A Review of the Haunted Horton Grand Hotel

Last minute trips are always the most fun and memorable ones and our trip to San Diego was no different. When I found round-trip tickets to San Diego for under $100 on Skyscanner, I knew it was meant to be. The perfect year-round weather and gorgeous beaches lured us into visiting this wonderful city with great people. Truth be told, I didn’t know much about San Diego. We were looking to celebrate TJ’s birthday and California seemed like an appropriate destination. 

Finding a Last Minute Accommodation in San Diego

We wanted to stay in a bustling area where all the action is and the Gaslamp Quarter area seemed to have a lot of things to do such as an active nightlife and a vibrant food scene. But first, we needed to find a last minute accommodation for our stay in San Diego.

The search results showed a couple of decent hotels but most were just outside of the district. Eventually, we stumbled across one that had glowing reviews and ratings on their website. The price was unbeatable at $80 per night, it was a steal on such short notice! Horton Grand Hotel’s charming exterior got us to take a closer look and once we saw its rustic rooms, we knew that we had found the right place. We went ahead and booked it on the spot.

During our trip-planning, we got intrigued about our hotel and its history especially remembering that we didn’t research the hotel prior to booking. To my surprise, I discovered it had numerous records of various events of hauntings in the buildings that terrified its guests. It felt like my stomach dropped. I absolutely despise anything that somehow has to do with horror and this was already becoming a nightmare for me. In the end, we decided to stick with the Horton Grand Hotel.Maybe it isn’t actually haunted” I kept telling myself. 

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Haunted Horton Grand Hotel

Arriving at the Horton Grand Hotel

The day came to which we traveled to San Diego. We walked into the hotel and was greeted with a picturesque building that seemed so innocent from the outside. As soon as we walked in, we felt like we were transported back to a different era with its antique decoration and an eerie atmosphere.  

As irony would have it, at the check-in desk the clerk offered us room number 309. My endless hours of internet researching concluded that was the “haunted” room. I couldn’t refuse the room fast enough. The clerk understood by apprehension and assigned us the room above 309 which really didn’t make me feel any better. Ghosts can teleport between floors, right?

The young clerk shared the experiences and the stories of previous guests. He told us about the several ghosts wandering the Grand Staircase and the dining area which was previously a brothel. It was common for people to check-out in the middle of the night. While it was nice for the clerk to entertain us with interesting stories about the establishment, it certainly didn’t help me calm my already growing fear.

While thankfully, the ghosts never turned up to scare us, it was really difficult for us to settle in as the thought of one appearing may catch us off guard as we relaxed. I found myself looking at the floor as we walked around the hotel fearing I might make eye contact with a stuck soul. (I realize now I may have been a little dramatic)

Haunted Horton Grand Hotel

Is Horton Grand Hotel Haunted?

Yes, it is. Every employee we asked had some sort of story to share. We took a few city tours and each tour made it a point to stop in front of our hotel and talk about the hauntings since it was in a central touristic area. There are also multiple videos, websites, and reviews that mention the hotel and its ghosts. However, it is actually a really beautifully preserved hotel, as long as the possibility of ghosts doesn’t bother you. 

What I Loved About The Horton Grand Hotel 

The Horton Grand Hotel is within blocks of some of San Diego’s best restaurants, quirky activities, tour pick-up spots, and night clubs. I’m a big fan of the Old Town Trolley Tours, the pick-up and drop off stop was located just outside the hotel.

Car sharing is a thing of the past. San Diego is all about electric scooter sharing. There are dozens of rentable per minute scooter and bike rentals around the hotel. We LOVED renting these as it was a great way to relish in the beautiful California breeze while discovering everything the streets of San Diego had to offer. On our third day, we peddled our scooters all the way to the San Diego Zoo which was roughly 3 miles.

The Gaslamp Quarter is where the imagination of foodies everywhere resides. I was floored by the choices within 3 blocks of the hotel. From cat cafes where you can cuddle with kittens while revitalizing with caffeine to the rock n’ roll inspired menu at Werewolf. There were no bad bites to be had in this neighborhood. The best thing I ate was the chicken and biscuit (and I don’t even LIKE biscuits) from Cafe 222 located 1 block West of the Horton Grand Hotel. There was a long wait every day for breakfast and brunch which is no surprise as this tiny eatery is constantly featured on Food Network.

If you’re looking to unwind after a day of sightseeing, the hotel is centered around a charming open-air courtyard. The courtyard was unexpected and seemed to be where everyone liked to hang out as they sipped their cocktails and unwinded from their adventures. Horton Grand Hotel Courtyard

Overall Review of The Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego

The overall experience was different from what we were normally used to but it certainly overwhelmed us in a good way. The fact that we approached our stay with so much fear kind of ruined the experience for us. I also blame too much research prior to our stay also contributed to us being on edge for most of our time in the hotel. Our minds were constantly on overdrive anticipating something to appear (or disappear) at every corner of our room. Taking all the haunted stories out of the equation, the hotel is beautifully preserved without a blemish caused by time. If you are tired of checking in to the same generic hotel that lacks a certain flair and character, then you should consider staying in the Horton Grand Hotel if you are ever in San Diego. It was certainly one of our more memorable hotel stays.

Haunted Horton Grand Hotel

Breakfast in a haunted brother in San Diego? Sure! Why not?

Essential Information about The Horton Grand Hotel

The Horton Grand Hotel is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. From the San Diego airport, it was a 15 minute Uber ride door to door.

We booked a great last minute deal in late August for $80 a night. During the hotel’s high season, prices start at $190 per night.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not load up your plate with items from the hotel’s daily breakfast buffet in the old brothel? We enjoyed having a fulfilling breakfast just down the stairs without having to wait over an hour at one of the iconic brunch restaurants nearby.

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Haunted Hotel San Diego

Have you ever stayed in a haunted hotel (knowingly or unknowingly)? Would you stay at the Horton Grand Hotel and take your chances?


Disclaimer: This review is 100% my own opinion from an experience that was entirely my own. I have no professional relationship with the Horton Grand Hotel. Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. Sharing is caring so I’m thrilled to share products and services that I genuinely use and love. Keep in mind that I may receive commissions (at no additional cost to you!) when you click my links and make purchases. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way.
[Photo Credit to Featured Image to Horton Grand Hotel]

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