I live in La Jolla and occasionally book into some of the La Jolla hotels on this list with my family just for fun. My seaside community is a popular place for San Diego vacations and staycations, so one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is where to stay in La Jolla.

The answer isn’t always straightforward because things to do in La Jolla are spread across several neighborhoods that you’ll need to drive between. Where to stay also depends on the type of vacation you’d like to have. Do you have kids with you? Are water sports important? Do you want to get away from it all or be within walking distance of San Diego’s best restaurants and shopping? Are you looking for 5-star luxury or cheap accommodations within walking distance of the beach?

My insight into each La Jolla hotel will help you find the best fit for your trip, whether you seek luxury, a hotel on the beach, affordable lodging, or a place to bring your pet.

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.

Location Tips for Booking La Jolla Hotels

Hotels in La Jolla, CA, are mostly located in three neighborhoods:

  • Village of La Jolla
  • La Jolla Shores
  • Torrey Pines/UCSD.

The neighborhood you choose matters. For example, La Jolla Shores (quieter, with a glorious, huge beach) is not easily walkable to the Village of La Jolla (our downtown district). You’ll also need to drive downhill from Torrey Pines/University of California San Diego to the Village and La Jolla Shores. There are certainly benefits to staying in each neighborhood, and bouncing between them really isn’t difficult, especially if your hotel offers a shuttle.

La Jolla hotels are often priced at a premium compared to other hotels in San Diego because the location is so desirable. That being said, the best La Jolla hotels don’t always break the bank and we have some budget options.

Many hotels in the UTC or Aventine area right off the I-5 freeway classify themselves as La Jolla hotels. (The Village of La Jolla is about 15 minutes from the I-5 freeway. ) While they are SO CLOSE and located on La Jolla Village Drive, they are not inside the La Jolla zip code. For that reason, I haven’t included any here.

1. The Lodge at Torrey Pines (Top Pick)

Location: Torrey Pines/UCSD
Hotel class: Luxury

Why we love it: It’s an intimate, highly-rated, five-star boutique hotel next to Torrey Pines Golf Course. Built in California craftsman style, The Lodge at Torrey Pines boasts ocean views and is known for excellent service from hotel staff throughout the property.

It’s often mentioned in national publications as a top choice in California and is the best choice for luxury hotels in La Jolla. It’s also effortless to walk from the hotel to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a little hiking, and I adore its fine dining restaurant, A.R. Valentien. The Lodge is our most requested and booked La Jolla hotel.

See also: The Lodge at Torrey Pines Review

Hotel amenities:

  • Excellent dining throughout
  • Full-service spa
  • Torrey Pines Golf Course (Golf Services can secure tee times)
  • Heated outdoor pool (that plays underwater music) and hot tub
  • Weekend yoga classes and croquet
  • Putting green with free loaner putters
  • Spacious guest rooms range in size from 500 square feet to 650 square feet
  • Luxury suites up to 2500 square feet, some with fireplaces and balconies overlooking the golf course
  • Egyptian cotton linen and quilted duvets
  • Keurig coffee brewers with complimentary tea and coffee and morning coffee in A.R. Valentien’s lounge.
  • Complimentary shoeshine service
  • Children’s menus at all restaurants
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Tesla car share service through the EV Mobility app
  • Chauffeured car service within 5 miles (first come, first served)
  • Pet-friendly

Good to know: This La Jolla hotel is adjacent to the renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, and some privileges come with that, including an awesome Golf Services team. They can secure hard-to-get tee times at Torrey Pines Golf Course and at members-only Del Mar Country Club and Aviara Golf Club. Fees are not marked up and are simply billed back to your room.

The photos on the hotel website don’t do it justice, in my opinion, you need to see how pretty it is in person. The spa is not huge, but it’s very good (I go for massages there sometimes). It’s also one of La Jolla’s pet-friendly hotels. It’s a top choice for where to stay in La Jolla near the University of California San Diego (my alma mater).

Awards: AAA Five Diamonds, Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award

Reservations: The Virtuoso rate includes extra benefits outlined below plus a discount off of published rates. However, you must create a Virtuoso account and log in to see the discount.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily breakfast for two per bedroom (up to 60.00 credit per day)
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be 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

You must be logged in to Virtuoso.com to see the discounted rate for The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

2. La Valencia Hotel

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Luxury

Why we love it: La Valencia is a luxury boutique hotel on Prospect Street above La Jolla Cove. Built in 1926, “The Pink Lady” is within walking distance of the best La Jolla shopping and La Jolla restaurants. Some rooms and villas have ocean views, but you’ll also see the Pacific Ocean from the pool and lobby.

It’s the spot that well-heeled travelers who don’t care about being directly on the sand (though it’s right across the street) and want a more urban experience will likely enjoy most. I believe it’s the nicest hotel in our downtown area.

See also: La Valencia Hotel and Spa in La Jolla Review

Hotel amenities:

  • Luxurious European bath amenities
  • Mediterranean Room patio and ocean view dining (on my list of best La Jolla brunch restaurants)
  • Four Room types: Vintage, Classic, Villas & Icon
  • La Sala Lounge with live music, libations, and tapas
  • Oceanview saltwater pool (heated) and spa with poolside service
  • Complimentary shoeshine
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • 300-count imported bed linens
  • Keurig coffee makers
  • Les Clefs d’Or Concierge service

Good to know: This La Jolla Cove hotel allows small pets. It’s an old hotel, so pay attention to room size as some rooms, like the Vintage Kings, are quite small at 250 square feet. Weekend brunch at the Mediterranean Room restaurant is one of the most popular brunches in all of San Diego (I love lunch there, too). The hotel is valet parking only. Plus, they just reopened The Whaling Bar, a local favorite for decades. I fondly remember sipping martinis with work colleagues at the bar there over two decades ago.

The villas are in a quieter section of the hotel, closer to the ocean. If you can’t splurge on the Icon Suites, the Villa King Ocean Rooms and Villa King Ocean Suites are the next best accommodations.

Awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, AAA Four Diamonds

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3. Grande Colonial La Jolla Hotel

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: The oldest hotel in La Jolla, the Grande Colonial Hotel, was built in 1913 and is still glamorous. The rates can be a good value considering its prime location on Prospect Street, the main shopping and restaurant district in La Jolla (a few blocks south of La Valencia) and where the art galleries are located.

It’s just a short uphill walk from the Children’s Pool where our famous La Jolla seals are (one of the best things to do in La Jolla with kids) and home to one of my favorite restaurants in town, NINE-TEN (also considered among the best San Diego restaurants).

Hotel amenities:

  • Award-winning fine dining restaurant, NINE-TEN
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Heated swimming pool
  • In-room massage, spa, and wellness services
  • Complimentary high-speed wired and wireless internet access
  • Dry cleaning services
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • PressReader news service
  • Keurig single-serve coffee makers
  • Complimentary in-room bottled water
  • Goose down comforters and Serta iComfort Eurotop mattresses

Good to know: The hotel focuses on Green Initiatives and received the Green Eco-Leaf Rating from iStayGreen. The outdoor pool is a bit small. NINE-TEN has a half-priced bottle of wine nights on Wednesday and supplies the room service menu (get the half-baked chocolate cake). It is also one of the best restaurants in La Jolla.

My daughter and I have stayed overnight at Grande Colonial. We’ve used the facilities and visited friends there. My Grande Colonial review has some updated information about what it’s like to stay in La Jolla here. And, it’s also one of the haunted hotels in San Diego.

Awards: Eco Green-Leaf Rating for On-Site Conservation Efforts, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, AAA Four Diamonds, Booking.com Award of Excellence

Reservations: There are so many different room and suite types that I suggest check rates directly with the hotel first to find one that suits your needs. Then, you can compare it to other sites online.

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4. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Location: Torrey Pines/UCSD
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: If you like the feel of a mid-sized resort with a full-service spa, gorgeous landscaping, and good food, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is for you. Its hacienda style means buildings are no more than two stories tall, and the 210 rooms are spaced well across the property without being too far away from each other.

It’s a good place to unwind because it’s very quiet. I dare you not to take a picture of the stunning landscape design featuring native plants. This is the perfect location for parents visiting students at the University of California San Diego, as the campus is across the street. It’s among the closest hotels to UCSD.

Hotel amenities:

  • Heated saltwater pool and whirlpool
  • Full-service spa offering massage, facial, nail, and body treatments
  • Poolside cabanas and lounge chairs
  • Botanical tours
  • Single-serve coffee makers
  • Mini fridge
  • 55” 4K TVs
  • Wired and ultra-fast wireless internet for unlimited devices
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • eBikes (subject to availability)
  • Board game closet
  • Pet-friendly accommodations and accessories

Good to know: I’ve been to this La Jolla hotel probably the most out of any on this list, as we residents go there for events, meetings, dining, and to visit hotel guests here. Mustang & Burros is not huge, but it is among our favorite outdoor patios in town, and they make a great organic margarita.

This resort is a bit isolated, so you will need a car to head into La Jolla Village, the Village of La Jolla, or elsewhere in town. UCSD students, parents, alumni, and academics receive preferred rates. The hotel has received the prestigious AAA Four Diamonds.

Reservations: They have some discounts for UCSD staff and families you can check directly with them. We can book you in with Noble Select benefits that include the below.

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • One-time $100 resort credit
  • Book 3+ nights, and receive an additional $150 Resort Credit
  • Room upgrade upon availability
  • 12 p.m. late check-out upon availability

5. Pantai Inn

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: It has space, a kitchen, and Pacific Ocean views. Pantai Inn is a small Balinese-inspired property (custom furnishings and art are from Bali) within walking distance of shops and restaurants on Prospect Street and in the Village.

Accommodation choices include either suites or cottages, which means that it’s more like a home away from home. Each has separate living rooms, full kitchens, and dining areas. It’s across the street from the ocean on Coast Blvd, between the Children’s Pool and La Jolla Cove.

Hotel amenities:

  • Tranquil ocean view courtyard
  • Outdoor fire pit and seating area
  • In-room spa treatments
  • Complimentary continental breakfast each morning
  • Complimentary self-parking
  • Multiple stays and activity packages available
  • One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites or cottages
  • Wireless Internet access throughout the property
  • Finest coffee and teas served through the afternoon and evening

Good to know: I’d recommend an ocean-view cottage or suite, as the view here is truly spectacular. The boardwalk below can get busy, but it’s great for walks past my favorite spots in La Jolla. As there is no big sandy beach directly in front of Pantai Inn, La Jolla Cove is likely where you’d go for a quick swim (a scenic 5-10 minute walk).

There is no pool or onsite restaurant. If you are used to larger, full-service hotels, this may not be a good choice for you, which is why you may see it on lists of luxury hotels in La Jolla, but I classify it as moderate. They are very well-known for excellent customer service.

Reservations: Pantai Inn is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World but not a participant in their VIP program. I’d book directly or you can check other sides online.

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6. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

Location: La Jolla Shores
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: This La Jolla beach hotel has space for an extended stays and multigenerational trips. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club is part of an exclusive private club, which means that overnight guests have access to amazing tennis courts, a pitch-and-put golf course, and more. It’s the kind of place where generations return every year for a family holiday because right here is one of San Diego’s best beaches.

Hotel amenities:

  • One-, two- or three-bedroom suites complete with living room and full kitchen available (some are beachfront)
  • Complimentary Club privileges with access to all resort activities
  • Private beach
  • 12 Championship tennis courts with complimentary tennis matching service and unlimited court time
  • Access to three beachfront restaurants
  • Par-3, nine-hole golf course, putting practice greens, and driving nets
  • Bocce ball court and ping pong tables
  • Heated pool
  • Children’s playground
  • Fitness center
  • Massage service
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Beach barbecues
  • Coffee-maker with Starbucks® coffee and tea
  • Fine dining at The Marine Room restaurant onsite
  • Free self-parking

Good to know: This La Jolla beach hotel books up quickly during the summer, so advanced trip planning is necessary. The exteriors of the buildings feel dated, and so do the rooms, but it’s an excellent place to stay in La Jolla, CA, for a big Southern California family beach vacation or an extended holiday. If you’re looking for a resort, this is probably the closest place we have, even though I don’t really consider it a true resort.

Awards: America’s Top 50 Tennis Resorts by Tennis Magazine, a Gold Medal Resort by TennisResortsOnline, and Best Recreation Club by the California Restaurants Association, San Diego Chapter, Family-Owned & Closely-Held Business Award by the San Diego Business Journal, and Workplace Excellence Award by Peter Barron Stark Companies.

See also: La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club Review

Reservations: We have a little bit of a discount here that lines up with the AAA rate. You can submit a request for rates if you’d like to access it otherwise most people tend to use Hotels.com for this property.

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7. La Jolla Shores Hotel

Location: La Jolla Shores
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: You want one of the La Jolla beach hotels that won’t bust your budget. I have stayed at La Jolla Shores Hotel, and you can book a room sometimes for below $300/night, which is a steal. There’s nothing like falling asleep amid the Pacific Ocean breezes.

My daughter loves staying here because you can run back and forth from the sand to your room (ours had a handy kitchenette) for this and that. If you want to have a San Diego vacation centered around beach activities, meaning long days on the sand or in the water, consider this a good option for where to stay in La Jolla.

This is one of the two best La Jolla hotels San Diego offers on the beach. La Jolla Shores has been a SoCal fixture for decades, and while it may not be luxury, it does offer a casual stay with beach access that’s perfect for anyone looking for surf spots in La Jolla. 

The onsite dining is great, serving handcrafted meals using locally caught seafood. The Shores Restaurant has no dress code, is super family-friendly, and serves farm-fresh food every day. I like going there for happy hour.

Hotel amenities:

  • BBQs on the beach
  • Rooms with kitchenettes, beachfront accommodations, scenic coastal views available, and rooms with up to 780 square feet available
  • Connecting rooms available
  • Complimentary courtesy shuttle service within the local La Jolla area that includes the Village and Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • Free courtesy set up and use of beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels
  • Heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi
  • Private tennis courts with lessons and clinics available
  • Complimentary in-house fitness center
  • The Shores Restaurant, with its beach views
  • In-room massage service

Good to know: The swimming pool isn’t huge. The rooms are not fancy, but they are comfortable. The awesome shops and restaurants on Avenida de la Playa are a short walk away, including Piatti, the Cheese Shop, Shore Rider, Surf Diva, and more. The Kellogg Park (this area is often called La Jolla Shores Park) playground and big grassy area adjacent to the La Jolla beach hotel.

Awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Reservations: Like LJBTC above, we have a discount here that is the same as the AAA rate. You can submit a request for rates if you’d like to access it otherwise most people tend to use Hotels.com for this property as well.

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8. Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

Location: La Jolla Shores
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: It’s a boutique Curio Collection by Hilton property and a good option for San Diego hotels near La Jolla Shores beach. The restaurant, located on the top floor, has one of the best views in San Diego, in addition to great food.

Most of the rooms have views, and there’s also a small swimming pool. It’s a good option if you want a nice place to stay without paying beachfront pricing in this neighborhood. And, the rooms have just been renovated!

Hotel amenities:

  • 50-inch TV in rooms
  • Coffeemaker
  • Suites with a living area, sofa, and gorgeous Pacific Ocean vistas from three balconies.
  • Outdoor patio and pool area
  • Fitness center
  • Lounge and bar area at the pool and upstairs at the hotel restaurant
  • Rooms and suites available
  • Bicycles available for guest use

Good to know: Hotel La Jolla is located at the crossroads of a busy intersection (which also provides easy freeway access to other sights like San Diego Zoo, Pacific Beach, Downtown, and elsewhere), but we didn’t hear traffic noise from our ocean view room. It is a more wallet-friendly choice for those willing to walk 5 minutes to the La Jolla Shores restaurants and 10 minutes total to the beach. There’s a Starbucks next door in the gas station.

Reservations: Hilton has a best price guarantee, so between that and the Hilton Honors discounts, I believe booking direct is your best bet.

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9. Orli La Jolla

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel Class: Moderate

Why we love it: Orli La Jolla boasts a 1910 history with modern, refined elegance. The decor is decidedly minimal, and guests are invited to make themselves home in this boutique hotel specializing in contactless, on-demand service. You check yourself in and out, and amenities are provided when you arrive and upon request.

For those who want a vacation home experience without paying the price of a rental house or villa, Orli can be a good middle ground. With just 13 guest rooms and suites, it offers a level of luxury and exclusivity that makes it unique. Whether you prefer a historic-inspired design or an ultra-sleek aesthetic with a kitchenette, each room boasts unique features that make it stand out.

Hotel Amenities:

  • Free WiFi
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Apple TV
  • Nespresso coffee makers
  • Sateen and linen sheets
  • App-based concierge services
  • Contactless check-in and check-out
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Complimentary Brew Bar offers local, craft cold brews and kombucha
  • On-site bike rentals, so you can easily cruise around.

Good to Know: The hotel is entirely digital, so you can check into your room and out via a digital keypad. Fresh flowers are provided upon every check-in, which really adds to the charm of the boutique hotel in La Jolla. There’s a small courtyard with olive trees perfect for relaxing in the sun, and there are. It feels like you’re staying in someone’s house.

It’s next door to a church with a preschool and across the street from La Jolla Recreation Center, also diagonal to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a little quite over here but walkable to the main sights in the Village.

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10. Cormorant Boutique Hotel, La Jolla

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel Class: Moderate/Budget

Why we love it: The Cormorant Hotel is located right in the heart of La Jolla, giving its guests easy access to the beach and San Diego’s best restaurants and shops. It’s a new boutique hotel with warm tones, sleek accents, modernizations, and historical touches that honor the building’s legacy as the former La Jolla Inn.

The Prospect Market at the hotel’s base originally opened in 1940 and was La Jolla’s only grocery store. Today, it sells grab-and-go snacks, drinks, and even some souvenirs.

There is a rooftop restaurant, Birdseye, that offers panoramic views of the beach, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the sound of the waves as night falls over La Jolla.

Hotel Amenities:

  • Birdseye restaurant and bar (hotel guests receive a 15% discount)
  • In-room dining
  • Nespresso coffee maker
  • In-room USB charging stations
  • Touchless key entry
  • 55” flatscreen HDTV
  • A personal safe, steamer, robes
  • Air conditioning
  • Free WiFi
  • A hairdryer

Good to Know:  Expect some street noise as this is a busy corner with a lot of tourist activity, especially in the summer. Also, there is no elevator, meaning guests may need to walk as high as four stories. Some people report noise from the restaurant from rooms on the top (fourth) floor. Pay attention to room size, as most are around 200 square feet.

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11. Empress Hotel La Jolla

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Moderate/Budget

Why we love it: The Empress Hotel is located in the heart of Downtown La Jolla. While there is no ocean view, it’s conveniently located to almost everything and is excellent value for money. I thought our room was comfortable with luxury linens, a microwave, and more.

Since I live on Mount Soledad and can’t walk to the Village, I loved staying here and walking everywhere with the dog (La Jolla is a pretty pet-friendly place). It’s the only pet-friendly La Jolla hotel for big dogs like mine.

Hotel amenities:

  • Hot breakfast each morning on the patio
  • Fitness center
  • On-site Manhattan restaurant, bar, and lounge (a great place to eat)
  • Jacuzzi suites
  • Plush beds and luxury linens
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Microwave and a personal refrigerator
  • Superior Spa Suites are available
  • Gourmet coffee/tea maker
  • Beach concierge
  • Room service
  • Guest laundry facilities
  • EV charging stations

Good to know: This is a nice property at usually great prices. The only option for parking is valet. La Jolla is busy during peak season, so this is a benefit versus fighting for street parking. They do not have a pool and no longer offer a complimentary breakfast. If you’re sensitive to street noise, bring earplugs and request a quiet room.

Awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

See also: Empress Hotel La Jolla Review

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12. Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Location: Torrey Pines/UCSD
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: Do you have a ton of Hilton Honors points and like big hotels (394 rooms)? This is your place. Adjacent to the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course (on the 18th hole, to be exact), this grand hotel can command a fairly reasonable price and good value for the location.

Being so close to one of the best golf courses in La Jolla makes it a great weekend getaway spot or staycation destination.

Hotel amenities:

  • Breeze bus to the beach
  • Beach chair, blanket and umbrella rentals
  • 55-inch TVs
  • Exclusive bath products
  • Suites ranging from 500 to 2500 square feet
  • Children’s activities and menu
  • Electric car charging station
  • Foreign currency exchange
  • Guest activity/recreation desk
  • Fitness room
  • Swimming pool with cabanas available for booking
  • Tennis and pickleball courts
  • Onsite convenience store
  • Golf stay and play packages available
  • Guests benefit from guaranteed tee times every day at the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course
  • Three restaurants

Good to know: If you are not a Hilton Honors member, join before booking this Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. They guarantee the lowest price available on their website. Cribs, high chairs, and playpens are available. People who are comfortable staying in Hiltons will like it, but others may find it too corporate for a leisure trip. I’ve written a Hilton Torrey Pines review you can check out that dives deeper into who stays here.

Reservations: Hilton has a best price guarantee, so between that and Hilton Honors rate discounts, I believe direct is your best bet.

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13. Scripps Inn La Jolla

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Moderate

Why we love it: You’re looking for a quiet boutique hotel. Scripps Inn La Jolla is tucked into a more residential part of the Village, across the street from Cuvier Park (Whale Watch Point), south of La Jolla Cove and the Children’s Pool La Jolla beach but north of Windansea Beach. Each of the 14 accommodations is unique and may come with a fireplace, kitchenette, or even two bedrooms.

Hotel amenities:

  • Outdoor balconies or lanais
  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Keurig coffee makers
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Onsite self-parking (a reasonable fee applies)
  • Partial or full ocean views from rooms and suites

Good to know: There is no onsite restaurant, but there are plenty of places to eat in all price ranges within walking distance. It’s also known for its excellent service by hotel staff, and pets are welcome though you need to tell them in advance if any are joining you. It’s also a part of the JC Resorts collection of properties.

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14. La Jolla Cove Hotel

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Moderate/Budget

Why we love it: It has a premier location on La Jolla’s Prospect Street in a moderate price range. La Jolla Cove is across the street, and many of our fabulous, popular restaurants are steps away.

The hotel is currently under renovation, so many report construction noise. The unrenovated rooms are Terrace and Cove (avoid, though they are cheaper), and the refreshed rooms are in the Pines section.

The building, fixtures, and common areas still show signs of age. Still, the hotel is far nicer than before and could be a good place for people looking for full kitchens or a two-bedroom suite that won’t break the bank as much as others nearby.

Hotel amenities:

  • Many rooms include oceanfront balconies, fully-equipped kitchens, and separate living areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub
  • Spacious rooftop deck with fire pit, games, and panoramic coastline views
  • On-site bike rentals
  • Parakeet Cafe (a local favorite)

Good to know: The largest guest rooms and suites can accommodate up to six adults. No pets. I had a hard time recommending this hotel in the past because it was severely outdated, and the reviews are still mixed, though I anticipate this improving once the renovation is complete. You will hear sea lions bark from the oceanfront rooms, even at night. No gym.

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15. La Jolla Riviera Inn

Location: La Jolla Shores
Hotel class: Budget

Why we love it: It suits travelers who want to stay in the La Jolla Shores area but are looking for no-frills, moderate prices, and great reviews. La Jolla Riviera Inn is a 12-room inn located in a residential area, but if you’re looking for cheap hotels in La Jolla, it can work. It’s steps away from La Jolla Shores Beach, my favorite in all of San Diego for water sports, sunbathing, and more.

Hotel amenities:

  • Kitchenette
  • Flat-panel TVs
  • Year-round heated pool
  • One- and two-bedroom rooms
  • Free WiFi

Good to know: Extended stay options are available. It is easy to walk from here to restaurants and many shops and restaurants in the La Jolla Shores area. No air conditioning (but I live in LJ and rarely ever run mine).

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16. Inn by the Sea

Location: Village of La Jolla
Hotel class: Budget

Why we love it: It’s great for a more budget-friendly hotel in the heart of the Village of La Jolla. Some rooms have water views, and the beach is a few blocks away. Every room has either a patio or a balcony.

This cozy San Diego hotel features 131 rooms with either Village or Pacific Ocean views. There is an outdoor heated pool, in-room breakfast delivery from The Cottage La Jolla restaurant (a local favorite), a guest lounge with complimentary coffee and vending machines, limousine and private car services upon request, and more. 

Hotel amenities:

  • Oceanview rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Patio or balcony
  • Over 100 HD television channels
  • Two complimentary bottles of water each day
  • Coffeemaker featuring Seattle’s Best® Coffee
  • Refrigerator
  • Complimentary available upon request
  • Outdoor heated pool
  • Business center with computer and printer
  • Pillow-top beds

Good to know: This hotel used to be a Best Western. There are no breakfast facilities here, but plenty of restaurants are within walking distance.

Awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

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17. The Shoal at La Jolla Beach

Location: Windansea (south of the Village)
Hotel class: Budget

Why we love it: The Shoal La Jolla Beach, formerly La Jolla Travelodge, has renovated its rooms. It feels more like a nice little two-story beach boutique hotel, versus a motel, which is more appropriate given its location about 300 yards from Windansea Beach.

The beach here is more of a locals-only place without many tourists, but it is a popular bodysurfing and surfing spot (for those with experience). Sunsets from this beach are also gorgeous. You’ll also be within walking distance to casual dining, like Cafe Vahik for a cheap and delicious breakfast, and a gourmet market called Valley Farm.

Hotel amenities:

  • Heated pool and hot tub
  • Inexpensive overnight self-parking ($10/night)
  • All rooms have a fridge, a microwave, and K-Cup coffee makers
  • Complimentary pack and plays
  • Bicycles for rent
  • Free WiFi
  • Complimentary beach towels, chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys to check out in the office

Good to know: Only double queen rooms have bathtubs. They do not have rollaway beds or an elevator to rooms on the second floor. No pets.

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FAQs About the Best Hotels in La Jolla

I understand that finding a place to stay in my community can be tricky. Here are some answers to questions I get asked quite a bit about where to stay in La Jolla.

What are the best hotels in La Jolla on the beach?

There are only two technically beachfront hotels in La Jolla: La Jolla Shores Hotel and La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Both are located on stunning La Jolla Shores Beach.

What Are the Best Boutique Hotels in La Jolla?

Most of the best hotels in La Jolla are boutique hotels, many of which are family-owned and operated. These include The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Valencia, Grande Colonial, Scripps Inn, Orli, Cormorant, and Empress Hotel.

Which hotels are near La Jolla Village Drive in San Diego?

Estancia La Jolla, Sheraton La Jolla, and Hyatt Regency La Jolla are hotels near La Jolla Village Drive.

La Jolla Village Drive is one of the major streets that you exit the I-5 or I-805 on to get to La Jolla and UC San Diego. Therefore, all three hotels are on my list of hotels near UCSD.

The irony is that most of this street is not located in La Jolla.

Which La Jolla Hotels are Truly Oceanfront?

It’s important to quickly understand the difference between an oceanfront hotel and a beachfront hotel as it is easy to confuse the two, and many hotels blur the two.

Beachfront hotels provide direct beach access and are located on the beach line. Oceanfront hotels are located along the coastline but have views of the ocean and no direct access.

With that in mind, some oceanfront hotels to consider include La Valencia Hotel and Pantai Inn. Beachfront hotels include La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and La Jolla Shores Hotel.

Where Can I Stay in La Jolla for Cheap?

Finding a cheap La Jolla hotel can be challenging in peak season months. Your best options include The Shoal, Empress Hotel, La Jolla Riviera Inn, and Inn by the Sea.

What’s the Best Resort in La Jolla to Stay at?

This is a tricky question because a resort is meant to be a self-contained vacation destination. I think the closest thing to a resort we have is the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club because it has a sizable outdoor pool, spa treatments, private beach, and two onsite restaurants.

What’s the most pet-friendly hotel in La Jolla?

Empress Hotel La Jolla accepts pets up to 65 lbs. with a modest pet fee that’s currently only $35 for the first three nights and $15/night thereafter.

What’s the most romantic Hotel in La Jolla?

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is one of the most romantic hotels in all of San Diego especially if you book a Palisade Room with a fireplace and balcony with seating for two and an ocean horizon view.

Which La Jolla hotel has the best swimming pool?

La Valencia has the best outdoor swimming pool. Guests enjoy food and drink service plus you can see La Jolla Cove.

La Jolla Vacation Rentals

If you’ve decided that a La Jolla vacation rental is more appropriate for your situation, I prefer Marriott Homes and Villas because they vet the properties and only use those with professional management. However, VRBO has the most availability.

(FYI, vacation rentals are not super beloved by full-time residents, but they can be a good solution for quiet large groups and families.)

What are your favorite top La Jolla 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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  1. I thought the La Jolla Shores was an icredible place to visit. It was nice waking up and seeing the ocean so close. All of the staff where super friendly, nice and very welcoming. Although they don’t have free breakfast like other hotels you’re just a short walk away from great breakfast, lunch and dinner places. And you are also just a short walk away from countless places to rent water activities. The hotel itself was outstanding. Our room was very clean, as well as the hotel. I highly recommend staying at this hotel!

  2. I’m coming to La Jolla for the first time Oct26-29. We love to swim but arnt sure if that time of year warrants finding a hotel with a pool.

    Any Advice?

    P.S. LOVE your website!!!

    1. Hi Dana. It *should* still be warm enough to swim from late morning – late afternoon. There will start to be a chill in the air say from 4pm onward. Sometimes we have heat waves in October and sometimes it’s chilly but usually it’s still nice outside! I would say find a hotel you like – it probably has a pool anyway.