Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Pink, historic hotel on the beach
The public spaces of La Valencia underwent major renovations (finished in 2014) to help the historic hotel maintain its level of luxury. Its lovely, updated Spanish style incorporates original 1920s elements. Ceiling panels and up-dated cross beams were hand-painted with elaborate floral designs similar to the decor found in the iconic Hearst Castle. Mediterranean-designed iron wall sconces and two-tier wrought iron chandeliers add drama as does a new terrace trellis. Orange tile floors are covered with Persian rugs and there are plenty of upholstered Queen Anne style chairs to relax on. Outdoors, the grounds are beautifully manicured and landscaped with oversize plants and blooming flowers. The Med restaurant includes a Spanish-tiled working fireplace. Cafe La Rue has sidewalk seating and is decorated with painted scenes of Paris indoors. Celebrity sightings are commonplace as the whole hotel oozes with old Hollywood glamour.
In downtown La Jolla, next to the beach
Perhaps the biggest draw of the iconic La Jolla hotel is the location: It's one of the few properties in the area that's within walking distance of both the beach and downtown La Jolla's shops, restaurants, and galleries. Nearby beaches include La Jolla Cove, a popular snorkeling spot with excellent water visibility, and Children's Pool Beach, known as a haven for seals. Expect a 20-minute drive to the San Diego International Airport and nine minutes to Torrey Pines State Park. Required valet parking at La Valencia Hotel is expensive, though that's standard for the area.
Contemporary rooms and villas with Spanish-influenced design; some have private terraces with garden or ocean views
Because of the hotel's original construction in the 1920s, none of the guest rooms are identical, though there are three types categorized by square feet: Vintage, Classic, and Villa. They are decorated in neutral and soft colors with contemporary furnishings and carpeted floors. Wooden shutters cover the windows and vistas vary from the swimming pool with the ocean beyond it, to the street and garden grounds. All rooms come standard with 300-count Frette linens, spa robes, Keurig coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. The King Villa includes an in-room fireplace, whirlpool bathtub, and wraparound patio facing the ocean. Some of the bathrooms are on the smaller side but dual shower heads are a fancy touch. Past guests have complained that pool-facing accommodations aren't very private. Ceiling fans and air-conditioning keep things cool.
Two restaurants, La Sala lounge, and massages
La Valencia offers guests lots of topnotch features: some of them, like the fitness center and business center, are available 24 hours a day. The business center includes two computers and a printer, while Wi-Fi is free. The brightly lit, garden-facing fitness center overlooks the gardens and holds cardio equipment and weights. Bottled water and chilled towels are available. Additional perks include a free daily newspaper and shoe shining services. Massage services can be arranged next to the pool or in guest rooms. A Les Clefs d’Or Concierge is available to assist with excursions and restaurant reservations.
Pacific Ocean views from the Mediterranean-style pool
No visit to Southern California would be complete without an afternoon by the pool, and the Mediterranean saltwater pool at La Velencia Hotel doesn't disappoint. The pool deck was renovated in 2014 to include gorgeous Spanish tiles and plush sun loungers. The water is heated to a comfortable temperature and the whirlpool stays hot. Cocktails and food are served while the sun is shining and massages are available next to the water by appointment. Towels, umbrellas, and extra cushions are free and widely available. One thing hasn't changed since the renovations -- the great views of the Pacific Ocean from the palm tree lined pool deck.
Two restaurants and a lively lounge along with outdoor seating options
Though there are a wide variety of restaurants within walking distance of La Valencia Hotel, there are some great options on property for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. La Sala offers up tapas and cocktails plus occasional live entertainment in the lobby lounge. The Med serves three meals a day indoors or outdoors while Cafe la Rue has European bistro cuisine for lunch and dinner. Poolside service and 24-hour room service are also on offer.
The historic, upscale La Valencia Hotel has held its prime location on the Pacific Ocean in the heart of sunny La Jolla since it was constructed in 1926. The Pink Lady, as it's affectionally called -- a nod to the Pepto pink exterior -- was renovated in 2014, bringing it squarely into this century with an updated Spanish style. Two on-site restaurants, a lively bar, and Spanish-inspired saltwater swimming pool facing the ocean are just part of this unique property's charm. Expect to pay extra for Wi-Fi and breakfast. Villas and rooms facing the pool aren't very private but include great details like dual shower heads and (some) outdoor fireplaces. Small pets are allowed for a fee -- a great perk in a state where pooches are considered part of the family.