Last month, Tyler and I went on a little getaway to San Luis Obispo. We stayed at the Hotel Cerro in downtown and had the BEST time.
Nestled directly between San Francisco and LA, San Luis Obispo boasts the very best that California has to offer. Between the world-class wineries, proximity to iconic Central Coast beaches, endless scenic hiking options, and an adorable downtown full of great restaurants and write-home-about coffee shops, SLO (as the locals call it) is a nearly-perfect travel destination.
It’s the less-fussy and certainly more calm answer to Santa Barbara. When the weather is right–and it usually is–it’s hard not to feel like the town itself is showing off.
Tyler and I both graduated from Cal Poly in SLO, so we take any chance we get to go back.
SLO has always been a fabulous place. It was, after all, famously named the Happiest City in America by Oprah and literally anyone who has ever been. Although I didn’t think SLO could get any cuter (maybe that’s the nostalgia talking), the city has been totally revitalized in recent years. The downtown area is much more polished and charming than it was even when we went to school there 10 years ago. There are tons of new businesses and hot spots, and the whole vibe is, dare I say, bougier. I was blown away.
In today’s post, I’m sharing my Hotel Cerro review.
Tyler and I loved, loved, loved our stay at Hotel Cerro. The property is chic, homey, and provides guests with a cozy-but-elevated oasis in the heart of downtown SLO.
The Hotel Cerro opened in 2020, retrofitted in the 1920’s Smith building, marrying SLO”s history with its commitment to eco-forward design and a modern aesthetic. I found Hotel Cerro to be the poster child for the direction SLO is heading: a luxurious, modern property that still encapsulates the charm and quirkiness that students, locals, and visitors have all come to love the town for.
Hotel Cerro is located on picturesque Garden Street in downtown and shares a block with a handful of SLO’s most notable bakeries and coffee shops (Scout Coffee, Linnaea’s Cafe, and SLO Delicious Bake Shop, just to name a few).
Hotel Cerro is modern, charming, and provides the perfect base for a weekend in San Luis Obispo.
The property has 65 rooms, all situated around a gorgeous courtyard garden. The lobby is cozy and inviting, the type of space that makes you want to get comfy with a book and a cup of coffee.
Our room was clean, spacious, and had everything we needed. The layout of our room was really unique and kind of cool, with the double vanity set behind the bed and a concrete wall. The pour over coffee setup in our room was a HIT, probably the best in-room coffee I’ve ever had.
I can’t overstate how ideal Hotel Cerro’s location is: right in the heart of downtown and within walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and the mission. Tyler and I rolled out of bed on Saturday morning, ate breakfast at Brasserie SLO (more on that in a minute), and had the most romantic walk around downtown. I was absolutely floating.
There is some noise at night on the weekends–this is, however, a college town we are talking about (rowdy bars APLENTY). I saw some reviews complaining about this, but I think the property does a fine job of warning visitors on their website, and, honestly, we barely noticed.
The rooftop pool at Hotel Cerro is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of the property. With sweeping views of downtown and the mountains around SLO, it’s impossible to not relax on the pool deck. I could NOT get over how peaceful it was up there.
The hotel offers onsite valet parking which is huge because the city of SLO doesn’t allow overnight street parking. This was unbelievably convenient, and the valet staff was awesome. They also offer EV charging in the garage which allowed us to head back home on a full charge. Tyler was over the moon.
The award-winning Spa Cerro is located right on the property and looks heavenly, although we didn’t have a chance to take advantage of it on this trip. This is high on my list for next time.
Brasserie SLO, Hotel Cerro’s restaurant, sits adjacent to the lobby and has a laid back, Parisian vibe. This place is so fun, and I was obsessing over the decor. Brasserie SLO serves coastal Californian cuisine with a focus on local ingredients and international influence. We ate breakfast here one morning, and everything was fabulous. I’m still dreaming about the fresh squeezed juice they brought us.
If you’re heading to the Central Coast this year, I can’t recommend this property enough.
It’s a pre-weekend pick me up: just a little note with links to the latest blog posts, what I’m reading lately, and products I’m obsessed with. Think of it as a friend dropping off a surprise latte in the morning--you know?