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Alila Marea Beach Resort opens in Encinitas

Developers and city officials cut the ribbon March 17 to open Alila Marea in Encinitas.
(Luke Harold)

Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas opened on March 17, hours after a ribbon-cutting ceremony with developers and the Encinitas City Council.

The opening culminated a decades-long effort to develop the clifftop property, located at 2100 N. Coast Highway, just south of South Ponto Beach. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said it’s “so exciting that we are finally going to have a hotel of this caliber in the city of Encinitas.”

“I’m truly thrilled to see this beautiful project come to fruition,” she said. “It was decades in the planning. To me, it seemed like it became a reality quickly.”

The new clifftop Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
The new clifftop Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
(Courtesy)

The resort will bring an estimated $2 million per year in hotel taxes to be used for emergency services, infrastructure and other city benefits, Blakespear said.

Larry Jackel, managing partner of Fenway Capital Advisors and a San Diego native, added that the project “was really a dream come true.”

“We hope, at the end of the day, we’ve created a resort that everyone will enjoy and be very proud of,” Jackel said.

Interior of one of the two presidential suites at the newly opened Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas.
Interior of one of the two presidential suites at the newly opened Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas.
(Courtesy)

Fenway and JMI Realty were the developers, with construction by Suffolk Construction. The resort includes 130 rooms, the VAGA signature restaurant led by celebrity chef Claudette Zepeda, bar, spa, meeting space for up to 380 guests, an oceanfront pool and more. The VAGA restaurant is temporarily open to overnight guests only. The VAGA restaurant’s debut to the local community is still several weeks away.

“The easy part was seeing the incredible potential of this truly majestic property,” said Patrick Tribolet, who is also from San Diego and a managing partner of Fenway. “Bringing it to life in an environmentally conscious way, in concert with the local community, that’s a skill that required an incredible amount of experience and an incredible amount of expertise.”

The entrance to the newly opened Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas.
The entrance to the newly opened Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas.
(Courtesy)

In addition to the VAGA restaurant, Zepeda will oversee all culinary operations for the resort, including The Pocket, a casual restaurant/bar serving the hotel’s oceanfront swimming pool, Coffee Box, which serves coffee from the Encinitas roaster Lofty Coffee Co., pastries and acai bowls, and banquet services.

Amenities for hotel guests include a fleet of electric bikes through a partnership with Electra Bicycle Company and surf lessons from Surfin Fire. The Rob Machado Foundation of Encinitas has installed several water bottle refilling stations around the resort, as part of the foundation’s goal to reduce plastic bottle waste in the world’s oceans.

The hotel is the latest addition to Hyatt’s Alila brand, which includes 16 hotels worldwide with a sustainable eco-tourism design ethos. It is the first new-build Alila resort in North or South America, and the third Alila property in the United States. Other California Alila locations are in Napa Valley and Big Sur. Joseph Wong Design Associates was the project architect.

“We look forward to sharing this special place with our guests and neighbors in the San Diego community,” John Kratzer, CEO of JMI Realty, said in a statement.

For more information, visit alilahotels.com/marea-beach-resort-encinitas.

— San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Pam Kragen contributed to this report.


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