Pool and ocean view at La Valencia Hotel
© La Valencia Hotel

Referred to as the Pink Lady of La Jolla because of its brightly painted exterior, La Valencia Hotel is a gorgeous historic establishment along the Pacific coastline. Opened in 1926, this beautiful romantic getaway has 114 guest rooms, two on-site restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.

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1.Hotel History & Art

Hotel History & Art  

The hotel was built in accordance with the Spanish school of architecture and designed by Reginald Johnson in the middle of Hollywood's Golden era. Co-Owner MacArthur Gorton allowed the use of the hotel and surrounding area for on-location filming because of the stunning beaches and cliffs in the area. In addition, Hollywood's stars and upper crust visited La Valencia as a means of escape and refreshment. It was a place where they could also enjoy the art of murals commissioned in the 1930's by Wing Howard, famed local artist.

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As time progressed, the Apartment rooms of the hotel became home to housing officers on leave in WWII. Perfectly positioned at the edge of the sea, the main tower was used to watch the skies for enemy planes and the seas for enemy ships. Even hotel guests took turns doing this. The locale even offered affordable housing for the wives of soldiers during their tours.

In 1946, La Valencia expanded by adding extra floors, putting greens, and the outdoor pool. The hotel also purchased the Hotel Carillo, now called the West Wing. The addition expanded the room count to 100.

As the hotel grew so did the Hollywood era influence. The La Jolla Playhouse, founded by Gregory Peck, hosted performances from many elite names, including Charlton Heston, Ginger Rogers, Lorne Green, and many more.

In the 1960's the Sky Room was transformed from a viewing platform into a restaurant. What was once a sunning spot on the tenth floor for guests now offers a comfortable group of tables with a surrounding panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

The hotel displays the permanent fixtures of commissioned art pieces by famed local artist, Wing Howard. There is also a rotating art exhibit featuring world-renowned and up-and-coming artists, photographers, and painters.

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2.Rooms, Suites and Villas

Rooms, Suites and Villas  

There are four different types of accommodations available at La Valencia, and they cater to the different needs of guests. The Villas range from 400 to 1200 square feet and feature a homey atmosphere with wrap-around patios, indoor/ outdoor fireplaces, pre-arrival services and spectacular ocean views. The Villa rooms also include a full sized refrigerator.

The Classic rooms range from 400 - 850 square feet, and they are the perfect choice for the traveling professional. These are famous for their oversized luxurious bathtubs and large vanities. Bedding options include King, Queen, Suite or Junior Suite. Amenities include a work desk, Wi-Fi, single serve coffee maker, an iron and board, honor bar, toiletries, ample closets, and dressers.

The Vintage rooms ranges between 250 - 350 square feet. They contain king beds, a work desk and chair, intimate standing showers, and Euro-style room layout. The rooms can overlook the garden or the nearby La Jolla cove. Amenities include 300 count linens, down comforters, in-room safes, a DSL data port and complimentary Wi-Fi, single serve coffee maker, honor bar, and complimentary toiletries. Select rooms contain a whirlpool or small balcony.

All rooms have excellent hotel amenities including in-room dining, imported linens, HD televisions with premium cable, concierge services, laundry services, and use of the business center, fitness center, pool, and spa. Valet parking is $30 overnight and $8 a day, with a 50% discount for hybrid vehicles. The hotel is pet-friendly with a $30 pet fee.

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3.Dining at La Valencia

Dining at La Valencia  

La Valencia features 24-hour room service from the premiere in-house restaurants. The Great Room restaurant The MED features Spanish architecture and offers al fresco dining overlooking the ocean as if guests were dining on the Mediterranean. It contains three separate dining areas, the patio, the main dining room, and the terrace, and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a weekend brunch. The food is European-fusion and the restaurant has several options for vegans.

La Sala, the hotel's classic lounge, features nightly live music and is adjoined to the MED. Cafe La Rue has more of a bar atmosphere, featuring house specialty cocktails and a select menu. With terrazzo floors and Venetian plaster ceilings, the restaurants create a charming European atmosphere.

The restaurants are not the only place where guests can savor a beverage or appetizer. Poolside service allows guests to enjoy snacks and beverages. In addition, Cafe La Rue features "Yappy Hour," a pet-friendly dining experience every second Wednesday of every month between 5:30 and 7 pm.

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4.La Valencia Hotel Spa

La Valencia Hotel Spa  

Guests can enjoy spa treatments scheduled on site surrounded by the dulcet sounds of the ocean lulling them into a state of calm. With a choice of bodywork, deep tissue therapy, acupressure/ shiatsu, and Swedish treatments available, there is something for everyone.

Special needs, pregnancies, allergies, and medical conditions are taken into account with proper notice. Each experience is specific to guest need, and appointments can be arranged with the concierge between 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Massage recipients must be 18 years or older or attended by an adult.

In addition, the hotel also contains a fitness center that is open 24 hours a day. There is an on-site Jacuzzi and heated outdoor pool.

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5.Family Services & Kids’ Club

Family Services & Kids’ Club  

La Valencia is a family friendly travel destination. Trips to local attractions can be arranged through the concierge service and include trips to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and the Birch Aquarium to name a few.

One location for all ages and close to the La Valencia is the Children's Pool, previously known as the Casa. It is a small, intimate beach famous for the spotting of local wildlife. Despite the name, the location is closed to swimmers because of the influx of wild sunbathing seals. Visitors can walk along the sea wall to enjoy the spectacular views and frolic close to this wildlife haven. The restaurants feature a kids menu.

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With three reception rooms and room for up to 175 people, La Valencia is a go-to destination for local and destination weddings. The spectacular ocean views paint the perfect backdrop for one's special day. After an approved request for proposal, each wedding package includes the services of a dedicated wedding specialist to ensure that the event goes as smoothly as possible. The hotel boasts three stunning locations in which ceremonies, receptions, and rehearsals can take place.

The Garden has room for 150 guests. This space is perfect for an outdoor ceremony with a wall of gorgeous flowers and trimmed hedges, and there is a grassy lawn and room for a ceremonial arch to create a picturesque vision.

The Verandah Ball-Room & Terrace is a dinner and dance space that can accommodate up to 175 guests. Guests will waltz across the black and white marble foyer basking in the atmosphere created by crystal chandeliers in this deluxe 3000 square foot ballroom featuring both indoor and outdoor areas for guest enjoyment.

Rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and day-after brunches can be reserved at The MED, including cocktail receptions with up to 150 guests and brunches and dinners for between 30-80 guests. For smaller gatherings, the Galeria can accommodate up to 50 guests, with the option of small balconies accessible via charming French doors.

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La Valencia is located fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego, making it an ideal location for corporate travelers and meetings. With an approved proposal request, the hotel provides a Conference Coordinator who takes care of all aspects of the event.

With both indoor and outdoor spaces, meetings and banquets can host between 10 to 80 guests. The Boardroom, a 455 square foot room, features the use of an automatic screen, Internet and DSL, conference phones, and a wet bar, and it holds up to 20 guests. The Galeria is available for meetings of up to 40 guests. The Verandah Room & Terrace is 1800 square feet and offers both indoor and outdoor space. It is available for conferences, dinners, and receptions.

Hotel guests can enjoy the many nearby golf courses, some of which are as close as ten minutes away. Probably most well known is the Torrey Pines Gold Course, where the 2008 US Open took place. The website includes directions and specifications on several other nearby golf clubs and activities.

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8.Special Packages and Offerings

Special Packages and Offerings  

Depending on the time of year, the hotel offers a selection of packages to fit the guests’ needs and tastes. All packages are based on availability and not valid with other offers. The Hot Pink Winter helps fight the doldrums by offering 15% off the available rate, including parking discounts and a complimentary bottle of pink champagne. At the change of seasons, guests can enjoy the Here comes the SUN package with 15% off the available rate, $15 valet parking, and a sunbathing tote bag filled with freebies. Bed and Breakfast packages can be added to any standard rate by adding $20 to the daily rate, and guests can enjoy a $50 credit towards breakfast.

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9.For Travelers with Pets

For Travelers with Pets  

La Valencia is a pet-friendly destination with multiple opportunities for guests to pamper the furry members of their family. The VIP Pet package is available at $350 per night with a $30 pet fee. This includes a welcome tote bag filled with goodies: a fancy leash, a dazzlingly decorated bag dispenser, bottled water, dog treats, a portable water dish, a fun VIP dog tag, and a $25 dollar credit towards dining.

Rooms start at $315 per night. The hotel's sister property Rancho Valencia, offers tennis packages and lessons to hotel guests.

1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037, Phone: 858-454-0771, website

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Romantic Getaway at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla