One of San Diego’s most celebrated resorts, the Town and Country recently debuted a multi-million dollar makeover guaranteed to attract guests and breathe new life into the area for a (semi) post-Covid world. The hotel’s historic complex is in the Mission Hills neighborhood, which is located between San Diego International Airport and the downtown Gaslamp Quarter. With a Palm Springs meets beach aesthetic and accessible rates, this hotel gives guests a truly unique experience with a chic yet casual Southern California vibe.
A Historic Hotel Updated For A Modern World
Originally built in 1953, the Town and Country began as a 46-room motor inn. The hotel was called the Town and Country because it was a “town” in the middle of the “country.” The property had a swimming pool, clubhouse, and cocktail lounge as well as four tennis courts. The price? $800,000 which is just a fraction of what the recent renovation cost.
While the Town and Country eventually became a larger resort with over 1000 rooms— two years ago, several of those buildings were sold off and demolished. However, many of the hotel’s original structures still stand. This includes the motel building, convention center (which was San Diego’s first convention center), and Lapper, which is a trendy sports bar.
The renovations were designed by renowned architecture and design firm Gensler, and overseen by Todd Majcher, senior vice president at Lowe, which was the lead developer of the project. This major overhaul included guest rooms, the pool deck area with a zero-entry family pool, a smaller children’s pool, as well as a four-story “Twister” waterside, among other amenities.
In addition to all of this, there is also a beautiful three-acre riverfront park on the property line between the resort and the Fashion Valley Mall. It’s a great place to have a picnic, take a walk, or bring dogs, which is especially important because the Town and Country is pet friendly.
An Ideal Hotel For Post-Covid Times
Another great thing about this resort is that it is perfectly designed for a post-covid world where many people may still opt to eat outdoors. A great example of this is the Monkey Bar which is located both inside and outside the hotel lobby. There is an additional outdoor lounge area that features modern fire pits perfect for socializing. Monkey Bar serves mostly cocktails, appetizers, and smaller nibbles, making it the perfect spot for lunch and happy hour.
Arlo is the hotel’s main restaurant which also has an abundance of outdoor seating. With a menu designed by chef Josh Mouzakes of French Laundry and Hotel del Coronado, this place is not just popular with guests but it is also becoming a hot spot with the local community as well.
As it becomes safe, the Town and Country will offer a range of activities and events for visitors. This includes poolside/cabana massages, history and art tours throughout the property, drive-in movies, and a variety of programming for both children and adults.
They will also debut a state-of-the-art fitness center at the site of the famed Jabberwocky nightclub.
Palm Springs In San Diego
Just walking onto the property, one might believe they are in Palm Springs, which is quite a different destination. But much like the desert getaway, the Town and Country is known for its mid century modern buildings and interior design. This is especially true of the newly renovated guest rooms, which were designed by hotel interior design firm HFS Concepts 4.
Each room features custom mid-century modern style furniture, with wood floors, a large wood headboard, floating nightstands, and shiny gold sconces. The rooms also have built-in desks and an additional seating area with jewel-toned upholstered sofas and tulip-style coffee tables.
Many of the rooms have balconies, an abundance of light, and delightful views of the pool. The rooms feel new and fresh yet their style remains true to the roots of the resort, creating an ideal ambiance.
“The design concept of the guest rooms extends the rich mid century architectural vernacular found throughout the resort. The design contemporizes this aesthetic but also ties the room to the greater context and character of San Diego. The custom furniture design, walnut finishes, hardwood floors, area rugs, and art by local artist Andy Davis all work together to create a timeless space,” Majcher tells me.
One of the most notable features of the rooms are the beach-themed murals behind the bed. “Our guests travel from all over the country and world and we think it is important to have a mural in the guest rooms that reflects the beach culture and character of San Diego. We specifically chose a black and white image that had a timeless quality, emphasizing the yellow on the umbrellas to provide a pop of color and compliment the other elements of the room,” says Majcher.
In addition to the murals, there are several larger art installations throughout the property. More than just “Instagram walls,” these are true works of art that enhance the resort’s unique character. This includes a 90-foot graphic installation on the main resort Palm Tower, as well as a hand-painted poolside mural. There an additional 40-foot mural that was hand-painted by Mark Warren Jacqes located adjacent to the lobby.
The lobby also features beamed wood ceilings and a stone wall. So from the moment guests walk in, it feels like stepping back in time, but with all the modern essentials and amenities we’ve come to expect from a hotel today.
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