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“Great staff, family owned and operated motel.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Motel

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Dolphin Motel
Ranked #8 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great staff, family owned and operated motel.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

Drove to the Dolphin from the San Diego Airport in 10 minutes! We arrived later in the evening and were happy to have our keys handed to us almost as we walked in. The rooms are small, but VERY CLEAN. Great linens. Breakfast is served in the small courtyard and consists of muffins, yogurt, juice, bananas, and coffee. Just right! The staff and owners make you feel at home and are extremely helpful. Will definately come back. Best budget motel we have stayed in.

Room Tip: The room above the office has a small outdoor sitting area that overlooks the marina.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Marilyn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, TOM, Desk Clerk at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 10 March 2012
Thank you so much Marilyn! As always, since you guys have done some research, you always weigh the best balance and what you need.
The room you recommend is by far our most popular room! it is filled up every day throughout the year! By popular demand please reserve early (like 2-3 months ahead).
We also have other rooms upstairs which is of course just as popular.
And space is also limited.
Last but not least, all of us here thank you for your time staying with us!
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1,081 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    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 (210)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

We spent three nights in the Dolphin Motel and we can say that it's reasonably priced for the offered accommodation.

The staff was very friendly and courteous, they always tried to support us in what we planned to do in San Diego (e.g. they gave us a Seaworld coupon which saved us 20$ of the entrance fee per person!).

The room was pretty small, but very clean. Anyhow the size is big enough for a city trip where you don't spend very much time in the motel.
The offered breakfast was good and there was quite some kind of variety (orange juice, yoghurt, cereals, fruits, coffee, tea, .... AND delicious muffins).

Contrary to the owners statement on the website, the planes which are landing on/starting from the near San Diego International Airport are clearly audible.

One thing which was very annoying was the fact that people were gathering in front of our room around 6am. They smoked, tattled and were noisy. This happened due to the fact that there was a table with chairs and ash-trays located right next to our room. In our opinion these things should be removed.

The location is definitely too quiet and boring for young people.
For our next visit to San Diego we would consider to pay a little bit more to get a hotel Downtown near Gaslamp Quarter, which is definitely a better location for young guys.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MikeR1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Hello Vienna, Austria. Thanks for taking the time to send in your frank review, and thanks for the compliments. We want our guest's expectations regarding our rooms(especially the small size) to be accurate. Regarding the plane noise: We have never had a plane fly over or near our motel. The airports location, and setup, preclude flights over our airspace. You must have heard the military jets at Naval Air Station North Island. All hotels and motels around the bay and downtown San Diego occasionally hear this. Sorry about the early morning people noise. Occasionally our guests do ignore our "be quiet early "signs. We can do better. Regarding your too quiet and boring comment. We take that as a compliment. We are not an expensive "destination" establishment with a lounge, restaurant, pool, etc. We just offer an inexpensive clean place to rest your head, and spend the money you save elsewhere. P.S. We have many young people from around the world stay with us.

Best Regards,
Alan Murdock, owner
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Québec, Canada
Level Contributor
148 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

We were at this place from december 24 to january 2 and we loved it. Room very clean and have all you need. Great staff and the owners are very kind and helpfull. For breakfast, muffins (very good), bananas and yogourt are included with your room and of course coffee and tea. Good location for visiting the region. The Zoo - a must, the Torrey Pines State Park - great walk along the ocean and the Cabrillo are must do. We will go again soon.

Room Tip: rooms upstairs are my first choice
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Voyageuse4691
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 3 March 2012
Wonderful guests this couple,
I remember talking to them in the office and recommending few other places as well.
Because our upstairs rooms are very limited, please reserve early (1-2 months in advance) to get the lowest rates and most availability!
Once again, such a pleasure to have you stay with us!
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St. John's
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

The staff and owners were friendly, helpful and greatly interested your experience. The complimentary breakfast is outdoors so we took it to our room as it was cold that day. It consisted of muffins, yogurt, bananas, apples and the usual beverages. The room is very small and basic, but the bed was very comfortable. Although the rooms have no phones there is a complimentary cell for local calls.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HomelyPig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 29 February 2012
Thank you for your frank review.
We do appreciate you giving us a chance when you visited San Diego
Our rooms can be described as basic so they may not fit every traveler to San Diego
We do our best to hit the ball when it comes to cleanliness, comfort and price.
Once again, my dad and I thank you for your kindness and these good folks were very pleasant when we talked to them in the morning.
We do our best with what we got, that is why we are still a family owned motel in an industry that is filled with corporations and investor-based hotels

Regards
Alan & Holly Murdock
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Comujer
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

I first stayed at the Dolphin Motel shortly after my "release" from an abusive marriage in 2008. I wanted to reclaim San Diego, a place I've loved and visited for years. I drove the eight hours from Tucson for a short three-day weekend and was warmly welcomed by the staff. Felt safe and secure in my little upstairs room with the all-white linens. That first night I walked across the street to a little harbor restaurant for some fish'n-chips, and later fell blissfully asleep between crisp white sheets. I can't tell you how special that weekend was in my old stomping ground in Point Loma. Took the usual drive out to Cabrillo Monument. Anyway...I am thrilled to be returning again in April 2012. The rooms are simple, clean and cozy. Love the little continental breakfast in the morning. This is a great motel for women traveling alone or for anyone who wants clean, inexpensive, and nostalgic retreat in authentic old San Diego.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank COmujer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinMotel, Owner at Dolphin Motel, responded to this review, 29 February 2012
That sure summed us up!
We sure appreciate you giving us a chance when you re-visit San Diego
and San Diego loves you!
Looks like you did alot of independent exploring of our great city
Hope to see you next time around

Regards
Alan & Holly Murdock
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dolphin Motel

Property: Dolphin Motel
Address: 2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
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
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,755 - ₹ 5,121
Number of rooms: 31
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 
Also Known As:
Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

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