Built in 1930 for John and Lilly Ratcliffe by the Dennstedt Construction Company the Hotel boosts amenities such as steam heat, and hot and cold running water. The building construction incorporates modern practices such as use of fire-retardant materials and carpeting throughout. The El Primero is one of two zigzag modern design structures in Chula Vista with an art deco flair interior. According to local historians, the Dennstedt family of three brothers were reputedly the first "German Boat People" that migrated from Germany. Building their own 14-foot boat they set sail to North America in the 1840s and landed in New York. Migrating to Canada, young Albert Lawrence (AL) Dennstedt later found his way into Minnesota and eventually settled in California. Aside from building the first modern hotel, the El Primero in Chula Vista, AL also pioneered apartment building concepts in the area.
Purchased in 2004 by Pie & Sol Roque, this Chula Vista keystone was restored back to its art deco roots. The inn provides 19 guest bed rooms, each named after a San Diego landmark (i.e. Balboa Park and Sunset Cliffs) and has had many patrons from 55 countries. If you are looking for modern touches with the comforts of a bed & breakfast, please stop by for a free tour!!!!