Sunday, June 7, 2009

El Primero Hotel

This was the only press release I over wrote to break the standard short-n-simple form. When I helped my girlfriend first move to So-So Cal, and I was still living in Mississippi, we ended up staying several nights at the El Primero Hotel - which is really a casual Bed-and-Breakfast - and were blown away at how nice the Roque family was. The owners impressed us. Four members of the family ran it while we were there - both parents and two of their daughters. Father Rufino "Pie" is active and well-respected in the Chula Vista community, and together with Sol, his wife, they make a formidable team. While I was there, I spent many happy hours writing on their patio - which is simply beautiful. During several conversations with members of the family, I offered to do the press release for the people who ran such a wonderful place. Yes, the release is out of the ordinary, but so is the El Primero. It also garnered them some attention. And for the record, the patio at the El Primero is my all-time, no-questions-asked favorite place in which to write.

News release: December 30, 2006

Chula Vista’s historic “El Primero Boutique B&B Hotel” celebrates first grand re-opening anniversary.

Following the dramatic renovation that began more than a year ago, the El Primero Hotel marks its first anniversary of operation with pride.

Since its transformation into the hotel’s third stage of life – following its roles as historic downtown keystone and troubled, unsafe eyesore – the El Primero and its owners, the Roque family of Chula Vista, who bought the building in 2004, has garnered numerous recognitions from the community. The City of Chula Vista awarded its first-ever Historic Preservation Award to the hotel, and it received the Mayor’s 2005 Neighborhood Beautification Award. Owner Rufino “Pie” Roque was named the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year, was given the Maria Clara de Pilipinas Sorority (MCPS) V.I.P. Award for Business as well as Outstanding Achievement Award by the Univ. of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) San Diego Chapter.

The hotel has been singled out as a model among hotels in the city for safety. According to the Chula Vista Police Department, the El Primero was the only hotel in the city to have not needed police or emergency calls in 2005 – 2006, a far cry from its reputation as ‘the worst hotel in the city’ as recently as 2003.

The El Primero has been featured on San Diego’s KUSI-TV news. Featured articles have been written about the hotel in the San Diego Union-Tribune South, Chula Vista Living, MDM magazine, and the local Star News. Arizona-based magazine, Scottsdale, named El Primero one of the five best places to stay in the San Diego area. Of the five, it was the only one not in San Diego proper and was the only B&B listed.

Partly due to its role as historic Chula Vista landmark and partly due to owner Roque’s love of the area, the El Primero is the only hotel in the region that promotes San Diego County’s rich history, with room names chosen to reflect historical places and events, and with in-room information provided about them.

During its first new year, the hotel has hosted guests from nearly half the fifty states, from France, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Puerto Rico, Australia, England, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines. The mayor of Beaufort-en-Vallee, France, was a recent guest, along with visiting executives from Hitachi, Sanyo, and American Water, and 2005-2006 off-road racing champion Johnny Greaves. The El Primero has been the site of a “Titanic Tea Party,” a reunion for Peace Corps volunteers, weddings, and birthday celebrations. Many business and leisure travelers make this small unique hotel their home away from home and guests – especially the ‘Bed & Breakfast clientele’ – rave about the cozy atmosphere, the light gourmet breakfast, and the comfortable beds.

For more information: Contact Pie or Sol Roque (owners/innkeepers), at (619) 948-5852 or (619) 948 5852, E-mail: pie (at) elprimerohotel (dot) com


  1. Hello Nick!

    I've been searching through the internet for article write about our family's hotel and stumbled upon this entry. Thank you for your kind words. I've taken on the social networking department for El Primero hotel + would love invite you to follow us on Facebook + Twitter @elprimerohotel! Thanks!!!


    -Katie Lee

  2. Hi, Katie! Everything I said about the El Primero is true. The patio is truly my no-questions, A-number-1 place to write in the world. I've never found a place better.

    I also must say that I really love the Roque family. I'm happy to say that, in addition to both Pie and Sol, I've met all three of your sisters.

    I'm fairly certain you're the only one I haven't met yet. In the meantime, I'll happily follow/friend you on FB and Twitter!