10 Unique Hotels in San Diego

Top 10 Hotels
Paradise Point Resort Aerial
Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Mission Bay

At a glance

3 things to love:

Located in Mission Bay and situated on it’s own island next to Sea World San Diego, Paradise Point Resort & Spa will seduce you with its lush tropical gardens, lovely views of sparkling Mission Bay, waterfront dining options, beach bonfire pits, and impeccable AAA Four-Diamond service.

Perfect for families visiting San Diego, or couples looking for an attractive getaway, Paradise Point has so much to offer its guests. There are 5 pools, a variety of restaurants, an 18 hole golf putting course, tennis courts and beach cruisers to ride up and down their 1-mile beach.

Paradise Point entrance
Unique features you'll love

Paradise point has a private marina with sailboats, jet skis, paddle boards and kayaks, so there are lots of ways to be active and enjoy fun in the San Diego sun.

Enjoy seafood and craft drinks with 180 degree views of Mission Bay at Tidal Restaurant. It has a laid-back, mid-century modern design with several fire pits, communal tables and overhead umbrellas for the most comfortable views of San Diego’s spectacular sunsets. You can even catch some live music!

Bay view dining at Tidal
Did you know?

Established in 1962, Paradise point was the brain-child of Jack H. Skirball, a Los Angeles film-producer, Rabbi, real estate developer, and  philanthropist. The idea behind it was to create a tropical island getaway for Hollywood elites that was much closer to LA than Hawaii or Fiji. The current resort is true to the original design.

Cosmopolitan Hotel Old Town San Diego
Cosmopolitan Hotel

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Old Town

At a glance

3 things to love:

Located in the heart of Old Town San Diego, in one of the oldest surviving buildings in all of San Diego, the Cosmopolitan Hotel is a bed and breakfast style hotel that will transport you to the 1870’s with its Victorian facade, veranda spanning the second floor, and antique furnishings throughout the hotel, including in the guest rooms.

The Cosmopolitan has a gorgeous view of Old Town San Diego park and is just steps away from Fiesta de Reyes, where you will find authentic Mexican restaurants and shopping, as well as daily live music.

The Cosmopolitan Restaurant is a popular brunch spot on the weekends, and serves local-inspired Mexican and American dishes, as well as seafood. You’ll love dining on the heated patio surrounded by the walls of the historic hotel among fruit and olive trees, grape vines and wisteria.

Cosmopolitan Orchard Terrace
Unique features you'll love

The hotel’s Saloon is a throwback to the Victorian era, serving up great drinks in an old-timey atmosphere fit for a cowboy or old west pioneer.

If you plan a stay or visit on a Friday, you don’t want to miss their live Latin Jazz from 6-9pm in the heated Orchard Terrace of the on-site restaurant.

Due to its history as one of the oldest buildings in Southern California, the Cosmopolitan is also recognized by many paranormal experts as a haunted site. The “Lady in Red” has been sighted on the balcony outside rooms 4 and 5 on multiple occasions.

Cosmopolitan's Saloon
Did you know?

The Cosmopolitan Hotel sits atop the former adobe home of Juan Bandini, a famed San Diego pioneer, built in 1827. It was the social center of San Diego for many years. Over the last 175 years this corner has served as a hotel, apartment building, olive factory, and restaurant. 

A recent three year, multi-million dollar project helped restore Cosmopolitan to its 1870’s glory, while maintaining many of its original floorboards, door and window frames, wainscoting and even some adobe.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Aerial View
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Del Mar

At a glance

3 things to love:

Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a top luxury resort in San Diego, designated as both a Forbes Five Star, and AAA Five Diamond Resort. Located in a coastal canyon just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Fairmont Grand has its own private golf course and San Diego’s only Five Star and Five Diamond restaurant called Addison.

You’ll be transported to a classic Mediterranean estate, delighting in  charming gardens and architecture that scream high-class wealth. Why not, you deserve it!

You can also indulge in Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s 5-star Spa, yoga classes, or its multiple pools and tennis courts. They also have a fun Explorer’s Club for kids and vibrant nightlife when the sun goes down.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Unique features you'll love

You will absolutely fall in love with the impeccable service and design of the property. Fairmont Grand Del Mar spares no detail in their elegant restaurants, public sitting areas, gardens and architectural flourishes. Fountains, staircases, and outdoor terraces abound that will take your breath away at every turn.

Inside the hotel you will find opulently decorated lobby, lounges and guest rooms reminiscent of an Italian Palazzo. The Lobby Lounge, for example, is rich in texture, color and detail – think warm wood, red velvet, and gold. The old-world-style Library is dark with elegant leather chairs and bust statues that line the shelves with old books.

The rooms feature marble bathrooms, deep tubs, expansive balconies and fireplaced terraces with lovely views of the surrounding canyons and golf course. Fairmont Grand provides a one-of-a-kind experience of luxury and tranquility in San Diego.

Amaya at Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Did you know?

Fairmont Grand’s flagship restaurants, Addison, was San Diego’s first Michelin starred restaurant and is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux. Grand Chef William Bradley’s menu serves exquisite contemporary French cuisine in an opulent dining room atmosphere.

Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado

Coronado Island

At a glance

3 things to love:

Known locally as simply “The Del” or “Hotel Del”, Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton is a landmark AAA Four Diamond resort on Coronado Island. It is one of the few surviving wooden Victorian beach resorts. In fact, when it opened in 1888 it was the single largest resort in the entire world!

Over the years The Del has hosted nearly every American President since the 1880’s, countless celebrities and royalty, and has been featured in numerous books and movies. With 679 guest rooms and 79 beach front cottages, it also hosts thousands of beach-going vacationers every year.

Staying at The Del, you will fall in love with the classic Victorian architecture set upon the white sands of the Pacific Ocean. Perfect for families with children, weddings, honeymooners, or a couples retreat, everybody will discover something to love about The Del.

The Del's Skating by the Sea
Unique features you'll love

During the winter holiday season, Hotel Del Coronado hosts a unique event called “Skating by the Sea”, where guests can ice skate among palm trees and ocean views, with holiday music and hot chocolate. Some of the proceeds are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

You will love the many gourmet restaurants, ocean-view bistros, fire pits, sparkling pools, and iconic lounge areas throughout the massive resort. The beach at Coronado Island is gentle and welcoming to hotel guests that want to swim in the Pacific Ocean.

The Del is also believed to be a haunted site. One specific story is gripping. Kate Morgan, also known as “the beautiful stranger” visited the hotel in 1892 and is thought to have committed suicide there (although there are still unanswered questions). Many guests and paranormal experts claim that she still haunts her third floor guest room, which is the most requested room on the property.

 

Marilyn Monroe at The Del
Did you know?

The 1958 film “Some Like it Hot”, starring Marilyn Monroe, was filmed at Hotel Del Coronado. Throughout the 1920’s, The Del was one of the hottest spots for Hollywood elite to hang out. Famous guests include Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum, Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn, among many, many others.

La Valencia Hotel La Jolla
La Valencia Hotel

La Valencia Hotel

La Jolla

At a glance

3 things to love:

Located in the heart of La Jolla, which translates appropriately to “The Jewel” of San Diego, La Valencia Hotel is a local landmark. Built in 1926, the iconic pink Mediterranean-style hotel boasts amazing cliff side views of the Pacific Ocean and pristine La Jolla Cove.

“The Pink Lady”, as La Valencia is called by locals, has 114 guest rooms, suites and villas, many with ocean view balconies. You will love dining at La Valencia’s ocean facing restaurant, THE MED, with California coastal cuisine and one of the loveliest views in San Diego.

The pool area is delightfully framed by the pink walls of the hotel and beautiful flowers and palm trees. At La Valencia you can travel back in time, of course, with modern luxury and comforts.

La Valencia Hotel Pool
Unique features you'll love

La Jolla really is a gem of San Diego, and La Valencia has a prime location near La Jolla Cove. All year round you can witness native seals and sea lions by walking the 1-mile sea lion trail. The downtown area of La Jolla is a vibrant mix of upscale restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and coffee shops. 

Nearby La Jolla shores is a very nice soft-sand beach for families with kids. La Jolla in general is great for outdoor sea adventures like snorkeling, diving, surfing, swimming, and kayaking.

Inside La Valencia you will appreciate the distinct design of La Sala Lounge including earth-colored tile floors, wrought iron chandeliers and railings, and colorful painted beams, ceilings and tile murals.

In sum, La Valencia is a colorful, relaxing, and elegant seaside hotel that will also produce some excellent Instagram photos.

La Valencia back in the day
Did you know?

In 1989, La Valencia was designated as a historic hotel by Historic Hotels of America. Amazingly, in the hotel’s 90+ year history there have only been 7 different General Managers, providing continuity and longevity that is rare in the hospitality industry.

Horton Grand Hotel Gaslamp District San Diego
Horton Grand Hotel

Horton Grand Hotel

Downtown

At a glance

3 things to love:

Located in the heart of San Diego’s most historic and hip downtown area, the Gaslamp District, the Horton Grand Hotel has roots that go back to the 1880’s. This architectural gem was saved from demolition in the late 1970’s and 80’s, restored, and moved to its current location just two blocks from Horton Plaza.

In every room of this Victorian era hotel you will find marble-framed gas fireplaces and handmade antique furniture. The hotel retains many of its original materials including the beloved split oak staircase that cost over $250k to restore.

Patio at Salt & Whiskey
Unique features you'll love

You will fall in love with the restaurant and bar, Salt & Whiskey (formerly Palace Bar), with its rich oak paneling, elaborate Greek Goddess painting, intricate wood carvings, and intimate ambiance. From there, large French doors open to the brick-lined courtyard patio where you can enjoy brunch or lunch al fresco.

You will also admire the great location of Horton Grand, which is close to all the action in Gaslamp District including over 100 bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It is a lovely place to stroll, socialize and hang out.

You will truly feel like you stepped back in time at the Horton Grand as you climb the incredible split oak staircase and dine in historic elegance.

Inside Salt & Whiskey
Did you know?

The infamous Wyatt Earp spent many years of his life in San Diego at the urging of his brother Virgil to see about the real estate boom in Southern California. Wyatt Earp spent 7 years as a guest of the Horton Grand in the 1880’s and 1890’s.

Westgate Hotel San Diego
Westgate Hotel

Westgate Hotel

Gaslamp District

At a glance

3 things to love:

If you want to experience French elegance in a landmark San Diego hotel, then The Westgate is your choice. Located in the Gaslamp district, the luxurious Westgate is a AAA Four Diamond hotel that opened in the 1970’s.

At the time of its building it was the most expensive hotel built in the world at $14.5 million, and it brought to San Diego a sophisticated European charm including a blend of Louis XV, Georgian and English Regency décor.

You will marvel at the Westgate lobby, which was designed after an anteroom at the Palace at Versaille. The hotel has 235 luxurious guest rooms and suites and a rooftop pool with gorgeous views of downtown San Diego.

Westgate Hotel
Unique features you'll love

What makes the Westgate hotel so unique in San Diego is the distinctly European feel. The many French antiques, Flemish and French tapestries, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, and exquisite Persian carpets will transport you to a fancy estate.

All of their guest rooms are large and well-appointed with grand floor-to-ceiling views of San Diego’s downtown. With a short trip downstairs to the Plaza Bar you can enjoy wine and cocktails with live piano music in a bright and elegant atmosphere.

View from Westgate guest room
Did you know?

As a unique and over-the-top exquisite hotel for sunny San Diego, it makes sense that Westgate is a very popular wedding venue. Their elegantly paneled French Ballroom is a lovely backdrop for wedding photos, and their AquaVie spa is a wellness escape with revitalizing beauty treatments for the big day.

Bahia Resort Hotel Mission Bay
Bahia Resort Hotel

Bahia Resort Hotel

Mission Bay

At a glance

3 things to love:

Situated on a peninsula in San Diego’s picturesque Mission Bay, Bahia Resort Hotel is a tropical, family-friendly waterfront resort in a superb location for relaxation and family fun. Guests can enjoy water sports, strolling Bahia’s gardens and waterways, and night time beach bonfires.

You will adore the large bay-front guest rooms with patio or balcony, direct beach access, and kitchenettes. The beach, calm and gently lapped by Mission Bay, is lined with colorful cabanas right there on the sand.

Bahia Resort Aerial
Unique features you'll love

One of the most unique features of Bahia Resort Hotel is the Bahia Belle, a turn-of-the-century, Mississippi-style sternwheeler boat that transports guests across Mission Bay between Bahia’s two resorts (Catamaran Resort Hotel being the other). 

Best of all, hotel guests can ride the Bahia Belle as a complementary service. Family hour aboard the Bahia Belle is a great way to witness one of San Diego’s beautiful sunsets. Also, at night the boat turns into a 21 and up nightclub!

You will also appreciate that Bahia Resort Hotel has a junior Olympic sized pool, tropical-themed restaurants and lounges, tennis courts, a classic arcade, shuffleboard, and a new kids’ playground.

View of Bahia Belle
Did you know?

Bahia opened in 1953 as the Bahia “motor” hotel with just 52 guest rooms. It rapidly gained in popularity and expanded over the following years to 72 and then 112 guest rooms. Today Bahia Resort boasts 313 guest rooms including cottages, studios and suites.

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Marriott Marquis

San Diego Marina

At a glance

3 things to love:

The Marriott Marquis is a waterfront high-rise hotel that has its own private marina in San Diego. This is an excellent location to conveniently explore San Diego’s Embarcadero and Seaport Village areas.

The hotels has a chic, modern design that is customary of Marriott hotels, making it ideal for business travel. It is conveniently located near San Diego convention center and has easy access to Gaslamp District and Petco park. 

You will love the views of downtown San Diego, Coronado Island, and San Diego Bay from the well-appointed, modern guest rooms.

Marriott Marquis Pool
Unique features you'll love

The Marriott Marquis has a large, tropical pool area with numerous palm trees and lounge chairs. They also have a lovely day spa and 24 hour fitness center.

You will love grabbing food and drinks at Tequila Bar & Grille, an outdoor restaurant with a classy tropical ambiance. You will also adore the outdoor lounge areas around the property with gas fire pits.

Tequila Bar & Grille
Did you know?

The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina is a huge property with two 25-story circular towers with over 1,300 guest rooms. It also has a large fitness center with complementary fitness classes for guests that range from boot camps to yoga, cycling and zumba. 

Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa San Diego
Rancho Valencia Hotel & Spa

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Rancho Santa Fe

At a glance

3 things to love:

 A Forbes 5-star and AAA Five Diamond luxury resort tucked away in the lush hills of Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa has 49 elegant casitas with private patios, outdoor fireplaces, and private hot tubs.

You will fall in love with the eclectic architecture reminiscent of Spanish, Mission, and Mediterranean influences. The indoor and outdoor public spaces have a classic, chic design and a thoughtful color palate for relaxation.

Rancho Valencia is perfect for a romantic retreat or wellness getaway with its world-class tennis program and Forbes 5-star rated Spa.

Wine Cave
Unique features you'll love

Rancho Valencia Resort has two exquisite restaurants, Veladora serving coastal ranch cuisine in a hacienda-style atmosphere, and The Pony Room serving an impressive collection of wines and tequila alongside rustic American cuisine.

There are also private dining options for bigger parties like the impressive wine cave room enveloped by dark brick walls and ceiling and a world-class collection of wines. Other private dining areas include the secluded secret garden, the sunrise room, and the adobe hacienda.

Rancho Valencia also has two serene pools, one for families and one for adults only, heated year round to a comfortable 82 degrees. Around the property you will also find numerous romantic indoor and outdoor lounge areas with fireplaces.

Guest Room at Rancho Valencia
Did you know?

Rancho Valencia is an all-suite Relais & Châteaux property that was named by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 resort and the #1 hotel in all of California (2019). It was also named as the #5 best resort in the United States.

Don't forget

💜 #hotelstoloveofficial

Share this with a friend

Have any questions or comments?

Let us know by direct message on Instagram.

Like this article and want to save it for later? Pin the image below!

Top 10 Unique Hotels in San Diego California