Hotel Joaquin is the dream beach house that Barbie would sell her perfect blonde locks for. The motel turned boutique hotel brings out the effortless surfer girl (hi, Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush) that all 90’s kids wished we were. Laguna Beach’s brand new launch brims with design inspiration.
Walk through the unassuming doors and be greeted by a cozy living room, with a fireplace, vinyls and mid-century furniture. Don’t forget, we’re still in LA, so there are plenty of smiles and good manners to go around too. The hotel features a restaurant and bar called Saline, which is exclusively open to guests of the hotel. Even if you’re not staying long and have plans for the evening, the cocktails are really worth the time. Enjoy them as you bask among the ambient art as the sunsets beyond the wide, open windows.
Wander out onto the terrace and you’ll find a petite green lawn with deck chairs and just beyond that, a turquoise pool artistically surrounded by sun beds. It’s a snapshot straight from Slim Aaron’s camera. The luxury pad has just 22 bedrooms, all individually arranged and of various sizes. We stayed in one of the smaller rooms, yet it has everything you would need – a beautiful record player, a L-shaped sofa, the comfiest bed and an incredibly photogenic bathroom. The last point is one of the most important things in a hotel room, who’s with me?! Hotel Joaquin also runs morning yoga sessions and a text messaging service for complimentary soft drinks.
Most interesting of all, the rooms are also a pseudo-shopping space. The painfully cool straw hat hung on the wall isn’t just an artistic statement – neither is the woven basket with rubber flippers and sumptuous beach towels. Guests can take any of these items home with them for a price. Here, it’s a lifestyle, not just a destination and I’m sold.
The neighbourhood is gorgeous and known for culture – within a ten minute walk are an array of healthy eateries like Urth Cafe and the beautiful Heisler Park is not to be missed. It’s where the locals head for a day at the beach. The hotel is 1.5 hours from LAX, which by California standards is a very reasonable amount of time to drive. It’s just 45 minutes away from Santa Monica and 1 hour to Downtown LA.