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“Excellent value near the San Diego Zoo” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Ranked #56 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Santa Ana, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent value near the San Diego Zoo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

We stayed here for one night, on a quick trip to show my cousins the Zoo during their escape from Winter weather back East. We booked two regular rooms, and couldn't have been more pleased. Instead of a basic place to stay, the hotel became an attraction in itself and really added to our enjoyment of the trip. While our rooms were on the small side, they each had large (LARGE) closets, very nice flat-screen TV's, and very comfortable beds with great mattresses. No "Oh, my aching back" mornings for us. Wi-Fi was fast as we'll as free. That coupled with free parking added up to a really excellent value for a nice place to stay just minutes from Balboa Park and the Zoo. Plus, the hotel facility overall was very attractive, and interesting to wander around because of its history. As others have noted, it was like an instant trip back to the late forties - early fifties, in the most attractive way. A beautiful pool area, and a dining area that overlooks it, plus one of the best, and most affordable hotel breakfasts I've encountered in years, while Crosby and Sinatra crooned in the background. All staff members from the Reception desk right through to maids and dining service staff were uniformly helpful, courteous, and pleasant. We would go back to the Lafayette in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Based on other reviews, we selected rooms on an upper floor, at the back. Very quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank baamoolady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,231 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (382)
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

We stayed here because family had already booked here. Aside from having an area for the youngsters to sleep (can close the door between the rooms in the Suze suites) it was just really kind of a bummer. My daughter had on white socks that were promptly dirty. The bathrooms were small and a bit outdated. There are young adults partying in the late night hours. Oh, and my relatives had a rather large unpleasant surprise in their bathtub one morning. So, I would not stay here again. Probably would have liked it as a young, poor college kid.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gmarie8338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014

The hotel is now a historical landmark and everything about the hotel makes you feel like you could have stepped into the past. The renovations are period and it could be 1940's or 1950's . Beautiful pool and lounge areas.
Two couples traveling together we had booked a two room bungalow, but on arrival realized that a regular double and one king would not accommodate two 6 feet 4 inch husbands. They very graciously accommodated us in a three bedroom bungalow where two very large bedrooms had king beds and tv in each room as well as the spacious living room. Big fully equipped kitchen , large eating area and living room.

The staff were so friendly and responded to every little thing we needed, a working coffeemaker, a new remote for the missing one in living room, extra towels all within minutes of asking . An added bonus was that parking was also free. The only comment we had and we told the staff was the carpets needed either replacement or a really good shampoo and suggested hard wood flooring as we had seen in the two bedroom would be perfect as it is a large space with many stains from kitchen coffee etc. they advised because of the historical designation things have to be approved and redone in period so it was understandable. We had a great time and loved the ability to have breakfast together, predinner cocktails,make picnics for beach etc. we thought it was excellent value for the money

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

We stayed in the Suze Suite which is a king bed in one room and a second room that has a twin over full bunk bed. Each room has its own full bathroom, walk in closet and TV. The kids room also has a small table that came in very handy to eat cereal in the morning before heading out for the day. The room had a laptop size safe, small refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker.

The good:

Awesome pool
comfortable bed
free parking
central location - close to Balboa Park
price very reasonable
friendly staff
free wi-fi
restaurant and bar onsite (although we did not eat there)
very clean

The not so good:

Paper thin walls - you hear people's conversations like they are in your room. I don't understand rude people banging on doors at 5:30AM. Can't you call your friend to tell them to hurry up? One night at 11:30PM we turned the TV off to go to sleep and we could very clearly hear the retro jazz music that they play in the pool area. We called and they turned it off.

Overall, I would say we enjoyed our stay at the hotel. If you are a light sleeper, I recommend ear plugs. When there was nobody walking and talking near our room, the place was peaceful. We saved money by using the refrigerator and microwave and ate breakfast in our room. If they found a way to insulate the noise, this place would be perfection!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jkkm0606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

A very atmospheric hotel, quintessentially Californian in its style and furnishings. We stayed in a 2 bedroom bungalow - which is a difficult type of accommodation to find in this city. Good value. Has a couple of nice restaurants and pubs on site. Centrally situated but not in a very attractive suburb. Staff extremely polite and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank penelopej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2014 via mobile

Our group was meeting at this hotel and though I was hesitant to book the room, those fears went out the door when I arrived. A lovely property with great history and a great staff. My friend and I booked a Suze suite which includes two bathrooms and two separate bedrooms, both with full closets. One of them had a table and chairs, a blackboard and a bunk bed of a full down and a twin above. This seemed odd at first, but worked out perfectly for us. A family would love this room. Very comfortable bed and a great shower, two of my big concerns in many hotels.
The property had two restaurants, one Imigs was just off the lobby and adjacent to the pool, offered great drinks (the best dirty martini ever) and delicious dinner entrees. We also ate in the Red Fox Room steakhouse also in property, delicious steak and loved the decor, stained glass and carved fireplace from a 1600s bar from England. Very interesting.
Our event was in the Mississippi Room on the lower level on Saturday night. Loved the space, especially the large seashell backdrop where big bands once played, with a side patio to get some fresh air, but still be part of the event,
My favorite part of the stay was the delightful staff, especially Aimee at the front desk. Her warm and friendly smile just made your day.
I will definitely stay here again when I return to San Diego. It's a short drive to almost everything and the gorgeous pool area makes this an oasis in the city.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Gene B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

I saw the pictures online and thought I'd take a chance. Totally happy I did. The family-size room we stayed in had the bunkbeds and two bathrooms/showers. Bonus. Very reasonble rates.
Tremendous history and atmosphere. The pool is amazing. Impressed at the level of cleanliness in all areas. The staff was universally friendly. For us, Rex was very nice at check-in and check-out. We wanted to stay longer, a feeling that was intensified at check-out, when we saw the breakfast entrees that people were receiving at the restaurant, which had shaded outdoor dining as well as indoor dining. Full bar, which, like the hotel, seemed comfortable yet classy. Overall, what a place! Neghborhood is okay, parking okay, and no charge. This place is a rare find. I thought about not writing this, 'cause I want to keep it my 'San Diego secret.' But, here you are. I loved this place.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank erictheeagle
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:
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Green Hotel in San Diego
#10 Best Value 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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