Manhattan Beach Travel Guide
Looking for an eco-friendly choice in the land of Smog? Consider the Belamar Hotel , a recently renovated hotel in sun-kissed Manhattan Beach, land of volleyball players, surfers and stereotypical Californians--blonde haired, blue-eyed, health nuts.
The hotel just debuted a $2.2 million renovation featuring a new lobby, new restaurant called Second Story and some swanky meeting facilities. The overhaul has been defined by "bright colors, mod-style furniture and iconic artwork."
The guest rooms have gotten new bedding with down comforters and tons of pillows. There's also free WiFi (woot!) throughout the property.
Even better, enlightened travelers flying through LAX can check their departing or arriving flight status on the Center's FlyteBoard monitors, and can print out their boarding passes directly from the system.
And the price is right with room rates starting at $159 a night. There is one negative: The hotel is located on Sepulveda which is a tad inland from the actual beach, but it's nothing a fun beach cruiser can't fix.
If you aren't too keen on staying in touristy (and a bit dirty) Santa Monica, jump on the 405 South and head on down to Manhattan Beach, land of the Beach Boys.
The Shade Hotel--"It's cooler in the shader"--is a 38-room luxury boutique hotel just a block from the quintessential California beach experience.
With rooms starting at $250, you can choose from the deluxe spa room, with or without fireplaces, the deluxe spa suite, the executive suite and the penthouse suite. All rooms come with Tempurpedic beds, a multifunctional rolling desk, balcony seating, Lavazza® expresso machine cocktail shaker "for your personal sundowner," a 2 person Sanijet colortherapy spa tub or a rain shower.
Designed by Christopher Lowell, the hotel is "awash in textured wood, dual-purpose accessories and fiber optics with color."
''I did it so people could see what the future looks like and then duplicate over and over,'' he explains.
Um...right. Which way to the beach?