How often do you get a chance to spend the night in an architectural masterpiece? The Lodge at Torrey Pines, a coastal stunner in La Jolla, not only lets you be pampered like royalty (and who doesn’t relish that?), but also offers a close-up look at extraordinary craftsmanship in north San Diego County.
Enter through stained-glass doors depicting a rare Torrey pine and step into a lobby of intricate wood details and furnishings that carry the Craftsman ideal into the present. Though the lodge was completed in 2002, its rarefied details look every bit like an arts and crafts masterpiece from the early 1900s.
You’ll be turning your head constantly to see all the stunning elements, all echoing the La Jolla resort’s remarkable waterfront setting. Refined details fill every corner, even the spa: Check out the intricate mosaic floors at the entrance and dramatic fireplaces in the lounge areas. Try the Ancient Oceans Ritual treatment, which includes a warm body wrap scented with lavender, sandalwood, and sage. Or, head outside and breathe in the scent of the area’s feathery evergreen trees while hiking the trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which neighbors the hotel.
Dress up to dine on farm-to-table cuisine at A.R. Valentien restaurant, named after the early-20th-century California artist whose Impressionist artwork fills the walls. Try one of the seasonal tasting menus, with locally sourced delights like halibut carpaccio, ricotta-and-lemon-stuffed squash blossoms, or stone fruit Melba.
Or, dine at The Grill, with its firepit-lined patio overlooking the oceanfront Torrey Pines Golf Course (whose famed South Course once hosted the U.S. Open). While The Grill has long been known for its decadent Drugstore Hamburger, this is not just a 19th-hole spot: Try the salad topped with oak-grilled tri-tip, and you’ll see why the focal point of the place is its wood-fired grill, a homage to California’s Santa Maria–style barbecue; the rest of the menu focuses on locally sourced produce and seafood from Southern California and Baja. “The cooking at The Lodge, like the architecture, is based upon sound classical principles of craftsmanship,” says the Grill’s culinary advisor and San Diego farm-to-table pioneer Jeff Jackson. “California has a rich culinary history and we have borrowed from its cultures to create a menu that we feel is a true, classic California experience.”