Holiday Inn Express Sea World

Address: 3950 Jupiter St., San Diego, California, 92110, United States | 2 star motel
Searching for availability...
*Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.

How has this motel rated in the past?

  What's this?
Discover trends in hotel experiences based on real traveler reviews and ratings. Mouse over circles to see what some travelers had to say.


This 2 star motel, located in the Old Town/Hotel Circle area of San Diego, is near SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Sports Arena, Seeley Stables, and Shamu's Harbor World.
Map this motel



    Historical Traveler Reviews Holiday Inn Express Sea World San Diego

    Fabulous experience for the price!


    We were extremely impressed that this very moderately priced property excelled in so many ways...with perhaps the best feature being the extremely professional and eager-to-please staff. We just returned from a three-night stay and agreed that it far exceeded our expectations. The rooms and common areas were also very well maintained and every staff member from the front desk to the housekeeping staff was friendly and greeted us. We were particularly impressed with the great follow-up and personal service. We were asked on our second day by a front-desk staff member if someone had told us about a sightseeing package that had been left for us, and we were appreciated access to the computer and printer in the lobby. Another nice touch was the little greeting bag we were given at check-in because we were Holiday Inn Priority Club members...a cleverly wrapped bag with munchies and some candies and two bottles of bottled water. Nice touch. The refrigerator and microwave in the room help, too, so you can add some comforts of home...again, for the price, nice to have! The free high-speed wireless Internet throughout the property was great, but we needed their lobby system to print off our boarding passes and all was in good order. The only (relatively small complaints) we had are 1) the small parking garage under the hotel has very narrow parking spaces and you must maneuver around the frequent (and large) poles to get into a spot 2) the free continental breakfast closes at 9:30 a.m. even on weekends, which is a bit early for travelers who may be tired and need to/want to sleep in. While it wasn't extensive, it was maintained, and 3) though the mattress was just fine, the pillows were not good. The Holiday Inn Express chain does a great job with the Smart Shower concept...nice little touches and thick, good-sized towels, nice body lotion and shampoo (no conditioner), nice hallway carpet in common areas and more than you would expect at such a good price. There were several good restaurants within almost across the street, which was fabulous...Embers. While not all units in this chain are great (and the surrounding neighborhood is far from elegant), this front-desk staff in particular seems to truly care about their work and enjoy the guests. It shows.

    Great stay....


    I just got back from spending two nights at the Holiday Inn Express Sea World for my business conference held nearby. I decided on this hotel after an exhaustive reading of the reviews here on tripadvisor. I am happy to say that the hotel met my expectations in all aspects.

    The moment I walked in to the lobby I was greeted immediately and was efficiently assigned my room. After realizing that it was on the bottom floor (I'm a light sleeper - I wake if I hear the sound of a pin drop) I asked to switch to an upper level room and the front desk staff happily assigned me to another room.

    A few minutes after I entered the assigned room the front desk staff called to ensure that the room was okay. Talk about great customer service!

    The room was immaculately clean, even the shower curtains were as white as could be and clean - unlike many other hotels. The towels were plush and as white as could be. The shampoo and lotion were great. A soapdish was provided too. There is coffee in the room, as well as a hair dryer, iron, and ironing board. There is also a microwave oven and mini fridge!

    The breakfast is great - served from early on which was great for me. The bagels were as fresh as can be and the cinammon buns were yummy! Yogurt was the best. The local newspaper was at the door every morning.

    There is internet access as well as a printer that I could use at any hour which is a huge plus. There is also wireless access in the rooms.

    There is no view and it's not in a great neighborhood but that would not prevent me from staying here again. It is apparent to me that the management has successfully grasped what is important to hotel guests and implemented everything to make guests' stay as comfortable as possible. They must have borrowed Nordstrom's training manual :)

    Great Holiday Inn Express


    Stayed here in June 05. Rooms were very clean. Staff very helpful with directions and questions. Even had internet so I could mapquest. Room was very quiet. Breakfast buffet was just what we needed to start our day and not break our budget. The only downfall was the lack of parking spaces. If you have a SUV or pickup truck it's very tight. The kids had a blast in the pool. Will definitely come back.

    Do you love hairy sheets? We got 'em!!


    If you like dirty rooms, noisy nights, and terrible service, this is the hotel for YOU. We stayed here for four days and all four nights were interrupted with late-night or early a.m. door slamming and thunderous running through the halls which the front desk did not wish to address. We attempted to view a movie which never loaded correctly... we called the front desk who again did nothing to resolve the problem. They did promise to remove it from our bill. When we checked in, we were promised some kind of discount at the in-house restaurant wherein kids could eat free, but they were out of the coupons when we arrived. The restaurant would not honor the offer without the coupon (sigh). I am a single mom traveling on a major shoestring with kids... could have used that discount, trust me. Our room was really filthy, even by pretty low standards; lots of mildew everywhere. I wrestled with whether to day anything but in the end, I called and asked that our room be cleaned to just a teeny bit higher standard because of my allergies to mold, and asked that the sheets placed on our beds be free of other people's hair... it was just kind of gross.

    When we checked out, exhausted, sore and miserable, we discovered that the rate we had confirmed online with Holiday Inn was not the rate we were charged (guess which one was higher). And there was the charge for our failed movie they had promised wouldn't be on our bill....But most importantly they refused to give me the rate I had received and confirmed with Holiday Inn online, even though I had printed my receipt and could prove the rate quoted. My receipt stated that I had already been charged by Holiday Inn online because of this great internet fare, but the hotel itself kept insisting that wasn't true and I had to pay a higher rate, receipt or no receipt. Eventually, they promised to investigate the matter and leave my bill "open" and not charge my card. I left them a copy of my internet reservation receipt. The manager promised to have the accounting department call me the next day... a week later my card was charged yet another (wrong) price, and I never received a call from Holiday Inn. So I'm pretty disgusted with the chain as a whole.

    This hotel is a fair option I suppose, if you have money to burn and plan to be away from the actual hotel all day and return so exhausted that you can sleep through the noisy neighbors, the paper thin walls, and the gentle caress of other people's hair on your body.

    Great Value and a Great Experience


    Stayed here for 5/11-5/14 with a four year old. We were originally going to stay at the nearby Holiday Inn, but read some bad reviews online. The Holiday Inn Express was a starred review in Fodors, so we decided to stay here.

    The hotel is very clean, large rooms (we had 2 queen beds and a sitting area), convenient location, very friendly staff and some unexpected extras. For example: nice bathroom amenities; covered (free) parking; free nicer-than-it-needs-to-be breakfast bar; the shower has a curved shower bar which makes it feel a big more spacious than it actually is; wireless internet in the rooms; free local calls; a public, high-speed computer in the lobby for checking e-mail.

    On the down-side, the hotel is not--and never will be--in an attractive location. It's a very urban setting near the freeway. That makes it very convenient to get anywhere, but it's not pretty to look at. Also, the pool is clean but small--don't plan on spending a lot of time there. If you are looking for a "destination hotel"--where you can hang out all day in the lobby or by the pool, this is NOT the place. It does not approach the amenities of a Westin or an Omni.

    That being said, we got a AAA rate of $69 a night. With free parking and breakfast included, it's a great deal. If you are in San Diego to go to the theme parks and sightsee, and need a clean, safe and affordable family hotel, I don't think you could do much better.

    Good reasonable hotel with great amenities


    This hotel has some nice features which are reasonable if all you need is a place to crash for the night. It's not a resort, nor is it a mega-hotel. It's a small quaint hotel ideal for spending the night. The complimentary breakfast, internet access, and friendly staff make this a good hotel to spend the night in.

    * Free parking too and right next to several stores, restaurants, and even a movie theater. You definitely do need a car to stay here though.

    Not the nicest of hotels


    Our family stayed 4 nights at this only adequate rated hotel. We were disappointed with the room. The carpet was torn, worn and ratted up near the washroom area. The curtains needed mending. And when we tried to use the heater at night, it smelt like burning dust on the coils. The views were terrible! The only saving grace was their breakfast buffet and their close proximity to Seaworld.

    Good Hotel But Know What You are Getting


    Wife and I stayed here for three nights in June, 2004. Overall the hotel was very clean, had an above average breakfast for a holiday inn express and the staff was exceptional. Location to the harbor, old town, and sea world is excellent as is access to Interstate 8 and 5. Negatives were that the hotel was near the airport and could hear the planes coming and going and the parking was very tight and cramped in the basement. In addition the hotel was very hard to find and didn't have room to unpack outside. Recognize and accept these negatives and the hotel will please you.

    A decent budget hotel


    We stayed for 3 nights at this hotel during spring break. During our stay, we enjoyed the free breakfast, the variety of eateries close by, the well lighted underground parking (had a security guard at night), and the room we had was excellent for the price that we paid for an entertainment card rate. If you are looking for a hotel that is close by the freeway, eateries, and within a few miles from Sea World, Old town, Museums, Mission Alcala, and Ocean Beach...then this will do just fine. Nothing fancy, just basic for your staying needs.

    Hidden hotel worth the price!


    This hotel was nice. We stayed here for one night while visiting Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. The room was large and it looks like the hotel was remodeled. We had 4 of us stay there and our room slept 6. It had 2 queens and a sofa bed, that was awesome. Parking is all in a parking garage right underneath the hotel. We sorta got lost with the directions to the hotel, its sorta hidden. There are alot of eateries nearby. We couldn't see Sea World from our room or even in the lobby, it was about 2 miles away and I wouldn't recommend walking there. I recommend this place, its cheaper then the rest :)

    TripAdvisor Reviews Holiday Inn Express Sea World San Diego

    4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

    Travel Blogs from San Diego

    Balboa And Stone

    A travel blog entry by kyajade on Jun 29, 2015

    15 photos

    ... Darren's caramel latte were ready and we headed off.
    We walked up the street towards Balboa park, which took maybe 20 minutes, then when we got there we discovered where the homeless of SD live. Not so many or so bad as LA, but there were lots of them.
    I can see how Americans would be so easily desensitized to homelessness and mental health issues as it's literally just a part of everyday life, it's insane.
    So we walked through the gardens a while, past some pretty ...

    The West Coast

    A travel blog entry by michael.bell on Feb 17, 2015

    13 photos

    ... reserve the right to speak to less intelligent folk (which is everyone) like dogs. I sat back and relaxed, knowing that our fate was in capable hands. We returned to LA and found a replacement window and after another hour and a half of waiting at the station we once again set out for Santa Barbara.

    The unfortunate setback meant that we didn't arrive into Santa Barbara until the turning of darkness. All public buses had ceased running and therefore we had no choice ...

    Great Cruise

    A travel blog entry by greg-and-karen on Dec 03, 2014

    2 comments, 105 photos

    ... beautiful wooden items, jewelry, cloths and the usual souvenir things. We found a WiFi restaurant and bought a pop and beer so we could get the password, checked emails and called home. We walked along the dark colored beach, the water was a lot warmer than the southern counties we had visited. Back to the ship for lunch and relaxed on deck. After supper we played cards for awhile then went to the Crows Nest and danced to Abba tunes. We took in a bit of the show which we had seen ...

    San Diego, sadness and joy ... a big day!

    A travel blog entry by samber06 on Aug 04, 2014

    5 photos

    ... is not cheap... but it's well worth the money! Once we are in the gates we have to wait about 20 minutes since we are early... but as we wait for the green light you can see the line at the ticket windows getting longer and longer. .. besides I think they do it on purpose so you can visit the gift store! Oh, ya that open!
    Now make sure you have a game plan when going to the San Diego Zoo... it's huge!!! And you can ...


    A travel blog entry by aldreamsbig on Mar 27, 2014

    7 photos

    ... belief is strong enough, we will over come any obstacle to achieve victory!

    I decided to take my body and thoughts with me up to a secluded bluff I had passed earlier on my right. I passed by some of the rarest pines in the United States because of the reality of them being two species in one. The long, twisted vine like trees make for excellent observation posts to look over the ocean because they are extremely easy to climb to the top. I stayed there ...