The LA Times once called San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood a bohemian beach town of “co-ops and flip-flops” – a pretty accurate description. Hotels in this tight-knit community, where they’ve managed to ward off chains of every sort, are independently owned and cater to low-maintenance vacationers who appreciate a laid-back lifestyle. At Ocean Beach Hotel, you won’t find luxury, but you will find modern, comfortable, and friendly accommodations right at the beach.
The Mediterranean-style beachfront hotel is at the end of popular Newport Avenue, and across the street from Ocean Beach Municipal Pier. Their modern lobby is small and casual with light-colored walls, tile floors, and contrasting chocolate-colored furniture. A tropical fan spins overhead, mimicking the ocean breezes just outside the door. This U-shaped three-story hotel with a charming courtyard is for travelers looking for the classic, casual California beach vacation immortalized by The Beach Boys.
Ocean Beach Hotel is family-owned and operated, and families will appreciate the large reasonably priced rooms. Views from this little hotel are killer. Oceanfront suites and ocean view queen rooms offer the perfect accommodations for special San Diego events like the Fourth of July when fireworks are lit at the end of half-mile-long Ocean Beach Pier. It’s also a photographer’s dream hotel with panoramic ocean views, superb San Diego sunsets, surfers galore, and a uniquely eclectic mix of people on the beach and in the neighborhood.
Rooms and Suites
At Ocean Beach Hotel, guests can choose from oceanfront king suites with or without a balcony on the second and third levels, ocean view queen rooms with balconies and one or two queen beds, and partial ocean view rooms with a single queen bed. Oceanfront suites all have ocean-facing French doors and sofas as well.
Private patio rooms are all on the ground floor and are dog-friendly with tile floors. They come with one or two queen beds. ADA accessible private patio rooms are also on the ground floor and have a single queen bed and a specially designed bathroom with roll-in shower.
Courtside rooms face the landscaped interior courtyard of the U-shaped hotel and come in three styles. Pet-friendly courtside rooms have one queen bed and are on the ground floor. Other courtside rooms come with either one or two queen beds and are located on the second and third floors.
All rooms at Ocean Beach Hotel have been recently renovated. Second and third floor rooms and suites have wood floors, and ground floor rooms and suites have tile floors. All have light-colored walls and lots of light via large windows with chic gray curtains. Comfy beds are dressed in contemporary white and gray bedding, furniture is French provincial, framed artwork of local beach scenes adorn the walls, and dark wood tables with leather chairs accommodate two or four guests.
Renovated bathrooms feature contemporary tan-colored tile showers and floors, modern fixtures, pedestal sinks with framed mirrors, and complimentary Emerald Oasis Ginger Tea spa products. Other room amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, irons and boards, and hair dryers.
Tip: Ask the owner about Ocean Beach Hotel’s newly renovated beachfront condos next door for extended stays. The upstairs unit has one bedroom and a balcony, and the downstairs unit has two bedrooms. Other features are stainless steel appliances in modern kitchens, a breakfast/dining nook with a large wood table for four, light colored walls with glass tiles in serene shades of blue in the kitchen and bathroom, two queen beds, glassed-in shower with rainshower shower head, dark wood furniture and cabinetry, and wood floors.
One of the nicest amenities at Ocean Beach Hotel is its private garden courtyard. It features a large flagstone patio with grass between the stones and a tiered central fountain. On the beach end, there is a wall of giant arched windows overlooking Ocean Beach. Potted plants, palms, and flowers dot the impeccably landscaped space creating a serene environment by day. Strings of Edison lights crisscross the courtyard at night giving it a warm, romantic glow. Wood-slat benches or tables with chairs provide relaxing seating throughout.
Pet owners will love that Ocean Beach Hotel reflects the dog-friendly nature of the neighborhood. At this hotel, all ground floor rooms are pet-friendly rooms. You can have up to two dogs per room at no extra charge. The hotel is also within walking distance of both Dog Beach and Dog Beach Dog Wash. There is an outdoor shower in the hotel courtyard to rinse off sandy feet and paws.
Other hotel amenities are complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, including in the rooms and suites, free parking in the hotel lot (a valuable amenity you cannot wrap your mind around unless you live in San Diego), direct beach access, gift shop, and on-site laundry service. The hotel also has arranged discounts on spa services with a local spa, and specials on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at local restaurants. Consult the knowledgeable staff at the concierge desk for these offers and other helpful information.
Ocean Beach Hotel has the best location of any accommodations in the neighborhood. It is across the street from mile-long Ocean Beach, which starts at the jetty on the north end of the beach just across the channel from Mission Beach. It runs to just past the Ocean Beach Pier at the southernmost end. Right in front of the hotel are the main surfing and swimming areas of the beach that are marked off by lifeguard flags – swimming and boogie boarding on one side, surfing on the other.
The northernmost section of the beach next to the jetty is Dog Beach. Your dog can be off leash in this area to romp and play with you on the beach and in the ocean. Dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior and for cleaning up after them. If you’re an early riser, you can walk your dog along the beach from the hotel to Dog Beach, otherwise, it’s a six block street walk.
Dog Beach is open all hours of the day, but dogs are not allowed on any other section of Ocean Beach between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. whether they are on leash, or not. San Diego leash laws are strictly enforced. If your furry companion needs a bath after a day at the beach, Dog Beach Dog Wash offers do-it-yourself washing facilities on Voltaire Street.
Ocean Beach Pier, the longest concrete pier in the world, is in front of the hotel to the south. It is also one of the few places you can fish without a license. There is a bait shop on the pier, as well a quaint café serving light fare. The T-shaped pier is nearly a half-mile walk from shore to end, and is visited by about a half-million people each year.
Ocean Beach Hotel is at the corner of Newport Avenue, the hub of the neighborhood’s dining and shopping. You’ll find over 50 restaurants, bars, and eclectic shops along this street including the iconic Hodad’s burger joint, most likely with a line down the block to get in. The popular restaurant has been featured on both On the Road and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. This is also the heartbeat of the Ocean Beach craft brew scene with a handful of top breweries, including award-winning Pizza Port brewpub. Newport Avenue is home to a wildly popular Farmer’s Market on Wednesday nights.
You can get great savings by checking in at Ocean Beach Hotel on Yelp. As soon as you arrive, check in with Yelp on your phone before you approach the guest check-in desk. Then, just show the reservationist your phone screen for your discount of as much as $25. Discounts may vary and have blackout dates.