Overlooking the stunning Pacific Ocean is San Diego, one of the US’s largest and most vibrant cities. This bustling and exciting metropolis is situated in sunny California and has so many different neighbourhoods, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
There’s a natural deep-water harbour, meaning the city has a fascinating naval history. You’ll have your choice of beaches galore, offering the chance to soak up the sun with a Pina Colada in hand.
As it’s on the border with Mexico, the Spanish influence in this city is unmissable, with great food, music, and culture to discover. Of course, with a great city comes great accommodation, and we’ve picked out the best hotels on offer.
1. San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina
This brilliant hotel is four stars for a reason. It boasts incredible views of the waterfront of San Diego Bay, and you can enjoy a dip in the outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.
The onsite restaurant serves up a smorgasbord of Asian fusion dishes, as well as a traditional American breakfast to fill you up before a day of exploring.
Location: Located in the urban centre of San Diego, this will offer you great access to some of the city’s top attractions. The Gaslamp Quarter – known for its restaurants and lively nightlife – is just ten minutes away, and the famous San Diego Zoo is only three miles away.
2. Wyndham San Diego Bayside
This fabulous modern hotel is even closer to the bayfront.
Not only will you be able to get great food from the onsite steakhouse, but you can also let off some steam at the state of the art fitness centre and rent a bike to explore the city further.
Location: Almost every room in this hotel has breathtaking views across San Diego Bay – the sea is within arm’s reach! You’ll be opposite the San Diego Bay cruise terminal, and the hotel lays on shuttles to the zoo and airport.
3. Tower 23 Hotel
If you’re looking for a beach getaway, this is the place for you.
White sandy beaches on your doorstep, an exquisite seafood restaurant onsite, and the opportunity to try your hand at surfing, sailing, and hiking – what more could you want?
Location: This hotel is in the Pacific Beach neighbourhood. You’ll practically step out onto the beach, which is just two minutes from the hotel. You can also access the boardwalk around the coastline from here. It’s a little further out from the city centre, but SeaWorld is just a 15-minute drive away.
4. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
This is an eco-friendly hotel boasting three outdoor pools, modern décor, and excellent service.
They pride themselves on the quality of their onsite restaurant, Harbour, which serves over 90 different wines, a variety of cocktails, and delicious food – all of which you can enjoy with a view of the marina.
Location: You’re almost directly next-door to the airport, so getting here is no trouble at all. You can rent a bike or even a sailboat to take a tour around San Diego Bay, which is where this fabulous hotel is located.
5. The Inn at Sunset Cliffs
This hotel offers a unique opportunity for you to have a suite to yourself, with stunning views across the Pacific Ocean.
It’s modern and stylish but still cosy, giving off beach-shack vibes, as well as offering you a range of water-based activities to get into.
Location: If this hotel were any closer to the sea, it would be in it. Steps away from the Pacific Ocean on the famous Point Loma, the location of this stunning hotel is something worth paying for.
6. Humphreys Half Moon Inn
Sip a cocktail at the poolside bar, or just chill out in your room, which has a feature window overlooking San Diego Bay.
This is the ultimate relaxation hotel with fabulous marina views. It offers a range of great concerts throughout the summer months.
Location: Here, you’ll have the advantage of being beside the sea without being too far from the centre of San Diego. In your own little oasis, you’ll feel relaxed and chilled out while being able to access the bustle of the city if it takes your fancy.
7. The Lafayette Hotel
A fitness centre, an Olympic-sized outdoor pool, and a coffee maker in every room – this hotel is perfect for the energetic and free-spirited.
This is an eco-friendly period hotel offering great onsite facilities, like a brilliant restaurant and super-fast Wi-Fi.
Location: The San Diego Zoo is just five minutes away; you can make some furry friends during your stay. The San Diego Natural History Museum is also five minutes away, so you can learn about all the animals you’ve just met! The airport is just over a ten-minute drive away.
8. Crown City Inn Coronado
Crown City Inn offers a wide range of facilities ready to make your stay as luxurious as possible, including a lovely outdoor pool, free bike hire, and a bistro.
This is a Grecian-style, cosy, luxurious hotel that will make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean island.
Location: In fact, you are on an island! Coronado is the island in the middle of San Diego Bay, a location sought after by thousands of holidaymakers every year. There are beaches within a mile. Don’t worry; the island is connected by a bridge so you can easily drive around the city.
9. The Bristol Hotel San Diego
This is a stylish and modern hotel ready to cater to all your needs.
There’s not much flashy about it, but it’s simple, comfortable, and boasts some spectacular views of the inner city of San Diego.
Location: The location of this hotel is what sells it. It’s within walking distance of so many of San Diego’s best attractions, like the Harbour and the USS Midway Museum. Just a five-minute walk from the San Diego Civic Theatre, catch a show before grabbing a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant.
10. La Avenida Inn
This is another hotel located on popular Coronado Island. It’s simple but charming, with a lovely traditional and cosy vibe.
An outdoor pool means you can relax and grab a drink in the sun, but beaches will be just around the corner if you stay here.
Location: As this hotel is in the upper village area of the island, you’ll be right next to all its quaint restaurants, theatres, and shops.
11. Ocean Beach Hotel
This hotel really is what it says on the tin: a lovely hotel overlooking the ocean, by the beach.
Each room is large and has an ensuite. There’s a delightful garden to sit in and enjoy a drink or two.
Location: San Diego International Airport is just over three miles away, and you will be steps away from a beautiful white-sand beach. Other attractions like the Cabrillo National Monument are just over 15 minutes’ drive away.
12. The Dana on Mission Bay
A waterfront bar, two outdoor pools, and two hot tubs – you’ll be spoilt rotten with a stay at The Dana.
Every room has a flatscreen TV, and some overlook the hotel’s stunning marina.
Location: Bike and car hire offered by the hotel means you can get around really easily. SeaWorld is 0.6 miles away, and Mission Beach is one mile away. Just over three miles away is San Diego International Airport.
13. Courtyard San Diego Airport
An outdoor pool with a fire pit makes this hotel a great spot to watch the sun go down and the stars come out.
Adjacent to a 46-acre park, you can go jogging, hiking or cycling from the front door.
Location: As this is right beside the airport, you’ll get here in no time after your flight. Once you’re here, because of its waterside position, you can watch the ships sail past your window. San Diego Zoo and Sea World are just minutes away, so this is perfect if you’re an animal lover!
14. Hilton San Diego Bayfront
An open-air pool and dining area mean you can enjoy a dip followed by a culinary feast at this luxurious hotel.
Right on the waterfront, almost every room boasts spectacular views, as well as a huge TV and fast Wi-Fi access.
Location: This brilliant hotel is adjacent to the San Diego Convention Centre and just minutes away from PETCO Park. This is a perfect choice if you’re hoping to catch a baseball game.
15. Ocean Villa Inn
An outdoor heated pool is the centrepiece of this pet-friendly hotel right on the beach- as you could probably guess by the name!
If you’re lucky, your room will have a balcony overlooking the ocean or a patio leading out into the stunning gardens.
Location: You’ll find Ocean Villa Inn just one mile away from SeaWorld and just over eight miles away from the Zoo. The local area around Ocean Beach is lovely, with antique stores, traditional dining, and some great waterfront activities like sailing and surfing.