The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

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2223 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92104
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Feast your senses and experience the glamor of 1980s luxury at the stylized Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club, & Bungalow in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.
Todd Sarouhan
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Prices starting at $127 / night
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Overview
Whats Nearby
Things to Know
Property Amenities
Parking
Rooms & Rates
Nearby Things to Do
Popular Activities
Similar Hotels
Reserve a Room

Highlights

Rates
Amenities
To Do
Nearby
Rooms
Amenities
To Do
Nearby

Overview

Pretty Pool Setting at the Lafayette Hotel Swim Club and BungalowsBeginners Diner at the Lafayette Hotel Swim Club and Bungalows

Among the many hotels near San Diego’s Downtown area in University Heights, none embody the ideals of glitz and glam quite like The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club, & Bungalows.

Originally opened in 1946, the 2.5 acre property underwent an extensive renovation that took 9 months and cost about 31 million dollars to complete. Now finished, this newly reopened San Diego jewel is better than ever!

Though guests stay just a short distance from city hotspots like Balboa Park and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, stepping inside The Lafayette Hotel feels like stepping back through time! Both the interior and exterior are artfully decorated in a charming retro style that evokes a sense of upper class living for the duration of your stay, while a soundtrack of classical music enriches the setting.

Local Tips
Celebrate your love!
Celebrate your love in style with chic venues and luxury amenities!

Dating back to its opening in the mid-1940s, its long and storied history is filled with famous faces. Notable guests who’ve booked a stay include Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, and Bob Hope, among other Young Hollywood elites.

Dining at The Lafayette Hotel

With two on-site restaurants, guests don’t have to leave the property to grab a fantastic meal or quick bite to eat. In the name of exceptional dining experiences, The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club, & Bungalows has multiple unique options to offer you as its guest!

Beginner’s Diner serves classic Americana fare alongside dishes influenced by Jewish and Greek cuisine. The restaurant mimics a 1940s diner in immaculate detail, right down to the cakes in the display window. Open 24 hours a day, the diner will be open no matter when you’re ready to eat!

The hotel’s second restaurant, Quixote, spotlights authentic Mexican fare, including an array of Mezcal cocktails. It’s built with materials from a decommissioned Catholic church originally located in Mexico which has since been incorporated into the hotel.

The space retains the church's unique touches, from cobblestones and wood paneling to a pulpit-inspired bar. When you visit the restaurant, be sure to not miss the fine details, from the baroque pews to the stained-glass windows, as the hotel spared no expense to create this one of a kind eatery!

Take a Swim

The outdoor hotel pool is also a can’t miss during your stay! Open daily from 7:00am until dusk, guests can enjoy complimentary access during their stay, while non-guests can purchase a day pass to the pool if desired.

When you choose The Lafayette Hotel, you can swim in the pool or sunbathe on one of their comfortable lounge chairs. The pool bar, designed in the luxury rattan style of the 1980s, is a great place to grab a refreshing drink and take in this fashionable architecture that surrounds you.

The Lobby Bar

When you’ve had your fill at the hotel’s pool, make sure to visit the swanky and stylish Lobby Bar!

At The Lobby Bar, you’ll find tables arranged in a circular layout around a stunning centerpiece: a large statue of Atlas, plus a hand-painted ceiling by Joao Incerti. Wood and wrought iron accents bring the throwback atmosphere of the bar to life, as does the selection of cocktails and other refreshments available.

The Lobby Bar is open daily from 11:00am to 11:00pm.

The Gutter

San Diego is typically warm and sunny, but at The Lafayette Hotel, a few clouds or a touch of rain don’t have to slow you down. Guests who want to keep the party going no matter the weather, or who simply want to do something fun with the kids, can visit The Gutter, the hotel’s own bowling alley!

The Gutter is a two-lane bowling alley designed to mimic Henry Frick’s own bowling alley, as showcased by the Frick Museum. It is housed inside a game room that also has pool tables, shuffleboard, and a cocktail bar.

The Gutter is open each evening from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am.

Traveling with a Dog?

For those on a staycation or a trip with a dog, know that the hotel is dog-friendly. There is a nonrefundable pet fee, and the hotel’s pet policy does not allow for cats. Guests may bring up to two animals weighing no more than 45 pounds each.

Easy to Get To

It’s also worth noting that the hotel is a quick 15 minute rideshare (Uber and Lyft are both offered in the city) from the San Diego International Airport (SAN).

If you choose to rent a car or drive in on your own, the hotel offers valet and daily parking.

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Prices starting at $127 / night

What's Nearby

Balboa Park
Balboa Park
22 min Walk
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
29 min Walk
Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego
13 min Drive
Gaslamp District
Gaslamp Quarter
17 min Drive
Mission Bay Park
Mission Bay Park
18 min Drive
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego
19 min Drive
Beach
Coronado Beach
20 min Drive
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
28 min Drive
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo National Monument
32 min Drive
Beach
La Jolla Cove
33 min Drive
Park Hiking
Torrey Pines State Reserve
20 min Drive
Embarcadero
Del Mar Fairgrounds
23 min Drive
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Prices starting at $127 / night

Things to Know Before Arrival

Neighborhood University Heights
Explore the trendy neighborhood of University Heights. It’s close to Balboa Park and features cafés, breweries, shops, and parks, all within walking distance.
Check In / Check Out
4:00 PM / 11:00 AM
Pet Policy
Only Service Animals are Welcome
Wifi
Free WiFi in Lobby & Rooms
Breakfast
Not Included
Property Size
133 Rooms

Property Amenities

Bar on Property
Bar on Property
Boutique Hotel
Boutique Hotel
Business Center
Business Center
City Hotel
City Hotel
Concierge Desk
Concierge Desk
Conference Center
Conference Center
Couples Friendly
Couples Friendly
Family Friendly
Family Friendly
Fitness Room
Fitness Room
Golf Nearby
Golf Nearby
Hotel Near Beach
Hotel Near Beach
Laundry
Laundry
Museum Nearby
Museum Nearby
Onsite Cafe
Onsite Cafe
Pool
Pool
Safe Deposit Box
Safe Deposit Box

Parking

Self Parking
Self Parking
$22 / day for Self Parking

Room Amenities

Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Crib
Crib
Daily Maid Service
Daily Maid Service
Fan
Fan
Flat Screen TV
Flat Screen TV
Handicapped Accessible
Handicapped Accessible
Iron
Iron
Mini Fridge
Mini Fridge
No Smoking
No Smoking
Phone in Room
Phone in Room
Pull Out Bed
Pull Out Bed
Roll Away Bed
Roll Away Bed
Room Service
Room Service
Safe Deposit Box in Rooms
Safe Deposit Box in Rooms
Getting Around
SAN Airport
SAN Airport
- 13 min Drive
Trolley
Trolley Station
- 16 min Walk
Cruise Port
Cruise Port
- 12 min Drive
This Month's Forecast
62°F / 76°F
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
66°F / 81°F
Sunny in July
Aug
68°F / 83°F
Sunny in August
Sep
66°F / 82°F
Sunny in September

Rooms & Rates

King Patio Suite at the Lafayette Hotel Swim Club and Bungalows

The stylized interior of The Lafayette Hotel doesn’t end at the lobby; it’s also part of the charm of every room on the property. Filled with themed furnishings and decorated in warm tones that evoke the hotel’s signature colonial style, the rooms let guests immerse themselves in the history without giving up any of the conveniences of modern amenities.

As a guest of the hotel, you can relax on a plush bed, feel cozy with carpet flooring, and enjoy the ambiance of these carefully crafted rooms. Touches like wooden work desks and a beverage cart bring the retro theming to life.

All rooms come complete with an ensuite bathroom with a shower and complimentary plush robes.

Rooms for Up to Two Guests

Accommodation options for single guests, couples and pairs include either King or Queen rooms. Choose from the Classic, Poolside, Balcony, or Patio King, or stay in a Classic or Poolside Queen room.

For those looking to elevate their stay, the hotel also has a Penthouse Suite! In addition to the King bed, the Penthouse also has cozy chairs set up in front of a functional fireplace, a snack and drink cart, and a clawfoot bathtub, so guests can live in the lap of luxury.

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Rooms for Up to Four Guests

Four-guest rooms at The Lafayette Hotel have two comfortably plush Queen beds. Options consist of Classic, Poolside, and Pool Balcony rooms, plus an oversized Patio Queen Suite for those who really want to live it up.

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Accessible Rooms

The Lafayette Hotel has ADA-compliant accessible rooms. These rooms have one queen bed and one double bed, as well as an attached bathroom housing a wheelchair-accessible shower with a grab bar. They can comfortably sleep up to four guests.

Check Rates
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Prices starting at $127 / night

Nearby Things to Do

The Lafayette Hotel is far from “all style, no substance,” thanks in part to its excellent location in University Heights.

Guests are never far from the best attractions San Diego has to offer, from the museums and gardens of Balboa Park to the theaters and shopping all around San Diego.

Visit Balboa Park’s Museums

Balboa Park is home to miles of walking trails, acres of greenery, and most notably of all, over a dozen unique museums! It’s no surprise that touring these museums makes the list of the best things to do in Balboa Park, especially if you buy a Go City San Diego pass with our discount code (GVSD5OFF) before you arrive.

Having a Go Pass grants you reduced admission costs on attractions all over San Diego, including the museums of Balboa Park. If you’re interested in seeing as much as possible, spring for the All-inclusive version of the pass, which can be used at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego / Central, Museum of Photographic Arts, History Center, and even the world-famous San Diego Zoo!

Walk the Paths at the Friendship Garden

Like Balboa Park’s museums, the Japanese Friendship Garden is another attraction included with the Go City San Diego pass. It’s the perfect way to spend a sunny day, especially if you’re a nature lover who’s interested in seeing exotic flora and fauna.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is filled with winding trails that pass through bamboo groves, blooming orchids, and rock gardens dotted with koi ponds. The garden also holds classes throughout the year on pastimes like ikebana, yoga, and brewing sake.

Go Bar Hopping in Mission Valley

Nearby Mission Valley is known for its craft beer scene, with plenty of locally-owned bars and breweries to choose from. Grab a drink and some light bites, or choose from our picks for the best food and beer tours.

Other popular activities in Mission Valley include going hiking at Mission Trails Regional Park and shopping at Fashion Valley Mall, one of the best malls in San Diego!

Popular Activities

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The World Famous San Diego Zoo
The World Famous San Diego Zoo
Spend the day at the iconic San Diego Zoo! Featuring over 3,500 animals and 650 species, this zoo is the heart of Balboa Park. There are multiple exhibits & experiences for all ages to learn about animals and their habitats.
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Visit SeaWorld San Diego
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The world-famous SeaWorld San Diego is home to animal shows, roller coasters and other rides for the entire family. Enjoy encounters featuring the famed Orcas, dolphins and sea lions, or take a tour through the habitats.
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Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour
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Looking for adventure? 2 hours of thrills await as you captain your own 2-person speed boat. Enjoy the San Diego skyline, spot a sea lion and cruise the harbor complete with guided narration from your 2-way communication system.
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Jet Ski Rental - San Diego Harbor
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