Add These to Your Staycation Bucket List

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger Southern California Boutique Hotels

This story is from the pages of a previous LOCALE print magazine. As state and county regulations are in a constant state of flux due to Covid-19, some of the businesses mentioned may be temporarily closed. Please visit their individual websites to ensure they are currently open, and please follow all safety procedures in place.

Travelers often fall back on well-worn choices when it comes to where they stay. Chain hotels and their redundant designs feel familiar, but the uniqueness and attention to detail at a boutique hotel may leave you pleasantly surprised. We’ve compiled a list of eight unrivaled staycation spots in Southern California that capture the very essence of local charm.


1 | Isn’t It Swell Southern California Boutique Hotels

The Surfbreak Hotel

Vibe: Coastal, relaxed

This charming hotel in the heart of San Clemente offers staycationers a laid-back, beachy escape. Ocean-esque accents and airy rooms capture the essence of the small “Village by the Sea.” Enjoy a cocktail on your private balcony, then take a stroll down Avenida Del Mar for a taste of local cuisine.

The Surfbreak Hotel
1819 S El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672


2 | Soulful Stay Southern California Boutique Hotels

Hotel Joaquin

Vibe: Chic, bohemian

Nestled above Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach, this petite resort combines craftsman design and coastal, vintage decor for the perfect breezy escape. White walls, wood accents, lush greenery and vinyl record players give this upcycled beach motel a midcentury attitude that you’ll never want to bid farewell. 

Hotel Joaquin
985 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


3 | Total Gem Southern California Boutique Hotels

The Pearl Hotel

Vibe: Midcentury, hip

Built in 1959 by local architect Robert Platt, The Pearl Hotel harkens back to an era of posh, Hollywood glamour. The property’s 23 rooms are outfitted with wood and linen textiles in pastel hues, giving the interior an old-school Cali feel. Take a dip in the iconic oyster-shaped pool and explore the urban delights of nearby Little Italy!

The Pearl Hotel
1410 Rosecrans St
San Diego, CA 92106

4 | Colonial Charm Southern California Boutique Hotels

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

Vibe: 50’s glam, retro

This historic, whimsical hotel oozes old-school charm and once served as a 1940s hideaway for the Hollywood glitterati. Red brick walls and colonial-style pillars define a grand entrance to the lobby, and just one day spent at the famed, Olympic-sized Weissmuller Pool will have you feeling like a star.

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
2223 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104


5 | Easy, Breezy

The Surfrider Hotel, Malibu

Vibe: Stylish, minimalistic

Make yourself at home at this reimagined 1950s motel stationed across the street from the world-famous Surfrider Beach. The airy, light-filled interior is made of natural materials—including limestone and teak—and is filled with local art, making this Malibu spot a must-stay.

The Surfrider Malibu
23033 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265


6 | Ritzy & Refined

Santa Monica Proper

Vibe: Elegant, sophisticated

Situated on sun-drenched Wilshire Blvd, this waterfront resort warmly welcomes guests with sandy, neutral tones and textures of the local coastline. Soak up the sun on the rooftop pool deck, enjoy cocktails at a variety of outdoor eateries and lounges or experience Eastern-inspired wellness at the hotel’s Surya Spa.

Santa Monica Proper
700 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401


7 | Desert Delight

Sands Hotel & Spa

Vibe: Vibrant, tropical

Royal palms, ceramic tiles and Moroccan-inspired interiors make this Indian Wells retreat oh-so-Insta-worthy. Whether you’re dining at The Pink Cabana, a ‘50s-style Mediterranean restaurant, or you’re enjoying views of the mountains from your balcony, there is so much to revel in at this chic bohemian resort.

Sands Hotel & Spa
44985 Province Way
Indian Wells, CA 92210


8 | Neighborhood Nook


Vibe: Modern, youthful

Hip and millennial-friendly, ARRIVE Palm Springs presents a comfortable stay stripped of stodgy hotel formalities. Everything (including check-in) can be done via text message! Visit the Cartel Coffee Lab for a bold cup of coffee or snag a scoop at their onsite ice cream parlor!

1551 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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