CA Travel Guide
We've long been a fan of James Hotels in Chicago, Soho and Miami, with their cool art, minimalist but comfortable rooms and happening nightlife so the news that they are coming to the West Coast has us, in short, thrilled.
The LA Times reports that The James Los Angeles will open in 2016 on the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienaga boulevards in a new $300 million complex called, Sunset La Cienaga, which will also have apartments, retail and eateries.
The James itself will have 286 rooms done in a "warm modernism" interior style and two James-branded bars and restaurants, including a rooftop bar. Woot! Oh and don't forget, James Hotels also offer free WiFi. Even better.
The hotel already has a website up, although it only has a press release announcing the property. This marks a return to the west for The James which used to operate a hotel in Scottsdale, which then later turned into a Mondrian before finally becoming The Saguaro, a JDV Hotel.
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If you thought it was cool that the hotel you last stayed in offered jogging maps, then wait until you hear what the Four Seasons Westlake Village is offering--the Ultimate Performance Triathlon Training Camp.
The one-time only camp will run from April 16-20 and it includes a five-day, four-night stay at the luxury hotel, just outside of Los Angeles. Guests will be trained by professional triathlete coaches in a variety of exercises along with some personalized programming at the on-site California Health and Longevity Institute that includes diagnostic testing (VO2 lung capacity tests for example), nutrition consulting and sleep and recovery education.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Renovations / San Francisco Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
We can always count on New York, Chicago and Miami for a new hotel but San Francisco? Those are few and far between. So when we got news that a new boutique hotel was opening this summer in Union Square, we immediately perked up.
The Hotel G, located on the corner of Geary and Mason Street, was formerly known as the Hotel Frank before it closed down in 2012. (We even stayed in it way back when!) So it's not exactly a new build. But after an extensive renovation of all 13 floors and 153 guest rooms, the hotel will emerge with a new design that is "simple yet functional and complements the building's unique architectural environments," said general manager, Steve Rizzo.
The hotel will also get a simple yet functional new name, The Hotel G.
Guest rooms will have "fog-colored walls, wood finishes and earthy fabrics and textiles." Expect some pops of bright color along with cool decor accents like Victorian settees (a nod to the hotel's past), vintage school house chairs, banker's lamps and mid-century writing desks. Modern amenities will include flat-screen SmartTvs, docking stations, Nespresso coffee makers and not surprisingly, complimentary WiFi.
The rooms we've peeped on the website are waaaay more subdued than the Frank's old rooms. We liked the Frank's quirky design but the G Funk Era, er, the Hotel G, is much, much, much easier on the eyes.
When the AKA Beverly Hills opened back in 2012 in the heart of the exclusive 90210 zip code, we were loving the hotel's apartment-style accommodations along with their thoughtful amenities and services like free WiFi, bike rentals, and room service by Spago. Yet in order to enjoy all this, you had to be an extended-stay guest, spending 30 days or more at the hotel. Until now.
Starting on March 21, the AKA Beverly Hills will be accepting stays of 7 days or longer. Woot! Seven days is far more doable than 30. Not to mention, more affordable. Rates starting on March 21 begin at $389 a night for a one-bedroom deluxe suite which have about 1,000-sq.ft. of space and include full kitchens, a king-sized bed, dining table, private patio, washer and dryer, and Bulgari amenities.
Compare all this to smaller rooms at other luxe hotels in Beverly Hills, that start well over $400 a night without kitchens and washer and dryers, AKA is the best deal in town yet.
[Photo: AKA Hotels]
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
The Fess Parker, a laid-back Doubletree by HIlton resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., has just finished much-needed upgrade to their 360 guest rooms and suites and we're happy to report the renovation managed to keep the resort's chill vibe but in a thoroughly modern way .
This is what the guest rooms used to look like. Um, plaid much? While we do appreciate the modern amenities, like a flat-screen TV and rolling desk chair, the rest of the room is a bit of a turn-off. Fortunately, it's all been changed.
Keep reading to see how much better the rooms look today!
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The Premier Suite
All 135 rooms and suites will be completed by the end of the year and once again interior designer Adam D. Tihany is overseeing the new decor. While we're sad to see the scene of the Troop Beverly Hills camping trip (go to 4:51) get changed, it's much needed. Here's what in store for the beloved "Pink Palace":
The many new features and amenities showcased have been designed to enhance the feeling of modernity while keeping a chic residential feel. The elegant palette features soft leathers, luxurious mohair, and opulent silks in light cream and taupe shades with silvery blue, green, and yellow accents. Rich, ebonized walnut and cerused oak furnishings complement the classic color scheme. Bespoke wall coverings and light fixtures, custom artwork in all suites, and gracious lounge seating further enhance the stylish new spaces.
Berkeley, California, known as a haven for free-spirited thinking and the intellect to back it up, may soon have a new sign on the door of one of its best-loved hotels. The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa, a dedicated landmark about to celebrate its 100th birthday, is being courted by Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
That sounds great right out of the gate. We’re thinking… the Fairmont Claremont…..catchy name, yes?
This really could be a match made in hotel heaven. Fairmont Hotels has a legacy of giving new life and 21st-century luxury to its historic hotels. Comfortably nestled in the Berkeley Hills and within the City of Oakland, the 279-room Claremont Hotel, referred to as the “Elegant Lady,” is indeed a catch.
Designed by architects Charles W. Dickey and Walter Reed, it was to be a grand resort destination and a pride of the East Bay. Locals say it still is. The building is part Tudor Revival, part Classic Revival -- or put another way – all bets are off on designing the interiors. The hotel has a prominent park-like setting with serious views to San Francisco, where Fairmont can proudly point to its other property, The Fairmont San Francisco.
While many hotel brands are getting in on the juicing trend (Kimpton Hotels just announced a hotel-wide program too), we were beyond excited to see that the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles embrace a new, healthy-eating trend with a special Paleo Menu at their Breeze restaurant, a first of its kind for a hotel restaurant.
For those not familiar, the Paleo diet is based on the food groups of our "pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors." Cavemen, really. Essentially, the diet is all meats and vegetables but only "clean" meats and vegetables, nothing processed is allowed. And sorry, dairy is not allowed either.
The diet not only claims to help with weight loss but also to help with autoimmune disorders and systemic inflammation. (Note: I personally try to follow Paleo for an autoimmune disorder that I have but goddammit, cheese is too often too good to resist.)
Like all diets, Paleo requires careful selection of ingredients (read your labels!) and time to prepare the foods. While it's possible to order around the menu options at a restaurant to meet your Paleo requirements, most of the time dining out Paleo-style can be difficult and near impossible when staying at hotels. But not at Breeze, Hyatt's all-day dining restaurant.
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UPDATE: So not China.
Today, the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, or ALIS as it's called, kicks off in Los Angeles and it's where hotel operators, owners, investors and experts will be convening over the next two days to talk about, well, duh, the latest trends in the hospitality biz. (We're particularly interested in this session tomorrow: "DESIGNING HOTELS FOR THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION")
Big-time conferences like this are also prime opportunities for hotel brands to make some import ants announcements and we've already got word that Trump Hotels is one of them.
We hear the announcement will pertain to Trump's international operations and if we had to guess, we bet it's about China. Last year, Trump designated a VP of development of China and indeed, Ivanka Trump (#HCGirlCrush) posted something about a Beijing hotel and condo project on Facebook (check her schedule at around 3pm.)
Then again, Trump (represented by Donald Trump, Jr. who will break the news today) could have something totally off the radar to announce. Either way, we're excited. We're sure it's going to be the biggest and best thing the world has ever seen.
Reality TV Hotels / The Bachelor / The Bachelor Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Santa Barbara Hotels / → All Tags
While "The Bachelor's" current
clown stud, Juan Pablo, is about to jet off to Seoul with his harem of women on the ridiculous reality dating show that you can't not watch, the last Bachelor, Sean Lowe is about to say "I Do" on live television to his scriptedtrue love, Catherine Giudici. Not surprisingly, the wedding will take place at a hotel--Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Here's what Catherine said about the planned nuptials:
"The beach is so pretty and the venue is just gorgeous!' said Catherine. 'It will be just the two of us, on the beach. Chilling out and having a great time."
Yes, just the two of you on the beach and MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WATCHING AT HOME.
That said, she is right about the hotel being a gorgeous venue as the hotel has five different, outdoor spots where folks can get married. While Sean and Catherine will get hitched on the beach, the resort also allows for weddings in various gardens and lawns, including the Monte Vista Lawn where the Santa Ynez mountains serve as a backdrop.
It's been a while but finally, a new hotel is coming to San Francisco's South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood on Channel Street between 3rd and 4th streets and one block away from AT&T Park where the Giants play ball. This will actually be a 15-story, four-star, full-service, "premium-branded" lifestyle hotel with 250 hotel rooms and built to LEED Gold standards.
The only question is--who's going to run it?
The property was acquired by SOMA Hotel LLC, a privately held hotel development company, which is an affiliate of the Stanford Hotels Group, a company with several big hotel brand names in their portfolio.
With the project aiming to begin construction later this year (with an opening in 2016), hopefully we won't have to wonder much longer.
Got any insider info on which hotel brand will run this new building? Tip us off!
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has always been a fave hangout for celebrities du jour (remember the days of Teddy's?) but we never knew the hotel's pool area was so chill that a boybander could hang with his friends and not get accosted by a ton of screaming fans.
That's exactly what happened with Harry Styles of One Direction the other day. Paparazzi shots show him lounging poolside with his
heinous tattoos signature floppy hair and Calvin Klein undies on full display. Joining him were It fashion girl, Alexa Chung and rock royalty's Pixie Geldof.
According to the Daily Mail, Styles hung poolside for a whopping three hours, largely unnoticed, except by the paparazzi. A fan would come by here and there and Styles would oblige with an autograph or photo. Indeed, one fan got a snap with Styles at the entrance to the Hollywood hotel.
This is quite a contrast to the last time One Direction visited a hotel. Hmm, maybe Harry isn't so hot after all. Strength in numbers, we guess.
Interested in kicking it poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt? You're in luck. Not only is it extremely warm in LA these days, rooms are open at the hotel this weekend during the Grammy festivities. Rates start at $309 a night but you can split that rate with your most loyal 1D friends.
[Photo composite: HotelChatter]