It is no wonder that San Diego has earned the moniker of ‘America’s Finest City’! This Southern California County flaunts the best of what travelers crave. Idyllic weather, miles and miles of dazzling sun-drenched coastline, and a plethora of family activities, a temptation that’s hard to resist by kids of any age. State park, theme park, amusement park, beach time, nature hikes, you ask for anything, and your desires will be met! Babies, toddlers, teens, tweens, or adults, everybody will be smitten by the sheer variety of kiddie activities that San Diego has to offer. You just need to find best hotels for kids in San Diego.
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But what is a boon can quickly turn to bane. Yes, chalking out activities is just one thing. Taking out time for them is another. After all, who wants to waste time commuting when they can devote precious hours elsewhere? This is why we have created this list of best hotels for kids in San Diego after doing a lot of permutations and combinations. Taking into account their proximity to different activities, their own child-friendly amenities, pristine location, style of traveling, and pocket pinch, we have tried to strike a delicate balance between all the factors to save you time and money. We are sure that any of these picks will become the star factor in your next San Diego family vacation!
1. LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel
The first thing is first! This is clearly a stay that will steal your child’s heart and soul. For the teenie weenie LEGO-lover in your family, nothing can get more fabulous than staying at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel. Located right at the entrance of Legoland California theme park and overridden by excited kids of all ages at all times, be ready to be swept off your feet by wildly themed rooms and overall playful culture sprinkled in heavy doses around the property. LEGOLAND Hotel sports five themes: Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, LEGO NINJAGO, and LEGO Friends. LEGOLAND Castle Hotel has 250 castle rooms in three themes: Knights & Dragons, Royal Princess, and Magic Wizard. Enquire about the availability of a theme of your choice while booking. If parents prefer some peaceful snooze time, insist on a room location that’s away from round-the-clock fun and frolic.
Kids can step into the property and immerse themselves in the magical world of LEGO right away! Children are welcomed with a tantalizing treasure hunt that culminates in unveiling a secret LEGO surprise in their room. All rooms are equipped with a separate Kids’ sleeping area, and their own LEGO brick set to never take a break from fun and creativity. The resort has a heated pool with soft LEGO bricks to amplify the soak time. Parents can chill with poolside snacks and beverages. Breakfast is complimentary, and 30 minutes early access to LEGOLAND theme park is granted to the family with every booking. The rooms are sized generously and can accommodate up to 5 occupants. Suites can accommodate up to 7.
Website: https://www.legoland.com/california/places-to-stay/legoland-castle-hotel/ https://www.legoland.com/california/places-to-stay/legoland-hotel/ Cost:$$$
2. Hotel Del Coronado
Easily recognizable from its iconic red conical tower and red umbrellas dotting the lovely soft-sanded silvery beach, Hotel Del Coronado is a historical property that boasts of footfall from the world’s rich and famous! This 700 room massive beachfront resort promises to be the best in its league when it comes to being a full-service resort in San Diego. Located in Coronado Village, it is a short drive from the city. Unlike other heritage properties, Del Coronado extends a warm welcome to the kids to explore all the latest modern activities amidst its historical setting. DelVentures, the kids club, has daily activities both during the day and evening to keep kids busy and give some required time-off to parents to indulge in a decadent spa session, a dip in any one of the resort’s two pools, or shopping at one of the boutique outlets.
The resort is spread across three buildings, and for a taste of unbeatable luxury, we suggest booking designer accommodation at Del Coronado Village. The rooms are large and are either done up as villas or suites that go up to three bedrooms. Beach-loving families are in for a treat. The Coronado central beach is one of America’s best beaches with a flat sandy stretch caressed by gentle waves and shallow tide pools. Slightly older children can learn to surf and paddleboard. Kids can satiate their sweet cravings from their onsite ice cream shop. Parents can check out a variety of shopping and dining options at nearby Orange Avenue. Given its popularity, this resort is a busy property and pricey too. But nothing really matters if you get to stay where the celebrity guests like Obama, Oprah, Chaplin, and Marilyn Monroe stayed!
Website: https://hoteldel.com/ Cost:: $$$
3. Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Another Coronado gem, Loews is located on a private 15-acre peninsula with San Diego Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on another. For families who don’t have a knack for historic properties like Del Coronado or want to relax and or want recreation at an affordable resort setup, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is their best bet! The location is perfect for escaping the city humdrum yet accessing it easily by taking a ferry or driving down the connecting bridge.
The airport is just a 20-minute drive away, and attractions like Legoland and San Diego Zoo are within an hour’s reach. The resort offers both bay view and ocean view but for beach access, you have to cross the highway. Silver Strand State Beach is the town beach of Coronado and one of the best beaches in San Diego. The resort has periodic golf cart ferrying guests to the beach, but not without beach chairs, towels, and boogie boards.
Besides spacious rooms and connecting ones for large families, and suites with a spectacular view and all modern conveniences, what this resort really takes pride in is how they make their junior guests feel special. Kids go crazy for their large-sized kid’s only pool complete with balls and pool noodles. Exciting games and competitions are conducted for kids where they can win prizes. You can also rent kayaks to explore the calm bay waters or opt for sailing or surfing lessons. All watersports rentals like jet skis and paddleboards are available at their onsite shop. Kids can also socialize and play at their kids’ club that hosts a string of interesting activities for kids aged 4 to 12.
Website: https://www.loewshotels.com/coronado-bay-resort Cost: $$
4. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
A landmark oceanfront exclusive, members-only club resort trusted by generations of travelers who come back here for that quintessential laidback SoCal beach experience laced with historical charm and packed with modern-day amenities. Located on the sandy shores of La Jolla Beach, the resort offers 99 eclectic guestrooms, a few of them super close to all the sand and surf action as one can get in San Diego! Most rooms come with a kitchen that we all know makes life that much easier. Apart from this, guests can enjoy their private beach with seasonal food and drink at beck and call. Kids can have a go at the Junior Olympic-sized pool or take tennis lessons to play at one of their 12 championship tennis courts. There are a tonne of other activities like beach cookouts and junior golf programs to keep the kids busy.
What is certainly unheard of in the usual resort sector, there is no need to pay any extra resort or parking fees when you book with them! Super large rooms are available that can fit up to eight people. The vibe is that of an upscale ‘home away from home’ that dishes out an intimate experience. This resort is just next to La Jolla Shores hotel which is also a fun pocket-friendly family-friendly hotel sans the exclusive appeal that comes with this club. For watersports, drop by Avenida de la Playa which has quite the lineup. If your family aims to stay longer, opt for their Extended Stay program that comes with special perks like attractive deals and discounts, special reservation status, and favorite room location.
Website: https://www.ljbtc.com/ Cost: $$$
5. San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Championing value, view, and vicinity, this newly refurbished waterfront resort on Mission Bay offers warm Californian hospitality blended beautifully with an aesthetically pleasing beachy boutique vibe. A firm family favorite with a fully serviced private beach access, bayfront pools including a wading pool with colorful balls to entice any child, three waterfront dining options, a luxurious spa, and renovated roomy accommodations, the property surely knows how to grab the attention of the holidaying families on a budget!
We suggest you embrace the beach fun wholeheartedly and opt for studio guest rooms fitted with fire pits in their private patio for an exciting s’mores night. Mission Bay’s mindful hospitality is not only reflected in its love for local culture but also in its treatment of guests of diverse abilities. They have Accessible Guest Rooms with features like wheelchair access, visual fire alarm, phone alert options, etc. With easy access to the freeway, traveling to the city and other attractions is a smooth swish.
What makes this Mission Bay resort different than others in the area is that the guests here can get exclusive access to their private bay beach. Of course, for the nearest ocean beach, you have to drive a little from the property. But the bay beach makes up for it with its picturesque view, privacy, and unhindered playtime in its soft sand. The beach comes with a full-service and in the evening, you can enjoy some beachside bonfires with the kids. Ranked as the second most family friendliest hotel in San Diego, family activities are its main draw. You can rent a Surrey bike and cycle around the area with your family on this unique-looking transportation. For watersports enthusiasts, on-spot rental is available and SeaWorld San Diego is just next door neighbor!
Website: https://www.missionbayresort.com/ Cost: $$
6. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
If you are a brood of urban rangers who solemnly swear to skip the usual beach stay, get to the heart of downtown San Diego in the Marina District and perch atop this massive twin tower by signing up for a stay at Manchester Grand Hyatt. Armed with a whopping 1628 rooms, this business hotel serves mainly the convention crowd. But don’t dismiss it as a busy hub for the corporates just yet. The hotel promises incredible views, rooftop pools, and an excellent location. Discover the city on foot, Kin Oasis Spa, and a kid’s center. The rooms have the usual Grand Hyatt goodies like flatscreen TV, compact coffee makers, and a mini-fridge. The special touch of mouthwash and toothbrushes gives it a cozy feel. Ask for rooms on top floors for an even better Bayview.
Children will feel quite at home in this humongous hotel. Camp Hyatt organizes seasonal arts and crafts sessions, marine life lessons, and s’mores roasting at the firepits. Seasonal cinema screening is also organized on the rooftop. The fourth floor has a pool and a deck with whirlpools and a scintillating Bayview sun deck. Other activities for kids include a fourth-floor sports court for tennis, volleyball, basketball, etc. Parents can enjoy a scrumptious on-site seafood restaurant. And the famous Top of the Hyatt rooftop restaurant offering gorgeous views with a side of delectable gourmet dishes. An adult-only pool, 24 hr fitness center, three bars, a bayside running trail, tennis lesson by USPTA Pro, full-service Marilyn Monroe Spa, free breakfasts, and reasonably priced rooms are the other hotel perks.
Website: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/manchester-grand-hyatt-san-diego/sanrs Cost: $$
7. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort & Spa
A luxury address plonked right between San Diego and Orange County. Atop a hill in a lovely residential area of the Carlsbad coastal area. Park Hyatt Aviara beckons all the tranquility seekers, albeit with deep pockets. Hailing from the top-of-the-line Grand Hyatt properties, it has recently opened its resort doors after a renovation of around $50 million done during the pandemic period. Situated to the north of the city, driving to Downtown San Diego will take 40 minutes and other Carlsbad attractions like LEGOLAND and the beach are also a bit far. That’s why this 200-acre sprawling resort attracts families that want to stay put in one place and get all the benefits of stellar on-site amenities.
And Park Hyatt Aviara is not falling short in that category anytime sooner. With a world-renowned golf course, teeing off in style is an everyday reality here. Kids can also take golf lessons at Aviara Golf Academy and join their parents with their new skill set. But hands down, the biggest draw for the kids is definitely the huge outdoor family pool with underwater lighting. There is also a two-story water slide, shallow wading pool, splash pad, and a sandy play area for the little ones. A poolside cafe for the kiddies is there, with kid-sized chairs and tables to grab some grub during their pool time break. Nature-loving and environment enthusiast children can explore the nearby wetlands to birdwatch. Apart from these, the usuals like seasonal kids’ camp, different kinds of sports courts, DVD library with kids movies are also available.
Website:https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/park-hyatt-aviara-resort/sanpa Cost: $$$
8. Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, North San Diego
Just down the road from Park Hyatt Aviara, is this luxurious residential property. A scenic location overlooking hills and valleys is surrounded by beautifully landscaped lush grounds. The accommodations are divided into one and two-bedroomed villas, the largest easily fitting up to eight people. Interiors are done tastefully reflecting an understated elegance that the wealthy coastal community of Carlsbad is known for. The open-plan kitchen has modern appliances. Cooking up a storm will be the least of worries if families choose to do so. Especially during extended stays or staycations.
With two outdoor pools with one dedicated to kids-only, a kids club with seasonal activities, a variety of games and books already available in the villa for children to play with, and Legoland just fifteen minutes drive away, Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara is one of the best hotels for kids in San Diego in luxury category with a family-friendly appeal. You can also hire a surf concierge for kids of 6 and above and get a babysitting service. Parents can enjoy their farm-to-table unique open-kitchen dining experience. Or scoot off in the free shuttle to do some golfing at the Aviara Golf Club. Their full-service spa is one of their star experiences that promise absolute indulgence.
Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/northsandiego/ Cost: $$$
9. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
This mega beachfront Spanish colonial-style resort is located close to Legoland yet miles away from all its maddening chaos. Its 400-acre allures luxury-seeking families with many activities. Golfing, tennis, spa, and fitness center are there. Also, facilities like six pools, waterslides, and 600+ rooms. The resort is especially great for newbie parents. They can request baby proofing their rooms and other baby supplies like diaper Genie that are available with the resort. They can opt for free cribs that come lined with soft padding for that ultimate comfort.
Omni La Costa Resort and Spa is our family-friendly pick for an obvious reason – they do treat kids like royalty. Right at the check-in children can see a VIK (Very Important Kid) gift hamper. Their kids’ club called Kidtopia is a mammoth 6000 sq ft space. There are provisions for kids as small as 6 months in their nursery. On weekends, they organize evening events for kids. The parents can catch up on some much-needed time free of kids. Children rave about their 7-foot tall treehouse that comes with a slide and a saltwater aquarium. Slightly older kids can unwind in their Vibz Game Lounge with Xbox 360, air hockey foosball, etc. The resort organizes themed activities at regular intervals like s’mores night, The Radical Reptile Show, poolside movie nights, etc.
Website: https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa Cost: $$$
10. Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Perfect for families that prioritize luxury and want to devote more time enjoying the resort amenities than going out and exploring the city. This sprawling self-contained 400-acre Mediterranean property is situated in Carmel Valley in East Del Mar, overlooking the picturesque Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. The location is crave-worthy as the I-5 freeway is close and surrounded by breathtaking beauty. Both northern and southern tourist hotspots of San Diego are super easy to access. The property not only looks luxurious but also drips luxury with its top-of-the-line Tom Fazio designed 18 holes Grand Golf Course. There’s a world-class spa, an equestrian center offering riding lessons and trail rides and four heated pools. As for kids, there’s a wading pool, complementary nature hikes on Saturdays, a kids club and a teen center.
Though one might scoff at the absence of direct beach access, rest assured, you will arrive in style when you desire to drop in on one! The property offers a complimentary The Grand Beach service. It includes a transfer in an Escalade or Mercedes to any of these three beaches. Del Mar, La Jolla, and Solana Beach complete with beach umbrellas and chairs! This service is subjected to availability and a 24 hrs prior booking is advised. The resort rooms are one of the largest, the smallest being 550 square feet. All rooms come with bathrooms that are marble and have fancy gold detailing. A balcony or terrace is a prominent feature that is common to all accommodation units. Connected rooms or multi-bedroom suites and villas are available to accommodate large families.
Website: https://www.fairmont.com/san-diego/ Cost: $$$
Add more if necessary.
The quickest way to ascertain the kind of family-friendly accommodation that you are hunting in San Diego is to answer these primary questions: What activities are you planning for yourself and your kids? What kind of accommodation do you prefer? Is beach access all that important to your stay? Knowing answers to these will definitely provide you with enough clarity that choosing the best hotels for kids in San Diego will be a breezy affair thereafter! After all, travel should be peaceful and stress-free, even at the planning stage.