Best Hotels in San Diego
Whenever you need a dose of sunshine, you can count on San Diego, a year-round destination where temperatures never stray far from the mid-70s. You may never want to leave, especially if you're staying at one of these first-rate hotels. May we suggest a glass-and-steel high-rise that adjoins the Petco Park baseball stadium via a pedestrian bridge or a seaside Spanish colonial hotel that employs surf concierges.
From the Pacific shore to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, these properties deliver gorgeous scenery with at-the-ready service. Find out which San Diego hotels made the cut, as selected by readers in our annual World's Best Awards survey.
No. 1 Grand Del Mar
Opulent 2007 property swathed in Italian marble and European refinement—plus hiking trails, golf, and a family-friendly pool. Fairway View rooms look out over The Grand Golf Club. Check out the list of the resort's outdoor tours (for a fee) from a sea cave kayaking trip to a guided coastal hike.
No. 2 Omni San Diego Hotel
The Omni San Diego is a glass and steel high-rise in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. It is distinct in that it adjoins the major league baseball stadium PETCO Park via a second-story pedestrian bridge. Many attractions are nearby, with the city's convention center across the street and Balboa Park, the Horton Plaza shopping district, and the San Diego Zoo accessible by foot or public transportation. Rooms have windows that open to city, ballpark, ocean, or bay views. The on-site McCormick & Schmick’s seafood and steak restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, and also offers a full breakfast menu.
No. 3 Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
At the edge of San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter, Hard Rock San Diego delivers rock-star style with 501 rooms and suites outfitted with contemporary décor, and some with Bose® sound systems, 42-inch plasma TVs, and access to VIP guest lists. The hotel acts as a living music museum, displaying cool pieces of classic-rock memorabilia, including Pete Townsend's guitar and Madonna's Virgin Tour bustier. Amenities include a full-service spa, a Fender guitar room-service menu, and Green Room VIP check-in services (with complimentary cocktails) that appeal to the famous and not so famous alike. Do a little stargazing from a private cabana at the rooftop pool or while dining on gourmet sushi at Nobu. With a 490-square-foot, wrap-around terrace, and rooftop Jacuzzi, Diamond Rock Star Suite has views of downtown San Diego, Point Loma, and Coronado Island. Celebs are often spotted at the hotel—Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Matthew McConaughey have all slept here.
No. 4 La Valencia Hotel
With its Mediterranean elegance, sweeping views, and steps-from-the-beach location, this hotel has been a local institution since it opened in 1926, when it attracted Hollywood types as well as World War II soldiers waiting to ship out. While many of the 112 rooms and suites offer ocean views and private balconies—and most suites have fireplaces—it’s hard to resist watching the waves from La Sala, the ground-floor lounge with its plush armchairs, terrace, and baby grand piano.
No. 5 Hotel del Coronado
Sepia photographs of bowler-hatted crowds on the boardwalk hang in the lobby of the Hotel del Coronado, attesting to the 120-year-old hotel’s deep history. (Every U.S. president since LBJ has stayed here.) The sprawling Victorian landmark is a California icon; recently the Del added the Beach Village, 78 rooms in 11 oceanside villas that can be configured as two- or three-bedroom units, each with a full kitchen and many with a fire-pit–equipped patio. With its own entrance, the compound feels like a low-key country club, secreted away from the bustle of the main hotel.
No. 6 Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
This seaside Spanish colonial has rooms with terraces and an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. Deluxe rooms on upper floors have balconies facing the eucalyptus-filled hills or the Batiquitos Lagoon. Though the hotel is not on the beach, a team of surf concierges and beach butlers ferry guests to the shore and point out the best kayaking, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing spots.
No. 7 Hotel Solamar
Ten-story hotel with a chic, urban feel, minutes from San Diego's burgeoning Gaslamp Quarter. Avoid the 4th floor Patio Deck rooms; they are near the lounge and can be noisy on weekends. Hang around the pool bar, for excellent people-watching.
No. 8 La Costa Resort & Spa
Immensely appealing for both kids (playroom, water park, and Guitar Hero-equipped teen center) and parents (43,000-square-foot spa and holistic center founded by Deepak Chopra).
No. 9 Lodge at Torrey Pines
This Craftsman-style resort features stunning design touches (William Morris wallpaper, Stickley furniture) and a location right on the Torrey Pines Golf Course, 5 minutes south of the village of La Jolla. Palisade Rooms have gas fireplaces and views of the Torrey Pines Golf Course, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Take a guided morning hike through the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
No. 10 Andaz San Diego
In the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, the property features 159 guest rooms with custom fixtures, flat-screen TVs, and generous-size glass-enclosed bathrooms. At the touch of a button, a glass partition that separates the 1,275-foot Star Suite from a humongous shower turns clear or opaque, connecting the showering experience with the rest of the bedroom. Made with sage, almond, and spearmint, the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel are supplied by environmentally conscious Korres, Greece's oldest homeopathic pharmacy.