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“Only cabins in California actually on a pier out on the Pacific Ocean” 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 #15 of 270 hotels in San Diego
Huntington Beach, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Only cabins in California actually on a pier out on the Pacific Ocean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Location! Location! Location! Imagine being lulled to sleep by the sound of breaking waves and the very gentle rocking when a big one rolls in. Charming furnishings, full kitchen, comfy beds and even our own private porch with umbrella table and chairs. Only drawback - very difficult to get a reservation. We have been going here for ten years. Started with one night and have finally worked our way up to three.

Room Tip: We love Cabin C near the far end of the pier!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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170 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego
Top Contributor
230 reviews 230 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

What a unique "hotel" in a pretty incredible location, sitting atop the PB pier. The sound of the waves, the sight of the surfers and beach goers below, and darling little cottages (some not so little - they have studios, 1-bdrms, and 2 bdrms) perched above. All w/ stunning over-the-ocean/beach views. All have private deck, separate bedroom and kitchenette.

I've been fortunate to visit several friends who have stayed here, and one of these days, we'll have to stay for more than just the day.

PS - cute little bait and tackle shop on the end of the pier that's been there forever. The kids love to go in and get a piece of candy as a "treat."

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

One to tick off your bucket list. Just superb.

With a couple of days spare between hotels, tried my luck here and grabbed a cancellation (normally 12 months advanced booking required).

The cottages are set along side the edge of the pier that stretches way out into the Pacific Beach.

Great sunsets, sunrises and could not stop watching the surfers who would do their stuff right next to the pier.

Cottages are well equipped and full of character. Al fresco dining is great - take a jumper for the evenings even in Summer. Grab supplies from Sprouts as you drive into town and get great breakfast at Vonos right next to the entrance. Then just spend 3 days enjoying the view and walking the beach.

BTW, whilst bedroom was a little small, very, very comfortable bed, plus dressing room and walk in shower.

Loved every minute here, especially listening to the ocean in the evening, night and morning.

Not cheap, but hell, once in a lifetime.

Room Tip: Book in advance.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

If you love the unparalleled beauty of the simple and true this is your place.

The cottages are lovingly kept in their original style of 1930's. All in white and blue and very elegant. The view from the cottages on the South side of the pier in unsurpassed. You are in the middle of one of the most popular beaches in the US and still you are very much to yourself.

The staff is maybe a bit gruffy but in a funny old hippy way.

The only problem is: you cannot get a reservation during main holiday times. Our neighbor told us they had waited for eight years to get a slot during boxing day week. At the end of their week they always pay cash down for the next year to secure their reservation. We only got in because the family that had used our cottage the last 15 (!) years had to cancel this year due to an accident in the family. With the important notice that we would not be able to reserve for the following years.

Room Tip: If you have a joice take a cottage on the south side.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 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.
Perth
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Lovely little beach cottages on the pier. Very cute, well decorated. Great water pressure in the shower (why can little place like this get the shower right and bigger places can't?). The owners were helpful. Had to book a year in advance and they only take phone bookings - which was difficult to organise time wise from Australia, so instead of getting one of the cottages over the water ours only had water under it at high tide.
Wifi was meant to be available, but signal strength in our unit was almost non existant.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

The location is perfect...right over the water...waves breaking nearly all the time...great weather and great nearby restaurants. The staff are wonderful and worked hard to meet all our desires. Can not wait until 2014. The one bedroom with private patio was great. The studio units appear to have "shared" or non-private patios and the two bedroom are located similar as the studio units.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Thousand Oaks, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We stayed in cottage "B" May 20 & 21 (and in Cottage 11 on May 19 because "B" was not available) for our 19th wedding anniversary. It was our first trip here. Like others, we booked about eight months in advance. We had been looking at the website for years, but did not know anyone who had been here before. The check in was extremely easy and pleasant, and we drove slowly to our one-bedroom cottage (unit 11) within minutes of arriving. The cottage (unit 11) can only be described as adorable, with blue and white nautical decor. There is a futon couch in the living room with a small table and chairs, and a flat screen TV that gets cable (but no premium channels). The kitchen is small but adequate, with a full fridge, a stove, microwave and sink. They have plates, silverware, paper towels, etc. The bathroom was small but fine, with a single sink and a shower (no tub). They had a blow dryer so you don't have to bring one. The bedroom was small with a full or queen bed (not sure which) but the bed was extraordinarily comfortable.
Of course, the reason you are there is the view. The room has a deck area with two lounge chairs (and cushions), a table with chairs and umbrella, and a stunning view of the beach and ocean. Number 11 is back behind the shoreline, so you have the beach next to the room, and the ocean in front of it most of the time (depending on the tide). This side of the pier is the east, and the sun rises on this side (and you cannot see the sunset as well from your deck).
As far as food goes, we did not want to eat in a restaurant when we had such an incredible view, so we walked down Garnet and turned left at the second street and got huge hoagie sandwiches from the Greek Place, brought them back to the room and sat at the table and watched the beach and the ocean while we ate. The food was really good. On Sunday the beach was very crowded, and it was fun to people watch. The pier is open to the public and there is a lot of foot traffic during the day, but it is locked and very private at night.
On May 20 we moved to cottage "B." I don't know what to say other than it is the most incredible view I have ever seen. You simply can't get that view in a hotel on the beach. I admit that I have never stayed in an over-water bungalow in Tahiti, but this is the closest thing to it in California! It was unlike anything I have been in before and sets my new standard for the greatest ocean view ever. There is a difference between having a view of the versus being on the ocean. With unit B, you are on, above, and all around the ocean. A mere "ocean view" will likely never suffice now in the future. B is a studio, but it is very large and airy (actually larger than the one bedroom cottage 11). The deck is private, although you can see the people on the public portion of the pier and they can see you during the day. The room was just perfect. If you are looking for 5 star amenities, this is not the place. There is no marble or granite, but again, it is just perfect. The bed was fine (it seemed larger than in cottage 11) and it has a full kitchen, living room with couch and coffee table, a small table with chairs by the window, and a separate bathroom with double sinks. The entire ocean side of the room is glass from floor to ceiling.
We went to Kono's for breakfast (it is the corner of Ocean and Garnet - right across the street from the hotel) and it has its own outdoor dining area, but that is nothing compared to the view from the room, so we got our breakfast to go. We simply did not want to be away from the deck. Like cottage 11, the deck has two lounge chairs, and a table with umbrella and four chairs. The view is all water. It is very romantic, and very special. One night we went to pick up a movie at a nearby Ralph's (Red Box) and noticed that they had fresh sushi that looked fantastic, so we ended up getting it and eating in front of our deck and watching the sunset. It was great!
We brought our dvd player and HDMI cable and hooked it up to the TV (the original remote is present so you can change inputs) so that we could watch movies at night after it got dark. There are tons of bars within walking distance if you are interested in night life.
They have two-bedroom cottages as well if you have a family and want to bring the kids. The beach is right there, but for us, this place was just perfect for a romantic getaway without the kids. We already booked it for next year at the same time for our 20th anniversary.

Room Tip: Choose cottage "a" or "b" for the best view.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 7
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

Also Known As:
Crystal Pier Hotel And Cottages
Crystal Pier
Crystal Pier Hotel
Crystal Pier San Diego
Crystal Pier Hotel San Diego
San Diego Crystal Pier
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
#11 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#15 Top resorts Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$

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