Esquire Magazine Names Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego as the Top New Hotel in North America and Europe

The Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, which underwent a $30 million renovation last year, has been named the best new hotel of the year by Esquire magazine. The 139-room hotel, originally built in 1946, has been transformed by hospitality group CH Projects, which invested $134 million into the project. The renovation includes seven new restaurants and bars.

The Lafayette topped Esquire’s list of the top 41 new hotels in North America and Europe, beating out competition from a Rosewood Resort in Hawaii and Rome’s Bulgari hotel. To make the list, properties needed to excel in areas such as design, culinary excellence, wellness, cultural vibrancy, and connection with nature.

The hotel offers a range of amenities including a vibrant pool scene, a 24-hour diner, a bowling alley, an elegant lobby bar, a Oaxacan restaurant created from a decommissioned church in Mexico, a jazz club and a yet-to-open fine dining restaurant.

CH Projects worked with Brooklyn-based Post Company on the design. Co-founder of CH, Arsalun Tafazoli, expressed his excitement at the recognition, especially given that this was their first hotel project.

The hotel’s financial performance has exceeded the company’s original expectations, with 80% of overnight stays being locals enjoying a staycation. The hotel is fully booked on weekends, though occupancy is softer mid-week.

Esquire praised the Lafayette for its unique approach to hospitality, noting that it offers guests something “pretty damn cool” rather than just what they think they want. Still to come at the hotel is Le Horse, an upscale dining room with tableside preparations like sliced prime rib, and a spa concept reflecting a mix of Russian, Roman and Turkish baths.


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