Storied independent boutique hotel on boardwalk renovates property
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 07/07/20 - 09:00 AM | 2509 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The exterior of the upgraded Ocean Park Inn in Pacific Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
The exterior of the upgraded Ocean Park Inn in Pacific Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
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Over the holiday, guests at Ocean Park Inn in Pacific Beach enjoyed upgrades from the first phase of the oceanfront boutique hotel’s remodel, which include 71 newly re-imagined rooms, refreshed common areas, and a pool deck as part of an ongoing property-wide renovation.

Founded by the Lai family four generations ago, the independently owned inn is a boutique hotel on the PB shoreline at 710 Grand Ave. boasting a variety of suites, complete with a private balcony and access to an ocean- view pool and hot tub.

Ocean Park Inn’s owner-operator, Elvin Lai, is an active member of San Diego’s hospitality industry, serving as vice-chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corp., and president of the San Diego County Lodging Association.

Lai said renovation enhancements were made for the benefit of his hotel’s target demographic.

“This was pre-planned and our renovation targets our different demographic that we are going for: millennials, professionals out of college three or four years established in the workplace and young families,” said Lai adding Ocean Park Inn was designed to accommodate entire families.

“We have people coming to stay at our hotel from three generations,” he said. “That’s our ultimate goal, to appeal to all three generations with our amenities, services, and style.”

Lai said one of the objectives of his hotel remodel was to brighten and freshen its look and feel.

“We’re a very practical hotel,” he said. “And now we’re bringing the Pacific Beach vibe into our rooms.”

That is being accomplished, said Lai, “Using the sun and its yellow color as the accent, instead of the blue water, so the yellow stands out. You just feel light and happy. You just want to be there. That’s the idea.”

The new-look Ocean Park Inn showcases sophisticated, streamlined furnishings paired with crisp hues of cool mint green, black, white, and a soul-warming, sun-drenched yellow. Add to that vintage photography, custom-designed furnishings, and thoughtful mid-century inspired decor. The pared-down elegance of the hotel’s chic retro luxe is designed to captivate.

Lai said the remodeled rooms have a “beach cottage look,” as well as being easier to clean which he added is “also by design.”

Lai noted remodeling materials chosen, including fabrics, are allergen-free.

“Every floor is also a walking tour,” the hotelier said. “We’ve videoed the corridors showing when you come out of elevators, the murals on the walls. You get the streets and the boardwalk of PB on the second floor. More vintage PB is on the first floor.”

Lai said he’s only done with phase 1 of the remodel, noting future phased enhancements are to include the hotel’s cosmopolitan lobby, bar, and its exterior finishes. “We haven’t started that yet, but if everything works out, we will begin that in the fall of this year,” he said.

When the pandemic hit, Lai said his hotel was considered an essential service and did not have to close. “We were able to house essential workers, nurses, doctors, people that needed to escape COVID, as well as government travelers,” he said pointing out Ocean Park Inn “is a small, boutique hotel with 99% of our business being leisure travel, which is now open.”

Lai added all proper health protocols are in place in his renovating hotel. “We’re observing all social-distancing requirements for the health of our guests,” he said adding, “Our health protocols are just enhancing protocols we’ve already been doing. The hotel industry has always been leaders in cleanliness and cleaning, serving the particular needs and requirements of our guests. People have to understand, the hotel industry was ready for this. We know what to look for. We know how to clean and sanitize rooms. We are more than prepared to confront these issues.”

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