The Horton Grand Hotel

Address: 311 Island Ave., San Diego, California, 92101, United States | 4 star hotel
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This 4 star hotel, located in the Old Town/Hotel Circle area of San Diego, is near Ocean Beach, William Heath Davis House, Club Sevilla, and San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
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    TravelPod Member ReviewsThe Horton Grand Hotel San Diego

    Reviewed by amarataranto

    Style, Charm, History

    Reviewed Sep 28, 2014
    by (1 review) , United States Flag of United States

    An enchanting blend of style, class, and charm. Historic retreat set in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter District.

    This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of

    Historical Traveler Reviews The Horton Grand Hotel San Diego

    We will never be the same after our stay at Ol' Horton!


    Prior to staying at the Horton Grand, I read the testimonials listed on the website. Some were good, and some were bad. We went into it though with a very optimistic attitude. Much to our disappointment, our stay had many similarities to many of the negative reviews. Our reservation was incorrect and was a result of an error by the hotel. Despite this being the hotel's error, we were treated very rudely and were not given any discount, etc... to remedy the situation. In fact, we had to get a second room so we ended up paying twice the amount. During the rest of the stay, we were shunned from the hotel restaurant, the air conditioning was broken, the toilets were easily plugged, the fire place did not work, and the noise on the streets kept us up into the early hours of the morning. Overall, our experience was less than pleasant. If the few of many problems mentioned earlier do not appear bad enough to spoil your time in the beautiful city of San Diego, then by all means, feel free to experience all what Ol' Horton has to offer!

    Be aware before you book this one.


    The Horton Grand reminds me of a bed and breakfast without the breakfast. The rooms were decorated in lace curtains, flowery wall paper and bed spreads, fire places and fringed lamps. Rooms were small and not roomy enough for more than 2 people. (For instance the fireplace was less than 2 feet from the foot of the bed in one room.) We stayed in three different rooms during our 3 day stay. The first room was located next to the service elevator. When you check in, be sure to ask if your room is near this. You will hear it go up and down every few minutes all day long and late into the night and starting very early in the morning. Every floor has several rooms that are affected by this. We asked to change rooms the next day, but nothing was available until after 3pm. So while we were gone, they graciously moved our luggage. They gave us room with a double instead of a king and so we asked to be moved again. Each of the rooms had antique dressing cabinets to hang your clothes. (No closets) They were small and only my husband was able to get his clothes in it. I let mine hang on the door hook. The bathrooms are decorated in period fixtures, ie., the toilet is a pull chain flush and the water runs down the pipes into the toilet. Cute, but noisy in the middle of the night. The sink is small and there is no place to put toiletries except on a 12" shelf on the wall. The tubs in 2 of the bathrooms did not drain the water well and filled up during a shower. The beds were comfortable, but the pillows were lumpy foam. Since we were in several rooms, I tried several pillows and they all had the same problem. The advantages of staying here are the closeness to the convention center, the docks and the Horton Plaza. Shopping, restaurants and nightclubs are within walking distance and the hotel is a reasonable price compared to others in the area. Parking fees are extra though (over $20 per night) so add that into the cost of your stay.



    I drove all the way down from Oregon with my mother. When we arrived at the hotel, we were told that the hotel's parking was full, and that we needed to drive around to find a place to park my car. I went into the hotel to plead with the concierge and of course he said 'I cannot do anything for you'. I drove around for over 20 minutes looking for a garage that was not full. I could not find anything! I went back to the hotel and begged the valet attendant to take my car. He finally agreed when I tipped them $40. I was exhausted and angry.

    When we finally arrived to our room, the air conditioning was broken.

    My mentopausal mother was not happy, especially when they said that they could not fix it. Luckily, we found some relief by opening the balcony door.

    After a lovely evening at the Globe Theatre, we came back to the hotel and got in the elevator to find a dirty pair of women's underwear.

    The hotel is in an ideal location right by the hip restaurants and bars. The only problem with this was that we had to keep our balcony door open because the room was too hot. Being a Saturday evening, we heard loud dance music with screaming women. It was not conducive to sleeping at 2 AM.

    The moral of the story is to find a hotel that believes in Service. I could go on about the grumpy young gay concierge, but do not get me started.



    Just got back from our trip to San Diego, and we received an excellent impression of the Horton Grand. Upon arriving, we found out that we had been upgraded to a King room overlooking a beautiful courtyard. We stayed 4 nights and had a great time. Charming decoration and a hotel with some real history, in an ideal location in the Gaslamp quarter. I would highly recommend the Horton Grand and would stay there again.

    Sour Aftertaste


    We spent one night at the Grand, and generally enjoyed our stay until we were leaving the morning of August 9. The room was lovely if small, we had a courtyard room but still heard quite a bit of street noise; and, while our room was equipped with an iron, the ironing board was of the college dorm-room variety, and the hotel doesn't offer on-site pressing ("We send off-property for pressing). We also were not informed that the restaurant was going to be closed the morning we left, and local restaurants are not of the breakfast variety. Not the most convenient; however, these were minor distractions when compared to the discourteous valet we were faced with the morning of our departure. Note, there was only ever one valet on duty at any given time. First, when my husband attempted to give him the claim tickets, the valet seemed unaware of a 6-foot rather large man (my husband) standing directly in front of him - he was busy finding keys for another patron's car, but his general attitude was one of oblivion, situationally unaware - and without a word ran off to get the customer's car (an "I'll be with you after I get this other car" would have been appropriate). Then, as we had 2 cars, with 2 valet claim tickets, my husband informed him which car we would like first PLEASE; the preferred car was brought; however, when he returned the keys and was asked by my husband about our second car the valet acted like we were mistaken ("what other car?"), and when my husband was understandably concerned and told the valet the tickets had the specific car written on them, the valet very snottily said, "Don't get upset, SIR". I kept trying to hand him back the keys (both sets of keys were on one ring) very calmly and with a smile, and he looked up at me (finally), and said very nastily, "Did you guys have a hard night or something, that you get upset so easily!?" And then he ran off to get the other car. Supposing he hadn't heard my husband mention which car we needed first (which would clue most people in on the fact there is more than one vehicle), why would we have 2 claim tickets for one car?

    Claim tickets are returned to the valet for retrieval of a vehicle; why would we have 2 claim tickets if we did not have 2 vehicles? And, a missing car is not something one becomes only mildly concerned about when someone you have charged with its care behaves as though you imagined such a thing existed. Above all, though, is my shock at the total lack of customer service and carelessness this valet exhibited; there are ways he might have responded that would not have left such a penetratingly sour taste in my mouth about our stay at the Horton Grand. We will not stay there again, nor will we recommend it to friends and family. It wasn't worth the aggravation.

    Spooky good time!


    My friend and I stayed at the Horton Grand for one night in November, 2002. We were given the allegedly haunted Room 309. The room was comfortable and quiet even though it overlooked the street. We enjoyed the gas fireplace and the large antique wardrobe in which to hang clothes. Breakfast at Ida Bailey's (the restaurant) was good. The location is certainly convenient for walking tours of the historic Stingaree District. We would certainly stay at the Horton again. Oh, by the way--the ghost apparently made his presence known on one of our audiotapes--at least it recorded a man's laughter when only the two of us women were in the room.

    Wonderful time


    I want to thank the staff at Horton Grand Hotel for providing a very pleasant stay for my wife and I. They warned us of a wedding party in the courtyard and were very willing to given us another room. Our original room overlooked the courtyard, but we declined the offer.

    There wasn't any noise problem. Our room was clean and the staff made sure of that on a daily basis. I would like to throw in a very special thanks to the Ida Bailey's staff for their services. The food and service was FAB! I hope we have the same opportunity in our future visits to have this caring staff, Do their thing! again. You Made our weekend!! Thanks.

    Lot's of charm and comfort!


    We liked the quaint decor, modern comforts, and wonderful staff of the Horton Grand. Yes there can be some street noise from people leaving the local clubs and eateries, but the location is exactly the reason to stay there-you're right at the edge of the Gaslamp District, within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants and music venues.

    Very nice!


    We stayed one night at this hotel and had a wonderful time. We had a room facing the street and had no problems with noise. The hotel was charming and quiet. The staff was very friendly and the rooms were clean and comfortable. If we're ever in San Diego again we will visit the Horton Grand again.



    Please do yourself a favor and steer well clear of this pseudo-Victorian hotel. The management is totally unresponsive and uncaring if there are any problems at all. If you get a courtyard facing room and have zero problems with anything, you will have a great stay. If you get a room facing any of the streets or have any sort of problem, you will begin to think about checking out at 2am.

    TripAdvisor Reviews The Horton Grand Hotel San Diego

    4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

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    Traveler Photos The Horton Grand Hotel San Diego

    San Diego, United States
    San Diego, United States
    The Horton Grand Hotel
    San Diego, United States