By Claire Harlin
Having worked the front desk at the hotel formerly known as the Stratford Inn (Best Western) for 10 years, Barbara DuRand loves knowing the Del Mar hotel’s many regular guests — and their dogs — by name.
Now, she’s getting a kick out of seeing their reactions when they enter to see the results of its multimillion-dollar renovation.
On April 12, the hotel announced its grand opening as Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar. Hotel Indigo is a boutique hotel brand that’s found in major cities worldwide. There will be a more formal opening event on May 14.
But even though the brand is internationally recognized and growing — the company plans to double Hotel Indigo locations in 2012 — it’s still a neighborhood hotel.
Each location is characterized by contemporary decor and is designed to complement the surroundings of the neighborhood. For example, each room at the Del Mar hotel has floor-to-ceiling murals of beach- and horse racing-related artwork, such as hooves in the sand or crashing waves. Even the food of each location is adapted according to the area. Del Mar’s “modern California coastal” breakfast menu features a Creme Brulee French Toast and Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict built upon potato pancakes. The breakfast burrito is also an area signature, and the kitchen boasts an in-house pastry chef.
In addition, the property offers a full-service day-spa, two pools, hot tub and sauna, among other amenities.
When it comes to staying local, another motto of Hotel Indigo is to keep business local. For example, hotel staff members will suggest guests rent surfboards from Rusty’s or visit Dog Beach before sending them to La Jolla or Pacific Beach.
“We’re considered a local hotel with a neighborhood story, so we’re going to send guests places in Del Mar,” said Laura Wildeman, the hotel’s director of sales.
Hotel Indigo is fully pet-friendly and has no size or breed restrictions for dogs. Since many of Del Mar’s canine-loving guests therefore choose the hotel, the staff makes sure to have dog treats stocked at the front desk at all times. Wildeman said the hotel will also offer Hotel Indigo dog tags to inform people where the visiting dogs’ hotel is located in case the dogs get lost.
The Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar is the site of the original Stratford Inn, built in 1910. Pacifica Host Hotels owns and manages the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar, under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group (www.ihg.com). Pacifica Host Hotels also manages the La Valencia hotel in La Jolla and several local Holiday Inns, among others.
“Aligning with Hotel Indigo was a natural fit,” said Susan Knapp, the hotel’s general manager. “Not only does the hotel’s new design incorporate community staples like the beach and the racetrack, but the friendly service makes guests feel welcome in a neighborly setting.”
For reservations, contact Hotel Indigo Del Mar at (858) 755-1501. Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar is located at 710 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, Calif., 92014.