Checking into the Chic, Eco-Friendly Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo, CA
Looking for an eco-friendly stay in San Luis Obispo? Check out this Hotel Cerro review before you book!
Thanks again to Hotel Cerro for hosting us! All opinions, as always, are my own
If you’re planning a California coast road trip, you must stop in San Luis Obispo for at least one night (preferably two). It’s a nice two hours between Santa Barbara and Carmel-by-the-Sea, and there’s quite a bit to see and enjoy!
When you book, I can’t recommend the stylish Hotel Cerro more than enough. It’s a gold standard in eco-friendly practices right down to its edible gardens where you can quite literally walk around and eat what you pick.
Here’s a little more about the hotel as well as some nearby spots we checked out on foot!
About Hotel Cerro
Hotel Cerro manages to do two of what I look for the most in hotels. It manages to maintain some sort of historical component to its design while striving to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible! The hotel itself sits inside what was once called the Smith building, which goes back to the 1920s, and they maintained the historical brick facade while building a more modern interior.
The lobby designs are particularly cool as it was inspired by a vintage apothecary! The whole hotel has these really clean but cozy feeling that makes it the perfect place to unwind. It really does fit into San Luis Obsipo’s slower, coastal pace. And because there are only 65 guest rooms, it really feels like an intimate hotel.
FAQ When Booking
When is check in and check out?
Check-in is at 3:00 PM and check-out is 11:00 AM.
How close is the hotel to downtown SLO?
The hotel is right in downtown SLO, which means you can just leave the hotel and stroll around, no car needed. It’s a nice break if you’ve been on a road trip. Within minutes, we were at a few different town landmarks, restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. I have more below on what specifically to see nearby Hotel Cerro.
Where can you park near Hotel Cerro?
For an additional fee, you can utilize Hotel Cerro’s valet parking and parking garage. Otherwise there’s public parking two blocks over on Marsh Street. You’ll just need a permit from Hotel Cerro to park there overnight.
My Hotel Cerro Review
I really enjoyed Hotel Cerro and the simple, cozy atmosphere they’ve designed! Though it’s California, San Luis Obispo can be a bit chilly and rainy. We arrived after dark on our first day, and it was so nice to arrive to a hotel that felt warm and inviting. I guess one way to describe it is using hygge! Everything from the way the rooms are lit to little things like the extra knit blanket on the bed and the electric fireplace in our room were the perfect invitation to quite literally slow down!
That first night after we got dinner, I just beelined for the bathtub, turned on my fireplace, and relaxed with my book and tea. You know me, 29 going 60!
Like I said, Hotel Cerro only has 65 rooms in the whole hotel. These include guest rooms suites, and residences. I stayed in a Garden Suite, which means you just have to open your door and you’re in the Edible Gardens.
The Main Area
Let me just start with this. My room had a fireplace. That’s all!
Kidding, kidding. But really, how delightful is coming into your suite and finding an electric fireplace on the wall and perfectly situated to the side of the couch? In addition to this little corner, you’ve also got a TV, grandpa chair, and a desk area. I fully intended to pull out my laptop and work a bit at this desk but I never wound up opening it, ha!
Beside the main area is the bed and what a nice bed this was. We made the mistake of not staying a night in Carmel, so in the span of two days, I wound up driving 8 hours, and I was absolutely shattered by our last morning. All I wanted to do was stay bundled up in this bed until we absolutely had to check out.
The beds are outfitted with goose-down-filled linen duvets and 100% cotton Anichini fine bed linens, which explains why they feel like a cloud.
A moment for this glorious bathroom situation! (I didn’t capture the toilet but it’s in its own little nook and the shower is right off frame in the first photo). I love, love a good bathtub, so I was pretty excited to try this one out once we settled in for the night. The water actually comes down from the ceiling and from the tub you have a lovely view right to the fireplace. I must’ve soaked in here for well over an hour.
Hotel Cerro has all the in-room amenities you’d expect in a luxury hotel – plenty of coffee and tea, fluffy towels, even fluffier robes, shower toiletries, and more. A fun bonus is their complimentary water bottles that you can check out with. Each floor has a water station so you can refill as much as you need.
All rooms have some outdoor seating. If you’re on the garden level, it’s like a private little patio with its own fireplace. I fully planned on enjoying some coffee out here on our last morning while finishing my book, but sadly it rained! Upper level floors have nice balconies where you can look over the garden.
Run under Executive Chef Derek Brooks, Brasserie SLO is Hotel Cerro’s onsite restaurant. It focuses on modern coastal cuisine, sourcing its ingredients locally from the Central Coast and from their own garden! Chef Brooks also focuses the menu on seasonal produce. They offer brunch, lunch, and dinner and if you’re at the pool during normal hours, they offer a poolside menu as well. We got dinner here once we fully checked in and relaxed a bit in our rooms.
For seating, you can choose to sit inside in their cozy restaurant or at one of the outdoor spots. We were going to sit outside but someone nabbed the table right in front of the fireplace before us, and it was just a bit too chilly otherwise.
Luckily, Sher likes to split food too, so we decided to order two of each and share. First up were some West Coast oysters, served with apple mignonette, lemon, and spizy cocktail sauce and a baby kale salad, served with pomegranates, marinated golden beets, sliced candy stripped beats, and had this delicious citrus dressing.
As for our mains, we settled on a black truffle honey-glazed salmon and a potato gnocchi, made with mushroom and Parmesan broth and served with roasted mushrooms, broccolini, and lemon herb ricotta.
And to top dinner off, we had a seasonal crème brûlée and a burnt basque cheesecake. YUM! Perfect way to end the day after driving all the way down from San Francisco!
The Edible Garden!
By far this has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen at a hotel. You know how when you check-in, your concierge goes over the hotel quickly and mentions where things are, etc? Okay so as ours was checking us in, he said something like “And outside your doors where you’ll find an edible garden. Anything you pick, you can eat yourselves.” It caught me so off guard, I had to ask Sher later if I heard him correctly!
But I did! Outside of our doors (well outside of our little outdoor sitting area doors), there’s a gorgeous edible garden that runs the entire length of the hotel. Like I said above, the hotel really focuses on the farm-to-table experience and its gardens and green wall are a major part of that. They’re full of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and microgreens! I managed a little strawberry when we were there. The nicest part is that there are seating areas all around too, so in nice weather you can sit around and read or hang out with other members of your party if you’re in different rooms.
Extra Amenities at the Hotel
Little too cold (and rainy) for swimming, but up on the roof is a pool with plenty of loungers and a very nice view of downtown SLO! *bar there normally too*
The Fitness Center
Near the rooftop pool, you can also find a fitness center with weights and PreCor cardio equipment.
If you need a spot to fully unwind, Hotel Cerro has a lovely spa. Keeping with the hotel’s eco-friendly promises, all products are natural, vegan, paraben-free and come from brands like Little Barn Apothecary, EmerginC, Prima Fleur, and Beespa.
Nearby Hotel Cerro
Luckily, downtown SLO is very small and walkable, so it’s easy to pop out of Hotel Cerro and stroll around. When you check-in, Hotel Cerro actually has a QR code that opens up to a list of recommendations for shops, bars, restaurants, and more. Here’s what we did:
I’m not going to lie, I find the concept of bubblegum walls a little gross, but they are a bit of a thing – at least here and Seattle! Walk along Bubblegum Alley on your way to the next spot and see if you find anything interesting (besides loads of colorful chewed up gum).
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
If you’ve never heard of a Mission before, essentially Spain set up 21 of these religious outposts all along California as a way of converting Native Americans. The one in SLO was established back in 1772 and features the unique combination of a belfry and vestibule. Its use as a mission only lasted until 1842; afterwards it was used as a base of operations and SLO’s first courthouse and jail.
Today, it’s simply a cool piece of architecture that you can tour or visit the outside.
Mint + Craft
Mint + Craft is a really cute spot for breakfast and to do a little shopping. They also have some nice outdoor seating if it’s not raining when you visit. Food is locally-sourced and delicious – definitely get The SLO, a house-baked biscuit breakfast sandwich.
Where to Book
You can book here and check their offers here.
And there you have it! All you need to know in this Hotel Cerro review. I really do have to come back to get to know San Luis Obispo even better!
watch a little video of the hotel below
See more hotels and reviews under “Where She Stayed”
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