By Cailey Rizzo
October 30, 2019
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San Diego has a lot to offer tourists, with beautiful beaches, world-class dining and nightlife, and one of the country's best zoos. The California destination also has one major (but oft-neglected) selling point: its international airport is located extremely close to the city center. By staying at one of the many hotels near the San Diego airport, you can experience the best of the city without having to choose between airport proximity and a downtown location. With the airport, beaches, and main shopping areas all located within a 15-minute drive of each other, you don't have to compromise on location for a quick trip to the city

Plus, because of the city’s compact nature, you aren’t limited to the run-of-the-mill chain hotels near the airport. There are a plethora of options for all tastes within close proximity of San Diego International.

If you only feel at home on city blocks, opt for a hotel in downtown San Diego. You’ll still be able to hop in a taxi and be at your airport terminal within 15 minutes. Or you can stay directly on San Diego Bay and listen to the sound of the water from your hotel room balcony. You can even opt for a tropical-themed hotel and spa to feel like you’re thousands of miles away from home — even though you're just a few miles from the airport. 

Whether you prefer boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, or chains where you can rack up loyalty points, these are the best hotels near the San Diego International Airport. 

1. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

This four-star hotel is located on Harbor Island, which is only a five-minute drive from the airport. But don’t think this hotel has typical airport views. From your room balcony, you’ll be able to look over the harbor or over to the glittering buildings of downtown San Diego.

To book: from $194 per night

2. Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island Hotel

Courtesy of Hilton

Located less than a mile from the airport, this hotel is also just a short walk from the beaches of the North San Diego Bay. Hang out by the waterfront or relax in the hotel’s whirlpool spa and sauna. Convenience doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice serenity at this hotel.

To book: from $124 per night

3. Hillcrest House Bed and Breakfast

If you prefer an intimate bed-and-breakfast vibe, book a stay at the charming Hillcrest House. Located about a 10-minute drive from the airport, this B and B has rooms themed after some of San Diego’s distinct attractions, including La Jolla, the Zoo, and the Old Town.

To book: from $139 per night

4. Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport/Liberty Station

Technically, you could walk to the airport from this Courtyard by Marriot, but it’s much nicer just to board the shuttle. Take a much more enjoyable walk to the nearby 46-acre park, Liberty Public Market, or downtown San Diego.

To book: from $179 per night

5. Hotel Republic San Diego

You can still get downtown boutique hotel vibes without sacrificing proximity to the airport. From the Hotel Republic, you can get to the airport in 10 minutes, the same amount of time it would take you to wander downtown or order a bespoke cocktail at the terrace bar.

To book: from $119 per night

6. U.S. Grant Hotel

For those whose tastes veer towards the luxurious and historical, check in to the U.S. Grant. The building is in the National Register of Historic Places, and it has a long list of influential past guests. It was built by the son of former president Ulysses S. Grant in 1910 and has since hosted Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh and Woodrow Wilson. And it’s less than a 15-minute drive from the airport.

To book: from $219 per night

7. Kona Kai Resort & Spa

Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort & Spa

This hotel proves that you can have a peaceful getaway in a hotel located right by the airport. Hang out on your room’s balcony, sun on the hotel’s private beach, or relax with a Balinese massage. And when it comes time to board your flight, you could be checking your bag within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel.

To book: from $209 per night

8. The Pendry San Diego

Courtesy of Pendry San Diego

Since its opening in 2017, The Pendry has become one of San Diego’s top design destinations. The rooms are chic and smart, with floor-to-ceiling views from the Gaslamp Quarter. Call a cab and be at the airport within 15 minutes.

To book: from $333 per night

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