This article lists the top ten hotel and hospitality contractors in San Diego, California. Our team considered and evaluated numerous construction firms that are proficient in building lodging, food and drink service facilities, and other projects within the tourism industry across the area.
To compile this list, we took into account various criteria while assessing these builders. We examined their individual accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We also considered the various awards and press recognition they’ve accumulated as well as the firms’ years of industry experience, client satisfaction, and range of services.
The final list features a diverse selection of contractors, from builders that focus on sustainable practices and regularly aim for LEED certification to firms that have worked for the biggest names in the industry.
10) T.B. Penick & Sons, Inc.
Website | 858-558-1800 | 15435 Innovation Dr. Suite #200, San Diego, CA 92128
Headquartered in San Diego, T.B. Penick and Sons performs general construction work in all 50 states and in Guam as well as on three continents. Whether a client is building, upgrading, or updating their space, the team brings unmatched project expertise combined with strong local resources to every project. The firm has lent its proficiency to some of the biggest names and landmarks in the country, including SeaWorld, Balboa Park, and the San Diego Convention Center as well as the MGM Mirage CityCenter, Disneyland, and the Coney Island Boardwalk.
For more than a century, T.B. Penick and Sons has delivered projects using a variety of methods, including design-build, lease-leaseback, at-risk construction management, agency construction management, and negotiated general contracting. In addition, it has self-perform capabilities that strengthen the entire process, providing structural concrete and innovative architectural concrete solutions.
The firm is renowned for its sustainable designs and construction practices, having proven experience meeting LEED requirements for Silver, Gold, and Platinum-certified projects. It has in-house LEED Accredited Professionals who assist clients in navigating the Green Building Rating System and, ultimately, designing and constructing high-performance, environmentally sustainable buildings. Today, nearly 90 percent of the firm’s work is LEED registered, with many of their key projects meeting the LEED Gold or Silver standard.
9) Soltek Pacific
Website | 619-296-6247 | 2424 Congress St., San Diego, CA 92110
Established in 1974, Soltek offers expertise in design-build, construction management, and general construction services for public and private clients throughout the Western U.S. The firm has diverse experience with a broad range of projects, including aviation, biomedical, commercial, historical, hospitality, and recreational enterprises. As one of the largest building contractors in San Diego County, Soltek is recognized as a leading force within the construction community and was ranked among the Top 400 Contractors in the nation by Engineering News-Record.
The firm’s dedication to a collaborative building process, along with a commitment to quality, has brought it numerous repeat and new clients over its long history. One of its most impressive builds is this unique and highly ornate wood-and-adobe structure. One of San Diego’s most important and notable historic buildings, the Cosmopolitan Hotel was originally a one-story adobe home that was later converted into a two-story hotel.
The project scope involved the restoration of the building facade to its original 1880s luster. This included the reconstruction of the historic porch columns and balustrades, the historic roof form, and the front stairs, as well as wood repair and painting. The interior was also restored, which entailed the removal of all non-historic finishes and installation of period lighting and finishes, such as wallpaper, trim, and wood wainscot. A new elevator was also added for accessibility purposes. This project won a handful of awards, including an Award of Excellence from the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board and a Governor’s Historic Preservation Award.
8) davisREED Construction, Inc.
Website | 858-523-9760 | 12250 El Camino Real Suite #240, San Diego, CA 92130
Based in San Diego and with offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Napa, davisREED Construction has established itself as a premier builder in diverse market sectors. In business for over 17 years, the firm has built some of the most architecturally sound and beautiful structures in the hospitality, education, public works, commercial office, and multifamily and residential sectors. It is regularly sought after for its breadth of work and experience, having numerous repeat clients from various trades, including five-star hoteliers and public agencies.
Each davisREED project manifests the firm’s values of partnership, senior leadership, and flexibility. In its Kimpton Solamar Hotel project, the firm had to build a ten-story, 234,000-square-foot structure on a zero-lot line on less than one acre. The site complexity and close proximity of neighboring properties required the firm to underpin the foundations of the adjacent buildings. Because there were no permanent staging areas available, the team used a 15-story tower crane to shift operations instead.
7) Shawmut Design and Construction
Website | 323-602-1000 | 11390 W Olympic Blvd. Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90064
National construction management firm Shawmut Design and Construction has accomplished numerous projects from coast to coast since its establishment in 1982. The firm’s proactive business model allows its project teams to better serve clients by focusing their specialized expertise within one of the following areas: academic, commercial, corporate interiors, cultural and historic preservation, healthcare and life sciences, spas and health clubs, sports venues, retail, restaurants, hotels, and gaming.
Shawmut’s vast industry knowledge and experience, as well as its skilled professionals, have greatly contributed to the firm’s success. This has allowed the team to work for prominent names and organizations all over the nation. For instance, the firm worked on a fit-out for the Hard Rock Hotel. In only 12 weeks, the Shawmut team simultaneously constructed two nightclubs, the Sweetwater Saloon, and the Moonstone Lounge. The team’s ability to efficiently troubleshoot issues and expedite processes through foresight and flexibility ensured completion in time for the hotel’s grand opening celebration.
6) Clark Construction Group
Website | 619-578-2650 | 525 B St. Suite #250, San Diego, CA 92101
Formed in 1906, Clark Construction Group has since grown from a small local excavating company into one of the most established providers of construction services in the U.S. With around 4,200 employees across offices and job sites throughout the country, the firm provides design-build, lean construction, preconstruction, self-perform, virtual design, and other related construction services.
Clark’s portfolio features projects of all scopes and sizes—from straightforward interior renovations to some of the most comprehensive civil operations in the region. The firm’s breadth of capabilities ensures that it meets even the most exacting demands and expectations. As a result, Clark projects have earned more than 1,400 local and national awards for quality, craftsmanship, sustainability, and safety.
In 2016, the firm completed the construction of Marriott Hall, a 171,000-square-foot conference and event facility located adjacent to the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. Clark first demolished the existing structures next to the north tower of the Marriott Marquis and Marina, followed by the original hall. After demolition, the existing base of the north tower was renovated before Clark integrated a two-level, steel-framed structure into the existing tower. The project also featured a mechanical upgrade, including the installation of chillers, cooling towers, and hydronic lines. This project recently achieved LEED Silver certification.
5) C.W. Driver Companies
Website | 619-696-5100 | 7588 Metropolitan Dr., San Diego, CA 92108
Multifaceted builder C.W. Driver Companies specializes in providing general contracting, construction management, and design-build services to the Western U.S. Founded in Los Angeles a century ago, C.W. Driver is the oldest active licensed builder headquartered in Southern California. The firm’s technological edge and dynamic management teams are evident in its diverse projects within the academic, entertainment and sports, hospitality and gaming, retail, civic and cultural, commercial, office, healthcare, residential, and senior living sectors.
One project that clearly reflects the firm’s building expertise is the renovation of the Declan Suites. This project involved the improvement of 20,250 square feet of the existing lobby, public restroom, bar and restaurant, meeting rooms, fitness center, pool area, and interiors of five elevators. The work consisted of replacing light fixtures, installing new bar plumbing, and updating the fire alarm system in affected areas. The team also demolished ceilings, walls, and floors and configured spaces to new layouts and finishes. Additionally, C.W. Driver provided and installed all new bar equipment and obtained necessary health department permits and sign-offs.
4) Morley Builders
Website | 619-299-2211 | 2251 San Diego Ave. Suite B251, San Diego, CA 92110
Established more than 70 years ago, Morley Builders is keen on continuously providing high-quality construction services to clients throughout Southern California. Contracting its services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors, Inc., the firm has an annual volume of work averaging over $300 million.
Landing a spot on Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Top 400 Contractors is a testament to the firm’s proficiency in building construction. Morley’s extensive experience has helped it gain the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the right tools and techniques to meet any construction challenge. As a result, the firm has helped transform the Southern California landscape considerably by providing major civic structures as well as commercial and office, medical and healthcare, industrial and infrastructure, and hospitality projects.
Morley provided concrete services for the Pendry Hotel, a 12-story boutique hotel located in the heart of the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Sitting on a 40,000-square-foot footprint, the hotel has 280 rooms and 36 suites as well as three levels of underground parking and other amenities. The building’s street level also houses several restaurants, bars, and a nightclub. To meet critical project milestones, the team had to adjust to tight site conditions and limited street closures.
Website | 858-622-4040 | 16798 W Bernardo Dr., San Diego, CA 92127
Over the years, Swinerton has built several structures that have claimed spots on the National Register of Historic Places and other architectural preservation lists. This is thanks to the care and innovation provided by the construction firm through its 130-year presence in the building industry. Swinerton offers a full range of commercial construction and construction management services throughout the U.S., performing renovations, remodels, and tenant improvements primarily in the medical, education, multifamily residential, and hospitality sectors.
With multiple offices located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, Oregon, and Washington—as well as more than 3,500 construction experts—the company has helped build communities through its green building information modeling (BIM), design-build, integrated project delivery (IPD), and lean construction solutions.
In San Diego, the firm has worked on Hotel Z, Moxy Hotel, US Grant Hotel, and Gaslamp Courtyard Marriott, performing a number of general contracting services. These include tenant improvement, exterior upgrades, design-assist, design-build, preservation, value engineering, and more.
2) Turner Construction
Website | 858-217-0700 | 15378 Avenue of Science Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92128
For more than a hundred years, diverse market segments in North America have relied on Turner Construction for innovative building solutions. The firm’s claim to fame are its complex, large-scale projects in distinct market industries such as residential and hotel, cultural and entertainment, aviation and transportation, sports, data centers, and pharmaceuticals. It has more than 6,000 employees and completes an average of 1,500 projects annually, performing $12 billion worth of construction.
The firm’s values of collaboration, reliable scheduling, and efficient project delivery are manifested in every Turner project. Such is evident in the firm’s construction of the Hard Rock Hotel. The hotel is a twelve-story, 420,000-square-foot structure built to appear as two separate buildings. The building accommodates 420 rooms, meeting facilities, a main ballroom, three restaurants, two club lounges, spa facilities, an outdoor deck and pool, and a dining garden. Additionally, Turner Logistics supported the project by providing procurement, coordination, and delivery of a complete plumbing fixture package. This included installing facilities such as faucets, tubs, showers, toilets, urinals, valves, spas and whirlpools, and lavatories.
This project received multiple awards, including the Construction Management Association of America’s Project Achievement Award, a Structural Engineer Award of Excellence, and the Turner Eagle Award for Operational Excellence.
1) Hensel Phelps
Website | 619-717-8650 | 9404 Genesee Ave. Suite #140, La Jolla, CA 92037
Since 1937, Hensel Phelps has offered development, construction, and maintenance services that reflect the firm’s excellent synergy of industry knowledge, comprehensive expertise, ingenuity, and flexibility. The firm provides a full range of building services that combine an effective process with the latest technology and world-class craftsmanship to create landmark structures for clients. Additionally, the firm places a big focus on sustainability in its projects. It works closely with design teams and clients to provide cost and constructability studies, offer value engineering concepts, and perform life cycle analysis to evaluate the project in relation to various LEED criteria.
One of the firm’s most remarkable projects is Lane Field South: a $138.5 million, full-service hotel managed by the illustrious hotel brand, InterContinental. The 602,452-square-foot project consisted of a 215-foot-tall building—a 165-foot-tall tower over a 50-foot tall podium structure. The tower features 400 rooms, a terrace with outdoor amenities, and a rooftop bar on the 19th floor overlooking the San Diego Bay. Meanwhile, the podium houses a restaurant and retail space, a ballroom and meeting space, an InterContinental Club Lounge, and three levels of subterranean parking.