This 210-room hotel in picturesque La Jolla has lovely grounds and Spanish Colonial-style architecture complete with orange tile roofs and whitewashed walls. A renovation in 2013 brought flat-screen TVs and new furniture to the guest rooms. Highlights include outdoor fireplaces and a large saltwater swimming pool, and there are three on-site restaurants. The hotel has more charm than other hotels in its price range in this upscale seaside community.
Beautiful grounds and Spanish-Colonial-style architecture
If Estancia La Jolla has an outstanding feature, it's the grounds: Beautifully tended lawns, lemon trees, native plants, fountains and flowers surround Spanish-Colonial-style buildings. In the mid-20th century, the land was part of an estate where young thoroughbreds were trained, and the hotel strove to preserve that history with rancho-inspired decor through subtle equestrian details, such as doors that resemble barn doors. The lobby embraces the rancho theme with a barn-style vaulted wood ceiling, fireplace with a wood beam mantel, terracotta tile floors and ironwork details. Outdoor fireplaces and terraces are cozy spots to relax and enjoy the gardens.
La Jolla is an affluent seaside community north of San Diego, home to restaurants, shops, mansions, a famous golf course, coastal bluffs, and a beautiful beach. Estancia La Jolla is right next to the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the UC San Diego campus, and is a short drive from the downtown area and the beach. Expect a 20-minute drive to the San Diego Zoo or famous Gaslamp Quarter.
Large rooms with rancho-inspired decor and courtyard views
After the beautiful grounds and public spaces, the rooms -- though perfectly comfortable -- are a little bit of a letdown. The decor and color scheme is muted with pops of orange on the bed and throw pillows, and they're certainly upscale, but just a little sparse. Each comes standard with a mini-refrigerator (but no minibar), flat-screen TV, coffeemaker, and free Wi-Fi. Beds are luxurious, with 350-thread-count Italian linens. Though bathrooms are nicely sized they include shower and bathtub combinations. The ground-floor rooms, with large windows overlooking the public areas, are less private, so make sure to book a room on the higher floors.
A nice but pricey day spa and a heated outdoor pool -- plus three restaurants
Guests at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa can enjoy great outdoor such as a heated saltwater swimming pool with an adults-only whirlpool. Poolside cabanas are available for rent with fun perks like fresh fruit and snacks. The fitness center and day spa get rave reviews as do the three on-site restaurants, including the casual Southwestern food at Mustangs & Burros and a wine bar. There's a daily resort fee and valet parking is required.