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“Works fine as a budget hotel”

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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Ranked #62 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Since we just had 2 nights in San Diego, and were looking at places close to the zoo, I decided to book at Lafayette. It seemed reasonable, although I had read mixed reviews about the place. I had booked two rooms, but only one room had refrigerator and microwave. Had to carry our luggage on a few stairs - even if you take the elevator, you have to pull your luggage over a short flight of stairs that leads to the rooms. The appearance of the hotel kind of inflated our expectations, and hence the experience wasn't anyway close. The location of the hotel didn't come across well in terms of safety.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank travel_vin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Thank you for choosing the Lafayette for your San Diego visit, our proximity to the Zoo does inspire a lot of guests to stay with us as it is approximately 5 minutes from the hotel in Balboa Park. We apologize for the inconvenience in accessing your guest room, our rooms on the lower floor in the Manor do require guests to go up a half flight of stairs so if any help is needed with luggage we would gladly provide it. Unfortunately not all of our rooms are equipped with refrigerators and microwaves but refrigerators are able to be rented for $10 per day and we have a microwave available for use adjacent to the front desk in Frank's General Store. We are located in the North Park area, which is actually very safe and any security concerns can be easily addressed by the front desk or any of our Managers. Hopefully the rest of your trip was excellent and you have a safe trip home, thank you again and take care.

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979 - 985 of 1,340 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2014

First impression when walking in was fantastic, colonial theme really well done, very nice reception attendant (Meme) made us feel welcome at once. It was Saturday afternoon, and there was quite a party going on at the pool, with the room below us playing loud music (fortunately they switched off by sleeping time).
We had a Suze suite, which is great for children, so they can have a separate room and own bathroom - and their parent have some privacy.
The pool is very good, excellent water quality.
It was noisy on Saturday night, which prevented my wife from sleeping, but the other nights were fine. Breakfast service a bit slow, but the food nice. Airconditioning in the room was loud, but ok for cooling the room and then switching off just before sleeping.

Room Tip: Stay away from the pool rooms if you want less noise.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mark v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Amazing first impression, I will make sure Meme receives your message and am sure you made an equally awesome impression on her! Our pool on the weekends is a bit louder as we host our pool parties on Saturdays and Sunday, and it is generally much more trafficked with people enjoying their weekends off work. We do apologize for the inconvenience and for your wives lack of sleep that night as well as the A/C unit being a bit loud. Suze Suites (or family suites) are designed specifically for that cause so thank you and your family for enjoying it. We always suggest going to our website and viewing the pictures of all the rooms before making your decision on which to reserve because there are a lot of different options with our room types. Hope 46 does serve breakfast in the mornings, starting at 7am and am glad you liked their delicious food. Thank you again for choosing the Lafayette and hope the rest of your trip was safe and pleasurable.

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Reviewed 26 July 2014

The place is really great looking and the pool is fantastic, Ronin and a few other staff members gave great service but there are also a handful of things that were far from great.

The air conditioning in our room was horrible, we had to keep fiddling with it to get it cooler but for the three days we were there it was basically boiling in our room. the tv didn't work and had to be reset. I ordered something to come to the hotel as i have done along the way my entire trip and when i asked for the package they wanted to charge me $25 because they had to hold the package for a half a day, i almost moved to another hotel at that point.

Basically charming but don't expect the room to be cool and don't order anything to the hotel.

Room Tip: try a room on the ground flor that may be cooler
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 573suzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

I'm happy you experienced levels of great service but do have to apologize for the maintenance issues you had during your stay. We will pass on your concerns to our Chief Engineer to ensure they do not recur for future guests. Due to limited storage space we do assess a $25 holding fee for packages that arrive prior to the guest arrival but I do have to say we would never wish a guest to leave or not enjoy their stay. Please feel free to contact me directly with any further concerns or if you're planning to return to San Diego so that I may personally inspect the A/C and TV in the room you are assigned to make certain they are functioning properly. Thank you for choosing the Lafayette and again I sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you faced, take care!

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Reviewed 26 July 2014

My friend and I took our two 13 yr old sons to visit San Diego. We stayed at The Lafayette Hotel because it was near a family member. This hotel was absolutely wonderful in all ways. The service from every employee was excellent, the rooms were clean and spacious and we had a nice balcony overlooking the pool. The pool was safe, clean and fun.

We would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: It was loud on Friday night and Saturday during the day. There was a band both days and lots of par...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Teresa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Thank you for choosing the Lafayette, I will definitely share your kind words to all of our team members. We're happy your family was able to come and enjoy the hotel and that you had such a great time at the pool. We do open our doors to locals for a small price to share guests enjoyment of the pool and they also have the option to join our Swim Club (information available on our website or at the front desk). This does include our pool parties on Saturday's and Sunday's, although your mention of Friday might have been a select weekend as periodically we do have special event days. The rooms around the pool either feature a patio with doors that open directly out or a balcony as you mentioned on the second floor, please let us know your preference when you make your reservation and we will do our best to honor the request. Although you weren't looking, we do practice very Green policies and hold the highest Certification in California for a place of lodging. Thank you again, we hope to see you back soon!

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Reviewed 24 July 2014

For my birthday I decide to go to this hotel cause they have a neat pool, great restaurants and who doesn't like north park?! Aimee, the receptionist was super nice and made me feel like I'm a VIP, when I arrived I wasn't expecting this but since it was my birthday and they were still cleaning the room I booked they upgraded our room to the PENTHOUSE! . That alone made me so special! The room was really big, king size bed and the best part...huge tub! Only thing is that there's no blinds to get some privacy while using it but it was the main thing I liked about the room.

Then we had dinner at the restaurant there called Hope 46, again the staff made me feel special and since it was my birthday they gave us free desert, I got the chocolate bomb and OMG the best!

We also got our check out extended until 12:30 which was really nice cause we got to sleep in, wish we stayed another night but we have to back to reality.

Really suggest you book your stay at the Lafayette, I saved a lot by doing it online and joining their mailing list so I suggest you do too!

Probably be back for me and my boyfriend's anniversary, such a wonderful place!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Rocksun21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Thank you for choosing the Lafayette for such a special occasion, hopefully you will be able to pull yourself out of reality again for you and your boyfriend's anniversary and return to celebrate. While we can't guarantee upgrades, we do sincerely enjoy it when we are able to provide them to guests staying with us on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Hope 46 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert - the chocolate bomb is a favorite of all of ours too!) from 7am to around 10pm on the weekends. Glad you got to sleep in, it's always nice to get that extra hour or so of sleep after a long day of celebrating. Thank you for the suggestion to future guests, we really appreciate it and hope you return soon!

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Reviewed 23 July 2014

My teenage children (aged 12 and 14) and I were fortunate to stay at the Lafayette for 4 nights in July 14. Coming from Australia (and not a member of the LGBT community) we were unaware that we had booked over the entire PRIDE weekend. My 12 year old had chosen the room due to it's proximity to the pool - however, it wasn't suitable for the kids to be swimming whilst so many (drinking) adults enjoyed the party! Needless to say we had a blast - and the parade was spectacular to say the least!!

I want for this review to be entirely positive - as the hotel, the staff and the facilities are excellent. However, believe parents with children need to consider a few things when booking. I believe it is important to know in advance that alcohol that is not purchased from the hotel can not be consumed in the pool area - and further, food that it is not purchased from the hotel can not be consumed outside of your room. This make is quite difficult for families with children who are in the rooms directly off the pool as these rooms don't have anywhere to sit to eat meals - and it gets quite expensive to eat all meals and snacks from the hotel. I also believe it is important to note that weekends at this hotel are busy - they have a truly classy jazz afternoon and pool parties with music - making it quite difficult if you wanted to take an afternoon nap!

Staff at this hotel are amazing to say the least and we were upgraded to a family suite once I had explained the challenges of the pool room. I would love to return to this hotel with a group of my (adult) friends where I could enjoy the ambience and the elegance of the hotel. My advice is to pay the extra and book the family suite - it will be cheaper in the long run.

In relation to location - this hotel is excellent. It is about 5 minutes drive to the Zoo and 15 minutes drive to Seaworld. The harbour is a short drive (or $11 cab ride) and the baseball stadium is about equal distance. There are shops, restaurants and a laundromat close by making it easy to get about - even if you don't have a car. Overall, I would highly recommend the Lafayette - I look forward to returning sometime soon.

Room Tip: Families should avoid the pool rooms.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kellyontour14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to provide such positive feedback for us even though you did have some issues during your stay. You are quite correct on all points and we do suggest future guests not only check our Events webpage for happenings at the hotel as well as San Diego City's local events as there are a plethora of conventions and groups that frequent the area every weekend throughout the summer months. We do hold a general hotel policy about consuming alcohol not purchased from the hotel directly or food in areas where our restaurant, Hope 46, is able to serve as it pertains to our licensing from the City. We do apologize for any inconvenience this caused your family and we will work on updating ways to inform guests prior to arrival. Our location is definitely one of our strong suits as it positions us a 5-15 minute drive to almost all attractions in town and taxi's are easily hailed - just notify the front desk 10-15 minutes beforehand and we are happy to assist. Please let us know when you get some time away and are able to join the pool parties, we would love to have you return - thanks again!

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

The Lafayette will always be our San Diego hotel. The bungalow was perfect for my family for a week stay. If you want to relax in a family atmosphere, stay during the week to eat and drink on the patio while the kids play in the pool. If you are looking for a party stay on the weekend and take advantage of the rowdy pool scene. If you like a little of both, Lafayette is the place to stay a week. The hotel is packed with retro charm. Are you uptight and looking for absolute perfection? Don't bother you won't find it here and we don't want you anyway.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BLC_NM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ronan O, Front Desk Supervisor at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Wow; you and your family will always be welcome at the Lafayette! We enjoy the diversity of our guests and receive them from all over the world with open arms. But I do think you hit the nail on the head in terms of our day-to-day operations and with what to expect during your stay with us. Thank you for being a loyal guest as well, and the bungalows are amazing for longer stays as they feature full kitchens and living room space with either two or three bedrooms depending on your needs. We do try to stick to our retro roots (come see Normandie Wilson on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 in the lobby!) and live up to the grand allure the Lafayette had in its inception. Thanks and - we know we'll see you again!

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Additional Information about 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:
#8 Green Hotel in San Diego
#63 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: £84 - £160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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