San Diego, LA shut out of TripAdvisor’s top US hotels for 2018

Southern California hotels were noticeably absent from TripAdvisor’s annual ranking of top U.S. lodging destinations released last week, although San Diego’s Fairmont Grand Del Mar made it onto the list of the most beloved luxury properties. 

TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, based on millions of reviews of users worldwide over the past year, are the first of several hospitality rankings to be released in the coming months — some considered more prestigious than others.  

Unlike some of the rankings, which are determined following formal inspections of the properties, TripAdvisor’s selections are based solely on online reviews, which explains why some winners vary markedly from year to year.  

The Fairmont, for example, was ranked No. 1 luxury hotel in the nation last year, but in the newest rankings, it is now 13th. And in the narrower category of family hotels, the Legoland California hotel in Carlsbad is ranked No. 3 this year where a year earlier it was 16th.  

“This is the 16th year of the Traveler’s Choice awards, and it’s always interesting to see how the lists turn out,” said spokeswoman Elizabeth Monahan. “If you go to TripAdvisor and search San Diego hotels, you’ll see the rankings change every day or even a couple times a day based on people reviewing the hotel. But for these awards, rather than look at one person’s review for a week or month, they take into consideration a full year of traveler reviews from all around the world.  

“The awards do rely on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews, so if there’s been a renovation or new features, that helps the brand but it’s hard to nail down why there are changes in the rankings.”  

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa ranked 17th in last year’s awards but was not among the top 25 this year. La Maison hotel in Palm Springs was the only other Southern California property to join Fairmont in the top luxury hotels.  

Said Grand Del Mar General Manager Dennis Clark, “As the only property in San Diego to be included, we are thrilled to represent our city and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional service, luxurious accommodations and experiences for our guests.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Travel

Why old enclaves and new islands matter to travelers

Last month, Alastair Bonnett tried to reach a new volcanic island in Tonga when a cyclone intervened. His work uncovering new islands as well as hidden enclaves, utopian societies and even rumored or magical places fills his new book, “Beyond the Map” (University of Chicago Press). A professor of social geography at Newcastle University...
Tips for taking children to the new Legacy Museum and lynching memorial in Alabama

Standing next to me in front of the new Legacy Museum in blazing hot Montgomery, Alabama, my 12-year old son asks: "Why are you taking me to another museum?"  To be fair, it's not surprising that a sixth-grader would rather be playing video games. But we live only an hour from the museum and the also-new National Memorial for Peace and...
Catalina Island beckons with new trails, vestiges of old Hollywood
Catalina Island beckons with new trails, vestiges of old Hollywood

California sun sends shimmers of light across the choppy waves as I depart Long Beach and head out to sea aboard the high-speed ferry Catalina Express. My destination: a 76-square-mile fortress of rock that’s marooned 23 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Catalina is one of eight of the Channel Islands, and it’s the only one with a significant...
Travel deals: Sale fare to Vienna and 20 percent off a trio of hotels in Belize

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - To celebrate the launch of Unique Hotels of Belize, the new collective is offering 20 percent off an all-inclusive special at its three properties. The nine-night deal starts at $4,029 per person and includes three nights each at Victoria House, Naia Resort and Spa, and the Lodge at Chaa Creek...
In Denver, a mile high but down to earth

The silhouette of a massive construction crane loomed against the brilliant reds and purples of a Colorado sunset sky. “This is the classic view of Denver right now,” my friend Rachel Fleming said.  Fleming is an anthropologist who’s lived in Denver for a decade and works in the area’s booming tech industry. We played violin...
More Stories