With its stunning skyline, convenience and myriad of activities, downtown San Diego hotels are favorite places for travelers to drop their bags.
This list of best hotels in downtown San Diego includes mostly Gaslamp hotels as the Gaslamp Quarter is downtown’s most popular neighborhood.
Reasons to Stay in a Downtown/Gaslamp Hotel
As the epic center of a vibrant downtown scene, the Gaslamp Quarter is a great place to base your San Diego vacation. Many things to do in San Diego fall within walking distance, making getting around easy for travelers without cars.
The 16-block neighborhood boasts a lively food scene with over 200 restaurants. It’s easy to get to sights such as the USS Midway, America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier and a floating city rich in maritime history.
Depending on where you stay, you’re nestled right next PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres. The world-renowned San Diego Zoo, San Diego’s most popular attraction, awaits minutes from downtown. With Coronado Beaches just a ferry ride away, it’s possible to spend an entire day soaking in the sun while enjoying the soft waves along the golden shore.
In short, there is a lot to downtown.
The Gaslamp Quarter is also typically the top destination for business travelers (and their families) attending conferences because the majority of hotels either host conferences or are within walking distance of the convention center. The San Diego Convention Center is located a few blocks outside of the Gaslamp Quarter (adjacent to the Marriott Marquis, mentioned below).
If you’ve decided to base your SoCal adventure in downtown, here are the best downtown San Diego hotels, including Gaslamp hotels, to choose from. I offer special value-added amenities at the top three on the list (two you can book directly using my link and one you’ll need to send me your dates for).
Pendry San Diego
Pendry San Diego is one of my favorite downtown San Diego hotels because offers travelers excellent rooms, dining, and service. Its specialty is blending modern with tradition throughout the entire hotel including rooms, a beer hall, social club nightlife experience, rooftop lounge, elegant hotel bar, and signature farm-to-table restaurant.
It’s not a small hotel either with 317 rooms including 36 suites. With its attention to detail, luxury linens, stylish decor, and excellent service, Pendry San Diego falls into the luxury boutique hotel category. It is part of Montage Hotels and a Virtuoso property which means that I can add some amenities like complimentary breakfast for two and a $100 hotel credit to your room.
*If on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Full Site” to access rates and online booking.
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Combining a great location, sweeping view of San Diego Bay, and incredible service, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego will impress. It’s incredibly large with over 1,600 rooms spanning two massive towers. A benefit of the height is the sweeping views of the San Diego Bay from the rooftop bars, by far one of the best vantage points in the neighborhood. They offer the most seasonal activities for kids like movies at the pool, arts and crafts, foosball, Friday game night and more out of the downtown San Diego hotels, so it also made my list of best kid-friendly San Diego hotels.
The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, this historic hotel is situated in the heart of downtown San Diego. In addition to being known for exemplary service, (built originally in 1910) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the art lovers and fine shoppers, you’re in the right spot. The hotel sits a block north of the Lyceum Theater and one block east of Spreckels Theater.
More intimate than some of the larger hotels, the US Grant has 270 rooms. For a historic hotel, the rooms are quite contemporary with service you would expect from a Luxury Collection property. For more detail, read our review of The US Grant Hotel (the lobby and other public spaces have been refreshed since we were there last). Virtuoso is typically the best value.
*If on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Full Site” to access rates and online booking. Do not input the number of children traveling as they will be priced as adults. Place them in the booking notes section and I’ll add them on to the reservation when I double-check it.
Omni San Diego Hotel
Rumored to be the hotel chain of choice for Oprah Winfrey, the Omni San Diego Hotel offers a luxury experience with a prime location. Positioned at the base of Gaslamp, you are located right in between the iconic Gaslamp sign, PETCO Park, and the San Diego Convention Center. They even have a walkway that connects the hotel to PETCO Park and a reputation for also being very kid-friendly. Book a room with a bay view.
Hotel Republic San Diego
This new lifestyle hotel in downtown San Diego is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of over 125 one-of-a-kind properties worldwide. A local restaurant group handles the three onsite dining options ranging from a cool rooftop terrace to a grab-and g0 cafe. Club Level rooms, a complimentary benefit for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum members though anyone can book Club Level, come with all-day water and sodas, continental breakfast and daily happy hour in the lounge. Saturday rooftop yoga, Thursday “yappy hour” with dogs, pop-up events and contemporary coastal decor immerse guests in the local experience at Hotel Republic San Diego.
As an LJM reader, you can book in as a Marriott Luminous VIP guest with extra amenities such as complimentary daily breakfast for two, a room upgrade at check-in (subject to availability) and more.
The Westgate Hotel
Donning a classic Victorian vibe, The Westgate Hotel capitalizes on an era of “grand” décor while providing all the modern amenities. Enjoy big rooms, a lovely rooftop pool, and a fantastic location in the heart of Gaslamp. Guests can also take advantage of the brand new, adjacent AquaVie Spa + Wellness Center during a stay. They also have a lovely Sunday champagne brunch at Le Fontainebleau.
Hotel Z San Diego
For a lavish, but out of the ordinary experience, consider the unique and modern Hotel Z San Diego. This boutique hotel puts a fun twist on the regular amenities, integrating a stylish (and playful) pineapple into countless aspects of your stay. From the emblem on the robe to the customized Kleenex holder, you will marvel at all the different ways they incorporate their logo into the rooms.
Enjoy complimentary bikes to tour Gaslamp, friendly staff, and Hotel Z’s convenient downtown location.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
This hotel prioritizes creating a unique and wonderful experience for all guests. Just outside of the main Gaslamp area, the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina sits on the waterfront near Seaport Village and the San Diego Convention Center. Enjoy a spacious pool, their restaurant right along the bay, and top notch service every step of the way.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Right across the street from the San Diego Convention Center and adjacent to the iconic Gaslamp Sign, the Hard Rock Hotel puts you at the base of the downtown, right in all the action. This modern hotel gives you access to their stunning rooftop pool, enjoys a spa on site, and has the hip nightclub at the bottom of the venue. And, of course, there is a ton of rock and roll memorabilia inside.
Andaz San Diego
For the traveler seeking a sleek, modern venue, the Andaz hotel is sure to delight. They easily blend a modern minimalist approach with a chic design targeted to a younger “hip” crowd. The rooftop bar and pool with gorgeous cabanas are always a big crowd pleaser. Rooms have recently been refreshed.
Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Hotel Palomar is also a Kimpton which means perks like wine hour are included in your rate. This stylish property has a spa and pool deck in addition to an excellent restaurant. Be sure to take advantage of the beer concierge who can help lead you to the best suds in town. They’ll also have your pet California Dreamin’ in no time.
San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Another large but comfortable accommodation in the heart of downtown, the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter prides itself on top-notch service. Enjoy the convenience of being located right next to PETCO Park and a block from the San Diego Convention Center. In fact, you can see into PETCO Park from this Gaslamp hotel’s stunning rooftop Altitude Sky Lounge. Use the Marriott Rewards (free to join) discount to book.
Hotel Indigo San Diego—Gaslamp Quarter
As LEED-certified with eco-friendly operating practices in place, Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter is likely the greenest hotel on this list. Check out their pet packages as the dog is welcome to stay with you. This boutique hotel also has a great rooftop bar, Aveda bath amenities, stylish room decor and much more. Use the IHG Rewards (free to join) discount to book on InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), of which Hotel Indigo is a member.
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter
The Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter is worth a mention on this list because it is an excellent option for those looking for an extended stay option within walking distance to San Diego’s best restaurants, shopping, and the Convention Center. It’s the only all-suite hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter with fully-equipped kitchens and full-sized appliances, making it also a great option for families. Breakfast is also included in the rate. Use the Marriott Rewards discount (free to join) to book.
Hotel Solamar San Diego
Another setting with an incredible rooftop pool, the Solamar San Diego combines a great location with a luxurious experience. From the complimentary happy hour to a friendly staff, this state-of-the-art hotel makes a great choice.
Guests will appreciate the refreshed rooms and the small thoughtful touches built into your stay. Don’t forget to take advantage of the complimentary bikes to explore Gaslamp Quarter and waterfront.
What are your favorite downtown San Diego hotels?