Local Wally's Hotel cheat Sheet
The Best Places to Stay in San Diego
Picking a hotel room off the internet is like going out on a blind date. You're thinking Kate Upton but whoa, here comes Rosie O'Donnel! Holy waste of Viagra, Batman!
You see, it's hard picking a hotel room off clever marketing descriptions and retouched photos. "Easy Freeway Access" really means "right on the on-ramp" and just try to find a hotel that isn't "conveniently close to attractions".
That's why I only list hotels that I would actually stay at and to make it even easier, I've listed my favorites below. Book one of these hotels and avoid the stress of wondering if you're in a good hotel. Really, do you want your spouse storming down the sidewalk calling you an idiot because you booked a sleazy hotel thinking it was a big resort?
San Diego's Best Bay or Ocean View Resorts
PARADISE POINT RESORT AND SPA
A secluded destination resort right on Mission Bay, Paradise Point Resort and Spa feels more like Hawaii than San Diego. No high rise buildings, you'll stay in a beach bungalow, some right on the sand. Great restaurants on site, you'll love the Barefoot Bar with its live music and sunny disposition and Tidal has been called one of the best new San Diego restaurants.
Get a room on Paradise Cove and you'll feel like Gilligan on your own island. Float on a raft in the calm waters and when the sun goes down roast marshmallows and have a beach party at one of the fire pits. It's Paradise!
HOTEL DEL CORONADO
The ultimate San Diego beachfront hotel, located on beautiful Coronado Island. Stunning architecture, updated rooms, many with full ocean views. Large white sandy beach and gentle waves makes this one of the best family beaches in San Diego. It's perfect, just perfect!
Vacationers aren't the only ones who love the Del. Check out the resident ghost who haunts rooms 3327 and 3519. I'm guessing the marketing department sees more of this ghost than the guests so if you hear strange noises it's probably just your imagination. Or is it?
Best Hotels Walking Distance to Convention Center
MARRIOTT MARQUIS SAN DIEGO MARINA
Marriott Marquis' massive reflective towers make a huge statement on the skyline and the location right on the marina and next to Gaslamp makes it one of the most desirable. Phenomenal resort pool will have you singing along to Kokomo and the hotels' restaurant is none other that Roy's of Hawaii. That's pretty fantastic.
The Convention Center is right next door and you can easily walk into the Gaslamp District for fun and festivities after your boring meeting. This place is big and as busy as a beehive but this first class Marriott is a top pick for conventioneers and vacationers alike.
STAY IN SAN DIEGO.... ON A BUDGET!
Another budget-friendly option is to find a timeshare from VacationOwnership.com. While they specialize in timeshare ownership they also offer affordable rentals in San Diego within resorts like Wyndham Harbour Lights, meaning you’ll get an entire multi-bedroom suite for the price of a hotel room. All prices are weekly, so this is a great choice for those looking for a longer stay.
MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT SAN DIEGO
Step inside the lobby and I dare you not to ohh and ahh over the marble everywhere design and opulent art on the walls. This place is fancy! The service is attentive and the rooms nicely updated, clean and contemporary.
Everything is perfect for a business trip or convention stay and those on vacation can relax in style knowing that they're not required to present a powerpoint in the morning. Walk to Gaslamp, stroll the Embarcadero, dine without driving, it's an upscale hotel in a perfect location. And yes, unlike most downtown hotels there's a nice pool on the 4th floor with great views of the city.
Best Gaslamp District Hotels
ANDAZ SAN DIEGO
Time to do a quick personal check. Do you drive a mini-van? Do you listen to country music? Do you have kids or (gasp!) grandkids? If you answered YES to any of those questions you might want to make sure you're comfortable hanging with young and beautiful people because the Andaz San Diego is where they all stay.
The Andaz is a boutique hotel aimed squarely at the Las Vegas party crowd and you know if you're in that IN crowd or not. Rooms are modern and contemporary, service is top notch, and the location can't be beat for cool conventioneers or upscale urban travelers.
SAN DIEGO MARRIOTT GASLAMP
Marriott breaks out of its boring corporate mold and puts on the skinny suit at this hip and trendy boutique hotel. Think of it as the cool hotel for grown ups. Come here on a conference and you'll be the popular kid and vacationers who want the scene but don't really care about being seen will love the vibrant ambiance.
There's no pool but the rooftop Attitude Sky Lounge on the 22nd floor nearly makes up for it with stunning panoramic views of the city overlooking nearby Petco Park. Rooms are less trendy but typical for a Marriott, meaning nice and clean, exactly like you'd expect.
Best Budget Friendly Hotels in San Diego
DEL MAR MOTEL ON THE BEACH (Del Mar)
Are you kidding me? An ocean front hotel in Del Mar falls into the budget category? That's right, the Del Mar Motel sits right on the beach in one of San Diego's best neighborhoods and yes, it's actually affordable. You'll be hanging out with locals and then grilling up your dinner on a gas grill on the patio and watching the sunset.
So what's the catch? Well, hmmm, it's a MOTEL, not a HOTEL, meaning virtually no amenities and no frills. But if a beach vacation is what you are after you can't get much beachier than this.
LA PENSIONE HOTEL (Little Italy)
A charming boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Little Italy. Close to the attractions - heck, it's right in the middle of one. Explore the many dining options or take a stroll to the San Diego Bay, just four blocks away. The rooms are very nice, certainly better than what you might expect in a budget friendly hotel, bathrooms updated and the staff is friendly and attentive.
Saturday mornings they close the streets for a huge Farmers Market with everything from local avocados to freshly caught sea urchin and everything in-between, a real San Diego local adventure.
Town and Country Resort (Mission Valley)
With newly renovated rooms now available, the Town and Country Resort is a San Diego "best buy" and should be on your short list. Stellar location near all the attractions, the Zoo, Sea World, Old town, the beach, all literally minutes away. And after a long day of sightseeing there's a lovely pool to welcome you back that's way better than what you find in a standard hotel.
Suites make this family friendly and yes, even your family dog is welcome. On site dining, nearby golf, close to everything, Town and Country has upped their game and it shows.
THE PEARL SAN DIEGO (Point Loma)
Take a 60's era motel and remake it into a mid-century hotel and you have The Pearl, one of the coolest budget hotels in San Diego. It's hip, it's trendy, and popular with the youth crowd who want their vacation day to continue after a day of sightseeing. Rooms are ultra modern and contemporary and the restaurant overlooking the pool is a hidden gem - your foodie friends will be so impressed.
Mom and Pop might find the noise a bit much and the weekend all you can drink brunch can turn into a giant pool party but this is the place if you want a budget hotel with a lot of personality.