Cambria, United States

White Water

Price per night from$528.54

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD528.54), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Scandi surf


Mystical Moonstone Beach

White Water is a seaside lodge in central California with adventure-ready surroundings and serious design cred (the interiors by Nina Freudenberger are the last word in coastal cool). The front door is steps from a stretch of surf-blessed beach, a five-minute bike ride from Cambria’s quaint cafes and fifteen minutes by car from the Paso Robles wine region. Inside, you’ll find Aesop bath products, Erewhon goodies in the minibar and fresh pastries delivered daily to your door.  This former motel may be just off Highway 1, but it’s a stop so spoiling you won’t want to put it in the rear view.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of sparkling wine


Photos White Water  facilities

Need to know


25, including three suites.


11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.


Double rooms from £267.79 ($348), including tax at 12.695 per cent.

More details

Rates include free coffee and pastries delivered to your room every morning. For heartier breakfast fare, you’ll need to head into town (it’s just five minutes by bike).


The highly curated shelves in the lobby double as a general store – those design books, vintage vases and beach blankets are all available to buy.

At the hotel

Free WiFi, public beach in reach, boutique, library with board games and vintage magazines, Linus bikes to borrow. In rooms: TV, Aesop bath products and an indulgent mini bar with local wines and Erewhon goodies.

Our favourite rooms

You’ll feel like you’re bedding down in a magazine spread no matter which room you’re in – the interiors are an inspired mix of Baltic birch wood, beach-house whites and organic textures. The Ocean View King rooms merit special mention for their panoramic views of the Pacific and outdoor soaking tub so you can stargaze by night.

Packing tips

A rash guard if you plan to brave the breakers and a fleece for dawn whale-watching missions.


All common areas and a number of Double Queen and Premier King rooms are wheelchair accessible.


Dogs are welcome but need to stay on a lead at all times – there’s a charge of $100 per booking and a $150 charge for pooches over 40lbs. You can’t take dogs directly on Moonstone beach, but they’ll be more than happy bouncing along the boardwalk. See more pet-friendly hotels in Cambria.


All ages are welcome, but it’s definitely better suited to adventurous teens who want to hike or hang ten.

Food and Drink

Photos White Water  food and drink

Top Table

By the windows, for views of rolling dunes and white-capped waves.

Dress Code

Come-as-you-are casual.

Hotel restaurant

There’s no full-service restaurant on site, but the lobby serves a selection of small bites and sharing plates like cheese fondue and charcuterie. 


Hotel bar

The petite bar in the lobby lounge has striped wallpaper in a rusty hue, beer on tap and a terrazzo countertop. You’ll also find local wines from their favourite vineyards in Paso Robles, ciders and spirits. Ask about the daily happy hour deals and plan your day accordingly.

Last orders

Food and drinks are available in the lobby from noon to 9.30pm daily.

Room service

There’s no room service, but there are Erewhon snacks, chocolate, local wine and craft beers in your minibar to stave off hunger pangs after dark.


Photos White Water  location
White Water
6736 Moonstone Beach Dr
United States

White Water is ensconced in the evergreens above Moonstone Beach in Cambria, just off California’s scenic Highway 1.


There’s a small airport in San Luis Obispo (a 50-minute drive from the hotel), but you’ll need to connect through a larger hub like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas or Denver.


The Amtrak station in San Luis Obispo offers daily service by the Coast Starlight train (which travels between Los Angeles and Seattle) and the Pacific Surfliner (which travels along the coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego).


Hit the ignition – Cambria is equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco (about three and a half hours from each) on the famous Highway 1, so it’s the perfect overnight stop for both you and your little red Corvette. And, being a former roadside inn, there’s plenty of free parking on site.

Worth getting out of bed for

If you’ve brought your board, you can find some of the central coast's best surfing on naturally secluded Moonstone Beach. There can be strong swells so it’s best suited to intermediate or advanced riders. If you prefer to stay dry, you can borrow one of the hotel’s Linus bikes and explore the boardwalk. The scenic, looping trails at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve wind through pine forest, rolling grasslands and have stunning views of the coast – you might get lucky and spot a migrating whale (yelling ‘ahoy’ is optional but strongly recommended). 

Fifteen minutes’ drive up the coast is Xanadu-like Hearst Castle, the former newspapers tycoon’s mind-boggling mansion that houses more art and antiquities than you could ever see in a day (plus a herd of zebras, for some reason). Or wend your way to the exciting wine region of Paso Robles – book ahead for tastings and tours at Tablas Creek, Tin City and Austin Hope.

Local restaurants

Head to Hidden Kitchen for their famous blue corn waffles, tacos and superfood smoothies (the Cambria location is only open on weekends, but the Cayucos location twenty minutes’ drive south is open six days a week). Unabashedly kitsch Sea Chest is the place for a plate of oysters and sea views from the patio. Madelines on Main Street has a bit more romance, plus a bottle shop selling boutique wines.

Local bars

Mozzi’s is the last cowboy saloon standing in Cambria, complete with taxidermy, a jukebox and a pool table – yee haw. 922 is a micro-brewery that makes some of central California’s best IPAs, ales and stouts (they’ve even got growlers to-go for your hotel room enjoyment).


Photos White Water  reviews
Claire Mazur

Anonymous review

By Claire Mazur, Design hunter

Almost as if we’d timed it (we, of course, hadn’t; we’re simply not that organized), our car rounded the corner onto Cambria’s beachfront main drag right as the sun was beginning its descent. Couples sipped wine on patios facing the beach and strolled hand-in-hand along the idyllic boardwalk as the colors of the sky turned pink and orange, waves lapped against the shore and wetsuit-clad surfers emerged from their final runs of the day. Suddenly, the four-year-old dozing in our backseat seemed incongruous and terribly out of place—were Mr Smith and I nuts to have brought our young kid to this tiny town where the vibes appeared to be strictly grown-up romance? We’d planned a coastal road trip to see family in late August and had chosen Cambria as a midway stopping point at least in part because we figured that our fairy-tale-loving son was likely to be charmed by a visit to Hearst Castle (a real-life palace!) and delighted by the opportunity to see elephant seals up close on the side of Highway 1.

As we pulled into the driveway at White Water, we longingly eyed the bikes to borrow parked out front, knowing that particular activity probably wasn’t in the cards for us. But as we made our way to the lobby, our fears started to recede—cornhole out front, comfy couches and vintage board games inside, and a cute bar with drinks for us and snacks for our kid gave us a welcome glimpse into what happy hours were going to look like for our family for the next couple of days. Our room proved to be even more deceptively well-suited for our baby on board. Imagine his delight upon the discovery of an outdoor tub, the bathtime potential beyond his wildest dreams. Or how special he felt when a staff member gamely delivered extra pillows and blankets to our door, so he could construct his own special sleeping fort on the built-in window seat positioned for optimal beach views. Then, of course, there was the gas fireplace he could switch on and off himself, the handheld lantern he could tote around like a real-life explorer, and the fenced-in patio with an elevated day-bed that he mistook for a stage where he could perform one-man shows for us and his stuffed animals. It was almost as if they’d known he was a Wizard of Oz superfan when they delivered breakfast to our doorstep in a wicker basket with blue gingham lining—just like Dorothy’s. In lieu of Toto, they’d filled it to the brim with blueberry scones, a Thermos full of coffee, and the makings of mimosas for us, orange juice for him. The whole thing was, as the kids say, low-key quite child-friendly. 

And, of course, they’d kept the adults in mind, too. I felt, as the kids also say: very seen (almost too seen?) by every detail—and oh, were there details. Design-y textiles from hip and influential women-led brand Blockshop? Check. My very favorite, sort-of-obscure candle, Big Sur by Norden? Check. Chocolate-covered almonds from Dick Taylor, the brand that New York Times food critic Pete Wells deemed the very best in an extensive survey of the field? Check. Bags of Torres, the fancy-potato-chip brand that people ooh and ahh over at parties? Check. Bottles of Aesop products in the bathroom? Check. By the time I unearthed the Erewhon-brand nuts in the snack bar, I had to laugh. Millennials gonna millennial and I am a millennial. We like what we like. And we like nice things. 

You know what else we liked? Marking our first night in town with a dinner at Sea Chest Oyster Bar, a classic small-town spot that’s a 10-minute stroll via the boardwalk from the hotel. It doesn't accept reservations or credit cards, and the wait is long, but a giant fire pit, a couple glasses of wine and a mega-sized Connect Four set kept all three of us entertained while we waited our turn to indulge in steamers and chowder. In the days that followed, we feasted on sublime tacos at Hidden Kitchen and towering sandwiches at Sebastian’s. We took long drives up the famed stretch of Highway 1 en route to Big Sur, stopping each time a sign marked 'vista' invited us to, and making a habit of collecting increasingly cheesy souvenirs from every gas station—how can you not buy a fridge magnet in the shape of a mini California license plate with your kid’s name on it? All in all, it was a classic California road trip in every way, and I would have hated for anyone in our little brood to have missed out on it. It was, as the olds say, fun for the whole family.

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Price per night from $528.54