Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2018

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Page 23 of 35

J ust in time for Earth Day, San Diego county serves up some blissful spots to enjoy the grand beauty of Southern California in eco-friendly luxury. What makes a destination eco-friendly? It's not all about using green cleaning products, on-site recycling, or water and energy saving, although these are important elements to look for in any stay. Rather, being eco-friendly is also about preserving rather than destroying, rebuilding rather than razing. It's also about acknowledging the beauty and delicate balance of the environment around a property. In La Jolla, the romantic Pantai Inn stands out as a lush resort seem- ingly straight from the South Paci c. Featuring Balinese-inspired dé- cor and an oceanfront setting just above La Jolla Cove, this is a sin- gular spot to relax, unwind, and stroll the tide pools across the street. Zen-like water features and a tranquil, coral-lined courtyard, plumeria and hibiscus blossoms, and original Balinese statuary create an atmo- sphere of harmony that makes a perfect setting to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. But along with its beauty, the Pantai o ers something else quite profound: history and rehabilitation. ese historic and gorgeous cot- tages and suites could've all too easily become collateral damage in a tear-down, and the compact but utterly beautiful grounds the site of a high-rise hotel. Instead, environmentally friendly restoration saved and recreated the stunning space. e location has always enchanted. A er World War II, shoemaker Max Heimburge purchased a series of small cottages and buildings along the La Jolla coastline, properties that ranged in age from the 1900s to the 1930s, with one cottage dating to the 1890s – about an acre of cottages and small buildings in a variety of di erent architec- tural styles and shapes. As apartments, they were rented to friends, celebrities, and vacationing families, and as such became known as the Shell Beach Motel. e properties stayed in the family over the years, but time took its toll on the disparate grouping of buildings. Faced with aging and somewhat shabby structures, Heimburge's grandchildren, Laurnie Durisoe and Larry Jackman, turned not to tearing down but building up. Respectful of the property's past, the buildings were restored and rehabilitated, recreated to include con- temporary luxury from the ocean-view studios to one-bedroom cot- tages and three-bedroom suites. Rather than add units, overcrowd the property, and risk adversely impacting the La Jolla shoreline, they elected to upgrade and restyle, with a focus on custom, wood-carved property design and furnishings, stone carvings, and hand-chosen Ba- linese décor. In doing so, historic structures were preserved — including the detailed Italianate architecture of the lobby building, this piece of pris- tine coastline untrammeled, and the focus of the resort became natu- ral beauty and quiet, elegant space. Our suite included a glass-enclosed sunroom that made the perfect spot to watch the sunset and sip a morning co ee; a perfectly equipped full kitchen encouraged us to stay in one night for an evening meal with our ocean view. In the morning, the resort's complimentary breakfast could be taken to our room, enjoyed on cushioned chairs in the grassy courtyard, or consumed in the bu et dining area; fresh fruit, organic eggs, delicious house-made organic breads and pastries were all on o er. Guests can also enjoy a relaxing outdoor repit with the ocean just steps away, and perhaps unsurprisingly, a non-smoking environment. A further eco-plus: La Jolla is entirely walkable. Leave your car parked at the resort to explore dining, hiking, beach going, shopping, and a bevy of small and interesting museums, including the little-known La Jolla Map Museum, where you can take a look at the ecology of the world over time. Moving up the coast to Oceanside, look no further than the icon- ic, and beautifully long Oceanside pier jutting into the ocean to learn about the town's history and restoration. e 1,954-foot pier was rst built in 1888, but storms destroyed the structure repeatedly: Five times in fact. Not to be deterred, the town pressed on and the current pier was built in 1987, now serving as just one example of the revitalization of a downtown once considered tired. Nothing could be further from the case today, from the vibrant art scene at the Oceanside Museum of Art, which features many promi- nent Southern California artists in its collection, to hotels such as the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott Downtown Oceanside. SpringHill Suites is a thoroughly LEED-certi ed destination, meaning it meets the strict requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the most widely used green building rating system in the world. is hotel is just steps to the beach, the pier, and downtown restaurants. Indoor/outdoor spaces abound, including an expansive roo op pool area that allows guests a stellar view of the wide, white, sandy coastline. Spacious studio suites with workspaces are designed in the white and blue colors of the sea itself. Leaving the hotel, visitors can explore sur ng history at the Mu- seum of Sur ng, dedicated to preserving the link between the ocean itself and the lifestyle of beach living by collecting, documenting, and preserving sur ng artifacts and memorabilia. Or take a ride on a board yourself. What was once a somewhat disregarded section of the SoCal coastline has blossomed. Guests can leave the car in the hotel garage and enjoy exploring a downtown that is on the cusp of renewal, from galleries and ne dining to community activities such as dance and sporting events held along the shore. Or just take the train: By Genie Davis Eco-Friendly Beach Renewal in Gorgeous San Diego County La Jolla and Oceanside 24 wholelifetimes.com

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