Hotel Joaquin, Laguna Beach

Hotel Joaquin Pool
Hotel Joaquin swimming pool

Laguna Beach is one of those landscapes so lavish in topographic gifts, grounds gilded in glorious views and air scented with sea salt, it’s where Southern California can’t help but get a little braggy. A killer coastline dotted with cafés and boutiques, where the sun likes to hang year-round, it warrants a refuge worthy of its geography.

Floored in Spanish stonework and paned in white wood, Hotel Joaquin came to answer the call.  A pop of orange palm lets you know you’ve arrived; honey beams and bodacious views will carry you from there. Designed with true unwind in mind, this petite enclave perpetuates a feel both removed and relaxed. Retro with its record players and vinyl collections, decadent with its poolside double daybeds, a canvas of clarity invites you to unplug in all ways possible.

Pool Daybeds
Pool Daybeds

And they’re serious about that unplug. Not a phone or TV to be found. If that scares you, you’ll likely benefit from being here more than you realize.

The rooms capitalize on coastal views and clean accents, where we’re summoned to luxuriate in Le Labo and delight in the crackle of the record player. Individually furnished, each feature a fix of whimsy, hints of vintage, dotted in design unmistakably cool, they echo the soul is our style spirit of the Auric Road brand. (Have you not been to Korakia Pensione, in the desert?  It’s theirs too. Go). Don’t look for TV’s or phones. They’re not there.

Hotel Joaquin Suite
Hotel Joaquin Suite

Outside, the café lights dangle, and the swimming pool glistens and for maybe just a minute, you forget there’s city right outside.

With only 22 suites, each gets a little personalization. My room’s name was Perche, and from beneath the vaulted ceiling, I could see out to an island (San Clemente, I later learned). And if I took a deep inhale, as the ambience more than encourages, I could take in the herb garden blossoming below.  And in the bathroom, there seemed to be a spa. At least that’s what the open concept shower/tub situation felt like. With a massive oversized sink that was as much art as it was washbasin. With all the Le Labo I could lavish.

Lavish Bathroom
Lavish bathroom

And as guests of the hotel, so many extras are tossed in it’s hard not get a little giddy. An all access pass to Adventure Post, where outdoor gear from boogie boards to bikes to kayaks are all yours for the exploring. Beach lounge service at Shaw’s Cove, a stunning stretch of beach, just a staircase down from the hotel. The pool. And breakfast. A gorgeous breakfast. All complements of the house.

Moment for the food. Saline. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I do not exaggerate when I say it is something extraordinary. For my Orange County contingency, I asked if non-hotel guests could pop by for a meal, sadly, they cannot. Exclusive to the hotel, this sea driven cuisine is a marvel in Mediterranean gastronomy. The crab gnocchi I had for dinner, served bubbling in a tureen (beautiful), with the aged cheddar, gouda, macadamia, and broccolini flower, sincerely, I need to know when I’ll be eating this again. That good. And breakfast, breakfast included in your stay, is a breakfast I’d drive a very long distance for. I really would. That egg white frittata with the kale, soft feta, ricotta and chervil greens? Unbelievable. And the rawnola with the blue majik almond milk and fresh berries? You’ll see.

Restaurant Terrace
Restaurant terrace

I would also like to point out that while the ambiance at large leans heavily on couples (all beds are king beds), I took this trip solo. I can personally attest, as a sojourn, party of one, it is a destination to recommend. The lobby feels more like a living room, the dining room feels more like a sun porch over the sea. Company kept or otherwise, this is an escape to revel in.

Designed as a retreat for the traveller who reveres life in luscious detail, this Laguna refuge is robust in one resplendent feature after another. Every staff member seemed to have an informal finesse that hit just the right hospitable tone. The welcome beverage, the morning coffee or tea delivery, the pistachio blankets draped over the chairs in case of those Pacific breezes. Everything is just a little extra in its glisten. If it’s a seaside sanctuary you seek, or a getaway that grants a glow before you go, you will very much enjoy your stay here. Leaving is another story.

View from the bar
View from the bar

The Details

Hotel Joaquin, 985 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA.

Tel: +1(949) 494-5294

Website: https://hoteljoaquin.com

Email: info@hoteljoaquin.com

The hotel is located on the sea-facing side of Highway 1. Take the 405 South to the 133 towards Laguna Beach, to PCH. Free Valet Parking is available at the hotel. The closest train station is San Juan Capistrano, a 20-minute drive away. Trains run from Los Angeles’ Union Station. John Wayne Airport in Orange County is only 12 miles away.

Type of Hotel: Boutique Seaside Resort in Laguna Beach

Number of Rooms: 22 suites, including complimentary Wi-Fi.

Price Band: Medium to high

Insider Tip: Eat many meals here. And bring your cell phone. All communication is done via text. And in the spirit of unplugging, suites are television and phone free. Maximum of 2 guests per room, no guests under 18 allowed.

Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10

Author Bio:

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.

Photographs courtesy of Hotel Joaquin, taken by Roger Davies

59 Comments

  1. Sounds absolutely divine! Going to Pageant of the Masters this summer and this might be the perfect place to stay. Thanks for the insight.

  2. Wow, this sounds amazing and relaxing. Definitely bookmarking this for our next adults-only staycation. I follow Korakaria Pensione (gorgeous hotel) on insta, didn’t know there was a sister property so close by. I had also never heard of rawnola…love that.

  3. Oh my gosh, just as we were looking for a getaway that we could drive to for a quick unplug and recharge weekend… this looks like what I was dreaming of but didn’t think actually existed!

  4. This sounds amazing. I can’t imagine going there and then having to go back to reality… brutal! Lol.
    Once again, I’m intrigued and want to run away to wherever you’ve reviewed.

  5. What a fabulous way to relax. Unplugging every so often is so important, so why not do it with delicious food and scenery! And I must mention that the “no guests under 18” rule was rather appealing…. just saying.

  6. Wow, looks amazing. The rooms are gorgeous and the unplug idea is great!!! Thanks for finding another great place and the wonderful review.

  7. My husband and I stayed here recently for a 24 hour getaway and it was pure heaven. We didn’t even leave to venture around Laguna because between the beautiful cocktails, chic-yet- homey vibe and exquisite food we didn’t want to leave! Super gorgeous cove beach is just steps away for a morning walk. Can’t say enough about it!

  8. That beach!!! Shaw’s Cove. . .I went down in the morning – I tried to go for a little run! I am not a runner! There is no single part of me that is a runner! The beauty and the solitude was just that inspiring. Eventually a few dogs showed up (their owners in tow) and showed me how it was done. That gorgeous beach . ..

  9. Sounds like a paradise! I will definitely keep in mind for my next weekend away…
    PS I am very curious about blue majik almond milk.

  10. Sounds like heaven. Will definitely stay here during my next weekend getaway based on this delicious review that certainly teases the senses.

  11. I LOVE this Hotel! It has a personal feel to it. Our room was So Lovely I’m always interested in how the bathroom looks 1. For CLEANLINESS 2. Design and this was SO CUTE! The OCEAN VIEW, the swimming, the food it was all just perfect. It was exactly what we needed for a weekend getaway to RELAX. Also breakfast is included! Lol it’s not like cereal. It’s a nice meal 😍

    • Kids get the next trip – this one’s all you and your over 18 plus one. Or, just you. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

  12. Sounds like the perfect getaway!! I looked at the rooms–each one looks fantastic. And breakfast included–even more reason to go and never leave the premises.

  13. This seems like the perfect SoCal getaway — close to the beach, nice rooms, and the food looks amazing. Can’t wait to get there!

  14. We love Laguna and it’s high time we try someplace different! We were perfectly satisfied up until now….. but in our latter years a little adventure may be exactly the prescription we’ve been searching for. Apart from the fact that from this write up we’d be nuts not to see it for ourselves

  15. I love the idea of a mandated unplug you don’t have to travel to the middle of nowhere to achieve (though I’m not sure how you can fully unplug if you need your phone to communicate…)! The attention to detail is what moves me so much about a place like this. It’s the difference between paying for a place to stay and eat and going somewhere to be completely cared for. Sounds dreamy!

  16. I am so ready to indulge in this gorgeous place. It looks dreamy. I can’t wait to give it a try. Already told the hubby about it!!

  17. No phones? No TVs? I didn’t know such a place existed! Is this a trend? If it is, I’m all in! This place looks amazing. And I love the thought of no kids, only 22 rooms, and all-included recreation items. I’m going to share this one with my SoCal crew. Thanks, Jolie!

  18. Wow!!! Absolutely stunning, looking forward to booking my next stay. Thank you for all the input just what I was looking for. I feel relaxed already.

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