huntington beach hotel

Viktor is in the middle of making a pro/con list as to why we should uproot the family and move to Southern California. Like, seriously. I’m not about to move. I have a circle of close friends and family I adore, my home is becoming lovely {even though I still have a concrete slab as a living room floor} and I like living here. But friends, I’m here to tell you that this week Viktors’ *pro* list is pretty long and at this point I’m helping contribute to it.

When we left California yesterday it was a balmy 75 degrees. Tonight in Utah, as I type, it’s 22 outside. *sigh*

Let me tell you, if I were to win a lottery of say 2.5 million dollars, the first thing I would do is plunk down every penny on a place near the water in Huntington Beach. Like on.the.water. There’s something so calming and healing about the ocean, it’s indescribable.

So, there’s this new hotel in Huntington called Shorebreak Hotel. People I’m telling you, go, go now. It’s one of the hotels in the Joie de Vivre family which are becoming my new favorite hotels. Ever.

Do you remember the awesome hotel where we stayed in San Francisco? The Americania, the one with the totally hipster and family friendly vibe? Multiply that times 10, add some surfers, put it across the street from the beach and you have the Shorebreak Hotel.

My only sadness related to this hotel is that we stayed one night instead of say, oh I don’t know, thirty.

We ate the most delicious brunch ever at the hotel restaurant, Zimzala before we checked into our room. I highly recommend it.

The server brought Charming a plate full of the largest sausages available to a 5-year-old, berry pancakes for Precocious,

three cheese flat bread for Viktor,

and for me {licking my lips thinking about it} cinnamon brioche french toast.

Delightful all around.

I had a lot of fun poking ar
ound the hotel. The decor is really contemporary mixed with surf city style; right up my alley. It’s successfully swank and chill at the same time. There are photos of surfers all over mixed in with driftwood lamps and tables. I loved every square inch of it.

And our room was awesome. Rad. Coolio. The Bomb. Swank. Chill. Whatever word fits your happiness quotient best is what it was to me.

This little sofa folded out into a queen bed for the kiddos. And the dresser on the right? I want those leather pulls on a piece of furniture in my house now; they were gorgeous.

This was our bed. There was a wall between the front *sitting room* and the bedroom, but it still felt wide open and airy. And this bed was heaven, he-a-ven.

Another little touch I love in the Joie de Vivre hotels are the iPod docking stations on the nightstands; just a little something extra to make life better.

Right after we’d opened the balcony door to check the weather, this was delivered:

In a chilled bowl. With chilled glasses, cold Fiji water, and a lovely note.

Sometimes my life is hard. Please don’t send sympathy notes, it just makes the knife go deeper.

Can we take a moment to talk about the bathroom? Hold me.

It was chic, clean, and crisp.

Have you ever showered in a double headed shower? Put it on your bucket list if you just answered no. It’s a must before you die.

And the tub? The kids did some laps in it before they took turns trying to drown one another during bath time. Then I spent about two hours reading every magazine in my arsenal while drinking ice cold diet Dr. Peppers one after the other.

It was a rough night for me. I’ll need to spend some time talking to my therapist about it.

But when you’re traveling with kids what’s the most important part about staying in a hotel?

Its proximity to water. And sand.

So after we settled into the room and devoured the chilled fruit, we hightailed it downstairs to the beach.

These are the stairs to the street level. Light, open, airy.

There’s a surfboard check. Heaven help me, I’m ready to call a Realtor.

It’s literally less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel until your toes are in the sand.

The kids skipped/ran/jumped/hopped the whole way there.




Thank you California. See you soon.

(Visited 677 times, 1 visits today)


Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Camille :

    You had me at the french toast! ok – AND the beach! :) I have always loved southern california and always thought about moving there – if it were less expensive and I had family/friends there. But you CAN'T move! Just buy the hotel and hold random parties there for your blog readers (thanks) and that should satisfy the California craving, dontchathink??

  2. Jill :

    okay aside from the obvious dilemma of your family + friends…remind me again why you would ever want to leave that place? "i want to go to there" {name that show}.


  3. Connie Weiss :

    I have dreams of taking my family to the beach….

  4. Amy J in SC :

    That hotel looks like the coolest. If I could just get you to preview everywhere I want to go then I'd be set. It's sad that Christmas is not even here yet and we're already talking about summer vacation.

  5. Tia :

    Seems like you guys had a great time. Are these hotels paying for these posts with free rooms? What a blogging perk if so!

  6. Cassandra :

    I HEART joie de vivre hotels!!! My only wish is that they were in other states in addition to CA. It would make traveling SO much more enjoyable!!

  7. Naomi :

    Would you please adopt me?

  8. vanessa :

    Allison you are taking amazing shots with your new camera, I love them

  9. Petit Elefant :


    Wouldn't that be the bomb? It would be parties on the balcony night and day! Maybe I'll just go stay once every other month or so, that ought to do it.


    You know what's funny? Those were the exact words I said to Viktor as we stood on the balcony before we packed up the room. Love you even more now.


    Oh, it's a must! An absolute do before you die.

    Amy J,

    Send me your list of hotels and I'll get cracking! :)


    I review the hotel as press, so it's pretty great all the way around.


    Honestly, aren't they amazing? I vote Joie de Vivre across the country! And then maybe they can expand into Europe!


    I'll process the paperwork tomorrow.


    Thank you! I'm trying to read the manual and all of Pioneer Woman's tips but life is getting in the way!

  10. Kalli Ko :

    This makes me want to die with jealousy

  11. mskaz :


  12. Donna :

    You can't move. I'm coming over to shred your list.

  13. Rachel :

    I grew up in Southern CA and for some reason have moved to Colorado. It is supposed to be 15 degrees here tonight! Your pictures made me homesick. I will have to check out the hotel when I am back for a visit. It is beautiful.

  14. Petit Elefant :

    Kalli Ko,

    If it's any consolation, I want to die of jealousy myself right now.


    Ditto that. Amazing stuff.


    I know, I know, it's just in theory. But you have to get on Viktor's case, I'm all for just *vacationing* in California and keeping the house.


    Oh, the sand! Charming loves it so much he rolls around in it. All over our house as we speak.


    I know, it's hard. I kind of want to live in 2 places at once. But next time you're in Huntington you HAVE to check out the hotel, it's AMAZING. Loved it.

  15. liz stanley :

    ahh that sounds so nice right about now

  16. Julie {Angry Julie Monday} :

    Ok, even though I live literally 15 minutes from there…I want to go RIGHT NOW! Seriously, might have to go there for the food, at least? And seriously, you would totally have a new awesome group of people to hang with here…just sayin'

  17. Petit Elefant :


    I forget that you're in San Francisco and probably freezing just like the rest of us! It was so nice down south, you should take a road trip.

    Angry Julie,

    It would be a travesty of epic proportions if you didn't go eat at that restaurant. Seriously, the food was heaven.

  18. Erin :

    wow! that is the most stylish hotel i have even seen. i want to go!!

  19. Dandy :

    OMG you were right down the street and I didn't even get to stalk you!! I grew up in HB and I love it there. I live not far from there. You had perfect timing, a cold front came in on the 4th. In fact, I was getting married right down the street the day after this post and some of my guests stayed at the Shorbreak. I want to move in there… or steal all their furniture. Glad you had fun!

  20. Petit Elefant :


    Oh, it was stylish and awesome, and So Cal laid back all at the same time. Favorite, ever.


    What a random coincidence! I love that part of town so much. I honestly could live on the beach. Or maybe I could just live on the pier with the guy who plays the guitar next to Duke's.

  21. Steve Laroche :


    I just call to reserved it 5 min ago, you totally sell me this hotel :) This will end my trip in California, the last day will be a blast (I hope) before getting back in Montreal Canada!

    Merci beaucoup! thanks

  22. Steve Laroche :

    It was awesome!!! :) Excellent service!!!