Indonesian-inspired Pantai Inn opens in La Jolla

California’s first oceanfront boutique hotel modeled after Balinese retreats captures exotic charm and the culture of genuine hospitality

La Jolla, CA, November 21, 2011 – Reminiscent of the tranquil retreats of the Indonesian island, Pantai Inn (pronounced pawn-tai) will open Thanksgiving weekend 2011 with ten richly appointed suites designed with custom-made, wood-carved furnishings, stone carvings, and hand-selected décor from Bali. Pantai Inn offers one- and two-bedroom suites, plus Pandang, the property’s signature three-bedroom villa.

This one-of-a-kind property is made up of a collection of cottages, bungalows and townhouses built between 1900-1930 situated along the La Jolla coastline, offering its guests spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and themed landscaping features of cascading waterfalls and lush gardens.

“Restoring the magnificent character and charm of nearly century-old buildings into a Balinese-themed paradise is a mere portion of the extraordinary experience at Pantai Inn,” said Larry Jackman, whose family acquired the property in April 2010.

[pullquote]“The Balinese have a dedication to providing incomparable levels of service that travelers couldn’t find anywhere else – until now.”[/pullquote]


Pantai View of the oceanThe 40-room, all-suite Pantai Inn masterfully blends Bali’s old-world charm, kingly comforts and cutting-edge technologies. Rooms include fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens with state-of-the-art appliances, wood-carved canopy beds from Bali*, modern touch-controlled bamboo blinds, Balinese art and wood carvings, wall-mounted 55-inch flat panel TVs with cutting-edge connection hub technology, premium HD TV channels (both locals and from LA stations), bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling granite, quartz, carved tile, stone and hand-pounded copper sinks; basic personal appliances, laptop safes, plush mattresses with fine luxury bedding by Anichini and Turkish towels, and iPod docking stations. The property also offers complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and valet parking. *feature not available with all suites.


Known as “The Jewel”, La Jolla is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in San Diego with its Mediterranean-style village, sophisticated arts and culture scene, world-class dining opportunities treasure trove of designer boutiques, and idyllic location.


Despite its stunning oceanfront location, the hotel was once a shabby and deteriorating property, then named Shell Beach Apartments-Motel. The Jackmans purchased the neglected property with the intention of re-opening the complex’ doors as vacation rentals following minor repairs and improvements. However, the property’s rundown condition required more expense and attention than the Jackmans expected.

They turned to long-time friend, David Lee Soanes, an accomplished architect recognized for developing high-end resorts, including Four Seasons Hotels in Indonesia. Soanes compared the property’s cottages and bungalows to the diverse varieties of buildings that make up Bali’s small towns and villages.

One evening, over margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant, David starting sketching and noting down ideas on paper placements and napkins. “We kept waving to our waiter, asking for more and more napkins to capture all the ideas that were flowing,” Larry remembered.

“That was the night Pantai Inn was born.”

Just five months into restoring the dilapidated buildings and grounds, Soanes passed away, never to see his dream come to fruition. After a brief delay, the Jackmans hired Greg Castle of Castle Architect, known for his beach bungalow designs in Hawaii and California, to finish the project.


Rates for a 1-bedroom suite start at $399, while a 3-bedroom suite starts at $599. Once the hotel’s restoration of all 40 suites is completed, rates will start at $599.


The Jackman family awarded the hotel’s management contract to Carmel Valley-based R.A. Rauch & Associates, specialists in the hotel sector, having built, owned, consulted and managed hotels for more than 20 years.
“La Jolla deserves this unique jewel and we are very excited to be entrusted to manage such a stunning, perfectly located gem of a hotel,” said Bob Rauch, president of RAR. “We’re aiming to provide ‘wow’ customer service at the super luxury level and that is a challenge that gets all of us motivated to open this property.”

R.A. Rauch & Associates also manages El Cordova Hotel in Coronado, CA; Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Del Mar, CA; and Quality Inn & Suites in Colorado Springs, CO.

Rauch brought in 16-year hospitality pro, Bernardo Zavala, as Pantai Inn’s operations and sales manager in August 2011. With former stints as customer relationship and operations/MOD at La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel and management supervisor at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara (now named the Park Hyatt Aviara), Zavala is poised to lead Pantai Inn to becoming La Jolla’s standout hotel property.

“We’ve hand-picked every item and paid attention to every detail to give our guests an unparalleled experience”, said Zavala. “We’re truly bringing the essence of Bali to California.”


The Jackmans anticipate all 40 suites to be complete by early 2013. For more information, go to


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