Alila Marea Beach Resort: An Oceanfront Haven in Southern California’s Most Understated Surf Town

The Alila Marea Beach Resort is near Encinitas, CA, a San Diego-area surf town known for its wave breaks; bohemian-like atmosphere; and business district consisting of organic restaurants, laid-back bars, plus cute boutiques. Until recently, San Diego-bound travelers overlooked Encinitas for the vicinity’s more popular seaside escapes, La Jolla and Coronado.

Alila Marea Beach Resort

Opening in early 2021, The Alila Marea Beach Resort straddles a coastal bluff that precipices the Pacific Ocean. Joseph Wong Design Associates purported the eco-friendly building to both seamlessly integrate into the landscape and maximize its beautiful location: Building materials such as concrete, wood, plus steel present an exterior dressed in shades of brown and gray that blends in with surrounding terrain; changing planes and roof elevations break up the façade to avoid an overwhelming aesthetic; and public indoor & outdoor spaces are intentionally subtle, yet thoughtfully blueprinted for breathtaking views of the beach.


The hotel is contemporary to the core; take the main entry as an example, where board-form concrete creates a cave-like foyer employing refined finishes, specifically wood paneling and vertical metal fins.

After valeting, guests head into the lobby, where curvaceous ocean-like walls, undulating organic woods, and a metal reception desk greet them. The main staircase’s light fixture pays homage to the Pacific’s kelp forests.

Throughout the interior, warm woods, stone, and driftwood elements are the look. The work of local artists hangs on corridor walls, many of them beach-oriented.

San Diego’s sunny weather inherently spawns lounging and swimming: The hotel’s sea-fronting pool and its adjacent Pocket Bar are the perfect fix. It’s not hard to tell that the Pacific engrains every corner here, from the rejuvenating Spa Alila’s ocean-inspired décor and treatments to the 114 cool-toned guestrooms and suites with beach views.

Gourmands should make their way to VAGA Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s premier dining destination. Here, Executive Chef, Claudette Zepeda, pairs idyllic vantage points of the shore with meals containing sustainable ingredients.

See you at the beach. 🌊

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