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.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Dolphin Motel

Show Prices
Certificate of Excellence
Book on TripAdvisor
Trusted partner. We work with to make your booking as easy as possible.
Secure payments. We use industry-leading practices to keep your information secure.
Enter dates for best prices
powered by PriceFinder
Prices from our online travel partners are not available
We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in San Diego
Check In Check Out
Show Prices
Expert photos
Dolphin Motel
View Map
{"widget":{"name":"ibex_photo_carousel","template":"ibex_photo_carousel__widget","dust":{"nav_controls":"ibex_photo_carousel__nav_controls"},"js":{"handlers":"(ta.prwidgets.getjs(this,'handlers'))"},"moduleList":["handlers"],"divClasses":"prw_rup prw_ibex_photo_carousel"},"scriptFlags":null,"containerClass":null}
Add Photo Write a Review
Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / PAYBACK
50

1,076 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 954: English reviews
Wisconsin
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was in San Diego recently for the annual Neuroscience conference. Hotel prices at other hotels near the downtown area were insane so after some research I ended up at the Dolphin Motel. The rooms are small but functional, personally all I need is a decent bed, a TV, and a functional bathroom and I'm happy so that was fine....

 Report
Helpful?
Thank rlse9
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Hello rlse9, We are grateful that you chose the Dolphin Motel during your stay here in San Diego. Yes, I recall the Neuroscience convention few weeks ago. There were doctors & business people here. We hope that in the future everyone reads & call us regarding information. We have basic accommodations which may fit their needs. All of our staff...

Bribie Island
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After 4 years we returned and it was so good to see Thomas and the smiling Steven. The owners are very fortunate to have all these young men great ambassadors. Didn't get to speak with Allan but chatted with Holly. Spotless property and wonderful value it will be a sad day for all of us when the property is sold.Thank...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank AmandaBribieIsland
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

It was a pleasure to have you guys stay here again Amanda! We had a pleasant conversation with you guys before you returned home to Australia. Not much has changed here in San Diego. I was glad to hear you revisited the popular places in the city such as : La Jolla, the downtown area, Cabrillo, (and Balboa Park?) It...

Vladivostok, Russia
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Clean, safe, unexpensive place nearby harbor with free WIFI, parking and breakfast. Very friendly and helpful crew. Thomas is very bright sample of great hospitality. I have no questions regarding my future staying in San Diego area. Many thanks !

 Report
Helpful?
Thank ValD29
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Thank you very much Mr. Val for recommending our motel! It was such a wonderful privilege to get to talk to you. I wish you the best in all future journeys. I have read the beautiful article that you wrote about Easter Island and the times you did research at the location. I have met many interesting people in the...

Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

In a city where the hotel circle over charges you, we found this hidden gem! Very decent price, extremely friendly and helpful staff. Great location next to the harbour, close to many stores and places to eat. I got the sense the staff really cared about their motel, extremely well maintained, very clean, good in room supplies ( tv, fridge,...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Pete C
tucson
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We found this perfect place to stay when visiting our son and family who have a teeny house with no room for us. He lives less than a mile from this lovely gem, and we were lucky to stumble upon it. The prices to stay in this area of San Diego are totally abusive for what one gets. We found...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank tdtaan
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

We are so honored you took the chance do a little research & found our motel! Thank you Mrs. & Mr. Clark! It was a pleasure to talk to you guys. I know I talk too much but yes I agree North Korea is an anomaly, even to other Asian countries. It takes the definition of "obedience to the state"...

Santa Rosa, California
Reviewed 13 October 2016

Combination budget motel, hostel. We enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, and clean rooms. Convenient location, easy to get all around San Diego. The staff was helpful and friendly, and made the stay very comfortable.

 Report
Helpful?
Thank 51cooper
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Thank you guys for staying here on your short weekend vacation. Come back and see us again. Please call as far in advance as possible, we would love to give you guys an upstairs rooms.

A TripAdvisor Member
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 10 October 2016 via mobile

Dolphin motel - is the most peaceful motel I have ever stayed at in my entire life. Quiet, friendly and exceptionally clean! Thomas at the front desk (evening to midnight shift) is the most sweet and hospitable host :) the owner also made an effort to shake my hand one morning and ask me how my stay had been :)...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Thank you Ms. G for sharing you recent stay here at the Dolphin Motel. I am glad you found a this corner of California, and hope you will have more time in the future to go exploring. The photo album at the front desk is the best way to pick the places to see in San Diego. If I remember...

Quincy, Massachusetts
Reviewed 19 September 2016

We were a little nervous about this place because it was so inexpensive compared to other hotels in San Diego but we were very pleased. It is VERY basic - small bedroom and bathroom with just the bare essentials for furniture. Thin walls. Free parking and a lovely welcome at the front desk, where they offer free water and couldn't...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank fcan
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

This review brings a smile to our owner as he is reading this. We appreciate the generous rating you gave us fcan. You are correct, we are a small island in the vast sea. There are not too many businesses that follow the model of our owners. Every morning they come down to look after the property and do every...

Reviewed 16 September 2016 via mobile

This is my favorite place to stay in San Diego. Right by the water, this place is an absolute delight. I instantly felt right at home in this charming motel, which is an American classic. You'll sleep like a baby on their incredibly comfortable beds. Rooms are not huge, but very clean. Everyone is friendly and breakfast is complimentary. For...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Al H
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Thank you Al for returning to our motel time & time again. It is good guests like yourself that keeps our business alive during these tough times! Truly our motel has done things the old fashion way since its establishment. We do not subscribe to any internet booking system. I am glad to hear you got a good night's sleep!...

Carefree
Reviewed 5 September 2016

In my 40+ years of business and pleasure travel, I've never experienced better, more caring customer service than my wife and I enjoyed at the Dolphin Motel. We are retired now and while I can afford to stay at Sheratons and Hyatts, I don't like to pay for the hotel's name and fancy lobby when all I need is a...

 Report
Helpful?
1Thank Jeff K
DolphinMotel, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review

Thank you Jeff for sharing your recent experience here at the Dolphin Motel. As my owner's sign in the front says: Ask to see a room, why pay more? We do offer a budget alternative to the other locations, so we highly recommend our good guests call or e-mail us to find out if we are the right fit for...

366 photos of this hotel

Traveller photos: See what travellers like you saw

Viewed
All Traveller Photos (262)
Viewed
Room/Suite (50)
Viewed
Hotel & Grounds (52)
Viewed
Dining (15)
Viewed
Pool/Beach Area (6)
Viewed
View from Room (19)
Viewed
Family/Play Areas (2)
Viewed
Bathroom (10)
Viewed
Other (108)

TripAdvisor Photos: Professional photos exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

Viewed
All TripAdvisor Photos (101)
Viewed
Double Room (34)
Viewed
Single Room (32)
Viewed
The Hotel (35)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

Viewed
All Management Photos (3)
Viewed
Hotel & Grounds (2)
Viewed
Other (1)
Check In Check Out
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these San Diego hotels
Old Town Inn
#23 of 278 in San Diego
1,707 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Pantai Inn
#1 of 24 in La Jolla
711 reviews
Pacific Beach
Tower23 Hotel
Tower23 Hotel
#6 of 278 in San Diego
818 reviews
Pacific Beach
Pacific Terrace Hotel
Pacific Terrace Hotel
#5 of 278 in San Diego
1,886 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Amenities

Highlights
  • Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
  • Free Parking
  • Free Breakfast
About the property
  • Non-Smoking Hotel
Room types
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
In your room
  • Air Conditioning
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator in room
Internet
  • Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
  • Free Internet
  • Public Wifi
Services
  • Free Parking
  • Free Breakfast
  • Multilingual Staff
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 the owners Holly and Alan over continental breakfast. - Please see over reviews. Thanks ... more   less 

Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Address: 2912 Garrison St, San Diego, CA 92106-2770
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Price Range: ₹ 3,746 - ₹ 5,108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 31
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in San Diego
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#7 Family Hotel in San Diego
#10 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#45 Business Hotel in 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

Questions & Answers

Here's what travellers have asked, with answers from Dolphin Motel staff and other travellers.
6 questions
Ask a question
6 months ago
6 months ago

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from Dolphin Motel staff and past guests.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travellers prefer

“room with a view of the harbour”
 of 5 bubbles tdtaan, 6 Nov 2016 | Read review
“We enjoyed the second story with a view of the harbor”
 of 5 bubbles 51cooper, 12 Oct 2016 | Read review
“Choose the second floor for a better view and sea breeze. Room #36 iA good one if you want more room to eat breakfast out on the deck.”
 of 5 bubbles JeffK6, 5 Sep 2016 | Read review
“Don't expect the Marriott ! It is a budget minded motel that prides itself on good clean low cost rooms with great customer service .”
 of 5 bubbles Theschmids, 19 Aug 2016 | Read review
“Just talk to Thomas, he will get you the best deal and the best room!”
 of 5 bubbles BJMcQueen, 1 Aug 2016 | Read review
5 of 5