On Top of the World in La Jolla

When you exit the 5 onto La Jolla Drive and crest the top of the hill, you’re instantly presented with awe-inspiring, panoramic ocean views, and no matter how many times you’ve done this, it’s as special the 100th time as it is the very first!  But this time is definitely extra-special because I booked a holiday staycation to stay on top of the world…in La Jolla!

Hotel La Jolla, I have arrived! My check-in was easy peasy and there was such a kind welcome from the front desk. If you’ve never been here before, the lobby is warm and inviting with wood accents and unique tables! They even have fruit infused water available! You can see more photos of the hotel here.

Just off the lobby is the pool and outdoor patio and lounge areas. Here you’ll find cozy and intimate sitting sections illuminated by candle and fire and also spacious enough to rent out for a private event. 

Celebrating something fun? Let the staff know because they’re all about making an event extra memorable! Check out this welcome bottle and charcuterie they left for me! I can’t wait for a good night’s sleep here! Whether you’re in need of a self-care retreat or a weekend getaway, this is the spot for you!

Though my beloved Starbucks is right next door, I was excited to see that my room was equipped with a Nespresso machine! I love my Nespresso! I jumpstarted my morning on the patio with espresso in hand, and drew in a deep crisp winter breath! 

Now friends, I have a confession! I’ve stayed at a fair amount of hotels in my lifetime and I have never stayed at a hotel with a “shower privacy” wall! With the touch of a button, you can either shower solo or for the whole world (i.e. whomever you’re sharing a room with)! To give you a better understanding, I imagine it works a lot like a garage door between two panes of glass.  

Did you know that you’re also within walking distance to La Jolla Shores? Depending on what your exact starting and stopping points are, it’s about a mile and a half round trip to catch a gorgeous San Diego sunset like this!


When you’ve returned from watching the sun set, it’s time for a nightcap at CUSP! Will it be a red wine or an espresso martini kind of night?


The chill of the bar made me choose the glass of red accompanied by this gorgeous burrata plate! You guys, tell me this dish isn’t stunning?! But if you know Chef Ingrid, then you also know this compliment is 100% deserved! I love the lightness of this dish because I’m always down for some fresh seasonal veggies, and baby vegetables are the cutest! That creamy burrata cheese and toasted sourdough bite is delectable, trust me!


I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those anomaly people that can drink coffee and go straight to bed! I’m sorry, I know, lucky me! Anywho, a cappuccino seemed like the appropriate ending to my evening! And I may or may not have added Frangelico to said caffeine fix… 🤷‍♀️ But that’s between my bartender and I! Shout out to Paige!

My fun fact of the day was a Google search to learn what percentage of people are like me who can drink coffee and then go right to bed. It turns out 10% of people carry a gene that makes them hyposensitive to being affected by caffeine! Who knew?! Annnnd…goodnight!

Rise and shine, the day is young and there’s much to do! Did you know the Hotel La Jolla also has bikes that you can borrow/ rent? The first 2 hours are free and then there’s a nominal fee thereafter! So, are you walking or biking to the beach? I went on foot to take in the scenery.

When you cross La Jolla Shores Drive and walk down Avenida De La Playa you’ll stroll right past restaurants, cafes, and rental shops to kayak, snorkel, and more.

If you love a good scone, you can stop into Brick and Bell on your way to the beach for a Cranberry Scone and a latte! And then on your way back to the hotel, you should stop by the Cheese Shop and grab one of their World Famous Oatmeal Cookies! They were fondly introduced to me as “Crack Cookies,” because I promise you’ll want more than one! Read this post for a funny cookie story!!

IYKYK: Barbarellas is the definition of going BIG for the holidays! Their usual Halloween decor is nothing short of equal parts impressive and gruesome and with Christmas around the corner, their “halls” are decked and shining bright! But it’s time to hurry back for that dinner and sunset combo on the 11th floor!

What would you order for dinner? For me, I was craving some red meat; say hello to the CUSP burger and the filet! What they share in common is their textbook sear! Your first bite of this cheeseburger will set the bar and each bite thereafter, just continues to raise it! If you’ve been craving a burger, this will absolutely hit the spot!

Rapid fire questions, ready?! Do you like French fries? Do you like beer battered fries? Do you like garlic? If you answered YES to all 3 questions, then be sure to order the garlic fries! You’ll thank me later!

But let’s get back to that steak! A medium filet with chimichurri is where it’s at! That Chimichurri, a “popular Argentine condiment,” adds a brightness that is soo complimentary!

I hope you saved room for dessert, but if you’re dining with company, let me just warn you, you won’t want to share this, so tell your dinner date to order their own! #SharingIsNotCaring, order the churros! This light and tasty dessert has a cinnamony crunch that pairs perfectly with chef’s flan, the ultimate Chef’s kiss! It was light, spongey, and not too sweet! This dinner with a view will have you coming back the next day for brunch!


I was sad to hear that there was no hot tub on site, but wait for the plot twist! If you’re like me and enjoy a nice swim in the morning, then you’ll be happy to know that the Hotel La Jolla’s pool is HEATED! This breaking news was the game changer in getting in my pool time! Also, whether you arrive with young ones or like a good walk and talk session with your important people, then it may delight you to know that the entire pool is only 3 feet deep.

Now before you check out, take the elevator back up to the 11th floor for brunch! Ladies and gentleman, this brunch has been brought to you by TOAST! With champagne in hand, I toast to all of you at the Hotel La Jolla and your excellent hospitality! 

Now on to the battle of the toasts, are you ordering sweet or savory toast? (Personally, my ideal brunch is a balance between sweet and savory!) First up is our trendy friend, Mr. Avocado Toast! What I like about this particular avocado toast are the fresh tomatoes, radishes, and arugula on top! 

But if you’re more into sweet toasts, make sure to try the Blueberry French Toast! If blueberries are your favorite, you’ll love their house-made blueberry compote which sits atop crunchy panko encrusted toast; it’s a must-try!

To wrap up this holiday staycation with the prettiest Christmas bow, here’s what really hit home for me!  

  1. My meals at CUSP! Everything I tried from Chef Ingrid was beautifully presented and delicious!
  2. The view from my room was spectacular, but that shower was one of a kind! (Did I mention that I watched the movie Elf from the shower? Hehe!)
  3. The pool! This heated pool is truly a property treasure! 

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