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Holiday Inn Express SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN in San Diego, CA

Holiday Inn Express SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN in San Diego, CA

Specialties

Welcome to our Holiday Inn Express San Diego Downtown! Welcome to our Holiday Inn Express San Diego Downtown!  With our firm and/or soft pillow options, now you can rest soundly every night with all the comforts of home. We offer free Wi-Fi to all of our guests to keep you connected with your family, friends and work while you are away from home.  Our sparkling outdoor pool which boasts breathtaking views of downtown San Diego guests don't even need to leave the grounds to have fun.  We also offer a Happy Hour reception Sunday  Thursday 5pm-6:30pm. You can start your evening with complimentary beer, wine, sodas and snacks.  We have a complimentary shuttle to and from the Airport, San Diego Zoo and the Cruise Port which helps you save time & money. The shuttle runs daily from 5am  9pm.  Our Business Center offers complimentary access to three dedicated computers. You can also print and send a fax.  Late night snack? Come down to our lobby and indulge on a fresh baked cookie served every night at 8pm.

History

Established in 1991.

 

Company Info:

Rating: 3.61

Address: 1430 7th Ave, San Diego, CA, 92101

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    Comments (61):

    1. Tracie S.
    We stayed here while going to the San Diego Wild Animal Park on Christmas Eve.  We checked in around 8:30pm and there were fresh baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies and milk in the lobby! The staff were friendly and helpful.  Parking was $16 per day.  But they offer free internet access in your room and there's also a business center in the lobby area if you didn't bring your own laptop.  They also offer free drinks, including beer on certain days during the week from 5:30-6:30pm I believe.  There's also free buffet style  full American breakfast in the mornings from 6:30am-9:30am for guests.  There were varies cereals, eggs, bacon, cranberry or apple juice, milk, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, muffins, danish and other sweet pastries, toast, bagels, and cinnamon rolls.  The rooms were clean, but the in room heater was really loud and didn't really heat up the room.  I ended up turning it off cuz the fan was too loud and I couldn't sleep.  The hotel also delivers daily newspapers to your room at around 6:30am.  Overall, we were happy with our stay. Quick check in and out, clean rooms, lots of complimentary items!

    01/01/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    2. Austin V.
    The short of this review is, you get what you pay for... and it's cheap here.

    If you need a cheap place to stay but don't want to be staying way out on Highway 8 this this could work.  4

    The location is about 9 blocks from the Gaslamp - not bad going down, but it's all up hill the way back so get a cab.  From the airport a taxi would work but they have a hotel van service that you can call (depending on what's scheduled it could be 10 minutes or 30).  3

    The hotel looks remodeled but I bet in 4 years it'll look cheesy and old school.  A little funky set up, small lobby, lounge area and two computers to use for internet access.  They also offer the guests free wireless which is great.  3.5

    The staff here are very friendly.  Check in, check out and housekeeping were always accommodating.  The banquet/meeting room staff here, however, are amature: making loud noise and commotion through out meetings outside the doors - lack of coordination on breaks where they just come in the room to refresh in the middle of presentations or to add more ice to the soda bin - quite annoying.  4

    The rooms are decent size for sleeping, but the bathrooms are extremely small (you're up against the sink and the door to get to the toilet.  Lighting is bad and sometimes they smell.  Must be their air freshener (don't have the housekeeping spray it in your room if you go).  Plus the windows only open 3 inches so request a balcony if you want fresh air.  Beds are hard and uncomfortable - after two days I started waking up with back aches - but they give you different sets of pillow (soft/firm) to accommodate your tastes.  2

    They have a comp breakfast, but I didn't touch the cooked food - just the fruit and yogurt.  Coffee was terrible and they didn't have real cream so I ended up going out for breakfast each time.  There's not much around here, an Italian cafe across the street, or a coffee shop 3 blocks down the hill. 2

    The banquet rooms are average size, have windows so you're not claustrophobic but are very uncomfortable (the chairs are TERRIBLE).  The food service was ok, stick to the sandwiches and fruit plates, skip the breakfast (you're better off seeing if you can get an outside catering for bagels and breakfast).  Free wireless a plus. 1

    It all adds up to an average stay for the price.  If you want more accommodations, better food and close to the shore/GL you'll have to pay for it going somewhere else but it's not bad.   I would not recommend them for meetings though.

    02/02/08 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    3. Shalice H.
    Stayed there over Labor Day weekend, and was surprised by how roomy the room was for the price. We were on the 2nd floor and had an awesome balcany. Only down fall was the fact that we had to pay for parking, ended up being $100 for the whole vist

    09/09/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    4. Hatel B.
    I agree with the first review on this place --- but then again I also was able to get in on a quick notice even though the entire place was booked.  The place is really busy and the service could have been a little better but it was convenient and clean.  

    Despite the fact that they were booked, I had to request a room change because the water kept running in my bathroom toilet.  I was pleased when they moved me and also comped me for the parking for my stay.  

    The breakfast -- I agree just stick to the breads, cereals, unless you have the time then go and venture out for a breakfast place.  

    The building itself is definitely not the greatest structures but it will need major remodeling in the future.

    15/08/08 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    5. Colleen D.
    While the room was a little worn (the carpet really needed a shampoo), we had a little balcony overlooking the El Cortez.  There was a good "crappy (happy) hour" on Monday through Thursdays starting at 5 PM and a free shuttle to/from the airport, train station and the San Diego Zoo.  It is a short walk to the Gaslamp District and Little Italy.  A great value for the money.

    24/09/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    6. The B.
    For $399 a night, I expected the suite to be two rooms, not a large room with a couch at one end.  The shower was just a nook in the bathroom divided with a shower curtain.  It was not an enclosed shower or bathtub, just a flat floor with a drain in the middle.  It allowed water to get all over the bathroom floor.  I had to put towels around it to keep the floor dry.

    The beds were very uncomfortable, although getting 4 pillows in both soft and firm was a nice touch.  The room was clean and reasonably well arranged.  It was hot and humid, the a/c was semi-functional, and the window opened only 3 inches wide.  Whoever set up the room neglected to put an outlet in place for the side table, so an ugly, drity orange extension cord was plugged in next to the bed, run down the wall, under the carpet, around the corner, and across the carpet to provide power for the table lamp.  Very odd arrangement.

    The breakfast was the best free breakfast I've seen in a hotel.  The food wasn't gourmet, but it was edible and there was a nice selection.  We really appreciated the hardworking lady who attended the breakfast bar until she treated us to a sermon about why Jesus hates America.  Apparently, he doesn't think we should let gays marry, and man going to the moon is what messed up our climate.  Every time the space shuttle flies, the weather gets crazy.  Okay, we can go elsewhere for breakfast.

    The parking garage was ridiculously cramped.  We were in a rental car with which we weren't overly familiar, so going around the tight corners literally mere inches from the walls and support posts was a bit hair-raising.  For the price of the room, you'd think they could drop the $16 a day parking fee.

    Good location.  Don't bother with the restaurant downstairs.

    20/07/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    7. Tim O.
    The elevator was slow, the room was dated and it smelled like it had previously been a smoking room that wasn't re-done.  The price was reasonable for the location, but it left me not wanting to spend any time in the room.

    16/11/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    8. Eric A.
    This has to be the best Holiday Inn I have ever been to. The front desk staff was extremely helpful and even let me park a couple hours in the driveway because I did not want to pay 6$ for 2 hours of parking. The breakfast was ok, the room was decent (way better than a Ramada), and the facilities were clean. i would stay here if I was in a really tight budget and needed a place to sleep in downtown.

    11/05/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    9. Margaret F.
    Spent the weekend here. First time at a Holiday Inn! Pretty clean.. service was great. Customer service a plus. The pool was great.. always had clean dry towels available... Breakfast was actually better than I expected. Variety and quality A+++++
    The only negative was.......Hair dryer did not work!

    01/07/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    10. Michelle S.
    The fridge in my room didnt work and my food went bad. The lock on the bathroom door didnt work and they didnt know how to fix it. And when I went down in the morning for the free breakfast they asked what room I was from, like I was a criminal. After sending them 2 emails about my bad experience they still didnt offer to do anything to make it right. I wont be staying there again.

    10/05/12 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    11. Jessica H.
    The best plan you can have when traveling for a convention is to stay at the less expensive hotel that is just a block from one of the actual convention hotels.  Then you can walk the block and catch the convention shuttle bus.  That's exactly what we did when attending the National Association of REALTORS convention in November 13-16, 2009.  We chose the Holiday Inn Express and was bowled over by the service we received.  

    First, Elizabeth the night supervisor made our world go 'round.  She took such good care of us, got the hotel shuttle to take us to dinner and pick us up. When we weren't sure of where we were going, she looked it up for us and made calls and then followed up to make sure we were doing okay.  When we were delayed, she opened up a bottle of wine just for us and made us feel comfortable in the lobby.  Elizabeth is exceptional at what she does and she made our stay top notch.

    Although we paid for a suite, we received the handicapped room on the first floor and it was better than a suite!! The bathroom was extra large and had tons of counter space that the suites lacked.  We also had a balcony overlooking the pool.  We were happy with it, to say the least.

    The continental breakfast is above average, but still a continental breakfast.  There isn't much that they could do to improve it short of bringing in an omelette chef.  You get what you pay for, and this was much better than that.

    The rooms were clean and the beds comfy, I have no complaints for this hotel as it is well worth the money. Check in and out was real easy and there are several restaurants close by.  But I would suggest Indigo's just below the hotel.  We ate their 3 times and it was worth it every time.

    18/11/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    12. Megan J.
    This hotel is beyond amazing! This is my first time staying in San Diego, the location is near the freeway, close to Gas Lamp & even has a convenient Dominos across the street for a late night meal. The parking is $16 per night which is cheaper than most hotels I found around this area, it is a tight garage but I feel comfortable parking my car there so it is worth the $16. The hotel staff has had great customer service and have been very friendly since I called and booked the room. We were lucky enough to stay during December Nights at Balboa Park and when I asked the Front Desk to call a cab they offered their free shuttle service .. Major PLUS!  We had a City view room with 2 queen beds on the second floor. Spacious room and balcony, bathroom is small but manageable. Overall I am pleasantly surprised with this hotel and will definitely stay here next time and recommend it to others! PS they offer free WiFi and no resort fee, again major plus!

    08/12/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    13. Laurie G.
    I guess you get what you pay for.  This hotel was recommended by StayClassy and I would have thought, going by name alone, it would have been a bit .....uhm.......well....classy.  Location was within walking distance but you had to walk past the homeless sleeping in the street.  I would have not felt safe had I been alone.

    Elevator took forever.  Too many rooms and floors and parking levels for just two elevators.  

    Rooms were average.  Small, stuffy and when you opened the door you realized you were right under the airports landing route.  Beds uncomfortable and we got cold at night as the blankets were sparse.

    We showered in the morning, showered at 3 and left the room by 4 and the room was not rechecked and we had to call for towels again the next morning and it took a good 15 minutes before someone came with them.

    We also paid for parking for both nights we were there.  Not unusual but the funny part was that the lot was open and free parking for the public on Sunday but we paid for that day?????

    09/11/10 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    14. Prajna M.
    I"m collecting points for future use at an InterContinental hotel in Bora Bora so I'm very "loyal" to the Priority Club program.

    I've been to many hotels in the world.  This is one of the most expensive for my money!  You know, like, if you spend $500 a night, you can expect the $500 service.  But again, I stayed at a $60-a-night hotel in a remote resort near the Mekong in a third-world country, I was one of the five hotel guests at that time, had the whole property to myself plus tranquility and privacy, ate full breakfast that was freshly and expertly prepared by skilled chefs and experienced warm, first-rate hospitality treatments.

    A good thing was that Holiday Inn Express Hotel San Diego Downtown didn't cost me anywhere close to 500 bucks per night.  The location was perfect.  It was close to everything.  I walked to everywhere, including to the San Diego Convention Center about 15 minutes away.  I also walked around 9-10 p.m. and didn't feel threatened by many homeless as there were also a lot of police cars around (but again I've been to places that even angels fear to tread.)  I even had my running shoes repaired at a shop across the street.  A CVS Pharmacy was nearby.  It was easy to get to I-5.  My room with a king bed was spacious that I was able to put down my yoga mat and do yoga without touching the walls or any furniture.  My room was facing a quieter side of the street.

    The parking was $16 a day in addition to the room cost.  The breakfast was standard as to any Holiday Inn Express.  But there was no fruit offered.

    It'd be another $5 to use an off-site fitness facility about two blocks away.  The hotel would give you a discount card to take with you to that place.  I went there to look and decided to save my five dollars by walking up and down the very steep hills and checking out surrounding residential neighborhoods instead.  it was a gorgeous day to be outside anyway.

    07/04/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    15. Dima V.
    A colleague and I had two rooms for two nights each. The positives first: the staff was great and eager to help. The negatives: everything else, sadly. The wi-fi was on and off (mostly off), only one elevator was working and the wait times were 5+ minutes, the parking garage had very narrow stalls; the room was not refurbished in what seemed to be like decades. This hotel is definitely not in the same caliber as other holiday inn express properties that I stayed in over the years. Until it is remodeled, I would recommend staying elsewhere.

    17/10/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    16. Janice N.
    I stay at Holiday Inns and Holiday Inns Express for most of my out-of-town travel and this spot is at the bottom of the list. The room smelled weird and the A/C was broken. The breakfast was unbelievably bad, even for Free Continental Breakfast items. Next time I am in SD, I might have to venture away from Holiday Inn.

    13/03/12 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    17. Suzie A.
    Best service ever! I love you Trisha ! :P

    01/05/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    18. Joe B.
    Well, it was a deal, it was walking distance to the Gaslamp, and it was easy enough to find street parking if you didn't mind going up and down the adjacent blocks to find a spot that wasn't metered so you didn't have to pay the hotel parking fee.  I'm sure we got a little more exercise and saw a little more of the city because it was close to downtown, but otherwise it just wasn't anything to write home about.

    The front desk was pleasant enough, but they seemed inattentive and not very helpful.  When one elevator broke and I mentioned it to one of the front desk personnel on a ride on the one elevator that worked, and asked why I couldn't get into the stairway that was locked, she seemed puzzled and asked me where I wanted to go.  I wanted to yell "OUT!" but I held my tongue.  You could get out through the emergency exit but it seemed that the stairways were locked.  Somewhat of a fire hazard if one elevator isn't working, and even if both are working you should have easy access to the stairway.  The other couple I took an elevator ride with when the other one was broken felt exactly the same way, since we both made a trip to the stairway and found it locked.

    The room was smallish, the bathroom tiny, and some of the paint was peeling off the partition separating one balcony from the other.  It was a decent, serviceable room, but defininitely nothing to write home about and "you get what you pay for."  Next time we'll probably splurge a little more and stay at a nicer place.  If everything were serviceable and it was a good value, I would give it a 3 or a 4, but the elevator/stairway experience made it a notch below serviceable - functionally, the place wasn't all there.

    04/04/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    19. beck l.
    Stayed here for Veterans Day Weekend.  This Holiday inn disappoints compared to other sites of this hotel chain.  The people here are great, friendly, and helpful but the building is awkward.  Doors and windows rattle CONSTANTLY and the parking below the building is one of the most difficult with incredibly tight corners. The layout is a bit confusing.
    The furnishings and the bed (comfy) seem like other Holiday Inn Express hotels but the bathroom seems smaller.  No peeling paint in the bathroom so its a good sign.  Free wifi.
    In a pinch, I would stay here again but there has to be better options.

    13/11/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    20. Anna Y.
    We arrived on noon on Monday and left on noon on Friday.

    Checkin and Checkout: EASY and QUICK!  We arranged our stay throgh Expedia so it was a snap. Also we were Priority Rewards members, so we got a free room upgrade.  If you are not a PR member then you can sign up at the front desk for free.

    ROOM: We were on the 3rd floor with the view of the city.  The room had two beds, a desk, a arm chair, a desk and chair, and a bureau.  There was safe, refrigerator, coffee machine, lamp, iron, blow dryer and tv.

    STAFF: Friendly and helpful. Midge was also. Take advantage of the free shuttle service to/from the airport and other tourist places in SD.  The continental breakfast is stocked and  will satisfy most everyone in your family.  The wine/beer service in the afternoon was nice, because we could relax on the patio before hitting downtown.  The cookie service was nice because they were nice and warm when we came back from downtown.  The rooms were always clean when we came back and our beds were made.  

    Cons:
    -refrigerator did not really get cold enough.
    -air conditioner takes a while to keep the room cold. also, it can be freezing at night.  
    -parking is expensive.

    Note:
    -You do not really need to bring shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion.  If you forget other toiletries then the hotel will provide them for free.
    -hotel has computers in the lobby where you can print your boarding passes for free.
    -location is awesome. You can stroll down to Gaslamp area which has a lot of great restaurants, but make sure you come  back in through the parking garage elevator on 6th street. The seventh street hill will kill you in heels.

    Overall, great place for the money.

    30/08/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    21. Gary A.
    I had a good two night stay here while on business. About what you come to expect from a Holiday Inn Express. Efficent and friendly staff, clean common areas and rooms, a good breakfast and Happy Hour. It's a great location if you like the downtown/Gas Lamp area, within walking distance of clubs and cafe's, Little Italy is walkable too. My only real complaint was a painfully slow elevator and the $16 overnight parking charge...but what the heck...it is San Diego!

    18/01/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    22. Bridget P.
    This was the cheapest, best-located hotel we could find in downtown SD. The Yelp reviews were good, and true, too. yay!

    Pros: Walking distance to all of the Gaslamp bars and clubs, restaurants, Little Italy, and more! We didn't even need cabs, the walk up the hill is short and sobering. Nice remodeled lobby, plenty of street parking, and free (decent) breakfast. We checked out on Sunday, and they still let us take the FREE shuttle to Balboa Park! There was no one around, so the shuttle driver let us call him when we wanted to be picked up.

    Cons: It is a Holiday Inn in an older building, although it's still VERY clean. The bathroom was tiny. Our room was a decent size, but they put us in this weird corner room that got no actual sunlight and faced some kind of generator..

    That being said, I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to experience the best of SD and get the most bang for their buck, and I'll probably stay here again next time I visit, too!

    24/05/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    23. Ty J.
    The room is typical of any hotel. The tv is about a 42 inch. We stayed in room 150 on first floor way in the back. The walk to room was dreadful. The bathroom is the size of a matchbox with an industrial toilet. The pillows on the comfy bed we pretty flat. Hubby complained of neck aches. They have a pretty good breakfast at decent times probably longer than anyone else. Its convenient walking distance to gas lamp district and with shopping eating and bars. The parking garage is super small and one could easily have an accident plus u have to oay for it. All and all, if u want somewhere to stay near gaslamp area, it tolerable the saving grace is the friendly staff, cleanliness of entire hotel, breakfast and bar sun-thurs.wait they went from 3 to 4 stars for free bar!

    28/05/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    24. Charlie K.
    Location, location, location.  You can walk to anywhere from here.   Just a quick 10 minute walk to gaslamp, petco, etc.  

    Parking was pricey,  but hey, it is a downtown hotel, what do you expect?

    The rooms are small, but clean.  The bathroom is very small.  If you can deal with a small room and and a small bathroom, then this is your spot.  The room rates at this place compared to some of the other 'big' hotels in downtown SD are outstanding.

    13/01/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    25. Nellie T.
    Forget all your preconceived notions of a Holiday Inn. Not only was the room and bathroom incredibly clean, but the bed was oh-so-comfortable.  The front desk staff was also very friendly and helpful--in fact, she even remembered our names as we checked out!

    The hotel offers free shuttles to/from the SD Airport, as well as Balboa Park.  However, they don't run 24/7, so if you're traveling outside of their timeframe, then you should find alternate means.  
    It's also walking distance to Little Italy, the Gaslamp, so you can go out drink, be merry, and still walk home.  And by walking distance, I mean about a 15 minute walk.  

    The only downsides are:
    1) the complimentary breakfast was lacking.  Yes, I understand that it's a free breakfast, but that doesn't mean the scrambled eggs need to be so mealy.  Or that there's no bacon or sausages.  What kind of hotel breakfast has no bacon??

    2) our room was located right next to a housekeeping station.  which meant that we could hear everything they were doing.  everything.

    18/05/10 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    26. Toni H.
    This was our first time in San Diego and it was a wonderful experience . I called that morning from Riverside Ca to see if there was any rooms available for the weekend and didn't realize that Comic Con International convention was going on. I told them that my husband and I are celebrating our anniversary and they accommodated us with a king bed ,very clean  the room over looking downtown San Diego. They have a free happy hour for an hour in the evening for their guest and a wonderful hot breakfast every morning. In our room they had waiting for us a bottle of wine 2 glasses a large fruit platter, a basket with crackers, granola, sparkling apple cider and a beautiful card from the staff!! We were so impressed, we didn't even expect all that!!!
    Thank you very much to the whole staff at Holiday Inn Express !!! We had a lovely experience, you all went above and beyond!!! Thank you again we would definitely stay there again!!!!

    27/07/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    27. Cathie N.
    The room is definitely not nice. The pillows are uncomfortable and I had a broken shower head. The front service was nice. Although I had called a week prior to request for a king size bed. They grant me the room. When I arrived, they told me they do not have any king size bed so they placed me in a queen size. The only compliment I have is the location. Every night I was able to find side parking which is a good thing because I don't want to pay $16/day for parking. They serve complimentary breakfast, offered free wifi and a mini fridge in the room. For the priced I paid, I don't think it's worth the quality of the room. The lobby was nice but the rooms are definitely a little run down.

    24/06/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    28. Tammy W.
    My most pleasant hotel experience... ever!
    Here's why:

    First and foremost, the staff was so kind to my 4 year old daughter and treated her like one of their own and all knew her name. (This is a great family hotel if you are traveling with your family). One of the front desk hotel staff even bought cookies for my daughter and they hung up a picture she drew for them. Okay, enough about my daughter, on to the review.......

    1. free breakfast every morning - scrambled/boiled eggs, bacon/sausage, cinnamon rolls (mmmm cinnamon rolls), pancakes, danishes, bagels, toast, cereals, yogurt, biscuits/gravy, juices, milk, coffee, tea.
    2. Hotel location- a few blocks walking distance to Gaslamp, the port, etc. If you don't have a car, the hotel has a complimentary shuttle which we used to go to Balboa Park (twice). The drivers are friendly, knowledgable of the area, professional and prompt. Minutes from the zoo, Sea World and other popular attractions.
    3. Staff- from the front desk, to the breakfast area, to the maids, everyone was smiling, pleasant, helpful and glad to assist you with anything you needed.
    4. Consistency- we stayed a week and all of the above was the same ... everyday!
    5. Free beer, wine and snacks at 5pm every day. Kids are welcomed in the reception/bar area.

    We stayed in a standard room with 2 queen beds. The rooms are typical- with flatscreen TVs, mini fridge, desk w/2 chairs, but the view was pretty nice. We were on the first floor, could still see the ocean and picturesque downtown San Diego.

    Reason for 4 stars and not 5:
    This is not a 5 star hotel, this is a holiday inn. The parking costs $16 per day, it is underground and typical of your downtown parking lot (narrow, tight corners), but it was not scary at all.

    The noise level is typical of any hotel, although the doors don't slam as hard. You have those people who are always noisy (or it seems that way whenever hotel-ing-it). There was little noise from the street as the hotel faces away from it, and it is up on the hill.

    I would stay here over and over again.

    22/03/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    29. Ronald R.
    I had such a great experience staying here. The location was PERFECT for everything that we wanted to do. It's walking distance to many great food spots. We were able to walk down to "Little Italy", Hillcrest, Down by the water, and Gaslamp district.

    The front desk and customer service is outstanding. The staff is super friendly and really do try to meet all of your needs. The rooms are spacious and CLEAN. Nice remodeled bathrooms but they are small which I didn't care, I'd choose a small clean bathroom over a dirty big one any day. I did which it has a big tub for a bubble bath... oh well. It had nice comfy beds. Lots of free HBO channels. FREE WIFI. Heated pool. GREAT AC. It has a mini fridge. Parking is $16 a night, but everywhere pretty much charges for parking in San Diego so I expected this.

    I loved my stay here, and would definitely stay here again when I return to Sunny San Diego.

    05/07/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    30. Alan R.
    About as good as a Holiday Inn Express can be!

    We stayed here for a wedding and had a really nice experience.  The rooms are what you expect, nothing fancy but clean.

    Where we were impressed with was the service!  Staff were great, and the shuttle will take you anywhere within reason (I say this because we never got turned down but it was either to the airport to within 2 miles or so).  Good breakfast included as well, the pancake printer was something I've never seen before!

    18/04/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    31. Gary A.
    Manager switched our room from down the hall on the 3rd floor to right next to rhe lobby on the first (offered to us without us asking) so kind.  The breakfast was delicious with eggs, easy to make pankaes, cinnamon rolls, and more.
    Parking is in a small indoor lot that costs 16$ per day with an elevator that goes to each floor of the hotel.

    14/05/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    32. Danielle F.
    The +++:
    -Cheap...got the room for $75/ night over the weekend during the middle of summer in the Gaslamp District!  WOW!!!
    - Parking available-for a price (not sure how much)
    -Clean room with a refrigerator and a safe
    -Beautiful view of downtown
    -A pool
    -Huge awesome complementary breakfast with lots of seating (the cinnamon rolls are awesome)...try to go before 9:30 cause it gets crowded with all the guests
    -Nice patio on each terrace...u can sit and look at downtown with your bottle of wine
    -Location...a few blocks from Gaslamp
    -Nice and helpful front desk and all the staff we met
    -Self laundry if u need it
    -Free WiFi
    -Cheap!!!!

    The ---:
    -Our sink in the bathroom drained slow and the light would take a while to illuminate the room (not a big deal...called the front desk and they were grateful)

    09/08/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    33. Christy H.
    Not too shabby - pretty much a standard HI Express. Super friendly front staff, easy process. I love the consistency of the brand, so whenever I travel for work I choose to stay at HI Express. I stayed here twice within the span of a month since I had to be in SD for two separate conferences. The first stay was OK, the room wasn't anything spectacular. Actually the room was huge and didn't really have much in it. The bathroom on the other hand was teeny tiny! And I was thinking of taking a bath, but decided not to when I saw a few random hairs stuck to the inside of the tub. Ew. I don't quite remember, but I don't think there was any recognition of being a Priority Club member.

    My second stay was much better. When I checked in, they had this AWESOME lemonade (mmmmm) at the front desk area. My room was the same - but without any crazy random hairs. This time around though, I was allowed to park in the "fancy" priority club parking AND I had a little card with a snack and bottle of water in my room. Nice.

    Overall, I'd give this place a 3.5. FYI, parking is additional $16 per day.

    14/03/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    34. Shar C.
    Best features: close to everything and a pretty good breakfast for being free! Rooms were clean and cozy, but the buildings is a bit dated. Parking costs were an unexpected bad surprise. Service was good, but maid service either wanted to come in at 8:30 or 4:30. I ended up sending them away two days.

    09/02/14 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    35. Brandon B.
    Stayed here for a convention center event: while a little bit of a walk from the center (20 minutes) it was a refreshing way to start the day, up on top of a hill above downtown and walking downhill.   Less can be said for coming back up late at night---I usually took a cab (it was a little off the tourist path and slightly shady for a few blocks around).   Decent budget accomodations--I think a little better than the average Holiday Inn room.  No gym--but you get a discount to a gym down the road which I didn't try out.  The breakfast was a litle on the carb-heavy and oily side but there were some salt/meat selections as well, don't go too late in the morning or face the mobs of families.  Friendly staff and nice lobby, good cheaper option for San Diego downtown.

    20/04/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    36. T B.
    I stayed here for one night. The accommodations are average at best but the location is super. Located within walking distance of around 15 minutes from downtown, the rooms are clean, noise level is quiet, staff is professional and very helpful, I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a decent night sleep in downtown. Room contain a safety box, flat screen TV, hair dryer, and the normal amenities of shampoo, conditioner, etc...Parking is around $16 a day.

    13/01/14 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    37. Jessica M.
    Meh.  The room size was fine, though the bathroom was tiny and my husband and child couldn't figure out how to make the bathtub hold water.  On the plus side, the room had balconies and a decent view of downtown. On the downside, the slider was VERY, VERY difficult to open and noisy.  From the pounding noises we heard through the walls, the sliders are difficult to open for all rooms.

    At 4 in the morning we were woken by the noise of neighbors returning to their room and then our bed literally shook from the activity on the other side of the wall.  I don't know how my 6 year old slept through it but thank goodness he did.  I don't know how I would have explained it.  Earthquake?

    The hotel is old and worn.  The staff, however, are very friendly.

    04/04/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    38. Kristina M.
    We have not actually begun our stay at the hotel however I have to write a review on the customer service so far.  We are getting married in a week and a half at the El Cortez venue next door and have a room block set up with this hotel. I have been working mainly with Collin in sales and they have been beyond helpful, responsive, and professional.  The rooms are not the standard Holiday Inn Express rooms...they are much more updated and roomy.  More importantly, the customer service is extremely impressive.  I highly recommend working with them if you are a bride of an El Cortez wedding, attending a wedding there, or just visiting San Diego.
    Bonus-they have a free airport shuttle, continental breakfast, and happy hour mon-thurs!

    18/09/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    39. Darlene K.
    Pay the extra money for a City view! Preferably on the 2nd or 3rd floor! We slept soooo well, clean and very tightly done bedding. Clean room, clean bathroom. We had been hoping to go into a jacuzzi, but they only have a heated pool, no jacuzzi. Pool was never crowded, usually just one or 2 small families. But it didn't matter because the shower head on the shower was amazing, one of the best, sprayed very well, nice and hot! My mom took a hot bath, we both felt so comfortable and relaxed here. I had the BEST sleep which is needed for a big tourist day.
       The Breakfast was AMAZING! Just be sure to get there by 8am, because by 8:30am it was family chaos. So we were lucky to enjoy a peaceful breakfast and then the madness of lines for the food happened. They had great cooks, always restocking, so there was plenty of food, even if you get caught in the morning breakfast rush.
        My View was just AWESOME! I felt like I was in San Francisco, lots of city life and watching people walk around. I had a clear view between the buildings of the Harbor, which is nice to see how close this hotel is to the harbor, very inviting.
      The front desk was kind and very Happy, lots of good eye contact and warm and friendly. Ready to help. I forgot my toothpaste and toothbrush and they sent up a complimentary one, thank Goodness!!!
             For a 3 star hotel, I'm giving a 5 star review!!!!!!!

    31/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    40. Rebecca R.
    First impressions mean everything. I walked into my room and the air conditioner was missing, just an empty whole where it used to be. Then we turn on the t.v. and it doesn't even work. When I went to the front desk to complain, they were "fully booked" and said they'll fix the problem. They didn't offer a discount, special accommodations, nothing. Granted, the problems were fixed, but I didn't feel appreciated as a customer. The bathrooms were tiny and hard to move around, basically the same size as a cruise ship. This was my first time staying at a holiday inn, and definitely my last. I'd rather pay more money and stay at a hotel that appreciates me.

    16/11/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    41. John G.
    I checked in for 2 nights on 1/8/15. I called for the free shuttle pick-up from the airport and was told "20 or 25 minutes." After 30 minutes passsed, I called back and it was clear the driver never left the property yet. Was I forgotten? He arrived 50 minutes after my initial call. From the airport, the hotel was only 12 minutes away. After an early check in (thank you, Holiday Inn), a lady showed up at the door with a "welcome tray" of snacks, a Coke, a bottle of water and a hand-signed card acknowledging my Platinum status. This was a nice touch. On my last morning, a bill was slid under the door with another Thank You card signed by all of the staff. I certainly felt welcomed. The location was very good for walking to/from the Gaslamp Quarter. As the hotel sits high on a hill along 7th Avenue, be sure to take the sky bridge to the outdoor elevator that goes to 6th Avenue. This will save you a walk up the steep hill! Beware, though, elevator access is locked at 6th Avenue at 10 p.m. The shuttle will take to you to/from Balboa Park (Zoo, etc.), the train station and the airport for free. Regarding nearby sites, be sure to visit the William Heath Davis house and take the Friday 5:30 p.m. ghost walk. Our guide, "Sandra," took us around the block and back to the house, where we had inside-access after hours and took many spooky picutures. This Holiday Inn Express had a great location, competitive room rates, and attentive staff. I recommend staying here and would definitely return.

    10/01/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    42. Alex S.
    This review is probably based more off the fact that I did not book the hotel and it would have never been an option had I booked myself. If you are looking for a cheap option that is located in an OK area of the city, then this place is probably for you.

    The rooms are small and the bathroom is even smaller. The toilet is pretty much under the sink and the shower didn't drain fully. Our room had a patio which would have been nice, but there was no screen and it was extremely loud. Parking garage is both expensive and nearly impossible to navigate unless you drive a smartcar.

    The hotel staff was great. They even brought me a free bottle of wine when they didn't have our room available upon arrival. After getting off at 5 hour flight, the gesture was appreciated.  

    The hotel itself is located about 5 blocks north of everything in the Gaslamp Quarter. Those five blocks are not awesome. Tons of panhandlers and it's quite filthy. I wouldn't have felt comfortable walking from the hotel alone, especially at night. It's also conveniently located next to a bail bond store, you know, in case you get arrested while vacationing.  

    Over all, you get what you pay for. Not terrible, but definitely not for me.

    18/06/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    43. Ruben F.
    It was ok... The did was pretty comfortable but the A/C wasn't the best and the cable went out the next morning so I couldn't watch the morning news before check out. They offer underground parking which is $16 for overnight but be careful! There's some tight turns and if you don't watch your speed you could end up hitting the walls... If you have a layover or just need a place to stay for the night if you're out late downtown then this is surely the place for you.

    16/10/14 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    44. Sonia F.
    I had a great stay here for a day in a half. I was in section B way in the back with a balcony room overlooking San Diego's residential housing. You can walk across the street and enjoy some site seeing of the old time boats which have been made into museums.

    The staff was great, I got there early way before I was suppose to check in and they found me a room quickly while I waited by the pool. They also have a small restaurant there for a quick dining experience. Food was good.

    08/06/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    45. Kris K.
    Stayed here on halloween.  Only stayed one night but it is pretty nice.  Had a hard time figuring out how to find the entrance but they explain directions well and they seem to really try hard to make their customers happy.  I like how they are also within walking distance of the gaslamp district.  The price is also pretty reasonable.  I got a two queen bed room for two couples and it was pretty cheap per person.  I would come back.

    07/12/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    46. Kaya G.
    I checked into this location after a longggg day of flights.

    Girl at front desk, Trish was so nice and helpful

    Spotless lobby, nice ambiance I knew it would be a comfortable stay right off the bat.

    She was quick and helpful, acknowledging my member status and thanking me for it.

    As a Yelper I have to be honest.  While the lobby was very well and newly decorated.  the rooms were sparse and barely furnished. I do have to  take away a star for decor. It is outdated for sure, basic but for a traveler or someone with a budget it is up to par.

    Breakfast was perfect for me. Even families were duly satisfied. Couple of hot dishes and plenty of yogurt, toast, cereals and fresh muffins and fruit to go around.  Super old fashioned style, no chafing dishes, just the bare minimum, but again, the hotel is dated.

    They have a restaurant called Indigo (they have a Hotel Indigo under this flag a few blocks away in the Gaslamp District where I have stayed and that place is totally fabu) so room service comes from there.  Starving on night one I ordered a tuna, but the it was seared with something so spicy I gave up on it.  Just was too hot for me.

    All in all, very guest friendly - had a welcome snack and note on the dresser and zero complaints.

    I would stay there again!

    01/12/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    47. Andee S.
    I booked this hotel through hotwire, so most of my disappointment is really with them and not the hotel itself.

    The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.  The rooms are clean and good sized.  

    The free breakfast is awesome.  The location of the hotel is really great for downtown and the price is right, especially for the location.  However, the parking lot is truly the worst garage I've ever had to get in and out of.  It was so difficult to navigate and slow to get in and out that we were upset we had to leave the hotel at all.  But we did have to leave the hotel because there is no food service or restaurant at all, other than the free breakfast.  

    This is a majority of why I was so disappointed.  When we get to our hotel, we always order room service or go to the restaurant.  It's our first night treat.  We were told by Hotwire that we were getting a three star hotel.  I don't think three star hotels are usually missing food service.  There are a few restaurants nearby, especially Sole Luna, which is fantastic (but not super affordable) italian food.  Downtown seems to be geared toward professionals, so a lot of the cafes and delis are not open for dinner.

    We were also disappointed that there was no jacuzzi, but the pool is adorable and there's a great view from the pool deck.  This hotel seems to be geared towards business travelers and those looking for a bargain in downtown and on that basis, they're a great option.  But for straight vacationers, I'd upgrade to a more full-service hotel.

    01/08/14 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    48. Rita T.
    Great place if you need to park and fly. One of their rates is to stay one night and it includes 7 days of parking. They went out of their way to make you feel welcome from the front desk to the shuttle bus driver, they were all very acccomadating. The hotel is older with window air but the service and convenient location makes this a great value.

    31/10/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    49. Rhonda C.
    Room was comfortable and clean, just a little dated. The view was amazing from the balcony. The staff is friendly and accomodating. Had a great time with family and friends on this trip. Breakfast at the hotel was great for planning our days shenanigans.  We took the free shuttle to Little Italy, walked the harbor and came back through Gaslamp. Great exercise.

    22/12/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    50. Cris H.
    This hotel is a great value. The staff are way friendly, the rooms are clean, and the location is great. They have a complimentary happy hour some nights and breakfast, which is the standard Holiday Inn Express fare. For the price, you won't get better.

    The downside is that the hotel is a little dated. There's not a lot they can do about this, but it does feel older. They keep it clean and it's all acceptable, but if you're looking for fancy, this probably isn't your move.

    29/08/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    51. George A.
    My wife and I really liked this hotel. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. They had a good hot breakfast and my wife really liked the free hot cookies they put out for free every night. They also always had free coffee tea and lemonade. I liked the sun-thus happy hour with free wine. It's also within walking distance of Balboa park, the zoo, the gas lamp district and more

    02/01/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    52. Shannon L.
    Holiday Inn is not The Ritz. I do not expect a four or five star hotel for $109 a night in the Gaslamp, and no one with a clue should either. People that are looking for nicer decor and amenities like a gym and spa  should cancel their reservations immediately. With that being said, this HI Exp is good for anyone on a budget who wants the biggest bang for your buck. We will definitely stay here again next time we visit SD.

    Pros
    -The curtains are dated and the furniture is visibly worn but the room was clean and the king sized bed was comfortable.
    -The friendly staff tries to make up for all the amenities that the hotel otherwise lacks
    -A free shuttle took us to the zoo and back and picks you up from the airport and takes you back when you leave!!
    -Free happy hour each night!
    -Free internet and cheaper parking than most hotels although we didn't need it with the free shuttle service
    -Not directly in the gaslamp but an easy 10-15 min walk for anyone who's not out of shape
    -We had the corner room on the 3rd floor so it was super quiet

    Our only complaint...
    -Breakfast was a chaotic free for all. We saw a kid run up to  the cinnamon rolls and put his hands all over them and then run away. Seriously?? We completely lost our taste after that. It's a "full" complimentary  breakfast but you're better off going somewhere else for real food.

    08/10/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    53. Pat S.
    The staff is very friendly and helpful.  The rooms are are of decent size, especially for a downtown location.  The free wifi is pretty fast for hotel standards.  Their free breakfast is the same as what you will find at any other Holiday Inn Express: bacon, eggs with cheese, cereal, fruit, and pancakes.  

    If you are visiting San Diego to see a Padres baseball game, Petco Park is only 15-20 minutes away on foot.  I would recommend staying here so that you don't have to deal with parking hassles at the stadium!

    The parking lot for this hotel is VERY cramped, so be advised that large cars will have a hard time parking here.

    25/09/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    54. M N M.
    I was staying there just one night while traveling for work. I needed to check in early and they were very accommodating. The front desk staff were great and extremely helpful, the room was clean and comfortable, and the hotel is in a convenient location.

    This is not for the "glass half empty" type as the hotel rooms are a little dated. But like I said before, they were clean and comfortable. They also had all the amenities other IHG hotels provide. If anything, the staff will go out of their way to make sure you have a good experience.

    Points for parking available onsite as well!

    I'll be back the next time I'm in San Diego!

    11/03/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    55. Mary L.
    First time staying at holiday inn. First thing is parking in a different area. Behind the building so you have to check in first and then park your car. Parking was tight and as for me i dont like tight parking so it was a stress for me. Parking is $16 per day. Its okay but o would prefer it to be free.

    The room was pretty nice. The only thing missing was a microwave so i'm only giving 4 stars. There is however microwave on the lobby. Good thing was we were in the first floor. Breakfast was nice too. A lot of options.

    We stayed for a night because we watched wicked at the civic theater which was walking distance. So i highly recommend this place.

    26/11/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    56. Sarah Q.
    Overall a decent hotel.

    Room was okay. Bathroom was kind of cramped. We were in a corner room and had no view.

    Free breakfast was amazing. I expected cheap cafeteria food, but it was actually very good.

    No restaurants on site, but there is an Italian bistro across the street that was good.

    Streets in this area are one-way so getting to the hotel was fun... there's check in parking off of 7th St. and then you drive around the block to park under the hotel. Parking structure is cramped but manageable. $16 a night to park.

    Located within reasonable driving or walking distance of just about every attraction. We picked it because it was 10 minutes away from the zoo.

    If you plan on staying in San Diego for a few days, I would not recommend this hotel just because it's more basic and limited in the amenities. If you're traveling for a night or two or visiting on business, it will work just fine.

    24/01/15 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    57. Summit S.
    Right in the middle of proper downtown San Diego, this hotel is located at a pretty awesome location and not far from the freeway at all. Balboa park is literally a two minute drive away. And they offer free breakfast, which is a bonus, if you feel you don't want to get ready and go out of your hotel for breakfast.

    The staff is very accommodating. I checked in at 2 AM and still got pretty quick service. There is even Ash Street for those who want to go up and down steep streets. Being from the Bay Area, I felt right at home. Most folks visiting from the Midwest were in total awe of the steepness of the street. It's nice to see people venture out and explore the world around them.

    The balcony/terrace area right across from the front lobby has a pretty awesome view of downtown and Hotel El Cortez, which is almost a landmark in this part of San Diego. At night, you can even see the lights of the Marina not too far off in the distance. The air is dry and it does feel good to be out on the terrace.

    The room that I booked had that whole built in the 70s feel, but it was fully updated. The balcony sliding doors were huge and the whole room was practically a floor to ceiling window, except for the wall near the bed's headboard. I love light and I love windows, so this was totally perfect. And when the sun came up the next day, the whole room was filled with direct sunlight. Which illuminated the room tremendously! There were two TV sets in the room, and a separate living room area with a small sofa. There were two balconies and two huge sliding doors to allow access to both balconies. One from the living room area, and one from the bedroom area.

    The breakfast room was neatly arranged with your standard hotel breakfast items, though I noticed that they didn't have a waffle machine. I always get waffles with some honey for my breakfast. I settled for some pancakes and granola cereal with raisins and walnuts. Their fruits were fresh as well with Oranges, Bananas and Apples as your choices.

    Next time I'm in San Diego, I'll most likely pick a higher floor or the top floor. But being that it was a late check-in, I didn't have a choice of rooms to choose from.

    03/06/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    58. Patricia M.
    Warning; be careful of the tight garage parking especially large vehicles, after complaining we were allowed to park at an adjacent parking garage without the crampiness of the first garage. The drive way leading up to the registration parking is also small and unfortunately I bashed up my husband's truck with an evil post on the right that I misjudged. The decor and carpets are dated, otherwise the rooms are clean and staff friendly, especially the Lovely Renee. Renee was our continental breakfast greeter during our stay and very kind. The breakfast served is generous and they continuously keep restocking so go ahead and sleep in as long as you arrive before the time they stop serving there will be plenty to eat. We asked for connecting rooms and they accommodated us, making for a very happy Mom. All rooms have refrigerators and free Wi-Fi, a big plus in my opinion. Overall I would stay here again and enjoy the warm cookies they place out every evening .

    06/05/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    59. Rob P.
    I got absurdly lucky.

    I'm from San Diego and go back to visit often, and I get hotel rooms for $60-$70 using Priceline & Hotwire. That's a good deal for downtown San Diego. So imagine my surprise when on a Saturday night, I saw I could book a room in downtown for $28 + tax/fees. I jumped at the chance, and ended up getting this Holiday Inn Express.

    The hotel is nothing amazing, but when I checked in I found out they have a little happy hour. Free beer, soda, and snacks from 5-7 or something like that. I was less impressed at the snacks than some other hotels as their best offering was peanut butter filled pretzels, but who can complain about something for free? And the beer was a decent brand, too.

    Metered parking right outside the hotel, which is free on Sunday. At the end of the day I parked it in a lot 2 blocks away for $8 for 12 hours because I didn't want to wake up early to feed the meter on Monday morning.

    No real complaints other than it's not a luxury hotel. For $30/night I'd book this every time.

    21/03/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    60. Kimberly M.
    I had a quite an interesting experience at the Holiday Inn Express. Not horrible, but not wonderful either.  The lobby was modern and updated, so I was surprised at the dim hallways and dingy carpets upstairs on the way to our room.  The room was clean, but a little stuffy and the bathroom was extremely small, however, it served its purpose just for the weekend.

    On the first night around 4:00am we were awakened by a knock on the door, then another knock, then loud banging! I was scared out of my mind, but when I looked through the peephole, I saw a shirtless male.  We yelled to go away, and then 10 minutes later he came back banging on our door! I was livid, but was not about to open the door to a possible killer.  We yelled again for him to go away and finally he got the point and left. I called the hotel operator and got no answer even though they are supposed to be there 24 hours.

    I was happy with the daily breakfast because they had a variety of foods, including a cool pancake maker.

    The hotel was trying to conserve water, which I understand, but the housekeeper took our washcloths and did not give us clean ones. Again, I called the front desk, but was told that all the house keepers were gone and also that there were no more wash cloths, so they brought us the medium sized face towels.  I've never had this happen before in any hotel. No wash cloths? Umm okay.

    I gave the hotel 2 stars because the front desk staff was very friendly and all the front desk attendants were pleasant.  Also, the hotel shuttle was great.  We got dropped off at the harbor and Balboa Park, which saved us gas and parking money.  It was an okay stay, but I don't know think I will stay at this Holiday Inn Express again anytime soon.

    22/03/15 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    61. Karina H.
    This was our second time staying here and we had a pleasant stay. I love the location. It's downtown and close to all the must-see locations. The staff is very friendly an accommodating. The rooms are clean and their free breakfast is great.

    We also happened to get there on a Thursday so we were there for the complimentary happy hour. Great customer service. We had a little one and they were very understanding. We were able to check out at a later time and the staff was very friendly. The bathroom is a little tight, but I did not mind it at all. The price is very reasonable. I do recommend that you stay on an upper level because the first time we stayed on the first level and the outside noise was loud.

    They do charge for parking, but seeing how difficult parking is to find in that area, we did not mind paying at all..I definitely recommend it.

    27/04/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0