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Hotel La Jolla marks 50th anniversary with a full revamp on the way

Hotel La Jolla, originally the Summerhouse Inn, has been at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive since 1972.
Hotel La Jolla, originally the Summerhouse Inn, has been at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive since 1972.
(Courtesy of Hotel La Jolla)

With a history of providing memories and music, Hotel La Jolla is ringing in its golden anniversary this year. And to help usher in the next 50 years, the hotel is undergoing some exterior changes before a larger renovation next year.

The hotel, which opened in 1972 as the Summerhouse Inn at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. When it opened, it featured an 11th-floor restaurant and jazz club called Elario’s.

“All the best jazz musicians were brought in from New York to play at Elario’s, so a lot of longtime La Jollans have memories of that,” said General Manager Adam Lund. “At the time, management would have musicians stay on the 10th floor because they were the ones partying on the 11th floor, so they wouldn’t bother other guests.”

In honor of its history, Hotel La Jolla will host a Throwback Thursday event June 16 featuring jazz musicians on that 11th floor. Historical photos of the hotel will be on display along with renderings of what it will look like post-renovation.

The view from the 11th-floor restaurant and bar Cusp at Hotel La Jolla.
The view from the 11th-floor restaurant and bar Cusp at Hotel La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Hotel La Jolla)

The full-property remodel, with an expected start in the first quarter of next year and completion by summer 2023, will “completely redo” the 11th floor, give a new concept to the Cusp restaurant and bar, create new room packages with new beds, linens and in-room amenities, revamp the lobby and pool area, and add a market and boardrooms, Lund said.

In the meantime, scaffolding has been up in recent months to renovate the facade, including new paint and balcony repairs. The scaffolding is to be down by Memorial Day, May 30.

“Our summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, and we’re ready for the community to come back. We want it to be great,” Lund said.

Local musicians will perform most summer weekends, and there will be extended hours at the hotel’s bars — Cusp on the 11th floor and Hiatus by the pool — with drink specials, movie nights and more.

“We need the hotel to get back to where it needs to be and worthy of La Jolla Shores,” Lund said. “The pandemic was really hard on the industry, but this is a really exciting time.”

He credits the hotel’s longevity to its location and offerings.

“It’s kind of a hidden gem,” Lund said. “It is unique in that all our rooms are west-facing; half our rooms have panoramic ocean views. Being part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, it gets the resources and offerings of Hilton, which is a strong brand. People also appreciate that it is walkable to the beach and all the opportunity of Avenida de la Playa with its restaurants and activities. It is out of the hustle and bustle of The Village and doesn’t have the business of being beachfront.”

The name Hotel La Jolla will remain after the renovation.

“Everybody has memories of Hotel La Jolla,” Lund said. “We’re just excited to have everyone come back and create new ones.”

For more information, visit hotellajolla.com.

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