Oceanside is polishing up its SoCal beachfront scene with a pair of new hotels. The city in northern San Diego County makes for a shorter drive from Los Angeles and is part of a charming string of other laid back coastal towns, such as Carlsbad and Encinitas. In addition to the requisite surf-centric happenings, the city is an under-the-radar destination for architecture buffs thanks to its four extant buildings by pioneering modernist architect Irving Gill, including the Oceanside Museum of Art, which also boasts an expansion by noted Los Angeles architect Frederick Fisher.
The Seabird Resort and Mission Pacific offer two contrasting vibes on opposite sides of the street. Lovers of Baja cuisine head to chef Roberto Alcocer’s Valle restaurant at Mission Pacific, with its moody and textured space, along with other food and drink venues. At the Seabird, San Diego-based architect Bill Bocken offers an updated twist on California coastal style at the 226-room hotel that’s complete with event and meeting space. Piper restaurant designed by L.A. firm Bells and Whistles is a fun, eclectic space that’s awash in peach and pink shades, while the ocean-facing Shore Room and the poolside Shelter Club are ideal for taking in views of the Pacific in sophisticated and comfortable surroundings. (Think: leather sofas and a myriad of blue shades with pops of color.)
We spoke with general manager Michael Stephens to learn more about the property.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
The Grand Ocean Suite 303 and 403.
Most families love this spacious suite because of its sweeping views of the ocean and its separate living room. It’s also a great room for guests who are planning to work while staying with us. Waking up to the sound of the ocean is something very special. Guests can continue to enjoy and live the Southern California dream while recharging in their suite.
What is the nightly rate for this room?
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as a new icon?
The Seabird is outfitted with 267 works of art curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art. The art collection features bold and innovative artists from Los Angeles to Tijuana, and every art piece has been thoughtfully curated to emphasize a poignant sense of place and celebrate the community’s diverse talent. Featuring original prints, paintings, sculptures, large-scale installations, this collaboration helps to further cement our resort and city of Oceanside as a premier creative hub while offering a distinct Southern California cultural experience. Additionally, The Seabird is home to OMA West, a rotating art gallery that serves as an extension of OMA.
What’s your personal favorite room?
It’s hard to pick one, but I think the Grand Estate Suite is my favorite because it’s a 1,241-square-foot suite with two spacious guest rooms, two bathrooms and separate dining and living room.
What makes it more special it’s the expansive furnished patio that offers stunning views of Oceanside Beach, and there’s also a fireplace to make your SoCal evenings even more special.
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
A special perk we offer is the access to our sister property Mission Pacific Hotel. Just across the street from us, Mission Pacific offers a different experience featuring a beachfront rooftop pool and three more dining experiences including the Rooftop Bar, Valle and High/Low. Plus, Mission Pacific features the Graves House which will soon become Charlie’s at the Top Gun House, a decadent dessert bar.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
Throughout the hotel, there are many unexpected elements that I like, but my favorite one is “Chorus,” an artwork by Michelle Montjoy located at the Grand Coastal Foyer. The work is made with used t-shirts that are about 75-feet long collected from local thrift stores, so it’s not only a beautiful piece but it’s connected to our local community.
What’s a fun fact about the property that you’d like to share?
To make our guest programming unique and special we’ve partnered with locals who can deliver authentic SoCal experiences to our guests. For the surf lessons, we’ve partnered with a second generation pro surfer from Oceanside, Duran Barr. Guests not only learn how to surf but they learn about our destination and community from a true O’sider.