We review the best executive club lounges at hotels and the best San Diego airport lounges in California, separately. We also look at the best hotels near the San Diego Convention Centre, in case you are visiting on business.
San Diego is also a sunny beach town with a water-centered lifestyle, which makes it ideal for a vacation too. Visit the historic Gaslamp Quarter for lively dining, shopping, and nightlife, take a leisurely walk to the waterfront Embarcadero. East Village is great for indie shops and cafes. Wherever you go, you’ll be sure to take in stunning, sweeping sea views with the warm sun sparkling among the iridescent blue.
If you want to stay in luxury in and around San Diego, California, try Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Hotel del Coronado, Pendry San Diego, The Lodge at Torrey Pines or THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego or Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, North San Diego.
Wherever you decide to stay, San Diego, California, or elsewhere, be sure to take advantage of our free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at almost every luxury hotel around the world, including Four Seasons, Hyatt, Fairmont, InterContinental and more. Just book your stay via our luxury travel concierge.
I have compiled a list below containing the club lounges available across luxury hotels in San Diego, California. I list the lounges that I consider to be the best of the best. I will be reviewing each of these hotel club lounges in detail so that you know what you’ll get if you book a room with club lounge access or get upgraded to a club lounge for free because of your loyalty status.
It is worth mentioning that there are plans for San Diego’s first Ritz Carlton to be built in downtown San Diego. When this launches, it will probably beat the InterContinental to the top spot below. Until then, the InterContinental offers the best executive club lounge in San Diego.
1. InterContinental San Diego
InterContinental San Diego is located in the center of the downtown business district and along the San Diego waterfront. It opened in August 2018 and is part of the new BRIC complex, at the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway, right on the downtown waterfront. In addition to the InterContinental, the complex includes a Marriott hotel with a SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn in its other tower. Intercontinental Hotel San Diego is the most luxurious choice of these hotels. It offers an urban resort destination that helps to ensure a good night’s sleep after a hectic day at work.
It is beautifully located within walking distance to the Convention Center, under 0.5 miles away, and this hotel specializes in catering to both business and leisure travelers.
400 rooms have floor to ceiling windows with expansive ocean views and round the clock room service. The rooms are fairly generic InterContinental rooms and actually remind me very much of the rooms at the InterContinental O2, which we have reviewed. They are spacious and modern but fairly bland, and many faces to the side of the property, so most rooms have views of the seafront in a sideways manner. Look straight out, and you will just see buildings.
The beds here a comfortable, blackout curtains, which are effective overnight, and the bathrooms are generous with walk-in shower but no tub and bath products by Agraria (really nice with a citrusy scent).
There is an outdoor bar with a small seating area near the pool on the fourth-floor rooftop. It is a nice pool and lounging area, but because of its orientation and the surrounding buildings, the pool only sits directly in the sun in the early morning and late afternoon plus, it is a small pool, too short for doing laps. There is also a stunning bar with views on the 19th floor.
You can also enjoy the culinary explosion happening on Kettner street, known as top chef alley, the fitness center, complete with an outdoor yoga deck and a business center, and state of the art technology complete the business-friendly amenities.
The Club InterContinental Lounge offers complimentary breakfast, evening canapés, and drinks from the full bar for a $100 USD daily fee per room (after you have paid the resort fee). It is expensive, but it’s worth it as the food is very good and alcoholic drinks are free, plus this one will have a private outdoor terrace. To give you an idea what you might expect, you can read our review of the InterContinental Club Lounge in Park Lane London.
Prices here start at around $240 USD per night, which is cheap considering the level of luxury this hotel provides. That said, there is a resort fee here. A $25 USD daily amenity fee for basic Wi-Fi; in-room local and domestic calls; wellness-center access; pool access, and complimentary use of the business lounge. The fee also gets you $25 USD off Club Intercontinental access and up to two complimentary signature cocktails at Vistal Bar (one per person). There is also a $38 USD overnight parking fee, or you can spend $50 USD on the valet. While this all adds significantly to the price, this remains an excellent luxury hotel choice in San Diego. Just bear these extras in mind when you book.
Our exclusive free benefits at the InterContinental San Diego based on a 2-night minimum are:
- Guaranteed late check-out (until 4 pm)
- Breakfast for two, daily at the hotel restaurant
- Value-added amenity, specific to the hotel ($100 USD value per stay)
- Upgrade to next room category (subject to availability on arrival)
- Free Wi-Fi (unlimited devices)
- Turn down service as appropriate by brand
- Handwritten, personalized welcome card
- Bottled water, fresh fruit, and snacks in room upon arrival
- No walk policy
- Priority waitlist
You will still get all your ihg loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our luxury concierge.
2. Manchester Grand Hyatt
Manchester Grand Hyatt has a prime waterfront location on San Diego Bay and is one of the best Hyatt hotels in San Diego. The hotel offers a resort-like setting with bay view rooms. This is the best Hyatt in San Diego with a club lounge.
Manchester Grand Hyatt is close to the airport, just five minutes away and walking distance to the nearby San Diego Convention Center, 0.4 miles away. Seaport Village Headquarters and Gaslamp Quarter are also nearby. San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Beaches are close by too. It is also close to the Star India, pirate ship, submarine. You can walk to Horton Plaza for shopping, the Gaslamp District, and PETCO park, and there are loads of restaurants that offer happy hour.
Rooms here start at around $300 USD per night, which makes it one of the best conference hotels in the area in the Hyatt chain of hotels. You can earn or spend your World of Hyatt points here or at the Andaz, too (which doesn’t have a club lounge).
The Regency Club is large with snacks and drinks throughout the day; cookies, nuts, trail mix, bottled water, sodas, and coffee/tea all day. Breakfast is good and includes bread and Danish pastries, bagels, assorted cheeses, cold cereals, juices, and yogurts.
Evening appetizers are assorted cheeses, bruschetta, salad, roasted chicken in a sauce, baked stuffed potatoes, and side dishes like corn, veggies, etc. The food is good and plentiful enough not to have to eat out. Wine and beer are not free in this lounge. There is an honor bar that charges. Dessert is very modest, but the chocolate mousse cake is good.
We offer the following free benefits if you book with our luxury travel concierge at most Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt, Andaz, and Grand Hyatt hotels, so it is always worth getting a quote before making your final booking decision:
- Daily full breakfast for 2 per room
- Welcome amenity
- 100 USD property credit per stay
- Early check-in and later check-out priority
- Room upgrade priority
You will still get all your World Of Hyatt loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our luxury concierge.
3. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina is located right on Mission Bay next door to Sea World. This is currently the worst of the three Hyatt properties in San Diego. Some of the rooms are a little run down, and others are undergoing refurbishment. A major problem is the connecting doors in the rooms. You can clearly hear your neighbors through these, so request a room without a connecting door. Some rooms have obstructed views of the marina and bay from floor-to-ceiling glass doors that let in plenty of light, so you may also want to upgrade to one of these.
In general, the Andaz (which doesn’t have a club lounge) and Grand Hyatt (which does have a club lounge) are nicer properties. Beware, though, as the Andaz San Diego is a lovely hotel but suffers from noise on weekends from the Gaslamp. If the rate is significantly less (maybe $100 USD per night), then it is worth considering. Otherwise, the Andaz is best for couples and business travelers who like a lively location, and the Grand Hyatt is best for families and business travelers. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa is also nearby, but it does not have a club lounge, so it is not included for the purposes of this top ten listing.
Globalist World of Hyatt members get free Regency Club access as well as free internet, early arrival, late departure, breakfast at Red Marlin restaurant, etc. The Regency Club requires keycard access and is small but well-appointed. There are two modern PC’s and breakfast and evening meals. The evening hors d’oeuvres are cold only but delicious and vary each night. Unlike some club lounges, dessert is offered for the full duration of the evening service.
The excellent food is made even better by the excellent staff throughout the hotel. It is worth booking a breakfast inclusive rate as the breakfast buffet in the Red Marlin is particularly good with hot pancakes, bacon, sausage, and eggs and cold fruit, pastries, bread, and cereal.
The grounds around the hotel are stuffed with palm trees and ferns, so feel resort-y. There are three small pools surrounded by lounge chairs and some water slides with a zero-entry pool. There’s also a fire pit, and the pool bar has kits for roasting marshmallows.
4. Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Marriott Gaslamp Quarter is located in the heart of downtown San Diego and is one of the best Marriott hotels in San Diego. It is an elegant and upscale hotel with boutique-style service and premier dining and nightlife. If you want a pool, opt for the Marriott Marquis with its large resort-style pool. The Gaslamp feels like an intimate, boutique hotel with better rooms and service.
Many Marriott Bonvoy members consider this hotel to be the best Marriott In San Diego with its great location, nice F&B venues, decent lounge, and Ritz-Carlton style of customer service.
At 0.24 miles from the convention center and priced from around $270 USD per night, this is not one of your cheapest hotel options near the convention center but is certainly one of your best. in fact, the hotel is very close to Petco, maybe a block from the gates and some of its rooms look out over the park. It’s around three or four blocks from the Convention Center on the waterfront.
This San Diego Gaslamp hotel sits in the heart of the city’s most energetic and inspiring district and adjacent to Petco Park. Stellar shopping and dining can be found on the doorstep.
306 rooms and suites feature a collection of unique amenities, including in-room smart desks, wi-fi access, and more than 8,000 square feet of av-equipped function space to cater for everything from small meetings to corporate conferences.
Dining options at Marriott Gaslamp Quarter are unparalleled among San Diego hotels. Soleil K serves fresh, innovative cuisine, Latitude Lounge serves as a friendly local hangout, and altitude sky lounge offers custom cocktails and a panoramic 22nd-story view of the city skyline.
Marriott Gold & Platinum members and guests staying on the Concierge floors have access to the Club Lounge, which is open for continental breakfast and offers complimentary hors d’oeuvres & soft drinks (plus alcoholic beverages at additional cost).
Expect an excellent lounge in terms of food offerings and service. Breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cut fruit, and the usual bread and dry cereals, much like any domestic Marriott lounge. However, the club lounge is rather too small for the hotel and can get very busy. This club lounge is open for breakfast only on weekends.
5. Marriott Marquis Marina
Marriott Marquis Marina was built in 1984, so it is not as new as the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and the Intercontinental Hotel San Diego featured above. Its advantages are a resort feel on the marina with a brilliant freeform tropical pool. This feature makes it a great hotel for a weekend break or to extend your conference stay.
This waterfront hotel overlooks its own private marina and is near numerous attractions, including Seaport Village, San Diego Convention Center, which is just 0.2 miles away, just a short walk. It is also near the Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park, and Balboa Park.
Every hotel room and suite has impressive views of the city, San Diego Bay, or the Pacific Ocean. Recharge on indulgent bedding and take advantage of the relaxed reading chairs, flat-screen TVs, desks, and Wi-Fi; many rooms have private balconies. It is worth requesting one of these.
Concierge-level rooms grant access to Lounge perks, including free breakfasts, while suites offer generous living areas. The concierge lounge here is good in terms of offerings, but it is small for the size of the hotel and can be crowded. Breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cut fruit, and the usual bread and dry cereals. This lounge closes on weekends completely, and guests get compensated with 1,000 points only per night when it’s closed.
Prices here start at around $400 USD per night, which is cheap considering the incredible location and facilities.
6. Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Qtr
Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Qtr is located at the gateway to the historic Gaslamp Quarter close to the Convention Centre. If in town for a conference at the San Diego Convention Center, it is located just across the street on Harbor Dr. You are so very close, just 0.1 miles away from the Convention Centre.
San Diego Gaslamp Qtr has 16 blocks of dining, shopping art galleries, theater, and nighttime entertainment. Catch a ball game at Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres. Even the San Diego International airport is a short three miles away.
Guest rooms at the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter hotel include pillow-top mattresses with down comforters, dual-line telephones with voicemail and data ports.
For guests seeking the utmost in privacy, the Lofts on 5th Avenue a, ‘hotel within a hotel’, provides the luxury of residential loft living with 14-foot ceilings, in-room safes, cordless phones, CD players, a secure private entrance, and eight 5th Avenue lofts with whirlpool tubs.
The lobby offers a comfortable living space with cocktail service and glowing fireplaces. New Leaf Restaurant serves an innovative, fresh California menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with patio dining overlooking Martin Luther King Park featuring a dog park where locals congregate with their four-legged friends and socialize.
The outdoor Fire Pit is an ideal spot for a pre-or post-Gaslamp outing with cocktails, appetizers, and desserts served al fresco.
Recreational amenities include a complimentary fitness center that provides cardio and free-weights outdoor heated pool whirlpool and sundeck. Adjacent walking and running trails that border San Diego’s bay offer the opportunity to enjoy the city’s near-perfect climate.
Local attractions are easily accessible by the iconic red trolley, which stops less than 100 feet from the hotel. Pedicabs, horse-drawn carriages, and electric scooters are also available just out the hotel’s front doors allowing you to explore all downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter has to offer.
The executive club lounge here is tiny, but with a good view but breakfast. It’s a very simple continental breakfast with almost no choices, one kind of bread, cereal, uninspiring fruit, uninteresting Danish.
The Hyatt Manchester across the street has a much better executive lounge, better ambiance, better food, and better staff.
7. Sheraton La Jolla
Sheraton La Jolla is located right next to a shopping center with a grocery store and restaurants. Parking is $15 USD a day. The hotel is fairly worn and dated. The Executive Building is the furthest corner from the lobby and is where the Club Lounge and Fitness Center (24-hour) are located.
The executive club lounge at Sheraton La Jolla is nice but basic. It is open 7 days a week, all day, so you can get drinks and snacks. You can also access this lounge at the weekend. Breakfast is limited and basic, consisting of a hot dish (something like an omelet), fruits, yogurt, oatmeal, granola, box cereal, fresh juice, coffee, and pastries.
The afternoon offering includes two hot dishes, melon, crackers, cheese, cookies, and drinks with two free alcoholic per person, then they charge. Weekend offerings (Friday morning through Monday) are less. The weekend “hot” dish at breakfast is toast with nothing at night.
8. Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego
Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel has an executive club lounge with breakfast and evening food from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Alcohol, beer, and wine are on offer but are not free and are charged to your room.
Other hotels with club lounges in San Diego include the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, which is closed on Weekends & Holidays except for breakfast in the mornings. The Marriott Mission Valley is also closed for weekends and holidays except for breakfast.
The Four Points by Sheraton San Diego and Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown do not have an executive club lounge, neither does the Westin Downtown, Westin Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Renaissance.
9. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina ticks all the boxes with a nice lounge with views of the marina and a decent breakfast & evening spread. The reason this hotel is listed as having the worst rather than the best club lounge in San Diego is that, regardless of the views in both directions towards the marina or downtown, the lounge gets packed.
Apparently, the hotel sells Club Lounge access for a small upcharge as a revenue generator, making the lounge very full. Yes, it is comfortable, and the breakfast and evening food is fairly decent, but there have been complaints about “kids running everywhere”. Rooms here aren’t great either and have been described as 3-star and dated, making this a bad Marriott Bonvoy choice in San Diego.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.