Finally, a boutique hotel in SLO (San Luis Obispo) that is gorgeous, environmentally-friendly and close to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus. I was so excited to stay at Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo, California. This hotel has been in the works for quite awhile, but like a fine wine, good things can’t be rushed.

Hotel Cerro rooftop pool Cerro San Luis mountain in the background. Lounge chairs and folded orange towels await hotel guests in downtown San Luis Obispo. with Cero

Rooftop pool with Cerro San Luis Mountain in the background. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

Best hotel in SLO (San Luis Obispo) near Cal Poly

From the moment we pulled our Mini Cooper into Garden Street, I knew this hotel was for me.  My husband and I were staying in the garden suite of this eco-conscious, luxury hotel. I thought the LEEd Silver certification was impressive, but wait until you see the rooftop edible garden. It is fabulous! Not to mention, the hotel is also pet-friendly!

BUT I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s dial it back to the lobby and the historic brick wall from the 1920’s. The property occupies almost an entire square block, joining together 2 vintage brick storefronts. It’s also the only downtown hotel in SLO with an on property spa.

Local artwork hangs on brick walls in the Hotel Cerro lobby in downtown San Luis Obispo, California.

Brick walls honor the heritage of the original building with local art. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

At first glance you’ll see that details matter to the designers of this hotel. Local artwork is featured throughout the 4 story property. On the fourth flour, leading to the outdoor pool, there is beach-themed photography that will surely bring a smile to your face. Only 65 rooms, with 13 garden and loft suites, the hotel offers plenty of nooks to relax with a glass of wine.

The intimate courtyard with it’s green living garden wall, fire pit and iconic fig tree welcomes visitors to a friendly-gathering place. Hotel Cerro does a nice job of weaving together its cultural and  historical connections, while still keeping a casual, yet sophisticated vibe. I project this property will be popular with the out-of-towners, as well as SLO locals.

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Copper Holstein still with floor to ceiling wine bottles on display at Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo.

Hotel Cerro Holstein Still with wine collection. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

Dining options at Hotel Cerro

There are plenty of dining options at Hotel Cerro; from Brasserie SLO to Sweet Life of Pie. If you like the Speak Easy feel, you’ll notice the custom copper Holstein Still gleaming at you from behind the glass on Garden Street and accessible through the hotel lobby.

This brand new still was receiving her finishing touches on my visit. Soon enough the still room will be producing house made whiskey, vodka, gin and other spirits. For those with a preference for local wine, you’ll be surrounded with plenty of Central Coast selections. In fact, this might be one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the hotel. I bet this would be great place to host a private gathering.

Lamb shank with roasted carrots stacked like an Indian teepee.

Lamb shank from Brasserie SLO. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Brasserie SLO

Brasserie SLO is a European-style bistro restaurant on the first floor of Hotel Cerro. The wood-fired grill turns out Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as wine braised volcano lamb shank with char roasted carrots, sauteed greens, faro and hazelnut gremolata. My husband had the oak grilled fresh catch Idaho steelhead. There is no doubt that you want to save room for dessert as Pastry Chef Stacy Day makes a killer pie.

Speaking of pie; Sweet Life of Pie is the newest food option under the Hotel Cerro umbrella. There will eventually be a Pie of the Month Club, but until then, amble over to the glass pastry display for a slice of cheesecake, triple apple pie, vanilla pear pie, or whatever fruit happens to be in season on the central coast.

Bistro breakfast at Hotel Cerro, including orange juice, pastry basket, granola, fruit and yogurt.

Hotel Cerro continental breakfast. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Breakfast at Hotel Cerro

We stayed in the Garden Suites, which means a complimentary daily morning coffee service, including fresh juice and pastries, is included with your suite stay. Same applies to guests staying in the Lofts. Hotel guests may also opt for the Continental Breakfast in the morning for $20 per person.

Hotel Cerro king bed with Anichini linens and beige sofa.

Garden Suite king bed photo © Nancy D. Brown

Hotel Cerro Garden Suite and Spa

We stayed on the 2nd floor in one of 7 garden suites. I loved the spacious floor plan with two sinks, a king bed, smart TV and gas fireplace. What truly captured my attention was the free-standing bathtub with a unique ceiling fill feature that gave me a splash! I also liked the walk-in shower with Gessi plumbing fixtures and the Spa Cerro natural botanical bath amenities. Slipping into my plush cotton robe after an afternoon at the pool and a soothing soak in the tub was a perfect way to end my day.

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Before dinner my husband and I toured the edible garden that connected to our suite. Raised garden beds with beautiful greens such as snap peas and radicchio beckoned us to taste the bounty of San Luis Obispo grown produce. If you want to taste garden to table cuisine, be sure to order a salad with your dinner at Brasserie SLO. It doesn’t get fresher than this.

After dinner we retreated to our private patio to enjoy the outdoor fireplace and a glass of Paso Robles Pinot Noir from SLO Wine Country.

 

Radicchio and snap peas in raised beds on the edible rooftop garden at Hotel Cerro.

Radicchio and snap peas from the Edible Garden in downtown San Luis Obispo. Photo © Nancy D. Brown 

While I didn’t experience any treatments at Spa Cerro, I did take a tour of the facilities, including the relaxation terrace and treatment rooms. The theme of land and sea is woven throughout the 4,000 square foot spa and is incorporated in the soothing ocean blue color scheme. I was intrigued with the chromatherapy light shower in several of the treatment rooms.

Blue chromatherapy light showers down from the plumbing fixture at Spa Cerro.

Spa Cerro chromatherapy light shower photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

Hotel Cerro: need to know

There are seven 750 square foot Garden Suites, four 600 square foot Loft Suites, one Loft King at 400 square feet, eight 400 square foot two double queens and 44 Cerro Classic rooms with king or queen beds. Rates start at $209 -$800 per night. Our Garden Suite, room 204, rented for $475 per night. Always check the hotel website for current prices.

Hotel Cerro is committed to an eco-friendly environment. Each guest receives refillable water bottles in their room to keep. There are filtered water stations through the hotel. Bluetooth audio systems are in room (be sure to sign out of your app if you stream tv from your personal Netflix account.)

Fair Trade Ascendo coffee from San Luis Obispo is featured in-room, along with Rishi tea products.

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Valet parking is available for $25 a night. Guests may also opt to park in the parking structure down the street (guests are responsible for hourly charges incurred.) Hotel Cerro will issue an overnight parking permit at no additional cost, however there are no in and out privileges.

Hotel Cerro is pet-friendly, offering a limited number of dog-friendly rooms. No pets are allowed in the Garden Suites. The pet fee is $75 for your entire stay, in addition to a $150 charge for incidentals that is refundable if there is no damage.

If You Go:

Hotel Cerro (805) 548-1000

1125 Garden Street

San Luis Obispo, California 93401

Check in: 3:00 p.m.

Check out: 11:00 a.m

Further San Luis Obispo tips

If you are looking for things to see and do in SLO, including where to eat downtown or how to visit Bubble Gum Alley, you’ll find these insider tips to San Luis Obispo in my blog post. Don’t miss the Farmers’ Market on Thursday evening!

For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and Hotel Cerro on Instagram.

Hotel Cerro San Luis Obispo hotel review, all photography and YouTube video by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Hotel Cerro, however all opinions are my own.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I earn a commission on any hotels you may book through my custom links.