A California landmark’s legacy is kept alive with charming event spaces.  

Image courtesy of Pinterest

During our stay in Long Beach, California for The Special Event (TSE) conference earlier this year, we fell in love with the beautiful and historic Breakers Hotel. Since its grand opening as a luxury oceanfront hotel in 1926, Breakers Hotel has had a storied journey to its present-day glory. Between 1930 and 1964, the hotel changed hands – and names – several times, eventually closing and reopening three years later as a retirement hotel. The building was eventually designated as a historical landmark in 1989; today its guest rooms are closed, but the building is now home to several wedding and event spaces, and The Sky Room restaurant and Up Lounge.

Image courtesy of Martin Turnbull

Our night out at The Sky Room and Up Lounge was utterly unique, and completely inspiring. The entire experience of a trip up through the largely closed-off building is equal parts charming, faded glamour and haunted house intrigue, and there’s plenty of visual inspiration from the moment you step beneath the vintage red canopy at the staircase entrance. Through the doors, a bellhop waits by the elevators, at the far end of a long hallway. The elevator operator who escorted our group up toward the restaurant and lounge indulged our fascination and curiosity by allowing us to step out briefly on one of the vacant guest room floors, for a quick glimpse into the building’s former life.

Image courtesy of The Sky Room

The Sky Room is located on the fifteenth floor, and that means stunning views of the city along with the delicious food and art deco décor that complements the building’s architecture, and stays true to its historic roots. Travelling past the restaurant to Up Lounge is another experience in itself – we climbed a narrow, winding staircase with sightlines all the way down to the bottom floor. Seated in Up Lounge, we took in 360 degree views of Long Beach over hand-crafted cocktails, and soaked up the Día de Muertos design of the lounge space – we especially loved the Spanish-style shutters, sconces, and wall decor, as well as wall alcoves staged like traditional altars.

As guests, we loved the immersive overall experience, and as event professionals, we appreciated the fact that beautiful and creative event spaces have maintained the legacy and character of the hotel. Have you visited the Breakers Hotel? We’d love to hear about your experience, as well as other recommendations for inspiring spaces to visit on our next trip to SoCal, in the comments!