Review of the La Grande Colonial Hotel, La Jolla, California

Room view, 5th floor, La Grande Colonial, La Jolla, California, taken mid-August 2018

I stayed at the La Grande Hotel last week with my husband and in-laws in an ocean view room, with two queen beds on the 5th floor (top floor) of the hotel.

So a few notes and contet to keep in mind when reading this review:

  • The trip was optimized for my elderly in-laws who don’t take vacations often, and definitely not at the beach.
  • They don’t like to be out in the heat a lot and struggle walking uphill.

We planned the trip around their convenience and enjoyment, so keep that in mind when reading this review.

Location: The location of La Grande Colonial was brilliant! It’s right on the corner of Prospect and Jenner, in downtown La Jolla, just one block from the beach boardwalk.

The Room: We had an ocean view and could watch the sunset perfectly right from our room! The first night, my in-laws were a bit tired from travels, so we enjoyed coffee and desserts while watching sunset from the room, and the next night we went down to the beach to watch.

The room itself was actually old and small – with 4 adults we felt a bit cramped but we weren’t all 4 in the room, at the same time that much, so we didn’t mind. The old style was very fitting with the Colonial name, but it balanced out with the modern amenities.

One oddity, was that the door hook to hang towels, robes etc. was oddly high in our room. I’ve never seen it so unattainably high in a hotel room…in my travels across the globe. I’m 4’11 and I couldn’t reach it, even while standing on tippy toes. It was a very minor inconvenience, but something I did notice and it did make me chuckle.

Modern Amenities: Their good, free Wi-Fi was VERY much appreciated. We watched Bollywood videos while playing cards, looked up restaurants with vegetarian options with ease and continuously sent photos back home to share with family, throughout our stay.

The lamps on the nightstand had plugs and there was a large flat screen TV which we didn’t turn on a single time. There was a big walk-in closet which I would have valued more if we had stayed longer. And the in-room safe was handy too. The place felt secure and safe but I think my in-laws preferred to keep their passports etc. in there.

The toiletries were Gilchrist & Soames, London which has 3.5 stars on Amazon. They look luxurious and the fact that they’re from London makes them seem fancy too. Know what I mean? I mean if they said Gilchrist & Soames Riverside, CA or Edison, New Jersey, it just wouldn’t have the same flare…no offense Riverside and Edison.

I have long really long hair so I appreciated that the bottles were bigger than typical hotel toiletries and that they were separate shampoo and conditioner vs. 1 combined conditioning shampoo.


Registration Staff: The staff was friendly and recommended Everyday California for snorkeling (who was really great). My in-laws are a bit older and don’t travel much, especially internationally. Even though my husband and I were there, they were a bit stressed out about checking in for their flights and getting their boarding passes. The hotel staff printed their boarding passes which put them at ease which meant they were more relaxed.

Thoughtful Service: The valet staff was really attentive. My in-laws and I loaded the car while my husband checked out. They saw that my in-laws were elder and since they had sat down in the car, the valet guy turned on the air conditioning for them while they loaded our luggage. When I sat down my long dress was sticking out of the car and I hadn’t noticed. The valet guy mentioned it and waited for me to pull it inside before shutting the door. This may seem like common sense but the thing I’ve learned about common sense is that it’s NOT common.

My family and I are vegetarian. The hotel’s Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar has great reviews and is situated on a beautiful outdoor area overlooking the ocean. Still, we opted to eat elsewhere as there were only a handful of items on the menu suitable for vegetarians and I think we wanted to walk around and explore the area a bit.

As soon as you step out of the door of the hotel, there are so many options! See our post on some recommendations of where to/not eat for vegetarians and vegans in La Jolla.

{Other Accommodations We Considered In La Jolla And The Surrounding Area}

We looked at other places before booking La Grande Colonial. Actually our first choice was Pantai Inn. It looked beautiful, had great reviews and the location is even closer to the beach boardwalk than La Grande Colonial. We didn’t book there because it was fully occupied on our dates.

We also looked at La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites. They’re very close to the beach as well, but some of the reviews made us wary.

The La Jolla Marriott is nice but pretty far inland. If it was just my husband and I, I think we might’ve been ok with that but this was a special holiday that we planned for my in-laws and we wanted them to have the whole “walk outside and be on the beach” experience.

We also looked at Hotel del Coronado, but later decided that we wanted to be in La Jolla instead of Coronado Island. With two elderly people with us who couldn’t be out in the heat too long, we thought La Jolla would be perfect with all the galleries, cafes, and shops where one can escape the heat.

Looking back, I think La Grande Colonial was the best choice – location wise – compared to Pantai Inn because we didn’t actually spend a lot of time at the beach boardwalk. We mostly walked around La Jolla Village. And La Grande Colonial was perfect for that because Pantai Inn is closer to the beach, to get to La Jolla Village from there, you have to walk uphill. For my elderly in-laws that would have been a bit challenging.

Whereas at La Grande Colonial, you step outside and you’re in the heart of the action and it’s all flat.


Overall we had a very pleasant stay at La Grande Colonial. The service and location were the two features that made it stand out. Traveling with my elderly in-laws it worked out that we were in the middle of La Jolla Village, close to walking to restaurants and cafes, without having to walk uphill as would have been the case at Pantai Inn and La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites (or we would’ve Uber’d).

The ocean room view was really great. I think my in-laws really enjoyed that as did my husband and I. It’s a bit pricey considering the hotel feels old, but understandable, especially during summer months given the ideal location and ocean views. And a very small price to pay with good free Wi-Fi and great service.

I definitely recommend visitors to consider La Grande Colonial when planning their travels to La Jolla.

Lobby/restaurant view at La Grange Colonial, La Jolla.

I hope this helps you plan your next trip to La Jolla! It’s a brilliant, gorgeous gem. You will NOT be disappointed! Did you go to La Jolla? Did you stay at La Grande Colonial? Share your photos and stories! I love to hear from you!

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Wishing you happy and safe adventures!


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