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“A great place to stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #11 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Madison
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A great place to stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

We stayed at Dolphin's from April 2 to April 5. At first, my husband, of course, had had some doubts about how a motel could be good with this kind of price in an expensive city. In the end of the trip, he said we should come back here again. And the experience also motivates me to search for similar motels in cities we would like to visit in the future.

Yes, the room is very small, but we visit SD not to stay in a room nor to watch TV. We went out to have fun and came back to the place to shower, to prepare for the next day and to sleep. The breakfast was good. My son (and my husband) loved the chocolate muffins. The microwave was kinda slow, but it probably only bothered those, i.e., me, who wanted a 'quick' cup of 'really hot' tea. Then another tea drinker showed me the trick to use it, so the microwave did not bother me again. The outdoor atmosphere really brings travelers together. We saw many foreign travelers there and learned about their experiences in the fresh air of a sea port. For us, that's what a nice travel is all about.

The motel provides everything one could possibly need in a trip, and more. You just need to ask. If you are used to everything ready in the room for you and cannot change, then this is not for you. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The owners were on site every morning, including the senior owner. Our room in the back building was very quiet. We did not have any troubles on anything in the room.

The location is super. 4 years ago when we visited SD the first time, we stayed in a boutique hotel downtown. Most of our activities were centered in downtown, old town, little Italy and Balboa where could be reached via buses and trolleys. We loved it. This time, we visited places both outside and inside of the beltway so we rent a car the whole time. We noticed that a fellow resident couple actually biked. (borrowed from the motel?) So we might want to try that next time.

Dolphin really provides everything we ask for. And in the near future, we would like to go back soon to see more SD.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DHHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Thank you soooooo much Daphne!
It was soooooo nice to have the 2 of you and your child stay with us.
You are very wise to invest time into doing research before your vacation like most of our guests these days.
And with some research you can get the most of your money and time.

I myself did some research before going to New York and Washington D.C. last year and found the best price and location for my 1 week stay. But very few family owned places.

Lastly, we do hope you will visit San Diego again in the future.
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1,094 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
Date | Rating
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English first
Clemson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

I am so glad I stayed here and not the giant corporate place where my conference was being held. I like family-owned businesses. I have no complaints about this place, I would go back in a heartbeat. Check out The Pearl, around the corner, for a drink, very cool.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mariacantina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 4 April 2012
Thank you for your support Maria.
We are best suited for business travelers as well as couples on vacation
Yes, you are correct the Pearl has movie night's on Wednesdays and they are a "club/bar" scene
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

I was looking for a clean, safe and affordable motel. The rooms were small but very clean, there was free wifi, a nice contnental type breakfast, super friendly and helpful staff, it is in a good location and they offer free parking. This hotel is a gem.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sfgtd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 4 April 2012
Thank you very much guys for giving us a chance!\
Its wonderful guests like you guys that make it worthwhile
Every place has it good and bad, so a balance between budget, cleanliness, accommodations is why tripadvisor.com is highly used by millions of people worldwide.
Hope to see you again in the future!
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Perth
Level Contributor
88 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights while in San Diego. It is near the marina, so a bit cheaper than the Gaslamp District. There are plenty of other chain motels in the same area, but we were keen to support a place that was not run by a chain.

The amenities are basic, but clean. Staff are always friendly, and go out of their way to help. Breakfast is fruit, muffins, yoghurt and juice/coffee, held outside in the small courtyard. There are a choice of restaurants all within walking distance in a few different directions.

If you are on a budget this is perfect. It has everything you need, and it was nice to have a break from the usual motel chains. There aren't a lot of extra trimmings but it is definitely great value for money

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank travellers_from_oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
70 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2012

The rooms were clean, free wifi, decent breakfast, CCTVs overlooking the cars to ensure security. The folks manning the front desk were very friendly and helpful. Owner was also very helpful in recommending places to visit. Could not ask for more with the price we paid for. Will definitely stay over again!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hmsg128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 4 April 2012
Dear valued guest,
We appreciate you taking the time to write a review about us.
As the owner states, we are by no means a luxury place.
What we do offer is a balance of cleanliness, price, and comfort.
We hope future guests will evaluate our motel for what it is, although they are not wrong to expect more from all hotel/motels in this competitive market.
And it is true that most travelers will try to save money in these trying times, by putting in the extra effort in looking up a good location.
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Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

TA reviews can nv be wrong! Booked a 2 nights stay at the Dolphin Motel and my stay throughout was pleasant! Felt safe sleeping at night knowing there will someone at the desk 24hrs with security cameras all around! The rooms are small but very clean! There're also free Wifi and the speed was fast! Wasnt expecting that since it was free! Do not hestitant to stay here when u are in San Diego!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bunhun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Thank you dear guests for writing a review about us.
Tripadvisor is a tool the powerful traveler can use to evaluate travel locations & lodging places.
All places of course do get their share of good and bad, so what matters in the end is what a place can accommodate & of course the price. Once again like always, hope you come back to us in San Diego!
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Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2012

Very Neat, Family operated Motel with all you need to have a vacation in San Diego, CA. One needs to rent a Car in San Diego any way for having an all inclusive vacation. Rooms are small but clean. Located closed to Marina, view is good and excellent seafood restaurant on a walking distance. Mitches Seafood was my favorite. Vey inexpensive. Morning coffee, Juice,fruit, yogurt and muffins available for breakfast. We had plumbing problem in our room which was propel fixed.

Room Tip: Second floor provides good Marina views. Try close by Fresh MXN food ( part of chain) 2 books away f...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Skm64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Property: Dolphin Motel
Address: 2912 Garrison St, San Diego, CA 92106-2770
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#44 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Dolphin Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Highly Rated - Very Reasonably Priced - American Owned and Operated Budget Motel since 1976. Budget very clean rooms with top rated beds, refrigerators and great showers! Best Price! Budget Value! Great location - one block from San Diego Harbor and minutes from the Airport - Seaword - Downtown - Zoo - Beaches and more! Friendly - professional staff ready to help with directions - boarding passes, etc. Every morning say hello to our staff over continental breakfast. - Please see over reviews. Thanks ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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