Hotels in the Old Town Area of San Diego

by Laura Latzko
Old Town San Diego features historic chapels and churches.

Old Town San Diego features historic chapels and churches.

san diego church door at old town image by Jose from

Old Town was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California, and the area features 19th-century adobe or Victorian-style houses, missions, chapels, churches and shops. Hotels in Old Town San Diego also sit near transportation, sheriff and history museums; Mexican restaurants; and colonial-style specialty shops. Several budget and luxury hotels and historic inns in the area represent the types found there. They have guest rooms with refrigerators, microwaves or full or partial kitchens. They also feature gardens or courtyards, outdoor swimming pools or concierge services.

Heritage Park Inn

Heritage Park Inn sits within Heritage Park, a historic district containing 19th-century Victorian homes and a historic synagogue. A veranda with rocking chairs, parlor with a settee, turret-style tower, library, gardens and cobblestone paths add to the 18th-century ambiance of the restored 1889 Victorian-style mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every day, the inn serves an American-style breakfast on the veranda and an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches in the parlor. Classic movie nights take place inside the parlor, which also offers jigsaw puzzles and board games. The hotel provides complimentary homemade cookies, coffee and tea, and also has nightly turn-down service. Individual rooms feature diaries filled with the reflections of previous guests; guest rooms also offer clawfoot tubs, TVs with DVD players and bathrobes.

Holiday Inn Express San Diego-Old Town

Holiday Inn Express San Diego-Old Town sits within a short drive of Old Town’s 19th-century homes, including the Casa de Estudillo and Casa de Pedrorena. The hotel is also within a five-mile drive of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. A courtyard with a fountain, grills and umbrella tables and a lobby with multiple arm chairs add to the relaxed atmosphere of the hotel. Bellmen and porters assist you with your bags after you check into the hotel. A breakfast area with city views serves a daily breakfast of cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit and eggs. The hotel is within a short walk of Mexican restaurants such as the Plaza del Pasado and the Cafe Coyote. The business center provides a guest computer with high-speed Internet access. Guest rooms come with armoires with closet and drawer spaces, CD players and desks with rolling chairs; suites have kitchens equipped with tea makers, full-size refrigerators and mini bars.

Courtyard San Diego Old Town

The Courtyard San Diego Old Town hotel is within a 10-minute drive of the San Diego International Airport, Balboa Park and the San Diego Maritime Museum. The hotel is also within walking distance of Old Town’s historic churches, including the Old Adobe Chapel. This San Diego Marriott-brand hotel offers discounted passes to nearby attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo and Sea World San Diego. A lobby lounge with a fireplace and guest rooms with cherry wood desks and tables create a homey ambiance inside the hotel, and palm trees surround the exterior of the building. In its lobby, the hotel hosts a Monday-through-Thursday wine-and-cheese social hour. An intimate American-style restaurant serving seafood and Mexican-style dishes features an outdoor patio. Guest rooms and suites come with flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies and Nintendo games, and beds are dressed with down comforters and pillows.

Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant started out as a family home in the late 1820s and became a hotel in 1869. The hotel sits close to the Seeley Stable Museum, a facility dedicated to 19th-century carriages, and the Serra Museum, which offers exhibits on the Kumeyaay Indians, the first people to live in California. Guest rooms decorated with late19th-century furniture and antiques, a covered wagon outside the building, staff members dressed in Victorian-era costumes and a second floor veranda overlooking the courtyard help create a traditional 19th-century feel at the inn. Guest rooms offer metal soaking tubs, armoires with mirrors, settees, fireplaces, rocking chairs and Victorian-style armchairs. An 1870s-style restaurant with a courtyard patio serves Mexican-style dishes such as fajitas with corn chicken and American-style meals such as swordfish with a bell pepper sauce. The restaurant regularly hosts traditional-style musical acts, such as live violin or guitar players, on its outdoor patio.

About the Author

Photo Credits

  • san diego church door at old town image by Jose from