This week’s Limelight merchant is Grande Colonial Hotel! It holds the prestige of being the only Four-Diamond hotel in La Jolla Village, a testament to its high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail as well as upscale style and amenities. The hotel overlooks the shores of the Pacific, so it has beautiful views of the California coastline. Being in La Jolla Village, it is also located nearby world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment renowned to the community. Leslie, the Director of Marketing/Public Relations, adds, “while our location speaks for itself, the true hallmark of the Grande Colonial is the warm, gracious, and genuinely friendly service the staff provides. It is because of this personalized service that the hotel is ranked #3 on TripAdvisor out of the 24 hotels in La Jolla.”
This summer is a great time to visit Grande Colonial hotel as the village is open for both vacation and business travelers. “Whether you are looking to host visiting family, out-of-town friends, or just want a little staycation for yourself, we have some exciting special offers and packages that will be sure to get you excited about traveling once again. Everything from specials on ocean-view accommodations, free upgrades to our residential-style suites, or even discounts for our mature guests over the age of 60,” Leslie says.
Leslie also shares an in-depth history of the hotel:
La Jolla’s Grande Colonial hotel is the seaside town’s oldest original hotel. All the while, the hotel has played its part as host, gracefully watching over the Village for more than 100 years, providing guests and residents with a valuable sense of history and community in this enchanted place called ‘the Jewel of the Sea.’
The Colonial Apartments and Hotel, as it was known when it opened on February 1st, 1913, was the talk of the town and a foundation for the community. The original white, wood-framed Colonial Apartments and Hotel was designed by Richard Requa who was the master architect of the California Exposition in Balboa Park.
George Bane, who became sole owner of the Colonial in 1920, realized the tourist potential of the seaside town and decided to give the Colonial a whole new look. In 1925, he commissioned architect Frank Stevenson to design a hotel that would “rival anything in the West.” The existing building was moved to the rear of the property and a new, four-story building was erected in its place. Completed in 1928 and boasting 28 apartments and 25 single hotel rooms, the new Colonial Hotel had the first sprinkler system west of the Mississippi, which included fire doors that still exist in the structure.
The La Jolla Drugstore, next door to the Colonial, was soon woven into its history. In 1926, the store was purchased by Kansas native Silas O. Putnam and moved inside the Colonial’s main building when it opened in 1928. After he bought the drugstore and moved it to its new home, he added an ice cream parlor on the sidewalk that served up chocolate sodas and banana splits. Well-loved by the townspeople, the pharmacist employed by Putnam, was also the father of Gregory Peck. Peck, who grew up in La Jolla, eventually left for Hollywood and became a movie star.
Later on, the Colonial was a temporary home to some of Hollywood’s up-and-coming stars that were performing at the La Jolla Playhouse, founded by Peck. Charlton Heston, Dorothy McGuire, Groucho Marx, Jane Wyatt, Eve Arden, Pat O’Brien, David Niven, and many other celebrities occupied the hotel well into the late 1950s.
During the World War II years, the Colonial became home to many of the “top brass” from nearby Camp Callan. At night, the hotel’s sunroom was partitioned to create accommodations for single servicemen.
Throughout the next several decades, ownership of the Colonial changed hands. But in July of 1998, a local resident purchased the hotel, soon after changing its name to the Grande Colonial. This family continues to own the property today and is committed to continuing the Colonial’s distinguished tradition of being one of the most elegant boutique hotels in California.
Just as the hotel envisioned by George Bane, the Grande Colonial La Jolla, is a classic European-style hotel that rivals anything in the West. The staff strives to preserve the heritage laid down by the hotel’s founders more than 100 years ago by providing the most gracious experience in luxury accommodations.
Grande Colonial Hotel has much to offer from event reservations to dining at the acclaimed NINE-TEN restaurant on-site!
More information on specials and packages can be found here: