It’s impossible to think about San Diego without thinking about the Pacific Ocean. The city is defined by its coastline—its salty air, lapping water, and soft sands are deeply infused into the city’s laid-back, fun-loving culture. So it’s worthwhile to stay as close to the sand as you can. Here’s a list of 10 great San Diego hotels on the beach.
San Diego Hotels on the Beach
You can swim and sun yourself to your heart’s content in these San Diego beachfront hotels.
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La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
If you’re looking for memorable San Diego hotels on the beach, don’t miss the chance to stay at the 98-room La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, where staffers are attentive and friendly, suites are well equipped with kitchens and living rooms, and seals just might arrive at your door. It’s a charming older resort just steps from La Jolla’s beach—imagine watching dolphins play right from the comfort of your guest room.
Amenities: Large swimming pool, excellent tennis courts, free parking, fine dining at the beachfront Marine Room, cocktail bar, barbecue pits, golf course, bocce ball, free Wi-Fi, room service, spa, fitness center with personal trainers and yoga, children’s activities, laundry and dry-cleaning service, business center, and in-room microwaves.
La Jolla Shores Hotel
One of the most quintessential San Diego hotels on the beach is La Jolla Shores Hotel, a family-friendly Mediterranean-style resort. Reasons to book here include the hotel’s warm service; excellent proximity to the beach, shops, and restaurants; and the copious palm trees, seagulls, surfers, and sand. This is also one of the best places to catch a San Diego sunset. As for the 128 spacious overnight accommodations, they’re comfortable and contemporary, with rustic touches inside and balconies outside.
Amenities: Shuttle bus to village and cove, in-room massage services, Shores restaurant, cocktail bar, ping-pong tables, heated outdoor pool with beach chairs and towels, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, room service, business center, children’s activities, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, and a tennis court.
Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort sits on a mile’s worth of beachfront on Mission Bay’s Vacation Isle. The 44-acre Hawaii-style resort offers amenities galore, and 462 comfortable guest rooms that feel like tropical bungalows—many have fantastic views and are wonderful for families with kids. Outside there are palm trees aplenty, fire pits overlooking the water, lushly landscaped spaces with gazebos and ponds, and, of course, the beach.
Amenities: Five swimming pools, five restaurants, on-property transportation via golf cart, bicycle rentals, beach bonfire pits, private marina with watersports equipment, full-service spa, fitness center, basketball courts, five tennis courts, Island Market, pet-friendly policies, electric car rentals, room service, free Wi-Fi, business center, children’s activities, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, and an 18-hole putting course.
Catamaran Resort & Spa
Catamaran Resort, on the shores of Mission Bay, is a Polynesian-themed beachfront hotel that draws tons of families, and for good reason. It’s got plenty of fun activities—such as talking bird shows and summer luaus—and every one of the 310 rooms has either a private balcony or a patio with ocean views. The grounds are lushly landscaped, featuring details like waterfalls, koi ponds, and tiki lamps. Plus, the resort staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful.
Amenities: Bicycle rentals, full-service spa, outdoor movies, watersports rentals, bayfront restaurant, cafe, cocktail bar with happy hour, heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, fitness center, room service, free Wi-Fi, business center, children’s activities, dry-cleaning and laundry service, and in-room refrigerators and microwaves.
Bahia is a traditional and beautiful tropical resort with superb service and a fantastic location on a 16-acre Mission Bay peninsula. If you’re looking for San Diego hotels on the beach that feel secluded but aren’t, go for this bayfront coastal getaway near SeaWorld and the airport. Relax amid the lush greenery and enjoy your airy room, from which you can walk right out to a beachfront patio. Choose from a wide array of on-site activities, or just sit back and watch a couple of resident rescued seals frolic in the lagoon.
Amenities: Heated outdoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, children’s activities, fitness center, video arcade, business center, room service, free Wi-Fi, free parking, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, in-room microwave and refrigerator, private beach, bay cruises, poolside movie nights, bicycle and watersports rentals, on-site restaurant, karaoke bar, lighted tennis courts, beach cabanas, and the full-service Catamaran Spa.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Kona Kai is a welcoming tropical resort at the tip of Shelter Island featuring bright colors, cheery design, and sweet staffers. This Noble House property’s 170 guest rooms include 41 suites with balconies, and some with gas fireplaces. No matter which room you book, you’ll get views of either the Point Loma hillside or the magnificent bay. Surrounding you will be pretty gardens, a newly upgraded pool area (the whole property was recently expanded), and a private beach. Plenty of amenities make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Amenities: Vessel restaurant with marina views, casual cafe, tiki bar, private beach, heated outdoor swimming pool, full-service Spa Terre, fitness center with group exercise classes, poolside cabanas, loaner beach cruiser bicycles, nightly bonfires with s’mores kits, Friday night movies, children’s activities, room service, free Wi-Fi, business center, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, in-room refrigerator, and a 518-slip marina.
If you’re looking for San Diego beachfront hotels that skew trendy, fashionable, and young, then Tower23 is your spot. Neo-modernist and playful, it sits right on the sands of party-loving Pacific Beach—in fact, its name comes from a nearby lifeguard tower. These 44 rooms are crisp and minimalist—book an oceanfront suite with a balcony overlooking the energetic boardwalk, then watch the sun set right from your bed. From Tower23, it’s not far to La Jolla, SeaWorld, and the Gaslamp District.
Amenities: Jacuzzi tub in some suites, popular JRDN restaurant and outdoor lounge, valet parking, beer-heavy afternoon happy hour, room service, free Wi-Fi, business center, dry-cleaning and laundry service, and concierge service.
Hotel Del Coronado
Probably the most famous of the San Diego beachfront hotels, the historic Del features charming architecture—especially that iconic red turreted roof—supreme service, and an ambiance befitting its reputation for elegance. Occupying more than 28 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island, this landmark property was built in 1888 and is an official National Historic Landmark (it’s now run by Hilton). When booking, keep in mind that while the Del’s Victorian building has classic rooms, its Ocean Towers accommodations are contemporary, and the Beach Village suites are more luxurious. Any room you book, however, will have modern appointments, very comfortable beds, and a soothing color scheme. There’s a private beach here, plus endless activities.
Amenities: Several restaurants including 1500 Ocean, enormous heated pool and hot tub, poolside cabanas equipped with 47-inch flat-screen TVs, Sunday brunch in the Crown Room, full-service spa with infinity pool, salon, room service, 24-hour fitness center, yoga and other exercise classes, children’s program, boat rentals, bicycle rentals, watersports, pet-friendly policies (including room service for dogs), babysitting services, business center, free Wi-Fi, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, in-room refrigerator, and on-site shops.
Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
The Hilton San Diego is a beautiful traditional resort on Mission Bay with an airy lobby, tropical landscaping, and Spanish tiled architecture. The guest rooms are contemporary with comfortable beds; you can book one with a patio, or a more luxurious suite. The pool area is gorgeous, with many lounge chairs and an inviting fire pit.
Amenities: Acqua restaurant featuring a wine cellar with more than 3,000 bottles, Olive Lounge, A’roma Cafe, destination pool area, Fresco’s poolside bar and grill, fitness center, full-service Spa Brezza, beauty salon, bicycle and watersports rentals, business center, children’s activities, gift store, room service, free internet, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, and a tennis court.
Pacific Terrace Hotel
Pacific Terrace is a small, sweet boutique hotel right on Pacific Beach. It’s got a cheerful vibe and 73 beachy Tommy Bahama-themed rooms with pops of turquoise to match the bay—which you’ll be able to see if you book a room with an oceanview balcony. This hotel hideaway provides a restful, quiet stay, with the majority of the noise you’ll hear coming from the ocean itself. Service is friendly, the pool is lovely, and the grounds are full of palm trees and tiki torches.
Amenities: Heated outdoor swimming pool with ocean view and hot tub (poolside massages available), direct beach access onto boardwalk, fitness center, room service, business center, children’s activities, loaner beach toys, dry-cleaning and laundry service, concierge service, and in-room microwaves and refrigerators.
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—Original reporting by Avital Andrews. Follow her on Twitter @avitalb.