From Motel to Hotel; A Piece Of Spanish Paradise In Southern California

Years ago if you would have driven past The Motor Inn Laguna beach, you probably wouldn’t think twice about booking a stay. However, hotelier Auric Road saw potential in this run-down motel and in 2016, purchased the property. After two years of renovation, a complete redesign, and lots of love, Hotel Joaquin was born. 

Designed by Studio Robert McKinley, this stunning boutique hotel sits only a block away from the beach making it a worthwhile destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It boasts a long list of amenities, individual touches, and energy of rejuvenation & relaxation.

© Hotel Joaquin

The inspiration

This 22 room hotel was originally inspired by 1950s Southern California beach culture, the aesthetic of the Mediterranean coast, and the pristine nature of the island of St. Barths. Hotel Joaquin pays homage to Laguna Beach’s Spanish legacy by taking its name from the Mexican land grant Rancho San Joaquin, which comprised much of modern-day Orange County.

CEO Paul Makarechian stated, “Every detail has meaning and intentionality, designed to inspire our guests”.

© Hotel Joaquin

The space

This playful, chic space boasts one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, customized furniture, and curated artwork. Each room has been individually designed with the finest attention to detail and creative additions to ensure guests feel as though they are in their home away from home. 

From the minute you enter, you can feel the soul of this space. The bright bedrooms contain white bedding and upholstery, exposed wooden ceiling beams, and limited-edition wood tapestries by textile brand Aelfie, designed specifically for the hotel. The Mediterranean-inspired textiles are hand-woven in India, featuring geometric designs, cream tones, and splashes of color. It’s truly a Spanish paradise!

Instead of TVs, rooms include vintage record players, vinyl records, and playlists specifically curated to suit different guests. Luxurious bathrooms are fitted with solid brass fixtures, monolithic imported stone soaking tubs, and hand-cut and crafted tiles. Every last detail has been accounted for in this seaside sanctuary.

Each room in the hotel has its own unique name and homey touches, adding to the individuality of the space. If you’re looking for natural sunlight, an ocean breeze, and some extra privacy, be sure to ask about the “Soliel” room; which contains two Juliette balconies that open directly to the Pacific Ocean. If you’re looking for a perfect sunset view, check out the “La Vue” room; which contains the only giant picture window on the property. You can find detailed information about each room and its amenities on the hotel’s website.

© Hotel Joaquin

© Hotel Joaquin

The amenities

There truly is something for everyone here. If you’re hoping to relax and rejuvenate, the hotel offers a pool overlooking the ocean. It’s lined with wooden sun-loungers, daybeds, and beach umbrellas. This is the perfect spot to curl up with a good book and enjoy the California sun.

Perhaps you’re looking to give your palate a sense-filled experience? Saline, the sea-influenced restaurant onsite, offers meals and light bites with all fresh ingredients, and cocktails inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine and spices. 

Maybe you’re more of an adventure junkie? Guests also receive an all-access pass to the Adventure Garage. The garage comes with everything you need to immerse yourself in the coastal California lifestyle, including surfboards, hiking gear, diving equipment, and bicycles.

Another added plus? Hand-delivered coffee service and an opulent breakfast… all on the house. This place truly has it all, making it the perfect spot for adventure-seekers, food snobs, and those looking to disconnect from the outside world.

If you want an even more individualized and unique experience, be sure to check out the hotel’s “enhancements” to add to your stay. You can book additions such as a tequila tasting, a reiki sound bath, a bathtub enhancement, or a romantic surprise for your loved one. 

This stylish hotel has come a long way from its roots, making it a must-see for anyone staying in the Orange County area. Be sure to check out Hotel Joaquin’s specials this month on their website to take advantage of their restaurant discount & dining credit. 

For more, check out their Instagram @hoteljoaquin.

© Hotel Joaquin

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