them.

I've sinced talked to a plumber who told me that the "sulpur smell" that I experienced (which was not in the shower, btw) could have resulted from a recent plumbing repair and probably would go away in a week or less.

All in all, I'd rate it 3-1/2 stars (if that were possible). The hotel was completely sold out both days we were there so I'm sure they had their hands full.

  • Liked — Location, Great service, pleasant decor
  • Disliked — The perfumey/disinfectant smell of the rooms and the strange "sulphur smell of the sink water"
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7 Thank HopSkipJump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fountain Valley, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2007

After seeing the mostly high ratings, I thought to give this a try for a one night stay. This was a HUGE mistake.

My wife and I enjoy going to Old Town and have stayed at various hotels around the area, and without a doubt this hotel has to be the worst. At first glance, the place looked okay, however when we got there, the person behind the counter decided that taking reservations was more important then us, so they continued to take 2 reservations over the phone as 4 groups lined up behind us.

As other reviewers have mentioned, there are two sides to this hotel. The registration side looks great and the lobby was very nice, but then we were assigned a room to the dreaded "other" side.

This other side honestly looked like something out of a bad horror movie. It looked awful. I mean talk about 180 degrees difference from the other side. The room was ridiculously small, and there were creaks and cracks with everything we did.

The worst part, I thought, was the noise. If someone stopped in front of our room to talk, it was like they were in the room with us it was so loud. The bangs from other doors, and other rooms kept us up pretty much all night.

As I said, we have stayed in various locations throughout Old Town, I would avoid this one at all costs. It was the loudest, and dirtiest out of anything we have seen. I will never stay here again.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Everything Else
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
2 Thank TheBanker12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lis302, Concierge at Old Town Inn, responded to this review, February 20, 2007
We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us, we are a family owned business that aims to treat each of our guests the way we want to be treated during our own travels.

I found your comment about our hotel being the “worst” in the area, rather unjust, since the majority of our guests keep coming back because of our clean property, our wonderful staff and our reasonable prices. We are a 2 star hotel with many of the luxuries of a 3 star hotel, including an expanded continental breakfast, wireless internet service, heated pool, and lush landscaping.

Also, you never specified why you said our hotel was the“dirtiest.” I would appreciate it if you would email with more information as I did not find any mention in your review about what led you to that conclusion, our hotel is generally known for it’s cleanliness. My email is lis302@nethere.com

Your comment about the “dreaded other side”, yes, part of our property is modern and part is circa 1950. Many of our guests request these rooms, and not just for the great price... they like the coziness and the “50's” feel. I always recommend that anyone who wants a lot of space and a more modern hotel experience stay in our deluxe building. Although the older economy rooms are smaller than our deluxe building, their bathrooms have been recently renovated and they are currently undergoing remodeling that includes new carpets, drapes, beds, art, wallpaper etc. Half the rooms are done and the project should be completed in the next couple of months. .

We are sorry to hear that you encountered excessive noise during your stay with us. We do our best to see that unnecessary disturbances are avoided; unfortunately, at times, it is beyond our control. I do wish you would have immediately notified our on-duty desk clerk of the undue commotion, thus, giving us the opportunity to rectify the situation for you.


Lis Dukesherer
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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 Old Town Inn

Property: Old Town Inn
Address: 4444 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92110-3107
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 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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