CA Travel Guide
This morning, we rounded up some of the planned luxury hotels coming to this world and while we're excited to stay in those future hotels, that's, like, years away at this point. We need something to satiate our new hotel fix now. Luckily, we don't have to fly around the world--just to Los Angeles. Here are three hotels that are now taking reservations:
· The Line Hotel, Los Angeles: The first Korean-American-inspired hotel in Los Angeles will open now on September 16. Rates on the website are going for about $349 a night, $319 if you use your AAA card. Inside the hotel will be a bar from the Houston Brothers, food options by Chef Roy Choi of the famous Kogi Korean BBQ food trucks and a "carefully curated" art boutique concept store. Los Angeles based designer Sean Knibb did the interiors.
· The Moment, Hollywood: This hotel was supposed to have its big moment in February but now it's happening on June 1. An introductory offer, called "Start Your Moment", has rates at $239 a night and includes two drinks on the Moment Roofdeck, breakfast for two and the staff's Hot Hollywood picks on sights, bites and activities.
· Palihouse Santa Monica: We got the scoop in March on the third hotel from the Paligroup set in a residential nabe of Santa Monica. Now it's your turn to peep the goods, starting on June 1. Rates are going for $299 a night and yes, that includes free WiFi.
[Photo courtesy of Paligroup]
The Kimpton Palm Springs will be an entirely new build hotel on North Palm Canyon Drive with 190 hotel rooms and a rooftop bar and pool, a first for the area. There will also be a "chef-driven restaurant", over 24,000 square feet total of event and meeting space and great views of Mount San Jacinto State Park from all angles. Oh and don't forget about the nightly wine hour and the free WiFi for Kimpton InTouch members!
We've got a ways to wait as the hotel won't open until 2015 but knowing Kimpton, it will be worth it. In the meantime, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is still set to open in the Fall. Admittedly, we're more of Kimpton's target clientele than Hard Rock but a new hotel is a new hotel!
Sorry, horses. You're not needed anymore, not even for those nostalgic horse-drawn carriage rides.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, a hotel brand known for their cutting-edge technology and high-flying modes of transportation, is now ferrying their guests around town in these souped up motorcycle-drawn carriages from 7 Wheel Wonders. The hog portion of the vehicle usually resembles a classic car, while the coach part resembles the old coaches of Jane Austen and Cinderella's time. That's the '57 Chevy above and the Old Hollywood in red below. Each ride comes with two "coach concierges" along with drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Right now, the rides are currently offered to guests partaking in the hotel's treasure hunt, i.e. mostly families, but there's a possibility the rides will be offered to all hotel guests who want to experience an old-timey mode of transportation with a little flair...and an engine roar. Rates at the hotel start around $450 a night.
If bartenders these days are to be believed, Prohibition was not the dangerous, skeevy, Mob-controlled booze era that history books and Hollywood movies have shown us. No, no – cocktailing during Prohibition was sexy and elegant, and when a bar today really wants to prove its mixology credentials, it rolls out a special Prohibition cocktail menu. The latest one to do so is The Georgian, Santa Monica’s distinctive Deco hotel and former hangout of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and other Hollywood greats.
This is the scene these days on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and as you can see, The Viceroy Santa Monica is right in the thick of the construction zone (without having any work done to its own building.)
The construction, which has made this stretch of Ocean Avenue from Pico to Colorado a pain to get through, is all for the Ocean Avenue South, a luxury apartment project from Related Companies, with 318 residences as well as retail, restaurants and walkable plazas. The sales launch for the units should launch this summer with construction going for at least a year beyond that.
Which means that the entire north side of the Viceroy looks out onto a building site and much of its entrance is slowed down by the traffic caused by this annoying scene. While the Le Merigot Hotel and The Loews Hotel also have to put up with ugly construction views, at least their properties are across the street from the actual jackhammering.
Fortunately for the Viceroy, the noise doesn't seem to be bothering too many guests. All of their recent TripAdvisor reviews are really positive except this one which said the construction made it hard to enjoy being outside by the pool. The hotel's director of rooms wrote that work is "expected to lessen."
We sincerely hope so.
Rates this weekend start at around $300.
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A brand new hotel has opened in the heart of Beverly Hills, just steps from the famed Rodeo Drive. Earlier this month, Sirtaj, has opened its door in one of America's most famous zip codes. Well kinda, since, technically, this is in 90212, but who's counting?
The super trendy digs feature 32 rooms with free WiFi and creature comforts like Egyptian cotton linens. If the welcome cocktail isn't enough and you just need to raid the minibar, expect SoCal goodies as the custom mini-bars are stocked with locally-sourced treats .Oh, and java-addicts will appreciate the in-room LavAzza coffee-machines to prevent any dropping after Rodeo-Drive shopping.
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Once again, here's your semi-regular update on the Los Angeles hotel scene....
The Loews Santa Monica: We've been chronicling the exterior update to the Loews Santa Monica since the beginning of the year. The other day we drove by at sundown and noticed special light projections on the exterior as well as a living wall. Pretty! But it turns out changes were happening on the inside as well. Guestrooms have new glass balconies that enable better enjoyment of the Pacific Ocean views. Later this year the pool will get premium poolside cabana rooms and beach-level rooms that will have residential-style patios, complete with fire pits. Rates at the hotel start at $498 a night for a weekend in mid-May. Ocean view rooms are more at $588.
The Moment: Last we checked in on The Moment, the new boutiquey hotel in Hollywood (above), the place had missed its planned February opening. Looking on the hotel website today, we still can't book a room for tonight or later this weekend or the first of May. We were, however, able to find a room in mid-May for $235 a night for a queen bed. That includes free WIFi and complimentary bikes. While the website may not have room rezzies open for tonight at this time, it does sport some cool new photos of the rooms. If you can splurge, the king suite patio at 600-sq.ft. looks the coolest with two flat-screen TVs and even a Keurig machine.
Oceana Santa Monica General Manager, Christoph Moje
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Located on Pershing Square, the hotel was designed by the same firm as the Waldorf-Astoria, and its richly-decorated interiors are appropriately over-the-top.
For example, Rendezvous Court (which originally functioned as the main lobby) was inspired by a Spanish cathedral, and features vaulted wood ceilings, Italian travertine stone walls, and a bronze double staircase. The impressive space was even featured on a recent episode of Glee!
Wandering through the hotel's opulent ballrooms (there are four total), we came across a bizarre feature in the Gold Room, a large banquet room that's divided into an upper and lower half by a semi-circular balustrade. And at the far end of the room, we noticed that a small door had been left ajar. Not one to pass up the opportunity to act out an Indiana Jones scene, we peeked inside and realized (to our delight) that we had discovered a secret passageway leading to another part of the hotel!
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Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.
Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!
We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.
Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.
More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.
Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!
We think the ketchup art, while potty-mouth language, does sum up this week in a nutshell, and yet, it makes us smile at the same time because we love the sassy!
This patron's burger from the hotel's King's Highway restaurant (an old Denny's), is accompanied by a tall can of Red Stripe beer, which we don't think we've ever seen before--upping the cool factor even more. The $12 Amigo burger comes with bacon onion marmalade, aged cheddar and butter lettuce. Foul-mouthed ketchup is free.
Calabasas is a ritzy enclave outside of Los Angeles, far from the city's happening hotel scene but the quiet suburb (probably best known as being home to the Kardashian Klan) is now getting its own stylish boutique hotel.
The Anza Hotel will officially launch in May with 122-rooms managed by Evolution Hospitality (The John Hardy Group was the project developer.) Formerly a Country Inn and Suites, the property has ben renovated from top to bottom to create a "casual, comfortable California feel." The hotel will also open a bistro on-site called the Graze Bistro and Bar serving simple gourmet food, craft beers and California wines, along with a private pool with cabanas and a fire pit for the chilly nights.
Nearby is Old Town Calabasa, a historic area home to the Leonis Adobe Museum, a former ranch from the 1800s and the Commons of Calabasas shopping center (site of many Kardashian photo ops.)