Stepping into Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is like stepping into a storybook. The charming AAA Four-Diamond boutique hotel is located in one of the most picturesque towns in SoCal. My family and I love sunny weekends in La Jolla and this sprawling hacienda-style hotel will not disappoint.
As you walk in the parking lot, you’re greeted with the revitalizing scent of Myer lemon tress dotting the property. There are adobe fireplaces, art installations and reading nooks among olive, cypress and magnolia trees. You’ll also recognize inspirational quotes from books engraved throughout the property – on steps, on walls and on arches. I spotted one of my favorites: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
The 210 rooms feature luxurious linens and a bottle of wine upon arrival. The heated saltwater pool and whirlpool offer a relaxing retreat. And Mustangs & Burros, not far from the pool, offers handmake tacos and hand-shaken margaritas.
A Special Touch
Pups are not only welcomed here, but they can lounge at Mustangs & Burros and have their pick from a special dog menu prepared by the executive chef. The hotel also offers a pet-friendly travel program featuring a comfy dog bed, locally made grain-free peanut-butter treats and dog walking and pet sitting services. The hotel is less than nine miles from the dog-friendly beach at Del Mar North Beach.
What’s Near By
Estancia La Jolla is centrally located on Torrey Pines Road, just a short drive to La Jolla Shores and Village of La Jolla with beautiful beaches, parks and restaurants and shops. Also close by is Westfield UTC, featuring a movie theater, lots of restaurants and beautiful outdoor sitting areas. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is not far and offers a variety of hiking trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can also tee off atop soaring cliffs at Torrey Pines Golf Course or try a different view paragliding or hand gliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport.
The stunning landscape includes a secret garden, wishing tree and walking paths lined with flowers. There is no question why this former 1880s equestrian estate is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.
As you stroll through 10 acres of lush gardens and courtyards, you’ll see California native plants such as toyon, bougainvilleas from South America, Senecio plants from South Africa and eucalyptus trees from Australia.
California pepper trees and agaves greet you as you enter the hotel. There are two rose gardens, a Mediterranean-style garden known as the Olive Lawn, a succulent garden filled with aloes, agaves and euphorbias, and the Garden Courtyard, with a little of everything to create an enchanting oasis.
The hotel also features a “wishing tree,” where guests can write down their hopes and intentions to hang on a branch. Reading the handwritten notes gently blowing with the breeze was just as soothing as penning my own dreams. As I walked from branch to branch, I read the different notes each in its own unique script: wishes for good health, happy times with family, success for a child, speedy recovery for a friend. It was a beautiful way to slow down, set intentions and just be.
Estancia La Jolla is located at 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037; estanciallajolla.com.