|By Courtney Paige, Editor-in-Chief| 🏩☀️🌊
Beachfront access and complimentary parking are two cardinal conveniences few coastal California hotels offer. Fittingly, it’s worth noting La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel offers these luxuries and so much more.
Sprinkled with dazzling million-dollar ocean views punctuated by the oldest palm trees in San Diego County, La Jolla is favored for obvious reasons. Many also covet this cozy seaside town for its old-world charm peppered with Mission-style Spanish architecture. Scuba, SUP and snorkeling in ocean caves are unique attractions other San Diego neighborhoods don’t offer.
Visitors blow in for the day or a weekend to get a glimpse of California’s quintessential coastal lifestyle. Others fly from faraway places and stay as long as possible hoping to live like a local. It’s good to know sought-after travel destinations beg for a specific arrival day of the week. Some travelers prefer bustling crowds and others like a less populated experience. Choosing an arrival window earlier in the week bodes well for less car and foot traffic. If you like jumping right into the action, choose a Thursday, Friday or Saturday check-in. La Jolla routinely teems with tourists so taking note of your arrival day preference is essential to setting the journey’s mood just right.
Arriving earlier in the week affords travelers the serene luxury of trotting around town like a local without having to tussle for a table or outdoor activity. Open restaurants offer outdoor seating during the Covid era; however, expect a wait without reservations mid-week through the weekend. A previous Good to Know Magazine article – “Hang Ten La Jolla” features a list of local faves, including more about the La Valencia Hotel.
Speaking of locals, this little beach town stays at residential capacity, so keep in mind the town bursts at the seams when tourists arrive. On the bright side, what makes La Jolla so special besides its notable seaside beauty is its ability to pack in people while feeling like your own space isn’t compromised. This phenomenon is likely due to its hilly geography. All this beauty with a laid-back attitude. Pure paradise.
Most California seaside towns lack adequate parking, and La Jolla is no exception. Older neighborhoods like La Jolla that were developed when cars weren’t a consideration and maximum residential capacity echo common denominators. The city does however provide a few parking lots and garages dotted along main thoroughfare streets like Prospect and Girard.
Complimentary parking is a highly unusual seaside luxury, and although La Valencia isn’t offering valet parking during COVID, don’t fret, the Pink Lady provides guests with parking upon availability. Hot tip when arriving with your own car, cruise by the hotel on Prospect. If space in front isn’t immediately available, flag down a bellhop. Guests are prompted to drive around the block once while a spot is made available; make the loop, scoot into the spot, as a bellhop unloads the car, guests are free to check-in. Bellhops give guests plenty of time to check in and get settled in a room or by the pool before the car must be moved to an off-site parking lot. Sounds like a lot, but the staff has the parking scene down to a science.
A typical weather pattern familiar to La Jolla locals and regular visitors is mornings are generally overcast or foggy until around 11 am with precipitous sunshine clearing the way for a brilliant warm day. The air carries a constant light breeze that feels like soft welcoming unexpected kisses from a loved one.
Don’t delay, be sure to mosey outside for some warm sunshine by noon, because by 3 pm, like clockwork, California coastlines from north to south are notorious for westerly winds cooling off any warmth accumulated throughout the day. This esoteric quirk is not an occasional event or even a seasonal event, it’s a constant reminder the day is winding down. It doesn’t matter how hot you got during the day, live like a local. Prepare. Always bring a sweater, sweatshirt or stylish warm shawl.
Now that you know the inside scoop about California coastal nights, don’t let your goosebumps get the best of you. Save them for the first time you lay eyes on the stunning La Valencia Hotel. She has been referred to, by many, as the Pink Lady for nearly a century. Spectacularly designed by Reginald Johnson, a local architect with expertise in classic Spanish architecture, alongside the original owners, MacArthur Gorton and Roy B. Wiltsie, the Pink Lady was built for a mere $200,000. Fashioned into a sandstone hillside, La Valencia Hotel has been La Jolla’s most dazzling seaside site since 1926, now one of the most valuable oceanfront hotel properties in La Jolla.
No other California coastal hotel holds a candle to the Pink Lady. Famous movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Charlton Heston, John Lennon, Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and U2’s Bono are known to have spent lavish days and nights over the decades lounging at the Pink Lady. Jet Setter Magazine touts La Valencia at the top of its California beachfront must-stay list. There’s a reason the stars find their way to the Pink Lady. It’s not a result of other movie stars luxuriating here, it’s by virtue of La Valencia’s natural beauty. Inside and out.
Whether your ideal day is to bask in the sun by the pool, wine and dine on the terrace, luxuriate at the onsite spa, stroll over to the beach or just sit and stare at the view, the Pink Lady indulges your every whim.
It’s no secret she’s ‘the hostess with the mostest,’ so it’s worth noting she also caters to groups, weddings, individuals, families, tourists and locals alike. As mentioned earlier it’s easy to spread out comfortably in La Jolla. Even if you don’t have the luxury of staying at the Pink Lady, she offers a day pool pass, lounging in the grand lobby bar for sunset cocktails or a jaw-dropping terrace brunch, lunch, or dinner menu.
In-house restaurants include:
The Med, California coastal cuisine with a seasonal menu.
Cafe laRue, al fresco modern fare.
La Sala, Grand Lobby Bar, a stunning lounge area with a jaw-dropping picture window. THE place to see and be seen.
Concierge – offers sparkling wine upon arrival. Go-to person for ocean cave activities, surfing, snorkeling, galleries, shopping, restaurant reservations, golfing and site seeing. Remember those whims we spoke about?
La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037, 855-476-6870
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