By Alanna Berman
The sound of waves lapping at sand and rocks awakens you, and as you climb from your canopy bed — complete with luxurious, Anachini linens and a World Class Bouvet Island Plush Mattress — and walk across your one-of-kind bungalow, you might almost forget where you are. The custom mahagony furnishings, hand-carved statuary, hand-painted murals and meticulously laid floor tiles echo a Balinese style, but you’re far from Bali — in fact, you’re right at home in San Diego. More specifically, you’re at the recently opened Pantai Inn, the La Jolla coast’s newest luxury boutique hotel.
Located next to Scripps Park near the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, Pantaii Inn consists entirely of one- and two-bedroom suites and a signature three-bedroom villa, each featuring a view of the ocean. All suites feature a fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and 55-inch LCD HDTVs in addition to being completely unique from any other suite on the property. Most of the decorative elements have been hand selected and imported directly from Bali.
Though Pantai Inn (pronounce pawn-tai) does have marvelous amenities, it’s the service that exudes the Balinese essence of tranquility best.
“Our goal is to deliver superior quality while making ourselves available to the high-end traveler, and that’s what I think we’ve done here,” said Bob Rauch, whose company, R.A. Rauch and Associates, manages the hotel.
“We serve the traveler who [likes] special properties and deals, the true high-end traveler who wants something different for their vacation or special event stay.”
Excellent service is key at Pantai, Rauch said, adding that hotel staff will gladly do their best to comply with any request a guest could imagine, barring illegality, of course.
“With every guest, we try to anticipate their needs so that we give them what they want before they even know they want it,” he says. “It’s that ‘wow’ customer service that we are so proud to offer.”
Pantai opened its doors to the public in November 2011, making available just one suite at a time to guests. Eleven suites are currently available, but upon completion in 2013 of renovations to what was originally the Shell Beach Motel, that number will grow to 37. (Rauch ensured that guests would not be bothered by the sound of construction, since all the more laborious work has already been completed.) Since each suite is unique from all the others, the hotel staff tries to match guests to the best possible suite for them at the time of booking, taking into account the size of the party and the reason for their visit, among other details.
“There is always one dedicated associate for every suite on the property, bringing the service to an outstanding level for each of our guests,” Rauch said.
This upcoming summer, the hotel’s first since opening, will no doubt be a busy time at Pantai. A private beach on the property, dotted with custom-built Balinese pavilions, will be available to guests soon, Rauch said, urging locals book their “staycations” before the busy season begins.
“This is the best one-acre parcel of land in the country,” he said. “It’s a super luxurious property, and I have no doubt we will fill our rooms this summer as we continue the renovation process.”
1003 Coast Blvd.
La Jolla, Ca 92037