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
The veranda at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, San Diego.

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.

Guest room at Hotel Vyant, San Diego.

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.

Pool at The Pearl, San Diego.

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.

Guest room at The Bristol, San Diego.

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.

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

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