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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:
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.
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.
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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. 🙂
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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
- 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
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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:
- Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina (free lounge access = free food and drinks) with the Amex Starwood Business card
- Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter (walking distance to the best bars)
- Springhill Suites Marriott San Diego (new hotel, suites, and free breakfast)
Want a referral for the 30,000 point Amex Starwood Business card? Leave a comment below and I’ll send you the link.
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