Not sure where to stay in San Diego? We’ve done the research for you!
Down below we have hand picked the best places to stay in San Diego for all budgets, from 3 – 5 star hotels, so if you are planning to visit San Diego this post will save you time, and hopefully some money.
These are the best hotels in San Diego you can find from budget to luxury in the most popular areas of the city.
Where to Stay in San Diego
Whether you need a low-price hotel or want to splurge and stay in a luxury boutique one, this list of San Diego hotels will help you figure out where to stay.
I’ve focused my search to the most popular places in San Diego, such as downtown and La Jolla. This way, you can walk to the main attractions, restaurants, cafes, bars, and have easy access to public transportation.
Sure you can stay outside of San Diego to potentially save some money and get a larger room, but if this is your first visit to San Diego or you’re on a short stay you want to be in the center of everything.
Sometimes the trade-off between saving money on accommodations in San Diego and saving time on commuting by being central to the action cancels each other out – particularly on short getaways!
For my list below, each property had to meet specific criteria and for my research, I used the Booking.com website.
Why Book Your San Diego Accommodation with Booking.com?
I like that you can book a variety of San Diego accommodation types on the one website – hotels, apartments, and hostels, even holiday homes.
And I love how simple their website is to use! Booking.com is the world leader in booking accommodation online and has over 800,000 properties worldwide and over 1,000 in San Diego.
With Booking.com you get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee. Plus, they have verified reviews from guests who have actually stayed at the property!
They are always our first port of call when booking hotel stays.
Best San Diego Accommodation
When researching where to stay in San Diego California, we broke our search down into the best areas to stay in San Diego which happen to be these four popular tourist spots:
- Downtown San Diego
- Mission Beach/Mission Bay
- Pacific Beach
- La Jolla
The criteria I used to create this list of the top hotels in San Diego includes:
- Free WiFi
- Air Conditioning
- Family rooms
- Free cancellation
- Review Score of 8+
Hotels in Downtown San Diego
3 Star Hotels in Downtown San Diego
If you are researching where to stay in San Diego on a budget and within walking distance of the Gaslamp quarter or Horton Plaza Park, these are the best 3-star hotels.
Holiday Inn Express – Downtown San Diego
Holiday Inn Express is only just two blocks from the San Diego Trolley. It also offers free shuttle service to the iconic San Diego Zoo, the San Diego airport, and more.
Wake up to a complimentary hot breakfast bar including scrambled eggs and bacon. Each room has a nice desk, ergonomic chair, and pillowtop mattresses.
Book your stay at Holiday Inn Express on Booking.com.
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown
Stay within walking distance from Little Italy and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
DoubleTree by Hilton hotels are known for their excellent customer service and comfy rooms. It is located in between the San Diego Bay and Balboa Park.
Enjoy a restful night’s sleep on their signature Sweet Dreams beds or swim in the heated outdoor pool. This place is amazing!
Book your stay at DoubleTree on Booking.com.
4-Star Hotels in Downtown San Diego
Gaslamp Plaza Suites
Stay right in the heart of the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter. Gaslamp Plaza Suites was built in 1913. When you stay here, you will stay in a historical, European-styled hotel, oh the stories it could tell!
Not only is the Melting Pot restaurant on-site, but it also has a stunning Syrah Wine Parlor too.
Book your stay at the Gaslamp Plaza Suites on Booking.com.
Andaz San Diego – a concept by Hilton
Experience luxury in downtown San Diego at The Andaz.
It was crafted to blend seamlessly with the rest of the artsy Gaslamp district. Every line in the furniture and even the design of the walls and showers all reflect the modern culture of San Diego.
There are so many wonderful luxuries here. You can hire a cabana to relax by the rooftop swimming pool, or eat at the on-site STK steakhouse.
Book your stay at The Andaz on Booking.com.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Hard Rock hotels are known for always being right in the middle of the action and this one does not disappoint. It has an amazing rooftop pool deck and an active nightlife. Then, pamper yourself at the on-site spa the next day.
This is just a 6-minute walk from Petco Park and the San Diego Convention Center.
Book your stay at the Hard Rock Hotel on Booking.com.
The Westin San Diego
The Westin San Diego is very popular with tourists. Just like other Westin hotels across the USA, this one is beautifully designed with impeccable attention to detail.
Guest rooms include a relaxing rainforest shower with a hand-held wand. You can also relax at the outdoor pool or hot tub or enjoy the complimentary Starbucks coffee inside your room.
Book your stay at the Westin on Booking.com.
Hilton Garden Inn
You can always count on the Hilton Garden Inn to have amazing food and be centrally located near fun things to do.
This one has a rooftop pool with breathtaking views of San Diego. You can also indulge in their spa and fitness center. It is only 1.9 miles away from the San Diego International Airport.
Book your stay at the Hilton Garden Inn on Booking.com.
5-Star Hotels in Downtown San Diego
There is only one 5-star hotel in downtown San Diego that meets the following criteria:
- Free WiFi
- Metro station nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Fitness centre
- Spa & wellness centre
- Review Score of 8+
The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel
From the stunning courtyard to the breathtaking lobby to the beautiful guest suites, your stay at The US Grant Hotel will be unforgettable.
Book an in-room massage or sweat it off in the hotel’s large fitness center. Everything in this hotel was created to make travelers feel relaxed and taken care of.
Book your stay at the US Grant Hotel on Booking.com.
Hotels Near Mission Beach/Mission Bay
Mission Beach is a laid-back area.
This beach attracts surfers and families year-round. Mission Bay is a popular spot for water sports. If you want to be close to the beach, these are the places where you want to stay.
3-Star Hotel near Mission Beach/Mission Bay
Want to enjoy some time near the beach? Stay at the Dana on Misson Bay. It is incredibly scenic.
The Dana on Mission Bay
This amazing hotel is located on 10 tropically landscaped acres near Mission Bay. Some rooms even overlook that lovely marina with the sparkling water.
The hotel staff is super helpful. They can make arrangements for tours, dinner reservations, and attraction tickets.
Book your stay at The Dana on Mission Bay on Booking.com.
There is one 4-star hotel near Mission Beach/Mission Bay that you really need to check out.
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
The Hyatt is elegance and luxury and comfort all rolled into one.
Not only do they have an environmentally-friendly spa, but there is an on-site marina where you can park your yacht (or watch others park their yachts here). You can also rent jet-skis or join a whale-watching excursion.
Their rooms have private balconies with stunning views of the water.
Book your stay at the Hyatt on Booking.com.
Private Properties Near Mission Beach
If you want to stay somewhere private, rent a condo right on the beach. The Mission Beach Condo is an apartment with 1152 square feet. It includes all the comforts of home, including a kitchen, living room, and bedrooms.
Book your stay at the Mission Beach Condo on Booking.com.
Hotels in Pacific Beach
Not sure where to stay in San Diego on the beach?
Pacific Beach is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego and is just north of Mission Beach.
There’s a popular bike path and a paved boardwalk right along the Pacific Ocean where you can enjoy food and shopping. It’s a family-friendly beach with lots to do.
4-Star Hotel Near Pacific Beach
For a taste of luxury, stay at this 4-star hotel right on the beach.
Tower 23 Hotel
The Tower 23 Hotel literally sits right on the beach. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves, right out your hotel room!
Not only that, but you can also enjoy in-room spa services and feast on the hotel’s in-house steak restaurant.
Book your stay at Tower 23 Hotel on Booking.com.
Rental Properties near Pacific Beach
As you look for places to stay near the beach, keep vacation properties in mind. This 3-bedroom apartment is just a 20-minute walk from the beach.
Or you can stay 5 minutes from the beach this 344 square-foot apartment could be just for you.
Hotels in La Jolla, San Diego
La Jolla is incredibly scenic.
People travel from all over the USA and the world to see the rugged coastline and sandstone canyons. There is nothing like the sweeping ocean views or going shell-hunting along Shell Beach.
3-Star Hotels in La Jolla
These are the best lower-priced hotels in La Jolla. Browse them and book your favorite today.
The Empress Hotel is a European boutique-style hotel and is just a short 10-minute walk to the ocean. You can also enjoy complimentary continental breakfast every morning with gourmet coffee.
When you stay here, you are just 1.5 miles from Jim’s Cave and La Jolla Underwater Park.
Book your stay at the Empress Hotel on Booking.com.
Sheraton La Jolla
Right in the heart of La Jolla is the picturesque Sheraton hotel.
Surrounded by lovely palm trees and tropical greenery, the Sheraton offers a comforting place to stay. It has plenty of meeting spaces too, in case you need to host a small conference or family reunion.
Book your stay at the Sheraton La Jolla on Booking.com.
4-Star Hotels in La Jolla
These 4-star hotels are in the heart of La Jolla. They offer a higher level of attention and care.
Grande Colonial La Jolla
This gorgeous hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. But if you want to stay in, you can enjoy room service from the amazing NINE-TEN Restaurant.
This is perfectly located just a short 20-minute drive from SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo.
Book your stay at the Grande Colonial La Jolla on Booking.com.
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
If you love experiencing fine dining, then this is the hotel for you. The boutique Estancia Hotel and Spa has 3 on-site restaurants. Plus it also has an outdoor pool and a spa and wellness center.
Do you love to golf? Estancia is just 2 miles from the Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course.
Book your stay at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa on Booking.com.
Airbnb in San Diego
If you’re researching where to stay in San Diego beyond hotels, and you would rather book from Airbnb instead, here are the landing pages for each neighborhood.
I hope this page helped you to find the best hotel offers and San Diego lodging to suit your needs.
If you found this post useful, please share it with someone heading to San Diego, California to help them know where to stay.
Yes, we are an affiliate of Booking.com but we are also paying customers, just like you, and use their website often to book our own accommodation.
More San Diego Travel Tips
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