Review: Empress Hotel La Jolla Excels at Value
The Empress Hotel La Jolla boasts an excellent location, a reputation for reasonable pricing and is a pet-friendly San Diego hotel. I wanted to check it out so booked the Woof Woof package and brought the dog, much to the delight of my daughter.
I definitely think it’s one of the best hotels in La Jolla from a value perspective and would highly recommend it.
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Empress La Jolla Location
The Empress Hotel La Jolla is located on the corner of Fay Avenue and Silverado Street. The former is one of the main arteries into the Village (what we call downtown La Jolla) and both are home to a number of gyms, boutique fitness studios, restaurants, and shops. Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove beach and the Children’s Pool (where La Jolla’s seals are) require a few block’s walk.
Sure, there’s it’s not an ocean view La Jolla hotel, but this is a seriously great location if your things to do in La Jolla are centered around the Village area.
Check-In and Parking
I pulled into the loading zone in front of the Empress Hotel La Jolla, an area kept clear for guests checking into the hotel. Valet parking is the only option and includes unlimited access to your car for $18. I didn’t mind this at all. There are many things I love about La Jolla but parking during peak times is not one of them. Yes, there are garages in downtown La Jolla but you may meet or exceed this cost at greater inconvenience.
The tailgate opened and out popped my giant dog for his third San Diego hotel stay. Usually, four-legged guests here are small pets, but I called ahead for the O.K.
With only a night’s worth of luggage in tow (in addition to the dog), we walked into the lobby area to check in. It’s a quiet space—not too huge or overwhelming. Scooby was given a few packs of welcome dog treats before we took the elevator up to our room.
Comfortable Rooms in a Coastal Palette
I was impressed by how nicely decorated the rooms are, in a neutral palette with coastal accents. Despite our room facing the street we heard very little noise (though I tend to sleep with ear plugs). Our superior queen room had a closet with an empty mini fridge for storing snacks and leftovers, a microwave, in-room coffee maker and tea, a 37″ flat screen TV and a desk. The bed was also quite comfortable with crisp luxury linens. Small bottles of hotel-branded shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, shower cap and makeup remover towelette were placed in the bathroom.
WiFi is also complementary. While I had a little bit of trouble staying connected, other visiting family members who happened to be in residence at the same time didn’t. It wasn’t bothersome enough for me to call down to the front desk, however, and a fast connection when I was using it.
For usually only a slight increase, it’s possible to book larger rooms. In fact, if a longer stay required spending more time in the room, I probably would have opted for an Empress suite with a seating area or a spa suite with a separate bedroom.
Pet-Friendly Hotel Amenities
In addition to the treats at check-in, we were given a dog bowl for water and food. I think they have beds for smaller pets but my dog opts for his blanket every time. A sign hung on the door indicates to hotel staff that there’s a dog inside so there’s no worry about someone accidentally opening the door to your room if you’re slow to answer it.
Grassy mow strips along Silverado Street in addition to the huge lawn at the La Jolla Recreation center are perfect places to walk the dog. Though early morning walks in La Jolla around the Village are really lovely.
Dining Choices Galore
A continental breakfast buffet is included with your rate. It’s a casual affair with coffee, juice, cereals, bagels, toast, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and the like. While there is plentiful seating in the dining area here, I appreciated the trays for guests to take breakfast back to their rooms. Sometimes, I’m in a hurry and it’s helpful to eat while getting ready.
I haven’t been to Manhattan of La Jolla, the hotel’s onsite restaurant, in some time but it is very, very good and popular with those in the know. I feel like it’s sort of a hidden gem these days. Here, order steaks, seafood and Italian fare in a romantic setting that comes complete with a piano player on weekends—New York-style. A perk of staying at Empress Hotel La Jolla is that guests can order in-room dining directly from Manhattan.
However, the list of La Jolla restaurants within walking distance of Empress Hotel is quite long. We opted for La Jolla Brewing Company so we could eat with the dog on their lovely patio complete with fire pits and heat lamps. They even repurpose malt used to brew beer into dog treats. In fact, most places with patios are pet-friendly La Jolla restaurants (with the exception of The Cottage), though call to verify.
We spent the night before Veteran’s Day (somewhat of a peak time around here) and the Woof Woof package understandably costs a bit more than others. Our room rate was $214 plus valet parking which is an incredible deal for La Jolla hotels with included amenities like this and a prime location. I have seen rooms here advertised for as low as $150, quite a deal as La Jolla can be an expensive part of town to stay in.
I was really pleased by the entire experience which made a fun local staycation for the three of us. No, it isn’t the fanciest hotel in La Jolla, but I would definitely recommend it. Having a dog on leash made it tough to take a lot of photos. To get a good feel of what the hotel looks like, check out their new website.
Have you stayed at Empress Hotel La Jolla?
Empress Hotel La Jolla
7766 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
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