Cardiff-by-the-Sea, True Rest

I almost hate to use the term, but a vist to Cardiff-by-the-Sea is indeed a "getaway." We went because we needed to get away from home to both work and relax, and we had such a nice time--largely due to the lodging we chose--that we are going back next month.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, True Rest

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 12, 2002

I really enjoyed waking up, getting out of bed at 10 a.m. and going up to the roof garden of the Cardiff Lodge to use the jacuzzi and while enjoying the ocean view. Aesthetically pleasing, physically restoring. Perfect.${QuickSuggestions} There is a 7-11 at the corner of San Elijo and Hwy 101 in Cardiff. Since the town is tiny and what there is shuts down early, knowing the location of this 24-hour convenience mart may save you from helplessly wandering through San Diego County just because you forgot a toothbrush or suddenly crave an ice cream sandwich.${BestWay} One really needs a car to get to Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Perhaps that's a very California attitude...I'll add that Amtrak has a train that passes right by Cardiff on the coast, but I not sure exactly where the station is. Travelprone, also a guide on this site, lives in the area and was kind enough to share with me that the closest stop is in nearby Solana Beach. Worth investigating if you are travelling in the US without an auto, I'm sure.

Cardiff Lodge by the Sea

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 12, 2002

The Cardiff Lodge was perfect for what I needed, which was a place to both relax and to work. I am partial to bed and breakfast inns but some of them I find are simply TOO lush and luxuriant; there is just no way to do something like "work" at the Jabberwock Inn in Monterey, for example. This is not a back-handed compliment for the Cardiff Lodge--it is clear that Jeanette Statser, our hostess, knew exactly what she was doing when she and her husband James planned the property. There seems to be a guest room decorated to nearly every taste imaginable, so prospective guests will often tour the property to look in available rooms and decide which setting is "them." There is also the wonderfully romantic circular Sweetheart Room which offers a panoramic view of the ocean--for the record, I can't imagine doing any work in THAT room, either. Goodness, no.

One of the rooms that is "us" is the Monticello, in which we stayed for two nights. The Monticello is on the second floor, and has dark wood with primarily green and cream decor. The bathroom is enhanced by a pink and cream scheme and sports a whirlpool tub. The high four-poster bed was exceeding comfortable; I want to know how to make my bed at home that comfortable. The Monticello gets a lot of nice natural light during the middle of the day and the ocean breeze that will come in through the almost-floor-to-ceiling paned windows is divine. This room is back in the "U" of the inn and so does not have a view but I did not feel in the least deprived. Upon walking out the door of this room, one may look over the railing wall and down into the central couryard garden and fountain. This very beautiful. When we wanted more of a view, we made our way up to the third floor to the rooftop garden. The garden is a real achievement of design, spacious but not bare, full of freshness and flowers and a dynamite jacuzzi from which to watch the sunset.

So, a couple contexts to conclude: first, plenty of guests do absolutely no work and perfectly happy not doing so. The excitement of the place for me is that it is a personalized accommodation with quality furnishings and real charm that also can be used for work or creative endeavors. There is a desk in each room; that's a important distinction for some of us working folk. Next, the breakfast is continental, not full. The pastries are generous and varied and there is a variety of beverages available. Last, I described this as a "luxury" property but in the nomenclature of the travel business, it is really not, nor with tariffs from $126-350 it is meant to be. There is a graceful but homey feel to the place. The inn shows signs of having been "lived in" here and there. It sure does feel luxurious, though.

Cardiff Lodge by the Sea
142 Chesterfield Avenue
Cardiff, California, 92007
(760) 944-6474

Papa Pouccini's Besta-Wan Pizza

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 12, 2002

I was at first quite skeptical of eating food from the Besta-Wan Pizza place. It is visible from the rooftop garden of the Cardiff Lodge, and when I spotted it, I thought, oh dear, "corny name equals bad pizza." This, however, proved to be sheer prejudice on my part. The name IS corny but the pizza was quite, quite good. It was prepared with fresh ingredients and somehow managed to be the very closest thing to New York pizza I have ever had on the West Coast. Let me say that again--the very closest. It is not New York pizza, but it is excellent. The two women behind the counter were both very friendly and made ordering pleasant.

Eschewing public life--the purpose of our weekend--we elected to take our food back to our lodge, so I cannot report on the rest of the in-house dining experience. I can however share that Besta-Wan is a full restaurant complete with bar and a small arcade. In addition to pizza, there are the Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes one would hope for and/or expect. A delightful find in this quiet beach town. When we go back to Cardiff next month, I will definitely return to Besta-Wan. (The name still vexes me.)

Papa Puccini's Besta-Wan Pizza
148 Aberdeen Drive
Cardiff, California
(760) 753-6707

Whirlpool or no? A thought before booking.

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 19, 2002

I liked the Cardiff Lodge enough to make reservations for our next stay before our first trip was over. This said, I have some musings over the whirlpool tubs at the Lodge to share.

Because I have a condition that requires daily physical therapy-type activities, I will always opt for a whirlpool tub when available. The standard-room whirlpool tubs at Cardiff Lodge are large enough for one person to soak luxuriously, and large enough for two slender people to soak simultaneously if they are blessed with good humor and excellent communication. (The Sweetheart room has a true two-person tub that I did not see.) The jets, I must report, did not impress me. The tub was great; the jets were of negligible worth. Consequently, for our next stay I booked a less expensive room with a similarly sized soaking tub without jets. When I need whooshing water, I will go upstairs to the gorgeous rooftop and powerful jacuzzi. It is open until 10 p.m. so I will have to watch the clock at bit but I personally will not pay a premium for in-room whirlpool tub there again. Since only four of the seventeen rooms have a whirlpool tub, I suspect that the proprietors figured some patrons would think as I do. I don't think much gets by them.

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