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“This is an adventure hotel. Not a spa hotel. This is an experience worth doing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages

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Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages
4500 Ocean Blvd., San Diego, CA 92109 (Pacific Beach)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 269 hotels in San Diego
Sonoma, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“This is an adventure hotel. Not a spa hotel. This is an experience worth doing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Things I thought while staying at Crystal Piers
1) wow this pier is really old. These waves are crashing very hard. Is my car going to fall through?? No seriously those boards look a bit worn...
2) omg is it an earthquake. Why is my bed moving???
The crystal pier cottages are very clean and cute. Situated right on the pier above the ocean they are rare. Sleeping on a pier in California??? This is the only way. The fun part about this hotel is truly the fear of will I see my car in the morning and is that wave going to be the one that does us in. My son and I loved it for that reason coupled with the unbeatable beach location. You literally are sleeping above some really sizable waves in California. Surfers are all over the water and the people watching is great. I was concerned about safety based on other reviews but have to say I felt very safe there and i am a huge chicken scared of my own shadow. San Diego is a bar town at night so I can say I would not want to stroll around the town past 9 with my 9 year old . Mostly because bar towns = sloppy drunks= I don't want to step in vomit. For late night beach strolling with kids Corona del Mar is really the best. But there was no reason to stroll because we had a great time listening to the waves and laughing every time the cottage moved. Great fun! Will do it again and again and again. The front office was very nice. We actually left a kite when we checked out (did not want to bring home) and they called to see if they should send to us. Rare very rare.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

First of all, I am born and raised in Southern California and have stay in many beach front hotels over the years up and down the coast. This BY FAR was the best one ever. We stayed in Cottage E. we had a private patio over the water. We looked down through the slats in the pier on our patio and saw water. Pretty neat. We walked to Mister Sushi for dinner, about a mile walk on Garnet (awesome as well!) it is pricey but u get what u pay for and it's pretty amazing! Staff is friendly and pier becomes private after sunset, which is also a perk. It may be busy during the day but very peaceful and all u hear is waves at night!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I would definitely recommend the cottages over the water, especially the 6 farthest out on the pier. Of course, they're the most $$. But they have private decks (how the bldgs are turned) while the other pier cottages' decks are all in a line.

We had unit E, but A & B are the last out and are studios for 2 with a clear view to the end of the pier from their decks. Not quite as private, but I'd like to try one of them next time.
It was like playing house. The bath was great, with double sinks. The kitchen sink was tiny, but did the job. Well, I did the job when we didn't eat out. Mini stove/oven & fridge. The best thing: since it was a one bedroom Queen (plus futon/couch in living room for 2 more) I assumed there would be no ocean view from bed as is true with lots of beach rentals. Wrong! It was terriffic, with it's own glass door to your deck and a window. The deck had a table with umbrella & chairs & 2 lounges.

These are old, but very clean and nicely refurbished. And did I say Cute? The windows & doors are new vinyl double pane. Being March, I expected it to be cold inside, as we keep a window open. Amazingly I guess being over the water (warmer than air temp at night) plus the new windows - we were snug as bugs. The only downside was the surf was up at night....It took a bit getting used to but still, we did wake up a couple times....but it was worth it for the experience and we loved the surf in the daytime. I thought the views in both directions were great. It's just that one is dawn & warmer in the am, the other is sunset.

One treat was stumbling on their Farmers Market! I never saw such fresh and wonderful veggies. & greens. Most if not all grown locally - inland a bit - forget where. And a real fisherman selling his catch. And crepes made before your eyes. You can feast on what they offer there. I think it was Wednesday - check with the office. Just a few blocks down Garnett on the right. We wanted good coffee, and were directed in a circle to a "permanent" kiosk beyond the market and it was 2 blocks back to our cottage. Wish we'd known that - lattes every day.

If you have tatoos, you will be very comfy in most nearby Pacific Beach eateries. The others we didn't find. We're old folk now, so chose the following:
This was hubby's birthday, so we ate at The Catamaran Hotel which is nearby, but on the bay. It is in walking distance, or drive a few blocks east. Really special for any meal. Breakfast or lunch on the bay...awesome. We also stopped at Paradise Point on the way down for lunch on their patio at the Barefoot Bar & Grill - or really splurge and eat at Baleen for dinner. Either one is another bay view and a short drive (3 or 4 miles?). Walk around the grounds (44 tropical acres on an island in Mission Bay) if you are new to the place. Or if you aren't. We have stayed here and it is like no other place, too.

What a great trip!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

I love Crystal Pier, and everything about it. My husband and I stay at the pier every year, usaully in June, we have been fortunate to also stay an extra week or so in Febuary or March as well. We have been coming to the pier for about 14 years and would never think to stay somewhere else. I have read the other reviews and they are pretty much dead on, I think if you want a "beach cottege" experience, this will give you just that.

We have stayed on both the South and North sides, I prefer the South side, I feel like my view is a little better. The one bedroom cottege will hold 4 but really works better for 2 adults, if the other are 2 kids, then it would be okay, 4 adults in there is a bit crowded, especially since there is only one bedroom and one bathroom. When my husband and I travel by ourselves, we stay in the one bedroom, usually the same cottege each year, when we travel in June with our family a total of 4 adults, we stay in the 2 bedroom. I do love having the extra space and I think the extra cost is worth it for each couple to have their own room and bathroom.

The downside that I have read: it's noisy, yes it is a bit noisy. The ocean does make noise, especially when you are sleeping over it. It does take a bit getting used to, but that's why you're there, the ocean experience. The price: yes, it is very pricey, but given the great location, sleeping over the ocean and proximitry to other things, I think it is worth it. It depends on whats important to you. They do have kitchenettes, so you can save some money by eating in rather than out.

In regards to reservations. It can be hard to get a reservation, they do book a year in advance, so if you think you might want to go anytime in the near future, give them a call and see what they have. The upside of staying there on a regular basis, you get the same week (or more) each year so there isn't any guessing on whether you will get in or not.

I also have to add that the office staff are all wonderful. Randy, Megan and Jim are the best, we truly love to see them each time we visit.

Room Tip: I like the South side, all the rooms have a great view. You can't go wrong with your choice.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salem
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

The cottages over the pier are incredibly cute and practical. They have everything you need for a cozy stay and are quaintly decorated. It's wonderful to sit on the spacious deck and see the entire beach and ocean right there. Sleeping with the sound of the waves crashing beneathe you and the occasional rocking of the pier is fun too. The staff is wonderful about providing anything you need and the cottages are kept super clean with comfy beds and crispy sheets. I love staying here and would never consider any other accomodation in San DIego.

Room Tip: The cottages on the south side of the pier have more sunshine on the decks. The north side is more...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
encinitas, CA
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Most of these cottages sit on the pier in beautiful Pacific Beach over the Pacific Ocean! Each cottage is separated from its neighbor. They are classic, super comfortable, beach cottages including a kitchen, bathroom, and one to two bedrooms. There is an outdoor seating area for each one on the water side, and the long pier walkway on the other side. The views from each cottage on either side of the pier are spectacular! The waves gently rock the pier, and the surf noise is soothing and exciting. Excellent breakfast , lunch and dinner establishments are within walking distance, as are markets, bars, and shopping. Sunsets at the end of the pier are noteworthy, and the bird's eye view of surfers makes for fabulous photos.
The nearby boardwalk furnishes miles of flat surface for walking, jogging, bike riding, skating, skateboarding, and people watching. The clean, wide beaches provide surf and sun recreation and are monitored year round by renowned life guards in towers and roving Jeeps.

Room Tip: We prefer room 7 because it looks down the tide line. We also suggest odd number cottages since they...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Some hotels have an ocean view, here you are OVER the ocean!!! We've stayed at the Crystal Pier four times and we love it. They have cute little cottages that sit on a pier over the ocean. You get to sleep to the roar of the waves! You wake up and look out your window at people surfing. The cottages are of course very nautical in their decor. Ours was super clean and neat with lots of white and blue. I wouldn't call these luxury rooms, but they are very, very nice, kind of a bed and breakfast kind-of feel to them. We had a little private courtyard between our cabin and the ocean (we rented cottage C this time). You get to drive your car right out on the pier and park by your cottage. You have access to all the restaurants, bars, and shops along Pacific Beach. You are just steps away from the ocean, there is a big wide sidewalk along Pacific Beach that you can use and see all types of runners, walkers, bikers, roller-bladers, etc etc using that. Its just great! The Kona Grill is right at the entrance to the pier and we love their breakfast and coffee! We love this place!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages

Address: 4500 Ocean Blvd., San Diego, CA 92109
Location: United States > California > San Diego > Pacific Beach
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in San Diego
#21 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Also Known As:
Crystal Pier Hotel And Cottages
Crystal Pier San Diego
Crystal Pier Hotel San Diego
San Diego Crystal Pier

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