$4 Million Renovation Unveiled at La Jolla’s Grande Colonial Hotel

The landmark Grande Colonial has completed a $4 million renovation of its 97 guest rooms & suites, and most bathrooms.  The project, which began in November, was completed in phases, building-by-building, floor-by-floor.

“The Grande Colonial, which celebrated its Centennial anniversary just six years ago, is committed to making continuous upgrades and improvements, all the while preserving the hotel’s enduring historic appeal,” said Terrence Underwood, general manager.  “The renovation project has substantially elevated the hotel’s high caliber of accommodations and amenities for which it has been known for more than a century.”


Artfully recapturing the hotel’s storied past with a keen focus on modern sensibilities, the new design infuses a classic European ambiance and a refined, contemporary sophistication.  Interior design has been provided by Warren Sheets Design, Inc., a San Francisco-based architectural and interior design firm, the same design firm used for the two most recent renovations of the hotel lobby, and meeting spaces.

The overall guest room decor package mixes very traditional elements with contemporary and mid-century modern elements.  The color scheme reflects the traditional blues and yellows that define the Grande Colonial.  New drapery treatments allow for maximum use of the hotels expansive, operable windows, welcoming the fresh ocean breeze nudged about by the new ceiling fans.  The deep blue-patterned carpet brings into the room the hues of the ocean and sky.  And keeping in line with traveler expectations, the traditional bedspread has been replaced with a crisply linen-wrapped down duvet with colorful accent pillows.  Added in-room amenities include refrigerators, and mobile device charging outlets.  The corridors were also significantly improved with new carpet, wall vinyl, and lighting.


A majority of the 97 bathrooms were also completely renovated, resulting in a larger, more upscale, residential style.  New vanities with counter and storage space were added, along with new marble floors, new shower or tub enclosures (most tubs converted to walk-in showers with glass enclosures), new warm LED back-lighted designer mirrors and vanity mirrors, and all new plumbing and fixtures.

“We look forward to welcoming back our guests and continuing to offer the first class service and gracious hospitality that has made the property legendary,” added Underwood.

As La Jolla’s oldest, still-operable hotel, the Grande Colonial has been a landmark in the community since 1913.  The hotel offers 97 European-style guest rooms and suites (22 of which are residential-style suites with full kitchens and fireplaces).  Over 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor ocean-view meeting space is also available for up to 120 guests.  Breakfast and lunch are served daily in the award-winning, ZAGAT-rated NINE-TEN Restaurant and dinner is served nightly.  The Grande Colonial is located at 910 Prospect Street in La Jolla, California. For additional information, visit our website at https://thegrandecolonial.com/renovation

La Jolla Hotels, Inns and Bed & Breakfasts

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Planning on visiting La Jolla? Super! You surely won’t be disappointed in the assortment and value of the area accommodations. Whether you are popping into La Jolla for a hurried business trip, a singular event, or a protracted vacation, visitors will find the appropriate rooms for all their needs. La Jolla accommodations consist of swank resorts, celebrated hotels, comfy bed and breakfast inns, and appropriately situated motels. While you’re visiting La Jolla, you may opt to holiday near the Pacific Ocean and the downtown Village area, or just a tad outside of town, and yet remain close to all of the foremost attractions in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area.

Visitors may choose from several motels in and around La Jolla. Several are to be found within a short hike of numerous shops, restaurants and the oceanfront. If you don’t fret over somewhat longer jaunts up or down the picturesque Pacific Coast, or even brief drives, you may choose to stay at a number of motels just south of La Jolla near the Bird Rock community and Windansea Beach, or north closer to Del Mar, or even east, near University City and a number of major shopping centers and restaurants. In short, you simply can’t go wrong in the La Jolla community.

On the other hand, if a resort or spa vacation is what you have your heart set on, you may choose to check into a host of lavish vacation spots in La Jolla. Some of these consist of the Hyatt Regency, the Marriott Hotel, the Hilton, the Estancia Hotel and Spa, the Lodge at Torrey Pines, and the renowned La Jolla Shores Hotel. When you check in at these finer resort hotels, fully expect to be indulged with all the spoiling you need. Indeed, from massages by the pool to beauty and rejuvenating treatments, visitors will find the treatment exemplary. In addition, you will experience fine dining at La Jolla’s resort hotels, all of which feature some of the preeminent restaurants and celebrated chefs in the greater San Diego area.

As an extra bonus, if you happen to be a golf or tennis aficionado, La Jolla offers two great hotels that will situate you and/or your loved ones right next to all the action. For one, the Lodge at Torrey Pines offers all the amenities of an extravagant resort and is situated nearby the acclaimed Torrey Pines Golf Course, a stop on the PGA tour. In addition, The La Jolla Shores Hotel is situated next to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, and is positioned on one of San Diego’s finest beaches. Replete with an expansive grassy picnic area and mild surf, La Jolla Shores Beach is absolutely picture-perfect for the entire family.

On the other hand, if cozy and the romantic beckons you, by all means consider checking in to one of numerous bed and breakfast inns in La Jolla. For instance, The Bed and Breakfast Inn in La Jolla is situated mere steps from La Jolla Cove and offers more than a few delightful rooms with cozy fireplaces. Conversely, for business travelers, the smaller La Jolla inns are indeed a comfy home away from home and yet still provide suitable locales and sought after creature comforts.

For those visitors with a penchant for immersing themselves in La Jolla’s historical past and culture, you’ll immediately fall head over heels with refined and deep-rooted hotels, including the distinguished Grande Colonial and La Valencia. Both of these quality accommodations are located in the very heart of La Jolla Village near shops, quality restaurants, interesting museums and unique art galleries.

For a little background, consider that The Grande Colonial commenced business way back in 1913, thus making it La Jolla’s oldest, original hotel. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it was designed by Richard Requa, an architect who also conceived many of the historic buildings in San Diego’s world-renown Balboa Park.

During the Roaring 20s, the hotel attained the popular drugstore next door, moving it inside the hotel along with featuring an ice cream parlor on the sidewalk just out front. Consequently, both the sidewalk cafe and the hotel soon became an admired place to hang out for residents and celebrities who wanted to get away. Believe it or not, the drugstore pharmacist was none other than Gregory Peck, Sr., the father of well-known thespian Gregory Peck, who was born and raised in La Jolla and subsequently established the celebrated La Jolla Playhouse. Today the Grande Colonial remains a popular gathering spot for visitors to La Jolla. The hotel staff takes pride in offering guests an exclusive combo of up-to-date amenities and old-fashioned, European sophistication. And you surely don’t want to miss out on the award-winning Nine-Ten restaurant!

La Jolla boasts of other famous historic hotels such as the La Valencia, an amiable Spanish-style edifice looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Also known as the Pink Lady, La Valencia initially launched in 1926. Much like the Grande Colonial, La Valencia rapidly became trendy with numerous celebs, especially those who happened to be acting at the La Jolla Playhouse. In addition to La Jolla native Gregory Peck, other stars included Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer, Jose Ferrer, Joseph Cotton, Richard Basehart, Charlton Heston, Ginger Rogers, Jennifer Jones, Lorne Green, and David Niven. Furthermore, La Jolla novelist Raymond Chandler often chose to frequent the hotel’s Whaling Bar and used La Valencia as a setting for his mystery thriller, Playback. The Pink Lady still appeals to visitors from around the world today, but natives and residents cherish it because of its lunches, Sunday brunches, and the scenic 180-degree view from the top floor Sky Room restaurant. La Valencia is also a very popular location for weddings and other jubilant merriments and unique festivities.

So why wait for somebody else’s distinctive occasion, when you may create your very own in ever-appealing La Jolla? Whatever your desires and circumstances when visiting La Jolla, there is a hotel accommodation that is historic, modern, simple or luxurious. Indeed, whether you seek to vacation or visit the very heart of the Village or close by, you will constantly discover something distinctive when you visit La Jolla.

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We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

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The History of the La Jolla Grande Colonial Hotel



Leslie Araiza, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for The Grande Colonial Hotel accurately contends the luxurious hotel is La Jolla’s oldest operating accommodation. Over a century ago, the hotel was a tad smaller and slightly less formal, but much like the La Jolla community, the Grande Colonial experienced gradual growth as well as prominence over the ensuing years. In contemporary times, the La Jolla’s Grande Colonial hotel is the seaside community’s oldest, original hotel. Formerly known as The Colonial Apartments and Hotel, when it opened on the first day of February in 1913, its elegance was on the tongues of locals and immediately became a pillar and foundation of the burgeoning La Jolla community. The two original owners, A.B. Harlan and George Bane have passed on, but their legacy and persistent determination to bring quality living arrangements to La Jolla are retained in the spirit of the staff to this day.

Richard Requa, the master architect of the California Exposition in Balboa Park in downtown San Diego, designed the original white, wood-framed Colonial Apartments and Hotel. The newly constructed building was described as “a perfectly appointed apartment hotel, with the finest sun parlor and lobby overlooking the ocean on the Pacific coast.”

Bane, who shortly after the hotel became viable, became the sole owner of the Colonial in 1920. An astute businessman, he grasped the potential to draw in tourists to the picturesque seaside town and determined to provide the Colonial with an entire makeover. Consequently, in 1925, Bane commissioned architect Frank Stevenson to design a hotel that would “rival anything in the West.” To this end, the resulting transformation was indeed breathtaking. The sunburst design of the windows, as well as the semi-circle domes of leaded glass above the French doors served to capture the California sunlight in an especially distinctive way and drew it into the hotel. Inside the freshly and superbly redecorated premises, the interior included colonial fireplaces replete with marble hearths, elaborate chandeliers, and richly colored sofas and chairs. Leslie asserts that today it is an elegant and lively seaside hotel with a style all its own. She remarks that the contemporary owners are wholly committed to making continuous enhancements to the luxurious hotel to keep it up to date and modernized, as well as preserving its historic and alluring charm.

At any rate, subsequent to opening the new and expanded Colonial, Bane had occasion to lease the entire property to a “Hollywood man” by the name of W. S. Beard. Far from pleased with the way in which Beard was managing the Colonial, Bane reorganized the business in 1931, and accordingly R.C. Bugler was hired on as the hotel’s manager. Approximately a year later, a viable financial strategy was drawn up and put into place for the hotel which resulted in the rest of La Jolla to grow up around the community landmark and virtual cornerstone.

During the World War II years, the Colonial was home to many of the “top brass” from nearby Camp Callan. While the men were at Camp Callan during the day, their wives were volunteering with the local Red Cross. In addition to the officers, the hotel’s spacious sunroom was apportioned to create accommodations for single servicemen for overnight stays.

During that same period, the Colonial was a transitory home to several of Hollywood’s budding stars who happened to be performing at the La Jolla Playhouse, founded by Gregory Peck. Notable names from yesteryear included Charlton Heston, Dorothy McGuire, Groucho Marx, Jane Wyatt, Eve Arden, Pat O’Brien, David Niven, as well as a host of other celebrities, all of whom lived at the Colonial well into the late 1950s. Leslie proudly contends that throughout the almost 104-year history of the Colonial management and staff have been duly honored to host various celebrities from the past and present, artists, professional athletes, and countless business leaders from around the world.

The Colonial was subsequently purchased for approximately $1 million in 1976 by three industrious local businessmen. Consequently, the Colonial’s name was changed to the Colonial Inn. Over the next four years the hotel again underwent a $3 million restoration that brought back its original grandeur. The refurbishment was so efficacious that the Colonial Inn occasioned to receive the prestigious “People in Preservation” award from the Save Our Heritage Organization. The mark of quality continued to be preserved befitting the best of guests.

Business continued to be advantageous for the Colonial Inn, and in 1988 it was sold for an estimated $13.85 million to a Japanese-based investment firm, Tokyo Masuiwaya California. Thereafter, in 1993, the Colonial Inn was affectionately referred to as “La Jolla’s jewel,” and celebrated its 80th anniversary.

When July of 1998 rolled around, Franklin Croft LLC and Fargo Hotel investors LLC joined together to create Fargo Colonial LLC and purchased the Colonial. Fargo Colonial LLC brought in hotel veteran Terry Underwood as their general manager in 1999. From December 1999 through July of 2001, the Grande Colonial underwent yet another all-encompassing $5 million renovation. Under the guidance of Underwood, a consummate professional, all 75 guest rooms, the lobby and the restaurant were radically improved to maintain the spirit of the founders.

In January of 2012, the hotel unveiled yet another major milestone in its nearly 100-year history – the accomplishment of a $500,000 makeover of its entry and foyer, lobby, the immediate public spaces, as well as two adjacent meeting rooms. In eager anticipation of the hotel’s centennial anniversary, the owners went to boundless extents to enrich the overall mood of the hotel’s still intact, turn-of-the-century architecture originally designed by Requa in 1913.

The erudite and classy new décor prudently preserves the Grande Colonial’s enduring historic charm by imparting a definitive European character as well as a refined, contemporary sophistication. In this spirit, the outcome showcases the fine architectural details, including original Georgian style arches, original cast plaster crown moldings, lead glass windows, and intricate hand-stenciled ceilings.

On February 1st, 2013, the Grande Colonial celebrated its most significant milestone to date: its 100-year anniversary. Festivities and merriment to observe the centennial occasion peppered the busy calendar, thereby assisting one of San Diego’s most time-honored hotels to communicate the storied history of the veritable movers and shakers who occasioned to pass through its venerated doors over the 100 years since the hotel was established.

Leslie recalls the countless thousands of unforgettable moments and experiences, from myriad weddings to innumerable guests from out of town recounting anecdotes over a martini at the NINE-TEN bar. And, just as envisioned by George Bane, the Grande Colonial La Jolla remains a definitive European-style hotel that rivals anything the West has to offer. Moreover, the Grande Colonial staff endeavors to preserve the rich legacy established by the hotel’s original founders a century plus ago by providing the utmost gracious and amiable experience as far as resort and business accommodations are concerned.

Leslie notes that beyond the turn-of-the-century architecture, the veritable hallmark of the Grande Colonial consists of its warm, affable, and genuinely-friendly staff. She asserts that each and every one of the Grande Colonial’s employees takes pride in maintaining the heritage by the founders by offering guests the optimum experience in first-class accommodations. Truly historical in its grandeur and deluxe accommodations, the La Jolla Grande Colonial lives up to its founders desires as a true masterpiece by the sea.

CLICK HERE to learn more about The Grande Colonial.

3 Romantic Hotel Getaways in La Jolla

The ultimate “day of love” is coming up! If you’re still looking for the perfect way to wow the person you care about, check out these three hotel getaways in La Jolla – they’re romantic, cozy, and have everything you need for an idyllic beach-side weekend with your sweetie. We’ve picked our favorite Valentine’s Day package from three different La Jolla hotels.
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San Diego Comic Con Weekend Money Saver Marvels

san diego comic con Comic Con weekend can quickly wipe out your budget as fast as the worst supervillain! Luckily, these local La Jolla hotels and businesses will save you money, as they’re more affordable and accessible than what you’ll be able to find right next to the venue. Evade the San Diego Comic Con weekend traffic and high prices by checking out these last-minute options we’ve included here! Continue reading

Tips for Booking a La Jolla Vacation Rental or Hotel

La Jolla Vacation Rental - AllStar Vacation Homes
Your vacation is a time to relax and let go of stress, so begin it with a trouble-free search for a La Jolla Vacation rental or hotel. La Jolla offers many beautiful and reliable places to choose from. Here’s a few booking strategies to make your search painless. Continue reading

Indulge, Unwind, & Recharge at The Spa at Torrey Pines Lodge

the spa at torrey pines lodgeThe Spa at Torrey Pines Lodge is situated along the coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean and hugs a picturesque nature reserve as well as a world-renowned golf course. Like many other La Jolla spas, it boasts a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere; but what sets the Lodge apart is considerably more than just its location. The secret lies in specialized treatments that incorporate botanical and marine-based products and are central elements to every spa experience. The use of world-class skincare lines such as Phytomer, SkinCeuticals, NV Organics and Farmhouse Fresh reflects the resort’s commitment to providing a truly fresh, unique, and relaxing experience.

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A Hidden Paradise: La Jolla’s Redwood Hollow Cottages

redwood hollow cottagesMany of La Jolla’s hotels are beautiful, grand, and exude lush extravagance; though that kind of atmosphere can be perfect for an elegant getaway, it’s nice to have other options when you’re visiting the city or taking a weekend staycation with the family. At first glance, the Redwood Hollow Cottages are unassuming, tucked-away little houses that look more like charming villas than a hotel – but that is exactly what appeals to many of its longtime visitors. These bungalows, which were named a Historical Landmark in 1997, provide an unforgettable way of experiencing the beauty of La Jolla. Enjoy all the amenities of a modern-day hotel in the comfort of an enchanting wood cottage right here in the village.

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