Spotlight on the new Alila Marea Beach Resort at Ponto

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Photo by Ava Astleford

The view of the Alila Marea Beach Resort Hotel from Tower 20 at South Ponto State Beach.

Ava Astleford, Reporter

The Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas just opened to the public this March. It is located along the coastal bluff of Ponto State Beach. The resort offers many family-friendly luxury amenities for its residents, and it is a perfect place to experience a Californian vacation.

The walk-out room firepit from most rooms is both helpful with staying outside on a chilly night and with setting the mood. (Photo by Ava Astleford)

Because of this resort’s location and all its amenities, it comes at an expensive price. A room with one king bed, a coastal view, and a patio is about $720 per night. A room with two queen beds, a coastline view and a balcony is about $820 per night. There is also the offer of larger suites that at the highest, go up to about $5,700. My family chose an option that had two queen beds, a coastline view, and a patio, which was about $1,099 per night. The room was amazing, it had plenty of room and it was very open allowing 4 people to easily walk around. The bathroom was very spacious and large which gave my family enough room for everyone to get ready for the day. Although these rooms are quite expensive they definitely provided all the things my family needed to enjoy our stay.

For instance, this hotel offers tons of activity rentals and lessons. First, they have their “Cycle The Coast” electric bike rentals. These bikes are really good for guests to cruise down the 101 and the hotel gives some great destination tips for people to travel to. Since the location is so close to the beach it is very easy to bike down to the water and even to the heart of Leucadia, right next to the hotel.

Another awesome part about our stay at this resort was the pool. It is placed on the edge of the bluff and looks out over the ocean. This pool provides guests with private cabanas that come with 2 lounge chairs, sliced fruit and snack offerings, sparkling and still waters, one bottle of select sparking or varietal wine for adults, a sun bum sunscreen “day tripper” kit, and finally a dedicated cabana server. If you’re not willing to pay for these cabanas they also offer free lounge chairs to sit out in and look at the amazing views. While spending time at the pool the employees provided great service. They came and took our orders right away and brought us some really amazing meals straight to our lounge chairs. There were also many unique drink options. Personally, I think the best thing about the pool area was the large hot tub that looked outright over the edge.

All of these features were great, but overall my favorite part about staying at this resort was the private fire pit in our room. On the bottom floor of the Alila Marea, each room has its own walk-out patio with a fire pit and a seating area. This space allows for families to spend time outside while staying warm and also still have ocean views. During my stay, my family and I spent most of our time out on this patio. It added a great touch to the room and it was a really good bonding experience for my family. The fire pit was especially nice after being in the cold water and coming right back to sit down, be warm and look over Ponto State Beach.

A standard room with two queen beds. (Photo by Ava Astleford)

Not only did my family really enjoy our stay at this resort but many others have also shared their positive experiences. A lot of the excitement seems to revolve around the thoughtful design of the hotel and the gorgeous view it overlooks. However, some people do disagree with this resort being located right on their home beach, obstructing the natural view. They say that it doesn’t respect the community and that it takes away from the pretty land that was already there. I wonder, however, if these people would think differently if they had actually stayed there.

While the resort already offers many different activities for the residents, newer events are planned for the future. This includes their “Ride the Clouds” program which is biplane tours that offer rides above the coast and the San Diego beaches, sunset flights, and even aerobatic flights. “Discover your Stoke” surf lessons will be coming up soon. Even yoga classes will be available for hotel guests.

Overall, this hotel was a fantastic place to stay and it made for a great family vacation. We only stayed there two nights so we couldn’t fit every activity in, but I am sure if we stayed longer we would have definitely explored more. The new and upcoming opportunities are all very exciting and will soon be available to enjoy at the Alila Marea Beach Resort.