Rosy beginnings and fabled acquisitions. Lavish openings and glamorous settings. From the very beginning, La Valencia left its mark on La Jolla and the world.
La Valencia opened its doors as an apartment hotel on December 15, 1926. While its first name, Los Apartmentos de Sevilla, was not widely used, the new apartment hotel in La Jolla was designed to integrate the finest elements of various styles of the Spanish school of architecture. The architect, Reginald Johnson, was a local man known for his integrity and knowledge of classic Spanish architecture. In 1926, with an uncertain future and great potential for failure, La Valencia’s owners, MacArthur Gorton and Roy, went out on a financial limb to build it for approximately $200,000. Despite all obstacles, the apartment-hotel opened and in a very short time things seemed to be coming up roses.
The grand opening of La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla was a lavish affair. It was the beginning of a golden era in Hollywood, and its co-owner, MacArthur Gorton, had moving picture connections; he knew the value of Hollywood’s endorsement of the hotel. To Hollywood, La Jolla was an undiscovered, unspoiled “jewel,” and its beaches and cliffs were often used for location shots. Hollywood’s stars, the nation’s Gods and Goddesses of the day, used (and still do) La Valencia as a hideout from hectic Hollywood pressures.