By J.C. Thomas, Travel Writer
Annexing a spectacular stretch of coastline in La Jolla, an upscale community 15 miles north of San Diego, is The Lodge at Torrey Pines. This AAA Five Diamond resort overlooks the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and flanks Torrey Pines State Reserve, a coastal expanse of nature-sculpted sandstone cliffs, squiggled with hiking trails and a habitat for endangered Torrey pine trees, one of the rarest pines in the world.
Pull up to the resort’s entrance and pause to admire its leaded glass show-stopper — a sunset-backed tree of life with branches reaching over multiple panels that comprise weighty front doors — an unforgettable first impression of this Craftsman-inspired architectural marvel.
Taking its inspiration from turn-of-the-century California architecture, notably the Greene and Greene-designed Gamble and Blacker houses in Pasadena, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a peaceful haven of flawless hardwood beams, constructed with nary a nail in sight, favoring aesthetically delightful all-wood joints, so smooth that you can’t help but run a finger along them as you walk along the corridors. Artwork and hanging lanterns throughout the property are seamlessly hung from leather straps; the armchairs and sofas are of overstuffed, shining leather; inviting fireplaces are framed with pine needle-green tile and embossed bronze hoods. Order a drink from the bar and retreat to one of these comfortable seats with a window view. For a soft drink on a warm day, you can’t go wrong with the house limeade, fragrant with muddled mint leaves and freshly squeezed juice. Enjoy the serenity of the surroundings, taking in the botanical reserve-inspired courtyard, croquet court and distant greens of the renowned 18-hole golf course.
Whichever of the 169 guest rooms and suites you stay in, its comfort and decor will rival that of the resort at large. Every room has a plushly furnished balcony or patio, custom furnishings including a hip-high and richly made king bed or two queen beds, a spacious marble and granite bathroom, Bose stereo and huge flat-screen television.
If you get the urge to leave your room — which won’t necessarily happen — venture to the Scripps Library to play pool or peruse the library of books and board games. Hit the fitness center, take a dip in the outdoor pool or hot tub, or indulge in a beauty or wellness treatment at the luxury spa. If you want to head into La Jolla, take advantage of complimentary chauffeur service within five miles of the property, which is available to all resort guests. The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ exemplary services and amenities augment an indulgent fantasy of making your temporary home in an architectural masterpiece, one that just happens to be set in one of Southern California’s most-coveted locales.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines is located at 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037. Call (858) 453-4420 or visit thelodgeattorreypines.com for details.