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Getting Grand in La Jolla

Jan. 23 2010, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

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If San Diego is too much of a college party town for the weary traveler, try stopping instead at the wealthy beachside enclave of La Jolla, Calif.

With many choices of where to stay, it was difficult choosing which picturesque hotel to check out. We decided to go with the city's oldest original hotel: The Grande Colonial. Nestled on Prospect Street, it continues to be in the middle of the town's heart and a short stroll from the beach where sea lions still roam.

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Having opened in 1913, it is on the list of Historic Hotels in America and exudes all the old-world charm of a bygone era. From the black and white photos that adorn the walls and rooms, to the tiled bathrooms that conjure images of an old Hollywood movie star retiring after a day at the shore, the Grande Colonial is breathtakingly relaxing.

Despite the commitment to preserving its original essence, the hotel has all the comforts necessary to make the modern traveler at ease. In 2008, it completed an $8 million restoration project that renovated the guest rooms, as well as adding 18 new suites.

On Our Radar

The service is also impeccable. The evening turn-down service runs like clockwork thanks to the friendly staff and the room service arrives with rapid speed and is presented beautifully and with care. The complimentary wireless internet, newspaper delivery and LCD flatscreens are also nice contemporary touches seamlessly weaved into the historic hotel's aesthetic.

As the city's original green hotel, you can also feel better about not adding to your carbon footprint too much!

The Grande Colonial is everything you hope for in a classic and classy beachside retreat and we cannot wait to come back, open the windows, and let the sea breeze lift away the stresses of the world.

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