To better enjoy San Diego’s year-round sunshine, many travelers—especially families—factor in a hotel’s swimming pool when booking accommodations. They provide a nice place to unwind after a day at the beach or sightseeing, with a cocktail or pool toys in-hand. This ultimate list of best hotel pools in San Diego will help narrow your search for where to stay.
Thanks to our year-round temperate weather, these pools are outdoor pools. I’ve broken the selection into four different categories of pools to cater to the vibrant, yet diverse, pool seekers visiting our corner of Southern California. Most San Diego hotel pools are of modest size (we’re known more for our beaches than our hotel pools), but some have water slides and epic views. Other pool decks are festive places to meet friends.
If there’s a clear way to book, that will give you the best value, I’ve mentioned it. If not, there’s a link to check the best price across multiple travel sites. If you make bookings through the links in this post, I may be compensated.
Larger San Diego Hotel Pools
If you’re reading this to find the biggest hotel pools in San Diego, this is the section for you. These San Diego hotels rate highly for overall ambiance, relaxation, and poolside amenities.
It’s important to enjoy your time both in and out of the pool, after all.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Location: East Del Mar
San Diego’s best luxury hotel, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, also has the best pool options. Guests enjoy four spectacular outdoor and heated pools. The main Resort Pool offers private cabanas with TVs, underwater music, poolside service (including towels), and a Pool Bar with drinks and a food menu.
The children’s pool with a wading area is also near a white sand area to play in. There is also a Jacuzzi and an adults-only pool that is perfect for relaxation after a spa treatment. The resort’s adults-only Signature Terrace rooms border this pool and have terraces that open up to it for easy access.
If you’re in search of a luxury hotel with fantastic pools, this is my top pick, and families love it.
Reservations: I can book readers in with special Virtuoso amenities that add value to a stay and may include breakfast for two, an activity credit, upgrades, occasionally a 3rd night free, and more.
*If on a mobile device, scroll to the footer of the Virtuoso page and click “Full Site” to access online rates and booking. Only search rates with the number of adults (ages 18 and older) traveling as children may be priced as adults. Mention the number of kids traveling in the notes during the booking process and I’ll add them in.
See also: Best Luxury San Diego Hotels
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Location: La Costa (Carlsbad)
In addition to a world-famous spa, Omni La Costa Resort is also well-known for its multiple pool areas. Adults have their own pool with a golf course view, poolside food, craft cocktails, and cabanas called Edge.
Splash Landing is the kids’ water play area with two 100′ water slides and a seasonal cafe area. Nearby, the Sandy Beach Family Pool is where kids can build sandcastles while parents chill in a cabana. Poolside food and drink service at the family pool are seasonal. When it’s unavailable, you can grab food and drinks from the Marketplace and bring them into the pool area.
The resort usually hosts evening Funtopia family pool parties with kid-friendly fare, s’ mores, poolside games, and other fun activities during summer. Then, there are villa pools and courtyard pools, and, of course, the spa even has its own quiet pool.
Note: Pool hours vary based on occupancy and season. Right now, you also need a reservation to use them. A reader I booked in recently reported that the family pool closed at 4 p.m. (that’s early) during the second week of April (still spring break for some).
Reservations: I can book you into Omni La Costa with Travel Leader Select benefits that include daily breakfast for two, a $100 resort credit, and more. The rate is the same as Omni’s Flexible Rate, so you may want to check their website first. If you’re interested, request a rate below. Pool day passes are also available.
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina’s three lagoon-style pools are hailed as some of the best in town. They’re staffed by a recreation team to help guests with towels, floats, poolside games, and sunblock.
The wavy shape gives the grounds a lot of character, spiced with comfortable lounge chairs perfect for relaxing. The evening light here captures an incredible ambiance, especially given the location right on Mission Bay. Prepare for brightly colored arrays spilling across the sky come evening time.
It’s one of the best hotel pools San Diego has to offer because it has the most water slides (three) in addition to a separate children’s pool. Guests may reserve private pool cabanas.
Reservations: If you stay two nights or longer, you can receive a room upgrade at the time of booking (subject to availability), a $100 Property Credit, daily breakfast for two, and more. Pool day passes are also available.
The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Location: Pacific Beach
It’s not the fanciest pool on this list, but it’s one I’m asked about a lot. A stay at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa includes access to a fun, medium-sized turquoise pool combined with seating and umbrellas to ward off the sun. Make sure to check the schedule to see when the pool bar and grill are operating. There is also an adjacent game room.
Steps from this outdoor swimming pool, you’ll be able to frolic in the waters of Mission Bay. Here, you’ll find bayside lounge chairs and umbrellas in the sand. And water sports rentals that include paddleboarding or sailing. The ocean beach is only a short two-minute jaunt away.
San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
Location: Downtown San Diego
Another large, yet wavy shaped pool awaits at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Mariana. At the base level of this modern hotel, the large main outdoor pool weaves its way around the patio grounds surrounded by lounge chairs and easy access to the outdoor grill.
This pool ends near a smaller freeform outdoor pool. The downtown San Diego hotel also has a whirlpool, giving guests a perfect place to soak after a full day of sightseeing. It’s also not fancy, but it’s a nice bayside spot.
Reservations: Use the Marriott Bonvoy discount to book in.
Town and Country Resort
Location: Mission Valley
Town and Country Resort in San Diego has reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation that emphasized its mid-century modern roots and created a large outdoor swimming pool complex. Guests can enjoy a zero-entry pool, a children’s pool, and a four-story, 150′ “Twister” water slide. It’s currently the longest hotel water slide in San Diego.
You can relax in cabanas and day beds, especially if you book a poolside massage. Other offerings include poolside crafts for kids and dive-in movies.
The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club and Bungalows
Location: North Park
Probably the hippest hotel in this list, The Lafayette’s 25-meter-long pool also has the most history tied to it. The pool was designed by former Tarzan and five-time gold medal winner, Johnny Weissmuller. This is why it’s called the Weissmuller Pool. Florence Chadwick also trained here for her record-breaking swim across the English Channel.
Always lively, the pool often hosts DJs, bands, events, and pool parties regularly. There is also a cabana for 30 people located at the end of the pool. Many of North Park’s amazing restaurants are nearby, too.
Beachfront San Diego Hotel Pools
There’s no denying the appeal of San Diego’s 70-mile coastline. Still, there are beachfront San Diego hotel pools for times we want to alternate between the warm temperature-controlled pool and splashing around in the Pacific Ocean.
If you’re looking to embrace both bodies of water, here are the best hotel pools that also give you easy access to the golden beaches of San Diego.
Hotel del Coronado
To equally soak in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean while splashing around the pool, consider the four-star and historic Hotel del Coronado. Their large, rectangular Main Pool and whirlpool both have just been renovated. Private cabanas and lavish lounge chairs invite guests to spend hours relaxing. (It can get busy here during peak season.) Pool goers also enjoy direct access to the Sun Deck restaurant.
The adults-only spa infinity pool overlooks the boardwalk. Every aspect of your stay at the Hotel del Coronado is only a minute from walking along the gorgeous Coronado beach.
Reservations: Book Hotel del Coronado with special perks ($100 spa credit, breakfast for two, upgrade on arrival subject to availability, and more) at no extra cost to you through Virtuoso. Alternatively, the Hilton Honors discount typically saves slightly (though my Virtuoso benefits typically outweigh this discount).
*If on a mobile device, scroll to the footer of Virtuoso.com and click “Full Site” to access online rates and booking. When searching rates, only enter in the number of adults (ages 18 and above) traveling as it may price children incorrectly as adults. Add the number of kids traveling in the notes section during booking I’ll adjust the reservation accordingly.
Please note: I have also written a very detailed guide to Hotel del Coronado that addresses selecting a room and much more. A $400 million renovation is underway, and construction is visible around the resort. Guests continue to book in and have a great time. Stay clear of Property Enhancement view rooms.
Pacific Terrace Hotel
Location: Pacific Beach
While a much smaller pool, the Pacific Terrace Hotel makes the list due to its incredible location along the Pacific Beach coastline.
With a prime view of the boardwalk’s action, this pool is ideal for the traveler looking to blend scenic views with an afternoon poolside. This is a highly-rated San Diego beachfront hotel and recipient of AAA Four Diamonds.
La Valencia Hotel
Location: La Jolla
Just steps from La Jolla Cove beach, La Valencia Hotel‘s saltwater rectangular pool blends lavish lounge seating with old-world charm while catering the whole experience around ocean views. You’ll enjoy poolside food and drink service, Coola suncare products, and a lovely day in my community’s sunshine.
This boutique hotel is the Village of La Jolla’s most luxurious hotel. The prime location on Prospect Street is within walking distance San Diego’s best restaurants and shopping.
Bayside Hotels with Pools
San Diego celebrates an abundance of bodies of water. In addition to our endless coastline, we also enjoy beautiful and dynamic bays cutting in along the shore. This list includes options both alongside Mission Bay as well as San Diego Bay.
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Location: Downtown San Diego
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront gives you somewhat of a luxe Miami Beach feel with their bayside pool. Here they take you almost to the water’s edge. You can look across the San Diego Bay with unparalleled views extending to Point Loma through the patio’s glass wall. The experience mirrors that of an infinity pool.
It’s San Diego’s only heated saltwater pool. This is also one of the best venues near the Gaslamp Quarter to enjoy the sunset. The pool isn’t huge, but the layout and atmosphere make up for what the pool may lack in size. There is also a kids’ water play area with a slide.
Reservations: The Hilton Honors rates are nearly always best for booking Hilton properties like this as they also have a price guarantee.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort
Location: Shelter Island
For a colorful, chic, and modern hotel with a swimming pool adjacent to the San Diego Bay, the Kona Kai is the place for you. This small, long pool gives you a front seat to the path where boats navigate to their pier. Comfortable lounge chairs lining the pool and Jacuzzi make for a relaxing poolside experience. Cabanas are available here and also at the adults-only pool.
If you’re looking for extra leisure, take advantage of the massages and sauna available at their spa.
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
Location: Harbour Island (across the Street from the San Diego Airport)
This pool is on the list for people who need a San Diego airport hotel but would like a pool, too. Guests may watch yachts meander through the harbor and enjoy water views from the pool at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. While a smaller and simple pool, it gives you enough room to splash about.
It is the largest San Diego airport hotel with the most amenities, including a spa and free shuttle service to the airport.
Reservations: Use the Marriott Bonvoy member discount to save. It’s free to join.
San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Location: Mission Bay
Following the trend of pools wrapping around the patio, the San Diego Mission Bay Resort (a Noble House enjoys a wavy pool enclosed in a sea of palm trees. Between the trees, you can see Mission Bay peeking through, as well as the boardwalk calling for guests to go for an evening walk.
The large pool deck also offers fire pits with seating, a small kids’ pool, and a Jacuzzi for guests to enjoy. Occasionally, the resort hosts poolside movies with complimentary popcorn.
I’m thrilled by the hotel’s renovation which mostly seemed to include the rooms, making them lighter and brighter (book the ones with the fire pits), and the vibe is more upbeat. San Diego Mission Bay Resort actually used to be the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa.
Reservations: I can book you in with the Noble House VIP Package that includes a slightly discounted rate, breakfast for two daily in the restaurant, and upgrade at check-in subject to availability. Pool day passes are available.
Paradise Point Resort and Spa
Location: Mission Bay
Paradise Point Resort & Spa is located on its own 44-acre private island so there is quite a bit to do here including a swim in one of the five pools.
The pools are all a bit different. Of course, there’s one especially for adults and a larger family pool with poolside food and drink service. The lagoon pool has nearby fire pits for roasting s’ mores. You can also swim in a pool accented by waterfalls, or choose the meadow pool.
Rooftop Pools in San Diego
The appeal of a pool isn’t limited to little ones splashing around or views of the Pacific Ocean. Many of our San Diego hotel pools take advantage of our cityscape through rooftop pools. These create a perfect ambiance for both family-friendly vacations and girlfriends enjoying a bottle of wine together.
I’ve included a mix of hotel pools both on top floors as well as ones that are elevated enough above street level to provide urban fun. Each hotel pool gives you the ability to enjoy captivating city views while lounging at a classy San Diego hotel pool.
Pendry San Diego
Location: Downtown San Diego
The rooftop pool at the new Pendry San Diego provides the perfect mix of a chic experience with an old-school touch. This elongated pool with gorgeous seating including cabanas overlooks the hub of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Luxurious lounge chairs with brightly colored striped umbrellas give the final touches on this San Diego pool experience. The Pool House at Pendry San Diego also serves cocktails and bites to poolside guests. And, you should take a look at their Pool Suite that, of course, opens directly up to the pool.
Reservations: Amenities that I can secure for you at no additional cost include breakfast for two, a room upgrade based on availability at check-in, a $100 hotel credit, and more. They spoil my guests, which I love.
*If on a mobile device, scroll to the footer of Virtuoso.com and click “Full Site” to access online rates and booking.
Learn more in my Pendry San Diego Review.
Location: Downtown San Diego
Solamar Hotel raises the bar (literally) when it comes to poolside lounging. The modern vibe of the hotel extends to the patio which is now the revamped Upper EAST Bar (pictured above).
It’s a smaller swimming pool than some of the others on this list. But, a stay here is more about the elevated and modern ambiance complete with a happening poolside experience in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp district. Rent private cabanas or loungers by the day on this rooftop pool, which also boasts fire pits and poolside games. Pool day passes are available.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Location: Downtown San Diego
This long, narrow rooftop pool gets you closer to the star-filled skies as the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego takes the experience to the roof. Also embedded into the core of Gaslamp Quarter, the true appeal starts after dusk when the city views filled with lights brighten the skyline.
Continuing the sleek, modern feel of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, the pool deck showcases a contemporary experience with cabana lounging. Take advantage of The Rock Spa, which provides various treatments that can be performed within a poolside cabana.
What Are the Best San Diego Hotels with Indoor Pools?
As you can see above, the best hotel pools in San Diego are all outdoors. We live in a climate where outdoor swimming pools in San Diego can operate year-round, without issues. This means that there are only a handful of San Diego hotels with indoor pools. In fact, I actually only know of three in the County:
- Embassy Suites La Jolla
- Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown
- Marriott Vacation Club Pulse (this is a great option for large families)
None of these pools will blow your mind, but I want to list them here for your reference. Indoor pools can be important to guests no matter the weather.
What do you think is the best hotel pool in San Diego?
Planning a trip soon? Make sure to look at what to pack for San Diego.