Hotel in La Jolla
Story and photos by Greg Aragon
ome hotels have great location or luxury, while others have impressive
history or gourmet cuisine. And some, such as the Grand Colonial in
La Jolla, have all of the above and more.
A friend and I recently escaped to the 100-yr-old Grand
Colonial for a memorable seaside getaway. Our adventure began when we
checked into a beautiful 4th floor junior suite overlooking the Pacific
Ocean and hotel pool. The room oozed with classic design and elegance.
It was like a night at a governor's mansion back in the 1930s or 40s,
but with all of the modern luxuries of a AAA Four Diamond Award recipient.
The Grand Colonial boasts 100 years of classic elegance
The large comfortable suite came with a king bed, with
goose down comforters; HD TV; walk-in closet; Keurig coffee maker; and
an office work station with desk and Wi-Fi. And besides the super comfy
Kashwére bathrobes, the room was highlighted by huge old-fashioned
windows that opened wide to magnificent views of La Jollas beach
and rocky coves full of lazy seals.
Once acquainted with the suite, we explored the 93-room
boutique hotel and grounds. Opened in 1913 as La Jollas first
hotel, the Grand Colonial started as an apartment / hotel. It soon added
a pharmacy run by the father of legendary actor Gregory Peck, who grew
up in La Jolla. In the coming years, the hotel would host notable celebrities
such as Charlton Heston, Groucho Marx, Jane Wyatt, Eve Arden, Pat OBrien
and David Niven.
Rooms at the Grand Colonial feature spectacular
Throughout its 100 years, the five-story hotel has seen
numerous upgrades and owners, but has always kept its signature Colonial
revival-style architecture and its prominent corner location, one block
above the ocean.
After touring the property, we walked to La Jolla Beach
and discovered the Childrens Pool, where scores of adorable harbor
seals were lounging on the sand inside a beautiful cove. This place
was recently named by TripAdvisor as one of the "Top
10 Wonderfully Unique Beaches" in the world.
Both people and seals love secluded La Jolla beaches
After some pictures with the seals, we strolled along
the coast to the La Jolla Underwater Park, a 6,000-acre tideland area
of rocky reefs, kelp beds, sand flats, and submarine canyons. The park
is naturally a popular destination for colorful fish, snorkelers, scuba
divers and kayakers.
Back at the hotel, we relaxed at the circular pool,
which is located in the hotels charming, 1920s era courtyard.
This secluded area transported me back to a different time.
The hotel's quaint courtyard is a throwback to a
We then changed for a classy dinner at Grand Colonials
Located next to the lobby, NINE-TEN is led by award-winning
Chef Jason Knibb (who competed on Iron Chef America) and Pastry Chef
Rachel King. The eaterys evolving California cuisine
is highlighted by dishes like house-smoked salmon and artisanal cheeses,
as well as exciting seafood selections arriving daily from Hawaii, the
North Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel's NINE-TEN restaurant serves evolving
California cuisine," highlighted by fresh surf and turf
Our meal began with two tasty appetizers: Hamachi Sashimi,
with marinated baby shiitake mushrooms and scallion vinaigrette; and
Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly, with baby carrots, swiss chard, plantains,
black-eyed peas, spicy jellies & sweet potato purée.
For the main course I enjoyed Maine sea scallops, with
matsutake mushrooms, celery root, roasted quince, roasted apple &
mace puree, and mushroom dashi emulsion. My friend devoured Red Wine
Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs, with baby carrots, turnips, spring onions,
daikon, potatoes, gochujang mustard seeds, scallion & radish salad
and beef consommé.
After dinner we strolled through the charming Village
of La Jolla, which offers designer shops, spa services, galleries and
upscale eateries. Retailers on Prospect Street and Girard Avenue
known as the Rodeo Drive of San Diego range from Armani to Ralph
Lauren, Brooks Brothers and Tommy Bahama. We concluded the evening with
a stroll along La Jolla's cliff-lined beach.
La Jolla is replete with gorgeous secluded beaches,
lined with towering cliffs
The Grande Colonial Hotel also offers 5,000 sq-ft of
indoor and outdoor event space, in-room spa treatments, concierge-arranged
ocean activities; airport shuttles and more. The hotel is located at
910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037. For more information and reservations,
call (888) 828-5498 or visit www.thegrandecolonial.com.
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Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego; Hotel
del Coronado; Transit
Through San Diego; Laguna
Grand del Mar; Orange
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