So, you’re a Hilton Honors member looking for a hotel in San Diego. With so many good options, you may be having trouble narrowing down where to stay.

I’ve put together this quick run-down on the most popular Hilton hotels and resorts in San Diego County. This includes mention of nearby attractions and why you might want to stay at each property on this list.

Note from Katie: I mention hotel booking resources I know offer the best prices via membership programs or ones that are popular with readers. Check with the hotel for updated safety measures, travel restrictions, and a list of any modified amenities. If you book through links on this page, I may earn a small commission.

1. Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

Location: Coronado

The new Cabanas ocean view fire pit rooms at Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton.

You want:

  • a full-service luxury beach resort.
  • to stay on Coronado Island.
  • to stay in a historic (and haunted) hotel.
  • multiple dining options and a full-service spa.
  • a room with a beachside fire pit.
  • one of San Diego’s best Sunday brunches.

Choose: Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

Hotel del Coronado is by far one of the Hilton resorts in San Diego (and all of Southern California) that readers book most and there is a good reason for it.

It’s a San Diego icon with its red roof and a long roster of celebrity fans. Not to mention the oceanfront resort is located on a Coronado beach that is considered one of the best beaches in the nation.

We residents love this Hilton resort. It’s almost done with an extensive $400 million renovation that will transform the main pool, refresh dining, revamp the spa, and add amenities that will surely catapult it into five-star hotel status.

Some renovated rooms in The Cabanas and The Views have fire pits on their terraces, a nice place for room service and s’mores. Before you book, you need to read my very detailed Hotel del Coronado review.

It’s usually more advantageous, even for Hilton Diamond status members, to book with the Virtuoso benefits. You’ll still earn Hilton Honors points for your stay.

Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (room upgrades are not possible in Beach Village)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage 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
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

If you see multiple rates for the same room at Hotel del Coronado on Virtuoso.com, choose the lowest one.
Room selection tips: Only book Pool View and Oceanfront rooms in The Cabanas building and Beachside, Ocean View, or Oceanfront rooms in The Views building. Any other room type in these buildings may have construction exposure. Some but not all Ocean View and Oceanfront rooms in The Views also have construction exposure.

*You may need to be on the desktop version of Virtuoso.com to search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version of a hotel page from a mobile device, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation.

Also featured in: Best San Diego Beach Hotels, Best Coronado Island Hotels, Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in San Diego, and Best San Diego Luxury Hotels.


2. Beach Village at The Del

Location: Coronado (Hotel del Coronado’s luxury enclave)

Beach Village at the Del: Rooms for Large Families

You want:

  • the most luxurious beach vacation in San Diego possible.
  • to stay in a designer villa or cottage.
  • to enjoy an elevated level of service.
  • a private enclave with access to full resort amenities.
  • access to a private summer beach club.
  • to stay on the beach in Coronado.
  • multiple bedrooms.

Choose: Beach Village at The Del

Beach Village at The Del is the private enclave of Hotel del Coronado that is only accessible to Beach Village guests. If you have the means or the points, check in here.

You’ll have all the benefits of the main resort but in quieter quarters and with a personal concierge. You’ll also be able to dine at the Windsor Cottage — the former Coronado residence of Wallis Simpson (the woman King Edward VII abdicated for).

Some of the villas and cottages have outdoor hot tubs and full kitchens with designer appliances. Read my Beach Village at The Del review.

Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (room upgrades are not possible in Beach Village)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage 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
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Also featured in: Best San Diego Beach Hotels, Best Coronado Island Hotels, Best San Diego Hotels for Large Families, Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in San Diego and Best San Diego Luxury Hotels.


3. Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

Location: Little Italy

The rooftop lounge with TV screen at Carte Hotel San Diego in Little Italy.

You want:

  • to be able to walk to Little Italy San Diego and other things to do in downtown San Diego.
  • access to an incredible fitness center.
  • to stay in a new boutique hotel.
  • to sip cocktails in a rooftop bar.

Choose: Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

This new chic boutique hotel awaits on the edge of Little Italy, where some of our finest restaurants and shops await. From here you can also walk just a few blocks to the Embarcadero where many San Diego harbor cruises depart from and where the USS Midway Museum is located.

One highlight is the hotel’s integration with the massive Fit Athletic Club with its classes, outdoor saltwater pool, and grab-and-go food and beverage. I can tell you that the sea-to-table menu at Watercolors is outstanding and that you’ll love a rooftop cocktail at Above Ash Social.

Also featured in: Best San Diego Boutique Hotels and Best Little Italy San Diego Hotels.


4. Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort

Location: Carlsbad

The Cape Rey Carlsbad outdoor swimming pool at sunset.

You want:

  • a beach vacation that might cost less than La Jolla or Coronado.
  • to spend a day at LEGOLAND California.
  • to do some serious outlet shopping.
  • a hotel in North County San Diego.
  • easy access to Carlsbad Airport or Orange County.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.

Choose: Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort

This is one of the most popular Hilton hotels in San Diego for those who want to be near the water in North County. It’s located across the street from a family-friendly Carlsbad beach and has a full-service spa, outdoor swimming pool, and a highly regarded restaurant with locally-sourced cuisine.

Cape Rey provides a scheduled complimentary shuttle within a 5-mile radius (including downtown Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California, and the Carlsbad outlets) and has rooms with ocean views. Read my full Cape Rey Carlsbad review.

Also featured in Best Hotels Near LEGOLAND California and Best Hotels in Carlsbad, CA.


5. Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

Location: La Jolla

Hotel La Jolla Deluxe Ocean View Room

You want:

Choose: Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

Hotel La Jolla is conveniently located in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood, right where the 52 freeway ends in La Jolla. This means it’s easier to get out of La Jolla from here than it is from other parts of the community. You’re about a 10-minute walk to La Jolla Shores Beach but the hotel also has bikes to rent which can shorten the journey. They also have a top-floor restaurant, Cusp Dining & Drinks, which has a panoramic Pacific Ocean view.

La Jolla Shores is also home to excellent fine and casual dining, water sports tours and rentals, and an overall laid-back vibe. You do save money by staying here versus the beachfront hotels in the area and the guest rooms are a bit more contemporary at this boutique hotel. Read my full Hotel La Jolla review.

Also featured in Best La Jolla Hotels.


5. Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

The lobby of Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

You want:

  • to win some $ at the Del Mar races.
  • to attend anything else at the Del Mar Fairground.
  • close proximity to the freeway, Carmel Valley, Solana Beach or Rancho Santa Fe.
  • convenient access to nearby golf courses.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.

Choose: Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

The Del Mar Hilton is a popular choice for travelers on the go, due to its proximity to the Del Mar Fairground/Del Mar Racetrack (it’s across the street).

Use it as a base for your activities, however, this San Diego hotel does have a restaurant and is within walking distance to the Fish Market, Red Tracton’s, and a handful of other excellent options. You’ll have to drive to the beach and most everywhere else. A fun driving range and mini-golf course are also next door.

Also featured in: Best Del Mar Hotels


6. Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Location: La Jolla

Pool view looking out toward the golf course at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.

You want:

  • to visit someone at UCSD.
  • close location to the La Jolla Village and freeways.
  • to play Torrey Pines Golf Course.
  • a location for a big event.
  • to hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
  • gorgeous views.

Choose: Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

The Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines sports breathtaking views of the ocean and the famous Torrey Pines golf course. Nearby are the Birch Aquarium and La Jolla Shores Beach (you’d drive to both), one of San Diego’s most family-friendly beaches where you can learn to surf or hang out.

Planning a meeting or wedding? This is a great hotel for events due to the gorgeous setting and large spaces. A full-service spa for pampering and a drink at sunset will surely channel your inner zen. It’s also at a low price point for a hotel in La Jolla.

Also featured in: Best La Jolla Hotels and Best Hotels Near UCSD


7. Hilton San Diego Mission Valley

Location: Mission Valley

The modern lobby of Hilton San Diego Mission Valley.

You want:

  • to mall shop until you drop.
  • easy access to 5 major freeways.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.
  • a Mission Valley hotel.
  • to visit the San Diego Zoo (and shop).

Choose: Hilton San Diego Mission Valley

Mission Valley/Hotel Circle is where premium shopping is located. Choose between Fashion Valley Mall, Westfield Mission Valley mall, Off 5th (Saks Fifth Avenue outlet), Nordstrom Rack, and countless other great stores. It’s also where many businesses are located, about 15 minutes from San Diego International Airport, and in an artery where several of our major freeways intersect.

It’s near the restaurants and shops of Hillcrest, Old Town San Diego, and even the San Diego Zoo, though you’d have to drive. If you need to be in downtown San Diego at all, I might choose one of the two Hiltons down there, depending on price, but Mission Valley hotels tend to be less expensive than those close to the beach or downtown.

You’re also near Riverwalk golf course, and SeaWorld San Diego is a short drive away. Rooms here have been refreshed, and there is an outdoor pool.

Also featured in: Best Mission Valley San Diego Hotels


8. Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island

Location: San Diego Airport (Harbor Island)

A king room at Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island.

You want:

  • a place to sleep during a layover at San Diego International Airport
  • easy access to downtown San Diego without staying there.
  • a complimentary ride to and from the airport.
  • to be near the harbor or Point Loma.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.

Choose: Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island

Enjoy sweeping views of the harbor, business amenities, and a location just 5 minutes away from the airport. The Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island is certainly convenient for business travel but comfortable enough for those who want to base a vacation here.

There is an outdoor pool, and you can dine on California cuisine at the onsite Panorama Bar & Grill. While this is a great choice for Hilton Honors members, it’s one of the two hotels closest to the terminals.

Also featured in: Best San Diego Airport Hotels.


9. Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

A sizable room with a sofa seating area at Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.

You want:

  • to be in the heart of the Gaslamp.
  • to walk easily to some of San Diego’s best restaurants and shopping.
  • to attend an event at the Convention Center.
  • a short walk to a Padres game at PETCO Park.
  • an exclusive loft.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.

Choose: Hilton San Diego Gaslamp

The Hilton’s 30 lofts give guests the feeling of exclusivity and loft living with 4-foot ceilings, Frette linens and robes, a secure private entrance, and whirlpool tubs, all very fitting for the downtown location. But you can book into standard rooms and suites, too.

This is the Hilton hotel San Diego hipsters who want to dine out, stay up late, and experience nightlife will love. However, families choose it, too. There’s definitely an urban vibe, and it’s across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, which is convenient for business travelers. Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo are about a 10-minute drive away, and the airport is just over 5 minutes away.


10. Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Location: Downtown San Diego

The waterfront pool at Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

You want:

  • a stunning waterfront location.
  • to attend an event at the San Diego Convention Center.
  • to host an event or wedding.
  • five hotel dining options (including Odysea with its craft cocktails and outdoor terrace).
  • to be in downtown San Diego.
  • a Starbucks inside your hotel.
  • a pet-friendly hotel.
  • a hotel with a small waterslide and kids’ pool.

Choose: Hilton San Diego Bayfront

It’s near the Gaslamp Quarter but a slightly heftier walk to the Gaslamp shops and restaurants than the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. This hotel is huge with almost 1200 rooms, making sense as it’s also adjacent to the Convention Center. The hotel has a heated outdoor saltwater pool with a small water slide for kids.

The San Diego Symphony Summer Pops plays here at the Rady’s Shell (summer only). The San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park are about a 10-minute drive away, and the airport is just over 5 minutes away. The hotel has also achieved the AAA Five-Diamond award.


11. Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites San Diego/Downtown Bayside (Hilton Bayside Campus)

Location: Downtown San Diego

The swimming pool at the Hilton Bayside Complex.
Both hotels share the pool.
The full kitchen inside of Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside.
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside kitchen

You want:

  • extended stay accommodations with a full kitchen.
  • to be within walking distance of Little Italy restaurants.
  • comfortable, moderately-priced accommodations.
  • complimentary breakfast and free WiFi

Choose: Hilton Garden Inn OR Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside.

The Hilton Bayside complex is made up of two fantastic Hilton properties: Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside and Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside.

Which you choose really depends on whether you’d like a full kitchen or if you tend to have a preference for one of these Hilton brands over the other. Both hotels share amenities like the swimming pool and onsite dining.


12. Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown

Location: Downtown

You want:

  • to swim in an indoor pool (this is one of the only ones in the entire city).
  • free breakfast
  • free evening reception
  • a two-room suite

Choose: Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown

This is a great choice for its central location and special perk and inclusions that add value to your stay. It’s conveniently across the street from Seaport Village and near the convention center. Hilton Honors members also receive discounted parking, which is steep at every downtown hotel in San Diego, Ca.

What About Hilton San Diego Resort?

If you’ve read about Hilton San Diego Resort on Mission Bay, it has been replaced with San Diego Mission Bay Resort.


*Photos are courtesy of Hilton Worldwide

More San Diego Hotels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.