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“A cool old hotel, with a good vibe.”

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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Ranked #63 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A cool old hotel, with a good vibe.”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Found this place on google and really wanted to check it out. Our daughter just started at SDSU so I want to find a place we enjoy since we will be visiting a few times a year. We found it. Love the area, close to the school. Not a chain hotel. It was just my wife and I so we got a basic room. We will be back to stay in one of the bigger rooms with our son when we visit next. He is going to love the pool.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JTACP
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 review, 7 September 2014
Perfect! We love having all our SDSU families stay with us, we're only 10 minutes away from campus! Hopefully she enjoys her first year as an Aztec and you are able to come down and visit her throughout the year. Please let us know when you are coming down next so we can provide you with the different options we have in terms of larger rooms/suites/bungalows. Thank you for choosing the Lafayette, we're excited to be your home away from home in San Diego.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (393)
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LeRoy, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed 25 August 2014

The stay was awesome overall! The receptionist Meme hooked us up with an awesome deal! She was very personable, and genuinely cared about us enjoying out stay. Her and other staff made our stay just incredible! The only negative I can think of is that the pool closes at 10:00 pm

Room Tip: Poolside was awesome!
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jankmcnally
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 review, 7 September 2014
Thank you for enjoying your stay with us at the Lafayette, we will make sure Meme receives your gracious comment! The pool is open from 7am-10pm for hotel guests and is also open for locals and Swim Club members until 7pm. Unfortunately we can't keep the pool open later than 10pm as there are guest rooms surrounding the pool area and we try our best to be respectful of guests that may be disturbed by the noise. We hope you and your family enjoyed the rest of your trip out to San Diego/California, we hope to see you again!
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Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

1 word, HORRIBLE!

My boyfriend and I travelled to San Diego for the first time last week, and were looking forward to staying at this hotel, but needless to say, it was a nightmare.

Although we did not see any cockroaches here, I'm sure if we stayed the 4 nights (that we initially had scheduled to stay), we would have...

Let me start off by saying, the staff that run this hotel are extremely pleasant and very welcoming, especially Mi Mi we who was helping us out. As well, the pool did look quite pleasant but we didn't stay long enough to experience it. Unfortunately, these are the only nice comments that are worthy of this "hotel". From the minute we walked through the front doors we just knew, something wasn't right. Actually when we arrived, there was a wedding taking place, so the hotel lobby was busy and quite noisy, and the hotel was crawling with people. This added to the already loud noise level, and this is where it all started to crumble. From the moment we opened the door to our room, we were flabbergasted. We just paid how much for THIS?! The carpets were dirty, they were lifting from the floors in the certain areas, the walls were stained with water and god only knows what else. The mirrors were peeling away from the glass in the bathroom, the blinds were dirty, and coated in dust, not to mention the grime built up in the windows as well. The bed, ohhh the bed, was so lumpy and uncomfortable, words cannot even describe. My boyfriend and I sat on the end of it, to examine the room, and the whole thing lifted off the ground. The loud noises continued through the walls from neighboring room walls and halls, as if they were made of paper. The WIFI, will work occasionally in certain parts of your room, but don't expect it to be fast or work that well. It hardly worked for us, and was quite frustrating.

After calming down from my initial upset with the condition of the room, I called down to the front desk, and asked to be moved, however as this was a Saturday and a wedding was taking place there were not available rooms. So we stayed one night and checked out early the next morning.

I wish we had listened to previous reviews and not have wasted our time here. You may be lucky and get a nice room at this place, or you may not. It's really a gamble here it seems. So take it as you've been warned.....

Room Tip: Just don't book here, save yourself the trouble.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Beth I
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 review, 12 September 2014
We do apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your check-in process as well as with your guest room and WiFi. In know our Catering and Banquets team does there best to separate any scheduled public events from the rest of our guests due to the nature of your concern. They do hold a lot of our wedding ceremonies in the conservatory area of the lobby which on average generally last only 30 minutes before moving to our Ballroom downstairs for the reception. Our Executive Housekeeper was made aware of the issues you brought up in your room and we thank you for making us aware so that we may remedy them for future guests. Recently we did a major overhaul to our WiFi system as some devices were unable to reach select access points, all of which has not been a problem since the update. While I do thank you for the kind words about the service that was provided, I again apologize that you were unable to enjoy your stay with us. Please feel free to contact me directly at any time regarding your stay or any further concerns.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014

I have to be honest that we were a little tentative about staying here after receiving some online feedback from people in a travel forum. But, we were very pleasantly surprised and had a great experience. I know that I read mixed reviews so I will give as much info as possible and am happy to answer any questions.
First, we stayed in a Suze Suite for 5 nights. This set-up was ideal for 2 adults and 2 teens. Parents and kids each had their own rooms and even more importantly, their own bathrooms. These rooms are located away from the pool and we could not hear any noise from the pool. Unless you want to be in the middle of the action, I would honestly recommend NOT staying in the pool rooms. We all got a great night's sleep and had plenty of room for all of us.
We had no issues with noise or AC problems. We had no trouble with the Wifi either. It seemed to work for our entire stay. Full disclosure about the noise from other rooms. We asked for a 2nd floor room (top floor for Suze suites) and as mentioned, heard no noise from the rooms around us. But, our last night, we were packing around 10 pm. Our room phone rang around 10:15. The front desk told us that the guests below us had called them to complain about the noise coming from our room (the footfalls). I explained that we were not running or jumping or anything of the sort, just moving around the room to pack up our stuff. The front desk employee was very polite and friendly. But, obviously, just our moving around caused enough noise that the room below us thought we were causing excessive noise. It must have been very loud downstairs. I would ask for a 2nd floor room.
As far as the pool parties go...we were there during the Rockabilly pool party on a Sunday afternoon. The music was fabulous. I will say that there was a group of rowdy attendees who felt the need to swear loudly and act a little inappropriately considering there were children in attendance. But, unfortunately, I feel like I encounter a lot of people with little regards for common decency and this was just another example. It wasn't anything that made us uncomfortable or nervous - I just wish they had been a little more aware of those around them. There were 2 security guards there to make sure that everyone followed the rules (ex: no drinks in the pool) and I think they did a good job. We were worried that they would party on into the night but when we went to sleep, there was no noise from the pool.
The staff at the Lafayette was friendly and helpful and patient. They passed out a great list of directions to popular tourist places - we used it all week! They recommended restaurants and offered advice about where to visit while we were in town.
The hotel itself was clean and airy. The pool space was fabulous. We spent more time at the pool than we intended. The free coffee and tea in the lobby in the morning was great. And the free water by the pool was appreciated.
As far as the neighborhood, we never felt nervous here at all. I walked to the Albertson's supermarket at the bottom of the hill alone with my daughter and was not the least bit concerned. We also walked home alone (girls and I) about 2 blocks from Pizzeria Luigi (great pizza) later at night and I never felt unsafe. We liked having the fridge and microwave and the grocery store nearby. We ate breakfast in our room and even ate leftovers from some of our fabulous dinners.
We really liked the parking set-up. We could just pull right in and out whenever we wanted - no need to wait for a valet.
The Lafayette is not in a real tourist area so it's not for everyone. It's not your typical touristy hotel. But, it was a good deal in a cool neighborhood. It offered a lot of space for my family and good customer service from the staff. We were quite pleased with our stay.

Room Tip: Ask for the highest floor. Stay away from the pool rooms if you are looking for a more quiet stay.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travel43_11
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 review, 7 September 2014
Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive review of your stay with us at the Lafayette. Your recommendations will most definitely be helpful for our future guests. Top floor rooms are generally quieter of course as there is nobody above you and I do apologize for the late night call about the noise from your family packing (that was actually me!). Our security team is great and always try to keep the peace during the pool parties, especially around children as we are extremely family friendly. We hope that you are able to join us again and thank you again for choosing the Lafayette!
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Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Had a great week long stay the first week in August at The Lafayette Hotel while in town visiting family. I have stayed at many southern CA hotels over the years and this was by far the most memorable. When I checked in I was upgraded to Suite 426......room was huge (could have easily entertained 30+ people) with a great view of the pool and very clean. We ate and drank at the on site restaurant a few times.....food was good and reasonably priced. I did not have a chance to experience a weekend pool party but the pool atmosphere was always lively and fun. This hotel has great character and takes you back to a vintage Hollywood era. The local cab drivers told us on multiple occasions that the surrounding neighborhood was not safe. However, we walked at all times of the day and night and never felt uncomfortable. I cannot say enough good things about the staff.....from the front desk to bartenders and managers, I could not have wished for a better experience. Strongly recommend staying at The Lafayette......this will definitely be my hotel choice for future San Diego visits!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WorldTraveler0556
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 review, 7 September 2014
Thank you so very much for all your kind words, I will make sure to pass them along to everyone you mentioned! Happy we could accommodate you in one of our Penthouse Suites (426 is the Bob Hope Suite, our first guest) as there are only two of them. Unfortunately our pool parties are coming to an end for the year but we surely do wish you are able to partake in next years festivities. Around the hotel is a safe neighborhood to walk in with plenty of great restaurants a short distance from the Lafayette, and North Park is 5 minutes away and has a great nightlife. We're glad we could make such a great impression on you and would love to be your go-to San Diego destination!
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Aspen, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

I was recently in San Diego for Pride and stayed at this lovely hotel. It is in the North Park area, just minutes from everything by car and only about a 45 min walk to Balboa Park.

The decor is fabulous, rooms are very clean, quiet and spacious. The pool is a great place to relax on a hot day after a big event. There are some great dining options in the area, plus is it close to a Vons and a Sprouts. Parking at the hotel is easy and available. I did not visit the restaurant but the menu looked great and affordable for a hotel bar & restaurant. I would highly recommend this hotel if you needed to be in Hillcrest or surrounding areas.

Room Tip: I stayed in the Manor and it was very quite, pool side rooms had more traffic.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pjherr
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 review, 7 September 2014
Thank you for your positive feedback from your stay with us during Pride weekend. There is a wide array of restaurants in the North Park area as well as both of our restaurants on property, Hope 46 and The Red Fox. We do appreciate your recommendation especially for a weekend such as Pride, where most of the celebrations are less than 10 minutes away in Hillcrest. Hopefully we will see you back with us next year!
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Anchorage, Alaska, United States
1 review
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We had a lovely short stay at this hotel. We enjoyed the pool very much and the community feel of the pool area. Room was updated and linens were very nice. It had the quaint charm of old school San Diego but updated in a tasteful way. Parking was easy, no elevators should me mentioned for handicapped guests. The hotel restaurant was quite tasty as well. Close to restaurants, shopping, down town San Diego, and the zoo. Loved our stay!!

Room Tip: Pool view, the balconies were lovely with the breeze and could watch children. While they swim.
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Green Features: Typical of the are these day, I don't recall anything outstanding.
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kam A
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 review, 4 September 2014
Thank you for choosing the Lafayette, we too love the community feel of our pool as we are open to the public and have a lot of locals that enjoy being members of our Swim Club. Although we just finished with our weekend pool parties until next summer we welcome residents to join! Our apologies if the lack of elevators in all of our buildings was an inconvenience, we definitely suggest calling the front desk prior to arrival if there are any physical limitations so that we may adequately prepare the guest room. As you mentioned, on average we are 10-15 minutes away from all of San Diego's attractions (driving) and we would love to have you return.
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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
#12 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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