Located on the scenic western coast of the United States, San Diego stands a testament to the magical allure of California. Bathed in sunlight and bordered by the warm, blue waves of the Pacific Ocean, it’s a city where adventures go to surf among the 70 miles of pristine beaches, experience the vibrant nightlife, and explore a huge number of some of the world’s best family attractions.
With its picturesque landscapes and thriving, a modern culinary scene that can meet the expectations of any kind of foodie, the diverse neighborhoods steeped in history within the city, and the culture that embraces nomadic and adventurous spirits, this city truly has something for everyone. For those looking to discover some of the most highly-rated accommodations in San Diego, this guide offers detailed information on the available facilities, interior and exterior designs, amenities, pros and cons, and other valuable tidbits offered at each of these hotels.
Best Hotels in San Diego, California
Address: 326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
Deep in the heart of the city, you’ll find a classic beauty, The US Grant, which tells tales of a bold history. Stepping into the 11-story grande dame is like stepping into an elegant time capsule. With a history spanning over a century, The US Grant is an iconic presence in San Diego, blending rich heritage with modern luxury. Built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. in honor of his father, the 18th U.S. president, the hotel has since played host to countless celebrities, royal family members, and travelers seeking a unique and lavish accommodation experience.
The US Grant’s facade is a fine example of American architecture, boasting a stately structure with detailed embellishments that date back to early 20th-century design. Its grand entrance welcomes visitors with an immediate impression of the timeless elegance to be found inside, which features glittering chandeliers, ornate ceilings, and rich furnishings. The rooms are no different. Decorated with a refined palette and adored with custom artwork, each room is designed to provide a high standard of luxury and comfort. Some suites offer enhanced amenities which include separate living areas, stunning city views, and occasionally, historical artifacts which reflect the hotel’s legacy.
- A majestic atmosphere that recalls the hotel’s illustrious past.
- An eye-popping art collection.
- Fine selection of on-site restaurants.
- A well-equipped fitness cente
- Close proximity to the Gaslamp Quarter.
- Prices can feel steep.
- Some may find the decor too traditionally weighted.
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Address: 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
In the heart of the lively SoCal metropolis, where urban glitz meets maritime style, can be found a modern, innovative hotel known as the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Embraced by the gentle lap of the nearby bay and bathed in the San Diego sun, this gigantic building is a beacon of hospitality and extravagance.
The prime location the Hilton San Diego Bayfront inhabits offers visitors commanding views of the San Diego Bay but also places them adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center and a short walk from the historic Gaslamp Quarter, which is known for its vibrant dining, shopping, and nightlife options.
The hotel boasts a wide array of amenities and luxurious facilities–such as a comprehensive spa and fitness center and multiple ocean-side pools–as well as a number of eateries that range from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.
- Unrivalled bay-side location offering breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline.
- Array of luxurious amenities, including a waterfront pool and high-end dining options.
- Intricate blend of global aesthetic and local flair capturing the San Diego essence.
- Premium services and location might command a higher price.
- Limited parking options might require some planning ahead.
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Address: 901 Bayfront Ct, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
Another excellent accommodation that offers a top-tier vantage point of the bay’s shimmering waters, the centrally-located InterContinental San Diego, an IHG Hotel, provides guests with a streamlined, modern, and luxurious experience. Each room, finely detailed with modern elegance, feels like a private beachfront retreat: the lobby is elegantly designed with a spacious, bright interior and expansive windows which offer views of the maritime activities occurring just outside the hotel’s facade. Suites are available for people seeking extra-large living spaces, upgraded features, and even more breathtaking views. The design of the hotel remains consistently upscale and contemporary across different room categories, ensuring a coherent accommodation experience for return visitors.
- Offers stunning views of the skyline and San Diego Bay.
- Features locally sourced, gourmet dining options.
- Conveniently located near the city’s top attractions.
- Parking rates can be steep.
- As a popular destination, it may often be crowded.
- Can be pricey, especially during the summer.
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Address: 207 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
Descend into the pulsing heart of Gaslamp Quarter to a place where rhythms of rock heritage echo from the graffitied, pop-culture-themed walls. This is the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, a skyscraper of audacious and somewhat eclectic glamour, where luxurious rooms come dressed with curated rock’n’roll paraphernalia with sweeping views of the cityscape roasting beneath the Californian sun.
The modern, towering structure of the hotel stands out in the Gaslamp district, with its facade reflecting contemporary, neon-lit architectural design. The building’s entrance often sports red carpet treatments that contribute to the VIP treatment the Hard Rock Hotel tries–and succeeds–in offering its visitors.
Each room at the hotel is a blend of modern luxury and Hollywood rock-star glitz, fit with plush bedding, state-of-the-art amenities, and curated artwork that reflects the music theme, ensuring a stay that is both comfortable and wholly captivating. Seductively edgy, irresistibly hip, and deeply rooted in the gritty essence of rock, this place is a tasteful display of experiential travel that is sure to captivate anyone who steps inside its doors.
- Prime location in the Gaslamp Quarter.
- Music-themed suites furnished with rock memorabilia.
- Exceptional dining experience at Nobu.
- Heated outdoor rooftop pool.
- Features the Rock Spa to alleviate travel stress.
- Vibrant night scene might be overwhelming for s
- High demand means advanced booking becomes critical.
- Some might find the overall theme too ‘niche.’
Address: 550 J St, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
A blend of cosmopolitan style, local flavors, and indulgence can be found at the Pendry San Diego: an excellent composition bathed in SoCal glamour. This retreat delivers the quintessential San Diego experience with a polished sheen that only Pendry can provide.
Residing in the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, the Pendry San Diego enjoys a prime location and is surrounded by a range of restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment venues. Its proximity to both the historic heart of the city, as well as the waterfront, makes it a sought-after destination for first-timers looking to explore the city in depth. Guests can sink into the plush combination of modern luxe and coastal cool within its rooms, each of which is upholstered with fine, industrial-themed art installations, luxurious furnishings, and ambient lighting that sets the tone for a fine accommodation experience.
Six unique restaurants and bars provide a range of culinary options for guests, as well as other amenities, including the Spa Pendry and a comprehensive fitness center. Or, visitors can relax at the pool deck–one of the hotel’s many highlights–fit with poolside service and views of the city below.
- Located in the heart of the city.
- A tantalizing variety of restaurants within the hotel.
- Luxurious rooms with modern amenities.
- Serene rooftop pool presenting splendid cityscape views.
- High-end luxury comes with a comparatively steeper price tag.
- Not a quiet location, especially given its proximity to PetCo Park.
A contemporary structure, the exterior of the DoubleTree by Hilton boasts a harmonious blend of modern architectural design patterns and subtle nods to the aesthetics of Southern California. The well-maintained grounds and the inviting entrance promise a pleasant stay from the very first glance. A naturally lit lobby characterized by comfortable seating arrangements and modern decor offers a hint as to what might be found inside each of the guest’s rooms and suites.
One of the most distinctive features of the DoubleTree, aside from its on-site dining options that cater to a variety of palates and the fitness and recreation rooms inside, is its proximity to major attractions and the ease of access it commands. This hotel offers expansive parking facilities, which are a surprisingly much sought-after feature of other hotels in its class. Its location near major highways and freeways also ensures that guests can easily navigate the city and return to their accommodations without needing to snake between San Diego traffic.
- Excellent location with proximity to shops, local attractions, and public transportation.
- Spacious, comfortable rooms with modern amenities.
- Complimentary breakfast and bakery cookies.
- Elegant outdoor pool and well-equipped fitness center.
- High parking fees.
- Some guests have noted a slower response from housekeeping.
Address: 1380 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is a mid-tier, moderately-priced accommodation placed on the shimming waterfront of the Pacific Ocean. Situated on Harbor Island, it provides a picturesque setting, providing sweeping views of the bay, downtown skyline, and the distant Coronado Island. This hotel also offers guests access to art-filled districts and vibrant nightlife that are only moments away, as well as attractions suited better to families, such as the San Diego Zoo and a variety of other entertainment options in the Gaslamp Quarter.
- Splendid waterfront location, offering breathtaking
- A diversified culinary experience, with a specialty in seafood.
- Proximity to renowned attractions and vibrant city life.
- Luxurious rooms featuring modern amenities and panoramic windows.
- Dense traffic around the hotel during peak hours.
- Service might come across as impersonal due to the hotel’s size.
- Late check-ins may be subject to room availability.
Address: 4200 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110, United States
Submerge yourself in Southern Californian charm at this Hilton Garden Inn location. Nestled between the Old Town and the vibrant pulse of SeaWorld, this hotel features Hispanic-inspired architecture, complete with white stucco walls and terracotta roofing, that has been blended seamlessly with modern amenities. Well-kept grounds featuring palm trees and a variety of garden bushes create a calming ambiance around the hotel
Guests can discover a range of nearby Southern California experiences, from the seascapes of La Jolla to the gourmet eateries of Little Italy. Presenting a combination of history, comfort, and convenience for its guests–and with its prime location near Old Town and SeaWorld–the Hilton Gaden Inn services as an excellent gateway to the surrounding areas for both leisure travelers and business professionals.
- Proximity and transportation options to key attractions.
- Comfortably appointed rooms with modern amenities.
- On-site restaurant with local specialties.
- No ocean-facing rooms available.
- Some may find the area bustling in peak season.
- Limited vegetarian options in the on-site restaurant.
Address: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130, United States
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is an alabaster sanctuary and another excellent accommodation that features Mediterranean architecture. A hacienda-style marvel, this resort-style hotel reminds guests of bygone European grandeur, a relic from a more refined age.
Here, elegance meets warmth, and tradition mixes with innovation. Ornate details, terracotta roofs, fountains, and expertly-maintained gardens with expansive grounds provide a serene backdrop that beckons visitors to relax.
Also present at the location of this establishment is the Tom Fazio-designed Grand Golf Club that offers 18 holes set among the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Guests can also enjoy the resort’s four heated pools, tennis courts, and even equestrian facilities for horse-riding and touring the hiking trails found at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
- Palatial-like architecture providing an immersive and extravagant accommodation experience.
- Award-winning- designed golf course for enthusiasts.
- Michelin-starred dining at Addison.
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- Extravagant luxury comes with a lofty price tag.
- Its secluded location might require rental transportation.
Address: 2051 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, United States
The Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina is a resort situated on Shelter Island and occupying a prime waterfront location that offers beautiful views of San Diego Bay and its marina. Its position provides guests with a serene escape that is still conveniently close to many of San Diego’s main attractions. Rooms offer uninterrupted views panorama of the marina, while suites at the hotel offer additional living space which is ideal for longer stays. Some of these suites also include separate areas, premium views, and kitchenettes.
Steep in the warmth of Kona Kai Club’s firepits or dine at the Blue Wave Bar & Grill, which offers a menu inspired by local ingredients with a specialty in seafood plates. Its waterfront setting offers guests views of the marina for an extra-refined dining experience. The Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina–that’s a mouthful–is also a short drive from Point Loma, the Cabrillo National Monument, and of course Point Loma’s Lighthouse.
- Stunning marina views from most rooms.
- Proximity to San Diego’s top attractions.
- Onsite dining options with locally sourced ingredients.
- Outdoor pool & hot tub facilities, cycling, and tennis courts.
- Meeting rooms and banquet facilities.
- Parking can be congested during peak times.
- Some rooms could benefit from a contemporary refurbishment.
- Lack of a full-service spa on-site.
Address: 421 W B St, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
The Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection, boasts a coastal-chic lobby–an homage to San Diego’s maritime heritage–and a rooftop lounge, the Topside Terrace Kitchen & Bar, among a number of other amenities and luxurious facilities. That isn’t all that can be said, however, about this hotel: a spacious lobby exhibits an open-concept design filled with natural light, while guests’ rooms feature neutral tones punctuated by bold color accents and a variety of standard amenities.
The hotel also offers several dining options aside from the rooftop lounge and bar, such as Trade, which serves delectable dishes with a modern twist. A well-equipped fitness center ensures guests can stay on top of their exercise routines while visiting San Diego, and professionals can make use of several event spaces, including meeting rooms and a ballroom for business functions and social gatherings.
- Centrally located with remarkable views of the city.
- Stunning rooftop lounge.
- Relatively affordable pricing considering the level of luxury offered here.
- Valet parking is expensive
- Might encounter inconsistency with room service
Address: 901 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108, United States
Positioned in the bustling heart of Mission Valley, the Hilton prides itself on delivering style, convenience, and a finely-curated dose of Southern Californian culture. Stepping into the main lobby, you can taste the progressive style of San Diego, where modern architecture fuses with warm upholstery and high-quality service. The décor boasts a sort of understated elegance, the city unfolds through the hotel’s broad windows.
One of this hotel’s distinguishing features is the real estate it holds, and the access it provides to so many of San Diego’s nearby attractions. Shopping, dining, and entertainment venues are just as easy to get to as the region’s pristine beaches, being located in the Mission Valley area and all. An outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, various event spaces, and an on-site restaurant complete the standard amenities of this San Diego accommodation.
- Centrally located for easy access to San Diego’s attractions.
- Quality customer service.
- Fresh, contemporary architecture and decor.
- Can get busy during peak periods.
- Daily parking fee can add to travel budget.
Address: 435 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
The Margaritaville Hotel in the esteemed Gaslamp Quarter provides a clean, chic, laid-back accommodation experience to visitors who travel both for leisure and for professional reasons. The beachy-oasis-themed interior is a fine fusion with the subdued classiness of the hotel’s design schema, which includes colorful upholstery, bright rooms, brick-and-wood eateries, and semi-industrial interior design.
The hotel serves as an ideal destination for people seeking to explore downtown San Diego–perhaps attending a San Diego Padre’s game or two–while not being too far away from the sandy beach vibes that the city is known for. The Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Convention Center are also located within close proximity to the hotel.
- Thoughtfully-designed rooms with soft beds and panoramic city views.
- Access to world-class cuisine and experimental cocktails.
- Rooftop pools with floating margarita concierge service.
- The tropical theme could be overpowering for those seeking traditional luxury.
- Ensconced in the entertainment district, weekend noise levels may fluctuate.
- Premium pricing and service charges may surprise some unsuspecting visitors.
Address: 8757 Rio San Diego Dr, San Diego, CA 92108, United States
A contemporary design with clean lines, reserved private balconies, and floor-to-ceiling windows are the first viewable effects of the San Diego Marriot Mission Valley Hotel. The spacious lobby showcases a blend of cozy comforts and modern design inviting guests to relax and mingle in the plus seating areas.
While perhaps not the most lavish of accommodation experiences, there aren’t many things left wanting regarding this Marriott location. With the backing of the Marriott brand, for example, guests are sure to pay fair prices, receive excellent service, and have a smooth overall stay at the hotel. There is also a range of modern amenities available, such as an on-site restaurant featuring various cuisines, a swimming pool, and a fitness center.
- Range of suites and rooms offering scenic views of the California sky.
- Located within proximity to major local attractions and heritage sites.
- Onsite dining experience infused with Mexican and local Californian cuisine.
- Balcony views may vary depending on the room chosen.
- Could be bustling during peak tourist seasons.
Address: 530 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
The Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown encapsulates a fine, welcoming blend of past and present. Housed within the historic San Diego Trust and Savings Bank building, the classical architectural details are beautifully contrasted with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable and restorative stay while inside the hotel’s marble and granite walls.
Intricate stone carvings, tall windows, and stately columns welcome visitors passing through the facade’s gateway and into the main lobby, where the antiquated luxury continues from there. The original bank vault doors and light fixtures transition into modern furnishings, providing a sophisticated yet welcoming ambiance that is especially welcoming for people with an interest in the local history.
- Excellent location for exploring nearby attractions.
- The unique mix of historic architecture and sleek, contemporary interiors provides a unique accommodation experience.
- Exceptional customer service.
- Valet parking can add to the overall cost.
- Limited amenities compared to other nearby luxury hotels, such as the omission of a pool.
Address: 998 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, United States
Visitors to the Bahia Resort Hotel embark on a splendid maritime journey while nestled within the sandy canvas of San Diego’s shores. With palm-roofed cabanas and a soft moonlit glow reflecting off Mission Bay, the Bahia immerses guests into a different side of the Californian dream. Inside, rooms tell a tale of resplendent comfort marrying modernity with an old-world charm. Beautifully-curated grounds, complete with wrap-around, fully-shaded palm trails, and ponds, provide access to an exclusive and peaceful accommodation experience. The recreational facilities at the Bahia Resort Hotel are standout, too, with a private beach, swimming pool, and hot tub, while more active visitors can take hold of the hotel’s water sports equipment rentals, like paddleboards and kayaks.
- Picturesque setting on Mission Bay.
- Inviting blend of classic charm and modern comforts.
- Lively social scene at the lounge.
- Can be difficult to book during peak tourist seasons.
- Busy seasons can also drive up prices.
- Some rooms could use a bit of a modern refresh.
Address: 3805 Murphy Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA 92123, United States
The Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Mission Valley Stadium stands as a modern example of the Hilton brand’s commitment to comfort and hospitality, with rooms equipped with a plethora off amenities, and occupying a prime location within easy access to many of San Diego’s hotspots. The exterior of the hotel is embodied by clean, crisp white lines and classy bricks and tiles, as are the roads leading up to its entrance.
The interior greets guests with a spacious and brightly lit lobby marked by modern furnishings and tasteful decor–though it does appear from some testimonies that there is a punctuative lack of color and vibrancy which is consistent throughout the hotel, rendering it a little too understated for the comfort of some.
- Strategically located with easy access to multiple attractions.
- High-quality service.
- Plenty of modern comforts.
- The bustle of Mission Valley might be overwhelming for some visitors.
- Some might find the characteristically minimalist aesthetic too simple.
- Peak times may see congestion on nearby roads, making travel a bit tedious.
Address: 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014, United States
Nestled in the coastal town of Del Mar, the Hilton San Diego Del Mar sits a short distance from the Pacific Ocean and the famed Del Mar Racetrack. Its proximity to sand beaches, upscale boutiques, and shopping districts, as well as renowned dining establishments, renders this hotel a solid location to experience what seaside San Diego has to offer.
Characterized by its coastal-inspired aesthetic, this hotel mixes the ambiance of a resort-style seaside retreat with the same quality of service you would expect from one of Hilton’s more upscale hotels. Room options at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar can range from standard guest accommodations to deluxe suites, complete with contemporary furnishing, an earthy-toned color palette, and subtle beach-themed decor elements.
- Proximity to Del Mar Fairgrounds and San Diego’s beaches.
- Outdoor heated pool and fitness center.
- Pet-friendly facilities.
- Parking may come with charges.
- Breakfast not usually included in room rates.
Address: 4041 Harney St, San Diego, CA 92110, United States
The Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel can be characterized as a smattering of Spanish charm, and Californian hospitality that results in a unique, budget-friendly, yet extremely fun find among San Diego’s accommodations. The aroma of local cuisine fills the humid San Diego air as stucco-white walls, draped in bougainvillea, close in a series of intricate tile courtyards. This charming hotel, while simple, offers guests a unique blend of modern conveniences with a touch of Spanish architectural elegance that a reasonable price point, making it a favorite for travelers of all kinds.
Complimentary shuttle services, event spaces for weddings or business meetings, a range of recreational and fitness facilities, and an on-site Mexican restaurant are just some of the amenities available to all guests at the Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town. The location is not to be scoffed at, either, as the hotel is located a short walk away from the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and the Whaley House Museum.
- Central location to San Diego’s historic heart.
- Charming Californian decor.
- On-site Mexican restaurant delivering delectable local cuisine.
- No elevators available onsite.
- Parking can present a challenge.
- Despite the serene atmosphere, occasional street noise may spill over.
Address: 610 Diamond St, San Diego, CA 92109, United States
Occupying a prime location just next to the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Terrace Hotel boasts a desired position on the sands of San Diego’s famed Pacific Beach. Its oceanfront status promises gorgeous, panoramic views of the sea, but also a lovely beach community that is filled with boutiques, culinary stops, boardwalks, and a distinctly Southern Californian vibe.
The laid-back beach atmosphere of the Pacific Terrace Hotel continues inside with its cohesive charm, tropical design, and palm trees swaying at its entrance. The low-rise structure also ensures a more romantic accommodation experience, while wooden decks, tiki torches, and beach-themed decor reinforce its status as a destination for intimate getaways, family vacations, or business travels.
- Prime beach access takes the hotel’s appeal far beyond the ordinary.
- Culturally engaging decor, with local artistry offering an authentic San Diego narrative.
- Exceptional guest services.
- No on-site restaurant, though it is nestled among various foodie pit-stops.
- A high daily rate for parking comes as an added expense.
- Some guests may find rooms vary in size.