San Diego. Its idyllic annual temperatures, exquisite beaches, and many diverse, interconnected communities make it perennial top American vacation destination. For the aforementioned reasons and more, Jetset has always been particularly fond of the place that humbly touts itself as “America’s Finest City.” Any time of year is a great time to visit San Diego, so we teamed up with Expedia.com to compile a list of this picturesque city’s five finest luxury hotels in an attempt to make your next visit to the city truly one to remember.
The Fairmont brand has always constituted luxury and excellence, but there is something truly special about this property in the beach city of Del Mar. The site of Lebron James’ wedding, this splendid, Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond luxury resort boasts four sparkling swimming pools, tennis, fine dining, 249 gorgeous guest rooms, a Renaissance-inspired spa, and San Diego’s only Tom Fazio-designed golf course. Surrounded by majestic rolling hills, this sprawling resort is a vast architectural wonder, stunning down to the last detail. Its onsite restaurant, Addison, is simply one of the finest French restaurants in all of California (if not the nation), while its 2,840-square-foot presidential suite is a work of art. Simply put, it’s easy to see why TripAdvisor crowned it as the “#1 Luxury Hotel in California.”
About a 30-minute drive north from San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe, you will find this palatial, five-star resort. Gorgeously situated on 45 acres of picturesque gardens and olive groves, Rancho Valencia is a luxury escape unlike any other. Dubbed the “#1 Resort in the Country” in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report, Southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux property is an all-suite offering of just 49 sumptuous guest casitas with private patios, a world-class spa, two distinctive farm-to-table restaurants — Veladora and The Pony Room — two pools, and more. The resort also features a well-appointed fitness center with a robust offering of sports facilities (it is continually hailed by Tennis Magazine as the number one U.S. Tennis Resort each year), as well as complimentary use of onsite luxury cars. If you don’t mind being a little out of the city, this is the premier place to stay.
For more urban accommodations, the stately US Grant hotel in downtown San Diego offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic, 11-story, 270-room hotel was built by none other than Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of President Grant, and designed by legendary architect Harrison Albright. Since its grand opening in 1910, the hotel has played host to everyone from Albert Einstein to an astonishing 13 US presidents. (Fittingly, the hotel features not one, but three presidential suites, tailored to accommodate the nation’s chief executive and requisite Secret Service). Today the hotel’s reputation as one of the finest in the country remains, and from service to rooms to amenities, it offers jetsetters a truly regal luxury experience.
Regal is a word that could also be used to describe the famed Lodge at Torrey Pines. Overlooking the 18th green of the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course (home to the 2021 US Open), this AAA Five Diamond oceanside resort is just 3.9 miles from La Jolla’s pristine beaches and chic shopping. Most of its 170 rooms and suites feature Mission-style furnishings, marble bathrooms, and private balconies with either ocean or golf course views. The luxurious Lodge also features impeccable service, an incredible spa, and its art-filled signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, is among the best farm-to-table eateries in all of Southern California. Simply the best place to stay in San Diego for avid golfers, the hotel offers guests preferred tee times to its unbelievable 36 holes.
This spacious luxury resort is located across the street from the fine shopping of the lovely outdoor Del Mar Plaza. Sitting on 5.2 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds overlooking the beach, L’Auberge Del Mar embodied the level of luxurious sophistication synonymous with its legendary brand name. That includes two tennis courts, a swimming pool, full service spa, and award-winning dining at either Kitchen 1540 or the stunning Waterfall Terrace, the latter of which overlooks the shimmering sea. The three-story hotel feels very much like a luxury take on breezy Southern California cool; its 121 guest rooms have sweeping views of the village, ocean, or resort grounds, and amenities and service are first rate throughout.