You can’t get much closer to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean than at La Jolla’s Balinese-inspired Pantai Inn. Its owners were inspired to rebrand their former lodging (Shell Beach Inn) following a trip to Bali.
The Pantai Inn is a unique collection of 20 (one, two and three bedroom) fully-furnished suites and 10 cottages. The three main buildings date from the 1800’s to the 1930’s. Fountains up front and in various spots around the hotel add to this charming oceanfront hotel.
Pantai (pronounced “pawn-tai”) translates to ‘beach’ in Malay. As the property overlooks the Pacific Ocean, crafting a luxury boutique property with custom artwork and wood carvings fits in nicely within the art-infused community.
The friendly, helpful staff are here to offer an outstanding level of service day and night and in my opinion take a genuine interest in their guests.
Gorgeous Balinese elements combine with modern furnishings to create a unique home away from home. The fan above the dining table is a series of carved wooden leaves, the master bedroom has a four-poster bed with curtains on all four sides, and unique artwork and antique maps grace the white walls. In the living room are a sofa and two chairs, all upholstered in matching Balinese prints.
A stone pebble rain shower with a wavy curtain rod and unique curtain is pretty cool (though the bathroom is a bit small for this two-bedroom suite).
The kitchen contains a full-size fridge, lots of cabinet space and dishes/cutlery/cookware, a microwave, Keurig coffee maker, gas stove and oven plus a large, curvy copper sink. There are free snacks, bottled water and soda, refilled daily (housekeeping comes by twice a day).
The beds and bedding are luxurious and with the waves crashing at night so close by, I dream away the hours with some great sleeps. This place soon feels like my little home away from home.
Leave your car at the hotel’s free onsite parking and enjoy gazing out at the ocean, taking sunset walks and watching the harbor seals at play. The Pantai is just down the street from numerous shops, restaurants, art galleries, cafes and nightlife. The location is also handy for visits to nearby San Diego, about a 20-minute drive from the hotel on the I-5 depending on traffic.
Pick up a booklet and map of La Jolla ($5.99) and set aside about 90 minutes to tour the town’s historic and natural highlights offered by the La Jolla Historical Society. Their office is at 7846 Eads Avenue (self-guided tour info is also available at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, 700 Prospect Street).
A full breakfast included in the room rate, and Executive Chef Scott Ingenito’s menu gets placed onto the fridge the day before to whet your appetite.
Farm-fresh scrambled eggs, chicken veggie sausage, butterscotch oatmeal and asparagus, bacon and swiss quiche were but a few of the many options (no two days alike) served in the two-level breakfast room (dine upstairs for an awesome ocean view!).
Free wifi, afternoon tea, cookies, and fruity cocktails, nightly turndown service with little boxes of gourmet chocolates and courtesy fluff-and-fold laundry service are all included in the room rate. Imagine being able to head home without having to think about a mountain of laundry to do!
If you’re in the mood to BBQ, there are a couple of guest grills available. In the evening, torches and a cozy gas fire pit are lit in the central courtyard.
The Pantai Inn is located at 1003 Coast Boulevard in La Jolla.
I was a guest of The Pantai Inn. Opinions, as always, are my own.