CA Travel Guide

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Hotel Figueroa to Suffer a Modern Makeover Next Year

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  Site Where: 939 South Figueroa Street #930 [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

File under things you already knew: Downtown LA is, apparently, the place to be. File under things you might not have known: Downtown LA has the best preserved pre-1950s buildings in the United States. Really! When you wander around like we did the other week, saying “Why, it’s like Chicago, but better,” it really is. Which is why we’re sad to hear of the renovations coming up at one of its most historic hotels, the Figueroa.

This HC member only got her first glimpse of the Fig this month, but one foot in the door was enough to know it was true love*. The coffin-shaped pool. The Moroccan interiors. The belly dancers entertaining a Christmas party in the bar, while off duty cops ate in the kasbah-like lobby. It was like a film set. My god, this is what America is all about!

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Rocking Around The Morro Rock at The Anderson Inn in Morro Bay

December 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

As you set off to do your last-minute holiday shopping/card-sending/gift-wrapping/eggnog-chugging, we'll leave you with this killer view from room 207 at the Anderson Inn in Morro Bay, Calif. near San Luis Obispo.

There’s only eight rooms at the inn, which sits directly on the water at Morro Bay but almost every room has an up close and personal view of the Morro Rock and the (somewhat loud) sea lions that swim around it. If you're doing the whole "driving along California coast" sometime in 2015, then consider this a must-stop.

Morro Bay itself is about three hours north of Los Angeles and 45 minutes south of San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle. It's an incredibly small little town, with knick-knack touristy stores and salt water taffy shops lining the main drag, which probably has seen better days.

But The Anderson Inn has modern-designed rooms with flat screen TVs, super soft bedding and giant showers with body sprays. These come in handy when you've been on the road for a while. Or even for just a few hours.

Put it this way, if nearby Madonna Inn might be too scary kitschy for you, then The Anderson Inn will be just your style.

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Inside The Long-Awaited Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage Near Palm Springs

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  Site Where: 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, 92270
December 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM | by | Comments (5)

It is always a bit surreal to step inside a hotel or resort that you've spent months or years hyping up--you know how we do it--poring over renderings, searching for possible opening dates, hunting for room amenities and cycling through the reservations system to find out the opening rates for different room types.

But when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs last month, that strangeness was heightened because the resort took more than seven years to open.

In fact, the resort was mostly finished in 2008 but then the financial crisis hit and since one of the hotel's backers just happened to be Lehman Brothers (RIP), the Ritz-Carlton was put on hold. The hotel was locked up--but fully secured and with air conditioning--for the next seven years until new owners (and money) were found to finish up the resort.

It finally opened for real in May. And yes, some of the rooms look exactly like the initial room renderings we saw back in 2007.

Yet despite all those years hidden away, half-finished and neglected, the resort has emerged as a bright, shiny desert gem.

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Get on Your Bike and Tour Downtown at the Ace DTLA

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 16, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

There was one thing we missed while skulking around the Ace DTLA last week; we were so entranced by the gingerbread hotel that we totally missed the bikes in the lobby.

Not just any bikes, either (obviously – this is the Ace); they’re bikes from tokyobike.

This isn’t the first collaboration with tokyobike for Ace; the London hotel has them for guests to use. But unlike London, which is all cold and full of British reserve and lets guests get on with it by themselves, the Ace DTLA is all fuzzy and friendly and American – so they are giving free guided bike tours of Downtown LA.

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The Ace DTLA Is Almost Too Cool for Christmas, But Not Quite

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 12, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in hotel-land. Trees. Baubles. Gingerbread houses. Scented candles – they have it all. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be picking out some of our favorite decorations. Got some OTT trees of your own? Send ‘em in to tips@hotelchatter.com!

What does a hipster hotel do for Christmas? Well, if it’s the Ace DTLA, the answer is that it eschews the traditional tree (so bourgeois!) in favor of a stylish, understated nod to the holiday season.

Enter the Christmas gifts on top of the photo booth, above, which went up a couple of days ago.

But the Ace isn’t really too cool for school, and it can’t resist a good old gingerbread house anymore than the posh hotel across the pond. So down at the Coffee Counter (at the entrance to LA Chapter, the restaurant), you’ll find this glorious representation of the hotel itself:

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How to Evacuate Your Hotel With Style, By the Ace Downtown LA

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Evacuated hipsters milling around

You never know how you’ll react in an emergency until it happens. Will you freeze? Will you morph into an action hero? Or will you be a little scared and a little excited and start obsessing over the fact that your teeth aren’t clean #notushonest #okmaybeus?

Yesterday morning we were working in our room on floor 12 of the Ace DTLA when the fire alarm went off. Try as we might to ignore it, we joined the bleary-eyed hipsters stumbling out of their rooms. It turned out to be a smoke alarm on the 13th floor, but we were all evacuated anyway. It was our first hotel evacuation! The excitement! And it was pretty spectacular. After some reflection on why it was so good, we present:

The Official HotelChatter Guide to Evacuating Hotels

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Rooms with an Anti-View: Coming Soon to the Beverly Hills Hotel?

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  Site Where: 9641 Sunset Blvd [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
November 28, 2014 at 9:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

The sign of anti-views to come? On a recent stroll down Sunset Boulevard we couldn't help but notice some work going on across the street from The Beverly Hills Hotel. Sitting on one of the most in-your-face positions on Sunset and a major commuter route between LA and the Valley, is this less than lovely, walled mini-mansion that may become a permanent view from many of the hotel's guest rooms.

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Ace Hotel Los Angeles to Screen 'Inherent Vice' on December 1 (And Guests Get a Free Ticket)

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
November 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, which opened nearly a year ago, is making seriously good use of the historic United Artists Theater that's adjacent to the property. In September, Coldplay hosted a special concert for their latest album release and now, a special preview of Paul Thomas Anderson's surf noir based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon.

The movie/book is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows a private investigator/pothead named Doc through a series of strange criminal adventures. So it's only fitting that the movie will screen at the Ace DTLA with Anderson and actors Jena Malone and Joanna Newsom in attendance.

Even better, guests who are staying at the hotel that night will get a free ticket to the screening and custom vinyl records of the film score by Johnny Greenwood. Rooms are still open on December 1 for around $240 a night but if you use the promo code Doc, you'll get a medium room for just $200.

Expect to see more of "Inherent Vice" at the Ace in LA and also in New York and London as gallery exhibitions expanding on the "Inherent Vice" themes will open.

[Photo: Lindsey Best/Ace Hotel DTLA]

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Here's Hoping We Can Seek Mama Shelter in Los Angeles in February

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  Site Where: 1557 Wilcox Avenue [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90028
November 12, 2014 at 1:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Under construction in August. Mama Shelter Hotels are on a roll right now. First, there came the news that you can bring Mama home with you in the form of skincare products. Then, Accor Hotels acquired a 35 percent stake in the Philippe Starck-designed hotel collection, and within that announcement, we learned that the first U.S. house for Mama, Mama Shelter Los Angeles will open in February 2015. That's just a few months away!

Sadly, there's not much else to report other than the opening date. The hotel is still hiring key positions and it's still under construction. We pray that this will all be finished by February.

In the meantime, we did stumble across this description of the hotel by its developer, Benjamin Trigano in LA Confidential.

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A Fire Damaged Church May Be Revived Into 'The Most Luxurious Hotel in Palm Springs'

November 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

In September of 2013, Palm Springs lost one of its most treasured buildings to fire, the Community Church of Palm Springs, a city landmark dating back to 1935. The photo below shows the church post-fire. Also damaged was the adjacent Orchid Tree Inn property which included several historic bungalows.

So now, what better news could we share other than not only are these endangered buildings being saved, they are getting a new life as a luxury hotel, The Orchid Tree Resort and Spa.

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Behold The First Photos of the Palm Springs Hotel, Now Opening November 10

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  Site Where: 2135 N Palm Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
November 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s getting close! Last time we heard about the Palm Springs Hotel, it was taking reservations for a 23 November opening, having hit a construction snag for its planned August opening date. But things have forged ahead, and the hotel is now taking reservations from 10 November. Not only that, but the first pictures have finally arrived. And they’re exciting.

Subtle throwbacks to midcentury modern, but not in an overly kitsch way. Modern, but classically so – it’s beautifully pitched. Simple, stone (unless that’s wood) flooring, flashes of color and Palm Springs legends on the walls. And this bathroom!

Take us there now.

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Amanda Bynes is Spooking West Hollywood Hotels

October 31, 2014 at 5:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

When Amanda Bynes was placed under psychiatric care last summer after some outrageous incidents in NYC and LA, we thought, "Good. The girl is going to get the help she desperately needs." We also made a mental note that her best celebrity performance in hotels would be just a one-off win. We were wrong.

Amanda escaped was recently released from a second stint in a psychiatric hospital the other day and immediately took to the streets of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. That adventure alone signals she is still not well.

TMZ reported that Amanda was looking to find a place to stay in one of the hotels that line Sunset but was turned away. So she settled for chowing down at Mel's Diner, where a waitress promptly asked for money first then told TMZ everything Amanda ate and what she said.

Now, today TMZ reveals it was The London West Hollywood where Amanda was turned away. But she didn't take the diss lightly.

Sources tell [TMZ] Bynes attempted to snag a room at the London hotel as she meandered the streets on the Sunset Strip Thursday, but when she got there she was turned away. Amanda has stayed there before and caused big problems.

[TMZ was] told Amanda became angry, grabbed a giant wad of cash, and tossed the bills into the air in the direction of the front desk.

Despite how badly we feel for Amanda, we completely agree with the hotel on this blacklisting.

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