Patio at the Cafe Bahia

History of the Bahia Hotel

A San Diego Landmark

In the late 1940s, Mission Bay was an undeveloped and forgotten tidal maze. The City of San Diego offered several parcels to be bid on for commercial development. Entrepreneurs William and Anne Evans journeyed out to the mudflats to survey the possibilities.

They envisioned a beautiful beach hotel paradise and took the risk. The Bahia Hotel was the first commercial lessee on Mission Bay. By 1953, the Bahia’s first 52 units were open and attracting visitors. In two years, the Evans’ opened another 20, later followed by an additional 40. Ever the pioneers, the Evans considered their role in the economy of San Diego to be an important part of the region’s future.

Vintage sign from the Bahia, c. 1950Today, the Evans’ hotels on Mission Bay employ nearly 1,000 people. The Bahia Hotel is a 311-room destination San Diego hotel which includes beach-front cottages, studios with panoramic views and spacious bayside suites. The Bahia continues to attract generations of vacationers interested in a Southern California beach getaway.

In 2003, the Bahia Hotel celebrated its golden anniversary and remains a local institution and icon of San Diego hotels to this day.