La Pensione Hotel

606 W. Date St., San Diego, California, 92101, United States

4 Reviews

La Pensione
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good


Value Score No Data

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Good For Business
  • Families28
  • Couples78
  • Solo79
  • Business81
  • Horrible Hotel!!!


    I drove over 6 hours to stay at this hotel and what a waste of time that was. The staff here were unbelievably rude and not at all helpful from the onset. They lied about parking availability and would not offer any alternatives when hotel parking was "unavailable." Both the front desk person and hotel manager were irate and uncooperative in every respect. The manager basically said to get out and get your refund because he did not want to deal with us. We gladly did so as we would never want to stay at a horrible place like this that treats their guests like garbage. What a suprise and what a dissapointment this was. We could not believe there were people in the industry who acted so unprofessionally. Save yourself the time and trouble and find a respectable hotel with staff who actually care about their guests.

    Unique Quality: none!

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    A Charming Choice


    We chose La Pensione as the lodging for our anniversary trip to San Diego because Foder's named it the #1 budget hotel in San Diego. Iit turned out to be a very good choice. Although the lobby and our room were rather small, the hotel was clean, confortable, and in the delightful neighborhood of "Little Italy," just a few blocks walk from the harbor and transit lines.

    We enjoyed our stay here even more our room than on another trip to San Diego when we spent twice as much for one of the big chain hotels.

    La Pensione is also very near several great Italian restaurants.

    Directions: In the Little Italy section of San Diego

  • clean, quite, stylish


    Stylish room, extremely clean, including the bathrooms. Bathrooms had new, modern equipment and good water pressure. I was suprised to find a refridgerator & hair dryer. I had a corner room on the 4th floor. Out one window, I could see the downtown, 1 block or 2 away. Out the other window, I could see the harbor, likewise a block or 2 away. The area that the hotel is in (Little Italy) is clean, safe and attractive. My only complaint is that Little Italy is a little bit tourist trappy.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    The Best in Little Italy!


    Years ago a San Diego guide book touted La Pensione as one of the best deals in San Diego. Recently a VT Member asked about this hotel and I became curious so I drove up to "Little Italy" to see for myself.

    San Diego's Little Italy comprises several blocks north of downtown and east of SD Harbor. The most charming area is two blocks on India Street and Date Street is the center.

    Undergroud parking is free, but parking is limited and on a first come first serve basis. The San Diego Trolley has a stop just two blocks from the hotel.

    The price of a room was less than I'd expect, so this would be a great deal for the budget minded. Sometimes the hotel offers specials.

    Unique Quality: I entered the lobby, small, clean and simply decorated. The black marble fireplace hinted at cozy evenings and just outside was a small garden patio connecting the hotel to it's two restauants.

    The receptionist greeted me warmly and after hearing that I came to see the hotel for a friend, gave me a key to room 320. The room was smaller than I'm used to in a hotel but the air felt fresh, a ceiling fan above the full sized bed circled and added charm to the room. The bathroom was as clean as the room and what I liked most was the tiny balcony over looking the center of Little Italy.

    I stepped out for a better view and surprisingly I could imagine the night time activity , a European type feel that I liked.

    Before leaving I stopped around the corner to see the Restaurant and the Coffee Shop next to it. The Restaurant's purple decor was subtle, if you can imagine that. Prices were high for this intimate place but average for the type.

    The charming young people working at the coffee shop patiently answered all my questions about hours opened and food served.

    Weekdays, 7am-10pm
    Weekends, 8am-11pm
    Lunch, Monday-Saturday 10:30am-3pm (Sandwiches and salads from $4.50 to $5.25.)
    Sundays, Waffle Brunch, $5.25 to $5.75
    Opened to the Public as well as guests of the hotel.

    Directions: In the Heart of Little Italy.
    The toll free (when dialing from within the USA) number for reservations: (800) 232-4683

More about La Pensione Hotel

Little Italy

by Stephen-KarenConn

One of the side benefits of staying at La Pensione Hotel is that it is located in the heart of San Diego's "Little Italy." Otherwise we may not have discovered this very charming neighborhood, just a few blocks northeast of the harborfront and the Gaslamp District.

Little Italy in San Diego has been an ethnic business and residential community since the 1920's. It claims to be Downtown San Diego’s oldest continuous neighborhood business district. At one time, more than 6,000 Italian families lived in Little Italy and toiled to build San Diego into the center of the world tuna industry.

Today, you will find a wide array of authentic Italian restaurants, many with sidewalk dining areas which create a festive atmosphere. There are also several Italian markets and other businesses. We enjoyed strolling through Little Italy and felt safe walking the streets here at night since there were many people frequenting the restaurants.

Perfect location and great price

by TripAdvisor Member TravelerIL

We enjoyed our stay in San Diego and the La Pensione Hotel was the perfect location for us...within easy walking distance of the bay area, trolley, great restaurants. The rooms are basic but clean and the price very reasonable. We didn't spend much time in our room during the day, and in the evening we liked having windows that opened. Our room was on the east side, but don't stay here if you are a serious dieter...the aromas from the many restaurants and bakeries that waft up through the window are very tantalizing. We would certainly stay here again and have recommended it to friends who plan to be in the area.

Great simple yet stylish hotel :-)

by TripAdvisor Member JohannesSF

La Pensione Hotel is a hip, inexpensive hotel in San Diego's "Little Italy" neighborhood. This was our first time at the hotel, but we're glad we stayed here! The hotel was just what we were looking for: fresh design, a new & clean facility, central location and reasonable prices ($75). It fulfilled each category!
My partner had to be in downtown for work, so we decided to stay somewhere fairly close to the city centre. The hotel is within walking distance of downtown (6-8 blocks away), and steps away from the streetcar line, which takes you right to Tiajuana/ Mexican border. Balboa Park is not too far away, a good 30 minute walk via Grape Street & though Banker's Hill. I love to walk & look at the interesting architecture along the way, so I enjoyed it. (For you Architecture buffs out there: The Prado in Balboa Park is just absolutely stunning with Mission/Spanish Revival architecture, as well as a fascinating botanical garden with orchids. Also worth seeing in Balboa Park: the San Diego Zoo--It is amazing!).
The hotel is smack-dab in the middle of the smart neighborhood of Little Italy. This small neighborhood is filled with hip modern architecture and stylish cafes, salons & restaurants. Being an architect, I loved walking around and looking at the funky buildings. There are some older structures, including a cute row of cottages on Fir Street. For you coffee addicts out there (I'm one of them!) there are several cafes nearby: one adjacent to the lobby of the hotel, one a block down across the street, and one across the street: Zuccaro's...which also makes a simple but satisfying breakfast omelette.
The 4 floor hotel has a small lobby with a fireplace and some interesting historic pictures of San Diego. Beyond the lobby is a quaint courtyard that opens to a cafe on India Street. There is also a very small garage (with an aisle of an incredibly tight turning radius) as well as free street parking on Date St.
The room was standard & small as expected, per other Trip Advisors' reviews. The size & design of the room was totally fine with us as we planned to use our room only for sleeping, to change clothes, shower, and as a jumping-off point to explore the city. The room was fairly basic, nothing luxe about it besides the granite-topped European-style vanity in the entry vestibule. The very basic shower/toilet room was opposite the vanity, and like the room, it was clean. Beyond the entry vestibule was the double bed with very basic linens. This is definitely not the W, but neither is the price! Our room was on the west-facing side of the hotel, with a partial view of the bay, which was pleasant, other interesting buildings, as well as a view of some mechanical equiptment of an adjoining building. The windows were operable, which was great as the air was fresh. The only drawback to being on the west-facing side of the hotel was that it faced the Amtrack tracks a block to the west...and as other reviewers have mentioned...the train's horn would blow at all times of the night as the train crosses some of the city streets (one of our windows was cracked the first night, we made sure to close it for the second night). We didn't mind this too much, since we knew from other reviewers that this was a "given", and we had taken ear plugs just in case it would be a problem. There are also corner rooms that are more spatious & fabulously hip hotel guest that we ran into several times said she was very impressed by her corner room.

Happy Travels!

something to love,something to hate

by TripAdvisor Member kaki3152

I'll never forget "La Pensione". My ex-fiancee a couple of years ago surprised me with a trip to San Diego. Well,when we got to "La Pensione" she was in a foul mood due to the heat. When we walked into the small,but cozy room, she dropped her bags, went to the wall looking for the A/C controls and was flabbergasted when she realized there was no air conditioning. When she called the front desk and was told that no room at the hotel had any airconditioning, she immediately started calling hotels in the area.
We found a room with airconditioning not too far away, but they were no rooms for that night. So we stayed at "La Pensione" that night. THe area is fabulous and we had a nice dinner in German style restaurant nearby. However, at night, we had to leave the window open for ventilation. The noise was attrocious, with a jack-hammer going until 7:00 (no Sh_t) and needless to say, we got little sleep. The next day, we had a very nice breakfast in the coffee shop. My fiancee's humor had not improved and that morning she told me that she thought we needed to split up because we weren't "right"for each other.She was correct, just took some years to convince me. :-)

A great, cute hotel.

by A TripAdvisor Member

This place is near perfect. The rooms ARE small, but who wants to stay inside anyway? The room I had did not have air conditioning, but was cool anyway. It had a ceiling fan and a wall fan. (we went in mid-oct) Was there on the weekend and there were tons of cute coffee shops right next door. The trolley is 3 walkable blocks away! Close to old town and right on the line to go to Tijuana. Enjoy!

Helpful Staff

by TripAdvisor Member Traveler2005

I second all the comments on small but stylish rooms, potential noise issues (my room overlooked the courtyard where a group stayed late drinking one night) and the convenience of the neighborhood. However, no one has mentioned how helpful the staff at the desk is. Queries for directions, recommendation and public transportation were all answered politely, quickly and correctly, both by telephone and in person. I would definitely stay here again.

Forum Posts

I need an affordable but NICE place to stay

by vixkix69

Hi.I am coming out there [S.D] on May 21for 6 nights,so I need to book something very soon.I am interested in a condo or Hotel that is nice w/extras.....but I want to spend no more than maybe $100-$135 a night.Less is o.k and if the place is SUPER special,maybe I can go over my budget.As far as location,we want to hit the scenic/tourist spots,like Mexico,La Jolla,etc....
But the main thing is,it is my anniversary...16 years and our first vacation w/no children and I am hoping to find something a little special.
Any help appreciated!!!!

Re: I need an affordable but NICE place to stay

by spartan


I have heard great things about La Pensione Hotel. It's located in the Little Italy district of San Diego and is close to downtown, the waterfront, Old Town and Balboa Park (San Diego Zoo).

The website is and there should be lots of information (rates, amenities, etc.) available for you to make a decision. Fellow VT'er lmkluque has additional information about this hotel.

By the way, will you have a vehicle? Public transportation is not the best here, so a rental would be your best bet.



Re: Re: I need an affordable but NICE place to stay

by vixkix69

Yes,we will have a car.
Thanks for the great info! I will be checking it out.

Re: Re: I need an affordable but NICE place to stay

by spartan

Excellent, and you'll have a great time out here celebrating your anniversary :-)


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 La Pensione Hotel

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

La Pensione Hotel San Diego
La Pensione San Diego

Address: 606 W. Date St., San Diego, California, 92101, United States