Iconic inn undergoes extensive remodel
From the days that it was The Golden Tee to present day the Inn at Morro Bay has had its ups and downs depending on ownership and management. Current owners Pacifica Host Hotels have redone all 98 rooms in the past three years, as well as the lobby, restaurant and lounge. Locals and visitors have waited with baited breath to see the new look, and it hasn’t disappointed them.
The change from how this space looked previously is amazing. No longer is it a walled, closed off and dark area, but now is spacious and flooded with light. The renovation removed walls, relocated restrooms, moved the bar to a better location, and added special amenities like a large stone fireplace, comfortable seating on sofas and chairs, and tables with granite tops in the area between the lobby and the lounge.
In the lounge, the bar has been moved away from the window area where it used to block the view, and a commanding slanted center post stretches from floor to ceiling. “The designer, Paul Darrel of the Pacifica Host staff, went with a boat theme,” said Fred Reed, new General Manager of the inn, “this replicates a ship’s mast and pays homage to Morro Bay’s fishing fleet.” Even the bank of windows is carrying out the boat theme as they are angled similar to the bow of a sailing vessel.” Tables and chairs are placed throughout the lounge all with a view of the bay and sandspit. “We have the best view of the bay and Morro Rock without having to see the stacks,” Reed said. That view is also what guests in waterside rooms get to enjoy.
The dining room is totally re-decorated and people seated along the wall face a bank of mirrors that affords them a view of the bay. “You can have a view of the water from every seat location now,” Kelly Wells, Director of Sales & Marketing said.
Another facet of the decor in the dining room is the wavy wallpaper that glows with subtle blues and pinks when special lighting is lit adding to the natural effects of a Morro Bay sunset. “For private parties there is a gliding barn door that closes off this section,” said Wells. They also put a roof over the outside patio off the dining room with heaters located along the edge of the ceiling. This now allows diners the option of eating outside, staying cozy and comfortable, and enjoying the soft breezes and the view.
The Inn hired Chef Steven Smeets formerly of the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo to run the restaurant and lounge. This is now called 60 State Park Road Restaurant and Lounge. Smeets plans for California cuisine in the dining room and there is a large wine storage room located next to the dining room where predominantly local wines from Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara wine regions are stocked. Some of the ideas that Smeets is talking about include inviting local wineries to present their wines, pairing them with chocolates, cheese, and sushi. Musical entertainment will be presented on weekends in the lounge.
Smeets is very upbeat and enthusiastic about his new post. “I made this change because of the great opportunity to open a new restaurant and have a say about the cuisine and the wine list,” he said. Based on his reputation from the Apple Farm, one can only say this new restaurant will be a destination of its own within the Inn.
The Inn still has all of the meeting rooms it had prior to the renovation, with the Morro Bay room being the largest at 2500 square feet and capable of seating 100 guests. The adjacent Cayucos room is 1225 square feet and the Alcove, still located in a private space at the rear of the dining room, is 800 square feet.
Wells is busy booking these locations for weddings, corporate retreats or seminars, board and association meetings. “We are respectful of the inn’s history,” Wells said, “and I am getting inquiries from second generation visitors, children of couples who held their weddings here years ago.”
With the spectacular location inside Morro Bay State Park, adjacent to a national estuary filled with birds and wildlife, across the road from a world-class golf course, and now with this stunning interior renovation, the Inn at Morro Bay may finally be coming into its own.
The Inn at Morro Bay is located at 60 State Park Rd., in Morro Bay. Call (805) 772-5651 or visit Inn at Morro Bay for reservations and more information.
– Ruth Ann Angus