Rooms under £100: San Diego

Stretching out in the Californian sun, jumping in the surf and hot summer nights are San Diego's calling cards — and so it seems are its bargain hotels Saturday, 5 July 2014

By Julia Buckley

01 Cosmopolitan Hotel
In the heart of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, a few miles from the modern centre, the Cosmo's 10 antique-filled rooms sit in a grand 1827 building. It's slightly kitsch — staff wear period costumes and there's talk of ghosts — but it's a unique relic of settlers' California. Doubles from £66. oldtowncosmopolitan.com

02 Hotel Vyvant
The chic Vyvant in laidback Little Italy offers en suite or shared bathrooms; rooms, kitchenettes or apartments. But it's the free extras that really sparkle: wi-fi, Keurig coffeemakers, and a weekend happy hour with Californian wine and craft beer. Doubles from £54. hotelvyvant.com

03 The Pearl
A mid-century motel turned trendy hotel close to the airport, the Pearl clusters its 23 rooms around an oyster-shaped pool. Modern design is blended with vintage and hip elements — rooms have pet fish, for example. The restaurant is popular with locals, as are the weekly poolside film screenings. Doubles from £60. thepearlsd.com

04 The Bristol
Between downtown's Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy, the Bristol has jazzed up an ageing hotel with comfy beds, stylish decor and eco-friendly amenities. The area's no great shakes, but the fabled Gaslamp nightlife is just a few blocks away. Doubles from £84. thebristolsandiego.com

Published in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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