With quite possibly the most pleasant climate on the planet, this Californian idyll is an aspirational city; there are beaches, theme parks, a zoo, parks, galleries, a space museum and a harbour. It’s the avocado growing capital of the country, the birthplace of the Californian Burrito, home to the international Comic-Con as well as the nation’s most haunted house, and has more dog-friendly restaurants per capita, than anywhere else in the States. San Diego is an essential stop-off if road-tripping the western coast of the USA. Or fly direct and stay awhile in one of these glamorous hotels…
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
An award-winning championship golf course, a Forbes Five-Star spa (with its own custom organic product line), four heated pools, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor gyms and a Michelin starred restaurant are just some of the facilities you can take advantage of when checking in here. It has 249 rooms and suites, with opulent marble bathrooms and balconies. The Spanish Mission-style property is surrounded by 400 acres of landscaped gardens and a wild coastal canyon. It’s easy to see why the Fairmont Grand del Mar was voted the #1 Luxury Hotel in California by Trip Advisor travellers.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Inspired by the Pasedenan Gamble and Blacker houses, The Lodge at Torrey Pines (read our review here) is family-owned and run by locals. Leather, dark woods, crisp white linens and vintage touches play heavily in the decor aesthetic. 170 rooms include mini-bars, complimentary shoeshine service and toiletries featuring the hotel’s signature scent. The lodge is found on the 18th green of the Torrey Pines South Course (once played by previous President Barack Obama). So it presents a prime location for those seeking to practice their swing in the finest of company – this year the same course hosted the US Open providing guests with grandstand views. The onsite restaurant is suitably high-end and the hotel offers delightful extras such as twice-daily guided hikes.
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
This Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort has an enviable coastal location in a quiet neighbourhood, along with excellent amenities. There’s an 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course, first-rate tennis courts, a spa with 20 treatment rooms, an adult-only pool and cabanas, waterslides for the kids, and a sociable programme of varied activities ideal for those travelling solo. The Park Hyatt Aviara is sizable – it has 327 spacious rooms and lots going on throughout the day and night. This makes it perfect for families – or single travellers – wanting plenty to do, both in and around the hotel’s perimeter.
The Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Spa
For a full-on beach (or boating) holiday, choose this 439 room resort on the Coronado Peninsula. It has its very own full-service 80-slip marina offering gondola rides, surf lessons and sunset cruises. And there’s a beach shuttle – although it is just a five-minute walk along a private path from the resort to the sandy shores. This location does mean it’s a little further out from San Diego, but still within a 20-minute taxi ride. Pet and family-friendly, the hotel has a programme of events for kids, a teen lounge, three pools and a global fusion restaurant to keep all palates happy.
Pendry San Diego
Set downtown in the lively Gaslamp Quarter, this smart 12-storey hotel opened in 2017. Geared toward a young and trendy crowd, it has a stylish rooftop pool house (the place to party on summer nights), a chic cocktail bar, a nightclub, multiple restaurants, a beer hall, coffee bar, Moët & Chandon champagne vending machine and a bijou boutique. Urban rooms have ocean-inspired artwork, vintage writing desks, 50” TVs and French macarons popped on the pillow during the nightly turndown service. On higher levels, guests can enjoy views across the city and toward the bay.