More about La Valencia Hotel
La Jolla is great, the 'La Valencia' needs to get into the 21st century. The hotel is very creaky (read noisy). I made some phone calls and was charged $198, about $3 per minute for US calls, I haven't seen these type of phone rates for years.
Room renovation/construction started at 8AM and woke every person in the hotel.
The food was very good, the ambiance great. But I wouldn't return here.
Best Location in La Jolla
My husband and I stayed at The La Valencia for his Birthday. I agree with many reviews that the hotel needs some renovations and is old. I think that the hotel wants to give you that old fashioned feeling and not that sterile, cold, tower-like, new hotel feeling. The staff is very helpful and polite. We had an ocean view room on the 4th floor which was very nice. It was not huge, however we did have a walk in closet, many drawers, and a nice bathroom. The bathroom was a little small. The hotel reminds me of the of European hotels that are service friendly and have a lot of class. If we were to visit La Jolla we would stay at the La Valencie for sure because of its location alone! It is dead center in the middle of everything. Right above the beach, close to all the shops and restaurants. No need for a car. We drove there. They do charge $17/day for parking (valet only) with unlimited ins and outs per day.
There have been comments regarding noise. We did not hear any noise from construction, however there are weddings back to back! They apparently (according to staff) have a few rounds of weddings a day! Since the hotel is old maybe it is not insulated so well because you can hear wedding bands playing until late. It did not bother us at all. The music ends around 11pm. We swam in the pool which I would describe as a standard pool and nothing else. The walk down to the beach is pleasant and has a walkway both north and south.
We had dinner at Roppongi - an amazing Japanese Tapas and Sushi Restaurant. The food was top notch.
We also had a nice lunch at one of the casual restaurants overlooking the coast on Prospect Street called Top of The Cove. The food was good but the view was incredible!
The La Valencia seems more like a 4 star hotel that was probably a 5 star hotel many many years ago. It reminds us of The Beverly Hills Hotel, although not as nice of course.
We checked the Hotel Parisi out to see whether that was a better hotel. My answer is definetely "No". It is located above two busy chain stores and is in the middle of the shops. It has no hotel feel, no grounds, no view, no pool, nothing.
We also checked out the Grand Colonial. That hotel is alos in a good location but it actually smells like an old age home. The guests are quite elderly and there was a dpressing feel as soon we walked into the lobby. The Restaurant Nine-Ten that they boast about has a standard menu and nothing more. There are No ocean view tables (contrary to what is advertised). The tables are facing Prospect Street! or just extend indoors!
The La Valencia has a wonderful seafood buffet for only $55 per person on Friday and Sat nights which include lobster, crab etc..... The food is incredible and is an amazing value.
I hope this review helps anyone about to visit La Jolla.
Old and Elegant
Enjoyed our oceanfront room over the weekend. The hotel feels like it could be in Europe. It is refreshing to stay in a nice hotel that is not a cookie cutter replica of all other luxury hotels. I think a bit of the tired interior is what gives it charm and elegance. It is not the Four Seasons, and if you like large marble tubs and pristine linens, this may not be the place for you. La Jolla is a great little town and La Valencia is its grand dame. Only negative was that the music was loud in our room and continued till 10:30 or 11pm.
I can't speak for other rooms, but my wife and I stayed in an Ocean Facing room and we couldn't have been happier with our experience. We were traveling with our 5 month old son (he hardly ever cries and sleeps well, so don't get too upset with us!) and knew we would be spending a lot of time in our room, getting room service, etc. We wanted a comfortable room with a great view, excellent food, and comfortable accommodations. The La Valencia delivered on all accounts.
Our room wasn't huge, but it was big enough for a bistro table and two large comfortable chairs that overlooked the ocean. Yes, the bathroom is small, but big enough to be comfortable and not feel cramped. Think of the average New York City room but maybe slightly larger. The only thing the room lacked was a sofa. We never turned on the television, so that didn't matter. We had a pack and play for our infant and it fit in the room with plenty of space to spare.
If you aren't willing to pay for the Ocean Facing Room, I would advise that you ask for an Ocean View room that looks North up along the coast. Otherwise, I would agree that this might not be the hotel for you. Just like New York City, you are paying for the location (and a much better one at that). There are no new hotels on the ocean in La Jolla, presumably because the locals want it that way.
From the hotel, you can go on great walks, shop, dine, etc., all without getting in your car. Although there are some beaches within walking distance of the hotel, if you want to go to an area where you can swim, expect to drive a couple minutes south to the public beaches.
If you are looking for what would be called traditional service found at most five star hotels, you will not find it here. I would describe the service staff as eager to help but not overbearing and pushy. I felt much more comfortable at the La Valencia than I have at other "high end" hotels where I have felt that I had to walk around with a pocket full of cash to tip the service staff continually.
The hotel itself has a lot of charm and avoids the sterile feeling you get in most newer hotels. It was also nice not to stay at a hotel that caters to corporate guests. There was a business meeting taking place while we were there in presumably a small conference room, but it was a small unobtrusive meeting. The hotel is not big enough to have the hordes of meeting attendees that show up at so many other hotels these days. There were two weddings during the 4 days we stayed, but the courtyard was out of the way from our room and they were primarily unnoticed. I can see how it would be an issue if you had a Garden view room.
I have traveled all over the World and the La Jolla coast is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. If you stay in La Jolla, you won't be disappointed. Just remember, you're not staying in Iowa, you're staying in one of the most expesive zip codes in the US.
Geographically, La Valencia is in an unbeatable part of La Jolla. It is right in the La Jolla downtown and is next to many shops and restaurants. One can walk to the many upscale shops and restaurants in a minute or less. Downtown La Jolla is full of non-chain, independent shops, which has became a rarity in many places.
The room and facility: The room was nicely decorated with nice furnitures and amenities, something one would expect at this category of accomodation. However, the room was rather small. Like other reviewers had mentioned, it was small like those one would find in Europe. I booked my room with oceanview and the view was breathtaking especially around dawn and dusk.
Facilities: It had all the amenities of a five star hotel [pool, spa etc]. Common areas were decorated in Spanish style. They were tastfully done and not too busy. It has lots of characters.
Services: Everyone was curteous and helpful. The concierge went out of their way to help us rebooking a ticket to Paris. We also had breakfast at the hotel. Personally, I am never too fond of Amercan breakfast. It is just too much grease and the usual sausage and beacon [I am an American and hence this has nothing to do with the American vs. the French]. However, the breakfast we had at the hotel was very different and good.
Others: I definitely recommend this hotel. Book one with oceanview.
Couldn't Be Better!
WOW! What a great anniversary stay we had!! We read all the reviews but decided that the beautiful view would be worth it. We travel a lot and are picky. Our room had a fabulous bathroom with the best shower ever!! The bed area was a little on the small side but was very romantic, comfortable, bright and cozy. There was a stereo/CD player system, fresh fruit, and wine upon arrival. The patio furniture was comfortable and clean. Room service was pleasant, delicious and prompt. The restaurants were fabulous and had awesome views. Even the valet did a great job. The room came with a Butler. You should ask for Peter because he did a terrific job!! We cannot wait to go back. It was expensive but oh so worth it.
We loved it! Great Birthday treat!
We live in SD and I have always wanted to stay here, so we finally did for my birthday. I read the reviews, so I had hesitations, but we loved the hotel! The hotel is old, so if you don't like the charm that comes with that (smaller rooms, single elevator), then definitely don't stay here. Or you can stay in the newer part of the hotel which I think are all suites.
The small room didn't bother us, and we were very happy that the bed was a king and not a queen. The room wasn't nearly as tiny as I had the impression it would be from the previous reviewers, but definitely not as big as the rooms at most newer hotels. We think the old elevator is cute, but our room was only one flight up, so we mostly used the stairs. Our room was a partial ocean view, but the view was terrific! You didn't have to crank your neck to see ocean at all, just sitting in the chair drinking my cofee I could see the ocean. We could also see the courtyard and got to watch a wedding when we arrived. The reception noise was a little bit loud, but we were able to fall asleep with it, and when it ended around 11 it was silent outside. The location of this hotel is perfect. It's in the heart of Prospect St. in La Jolla, so you can walk to so many great stores and restaurants and to the cove or the park or the beach. I loved walking out the front of the hotel and being on Prospect.
We ate at the Sky Room at the hotel, which was excellent. It's pricey, but we enjoyed our meal and the ambiance of the 12 table restaurant!
We can't wait until we have another excuse to go stay there!
My partner and I stayed at this hotel for four agonizing nights! All of the staff were unfriendly and unwelcoming the entire week. We had a room located on street side and our alarm clock came every morning at 6am to the sound made by service and delivery trucks! The bathroom had peeling wallpaper, exposed pipes, no fan and was tiny. To let the steam escape from a shower you had to open a tiny window that overlooked the noisy street. The room needed serious updating and remodeling. Outrageous prices for this dump! No way is it a five star! If you want luxury accomodations, do not stay here.
The grand dame of La Jolla
The grand dame of La Jolla. Who cares if the rooms are a little on the small size when they come with the best ocean views in San Diego. The public areas are full of olde worlde charm and sophistication, the view from the breakfast terrace is superb, and all this within walking distance of the restaurants and shops of La Jolla.
The staff are friendly, efficient, and seem to genuinely care about their guests' welfare.
My only regret - I didn't pack the gold card, jacket, and tie required for the oceanview formal dining room.
View from La Valencia Hotel on Prospect Street