Helicopters echo like thunder and sirens scream through the streets. Los Angeles is a jungle filled with fun and games but, like a sexy girl who’s very hard to please, I’ve just got to escape from the hustle sometimes. With Erin Moon riding shotgun, we hit the 101 North towards Cayucos, a quaint costal town in San Luis Obispo County just north of Morro Bay. With a little less then 3000 residents and only one traffic light in the entire town, it was exactly the escape we were looking for and Pier View Suites was to be our mid-week getaway.
When we pulled up to Pier View the sun was shining and a crisp ocean breeze blew from the beach. The aroma of fresh coffee filtered out from the cafe next door as we walked into the front entrance. A staircase lined with beautiful reclaimed sea-wood took us upstairs past a communal Zen patio and to the front desk where owner Jasson Hargett kindly greeted us with a hospitable smile, offering us a companion betta fish in a bowl and a local bottle of wine – a complimentary treat for all guests booking a stay of two nights or more.
As Hargett personally escorted us to our room he talked a bit about Cayucos and Pier View. Officially becoming a hotel in 2006 Hargett says, “The guest’s happiness is always our most important priority, we strive to give them a personalized service of the highest standards for their desired vacation experience.” After a tour of the grounds and our room I asked Hargett about our betta fish pet. “We wanted to offer our guests something unique.” He explained, “The bettas are so easy to take care of we decided to give it a test run. People love them, or steal them, we actually had that happen once.”
Pier View is a beautiful luxury boutique hotel situated only seventy five steps from the beach offering seven unique suites designed as generously appointed condominiums complete with a full gourmet kitchen. “Guests feel like they have their very own luxury beach apartment,” Says Hargett “We’ve worked hard to combine the local charm and excitement of a California beach town with that of laid-back luxury.”
Laid-back luxury was exactly what we got, our room, on the top floor, gave an unparalleled panoramic view of the beach and Cayucos pier all of which could be enjoyed from our private canopied day bed on the patio. Shoes off and wine poured, the chaos of Los Angeles slowly sipped away.
As the sun set, Moon and I went to explore Cayucos’s most iconic landmark, a beautiful rustic wood pier spanning 982 feet into the sea. Built in 1872 the pier became the commercial hub of the north coast for steamships carrying passengers, lumber and farm goods between San Francisco and Los Angeles. A steamer might load as much as 8-10 tons of butter in a single day.
Fast forward well over a century and locals can be seen jumping from its furthest point while others fish and surfers paddle into the waves below. Sadly though this great pier is in need of serious repair. Dozens of pilings have been damaged or destroyed over the years, needing an estimated $2,000,000 in restorations. The town is binding together to try and save this great landmark. Visit savecayucospier.org for more information and how you can help.
Twilight was upon us, our bellies grumbled with hunger but it was too late to utilize our beautiful kitchen so we stopped for a delicious bread bowl of clam chowder and an order of fish and chips that was probably caught earlier that morning.Back to the hotel I warmed our suite with the fireplace while Moon relaxed in the jet tub. Stepping outside to enjoy some fresh air I talked with one of our neighbors.
It was his family’s big vacation for the year. “We book our room a year in advance,” he said. “Pier View is by far the best hotel in Cayucos. I just love sitting on the balcony with my binoculars watching the seals on the buoy in the bay and otters playing in the kelp.”
There is a strong sense of community in Cayucos that harmonizes with the tone of the hotel. Having all the benefits of a vacation rental paired with the amenities of a luxury boutique hotel it’s an ideal combination of intimacy and community for such a special part of the coast. Hargett say’s “I feel what we’ve really created here is a home away from home that always just a phone call away.”