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San Diego B&Bs: A Hotel Alternative (VIDEO)

Britt Scripps Inn

Britt Scripps Inn

  • Britt Scripps Inn
  • Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast
  • Vintage Sol
  • The 1906 Lodge At Coronado
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Most hotels have charged into the 21st century due to the demand of their guests. iPod docks, motion sensor mini bars, and card keys are commonplace. But, one sector of the hospitality industry remains unfettered: Bed and Breakfasts. The term latest-and-greatest doesn’t apply at the laid-back dwellings. “Sit back a spell and relax”, however, does. Here’s a few to try…

Britt Scripps Inn
406 Maple Street San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 230-1991
This Queen Anne-style Victorian inn poised in Bankers Hill gleams like a diamond in the rough. Few structures with turrets, gingerbread paint scheme, and a wraparound porch remain in the city. Nine rooms, each with a different theme, personify the late 1800s. Period furniture, rich brocade trimmed in tassels, and delicate lace curtains evocates high society living. The E.W. Scripps family, of Scripps Institute of Oceanography fame, lived in the home for three decades. In 2005 the residence opened as the Britt Scripps Inn after a meticulous restoration (watch video below). No detail was overlooked, including flat screen TVs inconspicuously hidden in guest room armoires, and WiFi for those tethered to the 21st century. (Rates start at $269 a night)

The B&B Inn at La Jolla
7753 Draper Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 456-2066
Located in one of Southern California’s most desired zip codes, the La Jolla Inn began life as a residence designed by master architect Irving Gill in 1913. Thirteen rooms and two suites fill the estate with views of the ocean one block away. The Sousa quarters bears the name of musician John Philip Sousa, whose family lived in the house in the 1920s. Both this and the Kate Sessions rooms’ décor have flower-festooned wallpaper and bed linens. The library is the heart of this two-floor B&B, where guests relax at an afternoon wine and cheese reception. Morning coffee is more popular on the Sun Deck. (Rates start at $199 a night)

Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast
3845 Front Street San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 990-2441
The Craftsmen-style B&B is indicative of the Hillcrest urban neighborhood. Bungalow is the usual moniker for these small homes with inviting verandas. Five rooms host guests at Ann Callahan’s inn. They are named for sites of close proximity - “Balboa“, for the nearby park; “Zoo” for the world famous wildlife home; “Old Town”, etc. The parlor with its cozy fireplace offers cable TV, books, playing cards, and puzzles for entertainment. Breakfast, parking and Internet are included, as well as a leash to walk Callahan’s lovable Yorkie, “Callie”, if desired. (Rates start at $139 a night.)

The 1906 Lodge At Coronado
1060 Adella Avenue Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 437-1900
Five years of diligent labor transformed this 17-room B&B from a dilapidated boarding house into an elegant showpiece. The hard work paid off, winning the accolade of top 10 most romantic hotels in the USA. Their mantra is “provide a high standard of customer service,“ which is preached by the owner who taught such values in the corporate world. Coronado history is depicted in guestroom décor -Tent City, Japanese Tea Garden and Star Park are just a few. Breakfast, wine hour, beach chairs, evening turndown, WiFi and underground parking are included. (Rates start at $179 a night)

Vintage Sol
3606 Felton Street San Diego, CA 92104 Reservations by e-mail only: vintagesol@sbcglobal.net
Unique is too benign a description for this North Park inn. Funky, artsy, and bohemian are more fitting. Vibrant Mexican handcrafts, kitschy knick-knacks, and flea market finds embellish the one small, detached studio with a private courtyard the homeowners rent. It’s perfect for a couple’s retreat sans children. An organic garden outside the guesthouse supplies fruit and herbs for breakfast. Mascot finches, Corazon and Milagro, will keep you company. The eclectic B&B is within walking distance of restaurants and shops, and has a strong sense of community, of which the inn’s hosts are very instrumental. (Rate $140 a night. Two night minimum.)