The Best Resorts to Book in San Diego, California

Sit back, relax and take in our list of top San Diego resorts
Sit back, relax and take in our list of top San Diego resorts | Courtesy of San Diego Mission Bay Resort / Expedia
Photo of Pierre de Villiers
19 December 2021

San Diego refers to itself as “America’s Finest City” and frankly, who could argue? While neighboring Los Angeles is glitzy and brash, San Diego offers a far more laid-back version of the West Coast – less celebrity-spotting and more long walks on the beach and making s’mores with the family by a tranquil bay. With offerings ranging from tropical sea stone massages to sailboat outings, the beach resorts in San Diego capture this relaxed vibe perfectly – and they’re bookable on Culture Trip.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa, for getting back to nature

A waterside suite at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, with a double bed, chairs and a sofa
Courtesy of Paradise Point Resort & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Paradise Point Resort & Spa / Expedia
You’ll find bungalow-style guest rooms nestled among lush, tropical gardens and peaceful lagoons at the aptly named Paradise Point Resort & Spa. Located on Mission Bay, this resort in San Diego is scattered across a 44-acre (18ha) island – naturally, long beach walks beckon. There are also five swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, a marina, five dining venues and an award-winning spa to make your stay as heavenly as possible.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort, for the freshest seafood around

Outdoor communal area by the water at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, with soft seating around fire pits
Courtesy of Loews Coronado Bay Resort / Expedia

A San Diego resort that’s quintessentially Southern California, Loews Coronado Bay sits on a 15-acre (6ha) peninsula enveloped by shimmering bay waters and the city skyline. The restaurant alone is worth the stay – Crown Landing serves up regional cuisine made from seafood so fresh it could almost swim off your plate back into the sea. The Sea Spa also draws from the surrounding area, with treatments including island-inspired body wraps and tropical sea stone massages.

Bahia Resort Hotel, for stunning sea vistas

Bedroom with wood-frame bed, sofa, coffee table, table with chairs and a private balcony over palms at Bahia Resort Hotel
Courtesy of Bahia Resort Hotel /
It won’t take long for you to unwind at the Bahia Resort Hotel – the guest rooms are just steps away from Mission Bay. Prefer green to blue? Stroll around the lush private gardens instead. For vistas, choose from the Bay View and Garden View rooms. And make sure you try one of the cool beanbag loungers with fold-away canopies right at the water’s edge, from where you can watch steamboats glide past.

Catamaran Resort and Spa, for watersports lovers

Mood-lit dining area at dusk featuring relaxed table settings and palm trees at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa /
If you’re drawn to the Catamaran Resort because the name suggests you’ll spend more time on Mission Bay than in your room, go right ahead and book. This popular San Diego resort is all about making the most of its bayside location. Two on-site shops are packed with all the watersports equipment you need to go sailing, kayaking, powerboating, paddleboarding or surfing.

Kona Kai Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort, for SoCal vibes

Double bed, sofa, tables and chairs in a Kona Kai Resort & Spa suite overlooking a marina full of boats
Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort & Spa / Expedia

The epitome of modern luxury, the revamped Kona Kai Resort & Spa sits right on San Diego Bay and has swoon-worthy rooms with private furnished balconies, marble baths and rainfall showers. Get a taste of Southern California at Point Loma restaurant, hit the private beach, sip drinks from the Tiki Bar or chill next to the adults-only pool.

San Diego Mission Bay Resort, for family-friendly fun

Double bed, foot stool and soft seats in a San Diego Mission Bay Resort suite
Courtesy of San Diego Mission Bay Resort / Expedia

A family favorite, the San Diego Mission Bay Resort arranges fireside evenings on the bay for prime s’more-making opportunities. The waterfront pool here is a palm-lined haven – there’s a wading section for the kids to splash around in safety, while you can kick back on a lounge chair or walk on the beach. For the full SoCal experience, book a poolside cabana with comfortable oversized chairs and let the stress melt away.

These recommendations were updated on December 19, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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