Dreaming of sunny days in sunny San Diego—but don’t want to spend a fortune making dreams come true? We’re here to help with our guide to best cheap hotels in San Diego. These inns, hotels, motels and B&Bs will put you close to the best things to do in San Diego—whether you’re here from some of the best breweries in the U.S. or just want to hit one of the country’s best beaches—and keep you comfortable with a strong suite of amenities. These best cheap hotels in San Diego provide a good night’s sleep, and a good deal.
Best cheap hotels in San Diego
Built in 1961, this boutique hotel was renovated, repurchased and reopened in summer of 2007. It still has that groovy ’60s vibe, with funky, mid-century decor in a petite space right off of Rosecrans in Point Loma. Centrally located, the hotel’s pool offers pool-side dining from its Eat at the Pearl Restaurant, and Dive-In movie specials, where a free film is shown outside by the water every Wednesday evening. Fairly priced in the off-season, room rates often surge during summer months.
Located off First Avenue in bustling downtown, the Bristol is often overlooked by travelers—foolishly. It offers great value just steps from the historic Gaslamp District. A full property renovation kicked off at the end of 2016, with an expected completion of late 2017. The new property will include 114 refreshed guestrooms along with its usual pet-friendly amenities (ask about their water bowls and doggy beds) and a lounge bar that serves happy hour every day from 5pm to 7pm.
One of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, Little Italy is located near both downtown and the airport. La Pensione is a 67-room boutique hotel situated smack-dab in the middle of this infamous neighborhood. The unassuming white building on Date and India Street has no rooftop pool or in-house restaurant, but is ideal for walking to and from all the nearby restaurants and cafés. It features modern, petite rooms, and a complimentary breakfast pastry with coffee at nearby Caffe Italia.
The Hacienda Hotel will make you forget that you’re staying at a Best Western. Located in the heart of Old Town San Diego, it emulates an old-fashioned hacienda, with Spanish decor, gorgeous fountains and lush greenery. Ideal for families, business visitors and day-trippers alike, it’s walking distance to all of historic Old Town’s attractions. A small heated pool and spa, room service, free airport shuttle, fitness center and Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant & Cantina add to its charm and convenience.
Take a journey through the old west by staying at this hotel and historic landmark. The building was constructed in 1827 as the grand home of Don Juan Bandini—an early San Diego settler—and few realize that 10 hotel rooms sit on the second floor of the building, just above the restaurant. Each room is ornately decorated with antique furnishings (including Victorian-style soaking tubs!). There are no televisions or phones in the rooms, but free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast are provided.
The Old Town Inn combines charm with convenience. Located right on Pacific Highway, it’s easy to miss as you speed by. The hotel is within walking distance of the Old Town Transit Center, and guests can nab a trolley, bus, or Amtrak train to nearby attractions. What it lacks in beautiful surroundings (off a busy highway, next to loaded parking lots) the property makes up for in amenities. The family-owned inn provides complimentary breakfast, free parking and Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, BBQ and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes.
Situated in the middle of Hotel Circle in Mission Valley, what the Town and Country lacks in fancy digs, it makes up for in space, amenities and its convenient, central location. Great for families visiting SeaWorld, or those in town for business, Town and Country offers grand halls and a few recently renovated premium guestrooms with mid-century decor. Several dining options are available on the property, as well as a swimming pool and pet-friendly touches including a pet dish and chew toy.
Ideally placed in the lovely isle of Coronado, the Coronado Inn is a tiny spot boasting a short walking distance to the beach and nearby bistros. Rooms are neatly decorated with oceanic colors, and your furry friend can stay with you for a $15 fee. The hotel regularly offers seasonal and family package specials, and handy amenities like BBQ grills, free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a full kitchen suite and swimming pool add to the great value.
For a B&B escape without the sky-rocketing costs, consider the charming Cherokee Lodge. Constructed in 1896, this historic home is made for a cozy getaway. The cottage is located in a quiet residential neighborhood and consists of 12 rooms and a few common areas. Vouchers for breakfast at Panera Bread are provided, which is just a block from the property. One point worth noting: As in the rest of Coronado, parking can be a drag, as there is no assigned parking lot.
Located on Orange Avenue in the heart of Coronado, El Rancho is a standard motel, with all the basics and a little extra. It consists of 10 bedrooms with microwaves, mini-fridges and free Wi-Fi. The motel offers very few parking spots, so if you’re not lucky enough to snag one, prepare for a search. Lounging can be done in the outdoor patio furniture, but the El Rancho’s biggest draw is its affordable accommodations ($150-$250 a night) and a three-block walking distance to the Ferry Landing.