The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in San Diego, California

Stay classy at one of these unforgettable five-star hotels in San Diego
Stay classy at one of these unforgettable five-star hotels in San Diego | Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort and Spa / Expedia
Photo of Sarah Holt
20 December 2021
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San Diego’s nickname is America’s Finest City – so it goes without saying that it’s home to some of the country’s finest hotels, too. One has played host to presidents; another boasts a twice Michelin-starred chef. There are places with suites befitting movie stars and places with glamorous rooftop pools. Here’s a full list of the best five-star hotels in San Diego, bookable on Culture Trip.

THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego, for celebrity endorsements

Imposing exterior of the US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, with a fountain in front and an American flag on top
Courtesy of THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel / Booking.com

The timeline of this five-star hotel in San Diego stretches back to 1910; the guestbook features names including Charles Lindbergh and JFK. It’s easy to see why VIPs choose this hotel. Inside, it’s all high ceilings, chandeliers, dark wood and marble, and it’s home to an art deco restaurant, plush spa and speakeasy-style bar with a seasonal cocktail menu. The location is spot on, too – right in the middle of the buzzing Gaslamp Quarter.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, for its two Michelin stars

Elegant outdoor dining area in a gazebo overlooking the pink exterior of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar / Booking.com
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a 20-minute drive north from San Diego, but it more than rewards guests for making the short journey out of the city. Set in a sea of golfing greens and gardens, the hotel features a luxury spa, four heated swimming pools and three hiking trails. The highlight, however, has to be the two-Michelin-star restaurant Addison, with its nine-course Californian tasting menu and 12,000-bottle wine room.

Pendry San Diego, for craft cocktails

Aerial view of rooftop pool, lounge chairs and turquoise umbrellas at Pendry San Diego
Courtesy of Pendry San Diego / Booking.com

A rooftop pool with views of the Gaslamp Quarter and a calm spa with treatments including gemstone facials and green coffee body wraps are just two of the many ways this luxury hotel in San Diego seeks to please. The selling points continue with its nightclub, beer hall and Fifth & Rose cocktail bar, where mixologists shake up drinks such as the Fire & Ice, made with mezcal, Chartreuse and chili bitters.

The Westgate Hotel, for a francophile’s paradise

Ornate communal area at the Westgate Hotel, with blue velvet sofas and chairs, plus statues and a piano
Courtesy of The Westgate Hotel / Expedia

The decor of this San Diego five-star hotel was inspired by the French palace of Versailles. Step into the lobby and you’ll see chandeliers, gilded mirrors, oil paintings, a grand piano and clusters of velvet-clad French furniture. Walk the corridors and you’ll find cabinets full of antiques, and plinths topped with ornamental vases. The food has a French theme, too. Afternoon tea is served with petits fours and pyramids of pastel-colored macarons.

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, an IHG Hotel, for thoughtful room amenities

Bathroom with panoramic windows, two sinks, and a luxurious tub at Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, an IHG Hotel
Courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, an IHG Hotel / Booking.com

The best rooms at this San Diego luxury hotel are in the Skyline Collection. They come with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Downtown area of the city or the harbor, and some also have balconies and oversized spa baths. Whichever room you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy the rooftop pool, its waterside cocktail bar and the Mexican restaurant, which serves dishes such as tacos and drinks such as Mexican Coke – that’s Coke made with cane sugar.

Kona Kai Resort & Spa, a Noble House Resort, for a private beach

Overhead view of Kona Kai Resort and Spa, with the beach and its outdoor pool area visible, plus large boats moored outside
Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort and Spa / Expedia

Set on the narrow slither of land that is Shelter Island, Kona Kai is backed by San Diego Bay and fronted by a marina filled with more than 500 superyachts. You can take in views of the extravagant boats from some of the rooms, the hotel’s private sandy beach and the outdoor pool with luxury sunbathing cabanas and a tiki bar. The cocktail menu there features inventive options such as spicy melon margarita made with tequila, lemon and jalapeños.

Omni San Diego Hotel, for easy Petco Park access

Overhead view of outdoor pool area at Omni San Diego Hotel, with several handrails, including in the hot tub
Courtesy of Omni San Diego Hotel / Expedia

Of all the luxury hotels in San Diego, this is the one to choose if you plan to watch the Padres play at Petco Park – it’s right next door to the stadium and connected by a convenient skybridge. Your pre- and post-game downtime, meanwhile, can be spent relaxing by the outdoor pool, getting a personalized massage in the spa, or refueling at West Coast Social, where the menu features treats including truffle cheeseburgers and nachos.

Solamar San Diego, for rooftop relaxation

Eleveated view of the exterior of Solamar San Diego, displaying its rooftop terrace
Courtesy of Solamar San Diego / Expedia

This San Diego luxury hotel is set in the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter of the city. While it’s surrounded by sights, bars and restaurants, the hotel also has plenty of facilities that’ll make you want to stay on-site. Highlights include the gridiron-sized rooftop pool area with fire pits, craft cocktail bar and waterside cabanas, and the Jsix restaurant, where the menu changes regularly to showcase locally sourced, seasonal produce.

For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels in Chula Vista, San Diego, or the most romantic hotels in California and book now on Culture Trip.

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