It’s impossible not to feel the laid-back vibes of San Diego from the moment you arrive. This beloved California destination has been long known for its surfer culture but despite that, it has still been able to retain its highly luxurious vibe nestled into its DNA. The coastal city enjoys perfect weather, miles of white-sand beaches, buzzing nightlife and some of the most interesting attractions in North America. This is also reflected in the selection of hotels in San Diego, as you get everything from buzzing downtown retreats with rooftop lounges and busy nightlife on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as relaxed villa-style hotels hiding away from the crowds and emphasizing the beautiful California surroundings. We’ve picked the best of both worlds for you to choose from.
The US Grant
Basking in its historic glory, The US Grant not only offers a top-notch location, but also exceptional luxury. Interestingly, the hotel was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of President Ulysses S. Grant, who named the hotel after his father. Located in downtown San Diego, this historic hotel stands out with its timeless glamor and sophistication. It’s not without reason that it’s one of the Luxury Collection Hotels. This grand has welcomed guests for over a century and, in all this time, it hasn’t lost one speck of its shine.
Perfectly located as a starting point to explore San Diego, it’s within close proximity to many iconic attractions. Contemporary art and opulent finishes are dotted generously around the hotel and within the rooms. All guest rooms exude highest levels of sophistication – sumptuously outfitted, the plush beds feature 350-thread-count sheets and designer duvets while the marble bathrooms feature classic soaking tubs. Luxury suites are perfect with their enhanced space and refined details that truly set the stage for relaxation and serenity. After exploring the city, return to the hotel to enjoy a 5-star meal at the Grant Grill restaurant after grabbing a cocktail at the Grant Grill Lounge or the Rendezvous Bar.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Representing the sophistication and charm of an old-world Mediterranean estate, San Diego’s highly luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar invites guests to Southern California with awe-inspiring architecture, celebrated dining options and flawless service tailored to each guest. The golf resort and spa is splendidly located on 400 acres in an immaculate coastal canyon just five miles from the Pacific Ocean. It’s become a favorite among well-heeled travelers for its magnificent, recognized as one of the world’s best with for its range of treatments, such as relaxing cleansing facials and therapeutic massages.
The resort has 249 elegant rooms and suites, each equipped with spacious marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. Balconies and terraces allow you to take in that warm San Diego air as you enjoy your morning coffee and spectacular views of the resort gardens are the cherry on top. The interior of the rooms goes hand in hand with the overall decor of the hotel and, while it may lack a contemporary edge, the timeless elegance is admirable and exudes luxury from every seam, tile and wall ornament. The hotel also features one of the finest restaurants in California. Addison embodies an ethos of authenticity and grandeur. It’s a setting where truly anything is possible when it comes to culinary enjoyment. Chef William Bradley’s flawless approach to the craft of cooking has made this restaurant impossible to miss for anyone who appreciates the finest luxuries of dining. This is San Diego’s first Michelin-starred restaurant.
Pendry San Diego
If you’re after more a contemporary and sleek modern vibe, then Pendry is the hotel for you. This resort isn’t just a place to have a good night’s sleep and one or two dips in the rooftop pool, as it’s just as much of a destination for drinks and exceptional fine dining. There are six bars and restaurants in the hotel, including a popular rooftop lounge and a sustainable seafood restaurant to please your senses.
The overall design of the hotel is a beautiful combination of NYC and California surf culture. It’s bold and sleek with a black and white entryway, chesterfield sofas and mosaic tile floors. For a moment, you feel like you could easily be on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Pendry caters to a slightly younger audience than some of the other hotels in San Diego, but this doesn’t mean compromising on the highest levels of sophistication, which are embedded in every seam here. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, you’ll be pleasantly impressed by both the comfort and the offering here. Striking that rare balance between comfort and style. The guest rooms and suites set within Pendry San Diego feature an urban coastal California aesthetic and a balance of classic and modern luxury amenities.
When it comes to the hotels in San Diego, the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa remains a mainstay favorite. This Mediterranean-inspired all-suite hotel includes 49 luxuriously-appointed guest casitas with private patios, rejuvenating wellness programs, a highly-acclaimed spa and two distinctive restaurants, Veladora and The Pony Room. The beautiful property blends the warmth of authentic hacienda-style accommodation, the comfort of modern amenities and the charm of Mediterranean landscaping to create an unforgettable ambiance that’s both relaxed and elegant.
The resort’s romantic buildings rise from the gardens in alluring tones of Mexican country estates and Spanish Colonial manors from bygone eras. In peak California fashion, each room within the hotel has vaulted ceilings, wood furnishings and a private patio that overlooks the resort’s lush grounds. It feels warm and cozy, but with plenty of room to spread out. The suites range from 900 to 1,300 square feet and offer amenities, such as heated toilet seats and gorgeous soaking tubs.
Andaz San Diego
Andaz Hotel is located in a historic building that dates back over a century when it opened for the World Fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal. Located in downtown San Diego, the hotel overlooks the bustling Gaslamp Quarter – and you can get some of the best views from the open-air rooftop lounge. Andaz has earned heaps of praise for its modern and trendy atmosphere complete with stylish furnishings and contemporary artwork.
Youthful modern vibes can be felt throughout the hotel and it’s the perfect place for a curious traveler who wants to be in the middle of a buzzing, vibrant city rather than enjoying relaxation and solitude. The hotel has the largest rooftop lounge in the city and it offers a pool, stellar downtown views, great food and drinks, as well as comfy day beds and private cabanas where you can get together with friends and truly celebrate life. All rooms and suites reflect the modern vibe of the hotel and will be perfect for anyone who appreciates light-filled spaces with a lot of character.