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Janice Tober

Executive editor

A hotel lover since her first hotel stay, when she realized she didn’t have to make her own bed, Janice Tober is a freelance travel writer who has contributed to Lonely Planet, CN Traveler’s HotelChatter, Bravo TV’s Jetset and others.

As hotels closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the them used that down time to give their properties a re-vamp, whether it was a new lobby re-do or a top-to-bottom overhaul.

The Pearl Hotel, a wee 23-room boutique property in San Diego, did the whole shebang—a complete reno to bring it back to its mid-century roots. But the modern part of the re-vamp is that its owner, Casetta Group, have incorporated its philosophy of sustainability without compromising style. What you can expect to find are brand new public spaces and redesigned rooms, all with a SoCal coastal vibe.

Photo courtesy of Josh Cho Photography

Architecture and design firm Electric Bowery worked with Casetta to make-over the lobby with a refreshed color palette and the addition of a custom leather sectional to frame the entire space amidst glowing glass pendant lights, jewel-toned accents and marble bistro tables. The iconic oyster shell-shaped pool remains at the center of the property with updated outdoor lounging and dining areas.

Photo courtesy of Josh Cho Photography

The hotel’s restaurant, Charles + Dinorah—named after the hotel’s former husband-wife owners dating back to the 1960s—has also been newly renovated and, to coincide with the hotel’s just-announced re-opening, a new summer dining experience is also on the menu. Highlights include the signature Pearl burger on a pretzel bun and Vietnamese caramelized chicken wings, homey dishes with a bit of pizzazz. The restaurant also serves cocktails that sound both exotic and delicious.

Photo courtesy of Josh Cho Photography

The spiffy-looking new rooms were designed by local firm, Human Kind Design Studio, and feature eco-friendly bedding and bath linens by Parachute, slab cotton headboards, cane back chairs, handcrafted ceramic lamps and flat-woven rugs in shades of sand, ivory, brown and taupe. Walls washed in white create a bright, airy atmosphere while solid wood furnishings—such as floating acacia wood nightstands—and vintage art act as statement pieces. As a nod to the hotel’s name, the in-room artwork pays homage to female Japanese pearl divers (amas), known to hold their breath underwater for extended periods of time while harvesting oysters.

Photo courtesy of Josh Cho Photography

And to support a sustainable stay, the hotel provides organic bath amenities by MoonCloth Designs, custom-designed Finery bathrobes, Ocean Bottle recycled, reusable water bottles and Roen x Casetta 001 candles created with an exclusive blend of coconut wax.

On top of all of this new sparkle and shine, needless to say the hotel has also launched new health and safety protocols to ensure you stay safe and leave with a beaming smile that shows off those pearly whites.

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