I help people plan San Diego vacations so I can tell you that Coronado Island hotels are the most frequently requested accommodations. Why? Coronado delivers what most visitors are looking for.
There are gorgeous white sand beaches that are perfect for a quintessential California beach day filled with sunshine, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing and more. It’s also convenient — Coronado is easily accessible to and from the airport via Uber, a quick ferry ride to downtown, and within a (usually) easy drive to popular attractions like Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. And, of course, there are fantastic Coronado hotels to choose from.
The question of where to stay in Coronado can be answered with the right information. Truthfully, most people ask for Hotel del Coronado and there’s a good reason for it. But if a larger, busy resort doesn’t suit you or if you ‘d like a lower price point, you can find alternatives.
Keep in mind that during peak season, especially if you book last-minute, any of the Coronado Island hotels will price at a premium — including the hotels that are more budget-friendly. It is always best, especially if you need a family room, to book as far in advance as possible.
Where to Stay in Coronado, CA
The San Diego hotel that our readers book the most is Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton. The reason for this is because it's our best full-service beach resort and located on a beach that is regarded as one of the best in the nation.
There is a lot to know before you book and I've gone to great pains to explain the pros and cons of each building especially given that they're in the middle of an exciting, multi-year renovation (don't panic — people are booking in and still having a great time). If you are considering booking Hotel del Coronado, please read our guide.
The long roster of activities includes everything from private evening s'more roastings to outdoor spin class steps from the sand. The breakfast buffet (complimentary for two guests when you book the Virtuoso rate) is excellent and the new Serea sustainable seafood restaurant is just what the hotel needed. They've gone to great lengths to improve the dining experience and it's paid off.
We have a lot of repeat guests and many feel they get the full San Diego experience without ever leaving the resort. I can confidently say that the best way to book it is with our Virtuoso amenities and if you feel otherwise, let me know.
Rooms I like: The Ocean View Victorian King Studio Suite has a view from the balcony (most have balconies) over the resort to the ocean. While its living room isn't completely separate from the bedroom, it is nice to have the additional seating (sofa can turn into a sofa bed for two) and space. Families of six can fit into Double Queen Victorian Studio Suite with its two queen beds and queen-sized sofa sleeper.
Beach Village at The Del is the Hotel del Coronado's private enclave of luxury villas and cottages. If you are a luxury traveler and want the most upscale San Diego beach hotel possible, this is your choice.
Accommodations that range between one-room to three bedrooms are outfitted like designer residences. Some have full kitchens. Guests of Beach Village and local members have access to the seasonal Windsor Beach Club and an elevated level of service. Beach Village guests also have access to everything on the main Hotel del Coronado resort, but guests of the main resort can't access the Beach Village pools let along walk into the enclave. So, it's less busy and more private.
You can also book in with Virtuoso amenities that include breakfast for two at Sheerwater, a $100 spa credit, and more. For this, you'll have to send me your dates. Rooms start at $799/night in the low season but it helps to get a feel for their rates on Hilton as sometimes it can be nearly double that.
Rooms I like: The entry-level villa rooms offer two queen beds and a twin sofa sleeper so are a good solution for families of five. We also encourage you to check out the cottages with outdoor soaking tubs on the patio.
If you're looking for a Coronado boutique hotel with excellent service, consider the 17-room 1906 Lodge. You get quite a bit included with your room rate from breakfast to wine and hors d'oeuvres to complimentary beach gear and beach cruisers to use during your stay.
The location a block away from bustling Orange Avenue means that you're set amid stunning residences so it's quieter. But then again, you're also within about two blocks of Hotel del Coronado and the beach in front of it.
It's also a historic property, built in 1906 originally as a boarding school, so no two rooms are exactly alike. There isn't a restaurant, bar, or fitness center onsite but there are plenty of nearby options.
Rooms I like: Families will want to take a look at the Garden Double Queen Spa Guestroom which sleeps five. The best room for couples is the Grand King Spa room which has an in-room spa bathtub.
Another question we're asked frequently is what we think of Loews Coronado Bay Resort. What causes some to pause before booking, is its location about 4 miles south of the hustle of Orange Avenue. But, here's what you need to know.
This Coronado Island hotel's goal is to make it so that guests experience the best of San Diego without leaving. They do this partially through the Flavor by Loews program where they integrate locally-caught seafood, locally-brewed beers and distilled spirits, and more into their menus. Some of the produce is actually grown onsite in a lovely garden that guests can walk through or read a book in.
Silver Strand State Beach is a golf cart ride or about a 10-minute walk from the lobby. They have a seasonal beach stand there with chairs, umbrellas, and snacks but it's staffed by lifeguards and one of the best San Diego beaches. They do run a shuttle to Orange Avenue if you'd like to shop or eat lunch or dinner at one of the popular Coronado restaurants. And, they offer a long list of resort activities from yoga on the beach to water sports.
It always depends on the season, but you typically will pay significantly less here than at Hotel del Coronado which is important to note for people who prefer larger resorts. Part of it is the location but I would say the accommodations and facilities are not quite at the same level.
Rooms I like: Bay View King Suites have a fantastic view and a separate living room with sofa bed.
After driving over the Coronado Bridge, head right to Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa. It's on the opposite side of the island from the popular Coronado Central Beach in front of Hotel del Coronado (many Marriott guests take out the hotel bikes to get to this beach), but it's close to the Ferry Landing and offers views of the downtown skyline.
Recent renovations have drastically improved accommodations. The main pool overlooks the bay; a wellness facility offers classes, tennis, and more; and the spa is fantastic. If you are a Marriott Bonvoy member, it's a good choice.
Rooms I like: I'm a fan of keeping parents in king beds, if that's what they're used to, and all room types can sleep five, even the king rooms between the sofa bed and rollaway bed (extra fee applies for rollaways). The cottages are the nicest accommodations but the Executive Suite is a (usually) reasonably-priced way to get a separated living room and bedroom.
Glorietta Bay Inn is one of the Coronado Island hotels that is within a short walk of Coronado Central Beach. It's just across the street from Hotel del Coronado and another good choice for people who enjoy historic hotels.
This hotel in Coronado was once the home of John D. Spreckels, who is credited with putting San Diego on the map. Rooms are named for their position in the home but also after his grandchildren and even his yacht. Complimentary breakfast is included for all guests as there isn't a restaurant onside, but guests are spoiled for outside dining options given its prime location.
Here, you're also right across the street from the the San Diego Bay (some rooms offer bay views) and the water sports activities like kayaking, powerboat rentals, and more.
Rooms I like: If you can book into one of the Mansion Rooms, they have more charm with period furniture and original fixtures.
A little further up Orange Avenue from Glorietta Bay Inn, but still across the street from Hotel del Coronado, is El Cordova Hotel. People like this boutique hotel for its Spanish-style lobby and rooms and also for its location in the thick of the action on Orange Avenue. Again, walk across the street to one of the best Coronado beaches.
This is one of the best Coronado Island hotels for those who require kitchens as most accommodations have them. You can go to Miguel's Cocina onsite for lunch or dinner or take a dip in the courtyard pool.
Rooms I like: It can be difficult to sleep larger families in this part of Coronado but we like the two-bedroom and one-bedroom suite options (and think, if you're booking in advance, that you'll like the price).
What are your favorite Coronado Island hotels?