Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer at a Pet-Friendly Hotel in San Diego

There’s no need to leave your pet at home if you’re traveling to San Diego.

Often rated as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US, San Diego’s temperate weather and outdoor lifestyle make it especially inviting to our four-legged friends. No wonder so many local hotels have made it their mission to welcome your favorite tail-waggers, including cats, in some cases, with open arms. Whether you’re traveling from out of town or looking for a sweet staycation, we’ve rounded up a range of perfect accommodations with special perks and programming for your VIPs, which, of course, means Very Important Pets. From luxurious beachside resorts to cozy boutique inns, here are 12 pet lovers’ paradises to book now—and why both you and your furry sidekick will enjoy a five-star stay.

Kimpton Alma
Photo courtesy of Kimpton Alma

Gaslamp Quarter
This brand-new boutique hotel opened less than a year ago in downtown, serving as a vibrant urban oasis in the middle of all the action. The property pays homage to its hometown in every detail, showcasing murals created by local artists, offering small-batch kombucha and agave tastings from neighboring distillers, and using textile patterns inspired by Mexican motifs, a nod to SD’s position as a border city. But even better, while most hotel pet policies are limited to dogs, Kimpton Alma allows pets of all varieties, with no restrictions as to type, size, and number, so even your tabby cat is welcome to join.
Why you’ll love it: Celebrated chef Jason Neroni, who’s behind The Rose in Venice Beach, helms all of the hotel’s culinary concepts, so expect some of the best food in San Diego right under Kimpton Alma’s roof. The Desmond is a destination in its own right, showcasing flavorful, globally inspired food made with locally sourced ingredients. Meanwhile, Leave of Absence (LOA) crafts wood-fired fare on the rooftop pool deck, and The Cafe prepares an all-day menu full of quick bites and delicious dishes.
Why your pet will love it: The team goes all out for your furry friends, making sure your room is outfitted with water bowls, pet beds, and plenty of treats upon request. You’ll also enjoy complimentary access to Wag! Premium during your stay, which includes 10% off all services booked, waived booking fees, and 24/7 vet chat.
Pet fee: None

La Valencia Hotel
Photo by Kaeli Hearn, courtesy of La Valencia Hotel

La Jolla
At nearly 100 years old, this iconic property in the heart of affluent La Jolla isn’t just a hotel; it’s an important piece of San Diego's history. Dubbed The Pink Lady because of its signature pink exterior, the landmark has long served as a hideout for celebrities, but it’s just as hospitable toward your furry companions too. It’s even got a resident pet ambassador, Lady Pepper, the Boston terrier. Come for the stunning coastal views, Mediterranean-style architecture, and relaxed beach town vibes.
Why you’ll love it: Don’t miss La Valencia’s creative culinary experiences, such as a special pairing of the hotel’s locally sourced tuna belly crudo, which goes from sea to table in less than 48 hours, with a flight of small-batch expressions from USDA-certified organic Solento Tequila. The hotel also offers complimentary bike rentals to make it easier for you to explore the neighborhood, which is packed with art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
Why your pet will love it: Opt for the Pampered Pooches package starting at $559/night to waive the nightly pet fee for up to two dogs. It includes a housemade welcome treat upon arrival, a plush dog bed and bowls placed in your room, a La Valencia-branded bandana and tennis ball, and $25 daily credit for your pup to enjoy the dog menu, which includes meals like Steak & Eggs, Chicken & Rice, and Veggies & Rice served on Patio Sol or the Ocean View Terrace. Bone appetit!
Pet fee: $50 per pet with a maximum of two in each room

Town and Country Resort
Photo courtesy of Town and Country Resort

Mission Valley
Blending mid-century modern design with California sensibilities (think: Palm Springs aesthetic), this expansive resort got a full-property facelift in 2020. Smack dab in the busy commercial hub of Mission Valley, the hotel feels like a blissful escape from it all. A gorgeous three-acre riverfront park practically made for walks or picnics with your pup is on the property line between the resort and Fashion Valley Mall. Plus, you'll never go hungry thanks to the indoor-outdoor restaurant ARLO and poolside sports bar Lapper Kitchen + Tap.
Why you’ll love it: This hotel’s sprawling 10,000-square-foot pool complex will keep little ones busy with a four-story twister waterslide, sand volleyball court, and children’s pool adjacent to the main pool. Meanwhile, you can lounge on the plush cabanas and daybeds for some much-needed poolside rest and relaxation. Summer programming includes a concert series, Friday night s’mores, and dive-in movies.
Why your pet will love it: Make sure to check out the weekly Wednesday Yappy Hour at Monkey Bar to mix and mingle with furry friends and indulge in special treats available for purchase. Nearby Balboa Park has two popular off-leash parks for cuddly canines with a case of the zoomies, and Mission Bay’s Fiesta Island is dog-friendly and off-leash.
Pet fee: $75 per stay (a portion of this fee is donated to Helen Woodward Animal Center) for a maximum of one dog that cannot exceed 30 pounds

 Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Photo by Erin Wiese, courtesy of Kona Kai Resort & Spa

Shelter Island
For a taste of Hawaii in San Diego, head to this resort located at the tip of Shelter Island, where every room offers up breathtaking views of either the marina or San Diego Bay, and the property is full of waterfront walking paths for puppies to roam. Your itinerary should include grabbing a s’mores kit from the front desk and beelining for the resort’s private beach to toss bean bags, build sandcastles, and cozy up to a bonfire.
Why you’ll love it: Whether you want a family-friendly pool where kiddos can splash to their heart’s content or an adults-only pool where you can down a boozy libation or two, Kona Kai has you covered with both, plus private cabanas available for rent with loungers, flat-screen TVs, and snacks.
Why your pet will love it: The Noble Paws program indulges your fur baby even more than you do. Highlights include a 25-minute Furry Flex muscle stretch massage from certified pet-massage therapists (yes, that’s a thing!), a dog bed and bowls for the duration of your stay, and a special whole-foods dog menu with delectable dishes like Pawnut Butter Crunch & Carrot Sticks or Plain Flat Iron Steak. Spoil your tail-wagger with special experiences, such as island-themed, pet-friendly Pupnic or puppy paddle boarding sessions. Even better, the resort has partnered with the San Diego Humane Society to donate 10% of all pet-related proceeds to pamper pups in need.
Pet fee: $100 for up to 3 nights or $150 for 4-7 nights for two dogs up to 65 pounds

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Spread across 400 acres, this sophisticated hotel, done in the Spanish Colonial style, is one of Carlsbad’s most impressive properties, flaunting curved archways, wrought-iron detailing, and terracotta tiles. While the picturesque city has no shortage of things to do (the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Legoland come to mind, for starters), the resort has everything you need on-site, including a full-service luxury spa, eight swimming pools (including the Splash Landing Pool with two 100-foot waterslides), 17 tennis courts, and seven dining options.
Why you’ll love it: The hotel is home to 18-hole championship golf courses, designed by renowned golf course architect Dick Wilson and widely recognized as some of the best in Southern California. If you’re eager to perfect your swing, the Omni offers performance clinics, private classes for all skill levels and ages, and a Family Golf Program. Plus, they’ve partnered with Ship Sticks to arrange door-to-door transportation for your clubs.
Why your pet will love it: The Bark and Park package includes complimentary self-parking, a complimentary pet fee for up to two dogs, and a gift for your canine companion (a savings of over $135). Plus, you and your bark buddy can enjoy dining al fresco at the property’s myriad restaurant patios. Don’t forget to stop in the Marketplace for a puppuccino.
Pet fee: $75 per reservation for up to two dogs ($200 for Suites and Villas). Pit bulls, pit mixes, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Chows, and Chow mixes are not allowed.

InterContinental San Diego
Photo by Diana Rose Photography, courtesy of InterContinental San Diego

Little Italy
No matter which room you’re assigned at the InterContinental, you’re guaranteed an amazing view. Each of its 400 rooms features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook sparkling San Diego Bay. Sleek, modern, and spacious, the hotel includes a rooftop pool and southern Italian-inspired alfresco restaurant Garibaldi, an ode to Sardinian and Sicilian fare that features local and responsibly sourced seafood.
Why you’ll love it: The InterContinental’s prime location can’t be beaten. It’s mere minutes from Petco Park, the Gaslamp District, Seaport Village, the Convention Center, and all the buzzy nightlife and restaurant options in downtown San Diego. Plus, the hotel itself is part of BRIC, a new shopping, dining, and entertainment district along the waterfront.
Why your pet will love it: Your daily dog walks are about to get much more scenic. Hoof it over to North Harbor Drive, which runs parallel to the San Diego Bay with magnificent views of the bay and city skyline. Your doggo will love meandering down the lively waterfront, stopping in at restaurants or cafes along the road, and sniffing everything in sight.
Pet fee: None

Hotel del Coronado
Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

For over 130 years, the legendary Hotel del Coronado has hosted several famous guests, including royalty, presidents, Hollywood A-listers, you name it. Its distinctive Victorian architecture made it a designated National Historic Landmark, but its enviable location nestled on the beach is what keeps guests returning. Coronado Beach is often ranked among the best in the US, so you’ll definitely want to maximize your time out there, including making a reservation for the hotel’s nightly summer roast to enjoy a private beach bonfire with s’mores and dazzling sunset views.
Why you’ll love it: The hotel’s events calendar is stacked. Find your inner zen with yoga on the beach, take group or private classes at Del Surf Academy, get spooked during a haunted ghost tour of the property, or explore the Ice House Museum to discover the hotel’s storied history.
Why your pet will love it: Call the concierge ahead of time to let them know you’re bringing your dog or cat, and they’ll make sure a bowl and bag of treats are waiting in your room. Coronado’s famous, leash-free Dog Beach is only a 20-minute walk away along Ocean Boulevard, but if you’re interested in staying on property, pets on leashes are permitted at the hotel’s Sun Deck and Beach + Taco Shack.
Pet fee: $125 per stay for Hotel del Coronado accommodations, $200 per stay for Beach Village at The Del accommodations (additional $50 charge for each extra connecting room). Animals must weigh 40 pounds or less with a max of two pets per room (pit bulls, pit bull mixes, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Chows, and Chow mixes are not allowed).

Mission Pacific Hotel
Photo courtesy of Mission Pacific Hotel

Mission Pacific is situated in one of San Diego’s most dog-friendly neighborhoods—one steeped in surf history with an exciting culinary and art scene to boot. The cool, contemporary oceanfront hotel conveys five-star hospitality but reflects the area’s laidback, unpretentious spirit at the same time. Your doggo will love adventuring across the street to check out Oceanside’s wooden pier, the 2.5-mile walkable strand that lines the Pacific, and the sun, sand, and surf. Plus, the hotel’s vintage beach Rambler provides guests with everything from sunscreen to surfboard rentals.
Why you’ll love it: Sure, the expansive rooftop pool and jacuzzi are sensational, but the food at Mission Pacific is on another level! Explore all three dining options by kicking your day off at High/Low for breakfast, brunch, and lunch classics. Then, toss back craft cocktails at the Rooftop Bar, which brings in DJs from Thursday to Sunday. For dinner, Valle features a seasonal prix-fixe four-course menu and eight-course tasting menu from renowned Baja chef Roberto Alcocer, who’s worked in some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens, including Mexico City’s Pujol.
Why your pet will love it: Your pooch will receive a welcome gift bag brimming with treats, a mini frisbee, a bandana, and a guide to pet-friendly things to do in Oceanside, including a pet-friendly farmers market, beaches, trails, and restaurants with outdoor patios.
Pet fee: $200 per stay for a maximum of two dogs per room that may not exceed 50 pounds each or 75 pounds combined

Del Mar Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy of Del Mar Beach Hotel

Del Mar
Book the charming Del Mar Beach Hotel for a truly boutique hotel experience that’s not affiliated with any major hotel chain. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, this beachside haven reopened with 46 spotless guest rooms and suites. While there aren’t any restaurants on site (just gourmet coffee service), you’re next door to the excellent Poseidon Restaurant and a short stroll to the main village of Del Mar, replete with award-winning eateries.
Why you’ll love it: Larger groups might appreciate the hotel’s bungalow rentals—newly remodeled residences outfitted with upscale furnishings, fixtures, and amenities, such as luxury Frette linens. The Beach House sleeps up to eight comfortably and has an outdoor shower and outdoor kitchen with a barbecue and grill. The six-person Beach Bungalow sports a hot tub and a professional chef’s kitchen with a Viking range.
Why your pet will love it: For a $100 pet fee per stay, your pampered pooch can come along for the ride. There’s a pet-friendly beach right outside the hotel, and amenities (like dog bowls, beds, and waste bags) are available upon request.
Pet fee: $100 per stay

L'Auberge Del Mar
Photo courtesy of L'Auberge Del Mar

Del Mar
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this seaside retreat with a pool, tennis courts, and several excellent dining options is the perfect place to bring your best friend. Not only is the local beach just steps away and reachable via a private walking path, but dozens of scenic hiking trails and golf courses are also nearby. Pro tip: Request an ocean-view room for glorious sunset vistas at this classic, coastal-style property. Even if you and your four-legged friend will be too busy at the beach to spend much time in your well-appointed quarters, it’ll be a wonderful place to land at the end of the day.
Why you’ll love it: The hotel’s world-class Spa L’Auberge is a must with a range of holistic, marine-inspired treatments, such as a full-body exfoliation using salt crystals and red algae or a glow-giving facial that applies seaside flower extracts. Enjoy the herbal-infused steam rooms and an open-air relaxation area before or after your pampering session.
Why your pet will love it: The Pooch Program welcomes your pup at check-in with branded bandanas to wear during their stay, dog hangers to hang on their door, L’Auberge dog bowls, and plenty of toys. Plus, the hotel’s happy to arrange dog-sitting and grooming services.
Pet fee: $200 per stay for up to two 75-pound dogs

San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Photo courtesy of San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Mission Bay
A $32 million renovation a few years ago transformed this sprawling 18-acre resort on the Mission Bay Park waterfront, meaning revamped guest rooms, upgraded technology, newly added dining options, and more. Get ready for an action-packed vacation: There’s a waterfront pool, a shallow wading pool for tots, beach access, and tennis courts, along with a private marina where guests can rent boats, jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks.
Why you’ll love it: If you don’t want to, you never have to leave the property. The hotel boasts more than enough incredible culinary choices for its guests to enjoy variety every day, such as Covewood, an elegant yet understated restaurant that highlights fresh seafood and wood-fired vegetables, and Plaza del Sol, a lively patio that promises tapas and craft cocktails along with live music.
Why your pet will love it: Upon arrival, your pooch will see their names on a board in the lobby and enjoy a Yappy Hour at the resort with other furry guests. Plus, a slew of local dog beaches are nearby to while away the hours with your bestie.
Pet fee: $100 per dog per stay applied for up to 3 days (an additional $25 for every day after that) for up to two 75-pound dogs per room

The Cassara Carlsbad
Photo courtesy of The Cassara Carlsbad

The Cassara evokes the feel of a European villa in the heart of Carlsbad, offering tastefully decorated rooms and an on-site restaurant with Mediterranean-inspired bites. If you need a wellness recharge, the property has a quiet pool with lap lanes, and Peloton Wellness Rooms outfitted with a Peloton bike, TRX resistance bands, Theragun Elite, and Therabody Wave Roller for tension relief. If you’re traveling with the fam, set your sights on the family pool and kids’ splash pad—not to mention the nearby beaches and lagoon.
Why you’ll love it: The hotel overlooks the must-visit Carlsbad Flower Fields, and if you’re lucky, your room will have views of both the fields and the ocean. Depending on the time of year, you can opt for a Stay & See package that includes tickets to the Flower Fields, a complimentary shuttle (although it’s close enough for some to walk), and more.
Why your pet will love it: Book the Pet-Cation package to ensure your favorite furball is set up with a goodie bag of treats, water, a toy ball, and a roll of scented potty bags. The hotel also has designated rooms and pet relief areas available throughout.
Pet fee: $85 per stay for a max of two animals with a combined weight that doesn’t exceed 25 pounds

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Tiffany Tse is a Thrillist contributor. Check out her travels at @twinksy.