The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, CA are two hotels going for same laid-back, surf culture aesthetic. One is a success, the other is, well, not.
I first learned about The Surf Lodge from this wedding on 100 Layer Cake and immediately went hunting for more information. I love the mix of rustic wood and wicker, urban murals and Mid-Century pops of color. This is exactly the kind of vibe and degree of designy-ness that my dream hotel would have. These photos are all from Design Sponge.
Most of the photos of Pacific Edge Hotel on the internet are views of the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach. That's just cheating. Once you pan inside, this place feels like a 1990's Santa Monica take on a 1960's-themed hotel. The "rustic" and "eclectic" design elements thrown in, like the bottles of beach glass, tree stumps and clusters of mismatched art, feel contrived.
Come on, dudes. Why not use Laguna's authentic, anti-establishment, artist-getaway vibe that actually represents the city's past, instead of all this straight-up bleh?
(Full disclosure, I grew up in Laguna Beach, making me overly critical of the Pacific Edge Hotel. Additional disclosure, the Pacific Edge Hotel is owned by the Joie de Vivre Hotel Group. They were incredibly generous with free hotel rooms when I used to run a film festival in Los Angeles. These two pieces of information combined result in an entirely unbiased opinion.)