Punch Pick: The Cliffs Resort

Can you say ROAD TRIP? Just to be clear – my recent road trip was not the typical scenario of gal pals in a convertible cruising up the coast while listening to Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway.” No, it was not.

Let me paint you a picture. My experience consisted of my mom and stepdad (who were visiting from Rhode Island) and my boyfriend.  This was the first time everyone was meeting.  We rented a car – a small Chevy Malibu to be specific – and started the four hour plus drive with our final destination being the popular tourist attraction, The Hearst Castle.  And, music for for the car ride? The Beach Boys – this was a request from my stepdad.

This is not the ideal situation one hopes for with a first encounter such as this, but for the sake of providing the complete story to readers, it went extremely well!  Everyone got along swimmingly but I digress…

This is too far of a drive to do it in one day so we decided to spend a night somewhere along the route.  A dear friend, who’s always on point with his venue recommendations, told me about a hotel that was close to our destination. He said, “You must stay at The Cliffs Resort.”  So, I booked two rooms and we altered our course slightly to stop in Pismo Beach.  (FYI: Hearst Castle is an additional 45 to 60 minutes north of Pismo Beach.)

First, let me start by saying… location, location, location.  Situated almost halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, approximately 176 miles from my home in WeHo, is Pismo Beach. This was my first time visiting the beautiful Central Coast. Nestled on top of a bluff sits The Cliffs Resort. The views are spectacular.

We checked in, unpacked and took in the view from our room. Overall, I found the hotel and room to be clean and comfortable. A staff member told me the hotel went through heavy renovations within the last couple years.


Shortly thereafter, we all reconnected at the hotel restaurant, Marisol, which has an awesome wraparound deck. I was told they have great happy hour specials and live music on the weekends.  We sipped cocktails and had yummy apps while watching the sunset.

Let me set the stage further. Guests can regularly watch dolphins frolic off the coast. But on this day, we had special visitors. Dozens of whales were breaching right in front of us. I guess they knew I was coming! It was quite the attraction for hotel guests and restaurant patrons.

While my family and I went into town for dinner that night (Giuseppe’s Cucina Italiana is awesome!), we had lunch at Marisol the next day. The Cliffs Sliders and Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos were our favorite items. Have a dog? The Cliffs is a place for you.

It’s dog friendly – even offering an in-room doggie menu for your pup. Items include Woof Woof Boeuf (Tenderloin Tips, Scrambled Eggs, Hashbrowns, Pig Ear “Bacon Bits”), Chow Hound Chicken (Chicken Breast, Basmati Rice, Scrambled Eggs) and Three Hugger (Brown Rice, Green Beans, Carrots, Potatoes).  Our lovely waitress commented that The Cliffs’ family believes “our four legged friends deserve to be spoiled too.”

The Cliffs is kid friendly too.  I’m told there are planned activities for the children in the summer.  In fact, for the purpose of providing an accurate review, if you’re looking for quiet and to sleep in, I suggest booking for a room that does not face the pool.

There is a spa, and while there was no time for me to indulge in any of the services, several of the items on the menu caught my eye.  The prices are standard.

Before our group left, we walked down a path to the private beach and took in more of the magnificent landscape.

Rates are quite reasonable but they offer special packages. In the winter season, ask about the Nifty Fifty offer, which starts at $129. They also have a special where you can stay four nights for the price of three.

If you’re like me, you read reviews on Yelp for everything.  As with anything on Yelp, there were mixed reviews, many of which focused on the unprofessional and unfriendly staff.   This was a surprise because I found this to be one of my favorite things about the hotel.  From the front desk to the valet to wait staff at Marisol, everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful.

Oddly enough, I reached out to management several times but my messages went unanswered.  I won’t hold that against them but as a PR professional, let me make a suggestion.  Follow up with journalists and bloggers when they reach out for a story.

To the staff at The Cliffs, thank you for taking the time to talk with me and for making my family’s stay memorable.




About kristinmartell:
Kristin Martell is a Pacific Punch Correspondent and Author of Damn the Odds. A recent Los Angeles transplant from Washington, DC, she’s pursuing her dream of acting while working as a PR consultant. Visit her at www.damntheodds.com. Follow the Pacific Punch on twitter @ThePacificPunch.


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