Southern California

8 San Diego Luxury Hotels that are Worth the Splurge

San Diego calls itself "America's Finest City," and for good reason: With miles of pristine white-sand beaches, a near-perfect Mediterranean climate that is mild and sunny year-round, and a thriving food scene, as well as some of the best parks, cultural institutions and public spaces in America, it's the kind of town you'll want to visit again and again.

This stunning city offers incredible variety, stretching in a patchwork of unique neighborhoods from the beach to the desert to the mountains. The city’s hotel scene is equally diverse. For the discerning traveler looking to splash out while in San Diego, the options are endless: from the charming oceanfront bungalow that is The Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla to the lush forest-like golf retreat that is the Rancho Bernardo Inn, here are some of the loveliest and most luxurious hotels in San Diego.

Play 18 holes at this manicured, classic California resort

The Rancho Bernardo Inn is a sprawling, stunning feat of California architecture. With Spanish Colonial-style buildings and acres of whimsical gardens, the resort is a lush, green oasis worth getting lost in. Its crown jewel is its 18-hole Championship golf course, but even for guests with no interest in spending time on the putting green, the resort’s four restaurants and award-winning spa are a hole in one.

The 287 guest rooms all feature garden views and custom artwork, and many come outfitted with fireplaces and private patios. Avant, the resort’s flagship chef restaurant, serves California contemporary cuisine with rich influences from California wine country.

Rancho Bernardo Inn

Top rated
San Diego
8.8 Excellent (2253 reviews)

Revel in bayfront views at this bustling downtown gem

The Manchester Grand Hyatt lives up to its name: a luxury full-service resort within walking distance of San Diego’s most vibrant downtown neighborhood, this property is grand in every sense of the word. Rising 40 stories above the glistening blue waters of the San Diego Bay, guest rooms here offer a double whammy of both water and city views, and attractions including Seaport Village and the USS Midway are a short and easy walk from the hotel.

Movie buffs will get a kick out of the Rooftop Cinema Club – the Manchester Grand Hyatt doubles as one of San Diego’s most beloved movie theaters. On the hotel’s fourth floor terrace, you can catch both first-run flicks and iconic cinematic favorites, all screened with wireless headphones for guests and a wide selection of food and drink.

Nearby on the same level, you can also cozy up with your loved ones and even roast up some s’mores at the hotel’s outdoor fire pit, located on the fourth floor deck and surrounded at night by twinkling city lights.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Top rated
San Diego
9.0 Excellent (8536 reviews)

Book your stay at a piece of real American history

You’d be hard-pressed to find a spot in San Diego more steeped in American history than the elegant US Grant Hotel, a downtown fixture and San Diego landmark for more than 100 years. This painstakingly renovated property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr., who named the building for his father, President Ulysses S. Grant.

Located on one of the most bustling blocks of San Diego’s downtown, the hotel is an oasis of calm and cool marble, chandeliers and quietly refined service. Stepping through its wide front doors is much like stepping back in time, but with every modern amenity — from flat-screen TVs to crisp white linens to lightning-fast WiFi — included.

The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego

Top rated
San Diego
9.0 Excellent (2531 reviews)

Live your best beach life in this splashy waterfront property

If you want to sleep close enough to the waves that you can smell the sea spray, there is perhaps no better choice than Tower23, an ultra sexy property on the water in the trendy, youthful neighborhood of Pacific Beach.

Named after the lifeguard tower that sits just a few steps from its front door, Tower23 is minimalist and modern. Rooms are plush but simple, with fluffy white duvets and sparse decor. The real attraction here is the turquoise Pacific Ocean views, which unfurl in a panorama at every turn.

JRDN, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, features steak and seafood and is a magnet for Pacific Beach nightlife.

Tower 23 Hotel

Top rated
San Diego
9.4 Excellent (2246 reviews)

Find Europe in the heart of Southern California

If you’re searching for elegant and old-world charm with the highest standard of service, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, a five-diamond resort hidden into the hills of the upscale coastal enclave of Del Mar, will tick every box. The setting alone is jaw-dropping: Tucked into Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (a seven-mile urban park of waterfalls, rocky cliffs and animals such as mule deer and bobcats), the hotel is an island of civility and charm surrounded by wildlife.

The architecture here is Mediterranean-inspired, with an emphasis on sleek marble and plush textiles. Enjoy four outdoor pools, six restaurants and an award-winning golf course, all within a 20-minute drive of San Diego’s top attractions, including downtown, Sea World and the coast’s best beaches.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Top rated
San Diego
9.6 Excellent (3668 reviews)

Relax in a charming bed and breakfast in the jewel of San Diego

La Jolla, the coastal San Diego beach enclave that is as picturesque as a movie set, takes its name from the Spanish word for “the jewel.” At The Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla, you’ll find a sweet coastal escape with personalized service, charming hand-picked decor and warm, genuine hospitality – one that seems fitting for its location because it’s truly a hidden gem.

The hotel is a genuine bed and breakfast where guests are encouraged to mingle on the sun terrace, stroll in the gardens and gather each morning in the romantic lounge for a delicious home-cooked meal. The owners pride themselves on exceptional service and attention to detail, so expect charming extras like complimentary wine and cheese and warm log fires in the winter.

The Bed & Breakfast Inn At La Jolla

Top rated
San Diego
8.8 Excellent (89 reviews)

Escape to an island resort on 44 acres

For a fully tropical experience, Paradise Point Resort and Spa — a sprawling botanical property with 44 acres of lagoons and gardens — delivers the ultimate island-inspired escape.

This expansive and secluded resort will appeal to both families and couples alike. With its own private marina, it’s a mecca for water sports, and there are sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis all available to guests. The resort features five pools (including one reserved exclusively for adults), as well as a number of dining options, many of them located directly on the water.

If you do decide to venture out of the resort and into the city, the location is hard to beat — Paradise Point sits directly across the street from Sea World, and is a short drive to downtown, the Gaslamp District and Balboa Park.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

San Diego
8.4 Very good (5005 reviews)

Commune with the past at this downtown architectural treasure

The Guild Hotel opened in 2019, bringing life, style and superior design to a historic downtown San Diego building that originally housed an Armed Services YMCA (look for the iconic rooftop signage, still in tact above the building’s stately exterior). Today, the hotel oozes elegant simplicity, with delightful design nods to its blue-collar history sprinkled amid its sleek, industrial design.

The action in this lovely hotel revolves around Luca, its central courtyard restaurant with charming striped umbrellas and plenty of greenery. Step outside the front doors and you’re in the heart of urban San Diego, with the historic Santa Fe Depot Amtrak Station just a three-minute walk and both Petco Park and the San Diego Convention Center a mere 10 minutes by foot.

The Guild Hotel, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Top rated
San Diego
8.8 Excellent (712 reviews)