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The Seabird Resort in  San Diego
Courtesy of The Seabird ResortPhotograph: Courtesy the Seabird Resort

The best hotels in San Diego

Need luxe SoCal digs with your surf and sun? Here are the best hotels in San Diego to rest your head.

Written by
Michelle Poveda
&
Kai Oliver-Kurtin
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Planning a trip to America’s Finest City? You're going to need a fabulous place to slumber. The good news is you've come to the right place: our list of the best hotels in San Diego. This laidback jewel of California may be best known for amazing beaches, constant sunshine, and authentic tacos, but throw in stellar nightlife, breweries galore (including one of the best craft breweries in the country), and delicious dining options, and you have got an impressive hospitality scene.

Depending on what type of experience you're looking for, San Diego has everything from walkable urban hotels with boutique accommodations to charming beach bungalows with epic views, plus must-visit historical institutions and off-the-radar resorts offering a more intimate hideaway. San Diego County is large (over 4,000 square miles!) so choose your home base wisely. If you don't plan on leaving the beach areas, you should probably plan on staying there to avoid summer beach traffic. The same goes for areas with year-round commuter traffic, running primarily north and south. 

From chic downtown hotels to party the night away, to relaxing hillside resorts and historic gems on the shore, there's a hotel for anyone looking to get away from it all while also enjoying the best things to do in San Diego

RECOMMENDED: 

🎡  The best San Diego attractions
🏠 The best Airbnbs in San Diego

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Best hotels in San Diego

  • Hotels
  • Carmel Valley
  • price 4 of 4

Grand is the perfect description for this hotel. Purchased by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2015, it first opened in 2007 within the lush green hills of Del Mar. This property features elegant Mediterranean décor with a sprawling golf course, 249 guestrooms, four heated pools, two tennis courts, and an award-winning luxury spa. Located onsite is San Diego's only three-star Michelin restaurant Addison, arguably the most renowned—and expensive—place to eat in San Diego.

  • Hotels
  • Bella Capri
  • price 3 of 4

This signature pink hotel by the sea, known as the "Pink Lady," opened its landmark doors in 1926. Situated on busy Prospect Street in the fancy seaside community of La Jolla, La Valencia overlooks the famous La Jolla Cove. The Spanish Revival-style property has mosaics splashing hotel walls, and the palm-tree–lined pool includes sweeping views of the Pacific. The 114 rooms are equipped with various amenities, including imported bath products and incredible ocean views; plus pet-friendly restaurant the Mediterranean Room encourages guests to dine alfresco (with Fido) on their ocean terrace. 

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  • Hotels
  • Tent City

Erected in 1888, the iconic Hotel del Coronado (nicknamed "The Del") remains Coronado’s main attraction. It was famously the backdrop to the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot, and as such, Monroe’s image and other pictures of numerous other famous guests line its halls. There are 757 rooms, beach cottages, an upscale spa, shops, a pool, and a handful of restaurant options, including Serẽa for seafood and a full raw bar. Fair warning; if you don’t like the idea of tourists wandering the property taking in its Victorian charms, this may not be the right choice for you.

Located just steps from the sand, The Seabird Resort in Oceanside opened in 2021 with stylish decor that pays homage to the local surf culture. There's an expansive pool deck with ocean views (plus four cabanas), a library where you can stretch out with a good book, Sunny's Spa and Beauty Lounge for pampering, and a rotating art gallery (an extension of the nearby Oceanside Museum of Ar). The 226-room property has three onsite restaurants and bars, including Piper, where you can get California coastal cuisine ranging from a veggie omelet with chestnut-truffle crema at breakfast to handmade rigatoni Bolognese at dinner. 

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When sunset is on the horizon, the place to be is Mission Pacific Hotel in Oceanside. The Rooftop Bar has alfresco tables that make it easy to pass the time while staring at the Pacific, sipping cocktails, and listening to a DJ spin tunes. You'll find it next to the rooftop pool and jacuzzi area that houses three cabanas. Onsite restaurant Valle is getting lots of buzz for its Baja California cuisine and four-course tasting menu. Opened in 2021, Mission Pacific has 161 guest rooms and overlooks the historic "Top Gun house" (AKA The Graves House), now a bakery called High Pie.

  • Hotels
  • The Villas at Stallions Crossing
  • price 3 of 4

Located in the high-end neighborhood of Rancho Santa Fe in North County, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa is an all-suite property that comprises 45 acres of gardens, trails, and olive groves, plus 49 casitas with private terraces. Dining options include the Veladora, a fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant, and The Pony Room serving American fare and craft cocktails. Its shining gem is the newly-renovated spa that includes an expanded fitness center (think yoga and Pilates classes), a new salon (get your blowouts and mani/pedis here), and all the body and skin treatments you could ever want. 

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  • Hotels
  • Cassia Professional Offices
  • price 4 of 4

The sprawling, Spanish Mission-style Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad includes 600 guestrooms, suites and villas, an athletic center, eight swimming pools (both family pools and an adults-only pool), plus tennis courts and two popular golf courses. La Costa is a kid-friendly resort with water slides and an onsite kids club. The property houses its own luxury spa, which often plays host to bridal showers and birthday parties. Within the spa you'll find a private pool, waterfall showers, jacuzzi, cafe, relaxation rooms and reflexology path. For dining, Bob’s Steak & Chop House and the newly opened VUE restaurant have you covered. VUE takes its name from the incredible golf course views seen from their dining room and patio, where you can nosh on Hokkaido scallops with ancient grain risotto, cheese bread with romesco sauce, or a not-too-sweet guava margarita.

Tower 23 is a boutique, beachfront property (only 44 rooms & suites) situated along the bustling Pacific Beach boardwalk. The three-story hotel has a contemporary design that makes use of glass as to not obstruct their incredible ocean views. They have a second-floor patio with fire pits, which is arguably one of the best spots in town to catch the sunset. Take advantage of their complimentary bike and beach rentals (chairs & umbrellas) and overnight valet parking. Locals flock here for dinner and brunch service since the hotel has one of the most popular restaurants in Pacific Beach: JRDN. You won't want to miss their sushi rolls, oysters and ahi tuna nachos. Refreshing cocktails like a chili mango margarita and spiced rum mai tai pair well with the surf and sand at your feet. 

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Looking for a beach vacay that won't break the bank? Look no further than Del Mar Beach Hotel, the only beachfront inn located within the seaside resort town of Del Mar. The property recently underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade to overhaul its 46 stylish guestrooms overlooking Del Mar City Beach and Powerhouse Park. Expect beachy, California Cool decor that also gives a nod to the nearby Del Mar Ractrack. The hotel's beach butlers will gladly help you haul beach chairs, umbrellas and surf boards down to the sand, and be sure to take advantage of amenities like the complimentary espresso machine and (equally fancy) filtered water station in the lobby. 

  • Hotels
  • price 4 of 4

Hidden in the hills of Carlsbad, Park Hyatt Aviara is most known for hosting the LPGA Kia Classic Tournament on its distinguished golf course. Perfect for feeling far away from the bustling city—without the long drive—this hotel features views of the Pacific, 327 guestrooms (including 43 suites), two sparkling pools, a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, and three restaurants, including Chef Richard Blais' Ember & Rye. Here you'll find creative steak and seafood dishes and creative weekly dinner specials.

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  • Hotels
  • Rancho Bernardo
  • price 3 of 4

Hidden in the quiet neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo, the Inn makes guests feel worlds away from the busy city. Surrounded by trees and greenery, the spa and pool welcome guests to rent cabanas for the day or lounge by the water’s edge. A popular place for golf, the property hosts many weddings and special events. Its signature restaurant, Avant, boasts woodsy interiors, craft cocktails, local craft beers, and an impressive wine list.

  • Hotels
  • Golden Hill
  • price 3 of 4

Another beauty by Coronado Bay, Loews has prime waterfront real estate. Rooms offer views of their private marina from furnished balconies and terraces. The family-friendly hotel includes a Kid’s Club designed by Pottery Barn Kids, three outdoor swimming pools (including an adults-only section), whirlpools, paddleboat rentals, and direct access to Silver Strand State Beach. For a romantic treat, the Gondola Company provides cruises through the nearby canals of the Coronado Cays, complete with a serenading gondolier.

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Get a taste of history downtown at The Guild Hotel, born in 1924 as an Army-Navy YMCA and reopened in 2019 after being carefully restored and thoughtfully designed as a boutique hotel. Part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, the design screams Italian Renaissance, while guest rooms are minimalist, save for plaques with biographies of local artists. If staying on the ground level, you'll want to take advantage of the white noise machine in your room (and maybe pack some earplugs) to help tune out the noise from the bustling streets outside your window. 

 

  • Hotels
  • Horton
  • price 3 of 4

Opened in 2017, this chic downtown hotel has introduced a new nightclub, the Oxford Social Club, and several restaurants (Lionfish and Provisional Kitchen are both worth a visit) and bars (check out Nason's Beer Hall). Dining venues are located on the ground floor, easily accessible to guests and the general public. The hotel proper packs a lot of amenities into the 12-story space, with a rooftop pool—which features happy hours and summer pool parties—spa, fitness center, ballrooms, and 317 guestrooms, including 36 suites, one of which opens to the pool’s deck.

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  • Hotels
  • Verona
  • price 4 of 4

The tallest waterfront hotel on the west coast, Manchester Grand Hyatt is located downtown adjacent to Seaport Village. An impressive marble-stoned entryway greets guests in the hotel’s expansive lobby. Two rooftop pools entertain both children and adults, while the Marilyn Monroe Spa provides a variety of treatments, and four dining options keep guests well fed. The recently renovated Top of the Hyatt cocktail lounge is located on the 40th floor, featuring stunning views with elegant concoctions and light fare.

  • Hotels
  • Core-columbia
  • price 4 of 4

Developed by the son of the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, The US Grant hotel made its downtown San Diego debut in 1910. Now a Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel, its glamourous setting is ideal for weddings and fancy soirées. The hotel’s distinct food and drink program is a major plus, but it lacks in the pool and spa department. The Grant Grill features renowned California cuisine and seasonal cocktails but is best known for its mock turtle soup made with sherry.

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  • Hotels
  • Northblock Lofts
  • price 3 of 4

If chic ambiance, nightclubbing and rooftop pool-lounging is what you seek, then Andaz might be for you. Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel underwent a $4-million makeover that reinvigorated its 142 guestrooms and 13 junior suites with original artwork, modern furniture, and couches that pull out for lounging. STK—that sleek, modern steakhouse of Las Vegas and international fame—is located on the hotel’s ground floor, but they also offer outdoor rooftop dining. 

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