Hotels in Del Mar, CA, offer visitors the best of San Diego, including proximity to a popular beach, fantastic dining and boutique shopping, nearby hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Visitors, as well as locals looking for staycations, choose Del Mar hotels also for their charm.

Del Mar, California is a small beach city located about 20 miles north of San Diego. East of its zip code is a section loosely referred to as East Del Mar, Del Mar Heights, or Carmel Valley. I mention a few hotels over here, too.

Speaking of location, Del Mar’s is central with easy freeway access (though you’ll need to avoid rush hour) to popular attractions including the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the Gaslamp Quarter in the south to LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the north — if you can bear to leave one of these hotels.

Note from Katie: We independently choose all featured hotels. Booking methods mentioned are popular with our readers or ones we think offer the best value. If you book through select links, we may earn a commission and appreciate you supporting our business. Prices and amenities are subject to change. Our editorial guidelines.

1. Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Family pool at Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego

Hotel class: Luxury (one of the best in San Diego)
Location: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130 (East Del Mar)

Tip: You have access to Virtuoso amenities including breakfast for two, an activity credit, and more.

  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability (excluding suites)
  • Daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom, served in Amaya or in-room dining (up to $70 per bedroom per day)
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

When booking Fairmont on Virtuoso.com use only the number of adults traveling to get the correct rates. Kids may otherwise be priced as adults. We will add them after we follow up to collect your arrival details.

Reminiscent of a luxury Mediterranean estate, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is located on 400 acres in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean on Del Mar’s east side.

The hotel is a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes five-star property and one of the best luxury hotels in San Diego. It’s the largest resort on this list with the most amenities. Some include a Tom Fazio-designed private golf course, an award-winning luxury day spa, four pools, and San Diego’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Addison.

Fairmont Grand Mar is also a very popular San Diego family hotel with its Explorer’s Club, a year-round supervised kids’ club, main pool with underwater music, and sand play area. They also offer complimentary transportation to the Del Mar beach at 18th Street, one of the best San Diego beaches, and provides guests with beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and bottled water. 

If it’s a couples retreat that you seek, book one of the adults-only signature rooms that surround the adults-only pool.


2. L’Auberge Del Mar

L'Auberge Del Mar Coastal King Fireplace Room

Hotel class: Luxury
Location: 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

Tip: You have access to Noble Advisor VIP rates that include a $30 per person daily breakfast credit, one time $100 Food & Beverage credit, Room Upgrade based on availability.

One of the more upscale hotels in Del Mar CA, the AAA Four-Diamond L’Auberge Del Mar overlooks the ocean and offers a resort-like experience in a boutique hotel. Note: there are some resort enhancements currently happening around the hotel so you may see some construction.

All guestrooms feature fully-stocked minibars, coffeemakers, plush bathrobes, marble bathrooms, and private patios or balconies, some with ocean views.

L’Auberge Del Mar has onsite restaurants, including Coastline with ocean views and The Living Room with live music, but is across the street from Del Mar Plaza with its restaurants and shops. The hotel is extremely pet-friendly and offers a menu tailored specifically to dogs. 

L’Auberge Del Mar is across the street from the beach but still one of the best San Diego beach hotels with a private walking path directly to the beach.

The resort fee gives guests access to beach gear and a beach valet seasonally, lit tennis courts and equipment rental, beach cruisers, a 24-hour fitness center, and a complimentary shuttle within a 1-mile radius to other things to do in Del Mar or adjacent Solana Beach. The spa is also fantastic.

3. Del Mar Beach Hotel

Del Mar Motel on the Beach

Hotel Class: Budget (for beachfront in San Diego)
Location: 1702 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

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The Del Mar Beach Hotel is a standout choice, as it is one of the only hotels in Del Mar, CA on the beach. Dipping your toes into the ocean and laying on the beach is just steps away!

This boutique hotel features newly-renovated guestrooms, a private oceanfront sun deck, and shared barbecue and picnic areas for hotel guests. Guestrooms include queen or king pillowtop beds, large flatscreen TVs, complimentary WiFi, mini refrigerators, coffeemakers, and air conditioning.

Parking is complimentary, and cool hotel in Del Mar provides complimentary beach chairs, towels, umbrellas, and boogie boards for guests to enjoy. Oh and you get a complimentary welcome drink from their super cool wine dispenser.

Depending on which wing of the hotel guestrooms are situated in, some have full ocean views. You can also order to-go from Poseidon restaurant next door (which I love).


4. Wave Crest Resort

Wave Crest Resort

Hotel class: Budget
Location: 1400 Ocean Avenue, Del Mar, CA 92014

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Situated atop sweeping cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean with Del Mar Village just on the other side, Wave Crest Resort is in an ideal location among hotels in Del Mar, CA. The resort, which is actually a residential community with accommodation rentals, features private studio, 1- and 2-bedroom suites and bungalows, each with an ocean view. All of the units have kitchenettes with microwaves, mini-refrigerators, and coffeemakers. 

Wave Crest Resort features an outdoor pool and hot tub with lush tropical landscaping and 24-hour front desk access. Guests can go for a swim and take in ocean views.

There is a well-maintained trail that goes from the resort directly down to the white sand beach below, and the dozens of charming shops and restaurants in Del Mar Village are an easy walk, just two blocks away. 


5. Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar

Hotel class: Moderate
Location: 710 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

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The boutique Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar hotel embraces Del Mar’s ocean and horseracing cultures. The hotel features a spa with marine-centric therapies such as massages, wraps, and facials, while the Ocean View Bar & Grille serves up locally-sourced dishes and beers.

There are two outdoor pools and the hotel is also about a 15-minute walk to Del Mar Plaza restaurants and the popular Del Mar City beach in front of it.

Hotel Indigo welcomes pets for a small, non-refundable fee which is fantastic because you can take them to Del Mar Dog Beach.

Recently renovated guest rooms include standard and premium rooms, as well as suites, and some have private balconies and ocean views. Amenities include Aveda bath products, local California coffee, and complimentary wifi.

There are 24-hour fitness and business centers and self-parking is complimentary in either the hotel’s lot or underground garage. 

6. Best Western Premier Hotel Del Mar

Hotel class: Budget
Location: 720 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

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There aren’t many hotels in Del Mar CA on the beach, but the Best Western Premier Hotel Del Mar is extremely close, just two short blocks away from the ocean. The quaint boutiques, restaurants and art galleries of Del Mar Village are also just a short stroll away.

All guestrooms at the Best Western Premier Hotel Del Mar were recently renovated and feature premium Serta mattresses and designer bedding, large HDTVs, coffeemakers, complimentary WiFi, and balconies overlooking the resort-style garden and pool. Some rooms also feature an ocean view. 

Cafe Del Mar, the hotel’s onsite restaurant and lounge, offers local California fare for every meal of the day. The hotel also offers several guest packages including the surf packages for guests to experience water sports or golf packages at nearby Torrey Pines. 


7. Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

Hotel class: Moderate
Location: 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

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Conveniently located adjacent to the Del Mar Racetrack, there are other things to do within walking distance of the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar. There’s Pelly’s minigolf next door, The Fish Market restaurant, Pamplemousse restaurant (another local favorite), and even Viewpoint Brewing a little further afield.

Guests also enjoy the outdoor area featuring a heated pool and two hot tubs, and the CoastalKitchen restaurant with its outdoor dining, cozy fire pits, daily happy hour specials, and live music and brunch on weekends.

Hilton San Diego/Del Mar is also dog-friendly. The hotel has a dog run and even offers pets a welcome gift. Guestrooms feature Serenity beds and complimentary WiFi, and there are available upgraded rooms with patios or balconies. It’s just off the I-5 freeway.


8. Secret Garden Inn

Secret Garden Inn

Hotel class: Moderate in peak season / budget in off-peak season
Location: 1140 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

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This hidden gem in Del Mar consists of just five guestrooms, but it offers an abundance of unique amenities. The Secret Garden Inn has a fantastic location in the heart of many shopping and dining options and within a short walk to the beach.

No guest room at the Secret Garden Inn is the same. To give you an idea, the Rose room features a whirlpool tub and private balcony with partial ocean view, while Penthouse is a 2-bedroom unit with a large ocean view patio and outdoor jacuzzi and fireplace.

The courtyard at the Secret Garden Inn is also available for private parties or special events. 


9. Les Artistes Inn

Les Artistes Inn

Hotel class: Moderate in peak season / budget in off-peak season
Location: 944 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

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Set right in the heart of the charming Del Mar Village with plenty of dining and shopping options, Les Artistes Inn offers an exceptional hotel experience. It’s affiliated with Secret Garden Inn.

Each guestroom is uniquely designed based on the artwork of famous artists. The Botero room features a rear deck overlooking the property’s garden, the De Lempicka room offers a whirlpool bathtub and ocean view with a rear deck, the Monet room is decorated in a French country style, and the Vettriano room boasts skylights and an exposed wood beam ceiling, a fireplace, a walk-in shower, and an ocean view.

Les Artistes Inn is pet-friendly with a pet deposit, and beaches including Dog Beach are just a short walk away from the hotel. Self-parking at Les Artistes Inn is free.


10. San Diego Marriott Del Mar

A double room interior at San Diego Marriott Del Mar

Hotel class: Moderate
Location: 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130 (East Del Mar)

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San Diego Marriott Del Mar is a top choice among hotels in Del Mar CA (especially for Marriott Bonvoy members and business travelers) because of its convenient location, Arterra restaurant (great happy hour), and modern amenities.

This hotel is located just east of the I-5 freeway but also a short drive on surface streets to Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, Del Mar Village, and the beautiful beaches.

Guestrooms feature hardwood floors and premium mattresses and bedding, in-room Netflix streaming on large flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, wifi, and workstations. Arterra offers a daily breakfast buffet, lunch, dinner, and a sushi bar, and there are a 24-hour fitness center and outdoor heated pool and hot tub.

The San Diego Marriott Del Mar also boasts over 20,000 feet of meeting or event space and is also pet-friendly. I’ve stayed here and the rooms are nice, it’s just in East Del Mar so in more of a residential area and not near the best things to do in Del Mar which is why it’s not ranked higher on this list. If you need to be in Carmel Valley, it’s a great choice.

Still need help? Browse reviews and best in class lists of San Diego hotels.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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