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20 Best Hotels In San Diego: Where To Stay In 2023

20 Best Hotels In San Diego: Where To Stay In 2023

Are you searching for the very best hotels in San Diego? Perfect! We’re going to show you the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels throughout the most popular neighborhoods in town so you can make the most informed decision on exactly where to stay in San Diego.

Instead of trawling through endless randomly listed hotel search engine results, use our research and data driven guide to find the best hotel in San Diego for your visit based on location, value, previous guest ratings and our own experiences.

We have personally visited San Diego twice and stayed in two different neighborhoods. One hotel was in the city and the other hotel was on the beach, so we had contrasting experiences but both were fantastic.

Here’s how we will break down the top hotels in San Diego to help you find the perfect place to stay:

  • Popular San Diego neighborhoods
  • Best things to do in each area
  • Best hotels in each neighborhood
  • Top hotels for couples and families

Let’s find you the perfect hotel for your trip to San Diego, California!

*Please note this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the free content we provide! Read more in our disclosure policy.*

Popular San Diego Neighborhoods

Best Hotels Anywhere team in San Diego at sunset cliffs watching a stunning sunset with vibrant colors in southern California
Mark and Kristen from Best Hotels Anywhere watching a stunning sunset at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego California

The first step to finding the best hotel for your San Diego vacation is to make sure you are staying in the right area for your travel goals.

There are several excellent and diverse San Diego neighborhoods offering visitors a different experience. Each area has its own pros and cons, but San Diego is a fairly small city which means you’re never too far away from the action.

We will cover the best San Diego hotels near the airport at the end of the guide.

Here are 5 of the best San Diego neighborhoods to stay in San Diego, California:

  • Gaslamp Quarter – Best for foodies and socializing
  • Downtown – Best for being close to most attractions
  • Coronado – Best for escaping the crowds
  • Pacific Beach – Best for beaches and young crowds
  • La Jolla – Best for families and upmarket travel

Do you know exactly what you will do in San Diego?

If you’re not 100% sure yet, read our popular guide to the perfect 3 days in San Diego itinerary on our travel site Where Are Those Morgans.

OK, let’s dive into the 20 best hotels in San Diego spread throughout the most popular neighborhoods!

Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter sign at night with cars leaving light streams long exposure photograph
Famous Gaslamp Quarter Sign in San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter is the beating heart of downtown San Diego. The narrow 16 block area includes various chain and independent restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums and theaters.

The historic Gaslamp Quarter has the highest density of hotels in San Diego and it is the most popular place to stay on a first visit to San Diego. It is busy, touristy and cosmopolitan.

We stayed in Gaslamp Quarter the first time we visited San Diego and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There’s a ton of places you can eat, drink and relax within easy walking distance.

Things To Do In Gaslamp Quarter

  • Watch a Padres game
  • Go bar hop and nightclubbing
  • See a show at Balboa theater
  • Visit the San Diego convention center
  • Laugh at the San Diego comedy club
  • Drink coffee, eat out and socialize

Who Should Stay In Gaslamp Quarter?

  • Foodies
  • Big groups
  • Anyone looking to party
  • Those who want to be in the liveliest part of town
  • Visitors watching San Diego Padres baseball

Best Hotels In Gaslamp Quarter San Diego

Some of the very best hotels in San Diego are right here in the Gaslamp Quarter thanks to its evergreen popularity. Gaslamp is a really great place to set up base for first time visitors to “America’s Finest City” San Diego.

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in San Diego Gaslamp Quarter with previous guest ratings.

1. Moxy San Diego Gaslamp

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Moxy hotel room by Marriott with bed and window
Moxy San Diego Gaslamp – Photo Courtesy of Marriott
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center
  • Parking: $54 per day

Hip boutique hotel in upper Gaslamp District close to the action at an affordable price point. Cozy rooms and a buzzing bar in a modern hotel. Excellent cheap hotel in San Diego.

>> Book Hotel: Moxy Gaslamp

2. Hotel Z – A Staypineapple Hotel

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Hotel Z staypineapple one of the best hotels in San Diego by previous guest ratings exterior of building colored yellow and blue
Hotel Z Staypineapple San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Staypineapple
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Pets allowed, 24 hour front desk, free use of bicycles
  • Parking: No parking available

Very highly rated trendy boutique hotel in Gaslamp San Diego. Top marks for cleanliness and staff, plus pet friendly and free bikes to use.

We stayed in this hotel and it was fantastic. Hotel Z is one of the best hotels in San Diego in the cheap budget category.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Z Staypineapple

3. Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Hotel Indigo rooftop lounge with fire
Hotel Indigo San Diego – Photo Courtesy of IHG
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Pets allowed, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, rooftop bar
  • Parking: $55 per day

Boutique hotel located near Petco Park featuring lovely rooftop bar and pet friendly rooms. Slightly more expensive than Staypineapple but has a fitness center.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Indigo

4. Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Hard Rock Hotel one of the most popular hotels to stay in San Diego California
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Bar, rooftop pool, fitness center, jacuzzi, restaurants
  • Parking: $55 per day

Music centered established hotel brand located close to the famous Gaslamp Quarter sign and Petco Park. Rooftop pool and bar with in house nightlife.

>> Book Hotel: Hard Rock Hotel

5. Omni San Diego Hotel

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Omni Hotel in San Diego pool and tall building
Omni Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Omni Hotels
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Pets allowed, 24 hour front desk, outdoor pool and spa, fitness center
  • Parking: $55 per day

Omni is a very highly rated hotel ideally located at the southern end of Gaslamp Quarter close to the marina, convention center and Petco Park. Lovely outdoor pool and decking area.

>> Book Hotel: Omni San Diego

6. Pendry San Diego

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Pendry Hotel in San Diego exterior at night one of the most luxurious and best hotels in San Diego California
Pendry Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Pendry
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Restaurant, fitness center, outdoor pool, terrace, bar, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $51 per day

Pendry is a top rated and elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter San Diego.

If you have the cash to splash and want to stay in the liveliest area, this is one of the best hotels in San Diego in the luxury category.

>> Book Hotel: Pendry San Diego

Downtown San Diego

Marina on the Embarcadero in San Diego California at sunset
Embarcadero marina on the harbor front in Downtown San Diego

Downtown San Diego encompasses a square shaped area to the left and below I-5 as you look at a map. Gaslamp Quarter is technically inside the downtown boundary but due to its popularity we gave it a section of its own in this guide.

Therefore, Downtown covers the neighborhoods of Embarcadero, Little Italy, Marina, Core-Columbia and Cortez Hill. You will spend plenty of time walking around these areas on your visit to San Diego, particularly if you decide to walk up to Balboa Park.

Downtown is one of the most convenient places to stay in San Diego if you don’t have or hire a car. It is pedestrian friendly and there are dozens of fantastic places to eat.

Things To Do In Downtown

Who Should Stay In Downtown?

  • Families
  • Couples
  • Foodies
  • Solo travelers
  • Business travelers
  • Those who want it lively but not too loud

Best Hotels In Downtown San Diego

Hotel prices in Downtown San Diego are reflective of the excellent location in the heart of the top attractions and ease of access to San Diego airport.

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury San Diego hotels downtown with previous guest ratings.

7. Best Western Plus Bayside

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Best Western Bayside lit up at night with tree outside
Best Western Plus Bayside San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Best Western
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Heated pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $22 per day

You know what you’re getting with Best Western Plus. This is a great budget option for staying downtown with easy access to Little Italy and Embarcadero. Plus, the airport is only 2 miles away.

>> Book Hotel: Best Western Plus

8. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Bayfront

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
SpringHill Suites Bayside San Diego best hotels swimming pool and sunloungers at sunset
SpringHill Suites Bayside San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Marriott
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Heated outdoor pool, fitness center, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $39 per day

Highly rated Marriott hotel with views right out into the bay. Excellent location and amenities make this one of the best hotels in San Diego in the mid range budget category.

>> Book Hotel: SpringHill Suites Bayfront

9. Manchester Grand Hyatt

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Guest room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego California
Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Hyatt
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Two pools, rooftop lounge and bar, pets allowed, fitness center, multiple restaurants
  • Parking: $40 per day

Luxury resort style hotel in excellent location on the Embarcadero close to Seaport Village shopping center. On the expensive side of mid range but worth it for the amenities.

>> Book Hotel: Manchester Grand Hyatt

10. InterContinental San Diego

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Exterior shot of the InterContinental Hotel in San Diego California at night
InterContinental Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of IHG
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Multiple restaurants, rooftop pool and bar, wellness center, yoga terrace
  • Parking: $39 per day

Bayfront luxury hotel with floor to ceiling windows in each room and fantastic views.

All the upscale trimmings you expect with an expensive hotel, great choice for anyone on a top end budget and one of the very best downtown San Diego hotels.

>> Book Hotel: InterContinental San Diego

Pacific Beach

Surfer riding the waves in SoCal
Surfer riding a wave in Pacific Beach San Diego

Pacific Beach is the trendy oceanside neighborhood favored by surfers, beach goers and a typically younger bar hopping crowd. Independent stores, bars and restaurants line Garnet Avenue, which is the main strip in Pacific Beach.

The north side of Pacific Beach is perfect for families who want a beachfront break away from the crowds. The south side is where you will find SeaWorld and Mission Bay.

We stayed in Pacific Beach on our second trip to San Diego and really enjoyed the lively but chilled atmosphere. It was a great place to relax and work.

Things To Do In Pacific Beach

  • Take the kids to SeaWorld San Diego
  • Water sports in Mission Bay
  • Eat, drink and shop on Garnet Avenue
  • Relax on the beaches
  • Take surfing lessons

Who Should Stay In Pacific Beach?

  • Groups
  • Couples
  • Beach lovers
  • Families
  • Remote workers
  • Those who want the ultimate chill out vacation

Best Hotels In Pacific Beach San Diego

Despite being beachfront, hotels are slightly more affordable in Pacific Beach versus Downtown or Gaslamp Quarter. It’s a different type of vacation when you stay on the beach rather than in the built up urban part of town.

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego with previous guest ratings.

11. The Beach Cottages

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Lounge and deck area in front of a sandy beach and the ocean
The Beach Cottages in San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Beach Cottages
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Beachfront, BBQ, ping pong
  • Parking: $10 per day

Located just half a block from Pacific Beach with clear views of the boardwalk, The Beach Cottages is among the best hotels in San Diego for beach lovers on a budget.

>> Book Hotel: The Beach Cottages

12. Ocean Park Inn

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Ocean and beach with buildings and trees on a cloudy day
Ocean Park Inn San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Ocean Park Inn
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Beachfront, outdoor pool and hot tub, sea views, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $20 per day

Ideally located just steps from the sands of Pacific Beach, Ocean Park Inn offers the best value for money mid budget hotel in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego.

>> Book Hotel: Ocean Park Inn

13. Pacific Terrace Hotel

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Upmarket hotel room with wooden furniture in Pacific Beach San Diego
Pacific Terrace Hotel San Diego Photo Courtesy of Pacific Terrace
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Beachfront outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $28 per day

Very highly rated beachfront hotel in Pacific Beach with lovely pool area just steps from the sand. Away from the main strip in Pacific Beach which might suit those looking for a quiet escape.

This is where we stayed during our second trip to San Diego and we loved being right on the beach.

>> Book Hotel: Pacific Terrace Hotel

14. Tower23 Hotel

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Decking area with sunloungers and beach at dusk
Tower23 Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of T23 Hotel
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: 24 hour front desk, restaurant, bar
  • Parking: $30 per day

Located just steps from the sand and Garnet Avenue but with no pool, Tower23 could be the ideal choice for an adults only trip staying close to the main strip.

It is one of the very best hotels in San Diego based on previous guest ratings.

>> Book Hotel: Tower23 Hotel

La Jolla

Sea Lion sunbathing in La Jolla
Sea Lion sunbathing on a rock in La Jolla Cove San Diego

La Jolla is a charming seaside village widely regarded as the most upmarket part of San Diego. If you don’t stay here, you should at least visit the area for a few hours during your time in town.

This is a place to bring the family for marine wildlife spotting, art galleries, museums and a stunning rugged coastline. But this is not the place to stay if you’re looking for nightlife activities.

You’ll need a car if you stay in La Jolla so you can get out and see the rest of San Diego before returning back each night to one of the top rated beach destinations on the West Coast.

Things To Do In La Jolla

  • Watch the sea lions and seals at La Jolla Cove
  • Walk around the La Jolla tidal pools at low tide
  • Watch the gliders take off at Torrey Pines
  • Visit the Birch Aquarium and walk on Blacks Beach
  • Walk around Ellen Browning Scripps Park
  • Drive up to Mt Soledad National Veterans Memorial

Who Should Stay In La Jolla?

  • Families
  • Couples who want romance over nightlife
  • Those looking for a quiet and upmarket place to stay

Best Hotels In La Jolla San Diego

Hotels in La Jolla are posh, boutique and well kept. You can stay anywhere in town or along the beach but we recommend you stick close to La Jolla Village so you have more amenities on your doorstep.

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in La Jolla San Diego with previous guest ratings.

15. Empress Hotel La Jolla

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Empress Hotel in La Jolla San Diego exterior shot at night with lights
Empress Hotel La Jolla San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Empress Hotel
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: 24 hour front desk, fitness center, bar, restaurant
  • Parking: $28 per day

European style boutique hotel with elegant rooms in the heart of La Jolla. Wonderful option to stay in the upmarket neighborhood and one of the best hotels in San Diego if you’re traveling on a tight budget.

>> Book Hotel: Empress Hotel La Jolla

16. Scripps Inn

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Upscale hotel room with plush furniture in La Jolla San Diego
Scripps Inn San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Scripps Inn
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Beachfront, Pacific Ocean views
  • Parking: $18 per day

Intimate boutique hotel with just 14 rooms located steps from the beaches and museums of La Jolla. One of the best hotels in San Diego if you’re looking for ocean views in a quiet and cozy room.

>> Book Hotel: Scripps Inn

17. Grande Colonial

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Inside plush guest room at Grande Colonial with blue carpet and expensive looking furniture
Grande Colonial La Jolla San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Grande Colonial
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, fine dining, spa, bar
  • Parking: $30 per day

Luxurious, elegant and historic boutique hotel located just one block from La Jolla Cove. Slightly more expensive but classy and quiet. One of the classiest hotels in La Jolla San Diego.

>> Book Hotel: Grande Colonial

Coronado

San Diego skyline photo at night from Centennial Park in Coronado
San Diego skyline at night from Centennial Park in Coronado San Diego

Coronado is a peninsula across the bay from San Diego reached by crossing the Coronado Bridge. It is well known for its white sandy beaches and laid back atmosphere.

You will find shopping, restaurants and countless beaches to relax on if you stay over in Coronado. But don’t expect nightlife, you’ll need to cross back over to Gaslamp for a more lively scene.

Staying in Coronado is all about living life in the slow lane, escaping from the hustle and bustle of life and recharging. If you don’t stay here, take a drive over the bridge to explore for a few hours instead.

Things To Do In Coronado

  • Take a stroll on the powdery white sands of Coronado Beach
  • Photograph the San Diego skyline from Centennial Park
  • Eat, drink and shop in Coronado Ferry Center

Who Should Stay In Coronado?

  • Families
  • Couples
  • Anyone looking to escape the crowds
  • Those who want quiet beaches

Best Hotels In Coronado San Diego

You can pick up excellent value for money in Coronado with highly rated hotels costing far less when compared to those Downtown. Hotels here have more of a family feel.

The most popular tourist attraction on Coronado Island is actually a historic hotel called the Hotel del Coronado.

We have not included this hotel in our list of best hotels in San Diego because it only has a rating of 7 / 10 on Booking.com. Most of the negative reviews are centered around its exorbitant prices.

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego with previous guest ratings.

18. Crown City Inn

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Two beds in a guest room in Coronado
Crown City Inn San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Crown City Inn
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Pets allowed, outdoor pool, restaurant, fitness center, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: Free

Highly rated budget hotel option on Coronado Island. Not the best WiFi score but staff, cleanliness, comfort and location all excellent.

>> Book Hotel: Crown City Inn

19. El Cordova Hotel

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
El Cordova Hotel entrance on lovely cobbled streets at dusk
El Cordova Hotel San Diego – Photo Courtesy of El Cordova Hotel
  • Price: Budget $
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, restaurants, hot tub, BBQ, bar, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $40 per day

Highly rated Spanish style hotel with an excellent location in the heart of Coronado’s restaurants and bars. Another great budget option for those who want to stay on the Island.

>> Book Hotel: El Cordova Hotel

20. Hotel Marisol

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Outside of hotel marisol in San Diego California
Hotel Marisol San Diego – Photo Courtesy of Hotel Marisol
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: 24 hour front desk, yoga classes, happy hour
  • Parking: No parking available

Exceptional ratings and reviews, Hotel Marisol is a charming 15 room boutique hotel just one block from Coronado Beach. Classy and one of the best hotels in San Diego based on guest ratings, but more expensive.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Marisol

Best Cheap San Diego Hotels

Are you traveling on a low budget?

Well, you’ll only be interested in cheap hotels so let’s take a look at the top rated cheap places to stay in San Diego.

Best Luxury 5 Star Hotels In San Diego

Are you looking to splurge on your vacation?

Well, it’s easy to splash the cash on accommodation so let’s take a look at the top rated luxury 5 star hotels in San Diego!

Best Beachfront Hotels In San Diego

Do you want a beachfront escape?

You’re in luck, there are dozens of top rated beachfront hotels on the coast, so let’s take a look at the best San Diego hotels on the beach.

Best Resort Hotels For Families In San Diego

Are you looking for the most family friendly resort hotels in San Diego?

You’re better off staying away from Gaslamp and in a quieter area. We would recommend staying near the beach or at a hotel with a pool to keep the kids happy.

Let’s take a look at the best hotels for families with kids in San Diego.

Best Hotels Near San Diego Zoo

Are you taking the kids to the popular San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park and want to stay nearby?

Let’s take a look at the top rated hotel options within walking distance of Balboa Park and the enormous San Diego Zoo.

Best Hotels Near San Diego SeaWorld

Maybe you’re taking the family to San Diego seaworld and need to stay nearby?

Let’s take a look at the top rated hotel options within short driving distance of San Diego SeaWorld.

Best Hotels Near San Diego Airport

Do you need a hotel close to San Diego airport to catch an early flight?

There are a handful of quality hotel options with easy access to the terminal, so let’s take a look at the best San Diego airport hotels.

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We hope this guide to the best San Diego hotels helps you book the perfect hotel for your SoCal vacation!

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of our best hotels in San Diego in the comments below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere