San Diego Hotels with waterslides
Hampton Inn San Diego Downtown ($xxx per night) –
Inn at the Park (0 per night) – located inside a beautiful building with great, modern decor, on the doorstep of the park, this 3-star hotel is so popular I struggled to find a price for it (prices varied pretty widely). If you absolutely want to stay here and don’t want to pay an inflated price, book early (month ahead!)
Downtown – San Diego Gaslamp Hotels
North Harbour Drive is a long stretch along the waterfront of San Diego. While there isn’t a beach here, you’ll have stunning views. Plus, you’re close for any naval sightseeing at the Maritime Museum, USS Midway Museum and, of course, the cruise terminal.
*Paradise Point Resort & Spa ($xxx per night) –
San Diego Hotels with balcony
Hilton Doubletree Hotel Downtown (0 per night) – Yes, it’s a big block of a building that’s a bit further out of Downtown than other hotels but this 3-star brand is a shade cheaper than other nearby hotels, making it a great mid-price hotel in San Diego.
*El Cordova Hotel ($xxx per night) –
Inn by the Sea La Jolla (0 per night) – this 3-star hotel (Inn) has a relaxed feel with sweet rooms and a balcony or patio for every room. Good job, too since you’re only two blocks from the beach. This is a great well-price option with a great location in La Jolla.
Balboa Park is is packed with museums, as well as San Diego zoo. Nearby, Hillcrest is a buzzing area in San Diego – go for brunch and stay out until dinner. It’s also a hub of San Diego’s gay scene. However, neither San Diego Zoo or Hillcrest have many hotel options. Most people stay a bit further south in Little Italy or Downtown/Gaslamp.
Fairmont Grand del Mar – Tripadvisor’s traveler’s choice, this five-star hotel consistently wins five-star reviews; understandable when everything about this hotel screams elegance.??? 5-star but far away
Point Loma – The Pearl, Aqua Del Mar
HI San Diego – Always a safe bet (though sometimes a little less dynamic than other hostels), you can’t beat the location if you’re interested in being in the area Gaslamp. Dorms and private rooms available.
Hotels with kitchens in San Diego
*Towne Place Suites by Marriott San Diego Airport ($xxx per night) –
If you like your beaches groomed for sunbathing, a slick boardwalk skirting the ocean (Ocean Front Walk) and surfers galore, Pacific Beach is for you. Add great restaurants, lots of beach-style shopping, and cocktail bars and you have the makings for a relaxing beach break.
US Grant Hotel (0 per night) This 5-star hotel is a grand, refined, old-style hotel that’s been tricked out with all the mod-cons. You can’t help admire the palm flanked exterior. One for honeymoons or where only the best will do. Check out the cocktail bar even if you don’t stay here.
Hotels near San Diego Zoo/ Balboa Park/ Hillcrest
Horton Grand Hotel (5 per night) – There’s something reminiscent of New Orleans in this hotel (if you ask me). it’s probably the decorative exterior. Inside, however, the grandeur gets even more impressive. This 4-star boutique hotel is one of San Diego’s Historic Hotels and has a Victorian feel, befitting its 1880’s opening date.
*Courtyard San Diego Airport ($xxx per night) –
La Jolla Cove (0 per night) Known as the Pink Lady (the exterior is a pale pink) La Jolla Cove hotel is balanced on the cliff above La Jolla Cove. As you can imagine, this gives impressive views, this 3-star hotel has a great price considering you’re practically beachfront and can wake to the sound of the sea.
*Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina? Locn ($xxx per night) –
Little Italy San Diego Hotels
*King Inn ($xxx per night) –
The Lodge At Torrey Pines (0 per night) – You can write a list of the best hotels in San Diego without mentioning The Lodge At Torrey Pines. The Lodge is a place to check-in and stay-in rather than exploring San Diego. But if you 5-star lodge luxury in a grand, remote setting overlooking the Torrey Pines Golf Club, you’ll get it here.
Ocean Beach Hotel (0 per night) – as beachfront hotels go, you’re getting a great deal at Ocean Beach hotel. This 2-star hotel is all about the views (pay extra for a ocean facing room).
Pantai Inn (0 per night) – Got dreams of watching the sunset over La Jolla in a 5-star beachfront hotel? Pick Pantai Inn. The wood and palm print style doesn’t quite do it for me but you can’t beat the location for romance.
Old Town Inn (5 per night) – A 10 minute walk to Old Town, the 2-star Old Town Inn is a great cheap hotel in San Diego. Bonus: you’ll get a good breakfast thrown in for free. There’s also an outdoor pool.
*Loews Coronado Bay Resort ($xxx per night) –
Officially the first Mexican settlement in California, Old Town San Diego has a whole different feel to the rest of the city. Think Mexican pueblo and you’ll be on the right lines. It’s a far cry from Mexican Pueblos in Mexico but it’s still a great base if you’re looking to explore the Old Town. Don’t miss the Old Town State Historic Park.
Waterfront and Embarcadero Hotels
Pacific Terrace ($xxx per night) – Ocean views without the price tag of the Coronado (below), Pacific Terrace is ideal if want to spend your down-time at the beach in La Jolla.
Coronado Island is a place to escape the city. Just a short hop away from Downtown by ferry or water taxi, head to Coronado if you want to relax and, of course, explore or even stay at the hotel that made Coronado a tourist destination in the first place, the grand Hotel del Coronado.
Staypineapple Hotel Z (5 per night) – Staypineapple Z is a chain that is a welcome addition to Gaslamp, give it’s that much more affordable than almost everything else in the area. That doesn’t mean this 3-star hotel is grim. Quite the opposite. The decor is a clean, crisp white (once you’re beyond the vivid exterior!). There are even free bike rentals.
Hotel del Coronado ($xxx per night) – Perhaps the most famous hotel in San Diego, this sprawling red-roofed Victorian era hotel with beach-front views over San Diego bay is an absolute beauty. Tucked away on upscale Coronado island, if you’re after big bite of lux and whole heap of history thrown in, this is the place for you. And yes, this is the hotel you spotted in Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot.
*Empress Hotel ($xxx per night) –
*1906 Lodge ($xxx per night) –
People say you’re either a PB or OB kind of person. Personally, my inner yogi, green juice loving, creative being feels more at home in OB. A bit ‘hippy’ with a 60s beach vibe, Ocean Beach is perfect if you’re into barefoot, bohemian lifestyle, up-cycled vibe.
Travel tip: You’ll save money if you buy a San Diego Pass in advance.
Porto Vista ($xxx per night) –
The Westgate (0 per night) – the ‘am I in France or San Diego’ feeling might confuse you but not in a bad way. If you want crystal chandeliers in addition to your dead-central location, choose The Westgate
The Pendry (0 per night) Another 5-star hotel, The Pendry is designed to make you want to stay in the hotel with a great rooftop pool, excellent restaurants and bars. But the concierge will help you out when you’re ready to explore. It’s one of the more modern hotels in the area, designed for the more modern, dare I say Millennial, traveller.
Hotel Republic San Diego (0 per night) For a 4-star hotel, located in Downtown San Diego, Hotel Republic is very well priced. It’s pretty too with a water/nautical/wooden theme going on. And, you don’t miss out just because you’re paying less – there’s a wicked rooftop bar.
Pacific Beach San Diego Hotels
*Hampton Inn & Suites San Diego Airport ($xxx per night) –
Check out Priceline Express Deals here.
Want to take a gamble? Check out Priceline’s Express Deals. I’ve had discounts over 50% (almost 0 saved a night) using this site – including getting a great deal on the Solamar when I stayed. You can find out more about how to get great deals in my related article: How to Book Cheap Hotels Using Priceline Express Deals.
Best Hotel Pools in San Diego
*Samesun Ocean Beach ($xxx per night) –
Ocean Beach Hotels San Diego
ITH Adventure House in Little Italy – Sister hostel of the one in Hillcrest, ITH Adventure House is a smaller hostel but with the same free-food and social vibe. It’s also a lot closer to downtown if Hillcrest feels too far away. Bonus: you won’t have to walk far for decent coffee, gelato and other Italian goodies. Dorms and private rooms available.
Best Western Hacienda Old Town Hotel ($xxx per night) –
*La Valencia Hotel & Spa ($xxx per night) –
I’ve spent a couple of months in San Diego as a tourist across a few trips so I know the city well. You can read my post on the best things to do in San Diego here. In this guide to where to stay in San Diego, I’ve listed hotels by area, with a quick intro about each area. Then, at the end, I’ve done a few round ups of the most popular things people are looking for, e.g. best cheap hotels in San Diego, best boutique hotels, best luxury hotels etc. Since San Diego is a thriving, ever changing city, leave a comment if you have an update to anything mentioned in this post or any favourites I haven’t included.
USA Hostels Ocean Beach ($xxx per night) – If you want to be within walking distance of the beach, this place is perfect. Very relaxed – expect a wonderful 60s hippy vibe in OB.
La Jolla Hotels San Diego
Hilton Garden Inn (5 per night) – Looking for a Hilton Hotel in San Diego, this Hilton Garden Inn is a great choice well located for Old Town, Sea World and the Airport. There are palms on the property reminding you you’re in San Diego in addition to the usual comforts of this 3-star chain brand hotel.
I made the mistake of thinking Little Italy would be, well, a little version of the Italy I know and love. It isn’t (obvious to me now), but I didn’t love it any less. The area has grown into an area packed with arts, funky designs and, best of all some of the best, most creative eateries you’ll find.
Inn at Sunset Cliffs (0 per night) – This popular 3-star hotel is directly on the Ocean. And, as the name suggests, is a great spot for watching the famous, hot-orange San Diego sunsets.
Not found what you’re looking for? How about the top 10 hotels in San Diego according to Tripadvisor. Check prices and reviews here.
For next time
*Crown City Inn ($xxx per night) –
Omni Hotel San Diego (0 per night) – stylish with a great spa, plenty of restaurant and bar options and a sleek outdoor pool area, Omni is another excellent 4-star choice in popular Downtown.
*Pacific Terrace Hotel ($xxx per night) –
San Diego is a sprawling city that, unhelpfully, has its top sights scattered around. The good news it that it doesn’t therefore matter much which area you choose for in San Diego because you’re going to have to move around anyway. That said, I’d recommend first time visitors place themselves in the tourist hub of Gaslamp/Downtown and explore from there. Unless, of course, you want a beach break.
Old Town San Diego Hotels
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego (0 per night) – A Hard Rock Hotel in Gaslamp Quarter, what’s not to love. Featuring a rooftop pool and bar in addition to the hotel’s usual entertainment and music-theme, this 4-star hotel is in a great spot. Feel free to borrow a guitar during your stay. Or visit Nobu. Though probably not both at the same time (chopsticks are tricky).
Comfort Inn San Diego Old Town ($xxx per night) –
*The Horton Grand ($xxx per night) –
*Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina ($xxx per night) –
Estancia La Jolla (0 per night) – 4-star. With a Spanish-Colonial style, beautiful, expansive grounds and an on-site spa, Estancia La Jolla is a place to check-in and chill out. Do be aware it’s not especially central so you’ll want a car or, better ye, no plans to leave the estancia.
The Guild Hotel (5 per night) – A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, the exterior of The Guild Hotel is so pretty you’ll want to pop a quick posing pic online before you even check-in. Inside, this 4-star hotel is just impressive with a modern design.
Hotels Near San Diego Airport
ITH Zoo Hostel in Hillcrest – As well as a great environment, breakfast and some evening meals are included at this hostel. The dorms were clean and spacious, the common area was sociable and the location was a surprise – a bit of a walk to downtown, I enjoyed the more local feel to the restaurants and bars without being surrounded by tourists. Hillcrest is San Diego’s main gay neighbourhood. Dorms and private rooms available.
*Hotel Marisol Coronado ($xxx per night) –
*Holiday Inn Express Seaworld ($xxx per night) –
Mission Bay San Diego Hotels
Note on prices – I’ve added some prices to help you out. Keep in mind prices can vary a lot depending on season and booking deals. The prices listed are standard rates taken from Booking.com at the time of writing. I’ve used booking.com’s prices as they’re almost always cheaper than booking directly with the hotel.
Original San Diego, now revamped and renamed Gaslamp Quarter, this ones of the best areas for tourists to stay in San Diego. The National Historic District is centred around Broadway and 45th and 5th Avenues. Stop by Petco Park – a Padres game is fun even if you’re not into Baseball.
*Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa ($xxx per night) –
*Beach Cottages ($xxx per night) –
*Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages ($xxx per night) –
Best Hotels in San Diego
Best 5-Star Hotels in San Diego
- Hotel del Coronado
- Pantai Hotel
- Kimpton Hotel
- Pendry Hotel
- The US Grant
- The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Boutique Hotels San Diego
San Diego Hotels on the beach
Cheap Hotels in San Diego/
Best Hostels in San Diego
Kimpton Solamar Hotel (0 per night) Another 5-star hotel located in Gaslamp, I stayed at this hotel during my first trip to San Diego and I spent a lot of time enjoying the rooftop: pool time by day and cocktails by night. The quality is as you’d expect from a Kimpton hotel and the location is perfect.
Four Points by Sheraton Little Italy ($xxx per night) –
La Pensione Hotel ($xxx per night) – Hotel Indigo San Diego(0 per night) – A great 4-star chain hotel in central Downtown San Diego, overlooking Petco Park. If you’re in the city to see the Padres, this is an awesome spot.
I confess I’ve never been to Mission Bay. I know it’s used as a base for visiting Seaworld San Diego but I’ve not been there either (please watch Blackfish about the harm caused by keeping whales in captivity). These hotels are based on high reviews.
Intercontinental San Diego ($xxx per night) – – As well as being a high quality brand, you can’t beat the waterfront location with floor to ceiling windows and an epic rooftop pool.
Cosmopolitan Hotel(5 per night) – Built in the 1800s, the Victorian decor is apt at this 4-star hotel in Old Town San Diego. Expect to sleep in a Victorian, dark wood bed and wooden barrel tubs in some rooms. All rooms have a balcony or patio.
Found Hotel ($xxx per night) –
The Shoal Hotel (0 per night) – although it’s ‘only’ a 2-star hotel, The Shoal has recently had a face-lift so you’re getting very modern rooms for a very decent price in La Jolla. You’re close to popular Windansea Beach, a famous surf spot. Tower 23 (5 per night) – Tower 23 is what I’d call a modern Boutique Hotel. Once again, this is a newer hotel in San Diego and it’s got a modern, glam feel to it. Which is about right considering its beachfront location in glam Pacific Beach. A great 4-star hotel for a laid-back celebration.