Rancho Valencia Resort Rating: 5.0 Pearls
This 49-room luxury resort is located in Rancho Santa Fe, a wealthy residential community in the hills of Southern California, and features a tranquil luxury spa, an excellent fine dining restaurant, 40 acres of lush grounds, and great freebies (including free Wi-Fi, free minibar items, free parking, and free breakfast). The Spanish-style suites, all with fireplaces and patios, are located in 26 casitas spread across the sprawling property, creating a rare level of privacy for guests.
L'Auberge Del Mar Rating: 5.0 Pearls
L'Auberge Del Mar is one of the top hotels on the Southern California coastline, with a great location in beautiful Del Mar Village, right next to the beach and close to restaurants and shops. It features a small pool, a spa, two lighted tennis courts and an award-winning restaurant with a farm-to-table menu. The 120 spotless rooms have a homey, almost country feel; with green bedspreads, floral pillows, and soft peach walls. Marble bathrooms have large walk-in showers.
The Grand Del Mar Rating: 5.0 Pearls
This 249-room Spanish-Colonial-style resort in the rolling hills near Del Mar is stunning, from the old-world decor to the enormous rooms to the luxurious spa. It features four pools, excellent restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, an equestrian center, and free car service in a Mercedes or Cadillac Escalade. Plus, some nice freebies that other luxury hotels don't have, including free Wi-Fi, free off-site parking and free round-trip shuttle to Del Mar make this hotel a great pick.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines Rating: 4.5 Pearls
With its proximity to some of the most beautiful spots in San Diego, the 170-room Lodge at Torrey Pines is a haven for nature lovers and golf enthusiasts opting for a rustic, relaxed vibe. Rooms and common areas feature craftsman-styled decor and furnishings, and the rooms are sweet and spacious, with a unique woods-y feel -- though some are a bit dark and even a tad bland. The bathrooms are massive, with custom-made toiletries, and most feature beautiful soaking tubs and stained glass windows. The lodge's on-site facilities are up to par for a luxury resort -- saltwater pool with underwater music, beautiful spa, and a famous golf course that's a stop on the PGA Tour.
The US Grant -- a Luxury Collection Hotel Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Built by Ulysses S. Grant's son in 1910, the 270-room U.S. Grant Hotel is one of the most celebrated and respected hotels within San Diego, known for its American luxury with a traditional European twist. Rooms are bright and classically elegant, with crown molding, crisp white linens, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have large walk-in showers and deep bowl sinks. Although the hotel's overall elegance and luxe vibe are charming and captivating, it lacks a pool (although guests can use the Westin's across the street), and the fees for parking and Wi-Fi can add up.
Palomar San Diego Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Hotel Palomar (formerly the Se San Diego) is one of San Diego's most luxurious hotels, and also one of its coolest, with a trendy rooftop bar, zen design, and a location just north of the lively Gaslamp Quarter, next to a major concert venue. The lovely Asian-inspired decor features lots of wood, earth tones, clean lines, soft lighting and orchid accents -- all secluded behind an enormous metal front door. The luxury and the pampering continue inside the building with top-notch features, including an infinity pool, a first-rate spa, and big, luxurious rooms with walnut floors and flat-screen TVs.