Best Hotels Pick for Your Next Trip to San Diego

San Diego, California, Sunset

With a moderate climate, lush beaches, intriguing history and architecture, and an entire quarter for entertainment, San Diego is one of the top destinations in California. Whether you want to visit Mission Bay for it surf shops and beaches, or you’re aiming to shop, explore art, and visit museums in Old Town, you will fall in love with San Diego. The entertainment in Gaslamp Quarter will give you an extra nudge. Despite its undeniable appeal, there are about 1500 San Diego hotels to choose from, ranging from quaint little inns, to modern hotels, and oceanfront steel-and-glass luxury giants. As finding the right accommodation is tricky, here are some select choices from all hotel types and price ranges.

San Diego

Photo by Beth Hughes via

The Homey and Friendly Inn Experience

The Comfortable Downtown Inn

Our first inn is right in the heart of downtown San Diego, close to all major attractions the city has to offer. Red Roof Inn boasts comfortable, pet-friendly rooms with hardwood floors and toiletries on the house. The inn offers free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and has a shuttle service for those flying in and out of the city. The Waterfront, Balboa Park, Little Italy, and Gaslamp District are all nearby, making it the ideal starting point for your visit.

Family and Budget-friendly Inn

The Comfort Inn & Suites San Diego – Zoo SeaWorld Area is ideal for family vacations. The suites come with separate rooms for kids, making them feel independent and giving parents some privacy. They have a heated outdoor pool, they offer free breakfast and internet, and SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo are close, providing endless entertainment for the little ones.

San Diego Sunset

Photo by Vincent Ramundo via

The Luxury and Pampering Experience

Relax at a Tropical Resort in Mission Bay

If you want a tropical spa resort, try the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa. This urban oasis is hidden between tropical gardens and right next to the beaches of Mission Bay. It’s quiet, lush, has comfortable Mediterranean decor rooms, spa services, and it’s also pet friendly. You can either opt for the daily tour they organize by kayak, jet ski, or paddleboards, or lounge at the hotel’s pool. Enjoy the bay views from the on-site restaurant or head out for a stroll through Gaslamp Quarter.

Downtown Luxury and Marina Views

Enjoy a prime downtown location and the breathtaking views of the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for a truly decadent vacation. Luxury featherbeds and duvets, designer toiletries, a sofa to relax on, a coffee and tea maker, free Wi-Fi and the possibility to bring pets along—what more could you ask from a hotel room? The hotel has an on-site hotel and a bar and grill, outdoor pools and a fitness center, and all major downtown attractions are a stone throw away.

Balboa Park, San Diego

The Backpacking, Hostel-style Experience

If you prefer a cheap, backpacking style experience, then the hostel-styled 500 West Hotel is a great choice. Budget and pet-friendly, it mimics Europe’s hostels and offers a mix of bunk beds and private rooms. Located in the heart of San Diego and offering the cheapest beds as well as larger, more comfortable rooms, it capitalizes on an innovative and popular hotel concept.

Thank you for reading another article in my Himpunk series. I love being a Hipmunk writer and sharing with you the wonderful destinations and hotels I discover with them. Stay tuned for other travel ideas and hotel recommendation posts!

20 Comment to “Best Hotels Pick for Your Next Trip to San Diego”

  1. Christina says:

    Wow love the photos. I didn’t realise San Diego had such a stunning coastline. A spa resort in Mission Bay sounds like just the place for me!

  2. Great guide- it’s always tough to know what to book in a city you’ve never been to, as you don’t always necessarily want to be ‘downtown’ or ‘near the beach’

    • So true! I’ve stayed at airport hotels and in downtown hotels, or those just a few tram/bus stops away from the heart of the city. They each have their own charm and benefits.

  3. Jennifer says:

    We love San Diego! We used to go fairly often for long weekends when we lived in Las Vegas. I’ve always wanted to stay the Hotel del Coronado.

  4. A great round up of hotels in San Diego, there is something here for everyone!

  5. Julie says:

    During my travels I tend to pick out-of-the-way boutique style accommodations so it’s nice to see that even some of the ‘big guys’ have some of the amenities that I really value from smaller places. Of course you can’t go wrong in San Diego, even if you just crash on the beach!

  6. Sue Reddel says:

    San Diego is so lovely. Thanks for the terrific round-up of hotels at just about every price point. Nicely done!

  7. Rosemary says:

    Nice options for all types of travelers. I’ve done more day trips to San Diego than staying overnight. I have to admit the spa at Mission Bay caught my attention 🙂 Will keep this handy for my next overnight stay in San Diego!

  8. Helena says:

    First, that sunset picture is wow! Amazing. San Diego seems like a great city to visit and from what I can tell, it’s definitely not as touristy as Los Angeles. Definitely gonna consider a visit there and I am saving your post for good hotel choices.

  9. Thanks for outlining a range of options 🙂 I think my next trip is going to be along the lines of luxury and pampering so might go for the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa 🙂

  10. Indrani says:

    I will go for the luxury one for a lifetime experience! I have to get there someday. Thanks for this varied choices. 🙂

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