Dark Victorian Glamour at San Diego’s Britt Scripps Inn

We’re not all beach people. Some of us actually prefer rainy skies to sunny days. If that describes you and you’re looking for a place to stay in San Diego that prioritizes wrought iron over beach cabanas, then the Britt Scripps Inn might just be for you. The Victorian San Diego hotel resides in the uptown Banker’s Hill neighborhood, placing it close to the airport and downtown and within walking distances of one of San Diego’s most iconic sites, Balboa Park.

The Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego

Dating back to 1887, the historic property seems to have maintained much of its original splendor. While you will find a modern travel brochure rack in the lobby and a few plastic chairs in the garden, everything else about the hotel feels like stepping back in time.


One of the building’s most striking features is the staircase, flanked by a tryptic stained glass window. Each section of the window seems to represent a different time of day: morning, midday, and evening.

Did you notice the little stained glass bat? He welcomed us into the hall with each departure from our room!

Each room is different, with different decor and color schemes. We stayed in the Balboa, which is the largest of the rooms and includes a small balcony. From the light fixtures to the claw footed bathtub to the carved wooden armoire, the details of the room are delightful.


Britt Scripps Inn bathroom
The details in the bathroom were downright charming

A few things to note if you’re planning a visit: the hotel is actually rather small, and functions more like a bed and breakfast than traditional hotel. You won’t find ice machines, vending machines, minibars, mini-fridges, an exercise room or room service. There is heating and air conditioning, and I found the room to be pretty quiet. There’s also a made-to-order breakfast which is included with your stay, though if you’re like me and don’t go to bed until the wee hours, you’ll sleep past the breakfast cut-off time of 9:30 a.m.

For my next stay, I’m definitely going to have to book the Gothic Room. It wasn’t available during my recent stay, but it looks positively dreamy!

Britt Scripps Inn Gothic Room
Decor goals: the Gothic Room at the Britt Scripps Inn