More about Holiday Inn San Diego-Mission Bay-Sea World
Room: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Mission Bay/ Sea World across the street from the Sports Arena in mid July. We were in town for a wedding. All of our family stayed at a different hotel, but we booked early and ended up here. It was the weekend of the Comic Book Convention, so better hotel vacancies were impossible to find. We stayed in a family suite, the one without the bunk beds. Although it was a non-smoking room, it stank. Bring an aroma therapy candle. Our two boys slept in the living room. The sofa bed and the other couch sleep three kids comfortably. There was a table with ONE chair. How can a family eat at a table with only one chair? The living room had one TV, a small microwave and a small fridge. The hotel suite had only ONE window, in the living room. The bedroom had a king bed, another TV and NO windows. The coffee maker, hair dryer, and sink are in the bedroom. The bathroom is tiny, claustrophobic. There is one armoire closet and a chest with three drawers, hardly enough storage space for clothes and shoes. There is a sliding French door that separates the bedroom and living room. The door has thin white curtains that you can see through at night if the light is on. Also, one of the door panels has a curtain on the bedroom side; the other door panel has the curtain on the living room side. This means that you can slide the curtain over and see what the people in the other room are doing. You can also hear everything in the living room even with the door closed. Limited privacy!!
Pool: The pool was small and crowded. The water in the pool was heated, very warm! My sons and I went swimming in late afternoon and all the hotel towels were gone. Good thing we brought our own towels from home. The pool is in full view of the Baker’s Square Restaurant located on the hotel property. You can see what the people are eating while you relax in the hot tub. I noticed the gate to the pool did NOT have a lock. Other hotels we have stayed at have a keyed entry that unlocks with the hotel key card that opens your room. This was not the case at this hotel pool. Anyone could have wandered in off the street to go swimming at this hotel.
Parking: Extremely narrow parking spots. Unfortunately most of the cars were vans and SUV’s. Parking fills up fast and we had to drive around the property looking for a parking spot. Remember, the hotel shares a parking lot with Baker’s Square, so be patient while looking for parking.
Sea World: nearby, but too far to walk since you’ll already be doing a lot of walking at the park. The hotel does NOT provide a shuttle to Sea World, I asked. You can see the nightly fireworks from the hotel. Beautiful!
Restaurant: Baker’s Square. Kids eat Free as long as you remember to pick up a free coupon in the hotel lobby every day of your hotel stay. Kid’s meals are only about $3-$4 each so you’re not saving that much money. Adults pay the full price. I had the breakfast buffet. It wasn’t worth the $8 for cold cereal, sausage, potatoes and watermelon. You can view the hotel pool and the swimmers from the large windows in the restaurant.
Lobby: Very elegant, too bad the rest of the hotel isn’t as nice. There is a claustrophobic game room with about 4 arcade games and an air hockey table. The “gift shop” stated on the hotel web page is really two vending machines which happened to be out of order. Had they been in working order, you can buy popcorn, aspirin, batteries, disposable cameras, etc.
Flyers: Every evening when we returned from sightseeing, we’d find 2-3 flyers pushed under our hotel room door. They were ads for local pizza places. We’d get the same ones every day of our hotel stay. There is a small sign located in the hotel lobby warning people not to order from these pizza places.
What’s nearby within walking distance: Sports Arena is across the street and there was a swap meet/flea market on Saturday and Sunday morning., Krispy Kreme Donuts, Home Depot, Chili’s, Target, Coco’s and a little further down the street: Chuckie Cheese, Panda Express, Chipotle, Black Angus
Bettern than what the reviews say
I read many many horrible reviews before I booked for a night's stay here. I wanted a quick access to Sea World, and I had received an offer to stay at $69 which was the lowest I could find for a decent hotel.
Upon arriving, my wife and I didn't like the look of it because it's one of
those motel-style outside access building. The lobby was very well decorated, but it's a separate building from the guest building, so not much of a use. The staff was very courteous although I had to wait a while when I checked in AND when I checked out. To be fair, people in front of me had lots of questions.
To my surprise, the room was very nice. It fact, it was a mini-suite. As you enter the room, there is a 'living' room area with a queen sized sleeper sofa (L-shaped one that will accommodate about 5-6 ppl) with TV, refrigerator and microwave. Behind the divider wall was a King size bed, another TV, armoir & bathroom sinks. The bathroom was at the corner. The A/C is in the living room and there is a fan on the divider so that air could circulate into the bedroom area. It worked fine, but it was a bit too loud at night. They had free internet access (wired & wireless) accesible with a code given to you at the check-in.
They don't have free continental breakfast - upon check-in they will give you a coupon for "kids eat free" at a restaurant located in the complex - another separate building next to the pool - "Baker's Square". My wife said it was a chain, but I've never seen it. Kids' meals are $3~4, so I don't know if this is where you want to eat just to take advantage of the coupon. The food is a standard quality, but seemed a few dollars more than TGIF's for example. They are quite liberal with giving these coupons at the front desk so ask for more if you choose to go there again.
It was raining - sprinkling - when we went to the pool. Althoug it had gotten dark by then there were about 10 of us there. The mail pool, although heated, was quite cold. So I stayed in the hot-tub. The pool is right next to the restaurant and visible through a wall of windows from the dining area. Also, you have to walk through the parking lot to get to the pool - not the best designed or most convenient layout.
The parking lot was large, but the spaces are really tight. Someone had parked literally less than half an inch away from my car, but he was barely able to open his door so he ended up moving his car. But the whole parking lot was that tight.
The hotel is not a walking distance to Sea World, but it took us about 5 minutes to get there. It's right across a bridge. I read a lot of things about the neighborhood. I didn't spend enough time there to see all the 'horrible' things and noises. It is in a very commercial area - malls, shops, etc. But I found it convenient to grab something to eat before we went to Sea World.
If you don't mind walking outside to get to the pool & reception, you would find this hotel quite decent.
Not the best
We stayed for one of the five nights we booked to stay here. It was the worst! I have to say that after we decided to cancel, they were willing to refund all of our money. We then went to Embassay Suites and fell head over heals. I would not recommend anyone stay here at the Holiday Inn. Try Embassay Suites!
Great stay, great place!
We enjoyed our four day stay at this motel! Spacious, clean rooms, nice staff, and a pool with free towels and more space than usual. This place was heaven compared to Travelodge Sea World down the road, which truly was a dump. This is our third positive experience with Holiday Inn on this vacation!
Great Hotel at a great location
We got a great rate at $73, and the room was satisfactory. The pool is small. the location is great, 1 mile from seaworld, and old town, and real easy access to the freeway. We were in a Suite, and the airflow from the airconditioner didn't quite cool the whole room.
Too Many Problems!
Stayed for three nights the end of July. When we arrived on a Thursday evening, we just were not ready for all the problems we were met with. First, on the way up to the room, the ice machine was out of order and so was the one on the floor below. The room was very small (but clean). We were a party of four and all wanted to take a shower, however, there was only one (1) towel. The internet access was "not working". The pay movies was "not working" on the T.V. There was no channel selector for the T.V. in the living room area...... and when we tried to call the front desk to advise them about everything..... to our surprise the two phones that were supposed to be in the room were both missing!!! $110/night for this??
We chose this hotel for several reasons. It is a sea world preferred hotel, but cheaper than the other sea world hotels. It offers a one bedroom suite that allowed our son to sleep in a separate room. The hotel is less than 5 minutes from Sea World. Holiday Inn is a world wide chain. We expected a certain level of quality. We paid $167 for week nights and $189 for Fri & Sat night.
We stayed 6 nights. We encountered so many problems I'm not going to list them alll. The common thread with each problem was the hotel staff's inability to follow through and a complete lack of interest in doing their job. For example, the rooms are not stocked with blankets and pillows for the hide-a-bed. The first night we were told they were all out of pillows and blankets. Good thing it's summer. We were left wondering how a hotel can not know how many blankets they need? The second day we made our request for blankets and pillows early in the day. We spent the day at LegoLand and came back to ther room to find that not only had the extra blankets and pillow not been left in the room, but we hadn't received any room service at all. The next day I made another trip to the front desk, at this point wondering if I should purchase my own blanket and forget about it. I pointed out how much trouble we had been having and once again made the request. This time house keeping brought us a blanket, but informed us the pillows were still in the dryer and they would bring one as soon as they were done. So, we never saw an extra pillow, but at least we had the blanket.
Anyway, this is just one of the problems we encountered. They checked us in with the wrong departure date (even though I asked about it 3 times). I was assured it was correct. Then on our next to last day different employees were wondering why we were still in the room and I spent quite a lot of time trying to make sure we had a room that last night for the correct rate.
Our building had very little parking, but we were always able to park at one of the other buildings (couple of hundred feet away).
The hotel location is ok in the sense it is surrounded by food and shopping, but it's not a very nice looking part of San Diego and the traffic is very heavy when the stadium across the street has an event going on.
The restaurant at the hotel is a Bakers Square. Good food, good service. They provide the room service for the hotel at inflated prices, but it's easy enough to walk over and pick the food up your self to save 20%. The hotel pool is located in back of the restaurant and bar. The dining and bar areas overlook the pool. The pool is small. My 3 year old liked it.
Overall, I don't recommend this hotel. If they were charging $50/night then I could see it, but the rooms are not that nice. We had to buy air freshener to cover the smell. The rooms are much smaller than suites at other chains.
We booked a kid's suite for our 4 night stay at this hotel. What we found was a very basic hotel in a fairly good neighborhood. They put us in the room by the ice machine where there was a constant swarm of flies and it stunk something awful! When we walked into the room, we were very disapointed. Although it was clean, the room was cramped and we had to search for some place to put our clothes. We finally found a couple of drawers near the closet so we unpacked, got into our swim suits and headed off for the pool. The small pool was packed full of screaming kids and was very cloudy-looking. It is also right off the bar which was where most of the parents of the screaming kids were located. Ugh! By the way, there is nothing to do at this hotel except going to the pool so don't go expecting to have fun, fun, fun. This property has a very budget feel to it.
When we got into bed my husband and I were very uncomfortable on the rock-hard bed that squeaked. Our young boys were okay in the bunk beds but kept waking up due to the whine of the noisy air-conditioner and the constant stream of hotel visitors getting ice and talking loudly.
After 2 nights with a sore back, I went to the front desk to see what we could do about getting an upgrade. The clerk was polite but acted like she heard these complaints all the time and told me that the room we had was all that was available. Right then and there I decided to go in search of a better property. I found it in the Marriott Residence Inn on Hotel Circle and checked out of the Holiday Inn an hour later. Boy were we happy we did that! The Residence Inn felt like heaven after staying at the Holiday Inn.
Only stay at this property if you are on a tight budget and are only staying for a night and then going on to a nicer, more comfortable place.
Better than expected
We didn't evpect much, we are very familiar with San Diego and picked this hotel because it is across the street from the Sports Arena. The rooms were small but very clean and the staff extremely friendly. It is a moderately priced hotel so you get what you pay for, it is not a resort nor does it pretend to be. There are many choices of places to eat within walking distance and you are close to Sea World, and the "8" freeway to get you around quickly. I would stay there again.