Downtown San Diego hotels are favorite places for travelers seeking an urban yet convenient location. The airport is 5-10 minutes away and you can walk to top restaurants, nightlife, and popular things to do across the area’s multiple neighborhoods.
This list of best hotels in downtown San Diego includes mostly Gaslamp San Diego hotels, but you need not limit yourself to this popular spot. There are benefits to staying at each property mentioned below that I’ve listed to help you decide where to stay.
Reasons to Stay in Downtown/Gaslamp San Diego Hotels
Let’s quickly start with why you might want to stay in downtown San Diego. Otherwise, you can jump to my hotel picks. If you book hotels using the links in this post, I may be compensated.
What is the Gaslamp Quarter?
As the epic center of a vibrant urban scene, the Gaslamp Quarter covers 16 historic blocks that are dense with over 100 boutiques, the county’s best nightlife, and over 200 restaurants. People gravitate toward Gaslamp San Diego hotels because they are convenient.
What about hotels in the other Downtown San Diego neighborhoods?
I personally don’t think that you need to stay in the Gaslamp Quarter unless it’s important to be a few blocks away from a club, restaurant, or something else in the district that you’re in town to see. When it comes to selecting downtown San Diego hotels, you can let the hotel make the decision for you.
I mention hotels in the Marina neighborhood along the bay near Seaport Village and the San Diego Convention Center. Travelers like the water views and walking along the Embarcadero waterfront entertainment area here. The Columbia neighborhood is steps from both Little Italy and also borders the Embarcadero. Rapidly-gentrifying East Village is home to PETCO Park (where the San Diego Padres play) and great dining, too. The two hotels mentioned in the Civic Core neighborhood are so close to the Gaslamp district that people think they’re in it. So, they all really do have great locations depending on what your preferences are.
You can also refer to my entirely separate lists of best Little Italy San Diego hotels and best San Diego airport hotels. These two groups of options are also in downtown San Diego. I know, so much choice!
Rest assured that from any downtown San Diego hotel, it’s easy to get to popular tourist attractions such as the USS Midway, America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, and a floating city rich in maritime history. The world-renowned San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park museums take just a few minutes to reach. Hop on the ferry over to Coronado beaches to spend an entire day soaking in the sun while enjoying the soft waves along the golden shore. In short, there many things to do in downtown San Diego and just beyond.
OFFERINGS MAY BE MODIFIED
Check with the hotels before you book to see what amenities and activities are available during your stay.
Pendry San Diego (Top Pick)
Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 550 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
Pendry San Diego is one of my favorite downtown San Diego hotels because it offers travelers contemporary rooms, excellent dining, and five-star service. I receive A LOT of positive feedback from families, solo, business, and couples travelers. The hotel earns its repeat guests.
People like the blend of modern with tradition throughout the entire hotel including rooms, a beer hall, social club nightlife experience, rooftop lounge, elegant hotel bar, and signature farm-to-table restaurant. Much of the dining is outdoors.
It’s not a small hotel either with 317 rooms, including 36 suites. With its attention to detail, luxury linens, stylish decor, and fantastic rooftop pool, Pendry San Diego falls into the luxury boutique hotel category. Families, couples, solo, and business travelers
It is part of Montage Hotels and a Virtuoso property which means that I can add some amenities like complimentary breakfast for two and a $100 hotel credit to your room.
*If on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Full Site” to access rates and online booking.
InterContinental San Diego
Location: Columbia (across from the Embarcadero)
Address: 901 Bayfront Ct, San Diego, CA 92101
The newest big brand luxury hotel to hit the downtown scene is InterContinental San Diego. The location right across from the Embarcadero makes sightseeing on the San Diego bay, visits to the USS Midway Museum, and dinners in Little Italy a breeze.
All of the 400 contemporary rooms and suites enjoy water views and coastal-inspired decor. Suites and Club Level rooms come with Club InterContinental lounge access for 2 people. Inclusions are daily breakfast, all-day beer and wine, evening cocktail hour, and more. You can also lounge at the outdoor swimming pool with panoramic bay views.
Some people feel this InterContinental isn’t as luxe as others, but we are rather relaxed to begin here in San Diego. I like the location, the views, the Club Level, and the amenities. There’s also an onsite Starbucks in addition to two restaurants and three bars. It prices well for what you get, usually.
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Neighborhood: Marina (near the Convention Center)
Address: 1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101
Combining a great location, views, and amenities, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego will impress. You’ll have to not mind its size of over 1,600 rooms and suites spanning across two massive towers. A benefit of the height is the sweeping views of the San Diego Bay from the rooftop bars — by far one of the best vantage points in the neighborhood — and many rooms.
They offer the most seasonal activities for kids like Camp Hyatt, movies at the pool, arts and crafts, foosball, Friday game night, and more out of the downtown San Diego hotels, so it also made my list of best kid-friendly San Diego hotels. They also have a basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court, and shuffleboard. You can also book Club Level rooms.
If you need a moderately-priced suite, check here because they tend to price well. Service can be a little impersonal due to the hotel’s size. I can often upgrade you if you book in as a Hyatt Prive guest through me. Other perks include breakfast for two and a $100 hotel credit.
THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego
Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, THE US GRANT is situated in the heart of downtown San Diego. In addition to being known for exemplary service, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The luxury hotel was built originally in 1910 by the son of President Ulysses S. Grant.
For art lovers and shoppers —you’re in the right spot. The hotel sits a block north of the Lyceum Theater and one block east of Spreckels Theater. And, it’s a short walk to the eclectic Gaslamp boutiques.
Despite having 270 rooms and suites, THE US GRANT feels more intimate than some larger hotels. Guests also like the 9′ ceilings and modern rooms decorated with custom contemporary art. It’s one of the haunted hotels in San Diego and known for its excellent service.
For more detail, read my review of THE US GRANT. Virtuoso is typically the best way to book in because of the $100 food and beverage credit and daily breakfast for two in the Grant Grill. This luxury hotel prices well because they do not have a swimming pool.
*If on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Full Site” to access rates and online booking. Do not input the number of children traveling as they will be priced as adults. Place them in the booking notes section and I’ll add them on to the reservation when I double-check it.
Omni San Diego Hotel
Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 675 L St, San Diego, CA 92101
Rumored to be the hotel chain of choice for Oprah Winfrey, the Omni San Diego Hotel offers a moderate-luxury experience with a prime location. Positioned at the base of Gaslamp, you are located right in between the iconic Gaslamp sign, PETCO Park, and the San Diego Convention Center.
They even have a pedestrian walkway that connects the hotel to PETCO Park and a 4th-floor baseball memorabilia collection. This hotel in downtown San Diego is popular with families and you can book rooms with a bay view.
Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection
Address: 421 W B St, San Diego, CA 92101
This lifestyle hotel in downtown San Diego is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of over 125 one-of-a-kind properties worldwide.
A local restaurant group handles the three onsite dining options ranging from a cool rooftop terrace to a grab-and go cafe.
Club Level rooms, a complimentary benefit for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum members (though anyone can book Club Level), come with all-day water and sodas, continental breakfast and daily happy hour in the lounge. Saturday rooftop yoga, Thursday “yappy hour” with dogs, pop-up events, and contemporary coastal decor immerse guests in the local experience at Hotel Republic San Diego.
You can book in as a Marriott Luminous VIP guest with extra amenities such as complimentary daily breakfast for two, a room upgrade at check-in (subject to availability), and more.
The Westgate Hotel
Neighborhood: Civic Core (edge of the Gaslamp Quarter)
Address: 1055 2nd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Donning a classic Victorian vibe, The Westgate Hotel capitalizes on an era of grand décor while providing modern amenities expected by savvy travelers. Enjoy big rooms, a lovely rooftop pool, and a fantastic location in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter.
I can say from personal experience that you’ll almost feel like you’re in Europe without crossing the Atlantic.
Guests can also take advantage of the adjacent AquaVie Spa + Wellness Center during a stay. Be sure to book the lovely Sunday champagne brunch at Le Fontainebleau.
Hotel Z San Diego
Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 521 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
For an out of the ordinary experience, consider Hotel Z San Diego. This hip boutique hotel puts a fun twist on the regular amenities, integrating a stylish (and playful) pineapple into countless aspects of your stay — including some tasty welcome and afternoon treats.
Enjoy complimentary bikes to tour the Gaslamp Quarter, friendly staff, and Hotel Z’s convenient downtown location. There’s no onsite food (other than snacks for purchase and the aforementioned treats) but it’s okay with all of the fabulous restaurants with walking distance.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Neighborhood: Marina (adjacent to the Convention Center)
Address: 333 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
This waterfront hotel prioritizes creating a unique and wonderful experience for all guests. Just outside of the main Gaslamp area, the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina sits on the waterfront steps from Seaport Village.
Conference-goers stay here because it’s also adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center. Every room boasts either a city or bay view. You also have Marina services at the hotel such as boat, jet ski, and paddleboard rentals.
Enjoy a spacious tropical pool, their restaurant right along the bay, and good service every step of the way.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 207 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Right across the street from the San Diego Convention Center and adjacent to the iconic Gaslamp Sign, the Hard Rock Hotel puts you at the base of the downtown, right in all the action.
This modern hotel gives you access to their stunning rooftop pool, enjoys a spa on-site, and has the hip nightclub at the bottom of the venue. And, of course, there is a ton of rock and roll memorabilia inside. I think it’s for people who like the rock and roll vibe, late nights, and a pool scene though families do stay here.
Andaz San Diego
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 600 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
For the traveler seeking a sleek, modern venue, the Andaz San Diego hotel is sure to delight. They easily blend a modern minimalist approach with a chic design targeted to a younger “hip” crowd. They even have a Star Suite with king-sized bunk beds. A really cool Cabana Suite has a downstairs section that opens up to the rooftop pool.
At the pool, you’ll find gorgeous cabanas and a bar that is always a crowd-pleaser. Rooms have recently been refreshed and this historic building first opened in 1913 for the Worlds Fair. You’re surrounded by nightlife when you check-in here.
Andaz San Diego can also be booked with a $75 property credit, breakfast for two and more at no additional cost to you.
Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Neighborhood: Civic Core (one block north of the Gaslamp Quarter)
Address: 1047 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego offers one of my favorite complimentary perks — wine hour. This stylish property has a spa and pool deck in addition to an excellent restaurant. The ocean-inspired decor is meant to help you relax and immerse into the San Diego vibe.
Be sure to take advantage of the beer concierge who can help lead you to the best suds in town. They’ll also have your pet and kids California Dreamin’ in no time. Take out a loaner bike to explore and book a Skyline room for the best city views. Book using IHG Rewards.
Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Neighborhood: East Village
Address: 509 Ninth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
As LEED-certified with eco-friendly operating practices in place, Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter is likely the greenest hotel on this list. Check out their pet packages as the dog is welcome to stay with you. This boutique hotel also has a great rooftop bar, Aveda bath amenities, stylish room decor and much more.
Use the IHG Rewards (free to join) discount to book on InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), of which Hotel Indigo is a member.
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter
Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Address: 356 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
The Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter is worth a mention on this list because it is an excellent option for those looking for an extended stay option within walking distance to San Diego’s best restaurants, shopping, and the Convention Center.
It’s the only all-suite Gaslamp San Diego hotel with fully-equipped kitchens and full-sized appliances, making it also a great option for families. Breakfast is also included in the rate. Use the Marriott Bonvoy discount (free to join) to book.
Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton
Location: Columbia (on the border of Little Italy)
Address: 401 W Ash St, San Diego, CA 92101
Carte Hotel San Diego is a new boutique hotel. On Civic maps, it’s in the Columbia neighborhood but it’s considered a Little Italy San Diego hotel because it’s right on the edge. In a few blocks, you’ll be either at the Embarcadero or in the heart of Little Italy’s shopping and dining.
Don’t worry, you’ll be able to work off all of that fresh pasta and pizza. The hotel is integrated with a 28,000-square-foot Fit fitness center with a full roster of classes, grab and go healthy eats, and state-of-the-art cardio and weight equipment. You can cool down at the outdoor pool on on the lovely rooftop terrace, cocktail in-hand.
The rooms are contemporary coastal design. I like the refillable water bottle stations on every floor. I can also tell you from personal experience that the onsite restaurant, Watercolors, offers an excellent sea-to-table menu, wine list, and craft cocktails.
The Guild Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Category: Luxury (though prices well)
Address: 500 W Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
What draws people to The Guild Hotel, which is part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, is the way the architects and designers integrated a luxury boutique hotel into existing features of a historic Italian Renaissance-inspired building that was the Army-Navy YMCA.
This is a beautiful hotel from top to bottom featuring highlights such as the original stone staircase, intimate seating areas, a lush courtyard. Army green and blue accents complement refined, but minimal interiors.
It’s meant to be an experiential hotel so they’ve formed some fun partnerships. For a nominal fee ($10) guests can purchase day passes to the Broadway Athletic and Swim Club across the street. If you need a Bugatti or Lamborghini for your trip, use the hotel’s affiliation with O’gara to find your exotic ride. When it’s time to go back to a Padres game, they can hook you up with a sky box and PETCO Park concierge.
You’ll want to pay attention to the rooms. Go with a higher floor if you’re a light sleeper. I have some great perks here that include a $100 hotel credit, daily breakfast for two, and more.
Downtown San Diego Hotels on a Map
Again, you can choose a hotel based on its location but you can also let the hotel’s amenities determine where you stay. Each one of these hotels in downtown San Diego is a good option.
What are your favorite downtown San Diego hotels?