Current Location:  United States  > California  > San Diego County  > San Diego  > Hotels

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, California
From $141.43
Write a Review Ask a Question Is this your business? check hotel availability for The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
2 Reviews

Families Like

On the Property
In House Restaurant
Free Breakfast
In The Rooms
Air Conditioning

2 Reviews for The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

November 15 2014
1 family found this helpful
"Historic elements - beautiful hotel"

The large columns out front flanked by old brick and a sweeping patio was the first strong impression I received when visiting this historic hotel. It was clear that it was built in the era of beautiful buildings (1946) and I just knew that treasure was waiting to be discovered beyond that facade. What we did find was a beautiful swimming pool flanked by family-friendly rooms all within a close proximity to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.

What we loved:
* Staying in a bungalow with separate bedrooms, living room, and small kitchen to cook meals.
* A beautiful hotel with historic elements but clearly has been upgraded and updated.
* Delicious meals at Hope 46 - the in-house restaurant.
* Video game table in the lobby - my kids could have spent hours playing Pac-Man.
* Close location to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

What we didn't love:
* Chilly swimming pool
* Poor lighting in the bungalow
* No black out curtains in bungalow

There are several room types to choose from at this hotel. We stayed in one of the bungalows near the edge of the property. Ours had a 1940s feel which I loved, with wood floors, chic wallpaper, and a kitchen straight out of "Father Knows Best." The downstairs consisted of the kitchen, dining nook, and living room with 2 TVs and front and back entrances. The upstairs held 2 bedrooms with large closets, and a bathroom with a deep tub. The kitchen was wonderful and I cooked a couple of meals there on the gas stove. (Oven, sink, pots and pans, fridge, and 4 sets of dinnerware provided.) The lighting in the living room was very poor with only 2 lamps consisting of 5 chandelier size bulbs total. One lamp had a metal shade which covered over the top. It made for a low light "romantic" setting which wasn't great with kids. The windows were only covered on the bottom ⅔ - which looked cute during the day but made me feel uncomfortable at night - especially as they looked out onto the parking lot and street. The bedroom curtains were beautiful and unique but they did not block any light in the morning. Since it was the end of daylight savings time, we all woke up at 6:15 in the morning with the sun shining through - not a fun way to start the day!

There are family suites with 1 king bed and 1 bunk bed in a separate room which is a great fit for families. Pool side rooms are available with 2 queen beds. Each have updated TVs, free WiFi, mini fridges, and standard hotel details that make for a nice stay.

The large, almost Olympic-sized pool is absolutely stunning. It looks historic, and has quite a story to go along with it. It was designed by the original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller. There are chairs all around, beautiful California sun, and patios of hotel rooms opening onto the deck. The shallow end has ladder style entrances, which is great for swimming laps, but not if you want to sit on steps with a toddler. The deep end goes down to about 9 feet, which my kids loved. We were surprised by how cold the water felt on a November afternoon. The management was very interested to hear our desire for a warm pool when visiting with kids and may possibly change their schedule for heating. I do hear that it is pleasantly heated during the busier times of the year (spring, summer). There is no jacuzzi, outdoor shower, or restrooms since hotel rooms are so close by. Non-hotel guests can join the hotel's swim club to have privileges to swim daily. Although it is a chlorine pool, my kids smelled fresh like they came from a bath, rather than the overwhelming chlorine smell they sometimes wear after jumping in other hotel pools.

The lobby of this hotel needs it's own comments because it is beautiful. A large grand piano sits in the main section and is often played by local talent all dressed up in 40's garb. The conservatory section of the lobby has an arched ceiling consisting of an opaque fabric that lets in lots of daylight. There are quaint sitting areas and I loved relaxing while my kids played Pac-Man on the classic Galaga video game table (free!) On a side patio of the lobby there was a 3 foot high chess set and large checkers set. We had fun one morning in the sun playing games. Rocking chairs are set on the patio overlooking the pool and there are many places to just enjoy the view and sun.

The in-house restaurant, Hope 46, is a hip and new establishment with classic elements like old record labels lining the walls. Dinner and breakfast here were delicious. Please see my review on Hope 46 for more details.

About a 5 minute drive south got us to Balboa Park for a Sunday evening of concerts at the Spreckles Organ (2pm, Sundays) and the International Houses that are open each Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm. We visited the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the SD Air & Space Museum the next day. The San Diego Zoo is right there too! The immediate vicinity of the hotel isn't amazing, but it felt rather safe. It seems to be bordered by an older neighborhood of homes and a boulevard of out-of-date business establishments. Nothing I wanted to visit, but nothing that gave me concern either.

I think the family suites would be perfect for a small family to stay at while visiting the Balboa Park area. The large swimming pool is a great feature for families, and the historic elements will add charm and beauty to one's stay.

Disclosure: I was hosted with my kids in a bungalow at The Lafayette for the purpose of this review. I was not asked to present any point of view and all opinions are my own.

Icon_reviews_xsmall 138 Icon_helpful_votes_xsmall 167
Icon_superoo_xsmall'13, '14 Icon_founding_member_xsmall
December 23 2010
1 family found this helpful
"Not the nicest neighborhood"

We stayed here over Christmas 2007, in a pool view room.  The rooms are like small apartments - very spacious.  Everything is run down, but efficient.  The pool is beautiful - they had it all lit up for the holidays.  Second floor rooms have nice balconies.  There is a free breakfast which is very good - includes toast, bagles, and make your own waffles.  It was hearty and really a nice touch.  The staff here is very nice, too.  Parking is very secure.  I would stay here again - although I wish it was updated and in a little bit safer neighborhood.

What's Nearby?   Hotels »   Activities »

  Find Hotels near The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows »
  Find Activities near The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows »
Choose and cut Christmas Tree Farms in San Diego, CA
Best Places to Ice Skate in San Diego, California
Consignment Stores For Kids in San Diego, CA
Places To Go

Get the inside scoop from parents who have been there!