The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

29 reviews
Ranked #6 in San Diego hotels
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  • 7.4
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  • 6.7
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2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104
1 (888) 271-2681Edit info
The newly redesigned Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is style and function. The centrally located hotel is a 5 minutes drive to the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. Built in ... Read more
1946, the hotel has been restored to include 131 rooms (including private bungalow), two restaurants, meeting and event space, and an Olympic-size pool.

Amenities

Bar
Swimming Pool
Fitness Center
Free WiFi
Internet Access
Laundry Services
Meeting Rooms
Business Center
Cribs Available
Air conditioning
Connecting Rooms
Room Service

Member Reviews(29)

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Local from Oceanside, California, USA

A former hangout of glamorous Hollywood movie stars and big bands, the Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is big on character and charm. The infamous Red Fox Room and Piano Bar serves traditional stiff cocktails, steaks and seafood. The inviting pool is the piece de resistance and host to constant parties. And the Lafayette is a super popular San Diego wedding venue.

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Orange County, CA

The Lafayette Hotel as a bit of history and intrigue to it. I was happy to book a room here in one of the Manor rooms away from the noise of the pool. I knew that I'd be too busy to use the pool anyway so it worked out. Originally I had opted for a king sized bed but when my +1 couldn't make it, I switched over to a 2-queen room so that I could share it with my friend. The staff were really helpful in that regard. Check in was a breeze. The hotel parking lots are kind of small but there are 3 of them. Two flank the hotel and one is underground. Parking is $12 but free for our block of rooms for the weekend. I stayed from Thursday to Sunday for 3 nights. I parked my car and didn't move it until I needed to pack up and leave. My car was safe in the underground lot for my entire stay. Utilizing UBER and Lyft in San Diego is the preferred form of transportation but I did use the Rapid transit bus a few times as well. Get yourself a Compass card to ride the bus!

The hotel is beautiful and has aged somewhat gracefully. Granted not everything is new, but the lobby is very Hollywood chic. The pool area is lovely as well. I did have brunch one day at Hope 46 and brunch put on by the hotel as one of our group events. The food was okay but definitely not bad. The elevator doesn't ding nor does the button light up so you're standing there until it opens. The room I was in was across from where the ice dispenser was supposed to but and when I arrived there was caution tape up. By the following day, someone was retexturing the wall so I imagine they were replacing the machine at some point. Ice could be picked up in the general store in the lobby if needed.

The beds were comfortable but the pillows were kind of lumpy. I would have preferred softer pillows but oh well. The windows do open and I didn't realize that until the final day. The air conditioning unit was loud but drowned out most of the hallway noise if there was any. I had requested a room away from the stairs and elevator to avoid late night partiers on their way back to their rooms. The room was clean and the toiletries neatly tucked into a towel. There was no conditioner but I don't usually travel without any so I was fine. When I did interact with the staff, there were friendly and helpful. My stay at the Lafayette was stress-free and perfect for a mini-vacation.

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Pro 2018
West Covina

Great hotel with a nice dancefloor. The service is great and decent food selection!

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

Super fun place for a cool dip in the pool! I loved our private cabana and yummy drinks. I'll definitely bring my girlfriends back here - or even for a bachelorette party.

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Local from San Diego, CA
Community Manager

The Lafayette is an adorable Botique hotel in North Park SD. Visit for a staycation/vacation, a day at the swim club pool, and/or a meal at Hope46. The hotel is adorable, vintage, and affordable. The restaurant is delish! Try brunch (short rib has or fried chicken and waffles), the watermelon skewers for a poolside snack, any of their delish salads or burgers are great as well. A day pass to the swim club provides entrance, live music, and a fun spring break-esque party. If it's sunny, it'll be packed by 1pmish :) Definitely worth a visit!

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Local from San Marcos, California, USA

Pretty cool place to hang out. Plenty of seats to sun tan and a sweet bungalow in the back to hang out at. Good drinks and food options and a pool that is actually deep enough for tall people like me to swim and not touch the bottom.

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Local from Del Mar, California

U The Lafayette hotel is beautiful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The pool club is free if you are staying here and $15 for everyone else. Drinks are reasonably priced and the atmosphere fun! This hotel is particularly popular with the LGBT community.

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Fun atmosphere. A little older building but still good. Kinda expensive and small portions at the pool but Delish. I didn't stay at the hotel but hung out for the day.

Recommended for:Family Travelers
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Local from San Marcos, California, USA

A great place for a pool party! Live music, great drinks, and delicious food. The cute boutique hotel is a nice place for families and young adults alike and is something different then bar hopping.

Recommended for:Trendsters
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Local from San Diego, California

Another #gogobotSD sponsored event. Woohoo!
Free drinks and fun times at this newly renovated boutique hotel. Don't let the outside fool you. The inside will blow you out of the water. This place as a whole is so chic - love the decor and atmosphere the pool is perfect for sunny San Diego weather.

Relaxed and ready for anything, the newly redesigned Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows blends unique style and exceptional service with eco-friendly practices to become your ideal travel companion. Reserve a room and see for yourself why this California boutique hotel was a one-time haven for iconic celebrities and continues to be a destination worth discovering again and again.

Every good story has a good beginning, and the San Diego Lafayette Hotel is no exception. Built in a grand colonial style in 1946 by former car dealer and developer Larry Imig, this historic San Diego hotel opened along California Highway 80 and opened up doors to celebrity clientele. With a little bit of risk and a whole lot of resolve, Imig leveraged his well-honed skills as an entrepreneur, home builder, and flirt to kick start the celebrity cult and turn the San Diego Lafayette into a historic San Diego hotel everyone knows about. Whether he was looking to cause a scene or stay behind them, the Imig Manor quickly became a legacy vacation resort and hideaway to stars like Bob Hope and Ava Gardner.

In the 1940’s and 50’s, this charming old San Diego hotel inhabited nearly 2.5 acres and boasted 24 shops, 4 restaurants, a nightclub, and 250 guest rooms, suites, and apartments. Sometime during the 1950s, hotelier and San Diego Charger owner Conrad Hilton purchased the San Diego Lafayette and immediately put his stamp on the property. Not only did he demolish and relocate several of the property’s apartment buildings and paint the brick façade, but he also removed Imig’s large signature from the large terrazzo star in the Conservatory floor.

http://www.lafayettehotelsd.com/the-hotel/history.htm

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Local from Escondido, California, USA

I love this place. They have great service, great drinks and great food. The pool is the perfect temperature to swim and the cabana is cozy. Must check this place out!

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Local from San Diego

Do not let the looks from El Cajon Blvd deceive you! It doesn't look like much from outside but it's very nice inside and makes you feel like you're at a community pool back in the 70s. The have a decent draft beer, cocktails and food selection, all available for poolside service. Great place to go with friends, have a birthday party, drink, or even just bring your family.

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Pro 2018
Local from San Diego, California

Decent sized pool with bungalows that open up to the pool. A lot of lounge chairs for sunning, a restaurant and bar on site too. One cabana at the opposite end on the pool you can rent out. Live music too! Looks kind of old and ghetto from the outside on El Cajon Blvd but it's pretty nice inside. Street parking is your best bet. It's not 5 stars only bc if you're just a pool party guest, no shade and it's ultimately a small party. There really isn't a place to gather with your friends. Best for hotel guests though.

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Local from Escondido, California, USA

We got to enjoy the cabana with some drinks and food. Great service and the pool feels awesome!

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

Fun retro hotel in north park. Great location. Unique modern decor with a great restaurant. Historic building that opens up and there's an Olympic pool is huuge

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

The perfect balance between vintage and modern! If you're looking for a fun, non-traditional hotel to stay at in North Park, look no further. The Lafayette is an incredible, kitschy hotel that provides a unique experience as well as really affordable rates. Friendly front desk. Great classic look to the building (historic but redone), lobby, and rooms. Rooms overlook the beautiful, olympic-size swimming pool, which is also heated. Walkable to many bars in the area. I stayed here with some of my girlfriends, and we had a blast. I recently moved right down the street, and I am really looking forward to their Summer pool parties!

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Local from San Diego

Such a warm, eclectic, vintage boutique hotel in North Park - the Lafayette will satisfy your need for a non-corporate establishment. From the piano and black and white drawings in the lobby, to the Marilyn Monroe-inspired bar, to the 50s style pool and cabanas (they have pool party movie nights in the summer out there!), the whole place is a delight. Even if you're not staying overnight, you're welcome at the bar/restaurant and the pool, which makes it a great social hotspot.

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

Unique, vintage hotel with modern touches and an Olympic size pool (epic Summer pool parties). Rooms are kitschy, comfortable, and clean. There are several room types to choose from including standard to poolside to bungalows. There are fun courtyards (check out the one with the over-sized chess board) as well as a New American restaurant, Hope 46. All around, fun one-of-a-kind hotel with lots of history and character.

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

The Lafayette is just a bit off of happenin' 30th in North Park, and is certainly one of the the trendiest hotels in San Diego. A destination into itself, the hotel was built in '46 and strives to maintain the class and mystique of same era Hollywood.

The hotel and swim club exudes charm with hardwood floors, original porcelain fixtures, and period-inspired decor. Of course, they have an in-house bar that serves craft cocktails and beers, and a massive swimming pool flanked by pastel deck chairs.

The hotel also host events open to the community; brunches in their Red Fox Room (originally an English inn, which was dismantled and shipped to the US for actress Marion Davies... what?) and restaurant Hope 46, as well as jazz music and poolside parties.

While you shouldn't expect a vintage hotel to compete with the Hilton experience, they do also offer free WiFi, cheap parking, and a pet hotel next door. Be sure to check out the bungalows, and don't forget about the pool.

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Local from San Diego, California, USA

I can’t say enough nice things about this hotel. It was built in the 1940’s and a ton of famous people stayed here and in the past few years it’s been renovated. And you can tell. You walk in and you’re immediately taken back to the mid 20th century with vintage fancy furniture in the lobby, a beautiful area I don’t even know what to call that has umbrellas hung from the ceiling and rocking chairs to sit in, and a huge heated swimming pool that, if you’re local to the area, can buy membership to.
If you like shopping, the 30th Street corridor is super close, but I stayed in the hotel. There’s two restaurants, in room delivery, and a cute little sundries shop on the premises. Highly recommend this place- oh and it has a HUGE event space and group rates for business or weddings.

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Amenities

Internet Access
  • Free WiFi
  • Computer station
  • iPod docking station
Dining & Drinks
  • Poolside bar
  • Breakfast available (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea in common areas
  • Grocery/convenience store
Fitness & Recreation
  • Tours/ticket assistance
  • Concierge services
  • Terrace
  • Outdoor pool
  • Pool sun loungers
  • Fitness facilities
Parking
  • Self parking (surcharge)
  • Parking (limited spaces)
  • Long-term parking (surcharge)
Accessibility
  • In-room accessibility
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Roll-in shower
Traveling with Children
  • Free cribs/infant beds
Pets
  • Pets not allowed
  • Only service animals are allowed
Services & Conveniences
  • Luggage storage
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Laundry facilities
  • Elevator/lift
  • Safe-deposit box at front desk
  • Multilingual staff
  • Free newspapers in lobby
  • Designated smoking areas
  • One meeting room
  • Wedding services
  • Conference space
  • Gift shops or newsstand
  • 24-hour business center
  • ATM/banking
  • Conference center
  • Designated smoking areas (fines apply)
Bath
  • Private bathroom
  • Free toiletries
  • Shower/tub combination
  • Designer toiletries
Bed
  • No rollaway/extra beds available
In-Room Dining
  • Room service (limited hours)
  • Coffee/tea maker
Media & Technology
  • Television in common areas
  • Cable TV service
  • Premium TV channels
  • LCD TV
Housekeeping
  • Daily housekeeping
Other Room Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • In-room climate control (air conditioning)
  • Connecting/adjoining rooms available
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Free local calls
  • Access via exterior corridors
  • Free weekday newspaper
Property Info
  • Total number of rooms - 133
  • Year Built 1946
  • Express check-out
Other Policies
  • Noise-free rooms not guaranteed
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
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