BY CAROLE ORLIN
Special to the Daily Press
In my eternal quest for new and interesting getaways, I happened upon a gem that is only an hour south on Pacific Coast Highway. It is pet, people and eco-friendly; it’s affordable and donates a portion of its proceeds to charity! It combines surfer chic with contemporary sophistication. It is located on The Strand promenade, across the street from a beautiful beach and pier, right in the heart of a vibrant surfer community. I’ve just described the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach.
There is a vibe about this boutique hotel that is sophisticated, urban, yet laid back and carefree. Everything is new and fresh; the rooms are modern, beach/surf inspired. Our suite had two flat–panel hi-def TV’s, a comfy bed, a huge bean bag chair (or was that a dog bed?), in addition to the sofa, not to mention the gorgeous ocean view from the patio. The bathroom, however, deserves the most kudos. I loved the lighting, the ultra-modern shower and accessories. The bathtub was large and deep enough for two, actually even for three. My only disappointment was that the hotel did not have a pool; but between the beach and the huge bathtub I was appeased.
The Shorebreak contains a wonderful restaurant and bar, Zimzala (surfer speak for “a free-spirited person who finds peace with the sand between their toes”). Zimzala serves organic coastal Mediterranean food which is made from scratch. If you go there, you will hopefully meet Sean Crume, the director of food and beverage. This is one guy who loves his job, and knows the menu and wines intimately. My husband mentioned that he loved the seasoning for a calamari dish, and Sean proudly asserted, “that’s because of the combination of garlic and Angolan peppers!” We were pleased to try several of Sean’s selections, and they did not disappoint. The chicken tagine with couscous was perfect and served in a gorgeous tureen.
Although I am not a surfer or serious volleyball player, I found lots of things to do in Huntington Beach. There is plenty of shopping, art galleries, restaurants, live music; just about anything you could ask for from an energetic and exciting beach town. I noticed that many people rented bicycles to ride along the 8-mile trail that runs along the beach. Arrangements are also readily available for kite flying, surf camps and other varieties of beach activities.
Unfortunately, I did not bring my dog on this trip. Dogs are allowed access to the whole hotel with the exception of the restaurant and bar. Zimzala provides a large outdoor dining area that is dog friendly. In addition, there is a huge dog beach which is less than a five minute drive from the hotel.
If you’ve not recently been in touch with your inner surfer, Surf City USA, aka Huntington Beach, is definitely the place to go, and the Shorebreak Hotel is the place to do it in style.
Carole can be reached at Caroleorlin@yahoo.com.
If you go
500 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Huntington Beach, Calif. 92648