I'm looking for a beachfront hotel in or near San Diego for my family (on the theory that the water there is warmer than say Los Angeles or certainly Pizmo Beach). I'm hoping to find a hotel near a beach suitable for beginner's surfing. And by "affordable", I'm hoping for $200/night or less. (Though I'll spend more if I'm convinced it's worthwhile or necessary.)
Tower 23 Hotel
Follow this link : http://goo.gl/xZdT2
The price is around 199 USD/night(from booking.com) and the booking.com review score is 8.5. It also states that "Guests at Tower 23 are surrounded by a large variety of recreational activities. Hiking trails, fishing, golf, surfing and whale watching are only minutes from the front doors"
from what I searched in Google, it seems that you can surf in Mission Bay which is very near to the hotel.
if you click the review section, a couple from Germany also stated "...direct view from the balconary to the sea; a lot of surfers in front of the hotel..."
I've been to San Diego a couple of times and both times stayed in vacation rentals instead of hotels. This worked great for our family because it meant we had our own garden and felt very settled while we were there. We stayed somewhat north of the city in Del Mar and Encinitas. Both these areas were great. I'm not a surfer, but there's always lots of people surfing around those parts, so I don't think you'd have trouble getting some surfing in while there. While a lot of the houses will be more expensive than $200/night, I think you'll still find plenty of suitable options at that pricepoint.
Homeaway, VRBO or AirBnB all have a lot to choose from.