I ended up at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, California almost by accident and it was a lovely accident. There’s something unique about staying in a corner room right on the Pacific Coast Highway overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the pier at Huntington Beach. It’s like living part of the American Dream.
I had a corner room on the third floor, with a large balcony that overlooked the ocean. I became quite fond of my lounge chair out on that balcony overlooking the beach. There’s no better place to people watch than on the beach in California.
The Shorebreak is a fun hotel. It’s a little bit funky. Very hip, modern, contemporary. It embodies Surf City USA. The entrance is up one level from the street by way of an elevator. The lobby is open and brings together an intriguing collection of textures to draw you into the space. As you search for your room, you see that each room number on the door is encased in a Lucite frame with a funny little photo of surfers and a handful of actual shifting sand. Simple fun.
My room was bright, white, with bold accent colors. There were touches of modern art, including the quirky white lamp with a base shaped like a tall narrow tiki face. I loved the walk-in shower and the sliding frosted door that separated the bath from the rest of the room. The towels and linens were oh-so-soft and the bed…ahh…I really decide how I feel about a place based on the bed. It’s the first thing I touch in a room. I loved this bed.
After settling in and spending some time people watching out on the balcony, I wandered down to the courtyard for a glass of wine during the evening’s wine tasting. I brought it back up to my room and sat out on the balcony watching the sun set over the Pacific. I was about as relaxed as I could get. Or so I thought at the time.
I decided to wander downstairs and enjoyed a dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Zimzala. How fun is that name? The restaurant has a great atmosphere, an outside dining area that embraces the Southern California weather, and offers a great variety of small and large plates. I had an unforgettable flatbread — 3 cheeses of mozzarella, provolone, grana padana, with tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, and truffle oil. Wow. I was in heaven! A plate of cheeses with truffle oil? Relaxation had gone over the top.
Shorebreak Hotel was such a fun, pleasant surprise and not the sort of place I’d expect to find across the street from the beach. But then, Huntington Beach isn’t your typical beach, either. It has such a unique flair that you don’t find at all the beach towns dotting the shores up and down our coasts. The rich surfing history sets it apart and Shorebreak really embraces that vibe.
It was great after dinner to take another glass of wine out on my balcony and watch the bonfires that dotted the beach and listen to the waves break along the shore.