Looking Lovely at La Valencia
La Jolla’s iconic “Pink Lady” first opened its doors as an apartment hotel on December 15, 1926. The grand opening was a lavish affair that took place at the beginning of Hollywood’s golden era. For many celebrities, La Jolla was an undiscovered, unspoiled “jewel,” and its beaches were often used for location shots. The stars of the time, just as they do today, retreated to La Valencia to renew and recharge.
The Whaling Bar and Café la Rue restaurant opened side by side in the 1940s and instantly became the centerpiece of the hotel for guests and La Jollans alike. In January of 2014, the space reopened as Café la Rue, a modern European bistro, with both indoor banquet seating and sidewalk patio seating. A few of the “European Village” murals commissioned for La Valencia in the 1930s by local artist Wing Howard now adorn the walls for visitors to enjoy.
Harrison Howard, the son of Wing Howard, has also made his career as an artist. Primarily, his work has focused on decorative themes including architectural subjects, chinoiseries, and scenics, often with bird, animal or floral motifs. Harrison’s work is currently on display in the lobby at La Valencia Hotel.
Photography by Vincent Knakal, photo assistant is Evan Stefanko, model is Alma Dominguez with San Diego Model Management, hair by Jenn Tandarich and makeup by Gerine Coronado for Detour Salon, photographed on location at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla