Why we love it: A Mission Revival property that blends Hollywood history with hang-ten culture

The Highlights:
- A location just minutes from the secluded Cress Street Beach
- A rooftop lounge with sweeping ocean views
- Guest rooms designed by iconic surf brands

The Review:
Once the haunt of writers, filmmakers, and Hollywood celebrities, this historic hotel on the Pacific Coast Highway famously hosted a lobby backgammon game between J. Paul Getty and Howard Hughes in the 1930s. Today, the pet-friendly property maintains its original grace with Spanish-style stucco and domed arches, but 10 of its 41 suites have moved on to a decidedly different sort of California cool. Created in collaboration with iconic skate and surf brands like Etnies, Roxy, and Billabong, the Casa Surf rooms feature hand-painted surfboards, underwater photo murals, and George Nelson furniture, fully immersing guests in Laguna surf culture. For something more traditional, book one of the Spanish rooms, which include wrought-iron accents and ornately carved dark-wood furnishings.

La Casa sits just a stone’s throw from Cress Street Beach, where hotel guests enjoy access to chairs, umbrellas, and beach towels as part of their resort fee. Also included in the fee is daily breakfast, access to the nearby Art of Fitness gym and its juice bar, and reservations at the on-site Rooftop Lounge, where you can sip mojitos while watching the sun set over the Pacific. When you’re in the mood for something more substantial, head downstairs to K’ya Bistro, with offers small plates full of Mediterranean flavor.

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