Lathered in faint-pink stucco, La Valencia Hotel (@LaValenciaHotel) in La Jolla, CA, has welcomed guests from near and far since its 1926 debut. Many of them, Hollywood elite who have traded the intensity of Los Angeles for idyllic beach town, La Jolla; or as it’s often nicknamed, “the jewel of San Diego.”
The hotel hosts 114 rooms that range from cozy boudoirs to exclusive villas. Walking into the hotel, you feel a mélange between two different domains: historic San Diego and old-world Spain.
Before entering the lobby, guests notice outdoor haunt Café La Rue on their left, which sports a charming patio protected from the street by vine-tangled wall.
The lobby is inviting with a tiled, provincial-like décor. On that same level is hotel restaurant, The Med. Here, on the ocean view terrace, guests can dine with a panoramic vista of the sea. Our favorite dish is the Ahi Poke Nachos, consisting of furikake, chili aioli, cilantro, and wonton chips.
When it comes to the hotel’s garden and pool, the word “charming” is an understatement. To access these splendors from the lobby, guests descend a tiled staircase with a Pacific Ocean view.
Before reaching the pool, a green patch with Riviera-style round tables reels guests in with its promising view of the azure sea. Although many believe La Valencia Hotel’s nickname, “The Pink Lady,” originates from the color of its stucco, the first lady in pink was the 1928 tile portrait of a Spanish maiden in traditional dress by Ernest Batcheler. She has always lived at this greenbelt — on a rose-colored, mid-rise retaining wall that competes with the sea for the hotel’s best backdrop.
The pool and jacuzzi are lovely; the surrounding space, chic-cushioned lounge chairs sitting on brown-toned tiles. After a nice sunbathe & swim session, the rooms are the perfect place to come back to; expect an interior with muted colors, comfy accommodations, and azulejo-tiled walls.
After a day at the pool, guests can explore luxe La Jolla. From serene beaches to curvaceous coves and cliffs, to elegant art galleries, boutiques, and ambrosial restaurants, the hotel is in the town’s center.