Beds, Beers, and Bands
By Dawn Garcia
Luxury can be defined in many ways but the traditional definition means the state of great comfort and extravagant living. Nothing quite showcases that like a newly designed boutique hotel. What separates a boutique hotel from the standard hotels are the intricate details, personal touches, and overall experience.
In SLO, also known as San Luis Obispo, this county of about 45,000 residents is among those continually evolving. While SLO has become synonymous with craft beers, unique wines, great golf, and no shortage of charm, it’s raising the bar in terms of design and art. (And partying in style.)
Introducing SLO LOFTS
The 1BR | 738 Higuera Street | San Luis Obispo, CA
Recently, we discovered a design beauty that hit all the marks of what we’re looking for in a luxury boutique hotel. The theme is a blend of European modern meets rustic chic. Art lines the walls whether it be in the realm of black and white photography, hand painted elevator doors, gorgeous sculptures, iron moldings, and even clever greenery, the attention to detail is beyond impressive. And then … you enter the rooms.
Beautiful wood flooring, full kitchens stocked with top of the line appliances including the refrigerator remnant of the 1950’s filled of complimentary bottled water, 4 varietal cans of SLO Brew beer for the drinking, and several six-packs of beer and wine bottles available for purchase. The bathroom reeks of elegance as subway tiles lined with black grout contrast the stark white walls and rich black painted industrial door accents.
The bedroom is just outside of the bathroom door with a raised rustic wooden bed frame, white sheets, and tableside lamps beautifully patched with elements of colors and textures making their own creative statement. Rounding the corner back into the kitchen and dining area of the loft are brick-lined walls floor-to-ceiling and a console table. On the console table sits a Crosley record player with old vinyls beside it including Simon & Garfunkel and Andrés Segovia Torres.
Just past that? The bar height kitchen table made old reclaimed woods and six gray leather barstools but it’s what faces opposite the table that ends up being the coolest part of the room: a large black and white framed print of Steve McQueen. The photo is a print from LIFE in 1963 while he was in his Palm Springs bungalow taken by photographer John Dominis. It’s one of the coolest images capturing the “King of Cool” himself.
That photo sets the tone for what would be an interesting weekend.[caption id="attachment_2229" align="alignleft" width="700"] At his bungalow in Palm Springs, Steve McQueen practices his aim before heading out for a shooting session in the desert, 1963.[/caption]
BEER + BANDS
736 Higuera Street | San Luis Obispo, CA
So why refer to it as a luxury party hotel? Well, for starters it’s located on the top floor of SLO Brew Restaurant. What is SLO Brew? A well-dressed bar that has outdoor seating, live bands, and a late closing hour … every night. Arriving on a Saturday night with hopes of indulging in the luxurious home away from home, dreams of enjoying a lovely dinner, a night cap, watching some TV, playing a board game (because they have an impressive selection on site) and getting a much needed goodnight sleep?
Well, they were not quite going to materialize. Let’s just say that in the nightstand drawer beside the bed exists a bag of earplugs. Sadly you may discover them two days later but you will be grateful to find them nonetheless. Why? Because it will get loud and your neighbors will be highly intoxicated on their arrival back to their rooms. This isn’t a mere possibility so much as inevitability.
The rock inspired photos on the walls should give you a clue that this isn’t really the place for R&R. This is a beautifully designed hotel that caters to beer drinkers with a champagne lifestyle and a hunger for fun.
Below you, just a floor away, is the roaring thump of music pumping in speakers along with the echoes of a mic bellowing live lyrics. Needless to say, while it may not quite be where you go for a quiet escape, it’s definitely where you go when you need to be reminded that good old fashioned gluttony via tasty craft brews, hearty food by way of the chef Thomas Fundaro, and live bands really can hit the spot. You just have to be prepared.
TIPS for making the most of your stay at SLO Brews:
- Make sure you know where the key pickup is
- Make sure you know where to park – in advance (and pay attention to the meters!)
- Take in the wonderfully executed interior design and architecture
- Value the art. It’s there on purpose.
- Find the earplugs
- Eat downstairs and order the fondue, burger, one of their signature cocktails or explore the beer and wine list from the local wineries and distillers.
- Make friends with your neighbors. You’ll be glad you did.