Planning a trip to San Diego? Read on to discover the best San Diego hotels for stunning views, epic nightlife, and plenty of activities.
San Diego is a city of two halves: One side is an ultra-cool retreat with a vibrant bar and dining scene, the other is a chilled out beach vacay where you can soak up the sun and splash in the ocean.
And so, finding a hotel that balances the two is crucial. But I think I’ve done it. I’ve curated an incredible guide to San Diego’s very best places to bed down – from cosy beachfront hotels to boutique spots in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Ready to explore?
Best Hotels in San Diego: At a Glance
|Best Hotels San Diego – Top Picks
|Best Overall Hotel
|Hotel Del Coronado by Hilton
|Best for Short Stays
|Omni San Diego Hotel
|Best for Good Value Luxury
|Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Best Hotels in San Diego, California
Hotel Del Coronado
Let’s kick things off with what might possibly be the best hotel in San Diego. Hotel Del Coronado by Hilton is a luxury 5-star hotel situated in the Coronado District. Stunning views of the city skyline, the bay, and the Pacific Ocean are guaranteed.
But you’re not just getting a luxury stay, as this place has some history to it as well. Built in 1888, it’s one of the last wooden Victorian beach resorts still standing. Which, if you ask me, is more than enough reason to stay there.
The iconic terracotta roof and white exterior stick out in the landscape. The rooms are spacious and are packed with everything you need, while the on-site restaurant serves delicious treats.
Hotel Indigo San Diego
Hotel Indigo San Diego is a boutique 4-star lodging that provides unique views of San Diego from high in the sky.
Start your day with a delicious complimentary breakfast before exploring the city.
The hotel is smack-bang in the centre of town, so it’s close to famous attractions like the Martin Luther King Promenade. Catch a baseball match at Petco Park without leaving the hotel, as some rooms have great views of the stadium.
The rooms have modern finishings with spots of colour, and balcony sections are fantastic for a romantic city-lit dinner.
Oh, and if you’re planning on working while away, don’t stress — the conference and work centre is the perfect place to catch up on some emails.
Pendry San Diego
Downtown San Diego
For a fantastic 5-star stay, book a room at Pendry San Diego. The food alone should be able to persuade you to stay, with excellent à la carte or American-style complimentary breakfasts available.
If that’s not enough, how about the rooftop terrace with two crystal clear pools and sun loungers? I’m certainly sold.
The main hallway’s arches and pillars are reminiscent of Byzantine architecture, while rooms are decked out in light linens and dark flooring.
It’s also one of the best downtown San Diego hotels, thanks to its location. The USS Midway Museum is just over a mile away, and classic San Diego restaurants like Water Grill are nearby.
For a slightly more remote stay at one of the best San Diego hotels on the beach, book a room at Pantai Inn. This is an ocean lover’s paradise, with La Jolla Cove, Shell Beach, and Boomer Beach all less than five minutes away.
There’s no pool here, but who needs one when you have the warm Pacific waters for swimming? Pantai Inn is also the perfect place to stay for quick access to the best San Diego hikes.
The rooms feature unique leopard print carpets (not really to my taste, but the more funky folk amongst you might enjoy) and provide breathtaking views of palm trees along the coastline.
There’s a coffee house on-site, but if you want some incredible food, take a five-minute walk to The Spot.
Andaz San Diego
Downtown San Diego
The boutique hotels in San Diego keep on coming, and Andaz Hotel is no exception. This accommodation has a beautiful mix of contemporary art and elegant finishings throughout.
The use of colour is bold and brings life to this unique hotel. The rooftop pool is the ultimate place to watch the sunset after a busy day, and the on-site bar adds a touch of class to your day.
This luxury 5-star hotel in Downtown San Diego is close to top attractions like Horton Plaza Park. But if you want to enjoy a day on the hot sand eating ice cream, Coronado Beach is a short taxi ride away.
And to top it all off, this is one of the few dog-friendly hotels in San Diego.
Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Next up, my top pick: The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. With a unique blend of modern finishings and Art Deco architecture, this hotel guarantees a stay you’ll never forget.
The pools are great for a relaxing day away from the busy city – and if you want to chill out even more, the spa is calling your name.
You’re also just a short walk away from Spreckels Theatre, where you can spend an evening dolled up to the nines, watching a classic musical.
Hotel Marisol Coronado
I challenge you to find a prettier beachfront hotel in San Diego than the Marisol Coronado.
The rooms blur the lines between modern and classical decor, while the courtyards provide vibrant areas to relax and enjoy nature. It’s less than a five-minute walk from Coronado Beach, and the complimentary yoga classes are a great way to start the day.
Breakfasts consist of an assortment of pastries, fruits, teas, and coffee. But if you’re cravings classic European cuisine, head over to Little Frenchie down the road.
Tower 23 Hotel
Looking to stay in a wallet-friendly spot? One of the best beach hotels in San Diego is Tower 23. This clean and crisp hotel draws its blue and white inspiration from the Cycladic architecture of far-off Greek islands.
The rooms are pretty, but the outdoor fireplace is THE spot to enjoy the coastal views with a cocktail or two. You can also enjoy complimentary breakfast in your room, if heading down to the restaurant seems like too much effort.
Pacific Beach is, quite literally, right on your doorstep, so the lack of a pool will never be an issue. I recommend visiting the Tourmaline Surfing Park to learn how to catch the waves along Pacific Beach.
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
For an affordable stay with kids in San Diego, book a stay at Paradise Point. It’s more than just a place to stay; it’s a lifestyle hub with tennis courts, pools, and kayaking facilities.
Thanks to the beautiful palette of blues, timber, and off-white, you can relax in style. There’s a bar by the palm-lined pool area, and the on-site restaurant serves delicious meals.
This hotel, in particular, caters exceptionally towards special diets, so everyone can enjoy their time at the resort.
Manchester Grand Hotel Hyatt San Diego
Downtown San Diego
Manchester Grand Hotel rightfully deserves its place in this guide. It’s hard to miss, with the hotel being one of the towering skyscrapers of the San Diego skyline. So you can imagine the views from your room will be unforgettable.
The hotel boasts pretty much everything you could need, from a conference centre to a basketball court and a huge pool. The hotel’s aesthetic is a subtle combination of greys, blues, and whites, which creates a calming atmosphere – the perfect base for the trip.
If you’re hungry, there are eight dining options you can choose from, with Market One being particularly delicious.
Omni San Diego Hotel
Downtown San Diego
Omni San Diego Hotel is another fantastic 4-star lodging experience that blends comfort with accessibility. You’ll feel right at home in the warmly lit rooms with wooden finishings, all while having easy access to the top sights of San Diego.
To the north, there’s direct views of Petco Park – it’s sneaky, but you may be able to watch a live game from your room. To the south are breathtaking coastal views of San Diego Bay and Coronado.
The outdoor swimming pools are a great place to chill. And if the food at the on-site restaurant doesn’t tickle your fancy, pop over to the Olde Spaghetti Factory down the road for a slurping-good plate of the good stuff.
Looking for a little Latin spice in the heart of San Diego? Stay at El Cordova. It’s a gorgeous San Diego beach hotel with all the perks of a luxury accommodation at an affordable price.
The rooms are calming, with hints of colour here and there. But the star of the show is the bean-shaped pool that each of the rooms look onto. Don’t worry; it’s not just a pool you have views of, as many of the rooms also have fantastic beachside windows.
Coronado Beach is across the road (Ocean Boulevard). The on-site restaurant has delightful food, like the classic Spanish paella, but head over to La Salsa for something different.
Glorietta Bay Inn
For a lavish stay at one of the best beachfront hotels in San Diego, head to Glorietta Bay Inn. From the moment you lay eyes on the magnificent white facade of the building, it’ll feel like you’re walking through a glorious landmark.
Each room is decorated in its own distinct colour palette, but one thing that’s common throughout is the exquisite wooden furniture. You can enjoy the pool – the centre of the hotel – or relax on the patios with sun loungers.
Did I mention Coronado Beach is a two-minute walk away?
Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel
There aren’t many Old Town San Diego hotels, but the one you should book is the Best Western Plus.
Each of the rooms are decked out in a tasteful palette of timber, reds, and whites. Oh, and the rest of the hotel has pops of blues and oranges, similar to wall murals in the area.
Thanks to its location on the top of a hill, you’ll have breathtaking views of the entire city. You’ll also find a pool and garden area as well as a hot tub, so you can soak away the pains of the day.
This hotel is also situated closeby to all the Old Town highlights, like the supposedly haunted Whaley House Museum. Brave it if you dare.
Staypineapple Hotel Z
I’ll level with you: There aren’t many cheap hotels in San Diego. But one of the most affordable options that still maintains an element of luxury is Staypineapple Hotel Z.
This quirky hotel in the Gaslamp district has a distinct palette of pineapple yellow, vibrant blue, and muted greys. You’ll be able to relax in the clean and sophisticated rooms, while the artwork in the hotel is unique. Just like the hundred-plus restaurants and bars in Gaslamp Quarter.
It’s a self-catering accommodation, but as you’re in Gaslamp, there are plenty of dining options. I recommend visiting Smoking Gun for a quirky bar experience and the Rustic Root for some tasty American-style food.
Best Hotels in San Diego: Frequently Asked Questions
Practical Tips to Consider Before Booking Your San Diego Hotel
- Always use official booking sites. I love booking.com as you can compare and find the best deals for a specific location.
- Read my ultimate California road trip to plan the perfect vacation in America’s Southwest.