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“Bad service!!!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Ranked #54 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Bad service!!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

Stayed here because of the SD marathon. We had a king suite room #212 room was nice & roomy, however we were told that the couch is a pull out and it wasn't!!!! We had a nice balcony overlooking el Cajon, but the lounge chairs outside were filthy & dirty and we had to clean them before we were able to sit down.

The next day we were poolside and were constantly harassed by security because there's a private party and we were required to have wristbands. Unfortunately staff here doesn't seem to understand that guests at the hotel should have priorities or treated with a little courtesy. We were told that we needed to go to front desk to get our wristbands and then of course we needed our IDs! Such an inconvenience as none of us had IDs on us as we were just lounging by the pool!!!!

I'm very disappointed with my stay here and will never ever come back!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gemmiez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drew H, Manager at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are sorry to hear that you were provided with incorrect information about our couches. We are consistently looking through our third party websites to ensure they are providing our guest with correct information. We have revised our procedures of how we address our guests who are not wearing a wristband during one of our pool parties. It isn’t until our guest share their experiences that we can address any concerns, which is why we love hearing from our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (381)
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English first
San Diego, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

This hotel may have 50s charm, but if you actually can remember the 50s this hotel may not be for you. Keep in mind that we ended up there on a hotel hosted party night, but the noise level was tremendous. We stayed in the Manor area of the hotel and the rooms had no degree of "soundproofness". Not only could you hear the band warming up for the hour before the show, you heard music all throughout the night and on top of that, you could hear conversations from people on the lower level ( we were on floor 2), people walking and talking outside your room, kids running and screaming. To be honest, it didn't really bother me that much, but I can definitely see how some people may be irritated by the noise.

On the other hand, the staff seemed to be very nice. We booked through Hotwire ( secret 3 star hotel Mission Valley-Hotel Circle) and our check in was very fast and smooth. We didn't have much interaction with the staff other than check-in as we only stayed one night.

Upon arrival to our room, I was impressed with the decor of the room. It had a very modern feel and was clean and comfortable. The bathroom was just basic, nothing special. The room was much smaller in size than a typical hotel but perfect for 2 people. Even though we had a 2 queen room I wouldn't want to be in a room that size for longer than a day with 3 or more people. There is a nice flat screen TV and tons of channels which was really nice.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room if noise is an issue for you.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lovetravel630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Stayed at the Lafayette from May2 - May5th. Everytime I walked through the lobby and stood overlooking the pool I really felt like I was transported back to the 1950s. I expected Annette Funicello or Elvis to start walking through any minute. I definitely felt like I was in a different era! It was a girls weekend away and we rented one of the Bungalows - #7 to be exact. We had two bedrooms and one bath - which we did manage to share with no problems for three ladies. Since there was only a single bathroom they did make accommodations in the room for additional mirrors for getting ready. Large living room and flat screen TVs. The king bed was great and the pillows excellent. I would love to have in my own home! VERY reasonably priced for a weekend getaway split among 3 people. The Bungalow was renovated and updated and felt just like a home from the 50s era as well. We all live in homes like this in real life - so the vibe was very familiar and cozy to us. The walls are thin - so at times we could hear our neighbors. But nothing out of control and it didn't ever last for a long time. The hotel was very conveniently located to many of the tourist highlights in San Diego. Balboa Park, the Hillcrest Area and Northpark. Easy to get downtown to GasLamp district as well. Could get places easily without having to hit the highways and free parking as well! Had a great breakfast just up the road at Lil B's and a fun night out at LIPS just down the road. I think it is a great location and great hotel!

Room Tip: The pool area is busy and people from outside of the hotel can pay $5 to use the pool up to 5:00 PM...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaGAtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Stayed at this hotel for a wedding and it was awesome! Very unique and historic. Nice rooms and the bungalows are perfect when staying with a large group. The pool is very nice and so is the restaurant.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kjway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2013

I can't even rate our stay at the Lafayette because it was that unbelievable. I REALLY wanted to like the place - it has such vintage charm and grace. The property itself is really lovely and quaint and takes you back in time. Sadly that is the only thing we liked about the Lafayette. If you like hotels that are clean, run professionally and value customer service and great hospitality as I do, the Lafayette missed the mark BIG TIME.

Luxe Hotel Corporation - I HOPE YOU READ YOUR REVIEWS!

Please keep in mind my husband has traveled extensively in the US and abroad and I am pretty well traveled myself. We have stayed in a wide range of motels and hotels - from Motel 6 and Super 8 to Hyatt, Marriott and Sheraton.

We stayed in the Suze Suite - room 25. We were there April 12-16, 2013.
I will give you a timeline of events and what happened to us during our stay.

Day 1 - I made a call at 2:15 pm to front desk to inquire about possible early check-in. I spoke to Jessica who stated we could check in any time because our room was ready. We arrived at the hotel at 3:15 pm (15 minutes after regular check-in time) and headed back to our room by around 3:30 pm. Surprise! A housekeeper was in our room cleaning it. Her cart was blocking the front door but she saw us through the window. We sat outside on the adjacent stairs for 15-20 minutes before Nelly was done with our room and she did apologize. We were fine with that until we went into the room. The room is supposed to have a kitchen - which is in reality an old wooden hutch with a small refrigerator and mini microwave stuck into it. We had cold items to put in the refrigerator and surprise! there were bottles of old milk and juice in the refrigerator - which Nelly saw us discover. She took those from us, apologized again and left. I also noticed there were dirty sticky fingerprints on the refrigerator door and the long mirror next to the closet in the front bedroom - another sign of bad housekeeping in a family suite! After getting settled, we headed to the bathrooms. I went into the back bathroom off of the bunk bed room and discovered hair and feces in the toilet. My husband called the front desk about all of the above and Nelly and a man who spoke Spanish to her (possibly the maintenance supervisor?) came to the room to inspect. In Spanish, she denied there was anything left unclean in the room (little did they know - my daughter and I both speak Spanish), briefly apologized again and left the room.

Later my daughter and grandson went to the pool and after that we called and asked for additional room towels, which we received. My husband grabbed one to use the next morning after his shower - and a wad of long dark hair fell out of the towel! We checked the rest of the towels we had received and found wads of hair of every color wrapped in every single one of them - ABSOLUTELY disgusting!!!

When my daughter and grandson were ready for bed in the back bedroom where there are bunk beds - we found no blankets, only a top sheet. We had to call the office again and get blankets at 11:00 at night. Seriously?! San Diego in April is chilly - and we have to ask for blankets???

READ ON-IT GETS BETTER!!! On day 2 we came back to our room after dinner and it was a busy Saturday night around the Lafayette. We had our windows open and my husband, my daughter and I were lying on the bed quietly talking. There was plenty of outside noise from partygoers going down the hall and groups of people going to adjacent rooms. We got ready to go to bed around midnight and there was a loud knock on our door. I asked who is it and the gruff answer was "security". My husband and daughter opened the door to a rather rude female security guard who told us they had received a complaint WE WERE BEING TOO LOUD. Keep in mind we were lying on our bed TALKING and there were groups of people laughing, yelling, stomping up and down the hallways but we had security walk up to our very quiet room, pounding on the door while my grandson is trying to sleep telling us this - SERIOUSLY??? And talk about rude - I had some choice things to say from the bathroom window about that incident before she made her exit. Keep in mind the noise outside from others went on until around 2 am and that security guard never came back to anyone else's room in our area to keep the peace.

The next morning (day 3), we were getting ready around 8:00 am and I hear lots of housekeeping staff outside - LOUDLY chatting in Spanish, yelling out to each other, pushing carts up and down the hall in front of the suites. I came out of the bathroom to the sound of our front door opening and America (true name, Spanish maid - ironic and funny, but I digress) the maid was walking into our room! I stopped her and said excuse me - we will not be leaving until close to noon, so you will have to come back. She proceeded to school me about leaving the Do Not Disturb placard in the card slot and I said REALLY? IT IS 8:00 AM!!! She kept asking if we were checking out today and I said we were not leaving until Monday! She left but the noisy housekeeping parade continued until we left the room around 11:00 am (AND EVERY MORNING WE WERE THERE). Keep in mind there was no store room in that area that I could see which would explain the housekeeping traffic at the back of the hotel. They simply decided it was their area to hang out and be loud and chatty away from the eyes of the front office while people were still trying to sleep or leave for the day! That evening we were out with family and friends late and came back to a room barely cleaned (hair on the floor in the bathrooms, sticky fingerprints untouched) - at least the beds were made. I made sure the nice Do Not Disturb sign was in the card slot outside before we all turned in.

Day 4 was the last straw! We had called the front desk the night before to arrange a cab to the airport at 7:00 am for my daughter and grandson and we were helping them get their things together. When my husband was looking for a missing something for my grandson, guess what he found under the bed? A lovely Princess sippy cup with curdled milk in it! That would explain the sour smell in our room (which we thought was from the mini fridge not being defrosted and properly cleaned). I wonder how long THAT had been left in our room??!!

My husband and I went back to our room after seeing my daughter and grandson off for the airport. He was snoozing and I was reading e-mail at around 8:30 am when I heard that familiar sound again - another housekeeper coming into our room - WITH THE DO NOT DISTURB SIGN OUTSIDE! I had the security lock on and I met her at the door and said we will NOT be out of the room until noon! I had really had enough and I was on the phone within seconds to the front desk. I spoke to Michelle who was the person who booked my daughter's early morning cab the night before. She explained that she thought we had all checked out of the room when the cab was ordered so their computer showed housekeeping we were gone. Really?! We left the kids in plain sight of the front desk at 7 am with the cab driver as we went back to the room in our pajamas! We had not even done our final check out at the front desk!

Michelle got an earful of everything we had gone through over the weekend. She did apologize and after putting me on hold for quite a while, she offered a discount on the room. She stated she would speak to security and housekeeping and we proceeded to get ready and out of the hotel as we could not handle any more of their nonsense!

The parade of housekeepers outside continued - the girl with the laundry cart stopped right outside of our door and texted on her cell phone for a while. We even had someone from housekeeping stand outside our room with a walkie talkie at 10:00 asking what was the status of room 25 because they wanted to clean the room! She got a nice earful from me at the open window in which I clearly stated WE ARE NOT LEAVING UNTIL NOON SO STOP ASKING!!!

When we drove around to the front of the hotel to check out, I reminded my husband to check the bill for the promised discount. Keep in mind we prepaid $600 for our room and after all we had endured, we hoped for at least a refund for one night's stay! My husband got the bill from another front desk clerk - and SURPRISE! THERE WAS NO DISCOUNT ON IT. He went back in and the clerk looked disinterested and bothered (there was no sign of Michelle who apparently was now off shift). She walked back to speak to another person who wore no name tag, came up to the front and the other woman simply said 'if they talked to Michelle, I guess we have to give them a discount.' It wasn't even 10% off of the bill (about $56.00)! Adding insult to injury - there was not one word of apology, is there anything else we could have done for you, NOTHING. It's a good thing I sent my husband in there because he is super nice and I would have raised the roof on the place!

So learn from our nightmare! Motel 6 and Super 8 is a much better choice!!!
If you want little or no customer service (HELLO?! GIVE YOUR NAME, SMILE, APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAIT, ETC - YOU ARE IN THE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS!!!), if you want housekeepers loudly parading outside your room but not cleaning it (my husband said if they spent as much time cleaning as they did trying to come into our room and clean, the room would have been spotless!) and a dirty room with hairy towels and smelly leftovers from the previous guests - stay at the Lafayette! You will simply LOVE it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Cathy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drew H, Manager at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your recent stay with us. We are extremely disappointed to hear about your stay and to learn of the sequence of events that occurred from the moment you arrived. After reviewing your comments with our management team we have implemented procedures that we believe will prevent what you experienced from happening again. Thank you again for sharing your experiences as this allows us to grow and provide a better guest experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
166 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

The key to this hotel is the LOCATION of the room. I could see that some rooms, on a given night, would be noisy due to partiers. The rooms around the pool are lovely but again - depends on who your neighbors are and what is going on in the hotel. I specifically asked for the quietest room they had with a King bed and got room 327. Nice room - not much of a view but as requested - very quiet night's sleep. Good bed. Bathroom has no counter space but the room is clean and at $99 on a Saturday night - it's a good deal. The 'unusual' came twice - upon check in the staff member who was on duty had only been at the hotel a week and had NO idea where our room was. She sent us completely the wrong direction with no offer of help with our luggage. It took some time for us to find our room and we had to ask her again and finally someone else helped us. She was totally uninformed. Then the unthinkable on a SUNDAY morning. We got the "tap tap - Housekeeping!" on our door at 8:45 am!!! We were sound asleep! Had I not jumped right out of bed, they would have entered our room right away. Granted I did not have the Do Not Disturb sign on the handle outside, but at 8:45 on a Sunday morning? Really? Beside these faux pas, the room was nice, the hotel lovely and very much a throw back to the good ole' days, and the price and parking were fantastic. I would stay again. But again - be aware that there are some non preferable locations in the hotel.

Room Tip: Again, ask for quiet if that's important. If not, the poolside rooms are really lovely. The po...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CyndiMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hood River, Oregon
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

My wife and I stayed the weekend at this lovely hotel. Very pleasant, comfortable beds, great food awesome pool area and very helpful staff.
Close to the downtown, Balboa Park and Sea World.
Very good value.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rome988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

Property: The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Address: 2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104-1103
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#9 Green Hotel in San Diego
#63 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows 3.5*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1946, the Lafayette has been the site of historical glamour, and offers a unique change from a typical hotel experience. Among its famous guests were Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Betty Grable. Inside, the Mississippi Ballroom took center stage where Hollywood’s stars came to dance the night away. Conveniently located to all shopping, entertainment and business areas, the historic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is, indeed, the best lodging choice in San Diego. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lafayette Hotel San Diego
Lafayette San Diego

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