San Diego Boutique Hotels

When it comes to boutique hotels, size matters. Hotels with at least ten rooms, and not many more than 100 are the industry standard. These small hotels are most often independently owned, stylish, and located in a city’s trendier neighborhoods. Boutiques have a distinctively urban vibe. Sleek lines, smooth surfaces, and neutral palettes with daring splashes of color define their contemporary décor. Their strengths are personalized service, one-of-a-kind ambiance, hip and sassy attitudes, and quirky or eccentric nuances. Boutique hotels often reflect the personality or historic style of their neighborhoods with period pieces, authentic natural elements, or cultural artifacts. They almost always include a signature restaurant.

San Diego Boutique Hotels

In San Diego, the boutique hotel category can get a little murky. Many hotels that claim to be boutique hotels aren’t by strict definition true boutiques. The 35-room Italiante designed Keating Hotel is the embodiment of a true boutique hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma with 23 uniquely designed rooms, and Empress Hotel in La Jolla with 73 rooms and a signature restaurant are also examples of true boutiques visitors will find in San Diego.

Although a characteristic of a true boutique is that it’s independently owned and operated, visitors will find a number of non-branded, independent boutique hotels in San Diego that are managed by boutique franchises. The Bristol Hotel in Core-Columbia has 102 rooms and is managed by Greystone boutique hotels. Both Hotel Palomar in Core-Columbia and Hotel Solamar in East Village are independents managed by Kimpton boutique hotels. Other than a less intimate ambiance, differences between the overall experiences may be imperceptible.

It is sometimes equally difficult to sort out true boutique hotels from their larger boutique-style counterparts. Some hotels, like The Sofia Hotel with 211 rooms and Hotel Indigo with 210, market themselves as boutiques because they share many characteristics of a true boutique hotel. Each reflects the character and culture of their Downtown neighborhoods. Each also has a complementary restaurant, contemporary design, carefully chosen amenities, and one-of-a-kind ambiance. Visitors looking for a true boutique hotel experience should check hotel size before booking.

Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Boutique Hotels

Visitors can expect the Downtown urban neighborhoods of Core-Columbia, East Village, Little Italy, and the Gaslamp Quarter to have the biggest selections of boutique and boutique-style hotels. Historic and redeveloped urban centers draw boutique hotels to them, which is true of these neighborhoods. The Bristol Hotel, Hotel Palomar, and The Sofia Hotel are in Core-Columbia, The Keating Hotel is in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, Hotel Indigo, Andaz, and Hotel Solamar are in East Village. Hotel Vyvant, La Pensione Hotel, and Urban Boutique Hotel are choices in Little Italy.

Boutique hotels can also be found in La Jolla, Point Loma, and Del Mar. The 73-room Empress has a superior restaurant called Manhattan where guests can enjoy a New York Italian meal to the sounds of a Rat-Packish crooner. The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma is the ultimate young urban professional boutique hotel with quirky amenities to match. Les Artistes in Del Mar will appeal to the romantic with 20 themed rooms on the boutique property.


Carlsbad Seapointe Resort
A beautiful family vacation destination situated between the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean. The resort features two heated adults-only and family pools, two Jacuzzis, a tennis court, and more.
La Jolla Shores Hotel
Across the boardwalk from La Jolla’s most popular beach with 128 suites and rooms from which to choose. Resort-style amenities without the resort fees.
The Dana on Mission Bay
A ten-acre, tropical-themed waterfront resort next to Mission Bay Aquatic Park. Guests can enjoy two outdoor heated pools, a fitness center, and a private marina.
Pendry Hotel San Diego
The ocean-inspired accommodations reflect a California coastal aesthetic with muted hues of blue. The hotel combines style, convenience, and comfort with a relaxed ambiance.
SpringHill Suites San Diego Downtown/Bayfront
State-of-the-art amenities, cityscape and bayfront views, and a host of personal touches. Suites are arranged into three distinct areas – sleep, work, and relaxation.
Kona Kai Resort & Marina, San Diego
Located at the southwestern tip of Shelter Island, Kona Kai Resort & Spa underwent an extravagant 2014 renovation updating, among other spaces, their guestrooms and suites.
Palomar San Diego, a Kimpton Hotel
Located at the north end of the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, the rooftop bar and lounge overlooks the San Diego Skyline.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla
The lodge sits atop towering bluffs overlooking renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean. Guests at the 170-room hotel are greeted by Scottish kilted doormen.
Hotel del Coronado
Since it opened in 1888, Hotel del Coronado has been hosting and entertaining Presidents, celebrities, royalty, and other guests.
Urban Boutique Hotel, San Diego
A good choice for solo travelers, business travelers, and couples. The neighborhood has an astounding array of eateries, independent shops, and art galleries.
Best Western Inn By The Sea, La Jolla
Situated in the heart of L Jolla Village, guests can enjoy being near the action, but away from the noise. The 129 deluxe guest rooms are clean and simple, providing the amenities vacationers need.
Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Boating, sailing, and yachting enthusiasts will appreciate the private marina and rooms with marina and bay views. Other hotel amenities include sailing excursions, customized trip planning and more.
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
The eco-friendly hotel has also earned the coveted Greenleaders Gold Level. The 199 guest rooms come in three styles. The Spa has been named one of the top spas in the world.
Hotel Solamar San Diego, a Kimpton Hotel
Contemporary design, coastal culture, upscale amenities, green awards, and one-of-a kind ambiance are hallmarks of Hotel Solamar.
Blue Sea Beach Hotel
The only year-round beachfront, heated pool and spa in the neighborhood, All 120 guest rooms and six suites have been renovated.
El Cordova Hotel on Coronado Island
Once a private mansion built in 1902, then transformed into a quaint Spanish Village hotel in 1930. The traditional Spanish hacienda-style boutique hotel features unique rooms and suites, restaurants, and boutique shops.
Gaslamp Plaza Suites, San Diego
The 11-story building was the first skyscraper in San Diego when it was first built in 1913. In 1988, the building was transformed into a 64-suite European-style boutique hotel.
La Valencia Hotel La Jolla
From the beginning, it's been a Hollywood hideaway for some of its brightest stars. The signature pink Spanish architecture and original 1940s hand-painted murals was renovated in 2014.
Pantai Inn La Jolla
Perfect for a romantic getaway, the property features manicured gardens, Balinese statuary, a coral stoned courtyard with colorful hibiscus and fragrant plumeria.
Andaz San Diego Gaslamp
A swanky upscale hotel on the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village. The 159 rooms and 17 suites are uniquely customized with a full menu of lavish amenities and VIP wristbands.
Hotel Indigo San Diego, East Village
The only LEED certified boutique hotel in San Diego. Level 9 Rooftop Bar and Lounge offers signature cocktails and locally crafted brews.
The Horton Grand Hotel Gaslamp District, San Diego
Wyatt Earp lived here for seven years, and later Hollywood’s Lou Costello, baseball great Babe Ruth, and famous boxers Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis were all guests.
Hotel Indigo San Diego, Del Mar
On the site of the historic Stratford Inn built in 1910, the hotel is a short two blocks from the ocean and within walking distance of Del Mar Village.
Hotel Marisol Coronado
The 1927 Spanish Eclectic, three-story, 15-room boutique hotel is an eclectic mix of romance, sophistication, history, and whimsy.
1906 Lodge-Coronado Beach
The perfect place for a romantic getaway, a quiet weekend retreat, or a serious groupthink. Each of the 17 historic rooms and suites is named after some tidbit of Coronado Island history.
L’Auberge Del Mar
L’Auberge is located on the site of the original Hotel Del Mar, playground to Hollywood’s elite in the 1930s. Each of the 120 estate-style guest rooms is designed with the comfort of home in mind.
The Grande Colonial La Jolla
A La Jolla landmark. Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Groucho Marks, Jane Wyatt and other La Jolla Playhouse regulars stayed here during their runs.
The Lafayette Hotel, North Park San Diego
Built in 1946, the lavish retro design oozes Old Hollywood charm and earned Design Excellence Award. It's a popular place with the local young professional crowd.
The Pearl Hotel, San Diego
What was once the Sportsmen’s Lodge budget motel is now an upscale minimalist hotel that makes luxury affordable.
Pacific Terrace Hotel, San Diego
The upscale ocean-facing hotel caters to every kind of traveler. Its distinctive Bahamian vibe feels more like you’re in the Caribbean than on the West Coast.
Sofia Hotel, San Diego
With a rich history dating back to 1915 when it was a San Diego stagecoach company, you’ll find the perfect place to focus on your spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
The Keating Hotel, San Diego
Built in 1890 by the same architects of the Hotel del Coronado and is San Diego’s first luxury boutique hotel. Check out the Gordon Ramsay designed lobby.
The Bristol Hotel, San Diego
Modern luxury with a conscience. One of only seven hotels in San Diego to receive a Green Eco-Leaf rating. They offer half-price parking for hybrid vehicles.
Tower23, Pacific Beach
Just steps from the famous Crystal Pier, beachfront property is a high-end independent hotel that caters to the savvy adult traveler.