It was supposed to be top secret, but most of the city knew that several years ago Madonna came to town and stayed at Hotel Parisi in La Jolla. This month, the eclectic, 29-room getaway (named after its Del Mar-based designer) is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Ever since the Material Girl first laid her head on a on a goose-down pillow and crawled under Egyptian cotton linens, a list of celebs have come and gone, including: the inimitable Raquel Welch, TV personality Jillian Barberie, prototypical supermodel Cindy Crawford, Playmate of the Year Jade Nicole, Chargers Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson and hip-hoppy Pharrell Williams (from N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes). Many celebs opt to stay in one the of apartment-style Parisi Apart rooms.
Hotel Parisi owners Sue and Peter Wagener are proud of the boutique property’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint—they buy nearly 300,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits, and have a key-card-activated system that ensures guest room lights turn off when vacated, among other programs.
Two years ago, the hotel added high-technology meeting space, including a 1,200 square foot conference center, with a 65-inch LCD flat-screen TV for video and Web conferencing; you can even join a virtual conference from your hotel room.
The Wageners are keeping the anniversary celebration low-key. “We’re just glad to still be in business,” says Sue Wagener.
I prodded for an amusing anecdote centered on celebrity guest hijinks, but could only get a story about a Middle Easterner who booked three rooms and requested self-washing toilets be installed. It was done, but the guest wound up not showing up. He nonetheless paid for the rooms, and the potties—which Peter Wagener later sold.
Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.