The hotel landscape in San Diego is brimming with luxurious buildings and historic landmarks. From the Hilton and Holiday Inn to Pendry and the US Grant Hotel, its vast hospitality selection showcase offers an abundance of amenities for all types of customers. There are towering structures with rooftop hubs that cater to nightlife enthusiasts, as well as quaint suites surrounded by scenic old-town landscapes ideal for tourists.
For potential owners looking to build a ground-up establishment or hotel entrepreneurs in need of upkeep and improvements, the following list features the top hotel contractors in San Diego. These firms were selected after an extensive research process that factored in several key variables, such as each one’s company history, portfolio quality, industry awards and accreditations, client reviews, principal background, and more. Most builders operate on multi-state and global levels, save for a few that serve on a local scale.
525 B Street, Suite 250, San Diego, CA 92101
Clark Construction ranks among the top building and civil construction companies in the country. Over a century in the industry has fortified its reputation as a builder of high-performance structures and a provider of well-rounded service. Its diverse portfolio is filled with projects that range from commercial and residential buildings to roadways and industrial facilities, most of which are award-winning buildings in local and national territories.
The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is considered the largest hotel in Southern California and one of the tallest waterfront hotels on the West Coast. A subsidiary building of the original tower, the 790,000 square foot expansion was built on a three-acre site and features 34 stories filled with 1,628 guest rooms. In 2003, Clark Construction worked on the project within a 24-month schedule while the hotel’s daily business was operational. The completed project features a central connecting lobby, a large ballroom, and an exhibit hall that connects the extension to the main hotel. Its main entrance was also bolstered with imported dimensional stone from the ground level to the vaulted metal roof to fortify the structure up to the middle part of the hotel. The project’s outstanding construction earned accolades such as the Merit Award for Excellence in Construction from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Build San Diego and the Concrete Flatwork Award from the American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) San Diego International Chapter.
468 North Rosemead Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91107
Founded in 1919, CW Driver Companies is one of the longest-tenured commercial builders in Southern California. It specializes in general contracting, construction management, and design-build services, which are available to clients in residential and commercial sectors. Current CEO Dana Roberts continues the legacy of founders Clarence Wike Driver and John MacDonald, whose skill and passion for construction catapulted the name to regional prominence. The firm’s standout projects have earned numerous awards from prominent industry organizations. These include the 2018 Best Green Project award from Engineering News-Record (ENR) California, the 2018 National Award of Merit from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and the 2019 Architecture Masterprize in Architectural Design/Education Buildings.
The Declan Suites San Diego was formerly owned by Millenium Partners Management, and required renovations for the entry-level and the 12th floor, which were provided by CW Driver and Delawie Architects. The project was done in eight phases to accommodate the ongoing operations of the hotel. The overall scope of the renovation involved 20,250 square feet and included the existing lobby, public restroom, bar and restaurant, fitness center, and five elevator interiors. Key services rendered include replacement of light fixtures, new bar plumbing, mechanical reuse, and improved fire alarm systems. The bar, restaurant, and fitness area required demolition of its walls, ceilings, and floors to fully reconfigure the sites.
46812250 El Camino Real, Suite 240, San Diego, CA 92130
davisREED Construction is a San Diego building powerhouse and a well-rounded contractor with a forte in hospitality projects. It was founded in 2002 by Derek Davis after 20 years’ experience in the industry, which allowed Davis to take control of his career and use his skill set to provide his own brand of construction to the California domain. The vast scale of his company allows the creation of big projects without sacrificing the quality of even the smallest details. The firm’s diverse portfolio includes projects in the commercial sector, which cover multifamily, mixed-use, affordable housing, private residences, office/tech science, healthcare, education, wineries, and master planned communities. On the hospitality front, its portfolio is filled with high-profile names that range from Marriott and Hilton to The Four Seasons.
The featured project is the Pendry Hotel located in the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego. The luxurious 4-star establishment is one of the newest additions to the Montage line of the hospitality brand. It was designed in partnership with ACRM Architects, crafted to fit its sister hotels’ aesthetic style and layout. The 212,000 square foot expansion has 15 stories of luxury lodging and entertainment hubs, which includes a restaurant, a full bar, three TI spaces, a retail boutique, and two levels of underground parking.
1835 Aston Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Dempsey Construction is known as a firm with a team composed of authentic people, passionate and proficient in their craft. The firm is led by president John Dempsey, a 40-year veteran of the construction industry and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). His operations are focused on providing quality spaces in CA, AZ and NV through the use of high-grade materials and modern technology. A positive building experience for clients is a top priority, achieved through prompt and professional service in the field. Located at the Hotel Circle South in Mission Valley, The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites is a ground-up construction project completed by the Dempsey team. It is six stories high with two additional levels of underground parking and features 104 guest rooms, a business center, and new exterior amenities such as a pool, courtyards, and an outdoor lounge area.
The new hospitality building is situated at the rear of another hotel and required partial demolition of the latter to accommodate its structure. Its construction type includes two levels of poured-in-place concrete with a post-tension deck as well as four levels of Type V construction above. Services rendered include excavation, grading, and shoring as well as the retention of the southern property line’s hillside, which was used for a building pad.
18850 Von Karman Ave, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92612
Hensel Phelps is a name synonymous with ENR’s annual list of the Top 20 Contractors in the United States. In contrast to its small-town roots in 1937 Colorado, the firm is now one of the biggest general contractors and construction managers in the country and abroad, a feat backed by award-winning projects in various commercial sectors. The employee-owned global practice is led by Mike Chouktka, as the President and CEO. The Southern California office is managed by Damian J. Buessing, a seasoned specialist who has been with the company since 2001. As the district manager and vice president of the subsidiary, he has overseen construction projects for Delta Air Lines, Kaiser Permanente, and the University of California Irvine.
The SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn was completed in 2016 and developed as part of a large waterfront hotel master plan in San Diego. The 449,321-square-foot property has a project value of 84.2 million and consists of two structures—one 253-key select-service hotel and one 147-key extended-stay suite. Several key features include an outdoor swimming pool, a bayfront patio area, a fitness center, above-grade structured parking, and a leased retail area with souvenir shops and restaurants. Services rendered for the project include conceptualization, programming, development management, and financing.
2251 San Diego Avenue, Suite B251, San Diego, CA 92110
Founded in 1947, Morley Builders is a practice renowned for its high-grade performance and client service. It is consistently ranked in ENR’s annual Top 400 Contractors, a testament to the caliber of its work. Led by president Charles Muttillo, the employee-owned company works on multifaceted projects with over 300 million cost average annually. It is focused on long-term goals and committed to honest and efficient work, and its team strives to meet time and budget thresholds with every project—traits that have earned plenty of repeat clients and referrals in the area. The Southern California builder operates through two subsidiaries, the Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors, Inc. The former specializes in commercial projects and handles Type I and Type II projects while the latter’s focused on multifamily residential structures since 1984. Combined, the dual departments have completed multiple projects in commercial, retail, medical, educational, student housing markets, and more. Morley’s Concrete Group, another in-house division, provides concrete-related services that involve forming, placing, and finishing work.
Featured is the Pendry Hotel, a 361,351 square feet establishment located in the Gaslamp Quarter. Morley Builders worked on the 12-story structure together with design studio Awbrey Cook Rogers McGill Architect. Concrete services were rendered through thorough pre-planning and despite the property’s tight conditions and limited street closure.
Parkwest General Contractors
3156 E. La Palma Ave., Suite J, Anaheim, CA 92806
Parkwest General Contractors is a one-stop-shop for construction solutions that operate exclusively in hospitality markets and commercial real estate. Its vast catalog is filled with projects for five-star hotels like Holiday Inn, Marriott, Crowne Plaza, and Wyndham, as well as corporate facilities for brands like Citi Bank and Warner Brothers. Building quality projects and solid relationships form the backbone of the firm, which is bolstered by a focused and flexible approach to service and construction. As an all-around builder, the studio’s full range of services includes general contracting, value engineering, design review, feasibility analysis, estimating and budgeting, and development services. Chris A. Hostert, who serves as the president and CEO, carries over 38 years of expertise in construction, management, and real estate development. His professional career includes stints as a general contractor and project manager for industrial property companies, which gave Hostert firsthand building experience and a deeper understanding of every project’s process.
The featured project is the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar, a piece of Parkwest’s gallery of hospitality work. The luxurious hotel is located in Southern California and features lavish amenities like an outdoor pool and lounge area, indoor and outdoor bars, a sophisticated restaurant, comfortable guest rooms, and modern entertainment centers. Learn more about their work at http://parkwestgc.com/.
Shawmut Design and Construction
16842 Von Karman Ave., Suite 175, Irvine, CA 92606
Since 1983, Shawmut Design and Construction has been a preferred contractor for many high-profile companies in the country. The practice carved its niche in the commercial market as a builder of high caliber work and sustainable construction. To date, the team has completed a slew of projects in the academic, sports, cultural, corporate, retail, and hospitality markets, among others. The employee-owned firm is helmed by Les Hiscoe, a 20-year company stalwart who currently serves as its CEO. He leads a roster of skilled craftspeople and management specialists who are committed and passionate about providing top-notch service to every client. As a multi-state operation, the firm has construction management offices in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Miami.
The Hard Rock Hotel is an American chain of hotels with international offshoots in Canada, China, Singapore, and Malaysia. Shawmut Design and Construction worked on a fit-out for the brand’s San Diego branch in partnership with the Myhre Group Architects and Architropolis. The 14,000 square foot project was completed over the course of 12 weeks and required simultaneous construction of two new nightclubs, the Sweetwater Saloon and the Moonstone Lounge. Streamlined management and an evenly-paced process allowed fast completion of the additional hospitality fixtures.
16842 Von Karman Ave., Suite 175, Irvine, CA 92606
Soltek Pacific Construction is a San Diego firm known for its innovative building methods that deliver high-quality results. Founded in 1974, it specializes in general construction, design-build, and construction management services catered to public and private industries. The company’s strong project catalog and positive area presence have earned a coveted spot in ENR’s Top 400 Contractors as well as a bevy of repeat clients in the region. The Cosmopolitan Hotel is a two-story hospitality building with roots that go as far as the 1880s. It was originally built as a bungalow-style abode dubbed the Bandini House and stands today as an official historic landmark of San Diego. Soltek Pacific Construction was tapped for the restoration of the famed converted hotel, which had a project scope that required the reconstruction and repair of the porch columns, balustrades, roof form, and the front stairs, wood repair, and painting. The interior was stripped of non-historic aspects, which included the finishes and the original kitchen. After the removal, the team worked on the installation of lights, wallpaper, trimmings, and wood that reflected the historic interpretative period. A new elevator was also added for accessibility convenience.
The builder’s remarkable restoration earned accolades from local organizations like the AGC San Diego, City of San Diego Historical Resources Board, and the Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
1660 Hotel Circle North, Suite 400, San Diego, CA, 92108
Sundt is an employee-owned company that consistently strives to become the country’s superlative builder since 1890. Founded by Mauritz Martinsen Sundt, the industry stalwart is a name synonymous with top-notch structures that benefit both the clients and their community. As a multi-state operation, the outfit serves the industrial, transportation, and sustainable markets in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah. The high caliber of its work has earned numerous acclaim including the Merit Award from AGC’s 2019 Build America Awards, the 2020 National Award of Merit from Design-Build Institute of America, and several ENR accolades for healthcare, transit, and highway projects. The construction company is currently headed by G. Michael Hoover, who has served as president, CEO, and chairman of the board since 2016. An industry professional since 1978, Hoover is a multifaceted expert equipped with vast construction and management skills—a vital asset to the firm’s day-to-day-process.
The Westin Kierland is a luxury resort with a 750,000 square foot hotel composed of 750 guest rooms, 32 casita suites, a spa building, and a pool and golf clubhouse. Sundt completed the establishment in 2002 and added 32 suites that measure over 37,000 square feet to four of its casita buildings. A precise and fast-paced process led to the completion of the project five months ahead of schedule, a testament to the firm’s field efficiency.
16798 West Bernardo Dr, San Diego, CA 92127
Swinerton was originally established in 1888 as a contracting and brick masonry business in Los Angeles. The company stands today as one of the top builders in the country with over 3,500 staff members across the East and West Coast. Its operations cover a wide market reach that includes the hospitality, healthcare, corporate, and higher education industries, among others. Led by president Charles Muttillo, the employee-owned business fosters a collaborative environment and a streamlined process that strives to meet budgets and deadlines as well as client demands. Innovation, safety, and integrity are central disciplines ingrained in its people, each one dedicated to quality work and customer service. The company’s high-performance output has earned a large network of repeat clients and a slew of accolades from industry bodies like the ENR.
Swinerton, together with the ASCG Inc. architect team, was tapped by US Grant Ventures for the renovation of the historic US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. A standout structure in Southern California’s Gaslamp Quarter district, the establishment is considered a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places and operates as part of the Marriott International hotel franchise. Services rendered for the hospitality project include general contracting, tenant improvements, and pre-construction work.
TB Penick & Sons, Inc.
15435 Innovation Dr, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92128
TB Penick and Sons, Inc. is an international builder that operates in all 50 states, Guam, and three other continents. Some of its standout projects include SeaWorld, San Diego Convention Center, MGM Mirage City Centre, and Disneyland Hong Kong. Its global scope is a testament to the successful operations of the business, spearheaded with proficiency and precision by Tim Penick, a current-generation member of the Penick legacy. He leads a vast roster of professionals from diverse fields of expertise who are all committed to high-grade work and client service. The team strives to meet set schedules and budgets through modern technology systems like building information modeling (BIM), safe field methods, and sustainable techniques, a streamlined approach that has earned many commendations and repeat customers for the firm.
The dynamic builder specializes in general construction, design-build, construction management, structural concrete, and innovative concrete systems. It is touted as one of the country’s construction powerhouses for over a century, a feat reflected through a strong catalog of standout projects in various industries. Among these structures are office towers, multifamily buildings, laboratory facilities, higher education establishments, and parking spaces. The project showcased is the historic US Grant Hotel, a sample of the firm’s work in the hospitality sector.
11440 West Bernardo Court, Suite 166, San Diego, CA 92127
Established in 2003, TSA Construction is a San Diego general contractor that specializes in commercial construction. It has a portfolio that includes projects in Southern California, Arizona, and even the Caribbean region. Key services of the company include ground-up construction, design-build, construction management, historical and building renovation, tenant improvement, and pre-construction work. TSA Construction is a woman-owned business helmed by Pamela J. Arnett, who serves as the owner and CEO of the practice. A seasoned professional for over 30 years, Pamela is known as a well-rounded leader whose skill in management contributed greatly to the firm’s consistent success. Terry S. Arnett, co-owner and president, is a 37-year construction expert whose resume includes a stint as a partner for one of the top contracting companies in the country.
The builder’s catalog includes hotels, offices, industrial facilities, apartments, condominiums, retail and restaurant spaces, and historic renovations. The Andaz San Diego pictured is an in-house project located in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. The historical building was originally a single-room-occupancy hotel converted into a 159-room boutique establishment. TSA took on the 48-million-dollar project and completed it ahead of schedule after fixing several issues in the facility. Features include a fine dining restaurant, a nightclub, a meeting space, and a rooftop pool with a bar, lounge, and sundeck.
15378 Avenue of Science, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92128
Arguably the top general contractor in the country, Turner Construction is a building powerhouse with a remarkable resume renowned on a global scale. Originally established as a New York builder in 1902, the firm raised its profile through its ability to take on complex, large-scale projects that require an innovative approach and cutting edge technology. It stands today as a marquee name in construction, one with an international scope and an acclaimed body of work. The builder topped ENR rankings in the healthcare, hotel, office, university, and green building markets and was named the number one general builder by Building Design + Construction in its 2016 Giants 300 Report. On average, the firm works on 1,500 projects annually with an estimated project cost of 12 billion dollars. These are handled by 10,000 staff members who are all well-versed in professional work and efficient service.
The Turner roster is headed by president and CEO Peter Davoren, a well-decorated professional who was once named among the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). His leadership has led to high-ratings from several clients and the company’s distinction as the preferred contractor for many commercial companies in the country. The firm’s high-performance projects in business sectors consistently earn high revenue, a testament to the caliber of every finished structure.