San Diego Hotels
La Jolla Mom is your guide for the best hotels in San Diego and La Jolla with tips on beach hotels, resorts, and more.
Where To Stay In San Diego – Hotel Guide & Reviews
San Diego is as laid back as it is beautiful, but it’s also a sprawling, busy city. There are amazing San Diego hotels to choose from in just about every neighborhood that run the gamut from ultra-luxurious to budget-friendly.
I know that a lot goes into deciding where to stay in San Diego. Of course, you’ll want to consider who you’re traveling with — is this a romantic getaway for two or a vacation with the kids? Are you in the mood for a place near all the nightlife downtown or would you prefer a place right on the beach with access to the sand and sea?
Because there are so many hotel options, I’ve created handy San Diego hotel guides to help you narrow down the choices. In the posts linked on this page, I summarize what stands out about the best hotels in San Diego, CA — and in some cases, where service or amenities could be improved.
My hotel reviews are always honest about things like the ease of check-in, the parking situation, amenities, staff hospitality, pet policies, and dining options. Your hotel stay could easily make or break your vacation, so I want to help ensure you have the best time possible.
Take a look at my San Diego hotel reviews, and if you decide to choose a hotel in my portfolio, you’ll have access to extra benefits at no extra cost to you that I can share as an Independent Affiliate of Cadence® Travel.
TIP: Because the city gets gorgeous weather year-round and there’s really no “off” season, occupancy rates in the best hotels in San Diego tend to be high. Things slow down a little bit in September, November, December, and January, but in general, it makes sense to book rooms in San Diego hotels as early as possible.
If you’re going to ask me what my favorite hotels are, they are here:
- Pendry San Diego (Downtown)
- The Lodge at Torrey Pines (La Jolla)
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar (East Del Mar)
- Rancho Valencia (Rancho Santa Fe)
- Park Hyatt Aviara (Carlsbad – they are renovating)
- Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara (Carlsbad)
- Beach Village at The Del (Coronado)
- Hotel del Coronado (Coronado – read about the renovation here under terms and conditions)
Access exclusive VIP amenities at most of these hotels by booking here.
You can send me your dates for Four Seasons and Beach Village as they can not be booked directly online with benefits.
San Diego Hotels on the Beach
Before selecting a hotel, you’ll need to decide how important beach access is. San Diego is a big place and only a few of our best hotels are beachfront.
If you’re looking for a place on the beach or near enough to spend your vacation swimming and sunning yourself on the sand, I can help you find a hotel. There are accommodations located on the beach or just a short stroll from the water. Whether you want to fall asleep to the sound of the waves gently crashing in the distance or you want a room with a view of the sunset over the ocean, you can find it all in this coastal city.
If you’re wondering where to stay in San Diego on the beach, first check out the different beaches and coastal neighborhoods. Some beaches have calm and shallow areas, which are great your little ones, while others may have bigger waves, perfect for the surfers in your family. Some of the most popular for beachgoing are La Jolla, Coronado, and Del Mar. Carlsbad also has nice beaches.
Choosing a hotel in Mission Bay (like the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina) will make it easy to plan and get to activities like kite surfing, wakeboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and sailing. There are waveless bay beaches here.
Pacific Beach is another neighborhood to check out for the casual, young-at-heart visitor. Pacific Terrace Hotel is a boutique hotel in PB that offers guests easy access to the boardwalk and beach.
Of course, there are beach neighborhoods all up and down the coast, so you won’t have any trouble finding San Diego resort hotels on or near the beach.
Best San Diego Hotels for Families
There are so many fantastic things to do in San Diego with kids, so it’s no surprise that many families choose it as their vacation destination.
We’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in San Diego, CA. even though we live here. The hard part isn’t finding San Diego hotels that welcome kids — it’s figuring out which of the best kid-friendly hotels in San Diego is right for your family.
When it comes to deciding where to stay in San Diego with kids, it helps to first narrow down:
- Whether you require a luxury hotel.
- How much you are comfortable spending.
- What kind of beach access you require.
- Whether you need a supervised kids’ club.
- Proximity to the attractions you plan to visit.
- Whether things to do within walking distance is a must.
- Other required amenities (pool, spa, golf).
You’ll find a lot of hotels in the area cater to little ones with kid-friendly amenities such as pool areas, kids programs, and babysitting services. Some even have game rooms and equipment rentals for activities like biking and surfing. Many of the on-site restaurants also offer kids menus, so you don’t have to worry if you have picky eaters on your hands.
Narrowing Down Choices for San Diego Hotels Further
Ultimately, it’s either the location or the hotel that drives the decision of where to stay in San Diego.
Most of our popular tourist attractions in San Diego are scattered widely around the city, so chances are that you won’t find a hotel that’s close to everything on your itinerary.
That said, between the hop-on/hop-off tour buses, trolleys, the walkable neighborhoods, and the easy-to-navigate roads, you’ll have no trouble at all getting to attractions that are farther away.
Some families must be in Carlsbad because they’re only going to LEGOLAND California or some San Diego visitors only want to spend time in a nice hotel by the beach so they choose Coronado.
Alternatively, if you must stay in a five-star San Diego resort, this narrows the list down to five properties (Rancho Valencia, Beach Village at The Del, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Park Hyatt Aviara, Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara) so you’ll then pick from this list.
The same goes for visitors who belong to hotel loyalty programs like Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy. They’ll choose member hotels in the location they prefer.
San Diego is a huge city with a lot to offer. No matter where you decide to stay in San Diego on your next vacation, you’re in for an exciting getaway. Whether you’re taking a solo trip or venturing here with your family, I hope my San Diego hotel guide helps you plan your travels.