If I am ever asked about my favourite place in California, I’ll instantly wax lyrical about the beautiful Huntington Beach. This stunning location, boasting 8.5 miles of golden sands on the PCH, offers something for every generation, yet it is somehow very different than other hotspots in the Golden State. We spent three days there last year, even extended our stay due to the instant attraction. It is safe to say we just completely fell in love with Surf City, so we had to return! For our California road trip: The sequel, we stayed at the romantic, friendly and oh-so-trendy, Pasea Hotel. A hotel that truly raised the bar in so many ways, let me tell you why.
Escape to where the sky kisses the sea
Previous experience at Pasea Hotel
During our last visit, we actually had a small taster of the Pasea Hotel when we went for a spa treatment as a mid-holiday treat. This was in the Aarna Spa which is partnered with ESPA, and welcomes both hotel guests and locals. It is very much a Balinese-Inspired Spa with 8 treatment rooms, a serene relaxation lounge, a private spa garden plus a sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and a saltwater whirlpool. We both indulged in a 50-minute massage and a cheeky glass of bubbles! Whilst we didn’t visit the spa on this trip, I would highly recommend booking a treatment.
Steps from the sand and sea
The Pasea Hotel is part of the Meritage Collection of venues and offers what I can only describe as clean, quirky and idyllic coastal accommodation. The bold, sweeping architecture of the stunning main hotel building sits literally steps away from all the action of Huntington Beach, with Pacific City just next door. The Pacific City complex plays host to shops, restaurants and bars, so if you decided to venture beyond the hotel for food and drink, you’re going to be completely spoilt for choice and it isn’t far from you either!
When we were there last time I remember gazing around wishing my entire house looked as chic as the Pasea Hotel! This time we’d be guests – I couldn’t wait and neither could my inner interior designer. We pulled up to the hotel into its sweeping driveway, to be greeted by the concierge, the valet, three surfboards and of course, the famous Pasea blue 23 window VW Camper. Having someone take your luggage and go park the car for you, somehow makes all the travelling feel instantly worth it! It paves the way for the rest of the trip, confirming that it is now time to unwind and be looked after.
Being polite and greeting with a smile costs nothing but is often forgotten, not at the Pasea, it was big smiles and warm welcomes from the get-go. Once out of the car, Pasea staff member Gerson took our bags and escorted us to our room, giving us all the details of the hotel and local area along the way. A great first impression on the customer service front, with Gerson’s friendly nature and genuine conversation setting the tone of the service we could expect. We soon learnt that it wasn’t just Gerson who was like this, it was all staff, but he really stood out for his excellent recommendations and attention to detail.
With 250 guestrooms and suites, you might think accommodation would be snug, but you’d be wrong! Checking into our hotel room, I didn’t know what I wanted to look at first! The room was spacious, light and like the rest of the hotel, coastal themed. I found the large bed extremely comfortable, but before we arrived I had read some reviews on TripAdvisor that commented on an uncomfortable bed, but I had no problems at all. In fact, I think I slept the best I did at the Pasea out of anywhere on the trip!
The best thing about this room for me was the completely unobstructed view of the ocean. I could stand on that balcony for hours, and I did, in my Pasea dressing gown and whilst wearing my complimentary Pasea flip flops! Those same flip flops have travelled all the way home with me and remind me of our amazing stay, whilst I’m here in the rainy UK!
The room was extremely clever with its utilisation of space, for example, they had a sliding door to the bathroom, and the fridge was built into the unit where tea and coffee was. An excellent way to maximise space to get all the extra details in without making the room feel cluttered or cramped.
The bathroom used its space very well with a selection of complimentary products available. You had the option to shower looking into the main bedroom allowing you to potentially catch a glimpse of the ocean, or if you wanted to, you could use the sliding door to keep it private.
Relax to the sounds of the ocean tides
There were tea and coffee facilities and mini Pasea branded water bottles chilling for you in the fridge. To make guests feel extra special there was even a ‘welcome to the Pasea Hotel’ bottle of wine.
The answer to an ocean dream
Pasea Hotel Facilities
As previously mentioned, the Pasea Hotel has a spa for guests and locals to use, but they also have a beautiful outdoor pool and delicious hot tub for you to sink into. They have a glass fence around the property meaning you can sit in that hot tub and gaze out to the ocean. Pretty good right? And with Tanner’s Bar pool bar window, you have plenty of reasons to either take a dip, read that book on a lounger or tuck yourself away under the cabanas. You can even pre-book your spot around the pool should you want to, a service I can imagine coming in very handy during high season. With soft towels, a heated pool and exceptional ocean views – why would you not?!
You can take out the Pasea branded beach cruisers free of charge, which is a lovely way to explore the local area. In order to borrow the bikes, you simply need to go downstairs to where valet is and book them out. It’s as easy as that! I’d highly recommend going early as even in April we found them to be booked out, but if you are staying here make sure you do this.
The fact you have parking on site was a dream for Nick and I. We arrived then let the staff take the car, allowing us to finally feel we could start our California holiday. However, it was super easy to collect your car for a few hours if you wanted to head out for a while. We did this twice and it was a smooth and quick process. Whilst there is some street parking around Huntington Beach it is far easier to have your car on site, it just means you can take your car and return it with ease.
The beach is not far away at all, but at the Pasea they don’t expect you to take the steps down to the beach and cross the road, Oh No! You can take full advantage of their Beach Butler service. What’s a Beach Butler?! Well, a special member of Pasea staff will take you and your partner, on a rickshaw bike with all your beach gear, straight to those golden sands and crystal blue seas! Awesome!
Nick and I did this and it was so much fun, I did feel initially awkward about the staff member having to carry our weight on the bike, but fear not, it’s an electric bike! When you want to be collected, instead of carting your wet swimwear and sandy towels back to the hotel, the Beach Butler can be back before you know it to pick you up! Genius – and a wonderful personal touch to their excellent customer service.
Dog Friendly – you might say it’s Paw-sea
Before I go into how pawsome the hotel is (see what I did there!), it is important to highlight how fur baby friendly California is! Huntington Beach is especially pooch proud with its very own dog beach with many famous Instagram dogs being from the area. Seriously, if you love dogs you will love this place!
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling with your four-legged friend, you’ll be thrilled to know they are very welcome at the Pasea Hotel. When we got to the hotel, I immediately wished my dog Winnie was with us to hang out in the designated dog area with its Paw-sea lifeguard tower. Can you imagine the photos?! It’s an Instagram treat, especially as both your dog and you can simultaneously be pictured with angel wings… that’s right they have pup-sized angel wings too!
Based in the lobby area are many spots for you to sit down and relax, however, they have an onsite coffee shop with some excellent drinks and pastries (I had some before we left for LA), should you want to get a beverage. There is also a great study area where you can hook your laptop up, sit and get your work done. Oh and the most important thing to mention is they have fast free wifi throughout the entire hotel. Hurray! A hotel that finally has reliable internet!
We had breakfast and dinner at Tanner’s restaurant that is conveniently located on the ground floor of the hotel next to the lobby. I rule the roost at home as being the breakfast lover and Nick is the dinner expert, and we both agreed the meals we had here were out of this world incredible. I mean, don’t just take it from us, this place has won numerous prestigious culinary awards, so the proof really is in the pudding.
The breakfasts cover all the classics, so you have your acai bowls and your avocado toasts but their breakfast menu explores many different brunch choices. I went for the corned beef hash which isn’t what I’d normally go for, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to select something a bit different. Such a diverse range on their menu, I’m confident whatever you were to order would be delicious.
It took me 15 minutes of reselecting my choices before I finally decided what to have on both meal times. I was simply spoilt for choice, the options were next level and I wanted a bit of everything. Even more appealing for me is that Tanner’s use locally sourced products, making it an authentic SoCal dining experience. So to summarise you have got to go to Tanner’s!
Above Tanner’s restaurant, there is the Treehouse bar, the best place to go to see the famous California sunset and sip on your evening cocktail. We took a trip here on our way back from Pacific City one evening, it was a very romantic setting with mood lighting as you gaze out to the sea, honestly, it felt like we were either in a movie or on a postcard! I highly recommend even popping up to the Treehouse Bar for at least one drink.
Conclusion of the stay
If you’re looking for a hotel that is modern, beautifully located, excels in customer service and is the definition of luxury coastal, then make sure the Pasea Hotel is on your radar. An excellent stay which really made the holiday relaxing and enjoyable. Don’t forget there is so much to do in Huntington Beach as well, so I assure you if you do decide to go beyond the hotel there is plenty to keep you occupied. Thank you to all the wonderful staff at the Pasea Hotel for looking after us during California road trip. We’ll be back soon!