Best Historic Hotel: The Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. (tel. 800-HOTEL-DEL or 619/435-6611), positively reeks of history. Opened in 1888, this Victorian masterpiece had some of the first electric lights in existence, and legend has it that the course of history was changed when the Prince of Wales met Wallis Simpson here at a ball. Meticulous restoration has enhanced this glorious landmark, whose early days are well chronicled in displays throughout the hotel.
Best for a Romantic Getaway: You don't need to know much about Craftsman-style architecture to appreciate the taste and keen craftsmanship that went into creating The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 11480 North Torrey Pines Rd. (tel. 800-566-0087 or 858-453-4420). The lodge -- the city's only AAA five-diamond hotel -- sits next to the Torrey Pines Golf Course, San Diego's top links, and you can enjoy a fireplace in your room, sunset ocean views from your balcony, and superb meals at the hotel's A.R. Valentien restaurant.
Best for Families: The Paradise Point Resort & Spa, 1404 Vacation Rd. (tel. 800-344-2626 or 858-274-4630), is a tropical playground offering enough activities to keep family members of all ages happy. In addition to a virtual Disneyland of on-site options, the aquatic playground of Mission Bay surrounds the hotel's private peninsula.
Best Moderately Priced Hotel: The Gaslamp Plaza Suites, 520 E St. (tel. 800-874-8770 or 619-232-9500), is an elegant landmark full of creature comforts that belie its super friendly rates. You'll also be smack-dab in the heart of the trendy Gaslamp Quarter.
Best Budget Hotel: In San Diego's Little Italy, La Pensione Hotel, 606 W. Date St. (tel. 800-232-4683 or 619-236-8000), feels like a small European hotel and offers tidy lodgings at bargain prices. There's an abundance of great dining in the surrounding blocks, and you'll be perfectly situated to explore the rest of town by car.
Best Bed-and-Breakfast: The picture-perfect Heritage Park Bed & Breakfast Inn, 2470 Heritage Park Row (tel. 800-995-2470 or 619-299-6832), has it all: an exquisitely maintained Victorian house, lively and gracious hosts who delight in creating a pampering and romantic ambience, and an Old Town location equally close to downtown, Hillcrest, and Mission Bay.
Best Boutique Inn: Smartly located in the center of La Jolla, the 20-room Hotel Parisi, 1111 Prospect St. (tel. 877-4-PARISI or 858-454-1511), has the composed, quiet feel of a Zen garden, with feng shui-inspired suites, modern furnishings, and subdued color schemes.
Best Place to Stay on the Beach: Although the Hotel Del operation takes the cake, a more moderate landing is found at La Jolla's The Sea Lodge, 8110 Camino del Oro (tel. 800-237-5211 or 858-459-8271), where you can walk right onto the wide beach and frolic amid great waves. Lifeguards and the lack of undertow make this a popular choice for families. Though the rooms are plain, the staff is all-pro.
Best Hotel for Travelers with Disabilities: While many of San Diego's hotels make minimal concessions to wheelchair-accessibility codes, downtown's Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 Market Place (tel. 800-233-1234 or 619-232-1234), goes the distance. There are 23 rooms with roll-in showers and lowered closet racks and peepholes. Ramps are an integral part of all the public spaces, rather than an afterthought. The hotel's Braille labeling is also thorough.
Best Hotel Pool: The genteel pool at La Valencia, 1132 Prospect St. (tel. 800-451-0772 or 858-454-0771), is oh-so-special, with its spectacular setting overlooking Scripps Park and the Pacific.
For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.
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