Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by Katrina
You might not think that you “need” a pool in San Diego. But remember: ocean waters can be cold, depending on the time of year. And there’s nothing like soaking up Southern California rays from a comfortable pool lounge chair. Hotels around San Diego County offer a variety of pool scenes—some bold and kid-friendly and some with a retro streak. So if you’re looking for a pool-centric vacation, here are the best hotel pools in San Diego.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.; 760-438-9111) Carlsbad
No list of the best hotel pools in San Diego is complete without the Omni La Costa, a classic Omni property. “With 17 tennis courts, a championship golf course, restaurants, and shopping complex, Omni La Costa feels more like a little city than a resort,” says Condé Nast Traveler. That 600-room hotel also boasts eight pools, mostly in the Splash Landing area with its slides, waterfalls, and zero-entry pool. “Perfect place for two boys with lots of energy,” says a Tripadvisor user. “The grounds are stunning, the service is above and beyond, and most important, as a family we could relax at the massive kids pool complex while still feeling like we were on vacation.” Another reviewer notes that the resort is convenient to local dining if you want to venture out.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar (5300 Grand Del Mar Ct.; 858-314-2000) Carmel Valley
This sumptuous 249-room Fairmont resort is a couple miles inland from the Del Mar beach. But you probably won’t mind, thanks to its four pools, top-notch spa, golf, fine dining, and horseback riding trails. “The adults-only relaxation pool is the perfect place to unwind after a long day,” says Travel+Leisure, and “rooms here can best be described as palatial.” The other pools are in one area and very family-friendly. “They have three pools — one big, a smaller one and a one-foot one for the little ones,” says one Google reviewer. “Kids spent all their time there!”
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina (1441 Quivira Rd.; 619-224-1234) Mission Bay
Staying in Mission Bay gives you easy access to the quiet bay waters and attractions like Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. This 438-room resort has the most water slides among the three hotels in its 19-acre poolscape. “We loved the balcony which overlooked the pool area and part of the bay with a direct view of the sunset,” says one Google reviewer. “Even though it can get loud in the pool area, it was almost silent when you close the sliding balcony door,” one Tripadvisor reviewer noted. “The place is dominated by families. As a couple, the high floor marina view was great. Would not stay on the ocean view side because of kids all day at the pool.”
The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club & Bungalows (2223 El Cajon Blvd.; 619-296-2101) North Park
Just northeast of Balboa Park, North Park is home to trendy restaurants and boutiques, along with this retro-cool boutique hotel. Of all the hotel pools in San Diego, this one was designed by Tarzan star and gold medalist Johnny Weissmuller back in 1946. “The hotel looks like a mansion straight out of the South,” says one Google reviewer, “and inside it’s old Hollywood glitz and glam. The heated Olympic swimming pool is the hotel’s centerpiece. It was fun to swim at night and meet a few other guests that were out enjoying the crisp night air.” You can rent a cabana for the day, or come as a non-guest with a day pass. To make the most of the parties that happen there, one Tripadvisor user advises: “The poolside rooms are the way to go. They have either a nice balcony or direct pool access, which is nice.”
Paradise Point Resort & Spa (1404 Vacation Rd.; 858-274-4630) Mission Bay
A gem of the Mission Bay area, this resort sits on its own 44-acre private island that’s a very short drive from Sea World. You could even just stay put the whole time. The property has its own bayside beach as well as five pools—one with poolside food and drinks, one just for adults, and one with fire pits. “On our staycation we ordered room service three times and went to three different pools,” shares one Tripadvisor user. “The nicest man who delivered our room service said we could call and have a golf cart pick us up and take us to any place we wanted.” But you don’t really need the golf cart to get around. “You have your own entrance and parking spot nearby your room,” says a Google reviewer. “None of the pools were ever over-crowded and everything was at walking distance. I would definitely come back.”