Suite Dreams: Pacific Edge Hotel, Laguna Beach

By Louise Rafkin

When they say edge, they mean edge.

With rooms overlooking the crashing surf, the Pacific Edge Hotel, a Joie De Vivre establishment in Laguna Beach, will get you just as close to the Pacific as you can get without getting your feet wet.  Outside our room, the orange sunset is almost gaudy in it’s brightness and the crashing waves are a constant backdrop.  The sea air hangs in the cool night.  All of this says one thing: Southern California summer.

But what it doesn’t say it this: the Pacific Edge can be an inexpensive getaway.  With many rooms under $200, and sometimes under $150, the luxury here is in the location.   Sublime swimming is just down a few stairs, a beach walk in either direction with reveal tide pools and an up close view of hotshot surfers.  Beach furniture and towels are at the ready; in summer months, a city lifeguard keeps watch on the cove.  And for anyone sea-shy, a pool and spa on the inland side of the property provides an even safer cooling off.

The rooms are truly basic JDV: colorful, modern, simple with some extras here and there like fridges and sinks.  With the theme of the hotel being “Endless Summer,” graphics are surf oriented and the iconic Bruce Brown classic movies of the same name are available in the lobby.  Out front on the sand, water toys of various stripes – including the now popular stand-up surfboards – are available for rental.

An island of liberalism in a sometimes buttoned-up O.C., Laguna provides a plethora of reasons to get out and explore – from hiking the trails in the nearby hills, to appreciating art history at the annual Pageant of the Masters.

But you may not want to get out at all.  Great food and drinks are available at “The Deck” directly attached to the hotel.  From specialty drinks like a fresh Brazilian mojito to a full dinner of fresh seafood and steaks, the restaurant, run out of the well-respected Beach House next door, delivers both taste and quality – and to the rooms.  Shrimp ceviche and homemade corn chips? Perfect.  Throw in the cheesecake. (I did!)  And then use the hotel’s complimentary gym pass to work off the calories. (I didn’t.)

In the midst of upgrading, Pacific Edge has recently launched its Surf Cabana packages for groups of up to eight to spend a day making a beach party.  Upscale, dayrooms are available from 10am-10pm.  Did someone call Moondoggie?  Gidget?

Certainly, you can pay a lot more for accommodations and you can certainly find many more plush.  But for the view, the sound of the ocean, and a perfect morning swim just a skip from your bed?

You can’t get it much better than this.

And remember – locals know the real truth.  SoCal summers really are endless: the best weather comes in the corner Fall months.  Without the crowds and kids?  That’s a yes.

Pacific Edge Hotel

647 South Coast Hwy

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

p. 949.281.5709

r. 714.965.4445








Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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