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“Bang for your Buck”
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #36 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We stayed four nights at the Dolphin and loved it. Yes, the rooms are small.. but very clean. and as we were sightseeing, we weren't in the room except to sleep. The continental breakfast was adequate .The motel is well situated ..close to several good restaurants within walking distance . What sets this hotel apart is #1 the cost and #2 ..the staff. Everyone we dealt with was very helpful..especially Thomas. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LAO8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

All of our staff are so happy to read your 5-star review!
It is like the a fresh drop of rain after a long drought of 4-stars,
(although not bad per se) we sincerely try to make all our guests feel we have given them our sincere best!
Our staff share in the owner's vision of superior friendliness in a family motel environment, and doing everything in our ability to ensure our guests feel it was worth the money they paid.
I do not speak for myself of course, I am very sure all hotels/motels strive for customer excellence: be it a 5-star Ritz Carlton, or a quiet motel in the middle of nowhere.
Personally, you guys have made our day by posting this review.
You are truly wonderful generous friends of the Dolphin Motel!

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219 - 225 of 1,113 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2014

Our group had two rooms on the upper level bay view. We had a little balcony connected to our room which was nice. The rooms were very clean. They are small but I knew that ahead of time. We didn't spend much time in our room, just to clean up and sleep. Very close to the bus stop which we took into old town and from there took the trolleys. There are a couple seafood restaurants within walking distance and a pizza place,and Jack in the Box and McDonalds, and a liquor/convenience store all within walking distance. Definitely worth the price. It is a budget motel so if you want more than that it won't be for you. The owners/staff are very nice and helpful! Will definitely come back, when visiting this area of San Diego.

Room Tip: Get a bay view. #34 and #36 had a bay view and a balcony......you shared. So if you needed two roo...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 96penny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

Our hard-working owners Alan & Holly, as well as our staff, thank you guys for sharing your recent stay on tripadvisor. It will give future guests an idea what to expect from our motel.
We always appreciate positive feedback from our good guests.
Our single family-owned motel will live or die by our guest's word of recommendation: be it excellent, good, or poor.
When you guys bring family to stay at our motel, we recognize & deeply appreciate the potential for future returns customers to sunny San Diego.
As a budget-friendly motel, we encourage all our future guest to read the reviews provided on tripadvisor, and decide for themselves if we are the right fit.
Once again, thank you guys for finding our motel.
We would like to make your stay "of 5-star excellence" next time!

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

I liked the breakfast of blueberry and chocolate chip muffins, bananas, yogurt, orange juice and milk in the little courtyard, but the coffee tasted a bit stale, since they make a few filter-fulls in the evening for the next day, but they're uncovered so the air gets to it. The manager (wish I knew his name, what a sweetie) told me I could have whatever I want from the fridge at any time, and I told him since the sign said it was closed, I follow the rules. There's no DND or Service sign, and I didn't tell the cleaning people I needed it (i use my own towels) but I came back after a long day to find new towels, but nothing else done, as my laptop was on the bed. Even though they don't want to be responsible for moving my laptop, I still felt slightly violated by the Asian cleaners who barely spoke English, but I got over it. The rooms are a bit institutional, and not as clean as a white room could be. The shower stall was a bit moldy, with poor lighting in the bathroom. Other than a few drunken guys slamming the doors, (bring earplugs, they kind of help here) loud tv's into the night with paper-thin walls and ceilings (heard the cleaning people for a while), I had a pleasant stay. For the area, the price can't be beat, and I'd definitely stay there again when I'm in town. I'd just choose a different room, or check it out before I pay. I thought Steve at the front desk was rather cute, too.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Kimberly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Hi Kimberly,

Yes, I remember you, and Steve does too. Nice of you to take the time for your review. Regarding our coffee (which is kept in a sealed locker) I am sorry you found it a bit stale. In 38 years - Yours is the first negative freshness comment about our coffee. At the morning breakfast we have to make a fresh pot about every 15-20 min. Never a complaint, not even from our Starbucks diehards?! Regarding your room service, you may have not noticed your trash was emptied and your carpet vacuumed. It is true, if personal items are left on the bed - like your computer - we respect that and leave the bed alone. I am sorry you felt violated, but the asian lady you spoke of has been here 1 year longer than dad and I have owned the motel (39 years). She is very trustworthy and responsible (she speaks fluent english, better than myself?!) You were in #24, so when I read your review, I ran to the shower there and told our maintenance man to touch up where needed. Thank you for the heads up on that, we try to catch everything. Sorry for the unwanted noise while you were in the room. Its unfortunate, but just a fact of life at small and even large hotel/motels. Most people expect/understand they will hear miscellaneous sounds - their neighbors, doors closing, maids working, etc. (Especially during the day). My desk clerk remembered when you complained about the Guest next door checking in at 1pm closing his door loudly. Sorry about that at least it wasnt at night. I am glad you said you had a pleasant stay and that the price cant be beat. Glad to hear that you would return, we would love to have you back.

With our best regards,

Steve, {Alan and Holly(owners)}

P.S. Hope things are well in South Carolina

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Dolphin Motel is simply perfect. My girlfriend and I had a getaway here a few weeks ago and we were very impressed by not only the great price but the value you get! We booked in advance and got a harbor view with under 75$ ! The rooms are simple, clean, comfortable beds. The free breakfast had delicious muffins (bomb blueberry ones), fresh coffee, and yogurts. Tv was good, watched the gladiator good quality + good channels. Kinda cool they have quiet hours, so it was very peaceful there in the morning and at night. The rooms are non smoking however they have a chill smoking area right near the front desk. Great places to eat walking distance, excellent recommendations from the hotel staff. Free water, and caned sodas for guests 24 hours. The location was great and they have free safe parking + we walked along the harbor at sunset and everything was located near by that we wanted to see. I definitely recommend this as the best place to stay in San Diego. Do off with the overpriced luxury and brand for nothing hotels, DOLPHIN MOTEL IS THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! :)

Room Tip: The room we stayed in upstairs was great
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Everythinginit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Thank you Everythinginit for choosing this motel during your recent trip down south here. We get alot of nice folks just like yourself that are in search of an inexpensive place when visiting San Diego
For the last 38 years, our hard working owners Alan & Holly have been dedicated to providing budget minded travelers a reasonable place to stay, be it business or vacation
Their hard work gives testament to the continued survival of the business, even in these economic times.
What is most important is our wonderful guests (and repeat guests), who found us in their search for reasonable pricing

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Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed at the dolphin for three nights with a family of three. Had a room with a queen and a single bed. As we knew beforehand, the rooms were small and even smaller with two beds. Not a lot of room to move around but if you use the room like we do for sleeping and showering only it works great. Can't beat the price. Very clean and quiet. Right across the street from the fishing docks. Not a ton of restaurants around but easily accessible if you have bikes. Front desk recommended a reliable bike rental service which delivered bikes within a half hour. Very helpful service on recommendations on the area. Staff very friendly and helpful. Breakfast is small but adequate to get you going. Showers small but powerful. Would stay again.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank Danwad5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Thank you Danwad5 for sharing your thoughts about our budget motel to future tripadvisor readers.
We are glad you enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, service, breakfast, free amenities we have to offer
It is true the old saying "you get what you pay for", the owners and our staff are glad you would return next time to our humble little place
We hope you will call us as far ahead as possible to reserve our upstairs rooms, as rooms do fill up rather quickly during the busy summer months
Price is also slightly higher due to busy summer season.

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Reviewed 15 June 2014

Stayed there 3 times with the following observations.

Cons: Rooms are small
Pros: Everything else. Rooms are spotless, hotel staff extremely courteous and competent. Great location, walk to restaurants, bars, fishing. 10 minutes to airport after staff cheerfully downloads your boarding pass, weighs your luggage and calls a cab. You can even leave your car there for short trips at no cost room permitting. Family owned and operated which makes all the difference in the world. For the wife and I it doesn't get better than this.

Room Tip: No preference, ask the desk.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank roger480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Thank you Roger for sharing our motel to future potential customers.
You are very good us! During the off-season (non-summer months: October to April), we offer 7-nights free parking (advertised on our website) but the summer months (May, June, July, August) we get very busy & do not offer the free parking deal.
Nevertheless, we do get yearly fishermen who stay here because we are across the street from HM Landing, the location makes for a convenient 1 night stop before or after fishing. From the looks of things, fishing has not picked up due to the "Tuna Migration", but hopefully the ocean will yield good bounty next month.

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Reviewed 13 June 2014

This motel is clean and comfortable and the breakfast is served daily. The staff is friendly and helpful. This is the best budget motel I ever been. The internet access is very good and was included on the price. The room was cleaned every day and also all towels were changed. They offer maps, GPS, Laptops, ice and bottle of water for free. You can't ask for more when you are travelling in a budge with your family. I stayed there with my wife and my little kid. Thanks.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank fleite77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Guest Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Thank you feite77 for writing about your recent stay at our motel on tripadvisor.
Tripadvisor is the internet's foremost website for information from guests' perspectives. Contributions from good guests like yourself have help our business get exposure to future potential guests.
In fairness, we have always conveyed our place as a budget motel, with emphasis as an alternative to our higher priced neighbors.
We hope all our future guests will inquire about our location, and whether we are the right fit for them.

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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:
#4 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: £64 - £140 (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 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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