Relaxing in Luxury at San Diego Mission Bay Resort

San Diego
San Diego Mission Bay Resort is a destination paradise on the water (photo by Greg Aragon)

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It was 42 steps across the grass from my suite at San Diego Mission Bay Resort to the sandy beach where ducks were playing in the water. I know because I took this memorable stroll dozens of times during my two nights at the luxurious, waterfront hotel.

My recent getaway to San Diego Mission Bay Resort began when a friend and I checked into a beautiful King Waterview Studio overlooking the city’s iconic Mission Bay. Boasting 670-square-feet, the Southern Californian-styled room featured bright and festive hues and came with a huge flat-screen TV, comfy king bed, small sleeper sofa, lounge chair, and sophisticated, beach-chic furniture. The room also featured a large, spacious bathroom; microwave; small refrigerator; bar and sink; coffee maker; and super hi-speed Internet.

San Diego
Suites are luxurious and sit only steps from the sand

But the suite’s best feature was its patio overlooking a large green lawn, a walking/biking path, and Mission Bay a few steps beyond. From the patio we could scan the beautiful bay, watch kayakers, kitesurfers and stand-up paddleboarders go by, ducks and seagulls play in the water, and the sunset into the horizon.

When not in our room, we spent much of our time at the outdoor, Mediterranean-inspired pool area. Here we relaxed in a shady cabana, laid in deck chairs to get some rays, and swam in the crystal clear water. The 4,000 sq-ft, family-friendly area offers a large adult pool and a small kiddie pool for toddlers. There is also a serene pond and waterfall where ducks like to hang out, and a giant lawn chair for taking fun pictures in.

San Diego
The pool area is a great place to relax and take in the water views (picture by Greg Aragon)

From the pool we explored more of the property. San Diego Mission Bay Resort officially reopened in July after completing a $32-million renovation of the expansive 18-acre property.  Located in the heart of San Diego on the scenic Mission Bay Park waterfront, the lavish 357-room, year-round resort is ideal for guests seeking to explore the region’s vibrant culture and nearby attractions.

“Our transformation captures the essence of everything this luxury coastal playground has to offer, and we are excited for guests to experience this iconic Southern California resort and to enjoy the true ‘soul’ of San Diego,” says Douglas Rucker, general manager of San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

“We embody the genuine San Diego way of life, connecting the easy beach lifestyle to the surrounding cultural vibrancy through creative programming and thoughtful, regionalized design.”

San Diego
The resort recently underwent a $32 million renovation (photo by Greg Aragon)

The reimagined resort also features a full-service spa and fitness center, five tennis courts, basketball courts, gift shop, restaurant and poolside grill. Additionally, the hotel provides over 16,000-sq-ft of interior meeting and function space, and 9,600-sq-ft of outdoor meeting space.

After touring the property we headed back to the room and relaxed on the patio. While here a friendly duck waddled near us and led us to the sand. She then hopped in the water and floated away with her friends. Since it was a hot afternoon we waded in the water, admiring Mission Bay.

San Diego
Mission Bay is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, offering numerous water activities (photo by Greg Aragon)

Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. It is made up of two islands, lots of coves and numerous points jutting into the water. Sandy beaches are scattered about the shoreline and because of its geography, there is lots of protection from ocean waves, making it perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding and even swimming. Surrounding Mission Bay are beautiful family parks with BBQ’s, benches, restrooms, and showers, playgrounds for kids, and swimming areas.

A highlight of the park is a12-mile-long paved path for runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers. Next to the bay is SeaWorld San Diego and Belmont Park Amusement Park.

For dinner we experienced Covewood, the resort’s signature restaurant. Inspired by Coastal California, the restaurant serves up woodfired pizzas, local beef, poultry and seafood – all ready to be paired with fine wine or food-friendly cocktails.

San Diego
Covewood restaurant serves up delicious coastal California-inspired cuisine (photo by Greg Aragon)

Our meal began with crab cakes with roasted corn salsa and old bay remoulade; Tuna Tartar with avocado mousse, seaweed salad and chile vinaigrette; and Salted Caramel Brussels Sprouts with gorgonzola cheese. For the main course I devoured pan seared diver scallops with sunchoke puree, bok choy and smoked tomato vinaigrette. My companion enjoyed Achiote-grilled skirt steak with corn, purple potato hash and grilled scallions with chimichurri.

San Diego
Sunsets are magical at Mission Bay Resort (photo by Greg Aragon)

After dinner, we sat on the sand beside one of the resort’s fire pits and roasted gooey, tasty s’mores as the sun fell behind the bay. The next morning we rented bikes and rode the Mission Bay bike path. After a few miles, we found a shady tree by the shore and had a picnic. Besides bikes, guests at the resort can rent kayaks, paddleboards, paddle boats, sailboats and more.

San Diego
The resort rents bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, peddle boats, sail boats and more. (photo by Greg Aragon)

The resort is currently offering a “Work by the Bay Package” for those who want to get away after being cooped up during the lockdowns. With this exciting and relaxing package, guests can upgrade their home office setting with luxurious, waterfront accommodations, fine dining, poolside relaxation and sweeping views of the bay. With newly installed Wi-Fi throughout the property, Mission Bay Resort is an ideal place to reset and get inspired while you “Work From Hotel.”

The Work by the Bay Package includes:

  • Luxurious guestroom accommodations with a private patio or balcony to work in peace
  • $25 daily food and beverage credit to the resort’s all-new dining options, with outdoor seating areas and ample shade
  • Complimentary parking to come and go as you please

San Diego Mission Bay Resort is located at 1775 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109. For more information on current specials and reservations, visit or call 619-677-1161

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Greg Aragon, Writer Greg's Getaway
Greg Aragon is a travel writer from Pasadena, California. For the past 15 years Greg has authored “Greg’s Getaway,” a popular travel column that covers the globe. In the course of writing Greg's Getaway, Greg has traveled to more than 25 countries in search of exciting destinations, people, food, drink and culture. From Alaska to Zermatt, Greg has experienced the thrill and beauty of traveling to the fullest. Along the way he has dog sledded on glaciers, drank with sea captains, danced with hula girls, dined with royalty, sung with street performers, wrestled with pigs, jumped from airplanes, conquered rapids, panned for gold, rode a rhino, slept in trees and much, much more. When not on the road, Greg enjoys strumming his old nylon string guitar and playing basketball.