The list of things I was worried about upon checking into Hotel La Jolla with the dog proved much longer than it needed to be. Would he lift his leg in the lobby? What if he barked in the room?
Can a family luxury vacation involve a dog? Despite what my husband calls a “junk yard dog look” Scooby is uber-sensitive and extremely needy so I also wasn’t sure if he was going to melt down.
Well, I’m pleased to say our stay was totally void of doggie drama thanks to a San Diego pet-friendly hotel. And, that blue guy above is Mat, YouTube’s most favorite yoga mat starring in a hilarious video shot at Hotel La Jolla.
Hotel La Jolla is a part of the Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group and they do an amazing job of injecting a festive vibe into each boutique hotel. Though this stay was hosted by Hotel La Jolla, the rates here are normally an excellent value for the ocean-view location and amenities. Plus, we’re fans of the restaurant, CUSP, for its panoramic views (one of the best in town), happy hour and delicious eats. Here are reasons to visit on vacation or staycation.
1. Kids Love It
I am not sure how pet-friendly hotels entered my 6-year-old’s radar, but she’s been asking me for the better part of a year when we could go to a “doggie hotel”. I chose Hotel La Jolla because if the entire adventure went pear-shaped, we’d be 5 minutes from home. Miraculously, Scooby’s snoring didn’t wake her up.
2. Hosted Evening Wine Hour
Head into the lobby between 5:00-6:00pm for a glass (or two) of hosted red or white wine. There’s comfortable, chic seating in the lobby where you, the kids and the dog can hang out. I’m pleased to say we made it. Our dog sat at my feet and watched guests come and go. He even socialized with dogs who were passing through. Regretfully, I didn’t have a chance to sample the ceviche appetizer but it looked good. With leash in one hand, I chose wine for the other hand and wasn’t up for juggling plates, dog and wine.
3. Location Close To The Beach
It takes about 8 minutes to walk to La Jolla Shores Beach where we often walk our dog anyway in the mornings and evenings, when dogs are allowed on a leash. Because the location is this close to the beach, most of the rooms have pretty nice views of the ocean. At CUSP, the restaurants on the top floor, the view is panoramic.
4. In-Room Bed And Bowls
Upon checking into the room, I called to rush our dog bed and bowls because poor Scooby was huffing and puffing. He’d never been in an elevator before and found the first ride stressful (he laid down with all legs fully out-stretched as if to hug the floor). After a few rides, he got over it.
The pet beds are hypo-allergenic and look like they have washable covers. Not to mention, they’re cute! The plastic bowl set worked just fine. I eventually placed a towel underneath so he didn’t make a gigantic mess with his big head. In case you’re wondering, he eats Honest Kitchen dog food with an allergy medication floater.
5. There Will Be Other Dogs
I am not used to family travel with my dog so never really paid attention to other dogs in our hotels. During our short stay at Hotel La Jolla, we ran into several other friendly dogs.
6. Pet Relieving Area
Initially, I wasn’t sure where to take our dog to the bathroom so we ventured out to the back parking lot. It turns out that there is a lovely walkway surrounded by plenty of grass in front of the hotel with signage indicating that this is where dogs are welcome to do their business. The pet-friendly hotel has disposal bags for your convenience but I used my own. There’s a dumpster near the walkway in which to throw full bags. Anyway, what I like about the signage is that it makes you not feel awkward about the whole thing.
7. It’s Close To Dog-Friendly Dining
Avenida de la Playa, the street that takes you to the beach, is home to dog-friendly restaurants including Barbarella, where there’s a dog menu that includes pizza and ice cream. Grab some retro candy, famous oatmeal cookie and a gourmet sandwich from the Cheese Shop and eat it on their patio or at the beach.
8. Staff Is Armed With Treats
Though we didn’t receive the doggie treat at check-in, Scooby inhaled a doggie bacon treat during wine hour. Maybe it’s the treats but pretty much every Hotel La Jolla staff member we came into contact with was incredibly comfortable around dogs.
9. Dog Walking And Sitting Services
If you need to be away from your dog, have no fear. The concierge can arrange for dog sitting and walking services with advance notice. We didn’t leave ours, because I was nervous but since he’s not a barker I would have ventured up to CUSP for a quick dinner without any hesitation.
10. Free WiFi AND You Can Raid The Mini Bar
It’s a Kimpton! I appreciate that with your FREE Kimpton InTouch Guests Rewards membership WiFi is free and you receive a $10 credit to “raid the mini bar” which means you can treat yourself to an item or two on the house. We enjoyed gummy bears, juice and wine so the $10 helped curb that bill. In NYC, it’s $15 and there are other perks like membership-only events and the like.
Good To Know
We are a family of early risers so not having hot items like eggs available via room service prior to 7:00am is a little bit of an issue. A handful of things are available, however, like muffins. Delicious coffee and tea are available in the lobby in the early morning, negating the need for an in-room coffee maker, perhaps.
I had to ring for the dog bed and bowl as it wasn’t waiting for us in the room, so if your dog is famished make sure he grabs a drink before walking into the hotel here.
We didn’t do it this time, but I love hanging out at the Hiatus Lounge, the retro-style bar area near the pool.
The room we stayed in didn’t have a bath tub, which might be an issue for parents of young kids. That being said, the shower has a glass wall (with a shade, if you so choose to conceal yourself) allowing for an ocean view while bathing. The room wasn’t huge nor over-the-top luxe, but it definitely had what we needed including very comfortable beds.
The concierge can arrange in-room yoga, in-room massages and basically whatever you need to have a wonderful vacation. Bikes are available for complimentary use for the quick ride to the beach and beyond. Burn off calories at the fitness center, too.
There are no resort fees and a morning paper is available by request.
So, make Hotel La Jolla a contender for your next La Jolla family vacation or staycation. I pleased that family travel with a pet was easier than I thought it would be!
Hotel La Jolla
7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037