Sea Venture Resort & Restaurant
From my table at the third-story terrace restaurant inside the Sea Venture Resort in Pismo Beach, I am perfectly poised to appreciate a remarkable sight. The sun is setting over the Pacific Ocean, which swishes and curls with a rhythmic watery sigh over the sprawling blanket of tawny shore just ten feet away. A splash of orange and honeydew have replaced the placid blue of the afternoon sky, and the strands and tendrils of wispy clouds have come to look like passionate Picasso splatters of riotous pink and flaming red paint over the coastal canvas. To the north, the iconic pier stands out like a charcoal silhouette wading into the water and the outline of rugged coastal bluffs are carved into the distance. On the beach—23 vast miles of coastline—a small, intimate wedding on the sand is signaled by a flower-strewn white trellis and, seated at the table next to me, a husband and wife toast with a glass of Central Coast wine as the sun dips down under the horizon.
It’s too perfectly romantic to be real. But it is.
The property, built in the mid-’80s, was the first oceanfront hotel in the scenic, seaside city of Pismo Beach, and today it boasts every essential ingredient for an amorous escape.
“When guests are wanting to get away for a romantic getaway or to renew their relationships, we’re the answer,” says Sea Venture General Manager Mark Eads.
He points out that each of the 50 guest rooms maximize the property’s main attraction—the sweeping, panoramic vista—by offering balcony hot tubs in which couples can relax and soak up the serenity of the sea, sunsets, and surf. Indoors, in-room fireplaces keep the peaceful, dreamy mood going while feather beds, marble finishes and custom furniture further contribute to the restful, casual-luxury ambiance.
Of course, nothing can stoke the flames of love like fine food, and for that Sea Venture’s guests needn’t go far. The property features a central terrace restaurant offering “contemporary coastal cuisine”-style dinner and small-plates menus, directed by Chef Casey Walcott. Ideal for a dinner date or a night cap before heading off to your room, the restaurant and bar often create specials with the couple in mind, such as their recent $30, prix-fixe Aphrodisiac Lovers Menu in the month of February, boasting dishes like the “Oyster 3-Way,” the Sweet & Spicy Shrimp and a Banana Split. Any time of year, however, the restaurant serves up indulgent recipes for romance, such as the classic “Couple’s Filet & Lobster,” or the hotel’s eponymous best-seller, the “Sea Venture”— a surf and turf dish of shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, fish and spicy sausage with saffron risotto and aromatic tomato fume, served with a grilled baguette, which Eads describes as a “clam bake in a bowl.”
The romantic theme continues in the resort’s on-site spa, where a Couple’s Massage and Body Therapy service is a popular pick alongside options like the Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, body scrubs and wraps.
Eads summarizes that the Sea Venture simply strives to provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable getaway for visiting couples. “We offer very genuine, customized service to all our guests,” Eads says, noting that Director of Sales and Catering Lauren McIntyre does a tremendous job orchestrating beautiful weddings on the property, as well.
Finally, the Sea Venture staff does the ultimate service of making a lovers’ sojourn simple and affordable by creating packages such as the current “Beach Amore” special running through mid-May 2014 and featuring a Spa Deluxe room with chocolate dipped strawberries, Champagne, a couple’s massage, a copy of the book The Art of Doing Nothing, as well as a dinner credit for $70—all for just $359. Now, that’s amore.
Make a point to stop by the Sea Venture, located at 100 Ocean View Ave. in Pismo Beach. Read more about romantic specials at the hotel and restaurant at seaventure.com or call (800) 662-5545.
— Jamie Relth