The Suite Life: Hotel Cerro, San Luis Obispo, CA

Hotel Cerro of San Luis Obispo is located right in the heart of downtown SLO, on historic Garden Street. This newly unveiled property is the perfect home base for a trip to SLO that’s within walking distance to all of downtown’s most desirable attractions so you can properly enjoy some SLO Living.

Travelers only have to take two steps outside to explore SLO’s famous “Thursday night Farmers Market,” or visit the historic 1772 Mission de Tolosa, or even hop between downtown’s plethora of restaurants and nightlife destinations — because it’s all within walking distance of this gorgeous property.

And San Luis Obispo’s downtown neighborhood is a destination in itself — overflowing with cute cafes, coffee shops, boutique, locally owned stores and art galleries — as well as the San Luis Obispo creek, which is a fun SLO adventure to stroll and explore on a sunny day (which is basically every day, in this city).

What I especially appreciated about Hotel Cerro after having the chance to visit this beautiful hotel after living in SLO for years, and even watching its construction — is the way the hotel actively integrates the rich heritage and true atmosphere of San Luis Obispo within its architecture and interior design.

It feels clean, stylish, and modern — and incorporates just the right touch of historic decor to pay homage to its SLOcal roots.

Luxurious Lifestyle

The hotel itself features 65 luxurious rooms and suites with views of downtown, the surrounding mountains and the on-site edible gardens (which you can walk right through, and check out for yourself).

Hotel Cerro also hosts a full-service spa, a gym, and private party and meeting facilities for up to 60 guests. But my favorite part of the property is the rooftop pool and pool bar. SO fun.

It’s such a standout feature of this luxurious (while also down to earth) property. I had never seen anything like it when I lived in SLO and still haven’t, to this day.

Guests can enjoy poolside service of light bites, beverages and cocktails with one of the best views in town (or really, best view on the Central Coast, in my opinion). You won’t find another pool bar like this for miles.

Another important component of Hotel Cerro is its tenacious commitment to sustainability. Each overnight stay comes with a complimentary reusable Hotel Cerro water bottle which you can fill at any of the various filtered water refill stations located throughout the property.

Sleeping Beauties

When you return to the hotel after a day exploring the wonders of the Central Coast, there are a variety of types of guest rooms and suites to spend an evening. First, let’s talk about the “guest room” types.

The “Cerro Classic” and “Two Queen” guest rooms were created with the aim of offering visitors a feeling of mindfulness and relaxation. These rooms feature “curl-up and read” armchairs, hand-crafted leather desks — and custom rugs woven with natural fibers. Most rooms also have balconies with views of downtown or of the Edible Gardens. 

Next, the “Garden Suites” offer a beautiful and modern interior with direct access to the Edible Gardens, and an enclosed fire pit to relax. I stayed in a garden suite while I was visiting, and it was extremely spacious and quiet. It was just what I needed to relax, and I enjoyed the enormous soaking tub the suite featured, as well as the toasty outdoor enclosed fire pit space.

Then, there’s the “Loft Suites” which aim to create a blend of contemporary space and style, and are located in the “historic” section of the building — therefore incorporating design elements which mirror and honor this rich heritage in the historic city of SLO I mentioned before. Here, guests will encounter brick walls, exposed beams and an expansive layout.

Finally, the stunning “Penthouse Loft” is also located in the historic building, aiming to fully capture the charm and heart of what San Luis Obispo is all about. It’s also a loft style, with exposed brick and beams, 8-foot wide historic sash windows overlooking Garden Street, and exquisite custom furnishings which reflect that contemporary attention of detail and modern design which went into creating this type of suite.

On-site Eating

There’s no shortage of choices to dine right on-site, at Hotel Cerro. Here’s how to best enjoy them:

Brasserie SLO

Brasserie SLO is somewhere you can meet friends or family at all times, any day of the week. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and a generous happy hour. The on-site culinary experts for this diving dining experience serve “modern coastal cuisine,” with a particular emphasis on creating a “casual, French feeling atmosphere.”

Brasseries chefs create their dishes using ingredients that are sourced directly from Central Coast agriculture, including produce from the upstairs Edible Gardens.

My cocktail had a variety of beautiful edible flowers and garnishes from the edible garden. It was so nice to eat outside and take in the SLOcal sunshine and friendly atmosphere on the bistro-style Brasserie patio.

The Distillery

Another fun experience on-site is to check out the display of the custom copper Holstein Still — which is prominently housed right in the hotel adjacent to the lobby, and is surrounded by racks filled with an assortment of wines locally sourced from the Central Coast.

The following details are taken from Hotel Cerro’s website, describing the distillery in additionally accurate detail:

“Traditionally, Brasseries not only housed microbreweries but often advanced to the next stage of alchemy with artisanal distilling. At Brasserie SLO we have adopted this tradition by crafting spirits and liquors utilizing botanicals harvested from the Central Coast. Tangy citrus oils of bitter orange, Kaffir lime, and Meyer lemon; warm aromatic spice notes of coriander, lavender, and cinnamon provide just a few of the exciting opportunities for signature cocktails and desserts.” Fun! 🙂

Mission Fig Patio

Adjacent to the lobby on the other side of Brasserie SLO, sheltered from the street, you’ll find an intimate enclosed patio space where you can enjoy an Al Fresco dining selection of local wines and craft beer. This casual eatery is inspired by and named for the Mission fig tree that lives in the center of the patio. I enjoyed eating my breakfast here because it felt very peaceful.

Life of Pie

Even though I didn’t get the chance to visit the shop myself, “Life of Pie,” the on-site bakery, is known as one of the most popular bakeries in San Luis Obispo.

The shop offers a selection of pies baked in-house each day by the property’s resident pastry chef. Visitors can select any number of ever-changing fruit pies, nut pies, cream pies, chocolate pies and savory pies (mmm!).

Edible Gardens

The upstairs edible gardens at Hotel Cerro are used to grow fruit, vegetables, and microgreens in raised beds. The Central Coast climate is perfect for growing a variety of produce — and the Edible Gardens here grow herbs for salads, sauces, marinades, as well as an abundance of year-round fresh fruit and vegetables right on-site and walking distance from the Garden Suites.

A Trip Well Spent

Overall, coming from me, someone who called SLO home for four years and watched the construction of this hotel right before my eyes, I can say having the chance to visit was not a disappointment after all this time.

I can stand by Hotel Cerro as an ideal place to set as a home base when you’re exploring the region. It’s right downtown in the center of all the action — but the property itself is so wonderful, I was finding it challenging to actually leave…

I’d recommend this hotel for those who are searching for somewhere nice, clean, and new to relax and spend a cozy but stylishly modern night out on the Central Coast.


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