La Valencia Hotel, also known as The Pink Lady, has been serving guests million-dollar views from the lap of luxury since 1926. This four-diamond hotel is legendary for providing a private escape to Hollywood stars since Gregory Peck launched La Jolla Playhouse during the Golden Age.
From original 1940s murals to Spanish red-tiled floors to opulent furnishings and hand-picked artwork, the iconic pink hotel is awash in old-world charm. Rest assured that the long tradition of excellence continues today with elite Les Clefs d’Or concierge services that help you get the most from this seaside village.
I think La Valencia caters to business, leisure, and family travelers who like well-located boutique hotels. I have advice on how to choose a room and other tips for your stay in this review.
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WHAT I LOVE
- Elegant décor and luxury amenities in rooms, suites, and villas
- Lunch on the ocean view terrace and Sunday brunch at THE MED
- Elegant living room-style La Sala Lounge with drinks, tapas, and live entertainment
- Outdoor freshwater pool with ocean views and intimate saltwater spa
- Les Clef d’Or Concierge Services
- Location within walking distance to La Jolla Cove, Children’s Pool, and La Jolla’s best restaurants
GOOD TO KNOW
- Villa King Ocean and Villa King Ocean Suites are our favorite rooms
- Villas on the first floor facing the pool aren’t as private as other villas
- Rooms on lower floors are noisier because of restaurants and pool area
- Vintage rooms are very small
- Ocean views look over Coast Blvd and Ellen Browning Scripps Park
- Beach areas here are lovely but small
- Mandatory $35 daily resort fee includes overnight parking
- You can buy day passes to the pool
- Check the latest travel guidelines for what’s open and closed during your stay
Rooms, Suites, Villas, and ICON Accommodations
La Valencia Hotel accommodations come in four styles — Vintage, Classic, Villa, and Icon. There are 114 rooms, suites, villas, and penthouses in total.
You can expect a Keurig coffee maker, iHome clock radio, flat-screen HDTV with premium channels, designer furnishings, Euro-style bathrooms, imported Frette linens, down comforter, signature hotel and spa robes, in-room safe, honor bar, and workstation for every stay. Accommodations range from small vintage rooms to expansive modern penthouses.
Vintage Ocean King
Vintage Ocean King rooms at La Valencia are small at 250 square feet, yet elegantly appointed. They feature a natural color palette, large dresser, king bed with dramatic headboard, luxurious Frette linens, down comforter, and Euro-style bathroom with dual shower heads in a standing shower.
It’s a partial ocean view room. Some rooms have French doors that open onto a patio. People choose this room because they don’t plan on being in it much and when they do, they’d like to see the ocean. They’ve also just been renovated.
Classic Rooms & Suites
For a relaxing home away from home feel, classic rooms and suites are more spacious ranging from 350 square feet for the classic king to 800 square feet for the classic king suite ocean view.
They have chic neutral color schemes, king or two queen beds, oversized bathrooms with luxury spa products, and large vanities. Some king rooms, king junior suites, and king suites also have ocean views.
The most popular room in the hotel is the Classic King Ocean. Book this early. It’s so popular that they typically do not offer the option to book it with Preferred Platinum benefits.
Classic Queen Queen rooms have two queen beds but don’t have an ocean view option.
Classic King Junior Suite and Classic King Junior Suite Ocean rooms provide a bit more space and a sofa sleeper but do not have separate living areas.
Classic King Ocean Suite and Classic King Suite accommodations have separate living areas with sofa sleepers.
Villa King Ocean and Villa King Garden accommodations are 425 square feet of luxury. Those looking for more space should choose a Villa King Suite Ocean or Villa King Suite Garden which are 800-square-foot, two-room suites.
All villas have either a balcony or terrace, and a sitting area with wet bar and club chairs, and most have a fireplace. Bathrooms feature separate spa tubs and showers, plus dual sink vanities. Villas have designer furnishings indoors and out. Suite villas also have a sofa sleeper in the living room.
The crème de la crème of accommodations at La Valencia is the ICON Collection. There are three styles in this category — the ICON Pacific Suite, ICON Sky Suite, and ICON Valencia Suite.
These are also the hotel’s newest accommodations. Pacific suites are similar to king ocean suites, but they’re newer. The sky suite is 1,100 square feet of 1940s style and grace. It features 180-degree ocean views and modern amenities. You’ll get fresh flowers and free parking with this one-bedroom suite. The Valencia suite is 1,200 square feet, and includes his and hers closets and a kitchenette.
For Larger Families
Some Classic Queen Queen rooms connect to either a Vintage King or a Classic King room. Families of five can also choose a suite or junior suite (king bed, sofa bed, and rollaway bed or crib).
Dining at La Valencia
There are three dining options at La Valencia — THE MED, which is their signature fine dining restaurant, Spanish inspired La Sala Lounge, and lively Café La Rue. La Valencia’s Executive Chef and his culinary team prepare mouthwatering dishes using unique spices and the freshest local ingredients. THE MED serves Mediterranean fare, and Café La Rue dishes up modern European bistro-style eats.
Boasting a ‘great room’ inspired open design, THE MED is the premier dining option at La Valencia. The main dining room is regal and spacious, while the ocean view terrace has a sophisticated old-world charm.
Its stylish ambiance is enhanced by ocean-inspired menus enriched with Spanish flavors. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner daily, you can expect a delicious selection of dishes including Baja Shrimp Chilaquiles, Crab Cake BLT, and mouthwatering Surf & Turf.
La Sala Lounge
Housed in the hotel lobby, La Sala Lounge has a living room vibe with Spanish-inspired décor. Design elements include soaring, hand-painted, Cathedral-style ceilings, antique chandeliers, and custom furniture. The beauty of the space is elevated with spectacular views of the sparkling blue ocean and live piano music.
A simple menu of tapas and small plates are available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. You’ll find selections like Baja Snapper Ceviche and the popular LV Lobster Roll.
Pair your entree with classic and signature cocktails like the Sidecar and the Pink Lady for the complete La V experience.
Café La Rue
Café la Rue, which literally translates to the street cafe, is a charming European-style bistro located on Prospect Street, La Jolla’s main street. It’s the ideal spot to people watch.
This modern cafe features an art-deco inspired atmosphere, a chef-driven seasonal menu of artisan share fare, and handcrafted cocktails. You’ll discover an eclectic mix of hors d’ oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, and entrees.
Favorites include Duck Fries, Crab Cake BLT, and Steak & Frites — cocoa rubbed hanger steak with cognac pepper sauce and a Dijon aioli. This is the best spot in the hotel for pre-dinner Happy Hour. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. for a quick nightcap after an evening out.
La Valencia Amenities
The overriding amenity at La Valencia Hotel is impeccable service.
La Valencia offers their guests Les Clefs d’Or elite concierge service. It’s essentially the five-star status of luxury hotel concierges. What it means to you is dedicated, highly trained, and knowledgeable concierges who can direct you to any location, activity, or product, at any time. They have their fingers on the pulse of their communities.
Beyond high-end service and in-house dining options, La Valencia provides a menu of amenities for their guests that include a business center, fitness center, pool and hot tub, and an upscale spa.
The Business Center
The business center at La Valencia is open to guests 24 hours. It has two computer workstations and a copy/fax/printer where you can print out your boarding passes, search local events, or keep in touch with the office. You can send and receive faxes, and make up to 10 complimentary copies. Need local postage? It’s complimentary too. If you need to host an event, there are three meeting rooms, a boardroom, The Galeria (up to 40 guests), and a ballroom with an adjacent terrace.
The Fitness Center
The hotel fitness center is usually open 24 hours for easy access, no matter what your schedule. Double doors open to the outside, infusing the small space with fresh air and overlooking a tranquil garden.
You’ll find cardio machines and free weights for a complete workout session. There are mirrored walls and a large flat-screen TV, depending on where you want to focus your attention. The room is stocked with workout towels and bottled water — both room temperature and chilled. However, per state guidelines, one guest at a time is allowed inside of the small space by reservation only.
TIP: POOL DAY PASSESYou can buy day passes to the swimming pool through ResortPass.
The large pool at La Valencia is surrounded by a red tile deck, lots of palm trees, and lush tropical plants. Spanish-style plush sun loungers line two sides of the pool interspersed with side tables and wide sun umbrellas. Cocktails and snacks are available from a poolside cabana bar. Generous comfortable seating surrounds the cabana and pool, and the entire space offers epic views of the Pacific Ocean. You can stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi.
A lovely arbor separates the main pool from a shady, Spanish-style hot tub area. The circular space has an intimate feel surrounded by tropical foliage and trees that offer a bit of privacy. There are Spanish tile benches along the edges of the hot tub deck, and an accessible lift is also available.
Work from La Valencia
You can check in to La Valencia for the day to work from one of their hotel rooms. You can choose a Work Pass that includes pool access as well.
The La Jolla Neighborhood
Whoever first said, “Location, location, location” must refer to La Valencia Hotel. The Pink Lady’s prime location nestled between tony Prospect Street and the Pacific Ocean puts you at the epicenter of La Jolla Village entertainment.
Often referred to as the “crown jewel” of San Diego, La Jolla is one of the city’s most sought-after and family-friendly neighborhoods.
The Village sits distinctively atop a bluff overlooking La Jolla Cove and the Pacific Ocean. Its convenient Prospect Street address puts you steps from the neighborhood’s most popular art galleries, boutique shops, live music, and enviable culinary scene.
See also: Where to Go Shopping in La Jolla
You’ll find La Jolla Cove and an oceanfront boardwalk running from Scripps Park to Windansea Beach down the hill from the hotel. The park, which is directly across the street from the back of the hotel, is one of the most photographed spots in San Diego.
Windansea Beach provides epic surfing (experienced only) and photography opportunities at one end of the boardwalk, and there are snorkeling and kayaking opportunities at the opposite end. Sunny Jim’s Cave offers the only land access to one of La Jolla’s seven sea caves.
The entrance is located in Sunny Jim Cave Store on Coast Boulevard. Sea caves and an abundance of colorful garibaldi fish highlight kayaking and snorkeling tours.
Other La Jolla attractions include the Museum of Contemporary Art on Prospect Street in the Village. La Jolla Shores Beach, a premier mile-long sandy beach and adjacent Kellogg Park with picnic and children’s play areas, are on the other side of La Jolla Cove.
Birch Aquarium is just up the hill from the beach and Kellogg Park. Torrey Pines Glider Port, next to UCSD, is a great place to watch paragliding and hang gliding — or to join in, of course.
You’ll also find Torrey Pines Golf Course — host of the PGA Farmers Insurance Open, and La Jolla Playhouse, which has produced 24 Tony Award-winning plays.
Hotel Policies & Services
La Valencia requires a mandatory $35 dollar resort fee each day. It includes overnight valet parking, access to the 24-hour fitness center, use of the 24-hour business center, and copy services of up to ten pages. It also covers in-room coffee and tea, a daily newspaper, and beach towels.
For a nominal fee, the hotel provides dry cleaning and valet laundry services. Room service is offered 24 hours a day, and you can make transportation arrangements with the concierge desk. Pets are welcome, but they require a $50 fee each day.
La Valencia Hotel Reservations
There are usually three places to check for the best rates: direct on the hotel’s website, American Express, and an online travel agent like Hotels.com.
Photos are courtesy of La Valencia.