Historic LaFayette Hotel Reopens in San Diego After $31M Reno

San Diego’s LaFayette Hotel & Club has reopened following a complete transformation. Owned and developed by CH Projects, LaFayette Hotel & Club is a two-and-a-half-acre, Colonial-style hotel. It was built in 1946 by young entrepreneur Larry Imig as a place for young Hollywood stars, hosting Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope

Shortly after it opened, the property was purchased by Conrad Hilton and changed ownership several times in the following decades. LaFayette Hotel & Club’s complete overhaul—its first proper renovation since it was built—was designed by Brooklyn-based Post Company, including eight new food and beverage outlets, along with updates all 139 rooms and the pool that remains the focal point of the property. Music producer Swizz Beats has created the hotel’s soundtrack played on a custom-built speaker system designed by Devon Turnbull

Upon arrival at the new LaFayette Hotel & Club, guests encounter a formal entry, gilded with plastered crown moldings, tumbled vintage checkered marble floors, crystal chandeliers and lush plantings. A dedicated café kiosk that serves coffee and pastries is in the entry lobby along with a retail space carved out of millwork, offering a collection of products curated by Swish Projects

LaFayette Hotel & Club is home to a range of guestrooms, suites, and townhouses rooted in traditional Victorian, Tudor, and Gothic details. Design elements such as wallpaper ceilings, saturated wall tones, fabric draped canopy beds, and burled bar carts read as functional sculpture or art. 

Lafayete Hotel & Club

The hotel’s dining outlets will debut in two phases. Among those opening in Phase 1 (now open) is Beginners Diner, which has an authentic drawing that feels as if it has always been there with the hotel built around the concept. Its interiors act as an installation of a traditional diner from the 1940s. The concept pays tribute to the Americana hero dishes that helped democratize restaurants mid-century with a nod to traditional Greek and Jewish food influences.

The Lobby Bar is circular in design under the glass atrium and is anchored by the Atlas statue and surrounded by a hand-painted ceiling by Brazilian-based artist Joāo Incerti. Its menu will include throwback cocktails. 

Quixote is an Oaxacan-inspired concept and mezcalería designed with monastic qualities. The entire space was created from a decommissioned Catholic church in Mexico and reconstructed to showcase dark wood paneling, rough cobblestones that dot the entryway, Santa Maria candles, stained-glass windows and baroque pews and banquettes surrounding the pulpit-inspired bar. 

The Pool Bar has brightly colored umbrellas, chaise lounges and rattan clamshell chairs, which evoke 1980’s luxury. Aperitivos, spritzes, and refreshing bites are featured on the menu.  

The game room, home to a two-lane bowling alley, The Gutter, is inspired by Henry Frick's personal bowling alley at the base of the Frick Museum and serves classic cocktails. 

A old-fashioned bowling alley

Phase II (available Q4 2023) will see the opening of the Le Horse Continental Room, a more luxurious European-style restaurant designed with lavish materials and details such as wild mosaic tiles. The entrance is complete with a conservatory and a central bar and café style banquettes that flank both sides of the space. 

Also opening in phase II will be Lulu’s Jungle Room and The Mississippi Room. Conceived as a golden era jazz and night club, they are housed in the hotel’s former event space. The bar has clashing patterns of leopards, forest canopies, feathers and fronds, while the Mississippi Room is slightly pared down for guests to focus on the stage that will host a variety of live music acts. A Chef’s Table spotlighting visiting culinary talent from around the world will be available in Phase II.  

The hotel also has spa and wellness areas where Russian, Roman and Turkish baths will debut in fall 2023. 

To stay up to date, visit lafayettehotelsd.com 

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