We had a much better time here than we thought we would on initial impression. As mentioned by others, this hotel does have a somewhat dated appearance. But surfaces were freshly painted, it was clean, and our room was very comfortable. We had a coastal view with kitchenette on the top floor, which I would recommend. The high-floor rooms have vaulted ceilings that make them feel more spacious. Our balcony overlooked the beach park next door, with nice views of the shoreline looking up the coast. This park is very popular with the locals, and we loved being able to people-watch. It's kept very clean, has a lovely green lawn, beautiful palm trees & landscaping, and playscapes for the kiddos.
Our favorite thing was the location, in the middle of a nice residential area, easy walking distance to shops & restaurants, and just down the beach from the Scripps Marine Institute. Great spot for walking. My husband could pop out the door & be surfing in 5 minutes. There are surf shops nearby for help & equipment, and lots of locals surfing here. The Birch Aquarium was about a 10-minute drive at best, and a jaunt over to downtown La Jolla about the same. Parking is below the hotel, very convenient and reasonable cost. We found it super easy to get to & from LJS when we were sightseeing the area.
Things we loved: good size fridge, microwave, nice toiletries, Starbucks coffee in the room, comfy mattress & bedding, convenient parking, friendly staff, Marine Room restaurant (old-Hollywood vibe, very pricey but worth it), roomy balcony, good reading chair w/ ottoman & lamp, and just the fact that this is not a huge place. It's very easy to access everything via multiple stairways and you feel at home and a part of the neighborhood.
If you're looking for super luxury this is not the place. We happened to follow this stay with several days at one of the most luxurious resorts in southern California. I preferred La Jolla Shores! We will almost certainly return; we loved La Jolla.
One fun place to visit if you appreciate Arts & Crafts architecture: The Lodge at Torrey Pines. We had drinks in both bars & enjoyed seeing it and then following with a visit to Torrey Pines State Reserve down the road.
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