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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
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Reviews (1,378)
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1,155 - 1,160 of 1,378 reviews
Reviewed July 12, 2013

This hotel isn't located in an ideal area, if you like being able to walk around and explore. However, the location is great if you have a car, as it's a quick drive to the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and Downtown. It's also great for those heading into Hillcrest, as it's less than a mile away.

I'd only recommend this hotel if you're getting a good deal for it. It's not worth paying full price for. As many have said, it's very charming, but its rooms are showing their true age. Although they tried to modernize the rooms, nothing can take away the old smell and slight scent of cigarette smoke left over from so many years. Our bathroom also looked very worn out with some cracked tiles and old fixtures. I know this isn't a luxury hotel, but the scratchy towels and lumpy pillows and beds could use an update.

I see this as a good hotel for young couples and friends. They have a large social pool with an outdoor bar overlooking it. The bungalows next to the pool looked like a great spot for friends to spend a weekend.

Room Tip: The bungalows next to the pool!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank monicab702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Got a room for the 4th of July Pool Party.

Very hip retro styled older property with enough ketch to get your attention.
Great pool party and accommodations, good value for the buck.
Restaurant on property is cost effective comfort food with flair with an interesting approachable menu. Check it our midweek for the family, weekends are owned by the sunbathing cocktail set.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony king over the pool
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank StratoFounder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We booked this hotel via website and got a pretty good deal for pre-pay. (we had my wife, her mom and my 8 year old daughter, as well as me)

The place was very charming and had a nice "nostalgic" feel to it, Very 40s and 50s - kind of the type of hotel you'd hope to be haunted because it harkened back so far. Not the case, of course, but still a fun idea. At any rate, the rooms are smallish - but what wasn't back in the day? The air conditioning was cool and the beds comfy. Nice flat screen we turned on exactly 2 times. Good space for restroom and shower. Not much else in terms of moving around space though. As I said: small space, lots of charm.

This truly was a place to rest our heads at night as we took in the city, Seaworld, African Safari and San Diego Zoo, Coronado Island...so on and so on...so we didn't spend too much day time at the hotel. But it was comfortable and a nice place to return to. Coffee every morning!

I'd note - the middle of the day (every day during the summer, from what I can tell) is a kind of local party place for 20 somethings "pool party" style that a radio station hosts I believe. So if you're not down with having a long line of young folk and loud music between 1-5:30 then you may want to reconsider. We pretty much missed them every day since we were out and about. If you want to use the pool with your family 9-noon and then after about 6pm is best. Pool closed at 10, promptly.

I do want to make special note about the front desk people though. They were amazing! In particular I thought Jorge and Sid were very accommodating and helpful. One night Sid found me parking in the underground garage where there was none. Jorge was immediately friendly and gave some great recommendations and room adjustments. To me, the staff are what make a hotel shine...and if it's based on them, this is a five star. I look forward to seeing Jorge again if we make the trip back to San Diego next year...

Of course, it's always more than staff right? So room-wise and experience-wise I'll give it an honest 3.5 - 3.8 stars instead. :-)

If your goal is to have a safe, restful place to sleep while you go out to the beach or wherever during the day, then this is the place for you. If your desire is to hang out at the hotel all day you'll simply need to be willing to share some space with the younger generation from 1-5:30...

Room Tip: If you're with a family (kids) opt for a suite since the regular rooms (even with two queen beds) are tight quarters. The door barely cleared the front of the second queen. I really do think it's a size way back then versus now thing so i was fine with it (added to the charm of the place) but noteworthy, yes?
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank MartinP16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I live in the area and often go to Imig's Restaurant located inside The Lafayette Hotel for breakfast. our experiences have always bern positive which made the rest of the property very intriguing. When we needed to vacate our condo for termite tenting, we immediately decided on The Lafayette.

They have several room styles, but we knew we'd need a large space as we work from home and knew we'd be spending a lot of time in the room. We were having trouble deciding so the next time we went for breakfast, we stopped at the front desk and asked to see the rooms, and to our delight, they agreed!

We were able to look at a one bedroom suites, both penthouses, and a two bedroom bungalow. The suite we looked at included a large balcony, but we were looking for more living space. There were two penthouses that differed in their furnishings. One was very contemporary with a nostalgic nod to 50's luxury. The other was decorated using furnishings from the 50's and was like walking into a thrift store to me. I think the idea was good, but was too authentic for my taste. Ultimately, we chose one of the bungalows which was the perfect space for us.

Bungalows are two story town homes with a small kitchen, breakfast nook, living room, two bedrooms, and one bath. There were three large closets and room for us each to set up our laptops and have our own workspace. The kitchen, which included a refrigerator and gas stove, came in handy for early breakfasts and late night snacks. The beds (one king, one queen) were incredibly comfortable and the space could easily accommodate five adults although one bathroom could be inconvenient.

We hosted one business meeting and entertained friends one afternoon in the space and found it to be the perfect home away from home. We'd definitely do it again.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank dmanders22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

We stayed 3 nights over the July 4th weekend. The hotel is clean with good underground parking. Our room had 2 queen beds so it was a bit cramped, but it was ok. The only minor issue we had was the noise. Our room faced the main street - El Cajon - and you could hear every car that drove passed as well as anyone talking out in front of the hotel. It was loud, but the beds were comfortable enough and we slept through it. Also, the ice machine was broken and we had to get ice at the restaurant (Imig's). Imig's closes at 9pm, so you're out of luck if you need ice after they close.

The location of the hotel is great. It is about 15 minutes (or less) to Gaslamp and 10 minutes (or less to Balboa Park. There are many fast food options along El Cajon Blvd. where the hotel is located. The hotel is also near several freeways, so getting where you need to go is easy.

The area where the hotel is located is not the greatest and may appear a little rough, but we did not have any safety concerns. The underground parking lot is secured by a security gate and you need a hotel key to access. There is also a security guard roaming the premises constantly.

The hotel has 2 Restaurants - Imigs and Red Fox Steak House.

We had a nice breakfast at Imigs one morning. Standard breakfast items - prices were good. It was $10 for a 2 egg breakfast with potatoes, bacon, and toast. The hotel also has free coffee in the lobby in the mornings.

There's also the Red Fox Steak House, which you can enter though the inside of the hotel. We didn't try the food there, but they have an old style bar (think dark 1960's-1970's), with a piano player. They are open late and the drinks are cheap and the atmosphere is very relaxing.

All in all, we had a very nice stay at the Lafayette.

Room Tip: Request a room that is NOT facing the main street - El Cajon Blvd. It will be much quieter.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Remo_Gaggi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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