Review: Inn at the Pier, Pismo Beach California

inn at the pier, pismo beach, oceanview hotel, beach hotel, california

Looking for an upscale hotel in Pismo Beach that’s only a two minute walk from the pier? The Craftsman-style hotel, Inn at the Pier, opened in November, 2017 and features a rooftop bar, a rooftop dipping pool and restaurant on California’s Central Coast. As I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I tend to visit Napa and Sonoma Valley wine country. Did you know that Pismo Beach is only a four hour drive from the East Bay?

On this trip to San Luis Obispo Coast Wine Country, I decided to stay right by the beach. Pismo Beach is a welcome destination for folks living in the hot parts of the central valley due to its cool ocean breezes. A typical day starts out brisk with the sun making an appearance in late morning. Surfers descend on the beach as the sun comes up and the sleepy little town comes to life. On my visit the streets and Pismo Pier were literally coming to life, as both were undergoing construction.


Know about Inn at the Pier


I drove my Mini Cooper into the courtyard and was greeted by friendly college-age young adults waiting to valet park my car. Near the front of the hotel, white cruiser bicycles with fat tires stood ready for guests to take a spin around the block. The hotel lobby was bright and airy with beach scenes on the interior walls.

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Inn at the Pier lobby photo © Nancy D. Brown

Inn at the Pier, Pismo Beach

Not quite ready for happy hour, I checked into room #345, an ocean view room on the top floor of the three story hotel. Reminiscent of a European hotel stay, my key card opened the door and controlled the lights in my room simply by inserting the key card into the interior slot. As is expected in a four star hotel, I easily located the Vittoria Espresso machine, room safe, 55″ flat screen tv and mini fridge. Glass bottled water was available for an additional charge. Plush cotton robes hung in the ample sized closet and a work desk and chair were also available.

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The desk included plug in fixtures to charge smart phones, laptops and tablets and the bedside table lamp offered a circular array of plug in options. Score one for a “smart hotel” that understands the needs of connected guests.

The Pillowtop Beautyrest bed by Simmons offered a comfortable night’s sleep and the blackout curtains were a plus if guests wanted to sleep late. I was, however, disappointed that this upscale hotel opted for 250 thread count sheets. I would have expected sheets in the 300-350 thread count range.

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Ocean view hotel room photo © Nancy D. Brown


Inn at the Pier hotel room

The bathroom, with large walk-in shower, featured a Speakman Anystream shower fixture and Bigelow Chemists bath amenities. I liked the sliding barn doors used on both the bathroom exterior and toilet. A hairdryer hung in a bag on the wall of the bathroom and stripped beach towels were tucked in the open shelves below the bathroom sink. After a quick glance out the balcony, I decided to head to the rooftop to check out the roof top pool and bar.

dipping pool, jacuzzi, inn at the pier, pismo beach, california
Rooftop dipping pool with Pacific coastline views. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

What a plus to be able to offer a pool and Jacuzzi in a rooftop setting. Keep in mind that this dipping pool is heated year-round; but you won’t be swimming laps in this pool. Brightly colored chairs and gas fire pits add a festive vibe to the outdoor terrace. This would be a great place to hang out, sipping handcrafted cocktails or micro brews, taking in the Pacific ocean views.

cocktail, rooftop bar, inn at the pier, pismo beach, california
Happy hour on the rooftop bar. Photo © Nancy D. Brown


If you like room service and a little alone time on your private balcony, order Chef Michael Goodloe’s Pismo Beach clam chowder, chock full of local clams and tasty smoked bacon. In-room dining is offered from 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and a full service restaurant, Blonde, is located on the ground floor. I didn’t have a chance to dine at Blonde for anything other than breakfast, but the yogurt with fresh fruit and granola was tasty. Desserts such as Meyer lemon tart with French curd and pistachio shortbread looked good, as well as white chocolate mousse.

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clam chowder, pismo beach, inn at the pier, california central coast
Pismo Beach clam chowder photo © Nancy D. Brown


Inn at the Pier Need to Know:

Inn at the Pier has 98 guest rooms and 6 suites. Depending on room type and seasonality, downtown room rates range from $199 – $359. As always, check the website for current prices and advertised specials.

Overnight valet parking is included in the $25 daily resort fee. Day valet is $12. Restaurant validation is also available for guests of Blonde Restaurant and The Rooftop. As of this date, validated parking is $6 for a maximum of 3 hours.

While some folks at the Inn at the Pier like dogs, the hotel does not offer pet-friendly accommodations unless it is a service dog.

There is a $25 daily resort fee that includes valet parking, concierge services, high-speed Wi-Fi Internet, fitness center access, local and 800 telephone calls. The fee also includes the use of their lounge, rooftop dipping pool and Jacuzzi.

Check in: 4:00 p.m.

Check out: 12:00 p.m.

Insider Tips: Equipped with a full ocean view and balcony, the Superior Ocean View King Suite is the room for the best sunset view. The Rooftop is the best spot in town for a seamless sunset ocean view.

While the hotel offers breakfast at the restaurant, the Old West Cinnamon Rolls on Dolliver Street in Pismo are worth a stop! For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and @theinnatthepier on Twitter and @theinnatthepier on Instagram.

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Yogurt with fruit served at Blonde restaurant. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:

Inn at the Pier (805) 295-5565

601 Cypress Street

Pismo Beach, California 93449

Inn at the Pier hotel review, video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown.  I received a complimentary media stay while researching articles as a guest of SLO Wine Country and Pismo Beach.  All opinions are my own.