Vespera Resort is the shining star in Pismo Beach


Pismo Beach has enjoyed a long and treasured reputation as a funky laid back beach town for so many years. Waves and white sand beaches for as long as the eye can see. Clams, parks, dunes, hot springs, fine red and white wines, hiking, a picturesque pier, local eateries (fish and chips and cinnamon rolls are two of our faves) and shops–Pismo has it all. Now the town has raised the bar with the addition of a remarkable luxury hotel resort: Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach.

We were blown away by the quality of this new upscale hotel which sits smack on the beach and its iconic boardwalk in the heart of town. The feel here is a unique blend of East Coast stately beach house and West Coast laid-back sensibilities, stylish and polished, an ideal base for active travelers to relax, adventure, eat well and sleep like a baby while lulled with ocean waves.  We loved the beachy décor and clean lines, punctuated by deep blues and bold artwork, bespoke furniture, crisp white wainscoting, white oak flooring, shells, baskets soft herringbone carpeting, natural textures and plenty of sunlight. Imagine the best house in Nantucket meets the best house in Malibu and you get the idea. The grand lobby is very much like a welcoming living room with fireplace and handsome coffered ceiling. No detail has been spared at Vespera Resort, with tasteful warm woods and Carrara marble very much in evidence.

Accommodations at Vespera Resort are done up with a dash of soft whites, taupes, browns and blues.  You have 124 guest rooms to choose from, most with private balconies overlooking the ocean, perfect for a moonlit dance. They range from a Classic room, 368 sq. ft. with a large bathroom and mountain or city views to the Presidential Suite, 800 sq. ft. with a living room and four categories in between. All guest rooms and suites have top quality amenities like premium bath products, floor-to-ceiling showers or tubs, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, Lavazza espresso machine, telescope, and star gazing map. There are kitchenettes in several rooms. Between the sound of the ocean and the actual bed—extremely comfortable–it’s impossible to have a bad night’s sleep at Vespera. And if you leave the balcony door open an inch, you’ll be rewarded with a most soothing ocean soundtrack.

That’s not all. Vespera has a business scenter and a washer and dryer for guests’ use; they seem to have thought of everything and that includes partnerships with some of the area’s most exceptional vintners, a Pup Club for your dog, an oceanfront saline pool, beach gear rental, a full fitness center, daily well-being classes, and a stargazing program for astronomical enthusiasts.

We never wanted to leave Vespera but were told there was horseback riding nearby, ten miles of hiking and biking trails five minutes away, three golf courses within a chip shot from the hotel, and the 5.5 -mile Oceano Dunes nearby where you can ATV, dune buggy or drive your own car to your heart’s content. Naturally, all that exercise took its toll and Vespera kindly arranged for us to get much-needed massages at the nearby Avila Bay Athletic Club and Spa, a first-rate experience.

A highlight of a stay at Vespera Resort is dining at their Somerset Grill, where elevated coastal cuisine is happily served, breakfast lunch and dinner. A superlative bar with a musician belting out songs beckoned, but we opted to be seated asap in a cozy banquette. We enjoyed sweeping ocean views and regionally-inspired, market-fresh seaside dishes that appeared from the open kitchen and its wood-fired grill. Only the best local produce is used here and we can attest to the great chowder, salmon cake, grilled halibut with jalapeno coconut sauce and the miso mushroom salmon with foraged mushroom miso cream sauce. The wines were excellent and well-priced, service top notch and the desserts—well, a very tasty affogato and lemon tarte only meant more time in the gym was in order for us.

If an idyllic oceanfront location, classic beach town vibe, delicious seaside American cuisine, modern coastal décor, loads of fun activities, attentive, friendly, graceful service and stylish, comfortable accommodations are what you are after, Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach can deliver all…with meticulous attention to the smallest detail.  The valets are a stand-out service that must be applauded. Vespera is a legend in the making, see more at  www.vesperapismobeach.com. Rates this time of year start at $279 weekdays, $750 on the weekends.

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