Dolphin Motel

2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, California, 92106, United States

2 Reviews

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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


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Good For Solo
  • Families94
  • Couples93
  • Solo95
  • Business93
  • bocmaxima's Profile Photo

    The Best Deal in All of San Diego


    I went for a semi-romantic weekend with the gf in January to San Diego for a couple of nights and stayed at the Dolphin on Point Loma ( the site looks ghetto, I know). Of course, staying on Point Loma suited our needs and, although it's a decent neighborhood, there's not a whole lot to walk to, but they have built a couple of places more recently, right by the water and within a couple of blocks of the Dolphin. The Dolphin was great though: very clean, quiet, excessively cheap ($60/night on weekdays), had a pretty good breakfast, had good management, free parking and a coffee maker and fridge in the room. The only downside was the small shower.
    But I've just about committed my life to finding a cheap San Diego hotel and that's the best I've found. The other places were dumps, in bad neighborhoods, or are no longer cheap. Bidding on a hotel or using Hotwire is good idea, but it's a crapshoot and you'd do much better off-peak and on a weekday with that.

    Unique Quality: Close to the water (chairs on the porch to view the marina), two blocks from restaurants and bars, free parking, pool, excellent free breakfast.

    Directions: Garrison 1/2 block east of Rosecrans

  • Super Clean and Spartan


    My wife and I first stayed at the Dolphin in 1991 or so when we were visiting a relative who lived nearby. It was a little wierd, with small rooms, no phone in the room, and mirrored ceilings. But we fell in love with it.

    Now I go to a week-long meeting every other year in San Diego, and, if I'm not forced to stay in a fancy hotel downtown with my co-workers, I always book a room at the Dolphin for the week.

    Unique Quality: The managers are very nice and will let you use the office phone. I love the casual atmosphere of the neighborhood and eating breakfast at the Hudson Bay restaurant across the street while sitting on the pier and watching the pelicans, sea lions, and fishermen.

More about Dolphin Motel

Friendly service and great value

by TripAdvisor Member GuitarGuy007

The Dolphin is a classic, affordable, friendly, charming and unique motel in a great San Diego location near the harbors and great restaurants. If you are tired of boring, impersonal motel chains with staff who don't seem to care, try the Dolphin. As other reviewers have said, the owner and staff make your stay very enjoyable and will help you out with advice on where to go, eat and enjoy San Diego.

I have stayed at the Dolphin many times and will do so again. Good restaurants close by are Miguels for Mexican, Old Venice for romantic Italian, Red Sails Inn for relaxed dining for seafood and family style meals, Point Loma Seafood for great lunches.

The Dolphin -- great value, good location, clean rooms, friendly service and nice extras like morning coffee, donuts and reliable internet access.

Perfect place for our group to stay!

by TripAdvisor Member EVGR

I had read great reviews on Trip Advisor about this motel and I was not disappointed. It was much less expensive than other motels in the area. Our group of 11 spent 5 nights there. It was a basic room, very clean and comfortable. Small room but contained a refrig and the staff were very helpful. Pastries and coffee in the courtyard at 6 a.m. although since we were birding, some mornings we headed out earlier. Moderately priced restaurants in the area, good food and service. Very accessible to the airport. Had to pick people up at different times and drop them off and it took 5 to 8 minutes to get there. Very close to some good birding sites which we appreciated. Close to I-8 which we could use to get to other places we were interested in.
We would stay there again.

Great price, great location, great service, clean.

by TripAdvisor Member subflava

We were looking for a budget place close to the city. We saw the positive reviews on the website and decided to go for it. We booked a bit late and they were tight on availability, but the gentleman on on the phone was extremely friendly and did his best to find us a room. When we arrived, we had no problems checking in and were happy to find that the room and bathroom were very clean. This is probably the most important criteria for us when we stay in a budget hotel.

The hotel is an easy drive to downtown San Diego and is right next to a marina if fishing is your thing. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful with directions and such.

Would higlhly recommend this place for people looking for the price, location, and cleanliness. This is by no means a fancy resort, so you would obvoiusly look elsewhere and pay a lot more for that.

Who do you want to give your Money to?

by TripAdvisor Member Richard_P_Rockstar

Who do you want to give your Money to?

A Large, faceless hotel chain that will give you an ordinary/boring room (often with hidden Costs & Maintenance "surprises") for about $100 USD

...or for ONLY $50 USD, you get a pretty cute/clean room with personality, harbor view, free parking, free cable, free WiFi, free breakfast (coffee&muffins) in a quite nice motel ran by The Owners themselves since the late 70´s. It´s also 1 block away from markets, buses, restaurants & water activities and 3 min away from Airport. You decide.

I was pleased with my stay a The Dolphin Motel in San Diego. Thanx guys, I´ll_be_back.

Richard P.

As Promised! Dolphin Motel Delivered

by TripAdvisor Member BasicTraveler

Finding clean, secure, well located, reliable and reasonably priced accomodations in San Diego is no small order; however, the Dolphin Motel is just that. After a miserable stay at the Days Inn in Livonia Michigan, I found I could never trust a chain again. As a result, I began to look beyond the franchise and do my web research and rely on the reviewers of There I found the Dolphin Motel of San Diego and I am glad I did.

It was extremely clean/white, as promised. The desk staff (who all wore white shirts and ties) were service oriented and extremely watchful. The motel, across the street from the bay, is 7 minutes ($9 cab fare) from the airport or 15 minutes/$15 cab fare from the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Convention Center. The motel facility, although circa 1950s, has been maintained well and offers current amenities--in-room refrigerator, free high speed wi-fi,etc. It is basic and clean--not luxurios--just down home family. Each morning over coffee I spoke with the owner. He connected me with Orange cabs--the cleanest, nicest and cheapest cabs in San Diego. As promised my nightly motel rate was between $55-$70.

To set the record straight given other Dolphin reviewers... this is no No-Tell-Motel. There were no huge mirrors in the rooms I stayed in. The other patrons, I saw were decent people--retirees, college students and military. The owner and his staff ran a good and respectable ship. Yes, I did hear a police siren at night --once or twice-- but the fact is that San Diego is an urban area. I felt safe in the area, so much so I walked by myself at 11 PM to the Jack-in-the-Box, McDonalds and Denny's all within 2 blocks.

My only criticism is that something I read indicated that "juice" was part of the morning continental breakfast. I only found coffee and a multitude of danish and muffins. Although not a criticism--just a reality-- the rooms are small and the matress did have a vinyl mattress cover.

The reservation system is out of the norm as they require the first night rent to be sent in a check. They do not accept a credit card over the phone, but do, once you arrive. I sent my check with a letter asking that they notify me when my check was received. I received a phone call as I requested.

If you want a great place to sleep and get ready for the next day in San Diego, I highly recommend the Dolphin Motel.

A Great Place to Stay

by TripAdvisor Member oloy49

Two senior ladies chose this hotel because of the good reviews. It turned out to be just what the other reviewers had written. A clean, friendly, safe-feeling place to stay. The room was as promised, small but very clean, two beds, a refrigerator, white bedspreads, a small patio in front of our corner room with a view of the boats docked in the harbor area across the street.. Our stay was made very comfortable by the staff. Our room was up one flight of stairs and since we have trouble physically with stairs, our luggage was carried up when we arrived and down when we left. The owner, Holly, gave great directions for the places we wanted to visit and also had many suggestions for restaurants near by. The hotel is in a great location; the Harbor area, just 5 minutes away, the zoo, 15 minutes, Old Town, 10 minutes, and with Holly's directions we found them easily by car. We stayed 4 nights and would have no hesitation in staying there again and recommending it to anyone who wants a clean, friendly, budget hotel

Loved this hotel

by TripAdvisor Member dansmema

My sister and I stayed at the Dolphin hotel for four nights
in March. The room while rather small was very clean
and we enjoyed the white walls and the white bedspreads
were so pretty. we are older sisters and
everone at the hotel was so helpful, Holly
was especially helpful with directions to every thing, they
were direct and so easy to follow. we would recomend this
hotel to anyone who wants a good clean place to stay and
one that is close to most of the activities in the city.

A great place for a great price

by TripAdvisor Member MrBundy

This was a great place to stay. The rooms were clean and the employees were very helpfull. The location was perfect. There is a great Mexican place to eat across the street. We went whale watching with H&M at the advice of the owner of the hotel and we had a great time we saw Dolhpins, Seals and Whales. They also have fishing trips.The rooms were small, but how much time do you spend in your room anyway? The rooms were cleaned daily. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a clean safe place to stay while in San Diego, at a budget price.It is a $7.00 ride from the airport.


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 Dolphin Motel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Dolphin Motel San Diego
Dolphin Hotel San Diego

Address: 2912 Garrison Street, San Diego, California, 92106, United States