Deviating far from the style of a typical hotel in California is the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort in San Marcos, CA. Although it’s within close proximity to many of San Diego’s family friendly attractions and world famous beaches, this tranquil escape is nestled in the mountains right outside of the city. Situated around a manmade lake, it was designed to portray exactly what its name entails, according to Brett Miller, president and CEO of Eat.Drink.Sleep. in San Diego, CA, the all-inclusive hospitality management design firm that developed the property. “Our goal was to create a space reminiscent of a summer lake house, so we wanted the design to have a residential feel,” he said.

The 142-room resort, which was named one of the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S. by TripAdvisor in 2014, features breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, an 18-hole golf course, an upscale grill and plenty of additional amenities, such as the Beer Club — where guests can make reservations for groups of up to 13 people to take a shuttle tour of San Diego’s renowned craft beer district, the Hop Highway, which is only 15 minutes away, and visit several breweries.

To achieve the rustic type of design, Miller and his team utilized 8- x 48-inch tiles from Mediterranea’s Boardwalk collection in the color “Atlantic City,” which were employed in the lobby as well as for flooring in the guestrooms. The material was also used in the guestroom bathrooms for the floor and shower. Just over 30,000 square feet of tile was used from the collection, which was supplied directly from SpecCeramics, Inc. in Fullerton, CA.

“In this case, the tile actually drove a lot of the design choices,” said Miller. “We knew we wanted a lake house feeling, and when we saw the tile at the HD design show [Hospitality Design Expo], the pieces started coming together. We chose a porcelain wood tile for the in-room bathrooms, including shower floors and stalls, because we wanted to evoke the outdoor showers frequently found in summer homes.”

According to Mediterranea, the Boardwalk series perfectly evokes the unique spirit of America’s exclusive seaside resorts, premium residences and commercial destinations — and was designed to emulate the weathered hardwood planks found in these types of resort locations. Since the Boardwalk is one of, if not, the most well-known seaside destination in the country, Mediterranea named the four colors in this collection after America’s most distinctive Boardwalks — Atlantic City (Ash), Coney Island (Walnut), Myrtle Beach (Whitewash) and Venice Beach (Amber). This is also the first collection that Mediterranea introduced 8- x 48-inch tiles for, which had never been manufactured in the U.S. prior to.

Altogether, the project took one year to complete. “We spent time onsite supervising the installation [observing things like] general care, close spacing and random pattern,” said Miller.

The installation, which required four people, was completed in four months. Installers used Flextile Ltd. adhesive and grout. “We installed the tile in a random pattern to most closely match the hardwood,” said Miller. “For the installation, we wanted a more organic look versus a geometric tile pattern, so we used a 1/3 offset. This results in a staggered staircase-like design, which creates more variation than a traditional offset.”

Since the hotel was constructed a little less than two years ago, it has received nothing but rave reviews, and everyone who has visited has thoroughly enjoyed their stay. “Our guests love the tile, and the wood-look finish gives the rooms a very comfortable aesthetic,” said Miller. “The management team also likes it because it’s durable and easy to clean.”  

Lakehouse Hotel and Resort

San Marcos, CA

Developer/Installer: Eat.Drink.Sleep. (EDS), San Diego, CA

Tile Manufacturer: Mediterranea, Doral, FL

Tile Supplier: SpecCeramics, Fullerton, CA

Installation Products: Flextile Ltd., Toronto, Canada