San Diego is one of the top beach destinations in the world. San Diego beach hotels allow you to quickly run back and forth to the sand. This can substantially improve a stay, regardless of age.
The hotels and resorts on this list were picked for their accessible beach access, superb amenities, and variety of things to do within walking distance.
What to Know Before Booking Popular Beach Hotels in San Diego
San Diego beaches are divided into two types: bay beaches and ocean beaches. Some bayside hotels also offer convenient access to ocean beaches, giving guests the best of both worlds.
San Diego beach hotels of all levels of luxury will be more expensive during the holidays and beach season. They are, in my opinion, worthwhile.
It is also possible to find them at a lower price outside of holidays and shoulder seasons, such as September after Labor Day or January after winter break. During these months, San Diegans continue to visit the beach (although in a different way).
Best Hotels in San Diego on the Beach
Now that we have established why you should make enquiries before booking, lets get into finding out what the best hotels are.
It is important to note that they also give significant benefits, such as eliminating the need to deal with beach parking. It’s possible to spend an entire vacation in one of these locations without ever getting in a car.
The key issue for visitors is whether to stay on one of the beautiful beaches or in downtown San Diego.
Some of the best hotels in San Diego are listed here.
1. The US Grant
The historic luxury hotel is recognized for its iconic Grant Grill restaurant and accessible location in the Gaslamp Quarter.
The US Grand has a variety of eating options, a wellness facility, and opulent guest suites, some of which have deep soaking tubs.
This magnificent classical revival building, which opened in 1910, has entertained 15 U.S. presidents, including JFK and Eisenhower, and its Penthouse Presidential Suite was the setting of FDR’s first fireside talk outside of the city.
The hotel is a 2-minute walk from the Civic Theatre and a 15-minute walk from Broadway Pier.
2. Pendry San Diego
A grand hotel with a wealth of entertainment options, including a heated rooftop pool, an opulent spa, and an exclusive array of bespoke excursions ranging from bike tours to full-day surfing and fishing trips, among others.
Pendry has six restaurants and pubs serving sophisticated and informal eating, a beer hall, and an elite social club, among other things.
The clean rooms and suites have city and seaside views. Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter light rail station, and the New Children’s Museum are all within a 5-minute walk of the hotel.
3. Fairmont Grand Del Mar
5-star Mediterranean-style resort known for its magnificent 18-hole golf course and sumptuous wellness center, which includes a premium spa, meditation and mindfulness programs, guided nature hikes, and other amenities.
Aside from four outdoor heated pools (1 for adults only), there is a kids club and European-style soaking tubs in each room.
Addison, San Diego’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as a coastal Californian bistro, an Italian cafe, and an informal clubhouse overlooking the golf course, are all located within the Fairmont.
Carmel Valley is 20 miles north of San Diego and about a 15-minute drive to Torrey Pines State Reserve and Del Mar eateries.
4. Andaz San Diego
A heated rooftop lap pool, a rooftop bar with fire pits and a DJ on weekends, and a sophisticated steakhouse are all part of this modern luxury hotel.
The hotel’s understated exterior hides its imaginative interiors, which include vivid artwork and lively communal areas.
Suites sleep up to 6 guests and provide exciting facilities like king-sized bunk beds or a poolside cabana accessible via a private spiral staircase.
Westfield Horton Plaza is a 5-minute walk away, while Petco Park is a 9-minute walk away.
5. La Valencia Hotel
La Valencia, a historic boutique hotel since 1926, perches above La Jolla Cove with a tiered arrangement that provides stunning sunset ocean views from most rooms and The Med restaurant.
Rooms, suites, and villas are decorated in a subtle, retro-inspired style; many have balconies, while bigger suites and villas may have sofa beds.
An outdoor heated pool, an outdoor saltwater jacuzzi, a fitness facility, and many dining options are available. Restaurants, cafes, and premium shopping are all nearby.
6. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
High-rise hotel with two rooftop pools, one for families with two jacuzzis and one for adults exclusively, both heated seasonally.
Culinary options include a cocktail lounge on the 40th floor, waterfront dining, and an expensive beer hall.
All rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows with city or bay views, as well as a sitting area and at least 32 square meters of space; connected rooms and huge suites seat up to 6 guests.
The Seaport Village light rail station is directly across the street, and the USS Midway Museum is a 10-minute walk away.
7. Hotel del Coronado
The Del, an iconic resort since 1888, is divided into four separate “neighborhoods,” each with its own tiny hotel and all with an effortlessly opulent design.
The Victorian (historic rooms in Queen Anne architecture), Cabanas (lively, contemporary beachside and poolside rooms).
Beach Village (ultra-luxe beach villas with up to 3 bedrooms and exclusive access to several private pools), and Views (modern romance with breezy beach charm) are the original rooms.
Many restaurants, stores, and recreational activities are available on-site, including beach chairs and umbrellas, rental bicycles, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a kids club.
The property, which is located on Coronado Island, is within walking distance of various eateries and is accessible by vehicle (15-minute drive) or boat from Downtown San Diego.
8. L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
High-end boutique resort featuring outstanding restaurants, an ocean-inspired day spa, and a heated outdoor pool with food and beverage service all day.
All rooms and suites have marble baths, the majority have a balcony or patio, and some have fireplaces.
The benefits of L’Auberge include free use of bicycles (electric or beach cruisers), tennis courts, sunset fire pits, and neighborhood shuttle service.
Beautifully positioned within a 6-minute walk to the beach via their private road and a few feet to Camino Del Mar’s restaurants and stores.
9. Tower 23 Hotel
A contemporary restaurant and a vibrant sun terrace overlook the historic and gorgeous Crystal Pier at this Pacific Beach boutique hotel.
The rooms and suites offer one king or two queen beds and private patios; the majority have full or partial ocean views, and some have jacuzzi bathrooms.
Holiday brunches and Wednesday wine nights with guest sommeliers and vintners are seasonal events.
Steps from Garnet Avenue restaurants and shopping, a 9-minute trip to Belmont Park, and an 11-minute drive to SeaWorld.
10. Paradise Point Resort & Spa
The largest family-friendly resort in San Diego Paradise Point is located on a small island in Mission Bay and is surrounded by white-sand beaches.
The resort has 5 heated outdoor swimming pools (1 for adults only), and a private marina with watersports (paddleboards, kayaks, jet skis, sailboats, and more).
And also plenty of kid-friendly activities such as s’mores firepits, gratis lawn games, a kids’ club, and much more.
Spacious rooms, suites, and bungalows accommodate families of up to five people, all with their own patios or balconies with views of the garden, lagoon, or bay. A tropically designed spa and casual riverside eating complete the experience.
11. Solamar, San Diego
Elegant hotel with New American cuisine, a rooftop pool, a sun terrace, and a cocktail bar.
Rooms and suites have bespoke furnishings in rich colors and patterns, as well as views of the city or skyline, and some have large soaking tubs or sitting rooms.
Sofabeds are available in studio and one- to three-bedroom suites, and some have jacuzzi bathrooms, dining rooms, separate living areas, and other amenities.
Bicycles are available for free, as are morning coffee and tea in the lobby and a nightly manager’s welcome with local beverages.
Conveniently located in the Gaslamp Quarter, close to the city’s top restaurants and nightlife, as well as Petco Park.
12. The Westgate Hotel
In this opulent hotel designed as a tribute to the Palace of Versailles and packed with French tapestries, chandeliers, and antiques, Parisian flair meets California warmth.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with city views are standard in all rooms and suites.
The heated rooftop pool and jacuzzi, indoor gym, outdoor jogging track, and sumptuous spa are all part of the 3700-square-meter AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club, which spans four stories.
Veranda, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, uses local products to create a modern French menu, while handcrafted cocktails, afternoon tea, and in-room dining round out the gourmet experience.
The Civic Center light rail station is directly across the street, as are Westfield Horton Plaza and the Balboa Theatre, while the San Diego Civic Theatre is a short walk away.
13. Omni San Diego Hotel
A luxurious, family-friendly hotel with an outdoor, heated pool and jacuzzi, a few restaurants, and a health center, rooms and suites provide views of the city, the ballpark, or the ocean.
Corner Rooms, Studio Suites, and Executive Suites have private balconies.
Excellent location, connected via skybridge to Petco Park, home of the Padres (the hotel’s baseball memorabilia spans four floors), and within a 10-minute walk of the Gaslamp Quarter’s restaurants and nightlife.
14. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Elegant garden resort with a sparkling saltwater pool and jacuzzi, as well as a holistic spa.
A farm-to-table breakfast spot, an award-winning Baja Mexican restaurant, a casual all-day cafe, and an upmarket garden lounge with butler service are all part of the hotel’s exceptional culinary program.
The Tony-award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is a 20-minute walk away, and La Jolla Cove is a 10-minute drive away. On request, a free shuttle service is provided.
15. Marriott Marquis and Marina
Just steps from the Embarcadero, this harborfront hotel features a private marina, a health center, two jacuzzis, and two freeform rooftop pools (a shallow kids’ pool and a larger pool for everybody, both heated seasonally).
On-site dining options include Asian fusion fine dining, American comfort favorites, a poolside Baja grill, and more.
Rooms provide city or harbor views, and some have balconies; all room types sleep up to four people, with connecting options for bigger parties.
The San Diego Convention Center (5-minute walk), Seaport Village (7-minute walk), and Petco Park (10-minute walk) are all within walking distance of the hotel.
16. InterContinental San Diego
The San Diego Waterfront has gone from kitschy to fashionable in the last decade, thanks to the installation of more public parks, nicer restaurants, and shops.
Staying at the InterContinental San Diego puts you in the heart of the action, with easy access to the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, and the recently rebuilt Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
The third-floor lobby makes it evident what the hotel’s second major advantage is: natural light. The lobby and flagship restaurant offer stunning views of the neighboring USS Midway and San Diego Bay.
The rectangular glass tower’s guest rooms include floor-to-ceiling windows, modern furniture, and bay views.
The pool and bar on the fourth-floor open-air deck have unrestricted views of the waterfront and feel like a continuation of the bay.
You’ll feel immersed in the San Diego atmosphere whether you’re dining on surf and turf at the ground-floor Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse or enjoying an Aperol spritz at the rooftop bar and restaurant, Garibaldi.
17. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
When you pass through Rancho Valencia’s secured entrance, the air changes.
The earthy, sweet aroma of eucalyptus trees pervades the air (the 45-acre site was previously a Eucalyptus tree farm), and the low-slung hacienda-style architecture harkens back to old California.
The luxurious yet understated accommodations (12 villas and 49 casitas with sunken living rooms, fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and 600-thread-count linens) are scattered throughout the property.
Which is landscaped with citrus trees and olive groves, and there is plenty to keep you happy and healthy. A relaxing spa treatment, such as an anti-aging facial or a marine mineral wrap, or plan a demanding tennis lesson with a pro.
Rancho Valencia’s tennis facilities are world-class, and it holds events and tournaments such as the Rafa Nadal Academy on a regular basis.
The equestrian-themed Pony Room, which serves comfort foods such as lobster, tacos, and duck confit, is popular with both hotel guests and locals.
18. Cal-A-Vie Health Spa
Cal-a-Vie, located just north of San Diego in Vista, is a cutting-edge wellness resort, yet the property’s Francophile proprietors would rather guests feel transported to the South of France.
They also transported a 400-year-old chapel, parsonage, and l’orangerie from Dijon, France, and planted fields of scented lavender, citrus groves, and vineyards on the destination spa’s 500 acres.
Cal-a-Vie Therapies extend far beyond massages and facials. Guests can get wellness injections and check out Feldenkrais, a pain-relieving movement discipline.
Cal-a-Vie Spa Vacation Packages include gourmet cuisine, exercise classes, beauty and spa treatments, and accommodations in 32 private villas outfitted with comfortable mattresses and French antiques.
19. Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa
Estancia La Jolla feels like a secret garden at the end of a terracotta-brick-lined private lane. The ten-acre hacienda-style resort is located across from the UCSD campus.
The grounds include babbling fountains and manicured lawns, as well as weekly fragrance flow yoga courses that let you connect with Southern California culture.
The slouchy striped seats next to the saltwater pool and the Moet & Chandon bike cart are all luxurious yet subtle at Estancia La Jolla.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to sip champagne close to a fire pit during golden hour.
Stone pathways lead to the 210 casually stylish garden guest rooms and suites, which are adorned with warm hues and comfy furniture such as wingback chairs.
The 7,000-square-foot spa is one of the most calming in San Diego. For a romantic weekend, reserve the couple’s bungalow for side-by-side treatments and time in an outdoor soaking tub.
20. The Lodge at Torrey Pines
It’s difficult to realize that La Jolla’s stately lodge at Torrey Pines, with its wood-framed windows, stained-glass lanterns, and tiled fireplaces, was built only two decades ago.
It used to be a small inn nearby, but it was demolished and rebuilt in the early 2000s.
The existing post-and-beam construction pays homage to Southern California heritage and craftsman design, and it brings visitors within putting distance of the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.
San Diego is a popular holiday location for a reason, with its mild climate, soft sand beaches, and oh-so-surfable waves.
However, the days of boardwalks and family-friendly activities like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld are long gone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Hotel La Jolla from the beach?
The beach defines La Jolla’s charismatic personality. We are lucky to be only eight blocks from the beautiful La Jolla Shores Beach.
Is San Diego cheap or expensive?
San Diego, CA has a cost of living that is 1% more than the state average and 44% higher than the national average. Housing in San Diego, CA is 121% more expensive than the national average, while utilities are around 11% more expensive.
What is the most expensive place in San Diego?
Mission Hills is San Diego’s most affluent neighborhood. This neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown San Diego, is home to approximately 9,000 people and is well-known for its elegance and sophistication.
Can you stay overnight at a beach in San Diego?
South Carlsbad State Beach and San Elijo State Beach still have bluff-top beach campsites and RV places available, although Silver Strand State Beach only has RV camping with water and power hookups.
How much does it cost to go to La Jolla Cove Beach?
La Jolla Cove is free to explore and open 24 hours a day, though swimming without a lifeguard is never encouraged. There are showers and facilities on-site, as well as parking spaces nearby.
Why is La Jolla so expensive?
Because of the desirable location, expensive housing options, and proximity to the seaside, home costs and living expenses are higher.
Is it expensive to rent in San Diego?
According to Zillow’s June 2023 rental market report, San Diego has the highest average rent at $3,175, topping San Francisco’s average rent of $3,168.