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  • Best Splurge: Resembling an ornate Tuscan villa, the Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Way (tel. 888/314-2030 or 858/314-2000), is an aptly named resort tucked into the foothills of Del Mar. Opened in 2007, it features exquisite terraces, fountains, gardens, and amenities galore. Its stand-alone restaurant, Addison, is the first San Diego dining establishment to receive a AAA 5 Diamond Award.
  • Best Triple-Threat: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, 7100 Four Seasons Point (tel. 800/633-7313 or 760/448-1234), is a AAA 5 Diamond resort in Carlsbad that pulls off the hat trick of encompassing one of the best restaurants, spas, and golf courses in the county.
  • Best Moderate Downtown Hotel: You won't find a better downtown location than the Gaslamp Plaza Suites, 520 E St. (tel. 800/874-8770 or 619/232-9500), right in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. This historic Edwardian beauty was San Diego's first skyscraper, built in 1913, and features spacious rooms and architectural flourishes.
  • Best Value in Little Italy: Check in to the Little Italy Hotel, 505 W. Grape St. (tel. 800/518-9930 or 619/230-1600). Once a boardinghouse for Italian fishermen, dating from 1910, it now offers convenient, affordable digs in one of the city's hippest neighborhoods.
  • Best Historic Hotel: The Hotel del Coronado positively oozes history. Opened in 1888, this Victorian masterpiece had some of the first electric lights in existence, and over the years has hosted kings, presidents, and movie stars. Meticulous restoration has enhanced this glorious landmark, whose early days are well chronicled in displays throughout the hotel.
  • Best for a Romantic Getaway: At the Lodge at Torrey Pines -- one of only three AAA 5-diamond hotels in the county -- you can enjoy a fireplace in your room, sunset ocean views from your balcony, a couple's massage at the fabulous spa, and superb meals at the hotel's A.R. Valentien restaurant. In the Gaslamp Quarter, the Andaz Hotel has seriously sexy accommodations where see-through showers separate the bed and bath areas; one room even has a stripper pole.
  • Best for Families: The Paradise Point Resort & Spa 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 Budget Hotel: In San Diego's Little Italy, La Pensione Hotel 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 area by trolley.
  • Best Bed-and-Breakfast: The Britt Scripps Inn is set in a glorious Victorian mansion, once home to one of the city's most prominent families. It offers incredible architectural details, top-of-the-line amenities, and a great location near Balboa Park.
  • Best Service: The Zen-inspired boutique Hotel Parisi is small enough to provide personalized service and upscale enough to offer in-room treatments ranging from acupuncture to ear coning.
  • Best Place to Stay on the Beach: Although the Hotel Del is the grande dame of West Coast seaside resorts, if you really want to be in the heart of San Diego's beach culture, no place is better than Tower 23. This sleek, modernist hotel -- which takes its name from an old lifeguard station -- sits right on the Pacific Beach boardwalk.
  • 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 goes the distance. There are 63 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 top-floor pool, sun deck, and lounge at the Andaz Hotel collectively make up downtown's largest rooftop space. Although the pool is shallow, the video-enhanced cabanas, Gaslamp Quarter vistas, and clubby vibe attract the beautiful people (some of whom are also shallow). For a more private, guests-only experience, the pool at La Valencia Hotel is oh-so-special, with its spectacular setting overlooking Scripps Park and the Pacific.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.