Solana Beach is a laid-back small town with gorgeous beaches that has somehow managed to stay relatively under the radar, relatively speaking, as a location choice for San Diego tourists. Part of the reason is that when you’re looking for Solana Beach hotels, there are only three to choose from.
Yes, three, not 15–20 or more as you might see on other hotel lists written by those who are unfamiliar with the area.
The hotels in Solana Beach proper are moderately priced and walkable to the best things to do. Hotels near Solana Beach are outside of the city’s zip code, though also great options, in neighboring Del Mar or Cardiff. The bottom line is that you’ll need to weigh the importance of staying in city limits with the type of hotel you prefer and location.
Why stay in Solana Beach? I’m glad that you asked. Thanks to its beaches, active outdoor lifestyle, dramatic cliffs, Cedros Design District, and eclectic but still chill live music venues (like Belly Up), Solana Beach is a relaxed upscale community about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego by car.
The train station, which serves both Amtrak and Coaster trains, also provides convenient transportation to anywhere within the county. We like this part of San Diego quite a bit.
Solana Beach Hotels
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Del Mar/Solana Beach
One of the top Solana Beach hotels for leisure and business travelers alike, the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Del Mar/Solana Beach is a short walk from the beach on Hwy 101. Guests can soak up southern California’s year-round mild weather in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and spa or take advantage of the numerous hiking and biking trails nearby.
The Bistro, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, serves Starbucks beverages as well as breakfast and dinner daily with a focus on locally-crafted beers and wines and boasts a cozy outdoor fireplace. There is also a fitness center, a beauty shop, and a sundries/gift shop on the grounds.
Guestrooms feature a private patio or balcony, complimentary WiFi, and ergonomic workstations. They all also have refrigerators and microwaves. Business travelers will appreciate the expansive meeting space and convenient business center facilities.
Winners Circle Resort
The newly-renovated, all-suite Winners Circle Resort is situated directly across from the Del Mar Fairgrounds with easy access to area beaches and all of the most popular San Diego attractions. Its location closer to the I-5 freeway means that it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the beach and to the edge of the Cedros Design District.
Guests can choose from one- or two-bedroom suites, all of which have two bathrooms and private balconies or patios. The hotel offers complimentary WiFi, an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, a fitness center, free parking, and 24-hour front desk access.
While the Winners Circle Resort is convenient to both downtown Solana Beach and Del Mar Village with an abundance of dining and shopping options, the property also has two outstanding restaurants on the property, the award-winning Red Tracton’s Steakhouse and The Fish Market, a favorite for local and seasonal fare.
An onsite salon, outdoor lighted tennis courts and resident tennis pro, and a clubhouse with pool tables, ping-pong, and barbecue grills give guests plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy any time of year.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Solana Beach-Del Mar
The solar-powered Holiday Inn Express & Suites Solana Beach-Del Mar is ideally located on Hwy 101, within easy walking distance of the pristine beaches of Solana Beach and with convenient access to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, popular San Diego-area attractions, and numerous major businesses.
Guests of this Solana Beach hotel enjoy the daily complimentary Express Start Breakfast Bar with offerings including fresh fruit, meats, and pastries. On-property amenities include free covered parking, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, a well-equipped business center, and a fitness room.
Guestrooms each have a balcony and come with complimentary WiFi, in-room Keurig coffeemakers, microwaves, mini refrigerators, work stations, premium mattresses and bedding, and a choice of pillows that includes both soft and firm to accommodate all sleeping preferences.
Solana Beach Vacation Rentals
As you can see, there are only a handful of Solana Beach hotels. Because of that, although I almost never recommend it, you may want to consider booking a vacation rental through VRBO or similar if you have your heart set on staying in Solana Beach proper.
Solana Beach vacation rentals range from small beach cottages and family homes to resort-style condominiums and spacious oceanfront mini-mansions — and everything in between — so there is a rental to suit every possible group size, budget, and lodging preference.
Hotels Near Solana Beach
Cardiff by the Sea Lodge
When researching where to stay in Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea may come up. Commonly referred to as Cardiff, the town boasts some of the best sunsets in California, pretty beaches, and small-town charm.
The boutique Cardiff by the Sea Lodge offers a spectacular location right on the coast and a short walk away from San Elijo State Beach, as well as several dining and shopping options in Cardiff, Encinitas, and Solana Beach.
Cardiff by the Sea Lodge has a rooftop deck and each of the 17 guestrooms is uniquely decorated, offering views of either the Pacific Ocean or the hotel’s lush gardens.
Guests enjoy complimentary WiFi, breakfast, and parking, and some rooms have fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. The hotel’s owners are an interior designer and an architect, and guests rave about the attention to detail throughout the property and the impeccable level of service.
Hilton San Diego/Del Mar
One of the hotels near Solana Beach, the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar is situated just across from the entrance to the Del Mar Fairgrounds and within short walking distance to white sand beaches. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle for guests within a 5-mile radius, making it a breeze to get to the many unique restaurants, boutiques, and galleries in Del Mar Village, downtown Solana Beach, Torrey Pines State Park, tide pools, and golf courses.
For guests who prefer to spend their time at the hotel, there is plenty to do at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar. The onsite restaurant coastalKITCHEN offers an innovative indoor/outdoor space with live music, daily happy hour specials, weekend brunch, fire pits, and bar games.
There is also an outdoor heated pool with lush tropical landscaping, two hot tubs, and a fitness center. The hotel is extremely welcoming to dogs, providing pet welcome gifts and an onsite dog run.
L’Auberge Del Mar
The most upscale hotel in the Solana Beach and Del Mar areas is the L’Auberge Del Mar, a AAA Four Diamond property. The posh resort-style hotel overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has a private walking path that leads directly to 15th Street Beach. For guests who would prefer to stay onsite, the L’Auberge Del Mar has an outdoor heated pool looking out over the ocean and an award-winning wellness spa.
L’Auberge Del Mar is located in the heart of Del Mar Village with numerous eateries and shopping options just steps away, but on hotel grounds there are multiple restaurants as well. There’s the casual Bleu Bar for ocean view cocktails, Coastline for locally-inspired cuisine, and The Living Room, the vibrant lounge with live music Thursday through Sunday evenings.
A complimentary shuttle provides transportation within a 1-mile radius and hotel guests have access to a 24-hour fitness center, tennis courts and tennis equipment rental, beach gear, Electra beach cruisers, and plush bathrobes. The L’Auberge Del Mar is exceptionally dog-friendly, offering a Pooch Program with pet amenities and a special canine food menu.
Wave Crest Resort
Sandwiched right between the Pacific Ocean and Del Mar Village and perched atop dramatic cliffs, sits the Wave Crest Resort.
The resort offers studios in addition to 1- and 2-bedroom bungalows and suites, all with ocean views. All guestrooms at the Wave Crest Resort are equipped with kitchenettes with coffeemakers, mini refrigerators, and microwaves, and there is ample parking at the hotel (which you’ll be grateful for during peak season at the beach).
Wave Crest Resort has a beautifully landscaped heated outdoor pool and hot tub that overlook the ocean and a private walking path that leads directly to the beach. The quaint boutiques and restaurants in Del Mar Village are also just a couple of blocks away, within easy walking distance. Guests have complimentary WiFi, 24-hour access to the front desk, and on-site laundry facilities. It’s also on our list of best hotels in Del Mar, CA.