With its stunning coastal location, attractive downtown, and abundance of attractions, San Diego is an understandably popular tourist destination. Regardless of your preferred style of accommodation, you’ll find plenty of places that promise you a restful night's sleep… how well they deliver is, of course, another matter entirely. What you can be guaranteed of is the quality of service, exceptional amenities, and world-class facilities of these twenty top San Diego hotels.
20. The Westin San Diego
With its convenient location downtown, The Westin San Diego is ideal for business travelers, while its close proximity to the city’s main attractions makes it an equally attractive option for leisure vacationers. Pets are welcome, and will even be offered one of Westin's signature Heavenly Dog Beds. Other welcome additions to its portfolio of attractions include a rooftop pool, a delightful in-house restaurant and bar, and supremely comfortable guest rooms that offer everything from ergonomic chairs to flat-screen TVs.
19. Paradise Point, A Destination Hotel
Set on an island in Mission Bay, Paradise Point has everything you need to ensure a flawless stay. The bungalow-style guestrooms are set in tranquil, lush grounds, while the range of amenities (which include five swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, a marina, five dining venues, and an award-winning spa) are just as excellent as the location.
18.Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Situated within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego offers a convenient location, a first-rate service, and excellent amenities (rooms come as standard with high-speed internet access, iHome alarm clocks, and flat-screen TVs, while there are also two rooftop pools, a 24 hour fitness center and an in-house Marilyn Monroe Spa). Completing the roundup of attractions is a good variety of restaurants and lounges to choose from, including a divine rooftop cocktail bar.
17. Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
With its great location between the convention center and marina, the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina provides an equally suitable option for both business and leisure travelers. With easy access to the Gaslamp Quarter, there’s no shortage of dining, shopping, and nightlife options to hand, while with two pools, a fitness center, and a spa, the hotel is well geared to support those who prefer to spend their leisure time on site. Rooms are tastefully decorated and come with all the standard conveniences and luxuries you’d expect, including relaxed reading chairs, flat-screen TVs, desks and Wi-Fi.
16 L'Auberge Del Mar
Visitors looking to combine lavish luxury with an informal, relaxed vibe would do well to consider the excellent L'Auberge Del Mar. Outdoor fire pits, a vibrant bar scene, and a sumptuous spa give guests plenty of recreational options onsite, while its close proximity to the beach, Balboa Park, the Encinitas Tide Pools, and San Diego Zoo ensure an equally welcome number of things to see and do outside.
15. Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
Anyone who’s ever watched the Marilyn Monroe classic, Some Like it Hot, will instantly recognize the red turrets of the beachfront Hotel del Coronado. Despite the hotel’s recent acquisition by the Hilton, it’s not yet been completely transformed into yet another generic chain and has still held onto its unique character. The resort has everything you could want, from shops, restaurants and walking paths to an ice-skating rink. As well as the standard range of rooms, there’s the option to splash out on accommodation at the Beach Village, an upscale collection of cottages, with a private valet and a separate entrance.
14 Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection
There’s something of a coastal vibe about Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection, despite its downtown location. The décor is a sunny mix of blues, bleached woods, and nautically-themed decorations, while there’s a relaxed ambiance that belies that first-rate service. The rooftop makes a great spot to linger over a drink while enjoying the sunset, while the rooms are well equipped, spacious, and bright. With two restaurants, a 24-fitness center, and a great location, it’s a solid addition to the San Diego hotel scene.
13. La Valencia Hotel and Spa
With its cheery pink stucco exterior, the La Valencia Hotel and Spa is hard to miss… not that you’d want to. The legendary hotel that once drew the likes of Gregory Peck, Ginger Rogers, and Raymond Chandler now pulls in a mix of business travelers, couples, and singles, all attracted, no doubt, by the boutique’s mix of old-world Hollywood glamor and classic French elegance. The guest rooms are as opulent as the lobby, with heavy drapes and luxurious linens, while the service is more than just a little bit fancy. Whatever you do, don’t miss a dip in the hotels’ centerpiece, it’s iconic palm-fringed pool.
12. The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Spanning six and a half acres of stunning La Jolla landscape, The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers a little bit of everything. For gourmets, there’s a handful of excellent restaurants; for the stressed out, there’s a full-service spa with an amazing range of treatments and wellness options; for gym bunnies, there’s a world-class gym. Other activities include croquet, yoga classes, guided hiking tours, and golf. Rooms are spacious and come complete with every modern convenience and luxury you’d expect, while the mixed clientele of young families, business travelers, and couples lends the resort a vibrant atmosphere.
11. Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Fashionable yet comfortable, Kimpton Solamar Hotel offers a great accommodation option in the increasingly hip East Village. The style is eye poppingly bright and contemporary, while the rooms are super comfortable and well equipped (as are the minibars, which come with wine, beer, liquor, gummy bears, corkscrews, intimacy kits, and lip balm). Other great features include a heated pool, lawn games, a bar, fire pits, private cabanas, and a first-rate service that extends to providing complimentary champagne to guests celebrating special occasions.
10. Pendry San Diego
Sophisticated, hip Pendry San Diego is the perfect place for anyone who wants to be right in the very heart of the action. Its fresh, modern take on upscale luxury is perfectly complemented by amenities like a Moët & Chandon Champagne Vending Machine and kombucha in the minibar. Rooms are bright, airy and beyond comfortable, while the entertainment and food options are exceptional: Provisional serves up on all day menu; Lionfish offers some divine seafood; the Oxford Social Club offers subterranean partying; Fifth & Rose mixes up some amazing cocktails; while Nason's Beer Hall has the best pretzel/ beer combo you’ll likely come across.
9. Tower23 Hotel
Fresh, hip, and with a youthful energy, Tower23 Hotel’s modern take on boutique accommodation is a breath of fresh air. Set over three stories and offering 44 rooms and suites, the hotel is light. bright and airy. Rooms are decked out in a seaside mix of blue and white and come with all the modern conveniences and luxuries you’d expect, including beds with Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattresses and down pillow-tops. The minibars are well stocked and the JRDN restaurant is excellent. The view from the second-floor deck, meanwhile, is worth the visit alone.
8. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Regardless of age and taste, the crowd-pleasing Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has something for everyone. Spread over 400 acres of stunning grounds in Carlsbad, the expansive resort offers tennis courts, shopping, golf, dining, and wellness options (including seminars at the Oprah approved Chopra Center, meditation and yoga classes, and Ayurvedic massages). With multiple pools (some adult only, some kid friendly), a Spanish-style shopping plaza, an athletics club, a Kidtopia Kids Club and much more besides, this is the kind of resort that’s as much a destination as San Diego itself.
7. The Westgate Hotel
For the height of decadence, The Westgate Hotel is unbeatable. The exterior may look unassuming enough, but step through the doors and you’ll be confronted with a lobby that looks like it’s been transported straight from 18th century France, complete with Persian rugs, waterfall chandeliers, heavy tapestries, and brocade upholstery. The feast for the eyes continues into the rooms and bathrooms, which come equipped with giant, pool sized tubs, plush robes, and brass fixtures. For sheer, unadulterated opulence, it’s hard to beat.
6. The Guild Hotel
If you want to give the beach communities a miss and head downtown instead, you’ll not beat The Guild Hotel. With its artful combination of historical details and modern conveniences, the interior has a slick, polished air of refinement that’s perfectly complemented by its 5-star service. Guestrooms may be small, but the high ceilings and minimalist décor keeps things spacious. All rooms come with safes, Hulu-equipped Smart TVs, custom artwork, and a range of complementary Maison Margiela toiletries. Completing the roundup of excellent features include an incredibly popular all-day Mediterranean restaurant and bar, a 24-hour gym, and donation-based yoga classes.
5. Fairmont Grand Del Mar
With its glowing rosy façade, detailed copper metalwork, and tiled roof, there’s a definite sense of the Mediterranean about the luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar, something only furthered by the palm and cypress trees that litter the grounds. The rooms themselves are nothing if not luxurious, mixing classically elegant flourishes such as marble countertops, crystal lamps, and brocade upholstery with state-of-the-art conveniences. Rates may be on the steep side, but with its superlative services and amenities, and its excellent location within striking distance of the beach, it’s well worth the price.
4. The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Set in a two-story historic building, The US Grant gives off an air of rarefied luxury that can’t help but impress. Every last detail of the hotel has been honed to perfection, from the magnificent glitter of the chandeliers to the gleaming tiled floors to the sophisticated Corinthian-style columns. Its central location offers easy access to some of the best attractions of the city (including Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Little Italy, and the picturesque bayfront area), but be warned… with its elegant décor, contemporary flourishes, glass encircled marble showers, plush robes, 24/7 room service, and a “cocktail ambassador” who will fix your personalized mix in your room, there’s every chance you’ll never want to set foot outside the door.
3. Rancho Bernardo Inn
With beautifully manicured grounds, a peaceful setting, and a championship golf course, the Rancho Bernardo Inn will impress you even before you walk through the door. Once you do, you’ll be even more blown away. Along with an excellent spa (which comes complete with a private pool and outdoor treatment areas), there a fabulous range of first-rate amenities, an attentive service, and 49 hacienda-style suites that are the height of luxury (the en suite bathrooms even come with heated toilet seats).
2. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa
There are luxurious hotels and then there’s the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa. With a prime location overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, the hotel has incorporated the beachy feel of the local surrounds into its grounds with palm trees, lush gardens, and plenty of zen-like water features. Amazing staff and rooms that combine home comforts with modern luxuries guarantee a restful stay.
1. Cal A Vie
The charming Cal A Vie has the air of a French guesthouse, with scrubbed wooden floors, simple suites, fresh-cut flowers and an air of simplicity… at least on the face of it. Underneath the rustic façade are some seriously luxurious touches. The state-of-the-art spa offers a world-class range of treatments and procedures guaranteed to relieve your aching muscles after a workout at the very modern fitness center, which, along with the usual weights and cardio equipment, offers classes in everything from spinning and water volleyball to piloxing (an invigorating combination of dance, Pilates, and boxing). As further proof of its premium status, there’s even an onsite nutritionist.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee