Cool Coastal Hotels in San Diego, California

There is no shortage of cool coastal hotels in San Diego. And, there is nothing quite like staying near the beach and enjoying the sounds of the waves and wildlife, while feeling the exfoliation of sand between our toes. The lure of the coast is undeniable. Maybe it’s because humans, like earth, are made up of two thirds water. Maybe it is the fond memories as a child playing on the beach and making sand castles using water from waves washing ashore to fill a moat. Perhaps it the setting sun on the horizon, the ocean breeze or the romantic strolls. Whatever the allurement, staying coastal appeals to us all.

The most recognizable of the coastal hotels in San Diego is probably the Hotel Del Coronado. The architecture is uniquely iconic with a rich history. The hotel is situated right on the beach on Coronado Island looking out at the Pacific Ocean with a view of Point Loma. Unfortunately, over the years the Hotel Del has become more of a tourist attraction than a quality hotel. Even if you don’t stay at this property, it’s still worth a visit. Coronado Island is located in the southern part of San Diego and boasts lots of wonderful restaurants and annual events, with one of the best beaches in the county.

Here is my list of some of the coolest coastal hotels in San Diego that I have personally stayed.

The Lodge Torrey Pines – Del Mar

At the The Lodge Torrey Pines, guests are greeted by a doorman in Scottish Kilted attire, while the bellhop is dressed in a traditional outfit reminiscent of the 30s era, which the hotel resembles. As soon as you enter, you get a sense that you’re in for a remarkable experience. This property pays tribute to the California Craftsman style of architecture, with post-and-beam construction and Arts & Crafts style that makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. This is an exceptional property with golf course elevated ocean views and a great central location.

Alila Marea Beach Resort – Encinitas

Alila Marea Ocean Resort - Coastal Hotels in San Diego

Opened at the height of the pandemic in early 2021, one of the newest coastal hotels in San Diego is the Alila Marea Beach Resort. Alila resorts are the hallmark brand of Hyatt, which combine innovative design and luxury with extraordinary settings. The brand new Alila Marea Beach Resort certainly lives up to the brand standards. The location along the sandstone cliffs above the Pacific Ocean is special indeed. The rooms take full advantage of the views with beach-chic aesthetics. This resort offers a wonderful spa, pool area and restaurant with lounge and outdoor seating area to take in those stupendous views.

L’Auberge – Del Mar

Coastal Hotels in San Diego - L'Aberge

Offering a classically hip feel, L’Auberge engages the senses with shades of seaside colors and elegant furnishings in an estate-like ambiance that exudes comfort. The hotel has a wide-open lobby/common area that flows into a lounge and patio offering views of the pool and Pacific Ocean. Located half a block from the water, there is a park perched on a cliff offering a relaxing spot to take in the views. The accommodations at L’Auberge are classically elegant with an award-winning on-site restaurant where the food is classic California cuisine.

Tower 23 – Pacific Beach

Tower 23 - One of the coolest coastal hotels in san diego

Located right on the boardwalk, looking out at Pacific Beach (PB), Tower 23 is a trendy boutique hotel that evokes that California lifestyle. This hotel is named for the lifeguard tower that used to be right in front of the hotel. The Tower Deck, which is located on the 2nd floor of this three-floor hotel is where guests can lounge around an elongated water feature, or cozy up to the fire pit and watch the sun set in front of the PB Pier. The rooms at Tower 23 are modern and luxurious. The suites even have large Jacuzzi tubs. The property also has a fantastic restaurant that embraces its southern California roots.

Grande Colonial – La Jolla

Perched on a hill off of famed Prospect Street in the heart of La Jolla is the Grande Colonial hotel. This turn-of-the-century, Georgian-style architectural hotel was the cornerstone of development that built La Jolla into a coveted tourist destination. The color scheme is reminiscent of the soothing sea, from pale yellow walls similar to a shade of the setting sun, to the white seashell color highlighted in the bathroom. There is an exceptional on-site restaurant called Nine-Ten, where they have evolved California cuisine into a culinary art form. Guests can dine inside the casually elegant space with vibrant artwork, or al fresco on the outdoor terrace. The Grande Colonial is definitely one of the coolest coastal hotels in San Diego.

The Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla

Inn at La Jolla coastal hotel in san diego

Located just a block from the beach and near the famed, Seal Rock, La Jolla Cove and shopping district of Prospect Street, The Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla is within walking distance to just about everything. There are just 15 rooms, several in the historic part of the building that dates back to 1913; the other rooms are within an addition that was added in the 1980s. There are several common areas for guests to enjoy, a deck on the second floor of the historic part that offers views of the water, a courtyard and a second floor library with several chairs and a sofa. The rooms are each uniquely named and modestly furnished with traditional elegance—some have real-wood fireplaces, some are larger than others. There is an afternoon wine and cheese hour where guests can co-mingle. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are available as an evening snack, and breakfast each morning is a culinary treat.

La Jolla Tennis and Beach Club

la jolla beach and tennis one of the coastal hotels in san diego

Nestled along a stretch of beach in La Jolla stands one of the region’s most iconic beachfront resorts, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. For more than 80 years this resort has been a timeless tradition. This landmark coastal hotel is where the charm of the past blends seamlessly with modern luxury. Practice your short game on a par-3 golf course, lounge by the pool, take an invigorating walk along the beach or ponder life while looking out one of the ocean-view rooms and suites. Elegant seaside dining is also available.

That’s a look at some of the coolest coastal hotels in San Diego. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.