Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown

1531 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego, California, 92101, United States

4 Reviews

Hampton Inn San Diego - Downtown
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good


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Good For Couples
  • Families71
  • Couples73
  • Solo58
  • Business58
  • moviegal226's Profile Photo

    Noisy Hotel, Too Close to Train Tracks!


    I just returned from my first (and probably last) stay at the Hampton Inn San Diego downtown. I was in town for Comic-Con and this was one of the approved convention hotels. I'm a loyal Hilton hotels fan and this Hampton Inn had the classic, comfortable rooms I've come to expect from this brand as well as the stellar service, but the HUGE problem with this hotel is the train noise -- and you can't change the location.

    I am NOT a light sleeper by any means, but I feel like I must echo this point: the trains and the track crossing gate are OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD and will KEEP YOU AWAKE ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT. When I checked in, I specifically requested a room "away from the train tracks." The front desk clerk was friendly and told me that she indeed had me in a room that was far from the tracks. I was so happy about that and the room was on the supposed "quiet side" of the hotel. If my room was on the quiet side, I'd hate to see what a room on the loud side would be like! It was the absolutely most uncomfortable (noise-wise) hotel room I've ever had anywhere in the world.

    The problem is that the hotel is feet away from the city trolley track which also serves Amtrak passenger trains AND huge freight trains 24 hours a day. There is a train crossing directly behind the property so every time a trolley or train blows by, the cacophonous "clang clang clang clang clang" and flashing red lights make quite a ruckus. Once the city trolley stops running, there's a little peace a quiet...until you are awakened multiple times a night at 2 am or 3 am or 4 am by CONSTANT LOUD TRAIN HORNS blowing and blowing and blowing, followed by the startling horror that perhaps the Hogwarts Express is rumbling DIRECTLY THROUGH YOUR HOTEL ROOM. It is HORRIBLE. I don't care if there's going to be a quiet zone to silence the horns (which the date of effect apparently keeps changing), that won't stop the dang crossing lights and gate from clanging whenever a train passes by. It is miserable and I did not get a good night's sleep for the entire 3 nights I stayed at this property. The train horns are absolutely obnoxious, and a big part of a hotel is location, location, location.

    As a side note, at least the trolley station is convenient and for $5 you can ride all day long! There's not much around the hotel but there is a Mexican restaurant next door and a Rite Aid a block away. The Convention Center was a bit farther than I expected and took about 25 minutes to walk there. After a long convention day, that was a bit too much for my feet! The convention shuttle bus was easy and took a little less time to use. Also, our shuttle line was never that crowded as compared to the other convention shuttles. This would be a great hotel if you were taking a cruise since the cruise ship terminal is within very close walking distance. (But don't expect to get much rest as a result of the train tracks).

    The rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable. The bathroom had one sink with a large vanity and a shower only (no tub). The carpet was clean and the decor was modern and updated. The hotel is a U-shape that overlooks an internal concrete courtyard so be sure to keep your draperies closed for privacy -- I could clearly see into the rooms across the courtyard. Complimentary internet access was nice, as was the free breakfast in the morning (I didn't eat breakfast but I did check it out to see what was served -- your usual carb-heavy stuff: waffles, toast, cereal, coffee, juice). I would've liked it if the rooms had in-room refrigerators but that was no big deal. I loved that my room was cool and the a/c worked properly. There was no annoying regulator or motion sensor on the a/c temperature so we could keep it as cold as we wanted. I really hate those hotels that don't let you set the room cool enough or have a unit that shuts off in the middle of the night. No problems here, we had a nice, cool icebox of a room! I didn't have a car but I heard other guests complain about the tiny parking garage and lack of parking spots. Apparently there is an overflow parking lot across the street, but that just screams that the property has inadequate parking for its guests.

    The best part of this hotel is the staff! Every single person I dealt with, from maintenance to the front desk, was super friendly and welcoming. Always smiling and always helpful, I truly felt like part of the family whenever I walked in the door. They even had warm cookies at the desk in the afternoon (and free coffee in the lobby at all hours). The sad thing is that I liked just about everything about this hotel but you can't change the location and its subsequent annoying train noise. A hotel is supposed to be a place where you can rest and relax after a long day. Because of the proximity to the train tracks and crossing gate and the noise that prohibited me from sleeping through the night, I left the hotel feeling less-than-rested or rejuvenated. And for that reason, I can't recommend it.

    Unique Quality: Friendly staff.

  • SergioT123's Profile Photo

    San Diego best hotel for location and prices


    Pretty good place to stay with a free breakfast in the morningtime. Shuttle services to the events which was really cool cause we didnt have a car whilst there.

    Unique Quality: shuttle servie to events during certain times of the year

  • mcbut385's Profile Photo

    Affordable Accomodations


    The hotel was quiet, clean, VERY affordable (I think I paid $69/night!), and the rooms were nicely decorated. The only problem was a missed wake-up call, which potentially could have ruined the day; the alarm clocks did work though.

    Unique Quality: The shuttle driver was so very nice. While he drove us to the hotel, he advised us that after hours when there was not as many airport pick-ups he could take guests on a "mini-tour" through the downtown area of San Diego. And, just as he promised, the driver took a few guests through downtown. He pointed out a bunch of great restaurants, and other local attractions downtown. This all took place on Halloween night, and it was very busy in downtown San Diego. The "tour" really made the night & the stay something memorable.

  • Ken_Weaver's Profile Photo

    Economical and Convenient to the City


    The hotel is located on Pacific Highway South only a block off of the waterfront and all of the great activities there. The decor is reminiscent of the 50s but I am sure the hotel is newer than that. I stayed there for 3 weeks in September of 2004. I liked the location because it was more centrally located than most yet not terribly expensive. Parking is very limited in downtown San Diego so I would leave my car at the hotel and take the hotel van into the heart of the city for the evening and then take a cab back.

    Unique Quality: There is an outdoor pool that is protected from the wind and exposed to the sun up until late afternoon. The hotel offers free high speed internet and wireless which was very reliable (Cox Communications) and breakfast is complimentary. There is a business center for copying and computer use. Parking is $10/night unless you are Diamond level in Hilton Honors and then it is free. Warning: The parking garage is extremely difficult to use because they have crammed so many slots into it.

    Directions: Located at the corner of Beech and Pacific Highway about a mile west of I-5 near the waterfront.

More about Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown

Great location, less than avg. room, horrible service

by TripAdvisor Member LAnderson4

I arrived in San Diego and was picked up rather quickly in a Hampton Van - the driver as amazing! very friendly, gave me tips on what to see, very friendly/helpful. I checked in with ease, but had arrived a bit earlier than expected and had to wait on a room - was able to store my luggage and decided to hit the town. Upon return, they had lost my check in information, clerk re-ran my credit card several times, while not actually being charged the full amount of stay, funds (over $1200) were placed on hold on my account for 3 days - not a great way to start my vacation. Also, I have a rather common last name, so rather than checking to make sure they had the right person for the reserved rate, she ran someone elses reservation whos rate was quite a bit more than mine. The room was soso - - the bathtub was dirty. Had to clean it myself. The toilet ran all night, every night despited daily requests for service. The repair person did show up on a daily basis, just never fixed anything. The sink would not drain - again daily requests for service, not repaired. I ended up washing my face and brushing teeth, shaving, etc in the hotel lobby bathroom. On my stay, I also spoke with several other guests that had gone through similar problems - one guest and family entered a room they had been assigned only to find out someone was already in that room. The location was exceptional - within walking distance to trolly, and everywhere you'd want to go downtown. Front desk was completely worthless in giving directions to anywhere - - by the end of my stay, I was of more help to people asking questions than they were. I even tried working through Hampton's customer service website upon my return home, they referred me to the hotel manager twice saying they preferred the local hotel to handle the complaints directly. I gave my home and cell, but conveniently never heard from them again. I'll end by saying I am a HUGE fan of Hampton Inn, but will never stay at the San Diego franchise again.

Some of the worst service I have ever seen.

by TripAdvisor Member Swank

I stayed at this hotel for two nights while on a business trip. I really tried to like it, as my boss raves about the entire Hampton Inn franchise and there seemed to be a lot of amenities (free full breakfast, internet access) offered for the price. But there were so many problems I was relieved to be on my way home.

First, I called for the shuttle when I arrived at the airport. The front desk told me exactly where to stand, so I did. I waited a good half an hour in the hot sun. Finally, along came the shuttle and dropped some people off. I prepared to get in, but the driver started freaking out, telling me to walk all this way to go somewhere else to be picked up because it was a drop-off zone only and she could be fined. I looked around me and saw other hotel shuttles picking people up and pleaded my case. She finally let me board, and she played loud hip-hop music on our way to the hotel (which is not far from the airport at all, if you are concerned about that).

Upon check-in, I was asked for a credit card. I explained that the credit card used to book my stay was a company credit card, so I didn't have that one in case it was a concern. The front desk person attendant just kept saying over, "I need a credit card. For incidentals. I need a credit card. For incidentals." She wasn't even listening to me as I slapped down my own card. Before I went up to my room, I asked how to use the internet access in the room. She just rolled her eyes at me and said, "plug in your computer. Log on to Explorer." Huh?? Furthermore, I had called this hotel prior to booking and specifically asked what sort of internet access was in the rooms, and I was told WIRELESS. What they actually offered was high-speed via a modem cord, and wireless access in the lobby.

The room was nothing to write home about. A bed with thin blankets and sheets. Rather small. The bathroom was well-stocked with complimentary toiletries and towels. There was no helpful information in the room, like maps, or a list of area restaurants at all. Their guest information book was rather useless. I tried out the internet and was able to figure out how to get on.

I checked in on a Sunday afternoon, and I don't think the shuttle runs very often. But the next night, there was definitely no missing it. Like other reviewers have said, the hotel is RIGHT on the trolley line, so be prepared for some noise. Not only was the trolley itself noisy (it's more of a rail system, not an actual San Francisco-type trolley) but the riff-raff who hung out at the trolley station were noisier. Since the hotel is right on the outskirts of the Gas Lamp Quarter, which apparently never sleeps, people were out there until very late at night. I thought because I am a city dweller, it wouldn't bother me, but it really was quite noisy and I ended up using my ear plugs to drown them out.

The pool is on the second floor balcony but I only briefly took a peek at it. It is rather secluded from the hotel entrance, so I'd feel odd if I were alone.

The breakfast was completely unimpressive. The hotel boasted a sort of "continental breakfast plus," with the usual donuts and muffins but also a hot item and yogurt and cereal. Both days I was there, the hot item was eggs. Also biscuits with no gravy. It looked very unappetizing. The bagels and muffins were very stale. The fruit (tropical fruit like pineapple) was underripe and had flies all over it. The hotel does offer breakfast bags if you are on the go, but I don't know what was in them. Hampton Inns are also supposed to offer warm chocolate chip cookies at the front desk.. the basket was always empty.

On my second day, I lost internet access. After trying every possible option to fix it, I called the front desk for assistance. They gave me an 800-number to call for tech support. The 800-number people told me to call the front desk because it was a local problem and someone at the hotel would have to figure out what it was. When I told the front desk this, they were completely unhelpful. They just didn't care about finding a solution at all. They just seemed to want to "oh well" the situation and hang up. So I went to the lobby to try out the wireless access. That did not work either. I went back to the room and called again. They finally agreed to give me a new cord. This actually worked. But when I returned the bad cord to them, they seemed confused about who I even was.

I had to call my second night to request a late check-out the next day, which the guest information book said was perfectly OK. I got a very snotty, "Um, I don't think so. Maybe you should call in the morning after some people have checked out so we can even see if we can let you." Click. Now that is what I call great service.

I saved the best for last. I would be remiss if I didn't address the shuttle situation. The hotel offers a free shuttle to and from the airport, and to and from any location downtown within 3 miles. I decided to take advantage of this after a less than thrilling cab ride. Well, the shuttle driver is really something else. She never stopped talking the whole time. I learned that she has 4 sets of twins, the last set born after she got her tubes tied. She is married to the same man she married at 13. The whole shuttle thing was her idea. She didn't offer this information during small talk, she just offered it. She was loud and bawdy, although somewhat entertaining, and showed more guest concern than the front desk attendants. On my last morning, she got into a fight with the front desk because they let a woman who ordered a cab sit there and wait for it for over an hour without noticing and offering the shuttle to her. She also fought with some guests who had requested the shuttle but were late, and kept us all waiting. It was definitely interesting. She also made me wait to go to the airport untill after she finished lunch. She hugged me at the airport.

Finally, upon check-out, the front desk had the right name but wrong address on my form. I pointed this out but they just ignored me.

The bottom line: clean accommodations, amenities leave much to be desired, poor location, and some of the worst service I have ever had at a hotel. This franchise is a disgrace to the Hampton name and needs to get its act together.

Excellent value

by TripAdvisor Member Scotsman

We wanted somewhere central but convenient for the airport. this place was great. we loved it. recently refurbished room with modern decor and huge bathroom. the pool on the roof was a bonus with great views to the bay. excellent breakfast and efficient shuttle. but the best part was the price. for all that it offers - ridiculously cheap at $90.

Excellent staff, clean, efficient, nice breakfast

by TripAdvisor Member MoreFFmiles

The Hampton Inn on Pacific Highway is EXCELLENT. Having thoroughly read the postings on tripadvisor (and always focusing on anything negative I can find) I was a bit concerned.

As somebody who plans some meetings for a large corporation and occasionally gets to stay at some VERY high-end properties on the company's dime, I'm looking for good value when I spend my own money and I'm looking to avoid a significant compromise from my other travel experiences.

The staff at the Hampton Inn in San Diego really struck me as particularly friendly, pleasant, and inviting. The hotel is a tremendous value! Courtesy airport transportation, free high speed hard wire internet, complimentary hot breakfast, steps from the Trolley, steps from the waterfront. Hilton Honors points and airline frequent flyer miles. AND a great staff!

In terms of the noise, I'm from New York City, need I say more? I didn't mind the horn from the train. Its unfortunate that the hotel doesn't have great views of the Harbor, the water is so close, but if the hotel had great views it would probably be much more expensive. The hotel isn't on the main strip downtown (Broadway) which I would imagine would also be loud. Its a city after all, if you want peace and quiet go to a resort.

San Diego is a very nice city to visit, easy to get around, people are pleasant, shopping, plenty of places to eat, generally favorable weather, it feels safe (safer than San Fran.), great place to visit. New York City will always be my home though! : )

I was VERY impressed with this hotel and would highly recommend it.

Just right for us

by TripAdvisor Member recorder

To me location is paramount. The best hotel far away from where I want to be means nothing when I can't find a parking spot within blocks (or miles) in a town I'm not familiar with. The Hampton Inn Downtown was within walking distance of the bay, of the tour stops and of the great eating places in Little Italy. Sitting on Pacific Highway it was also a great jumping off place for other locations. The room was roomy, nice and clean. The staff was courteous and helpful. The trains took some getting used to but were not nearly as annoying to me as the increasingly horrible instances of loud drunks and groups of teenagers going room to room all night, that I've found in other even nicer hotels all over the country. And I haven't even mentioned the breakfast which was consistently good and saved me 25-30 dollars each day.

Charged for room after cancelling. Beware

by A TripAdvisor Member

I booked four days, but found a more affordable hotel in the same area. I cancelled my reservation 24 hours ahead of time as their cancellation policy requires, but was still charged for a night. I am currently in an ongoing process to get the money refunded, but things are dragging along.

My friends did stay here and if you're a hobo(ie enjoy sleeping near/in a train) this is the place for you, as a train runs nearly every half hour, that basically goes through the hotel.

I recommend it!

by TripAdvisor Member digiac4

Stayed here over New Year's weekend. We came with a group of 8 people and got in in the early morning. They worked hard to get us rooms as soon as they could (check in wasn't until the afternoon). We came for a football game and it turned out to be a perfect location. The train station is right behind the hotel with easy access to old town, the stadium, shopping. We rarely used our rental cars. The hotel shuttle took us where ever we needed to when we couldn't take the train. Gaslamp district was not too far, even walked back one night. Right next to the harbour where the maritime museum is and Anthony's. The comp. breakfast was also a great money saver and actually pretty good.

Close to airport, but noise was not an issue. When booking try to stay at the front of the hotel since it is next to the train tracks. We stayed in the front and never heard a train.


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 Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown

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

San Diego Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn San Diego - Downtown Hotel San Diego

Address: 1531 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego, California, 92101, United States