Travel & Day Trips

The Best Hotels Near Legoland California

If you’re heading to Legoland, California with your kids you’ll need a good place to stay. Luckily, there are several options for hotels near Legoland.

When making a choice, you’ll have to consider whether you want a full immersion experience, or if you want to go to Legoland during the day and return to a more relaxed experience at night.

I recently visited Legoland with my wife and three kids. If you’re looking for a full immersion experience, the best place to stay in Legoland, California is one of the two official Legoland hotels.

Interior of the Legoland Castle Hotel

If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, my top pick is the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa, which has a private entrance to Legoland. There are several other hotels nearby that are excellent as well.

Here are my recommendations for the best hotels near Legoland, California, based on my recent visit.

The Official Legoland Hotels

Facade of the Legoland Castle Hotel
Facade of the Legoland Castle Hotel

If you’re looking for a hotel that’s closest to the Legoland entrance and that has extensive Lego themeing, take a look at the two official hotels from Legoland.

Legoland Hotel

The Legoland Hotel is the original, official hotel for Legoland. The outside has a Lego brick theme, and the hotel has an impressive lobby area.

The best thing about this hotel is that you can walk out the door and be right at the Legoland entrance. That makes it very convenient to get to the park early and come back to your hotel for a rest during the day.

The Legoland Hotel (right) is directly adjacent to the park entrance

Heads up: the official hotel can be surprisingly expensive. That said, if you’d like to be as close as possible to the park, it’s a great option.

Legoland Castle Hotel

Knights, dragons, and sorcerers play a large role in the Lego universe. To carry that theme through, Legoland recently opened the Legoland Castle Hotel. The Castle is immediately adjacent to the original Legoland hotel and has direct access to the park’s main entrance.

In this hotel, you’ll find a medieval Lego theme. The theme is carried through from the lobby where you first enter. You’ll find a giant Lego sorcerer and a Lego pit where kids can play.

This hotel also features the Dragon’s Den restaurant. Your kids can play with Legos while you wait for your food, which is surprisingly good for such a heavily themed restaurant.

Independent Hotels Near Legoland California

Not everybody who visits Legoland wants the full immersion experience. Maybe you want to go to the park for one day, but you otherwise want to enjoy a Carlsbad or San Diego vacation simply.

Or maybe you’re OK with spending the day at the park, but you want to come home to a less kid-oriented experience. You might also need a business hotel for a work trip to San Diego that also gives your family something to do during the day.

In that case, I recommend choosing one of several excellent independent hotels that are immediately adjacent to Legoland.

These hotels don’t have direct access to the front of the park, but they do have a private entrance into the back of the park that makes getting there very easy. You don’t have to drive in order to get to Legoland from these hotels.

The Best Resort Near Legoland: Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa

The most luxurious, upscale resort near Legoland is the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa. I stayed there during a recent visit to Legoland and you can read my full review here.

Basically, the Westin provides a comfortable and relaxed environment with big rooms that are large enough to accommodate the family. Although the hotel has a private Legoland entrance, you won’t find any Lego bricks in the classy lobby and grounds!

What you will find is a large outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and on-site restaurant, and newly built rooms that opened in 2018. Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa is my top pick for the hotel to stay at if you’re visiting Legoland.

Resort Runner Up: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort

If you’re looking for a somewhat less expensive stay, check out the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, which shares a property with the Westin.

The Sheraton also has a nice lobby, an on-site restaurant, and has even larger outdoor swimming pool areas than the Westin. The Sheraton brand is slightly lower on the luxury scale, so you won’t find as large rooms or as nice features.

Still, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort makes a great place to stay, and you can take advantage of that same private Legoland entrance!

Budget Pick: Marbrisa Carlsbad

Legoland entrance near the MarBrisa

If you’re looking for another budget pick that’s even closer to the private Legoland California entrance at the Sheraton, check out the Marbrisa Carlsbad Resort, another of the most popular hotels near Legoland California.

This resort has a three-star rating, so it won’t have as many amenities as the Sheraton or Westin. That said, it does still have an outdoor pool and gym. It’s also extremely close to the private Legoland entrance and often features deals.

The Marbrisa is on the same property as the Hilton resort, but that property appears to be a time share. You may be able to visit the Hilton resort if you’re part of a Hilton program, or rent directly from a Hilton resort owner.

You can take a look at booking.com to see the most up-to-date deals for the Marbrisa.

Another solid option is the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort. It’s not quite as close to the Legoland theme park, but it’s across the street from the Legoland parking lot.

The resort features a light and breezy theme, with smaller rooms than some other places in the area, but some nice kid-oriented amenities. The hotel also has a small fitness center and some other nice amenities.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to stay at a hotel near Legoland, you have a lot of great options.

Remember to check booking.com for the best deals on these hotels, and enjoy your Legoland visit!

FAQ

Is LEGOLAND closer to LA or San Diego?

The Legoland California resort is closer to San Diego than to Los Angeles. It’s about 45 minutes from downtown San Diego, and at least an hour from Los Angeles.

I’ve listed hotels that are right near Legoland California, but another option is to stay in downtown San Diego or pick one of the many Carlsbad hotels and then drive to Legoland.

What city is close to LEGOLAND?

Carlsbad, California is the closest city to Legoland California. You can easily drive to downtown Carlsbad beach and other local areas in about 10 minutes if you stay at a hotel near the Legoland California resort.

Is it worth staying at Legoland Castle Hotel?

That depends on how much you love medieval knights in shining armor, dragons, and ubiquitous Lego bricks! The Legoland Castle Hotel is intense! I visited, and the second you walk in, you’re inundated with Lego theming.

The Legoland Castle Hotel is also expensive. When I checked, it was about double the price of the Westin. Of course, you can keep an eye out for Legoland California resort offers to save a bit of cash.

That said, if you’re traveling with kids or you’re a huge Lego fan, staying at this hotel is going to be a great experience.

Can you do Legoland California in one day?

Yes! Legoland California is much smaller than many other California theme parks. I did the whole thing in one day, and it worked totally fine.

That’s a big reason why I think it makes sense to stay near Legoland California without necessarily staying right at the resort. You can visit the family friend resort itself, but also have a more grown-up stay if you’re not constantly at Legoland.

Several of these hotels are walking distance to Legoland California–so you can still enjoy the resort–but they make a good home base to explore Carlsbad Beach, Cape Rey carlsbad beach, or other amenities in the area.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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