San Diego Hotels
The Guild Hotel
500 W Broadway, Downtown
The rooms at this downtown boutique hotel are on the small side, but the design is so chic and the level of luxury so high, you won’t care. The building dates back to the 1920s and has all the romantic details of the era. Inside, the space is modern and inviting but in a way that respects its past. The Guild Bar and Luca, the hotel’s fantastic restaurant, are the kinds of places you want to dress up for (craft cocktails, red velvet lounge chairs, gilded details). But the star of the hotel may be the Grace Garden and courtyard—a charming place to forget you’re in the middle of downtown.
Andaz San Diego
600 F St., Downtown
The Andaz was originally built as part of the 1913 World’s Fair, and today, it’s one of the swankiest places to stay in downtown San Diego. All 159 rooms are sleek and modern, but if you can swing it, the Cabana Suite, with its private outdoor pool, is the way to go. The hotel has a great restaurant, STK (if you’re smart, you’ll get the Parmesan truffle fries), and an even greater rooftop bar, which has flatbread pizzas, burgers, fries, a killer drinks menu, and an astounding view of the city.
Fairmont Grand del Mar
5300 Grand Del Mar Ct., Del Mar
If staying at the Fairmont Grand feels like staying at the home of an eccentric millionaire friend who lives on the Mediterranean, that’s precisely the point. The hotel is in Del Mar, which is about half an hour from downtown San Diego, but between the hotel’s Center for Wellbeing (a world-class spa), eighteen-hole golf course, and in-house restaurant, Addison (the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city), any commuting you have to do is worth it. The 249 rooms and suites have marble bathrooms, enormously inviting bathtubs, balconies, patios, stellar views, and
The US Grant
326 Broadway, Downtown
The US Grant was built in 1910 and still has the imposing manner and enormous, stately grandeur of an earlier era. The rooms and common areas are comfortable and spacious, if a touch impersonal (don’t expect a lot of original artwork or photography books piled on coffee tables here). Located smack in downtown San Diego, the US Grant is the perfect launchpad for an evening strolling the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s vibrant and buzzy downtown district. The hotel’s Art Deco Grant Grill is a solid choice for dinner, but in this neighborhood, the whole point is to venture out.
Rancho Bernardo Inn
17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., San Diego
Originally opened in 1963, the hotel has gone through many updates, expansions, and iterations since. Today, the Rancho Bernardo Inn includes 287 rooms, an eighteen-hole golf course designed by William Belle, and a handful of open-air bars and cafés. But it has a wonderfully intimate side, too. Avant, the star restaurant here, focuses on a local, artisanal food. Guest rooms have private balconies and patios, custom artwork, and beds to rival the softest in the world. And then there’s the spa with its poolside cabanas, private outdoor casitas, a saltwater waterfall, a tranquil garden (perfect for a light lunch from the spa menu), and all the natural and organic treatments you can imagine.
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave., Coronado
The first thing to know is that everyone calls this 130-year-old resort on Coronado, across the bay from downtown San Diego, Hotel Del. Dropping the last word will make you sound like a local. The rest of what you need to know about Hotel Del centers around the fact that this is the historic, destination, grande dame hotel. Three discrete stark white buildings with striking red roofs, twenty-eight acres, half a dozen restaurants (ranging from fine dining to a taco stand), cabanas, golf, a salon, a spa, ballrooms, events, and lawns so vast and manicured as to be called grounds—Hotel Del is the rare enormous resort that maintains a sense of history, dignity, and elegance. And all of that on one of the most pristine stretches of Southern California beachfront. The kids will love it as much as their parents.
550 J St., Gaslamp
There's a special synergy between bustling urban energy and laid-back California cool found in downtown San Diego, and this hotel—a completely fresh boutique concept emerging from the Montage’s luxury umbrella—occupies a corner spot that's right in the middle of it all. Moderately sized with a totally non-corporate feel, the bedrooms are done in a spectrum of beachy patterned blues and textured whites: azure plaid sofas against light-blue drapes and crisp bedding, for example. This retreat-like aesthetic is brought home by luxe touches like silky Lunya bathrobes and particularly beautiful subway-tiled bathrooms. The Pendry is within walking distance to some of the city's best restaurants and bars. If you don't want to leave the grounds over the weekend, the picture-perfect rooftop pool offers some of the best views in the city, while the adjacent restaurants, Lionfish and Provisional, serve up excellent seafood and steak, and fresh California dishes, respectively.