The glamorous boho-modern lobby looks straight out of an interior design magazine at the Hotel La Jolla, part of the brand’s upscale Curio Collection. Sweeping ocean views abound at the '60s-era non-descript concrete tower, which looks out over La Jolla Shores and the palm trees that dot the neighborhood. The Hotel La Jolla (until recently a Kimpton location) is close to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Birch Aquarium, and the University of California San Diego, though getting out of La Jolla to explore the rest of San Diego can be stress-inducing during the day, especially during the summer. The sandy beach is just a few blocks away -- the hotel even gives guests a free beach tote.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Valet-only parking is $39. You can usually find residential parking in the area if you look hard enough; just pay attention to what the rules are so you don’t get ticketed or towed.
Chic rooms have a low-slung California mid-mod look, with features like platform beds with tall, clean-lined headboards, wood-clad walls, pendant lighting, and blonde-wood furniture. The ocean-facing king executive rooms have small balconies with chairs and a petite pedestal table -- the views are panoramic above the third floor.
This might be a place to make those Hilton Honors points work their magic for you.
A see-through-to-the-room walk-in shower is an unexpected touch in some bathrooms, but don’t worry -- you can lower the shade if you’re not feeling the voyeuristic vibe. Upgraded rooms feature much more spacious walk-in showers. Otherwise, the bathrooms are pretty basic.
Modern-organic meets beachy boho-glam in the hotel’s lobby, one of the most stylish in San Diego. It’s the kind of on-trend backdrop that gets all the likes on Instagram -- think ‘70s-inspired curvy natural-leather sofas with brass accents, a striking accent wall above a low fireplace, a hippie-chic rattan chair, and a smattering of gorgeous accent tables in various shapes and finishes, including natural wood, stone, and brass.
The pool is small but good for cooling off or letting the kids splash around for a little while. It’s lined by modern chaises and outdoor sofas.
A small fitness center gets the job done, with a treadmill, crosstrainer, and stationary bike, as well free weights and a core strength-training machine.
Cusp Dining and Drinks, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, serves coastal Mediterranean fare with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. The attractive restaurant complements the rest of the hotel with touches like bent-wood barstools and laser-cut metal screens in abstract organic patterns. The dining room boasts beautiful ocean views, too.
Hiatus, the hotel’s eclectic poolside bar, serves drinks afternoons and evenings when weather permits.
From the hotel, it’s a 5-minute drive to Interstate 5 (known to locals as “The 5”), the main north-south freeway in San Diego. Torrey Pines Road connects La Jolla Village to I-5 via a parkway; traffic usually moves along at a good clip but can get really backed up during rush hour. Southbound I-5 goes to the Downtown core while northbound follows the coast. Other highways and roads connect east and west. Torrey Pines Road also continues on to UCSD toward the Torrey Pines Natural State Reserve and Del Mar. The road becomes Camino del Mar and after Del Mar turns into Pacific Coast Highway 101.
Start your day at Shorehouse Kitchen (5-minute walk), a cozy eatery not far from the beach that has indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features egg dishes, omelets, frittatas and fresh-roasted coffee from San Diego’s Calabria Coffee Roasters, as well as lunch items. Also popular with locals is Piatti (5-minute walk), a tucked-away Italian trattoria with a stone-hearth oven. It’s actually part of a chain, but you’d never know it, from the reliably good food to the lovely patio beneath a tree. For a special occasion, the waterfront Marine Room (10-minute walk) is famous for the waves that dramatically crash against its windows. You’re paying for the views, but the food is very good too.
Just 250 steps from the beach -- we assume they counted -- the all-outdoor Shore Rider (5-minute walk) eatery and bar has a hip minimalist vibe, with decor that nods to lifeguard towers and a large framed Instagramesque grid of sun-soaked surf-culture pics. The craft beer menu is behind the bar. Other than that and the hotel’s Hiatus bar, it’s slim pickings in this part of La Jolla, though if you drive five minutes down the road to La Jolla Village, you’ll find a few options, including The Spot (five-minute drive), a casual tavern with a fireplace that serves pub grub and drinks. It opened in 1915, making it the longest continuously running restaurant in La Jolla.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The design-obsessed will swoon over the Pinterest-perfect boho-glam lobby at the stylish Hotel La Jolla, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. Chic modern rooms have epic views of the Pacific Ocean, as does the hotel’s restaurant, Cusp. And while the surrounding area doesn’t have a ton going on in terms of dining and nightlife, La Jolla Shores is a quintessential San Diego beach town, replete with a palm tree-lined boardwalk, sunkissed-haired surfers, and numbered lifeguard towers.