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Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa

510 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
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Casa Laguna Hotel and Spa

Why we love it: this historic 23-suite property overlooks the Pacific Coast Highway and teems with rich, Moorish-influenced style

- Set in the heart of SoCal’s Laguna Beach
- Iconic architecture and bold interior design
- Evokes the area’s storied past as an artist enclave and a retreat for Hollywood glitterati like Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis and Rudolph Valentino

The review: This regal stone building — complete with secret turrets and patios — presides over Laguna Beach, an old-school artsy beach town once hailed as “The Riviera of America.” Originally built by Frank Miller and Arthur Benton in the early 1900s, it echoes the area’s Spanish Mission roots with white stucco and red terracotta roof tiles.  One of the world’s top interior designers recently took that ball and ran with it. Los Angeles-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard enhanced the castle-like structure with hand-painted furniture, Moorish tiles and lanterns, and wainscoting worthy of a Marrakesh palace. He also added softer notes like oxblood-leather armchairs and luscious cerulean velvet couches that echo the blue of the Pacific below.

The 23 suites all feature custom marble vanities, hand-crafted natural fiber mattresses and Martyn Lawrence Bullard fabrics and wallpapers. Expect beautiful attention to detail at every turn, from in-room snacks from Dean & DeLuca and Cowshed amenities made famous by the spa in Somerset, England. Special occasion? Book the Bungalow, a 600-square-foot sanctuary that unfurls ocean views from the living room and jetted clawfoot tub. It also has a large private balcony with a hammock for two.

Despite being a Registered Historic Structure, Casa Laguna became the area’s first hotel to receive the Green Eco-Leaf rating from iStayGreen.org. Its sustainable initiatives range from bulk amenities and soaps to low-energy lighting and water-efficient landscaping.