A Laguna Beach architectural attraction is ready for check-in,
Laguna Beach is known for many things: an idyllic coastal perch, the arts festival Pageant of the Masters and a certain MTV reality show among them. Add design-centric boutique hotels to the list, thanks to a splashy new venue that debuted in April. With a beguiling setting overlooking the ocean and vivid decor conceived by Los Angeles-based interiors guru Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa is a visual spectacle. Surprisingly, the property’s not new at all: Bullard has thoughtfully reimagined the early-20th-century Spanish Colonial estate (a registered historic structure) with its whitewashed villas and terra-cotta roofs and given it a fresh new ethos. “The architectural style resonated so well with my aesthetic,” says Bullard. “I love this type of Spanish Colonial Californian architecture—it mixes fantasy, Old World charm and pure romance.”
There are 23 rooms secreted away amid the labyrinthine gardens, each done up by Bullard in custom fabric prints and vibrant Moorish tiles. There’s also a spa with an outdoor treatment room overlooking the Pacific. And anyone who’s been an avid follower of Bullard’s work—he’s the glamour-embracing touch behind Red O in Newport Beach, Colony Palms Hotel and Sparrows Lodge in Palm Springs, and Château Gütsch Hotel in Switzerland—won’t be surprised to see bright hues and bold motifs on display throughout. “I love pattern play, and color is so important for mood and ambiance,” he says. “It’s my signature.” Each room is a riot of cobalt, emerald or marigold textiles and tiles; Bullard is particularly proud of the eye-catching yellow-and-blue tiles in the lobby, scaled up to emphasize the drama and grandeur of the space.
“Casa Laguna Hotel now matches the ambiance and romance of this resort town,” says Bullard. “It’s the perfect hotel that you only dream to find in such a place.” 2510 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949-494-2996; casalaguna.com. • SARAH KHAN
Edited by JENNY MURRAY.