California Living

Posted on: December 1st, 2020 by Carrie Young No Comments

A new hotel makes Cambria the perfect California escape, as this year’s ideal travel destinations have changed- to put it mildly. Rather than going anywhere international, restrictions mean most Americans are required to stay closer to home. And where a cosmopolitan locale with its endless restaurants and sites was once alluring, social distancing has made remote, nature-filled places the new sought-after escape. While Airbnbs and glamp-sites have become go-to gateways for pandemic travel, hotel connoisseurs are left with the challenge of finding a place that feels safe. Design enthusiasts will find such a gem-within-driving-distance in White Water, a newly opened hotel from PRG Hospitality Group on California’s Central Coast. Located just off Cambria’s Moonstone Beach, the 25-room property was designed by Nina Freudenberger, an interior designer known for her private home work and curation of effortlessly cool spaces in the books Surf Shack and Bibliostyle. She wanted White Water to have a Danish seaside feel, and to reflect the textures that set Cambria apart from its beach neighbors further south. Instead of palm trees, Cambria is famous for its emerald-needled Monterey pines, a tree whose native forests are so rare- there are only five in the world. Rather than silky sand, the waves crash onto rocky tide pools making it wild and exciting.

Cambria is a small town- approximately 6,000- and is about three-and-a-half hours from both L.A. and San Francisco, but its reliance on tourism means charming excursions are easy to find. In one of the hotel’s ocean-view rooms, Cambria’s colors are reflected back in the light Baltic birch slats that cover the wall behind the bed, as well as the earthen curtains, made of tent-grade duck canvas. The eye-catching outdoor bath was initially a horse trough and was transformed for human-body soaking with two different shades of green, one on the exterior and one on the interior. Aesop products complete the setup, along with a mini bar stocked in part by the cult grocer Erewhon- their first hotel collaboration. Since the wineries and tasting rooms of Paso Robles are a 40-minute drive away, the first thing on the travel to-do list is probably roam free. The Moonstone Beach boardwalk is within paces of White Water, and the hotel offers complimentary bikes for those who want more wind in their hair. For additional views, drive seven minutes to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, where trails follow the coastal bluff and lead through the Monterey pine forest. And if it rains? Go out anyway, knowing that when you come back, the rest of the day can be spent curled up in front of your room’s fireplace.


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