We recently had our vacation cancelled due to the fires in Northern California, and at the last minute re-routed to San Diego. We used to stay at the Omni La Costa a lot when the kids were little, but it’s in North County and not near the beach…and we wanted to stay by the beach this time. Cue a LOT of research on resorts in San Diego – and trust me there are allllllll kinds – and we found a number of great options for family friendly resorts in San Diego. We decided to book our family vacation at the Mission Bay Resort, which is nicely updated, kid-friendly and had beachfront rooms with fire pits (our kids are OBSESSED with s’mores!).
The resort is on the Mission Bay, so there isn’t much (if any?) undertow or significant waves, which makes it great for kids! Bring your boogie boards, noodles or inflatable boats and enjoy the WARM water!
We also rented waverunners (twice, actually), a pontoon boat and a paddle board (twice also). All are easy to rent right at the marina at the resort (it’s owned by a separate company).
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Review of San Diego’s Mission Bay Resort:
- Covid Precautions
- Covid Era Beach Travel Packing List
- Recommended Products
Rooms at Mission Bay Resort in San Diego
The property is completely updated, clean and our room had wood look tile floors! Hallelujah because carpet in shared living space is just soooo ew. I deal with it sometimes but hard flooring is an A++++ in my book. Not all rooms have that, so might ask for it if also important to you.
We reserved a first floor studio room (all fire pits are on the first floor) and a bayfront room, and from our slider to the sand was about 30 feet. The resort has AWESOME suites, but there are only 6 in the whole hotel, and they were sold out while we were there. Our room did have adjoining doors on each side which could mean a triple connecting room as an option for larger parties. It also had a fridge (empty), microwave and coffee maker (standard keurig pods if you wanted to bring your own higher quality pods).
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Mission Bay Resort is Dog-Friendly
Did I mention it’s dog friendly? Since we’d planned to take our dog on our original trip, we didn’t have a dog sitter. Luna was welcome at the Mission Bay Resort and there was a huge grass yard in front of our room with doggy bags/doggy bin. There wasn’t a “No Dogs” on the beach sign so I took that as a yes (but you might want to confirm if you’re more of the ask permission type lol). Dogs are welcome at dinner and really everywhere in the resort except the pool (understandable). I saw maybe 1 or 2 other dogs while we were there…not many.
Covid-Era Precautions at Mission Bay Resort
Like all hotels in the age of covid…no daily housekeeping was a bummer for a 5 day stay at the beach (think sand, wet suits, snacks…) but that is the situation at all hotels.
Housekeeping at Mission Bay Resort provides a phone number to text requests. All our requests were delivered touchless (knock at the door, item left in front of door) quickly. But that doesn’t get rid of 5 days of sand from 4 people and a dog. See my packing list for some remedies to improve beach hotel stays with kids during Coronavirus and reduced hotel housekeeping.
Touchless hand sanitizer pumps are all over the resort, especially around food areas. All employees wore masks, and even the lobby of the hotel is open air so there are very few indoor areas you need enter for more than a few minutes (front desk, general store, coffee shop). Doors were kept open to the hallways allowing fresh air to pass constantly.
Eating at the San Diego Resort
There were two open air restaurants and a coffee shop. The coffee shop serves take out coffee, muffins, bagels, milk, hard boiled eggs, etc. It is the only breakfast option in the resort. The pool snack bar (order at the bar) offers lunch and dinner. The open air restaurant on the beach offers dinner.
Kid Faves were the pizza from the beachfront restaurant and nachos from the pool restaurant.
Just 2 miles away is a great little donut shop, we changed it up for our last morning and got donuts for the kids.
This post is NOT sponsored! All opinions are my own. Contains affiliate links.
Covid era additions to packing list for a family beach hotel vacation:
- Collapsible bucket for a sand rinsing station on patio
- Dustbuster (or dustpan and brush)
- Reusable wine glasses
- Mini bottle of dish soap
- Disposable Face Masks (Kids Disposable Masks)
- Spray hand sanitizer
- The hotel does not provide beach chairs, beach umbrellas or beach towels.
- No room service.
- Mini fridge is tiny and jammed awkwardly in a closet (despite a nice, large mini bar) so stick to half bottles of wine for this fridge.
- The beach in front of the hotel is a public beach and there were a few firepits. They were used nightly and crowds were very small and quiet (it was NOT an issue for us)…but it’s possible on a weekend or occasion that the bayfront rooms closest to the water could be bothered by this. Again we didn’t experience it, but want to mention for those super sensitive to noise.
- Limited quantity of suites available, must book them way in advance.
Tips for the Mission Bay Resort:
- The front desk will give you kits to light your fire.
- Bring your own s’mores supplies, remember to bring skewers (we have these and they have lasted).
- If you need more chairs for your firepit, ask housekeeping.
- Marina on site for waverunner, pontoon and duffy rentals.
- Pack your own beach towels or snag some pool towels to use as beach towels (we didn’t but it does occur to me now).
- Reserve far in advance if you want a suite, inquire about adjoining rooms for an alternative.
- Saturday night the hotel hosts a s’mores party on the beach (confirm in advance this is still available).
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Have you stayed at the Mission Bay Resort? I’d love to hear your opinion, tips, etc!
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