Two Brand-New Oceanside Hotels Put Signature Beach Styles Front and Center

Design duo.

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  • Written by
    Darren Elms

Just outside Mission Pacific hotel overlooking the Oceanside beach sits the “Top Gun House”—the cottage where Kelly McGillis’ character Charlie resides and romances Tom Cruise’s Maverick. Recently relocated to this spot, the 1887 structure by Dr. Henry Graves is getting a $1 million renovation thanks to the developers of the new hotel. With a fresh paint job and signature Victorian charm, the building already offers a delightful contrast—a snapshot of old and new Oceanside side by side.

Mission Pacific is one of two much-anticipated properties to debut in O’side (as locals like to call their hometown) last year. Sister property The Seabird Resort opened next door, and together the hotels add stylish verve to this beloved surf community. The locals seem to approve, filling the sidewalk patios and rooftop bars just before sunset. With two inviting designs, a common laid-back vibe and a few stellar eateries, Mission Pacific and The Seabird easily attract outsiders looking to escape “the bubble” for a weekend.

The properties take two different but equally appealing design approaches. The eclectic yet effortless aesthetic of Mission Pacific comes from award-winning firm EDG. Think earthy textures, artisan touches and an upscale boho feel throughout. From the imagination of designer Bill Bocken in association with Delawie interiors, The Seabird goes for the timeless estate look—embodying the spirit of classic California living. Both properties feature vibrant local art and photography courtesy of Oceanside Museum of Art, with a dedicated space called OMA West housed in The Seabird.

Detailed style choices extend from the lobbies to the individual rooms and public spaces. At The Seabird, the Shelter Club pool bar and restaurant color blocks red, yellow and blue in different shelved alcoves and throws in framed vintage bathing suits for an extra bit of whimsy. Upstairs, a wood-paneled library with a full-sized canoe lighting fixture gives families a place to unwind and play games.

The crisp and refreshing Sunny’s Spa delights with natural light, an open floor plan and blue-and-white striped Ralph Lauren uniforms. Breakfast hub-turned-pasta bar by night Piper serves up modern yet welcoming atmosphere thanks to award-winning Los Angeles-based design studio Bells + Whistles.

Targeted to a hip, younger crowd, the rooftop bar at Mission Pacific offers a day-to-night experience of artisan cocktails, live DJ sets and killer Pacific views. If you’re a fan of Cheeky’s in Palm Springs, the culinary group F10 brought some of that same casual dining magic to High/Low—a breezy, oceanfront café.

But the true star of the hotel’s culinary experience awaits at Valle. Chef Roberto Alcocer, who hails from Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley, worked in high-profile kitchens across the globe—from Michelin-starred La Broche in Madrid to Mexico City’s Pujol—before returning home to open his first restaurant, Malva Cocina de Baja California. Featuring a spacious outdoor dining veranda overlooking the ocean and private dining room, Valle underscores California culinary inspiration rooted in the traditions of the Guadalupe Valley—perfectly rendered and delivered by one of Baja’s most celebrated chefs.

O’side is a surf community at its core, and both Mission Pacific and The Seabird offer a complimentary surf concierge and valet. The concierge grants guests access to a variety of lessons, including private surf sessions with North County Surf Academy and the opportunity to surf alongside professional surfer and third-generation Oceanside resident Duran Barr.

A vintage Rambler camper is set up on The Strand at Oceanside to ensure guests have everything they need for a perfect beach day. From rental games like volleyball and cornhole to health-conscious food and drink, apparel, and supplies, the Rambler allows guests to simply show up and soak up the sun. Dating back to 1941, the vintage George T. Hall Company Rambler is the only remaining model of its kind—meticulously restored to its original glory by Jeremy Phillips, owner and operator of Hutchbilt design.

Oceanside is also home to the California Surf Museum and its permanent and revolving exhibition chronicling the history of surfboards and wave riding. True fans of surf won’t want to miss this rare archive and collection.

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