We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Like It Used to Be....”
Review of Dolphin Motel

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Dolphin Motel
Ranked #44 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2012

I can remember when I was young and we'd go on family vacation to some small, family-owned motel, where everybody seemed to be friends and took time to socialize with you - that's what the Dolphin Motel reminded me of - The owner's were there each and every day, meeting the guests, always prepared with a smile and interesting conversation. The motel is older, so the rooms are not giant suites - but, they are CLEAN - the Housekeeper has been with them for 38 years, and she really takes pride in her job - I'll take small, friendly, and clean over any large chain hotel, any day of the week - and twice on Sundays!

As in other reviews, I was not bothered at all by any noise from the neighbors, or the people upstairs - I didn't hear a thing - no trouble at all sleeping.

I, also, am in the travel & accomodation business and I was very pleased with our stay - we booked two room and there are no complaints on either.

One more thing I should mention - It's a perfect location if you're site seeing. It's a hop-skip-and-a-jump to any of the major sites (zoo, museums, piers, airport, ship ports) - I will always stay at this location. No wondering if there's anything better.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Time2MakeUP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

We are so happy you guys gave us a chance at our little motel! And thank you so much for the 5 star rating! All our our staff took turns reading this because it means so much for us!
We are absolutely one of the last family-owned places left and you are treated like family here.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,125)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

578 - 584 of 1,126 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2012

I loved this place! They greeted us so kindly on check in, and gave us helpful visitor information. The room was very clean, and the bed was comfortable. The room didn't have a safe unfortunately, so we had to carry around our passports and cash. They had very yummy blueberry muffins for breakfast. I didn't sleep very well because of the paper thin walls, I heard every footstep, and because the airport is so close there were planes flying over all the time. It's excellent value, next time I'll bring earplugs.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank shawana80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Thank you shawana80 for writing us a review.
I do apologize about the noise, and yes our rooms are not big by any standards nor are the walls thick to prevent noise from neighbors.
We do have a 24-hour front desk that can address the issue of noise to a certain extent. Especially during the busy summer season when our rooms are fully booked up! I express my sincere apologies and want you to know we do keep alert for these problems about noise because it happens to all hotels/motel big or small. Hope you come back and visit San Diego in the future with your family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2012

This place cannot, I repeat, cannot be beat for the price. The location is stellar, especially if you have a car.

Let me tell you about my experience at The Dolphin. I went with my husband and 1 year old for Comic Con & we had a room with a queen-sized and twin bed. It was small, undoubtedly, but it was clean and you could tell that they worked hard every day to keep it that way. The room is stark white, except for the carpet, so you can easily tell how clean it is.

There is a decent-sized closet with a luggage rack, shelves & hangers, which we fully utilized during our stay. The bathroom is small, but again, very clean. It helps that there is a window (at least in ours) that lets lots of light in and makes the space seem larger than it really was. The shower had great water pressure and it didn't take long to get squeaky clean.

We had lots of electronics with us (cameras, cell phones, laptop, etc) and there were plugs to be had for all. A big plus is that there was always a parking spot available, too, because the lots are relatively small. We noticed that most of our neighbors were fishermen, who were there for the fishing charters. There was also a small table and 2 chairs outside our room, which is saying a lot because the balconies aren't that large.

There was a mini-fridge in the room, which came in really handy, especially having a baby in tow. Also, it was a big plus for storing our finds from our various forays into San Diego's farmer's markets.

All of that said, we will be going back to stay at The Dolphin again this year (July 2012!). It is a great home-base for all of our San Diego adventures. A++++ in my book.

Room Tip: Great location, right across the street from the water.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Brandy262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Hello Brandy and thank you so much for this greaaaaat review!
By all means please avoid Comic Con because prices will double or triple every year!
In terms of prices and room size, we are guilty every review our guests write about us... =)
We are an older motel built during the 1950s and back then it was before the era of "bigger rooms" and "bigger prices". I can honestly say the only thing modern we have is the flat screen television and our staff whom are much more technologically saavy than I am.
Last but not least, we hope you come back to San Diego again!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

We chose the Dolphin Motel based solely on recommendations on this site. The motel is in a great location and is easy to get to. There is plenty of parking, and good restaurants are within walking distance. Our room was very clean, and it's obvious that the housekeeping staff does a quality job. They offer a nice breakfast in the courtyard in the morning. My only complaint was on our last day there, the people next to us found it necessary to be as loud as possible starting at about 6:15 a.m. (I would have called the office to complain, but there wasn't a phone in our room). Overall though, it was a nice stay. You can't beat the location or the price.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Syl_in_Tennessee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Good Morning LV_Syl and thank you for writing about us!
People from Las Vegas visit California, and people from California visit Las Vegas
My family use to visit Las Vegas every year back in the 1990s!
Tripadvisor.com is by far the best thing that has happened to the traveler!
(Before this, it was all through travel guides and travel agencies)
As with all places we have our goods" and our "bads"
We do get alot of nice guests like yourself that stay with us and give our little motel a chance!
We do appreciate it and hope you come back to visit us!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

We had a very good stay at the Dolphin Motel. It was our first time visiting San Diego and we were really pleased with the location of the motel. The neighbourhood was quiet, scenic, well located and had restaurants and shops around. The motel itself overlooks the harbour which was really good, we enjoyed looking out at the boats and seeing the fisherman come in with their catches, it was also next to some great fish restaurants!
The rooms were a little small by American standards but still very comfortable, spotless with comfy beds and basic facilities.
Staff were helpful and should we visit San Diego again we would stay here.

Room Tip: Request a room on the upper floor overlooking the harbour.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jmso2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Thank yo jmso2010 for this wonderful review!
It's so nice to hear from you guys again
We do get many good guests from the UK and Europe (Germany Switzerland and Italy mostly) who visit California!
(Personally I think Europeans travel more than any others)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012 via mobile

Great location. Staff was very friendly. It was nice and quiet.

Thank tada888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

Good place to bed down for the night if your an on the go type tourist. Simple place but clean, basic ammenites but working well. Tucked away but great location. Great value and run by a good team. Keep up the good work guys!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sidji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these San Diego hotels
Cabrillo Inn & Suites Airport
#184 of 286 in San Diego
147 reviews
Ramada San Diego Airport
#144 of 286 in San Diego
1,441 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Hotel Aqua Mar
#154 of 286 in San Diego
161 reviews
Mission Valley / Hotel Circle
Kings Inn San Diego
Kings Inn San Diego
#26 of 286 in San Diego
2,354 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Dolphin Motel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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:
#5 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#9 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#44 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: £52 - £141 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia and Ebookers so you can book your Dolphin Motel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing