San Diego's Best Hotels: Where to Stay in America's Finest City

Known for warm weather, gorgeous beaches and family-friendly attractions, visitors from all over the world choose San Diego as a premier travel destination. From 5-star to budget, on the beach or off, San Diego's wide variety of hotels meets the needs of business travelers, families, singles and more. The competition is fierce, with notable hotels spread throughout the county, but if you’d like to stay at the creme de la creme, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the 10 best hotels in San Diego.

From Coronado to Carlsbad, these 10 hotels have spas, luxurious amenities, modern conveniences, superb customer service and reputations for providing guests with memorable experiences. They have stars, diamonds and awards galore, however, each are spectacular in their own ways.

Is golf on your list? The Lodge at Torrey Pines and Omni La Costa Resort and Spa have world-renowned courses played by Tiger Woods and other pros. Or, perhaps you'd like to enjoy the weather (our year-round average is 70 degrees) and stay resort-bound. The Grand Del Mar and Hotel del Coronado may be good choices for luxe lounging. Maybe you're here for just a couple of days and need to stay close to LEGOLAND? Park Hyatt Aviara is a quick 10-minute drive away.

If you’re just unsure about which part of San Diego to stay in, have a look at these hotels. They may make the decision for you. Without further ado, we present our list.


The secluded Park Hyatt Aviara lies above a protected wildlife sanctuary called the Batiquitos Lagoon and enjoys spectacular ocean views. This AAA 5-diamond resort offers all of the luxury one might expect from a Park Hyatt. When not splashing around in the 3200 square foot pool, kids can stay busy in Camp Hyatt while parents enjoy a leisurely morning at the spa or golf at the resort's Arnold Palmer course, named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in America. Better yet, improve your swing at the prestigious Aviara Golf Academy, located on the property. LEGOLAND and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are not too far away, though Downtown San Diego is about a 40 minute drive.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Camp Hyatt occupies kids while mom and dad golf or enjoy the award-winning spa. It's a luxe property.

Read more about Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Spa & Golf Club →

L'Auberge Del Mar - Destination Hotels & Resorts
Photo courtesy of L'Auberge Del Mar

Just a quick walk away from one of San Diego's nicest beaches and Del Mar's finest restaurants, the L'Auberge Del Mar is an excellent vacation choice. The resort is reminiscent of a private, coastal estate, offering 112 plush guest rooms and 8 hotel suites with village, garden or coastal views. Some of the luxury hotel amenities offered at L'Auberge include a gorgeous pool overlooking the Pacific, private cabanas, a landscaped footpath to the beach, a state-of-the-art fitness center equipment, two lighted championship tennis courts and a tennis pro for instruction. Kitchen 1540 is onsite and highly regarded for it's Modern American cuisine with Southern influences. Breathe in the sea air at Spa L'Auberge while indulging in massages, body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This boutique hotel is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Read more about L'Auberge Del Mar - Destination Hotels & Resorts →

The luxurious Rancho Valencia, tucked away in the affluent Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood, is an all-suite property of 49 suites averaging 1000 square feet in size. The property just enjoyed a $30 million renovation. All suites boast a fireplace, private garden patio, spacious bathroom with walk-in closet, and wet mini-bar while some have a private whirlpool spa on the patio. Mediterranean-Spanish decor features colorful hand-painted tile work, open beam ceilings, plantation shuttered windows, and Terra Cotta tile floors. Tennis enthusiasts will love the 18 courts. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool, two whirlpool spas, croquet lawn, fitness center, and easy access to nearby golf courses. Don't forget to book a spa appointment, either.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This hideaway in Rancho Santa Fe is for those who seek a low-key, luxury resort vacation focused on golf, tennis and spa.

Read more about Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa →


The over 100-year-old hotel is centrally and conveniently located on Broadway, the city's main boulevard. Directly across the street, guests can explore the many stores, theatres and restaurants of Westfield Horton Plaza or walk a few short blocks to the San Diego Bay, Petco Park, and the historical Gaslamp Quarter, which boasts a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment venues. The hotel's 270 guest rooms are fused with iconic architecture and classic empire-style furnishings with modern day amenities and contemporary features, including flat screen televisions, luxurious bath amenities and twice-daily housekeeping. The Grant Grill features fresh farm-to-table California cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. For seasonal craft cocktails, local brews and regional wines, The Grant Grill Lounge is a lively setting with daily happy hour and weekend entertainment.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The historic and posh hotel is within walking distance of downtown San Diego's best restaurants. It's a Starwood property.

Read more about THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego →

Omni San Diego Hotel
Photo courtesy of © Joanne DiBona

Connected via a skywalk to the home of the Padres baseball team, PETCO Park, this 511-room, 21-story hotel is located in the heart of the historic and trendy Gaslamp Quarter and steps away from the San Diego Convention Center. Public transportation in the form of the red San Diego Trolley is right outside the door for access to all areas of downtown and beyond. In addition to beautifully outfitted rooms (each with bay, downtown, or ballpark views), the hotel also boasts a swimming pool and gym. The Omni hotel creates unique guest packages that can include everything from a wedding ceremony on the baseball diamond at PETCO Park to a brewery tour package.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Stay here if you're taking the family to a Padres game.

Read more about Omni San Diego Hotel →


Known as the pink lady, the luxurious La Valencia Hotel has been a La Jolla landmark since 1926. Its Prospect Street address is an ideal location for fine dining, shopping, browsing art galleries, and admiring the ocean just steps away. However, with the gorgeous pool and three critically acclaimed restaurants, it would be easy spend your entire holiday on the property. The recently-renovated hotel retains much of its original Mediterranean characteristics while integrating modern conveniences. Richly appointed custom furnishings, luxurious linens and amenities, WiFi and plasma TVs grace the 112 intimate guest rooms and suites. Panoramic ocean views can and should be enjoyed all over the hotel. Weekend brunch at the Mediterranean Room is popular with locals as is the brand new Cafe la Rue.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Luxe in La Jolla equals boutique and art gallery shopping, beaches and fine dining within walking distance.

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The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is located just a few miles from the beach in Carlsbad. In addition to its world-renowned spa, the resort boasts a newly-renovated golf course that is the site of several national championships each year. Situated on 400 lushly landscaped acres, La Costa offers the ultimate in resort activity. Its expansive water park, Splash Landing, features serpentine water slides, a kids' splash area, several pools, hot tubs, and a poolside restaurant. Excellent dining options, such as locally sourced fare at BlueFire Grill, help make it a resort that you do not ever have to leave. However, kids may want to visit LEGOLAND, just a few minutes away.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Omni La Costa is a well-rounded family resort that skews upscale with excellent golf and spa.

Read more about Omni La Costa Resort & Spa →

The iconic red roof has become one of San Diego's most recognizable symbols. The beachfront Hotel del Coronado is filled with over 120 years of history with guests including 11 Presidents, royalty and countless movie stars. Coronado island is actually a peninsula connected to Downtown San Diego by the famous Coronado Bridge. Attractions in Balboa Park are also just minutes away. This luxurious National Historic Landmark has unveiled several major enhancements including more ocean view dining, a state-of-the art fitness center with classes held on the beach, as well as a facility just for kids and teens. Beach Village is a new 78 room enclave that offers kitchens, private terraces, and larger living spaces. If you forget to pack something, the shops have a variety of amenities and are sure to fill any empty space in your suitcase.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Del is a San Diego icon with one of the nation's best beaches right in front of it.

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The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Boasting stunning ocean and golf course views, The Lodge at Torrey Pines has established itself as one of Southern California's finest resorts. Often referred to as a hidden treasure, the post-and-beam construction throughout the resort pays homage to early 1900s Craftsman-style architecture. It is designed to look and feel like a residence. Inside are 170 generously-sized rooms and 8 suites with custom furnishings that contribute a historic but contemporary look. A world-class spa performs beauty services and restorative therapies, including massage, wraps, hydrotherapy, and time-honored wellness rituals. The Lodge is centrally located in upscale La Jolla near UCSD, the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, and major freeways that provide quick access to other San Diego attractions.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's a smaller, less hectic hotel with golf course privileges and a fabulous spa.

Read more about The Lodge at Torrey Pines →

Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Photo courtesy of The Grand Del Mar

As Southern California's only triple five-star resort, The Grand Del Mar oozes with opulence. Nestled in a secluded canyon east of Del Mar, the sprawling property boasts an equestrian center, luxury spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, 5-star dining, golf, tennis and four heated pools. If the beach is calling, The Grand Del Mar can chauffeur you there and back with chairs, umbrellas and bottled water in tow. Kids can do crafts and play games in the Explorer's Club while parents take a pilates class or cherish a private dinner at the resort's award-winning French restaurant, Addison. The 249 hotel rooms are lavishly decorated with Pratesi linens and marble bathrooms to compliment tranquil canyon views.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: If money is no object, stay here for luxe amenities, dining, golf, spa, kid fun and more.

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Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie