Dolphin Bay Hotel

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

2727 Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach, CA, 93449
Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 31% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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Good For Business
  • Families98
  • Couples94
  • Solo100
  • Business100

More about Dolphin Bay Hotel

2nd stay: Even Better!

by TripAdvisor Member blossom

We stayed one night for the second time in less than a year at the new Dolphin Bay Hotel in November, 2006. On our first stay, we stayed in a 1 bedroom suite, and this time, we brought our 2 teenage children with us, and stayed in a 2 bedroom signature twin room.

I don't think I've ever spent the night in such a beautiful room, or rather, condo; I only wish we could've spent a whole week instead of just 1 night! Our 2 bedroom condo was perfect in every way. Even my 2 teenagers were highy impressed and just loved it, and teenagers aren't usually easy to impress! They loved the rooms and how warm the swimming pool was on a chilly night.

Everything you need is provided. The guest room for the kids had 2 cute single beds, armoire w/ tv, and their own luxurious bathroom. The master bedroom had an amazing bath with travertine shower and whirlpool tub. It was huge! The view of the ocean from our Signature suite was unbelievable, with sliding glass doors to a large balcony from both the master bedroom and the living room. The balcony had chairs for 4, and was nicely protected from the wind.

This is just an unbelievable place. We ordered pizza in for dinner, and our delivery man even commented on how unbelievable this hotels rooms are! It's a great place to bring groceries for breakfast. The kithen is well equipped and beautiful.
The restaurant is very nice, but not so great for kids. More of a romantic dinner kinda place.

The service here has also improved markedly since our first visit. The staff has become more polished and knowledgeable, and are eager to please.

If this hotel is anywhere near your budget -- go! You won't regret it!
It was hard to leave!

Gorgeous View and Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Sparky22

My family and I stayed at the Dolphin Bay for three nights in August. We were thrilled with our stay.
The view is absolutely amazing. We paid for a one bed room with the best view. The suite was on a corner so we had views from the dining and living room areas AND the bedroom, plus of course from the balconey. I do not know when we have had a room so close to the ocean. It was marvelous to have coffee in the morning on the balconey or sit in bed and see the waves.
The suites are very high quality with stylish furniture, some stone floors, and an over the top kitchen complete with cuisinart cookware.
We really liked swimming in the pool in the evening. It is kept VERY warm and was lovely to see the steam rising from it.
The staff was overall very nice and helpful.
This is not a cheap hotel, I got a bit of a discount on it, but still paid $460 a night, but it was worth the price. Also you can save a bit of money by doing some cooking in the lovely kitchen.
The are only a couple of issues we had. One is some restaurant noise. We we on the third floor overlooking the restaurant patio. When people dine outside and you have the windows open (to hear the ocean) you also hear conversations. Luckily by 10 PM the dining guests leave.
Another issue is the food at the restaurant was not consistent and pretty expensive. We dined there three times. We had great steamed clams and mussels for one meal, but our lunch ($50 for a salad, pasta dish, one dessert and no drinks) seemed high when the caliber of that meal was low (stale tasting pulled pork sauce on the pasta and a tiny tasteless caesar salad douced in bread crumbs). The service at each meal was VERY slow. Our impression was the area was not a dining mecca, so perhaps the restaurant was the best around. We were glad we could cook in our room.
Finally, in one instance the concierge was very helpful with our plans and then on another occasion I asked for reservations for lunch at a restaurant in San Lois Obisbo. He did not offer to check if any were open, he just gave me several phone numbers and I had to call to each see if any served lunch on Mondays (two did not) and make the reservation myself.

Like staying in a model home. Nice look ,no Service

by TripAdvisor Member tzn

It's hard to explain this one... Yes the rooms were really nice. You felt like you were in a model home, Granite, flat screens, and all. That is where the good review stops. There is no service at this hotel. We were told it was kid friendly and there was great beach access. They failed to mention the beach is great if the tide is low and you don't mind hiking down a steep cliff. Our room had a nice view but the hotel is right next to the cliff/clift hotel...There was a wedding the first night and a concert the next day and night. The noise effects the entire hotel. Loud base noise and yelling all day by the pool and late into the night. Sounds like a bomb hitting the hotel. You can forget about sitting on your deck and listening to the ocean. When I complained the college kid manager had nothing to offer..This place is not kid friendly or adult friendly. My advice, skip it.

Beautiful property, great rooms & food

by TripAdvisor Member CentralCA_traveller

We enjoyed our weekend stay very much. The rooms are exceptional, feel like a luxury condo. Food and service at the Lido restaurant were excellent for both dinner and breakfast (did not try lunch). We especially appreciated the "petite" portion option they offer on their dinner menu.

All staff, from valet to check-in and concierge were eager to please. Beautiful pool, did not have time to check out the spa. Pretty ocean view, but on the cliffs, not really accessible for beach walking. No cocktail service at the pool, but there is a walk up window to the Lido from the patio next to the pool. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is no room service.

The property is sandwiched between the Cliffs Resort and Spyglass Inn; there is some noise from the other properties, but the proximity made it easy to try the other restaurants and realize that the Lido is the best in that area. Small gourmet wine/food market also within easy walking distance.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay and plan to return later this year. Got a great deal booking through member site Small Luxury Hotels of the World, saved almost $200/night.

Unbelievably Gorgeous!

by TripAdvisor Member netsol

Wow. Wow. Wow. This hotel is by far the finest hotel in the entire area. It's on par with Bacara in Santa Barbara for pure beauty and service. Instead of hotel rooms, you get a regular condo - bedroom, kitchen, living room, large deck and unbelievable views. The restaurant is fantastic and it is just a wonderful place to relax. I didn't try the spa, but my wife did and she raved about it. Big compliments coming from a true spa queen :-) While it's not cheap, it is a value. You absolutely get what you pay for and more. We can't wait to go back.

We were ready to move in

by TripAdvisor Member Book Goddess

The Dolphin Bay has beautiful accomodations and wonderful staff. We were upgraded to the ocean front suites and were almost on the water. As if on cue, a school of dolphins swam in front of the resort for an extended amount of time in the afternoon. We could watch from our balcony, which was cozy and enclosed with glass. Wrapped in the thick robes we were happy campers.

The facilities are top of the line, and we were thrilled with the kitchen. The appliances were a challenge because of the many buttons and options, but we figured them out. The other challenge was the t.v. - difficult to get it to work and I had to call downstairs once for help. But it is a flat screen with full cable and a DVD player, so it is worth the effort.

They can make some improvements, like having a map of the area in the rooms (I found beach access by accident - a small path towards the North) and a listing of what is available via room service would have helped.

The Lido restaurant is still a work in progress as well, but the food was very good, and the staff was extremely helpful. They have small portions of almost everything which is a great idea!

Oh, and the spa was great! We spent 48 hours at the resort without leaving. We left relaxed and pampered. Perfect!

Gorgeous Hotel with Wonderful Service

by TripAdvisor Member stp234

This hotel is spectacular! Beautiful views of the ocean, gorgeous property, incredible rooms with every amenity you can imagine, and wonderful customer service. This is our second time staying at this hotel and we hope to stay there again. From the valets, bell persons, front desk staff and the manager, we found them all to be exceptionally friendly, helpful and ingratiating. The rooms are HUGE, with full kitchens, dining room, living room, bedrooms and bath. You feel like you are staying in a home. The pool is kept at a warm temperature, with salt water instead of chlorine - the water is soothing and wonderful to swim in, even on a cold day. There is a lovely path for walking along the ocean cliffs right in front of the hotel, and the property restaurant serves excellent food. A newspaper is delivered to your doorstep evey morning, and chocolates, a poem and a personal note are delivered in the evening when beds are turned down. Why would you stay anywhere else? The only down's tough to leave!

A Special Property

by TripAdvisor Member Dreifuss

Join Small Luxury Hotels ( and book with your member number - get a free upgrade to the next level of room.

This was a beautiful property. The rooms are amazing with full kitchen, plasma TV, balcony overlooking the ocean. Some rooms have fireplaces, some have jacuzzi tub, so be sure to ask for what you want. I would suggest Buiding One (out of 3) as the views are best, but beware that you are not in the room directly above the restaurant as it is intrusive to be sitting on the balcony and being very close to people dining outside.

You must enjoy the Spa while here. While it is very pricy, you're probably not concerned about that if you're staying here. The experience was amazing!!

Pamper yourself and stay here. Spend a day up at Hearst Castle (1 hour away), spend another day or 2 touring the Edna Valley wine country (15 min away) and Paso Robles wine country (45 min). Then spend a morning walking the beach and an afternoon at the Spa. A perfect little getaway.

Wonderful place, great staff

by TripAdvisor Member scubed

Beautiful property with luxury ammenities. Staff is friendly and anxious to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable. Great conceirge services too, you can browse menus from restaurants near by and in San Lui Obispo. When we made dinner reservationsn via the conceirge, we got the best table in the house. Would definitely stay there again. Great as a romantic get away or for families.

Best Hotel on the Coast

by TripAdvisor Member Moq44

The Dolphin Bay is one of the best hotels that I have visited. Originally built as apartments for sale, the owner then decided to make it a hotel. Each room is decorated tastefully and comfortably. We stepped in and were amazed at the close proximity to the water. We received a free upgrade to the Signature suite; full ocean views from the balcony and bedroom. *A little tip: visit and become a member (it's free). As an SLH member, you receive a complimentary upgrade upon check in. Additionally, we made our reservations over the phone through the hotel and when I mentioned that I was an SLH member, the manager also discounted each night's stay as well.

The staff at the hotel was extremely hospitable and more than wiling to help with any request. When we entered our residence, we found a personal hand written note from the owner thanking us for choosing the Dolphin Bay. The hotel has a complimentary DVD library as well as board games for guests to use. The hotel also offers complimentary valet service for guests.

Each room is fully equipped with a gormet kitchen: From the granite kitchen with the Wolf range and Sub-Zero refrigerator to the plasma TV and surround sound in the living room, to the fabulous view of the ocean, to the laundry room, fabulous master bath to the huge walk in closet, and the fabulous furnishings--everything was impeccable. Well thought out and well designed luxury.

We spent an incredible amount of time just relaxing on the balcony, listening to the waves crashing on the beach and watching dolphins swim in perfect view. We were so comfortable the whole trip that we did not leave once during our stay!

All in all the Dolphin Bay is one of the best kept secrets of the California Coast.


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 Dolphin Bay Hotel

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

Dolphin Bay Resort And Spa
Dolphin Bay Hotel Pismo Beach

Address: 2727 Shell Beach Road, Shell Beach, CA, 93449