Skip to Content

You Should Pick These Three Family Friendly San Diego Hotels to Stay on Points

Sunny days, cloudless nights, and beautiful beaches along the coast, what’s not to love about San Diego. But with over 500 hotels in San Diego, how do you decide where to stay? You ask someone who, like me, your good friend, Debbie, who has lived here a LONG time. So when a reader asked which San Diego hotels to stay on points, here’s what I told him.


San Diego Hotels to Stay on Points

Here’s reader Jung’s question:

Hi Deb,

Do you mind reviewing a list of hotels in San Diego that I am considering for next summer? I have it on Excel.

Jung and his family (wife and two sons: college sophomore and 4th grader) are ditching the humidity on the East Coast and visiting San Diego for a little summer fun in the sun.

Thanks to 77,000 CitiThankYou Points they are flying from Baltimore to Los Angeles for free. Jung and his family will spend a few days in Los Angeles before enjoying 7 days in San Diego.

Read: How to fly free for two years

Jung is looking for a hotel with:

  • Free breakfast
  • Cheap parking
  • Great views
  • Nice touristy area
  • A kitchen (nice but not required)

Because Jung is using hotel points price is not an issue.


Jung has Hilton Gold elite status so he’d get free breakfast, free wi-fi, late check-out and the 5th night free when using hotel points to stay at Hilton hotels. Probably not a coincidence that 4 of the 14 hotels on his Excel spreadsheet are Hilton hotels. 🙂

He used my Pro-tip about how to save on activities while traveling everywhere you travel including getting offers for San Diego.


Three Family Friendly San Diego Hotels to Stay on Points

These are not the only San Diego hotels to stay on points. Nor are they the only family friendly San Diego hotels.

I picked these three hotels based on:

  • Hotels listed in Jung’s spreadsheet
  • Travel dates
  • Location
  • Parking
  • What Jung was looking for (breakfast, views, cheap parking, etc.)

Jung is visiting during the San Diego County Fair. And when the San Diego Padres are playing at Petco Park. So he should avoid hotels North of Freeway 52 and in North County.

Strictly because of traffic on Highway 5. Traffic is bad during rush hour but when the Fair is in town, it’s a nightmare.

And you don’t want to waste time on your vacation sitting in traffic. Especially with two hungry boys in tow.

1.   Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

Loving these views of the bay while sipping on cocktails.

Loving these views of the bay while sipping on cocktails.
Photo courtesy: Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina wasn’t on Jung’s list. But I added it because it has great views, cheap parking, and free breakfast.

Jung gets free access to the Sheraton Club with the Amex Starwood Business Card.

So he’ll get:

  • Free breakfast
  • Snacks and drinks (bottled water, soda, coffee, and tea) all day
  • Hors d’ouvres in the evening

Pro-tip: Don’t park at the hotel. Park across the street and pay only $10 per day.

Read: How to get free access to Sheraton Club Lounges

Read: TripAdvisor reviews on the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

2.   Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Coming back to a Westin Heavenly bed after a night in the Gaslamp, pure heaven.

Photo courtesy: Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Jung wouldn’t get free breakfast and parking is $46 a day at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. But it’s all about location, location, location.

Jung’s college-aged son might want to enjoy a night or two away from the family to visit one of the many bars in the Gaslamp. The Westin is within walking distance of many bars and restaurants.

Pro-tip: Don’t park at the hotel. Park at Park-it-on-Market for $15 a day.

Read: Best bars in the San Diego Gaslamp District

Read: Reviews of the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter on TripAdvisor

3.   Springhill Suites San Diego Mission Valley

Spacious in a new hotel? Yes, please.

Photo courtesy of Springhill Suites San Diego Mission Valley

The Springhill Suites San Diego Mission Valley was the first hotel on Jung’s spreadsheet.

And it’s a good pick because:

  • The hotel is new
  • Rooms are suites
  • You get free breakfast
  • Parking is only $19 a day
  • Easy to get to the freeway

Pro-tip: Trolley station is a short walk from the hotel. Consider using public transportation and Zipcar.

Read: TripAdvisor reviews of Springhill Suites San Diego Mission Valley


There are so many San Diego hotels to stay on points, especially in the downtown area like the Andaz San Diego.

But Jung should consider staying at the:

Plus he’ll avoid sitting in rush hour traffic after spending the day at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Sea World, or any of the other San Diego attractions.

Want a referral for the 30,000 point Amex Starwood Business card? Leave a comment below and I’ll send you the link.

Pin this to your travel, vacation, or San Diego board:

3 family-friendly San Diego hotels where you can stay for free using points.

Comment, tweet, or share this post.

Get the best credit card signup bonuses.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

Got a question? Or want help, suggestions, travel tips, learn how to travel for free, find out about travel deals, and maximize your miles and points? Use the subscription box below to sign-up and get post updates by email.

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card to get started in the world of miles and points. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining, $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of 3% cash back = an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases your first year.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 6.5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 4.5% cash back at drugstores and restaurants, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you can use your points to travel for free.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 22nd of December 2016

You are making SoCal look too good right now!!! Haha it's freezing here, I need to get back to SoCal ASAP! I love San Diego, it's so gorgeous! I'm trying to plan a trip there for spring break, so this is super helpful! Thanks for sharing this!! :)


Tuesday 20th of December 2016

Sheraton definitely...and from the looks of it, it seems to be a popular choice on your page. Some pretty practical tips that you have shared as well. No plans to head to San Diego right now but when I do, S for sheraton and S for San Diego is how I am going to remember your suggestion :)

Maria Han

Tuesday 20th of December 2016

This would be a perfect list of hotels, me and my hubby would love hotel hoping every year, I will share this with him.

Christina from Happy to Wander

Tuesday 20th of December 2016

That outdoor lounge space at the Sheraton looks unbelievable!! Not surprised at all that you picked it as one of your three haha. I've heard so many great things about San Diego. Would love to visit sometime soon!


Monday 19th of December 2016

Sheraton looks like a dream. I love accommodations that are located at a beachfront. Always a good idea!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.