The Guild Hotel is another downtown property that’s winning over stylish travelers. It first opened in 1924 as a Navy and Army YMCA and has been transformed into a hip boutique hotel where the former basketball court is now a ballroom. The lobby features a bar, and guests can also look forward to sleek lounges where black-and-white movies play on screens in the background.
The third downtown hotel on our list is Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection, near the Gaslamp District and Little Italy and with a youthful, fun vibe. Guest rooms are bright and light, and the third-floor open-air restaurant and lounge, Topside Terrace Kitchen & Bar, is one of the most happening spots in town and known for its excellent cocktails.
Leaving the main city and looking to the areas surrounding it, Hotel del Coronado, in Coronado, is getting heads to turn. Open since 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, the legendary property is amid a $400 million renovation that’s debuting in phases. In August, the beachfront resort unveiled a new main entrance and lobby with 21 stained glass windows and updated Victorian-inspired decor. One of Hotel del’s buildings, The Views, has also been redone with new guest rooms as has the Windsor Lawn, which overlooks the Pacific and has new turf, trees, and lighting.
In the North San Diego area, about 40 minutes from the city, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is a new beachfront resort that’s been especially well received by couples seeking a romantic getaway.
Located in the iconic coastal town of Encinitas, it has a barefoot luxury feel and features soft color tones and natural elements such as wood and stone. An oceanfront pool, restaurant serving dishes with sustainably sourced ingredients, and spa—a signature part of the Alila brand—are among the amenities.
Last up, L’Auberge Del Mar, a beachfront resort in the town of Del Mar, isn’t new, but it just did complete a renovation with a design that combines traditional with contemporary. The transformed lobby has a neutral color palette with tan, taupe, and ivory hues, and the 121 guest rooms have been upgraded with new furniture and carpets.
The highlight of the renovation is Adelaide, a new ocean-forward coastal restaurant that showcases dishes using sustainable seafood from the Pacific Ocean, from Baja to the North Salish Sea.
After putting together our roundup, we can’t say which property is likely to be your favorite, but we can tell you this: whether you’re traveling to San Diego for the first time or a repeat visitor, the hotels we’ve covered are all worth discovering, even if it’s only for a drink.