CA Travel Guide

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Even More Hello Kitty Swag From The Line Hotel in Los Angeles

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  Site Where: 3515 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
October 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Today is the first day of the Hello Kitty Con in Downtown Los Angeles and if you were one of the lucky ones who booked a Super Sweet Stay at The Line Hotel before it sold-out, then you'll be wrapping yourself up in a Hello Kitty bathrobe, sipping Hello Kitty champagne, eating a Hello Kitty-tattooed apple and Instagramming the rest of the sweet HK swag that came with your room.

If you didn't book get to book a room, it's ok. We went inside one the rooms at the hotel and took a ton of pictures. Here you go!

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O.M.G. A Legit Hello Kitty Hotel Suite is Now Open at The Line Hotel

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  Site Where: 3515 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90010
October 29, 2014 at 6:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

We are kind of at a loss for words right now. We just went into the Hello Kitty Suite at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles and it is all kinds of super kawaii.

The suite was created by a team of designers and artists led by Line designer Sean Knibb in honor of Hello Kitty's 40th birthday, which is also being celebrated with the first official Hello Kitty Con at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown LA, starting tomorrow. (Knibb was the vision behind the t-shirts on the ceiling at check-in at The Line.)

But there's so much more.

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'Jane The Virgin' Actually Takes Place at This Hotel

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  Site Where: 4375 Admiralty Way [map], Marina Del Rey, CA , United States, 90292
October 24, 2014 at 5:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

The new TV show, "Jane The Virgin" is not just the answer to the prayers of "Ugly Betty" fans, who have been in mourning since the show went off the air a few years ago. "Jane The Virgin" is also extremely clever and funny, yet unabashedly apologetic about its soapy premise.

That premise involves Jane, a virgin who's about to get engaged, getting accidentally inseminated by a distracted gynecologist, who just happened to use her brother's last surviving sperm which he had frozen before his chemotherapy treatment. (It's the brother of the gynecologist, not Jane's. No one is ready to see a show about accidental incest. No one.)

Further complicating matters is that Jane happens to work for the brother, named Rafael, and they even shared a kiss once upon a time. Obviously, her fiancée is not pleased. About the baby and about her job working for the baby's daddy.

Meanwhile, Jane's mom, a wannabe singer, has recently been in bed, er, in touch with Jane's father, who Jane has never known about. And Jane's father just happens to be a big time novella star of a show that Jane is addicted to watching. Ay, Yi, Yi!

But for us hotel nerds, we like a different kind of drama in play on, and off, the show.

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Five Years On, Will L'Ermitage Become Viceroy Beverly Hills?

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  Site Where: 9291 Burton Way [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
October 24, 2014 at 9:03 AM | by | Comment (1)

It’s astonishing to us we have to go as far back as early 2010 for the news that Raffles L’Ermitage would become Viceroy Beverly Hills, with a “significant refurbishment” to follow in the months after.

That relaunch date soon became “early 2011”, but three and a half years later, the hotel still carries its L’Ermitage badge, rooms shows essentially the same décor, and the group’s directory has it listed as a “future Viceroy”.

But! It looks like half a decade is a lucky window for L’Ermitage, because the latest we hear is that renovation is meant to start in January. While we hate thinking about it too much as the year passes us by, that’s only three months away. Details and visuals of what the interiors will look like are still to come, and while we expect a more Californian vibe, taking a cue from Viceroy New York’s stylish rooms we’d have no issue with. We'll keep you posted as we find out more.

As for the official name change to Viceroy Beverly Hills, we haven't received official confirmation but a new name to go with a new look could be nice.

In the meantime, a Deluxe King with balcony at L’Ermitage starts about $430 a night in November.

[Photo: Viceroy Hotels]

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Say 'Oh Hi, Free Fitness Classes' At The Oaks Of Ojai

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  Site Where: Ojai, CA
October 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

The best things in life, of course, are always free. Free breakfast? Thanking you. Free WiFi? As it should be. Free fitness classes? That might actually persuade us to sign up for them.

Spa-with-rooms The Oaks At Ojai (in Ojai, CA, of course) has just announced 20 themed weeks and weekends for the next six months, with up to four classes on said theme per day. The best thing? Like the standard Oaks classes, these will be free. Why go to a place like this to relax?

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What's Behind The All-New Golden Door Retreat?

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  Site Where: 777 Deer Springs Road [map], San Marcos, CA , United States, 92069
October 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

Nowadays, it's rare for a hotel to open up without some sort of spa component--whether it be its own state-of-the-art spa facility or simply, a partnership with a local spa. But while it's convenient to have a massage therapist who's just a button on the house phone away, guests in need of a deeper physical work, and emotional healing, should head to a real spa, one that just happens to have hotel rooms attached.

Like the new incarnation of Golden Door near San Diego which has reopened for week-long, spa intensive stays.

Golden Door first opened in 1958 and was a favorite for screen stars like Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, and Elizabeth Taylor. It remained a fave of the A-list, through an expansion in the 1970s, up until the late 90s when the retreat was acquired by a larger corporation and lost a little bit of of its soul. But in 2012, the spa was given back to private ownership (Joanne Conway to be exact, a frequent guest and wife of billionaire philanthropist, Bill Conway) and has since undergone its own dramatic transformation.

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So, How is That Boycott of The Beverly Hills Hotel Going?

October 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM | by | Comments (4)

The Dorchester Collection Boycott came in like a lion in the spring, with high-profile celebrities vowing to never step foot again in the hotels so long as the homophobic (to say the least!) Sultan of Brunei owned them. Given that most celebrities frequented The Beverly Hills Hotel, the Pink Palace became the prime target of the hotel boycott.

But now a few months on, we hardly hear much about the boycott. Could it be that it has quietly died down? Or perhaps, the celebrities have just considered the boycott a part of their every day normal (ok, not-so-normal) life. Thus, this editor decided to stop in at the hotel and see for herself.

When I pulled up to the hotel at around 12:30 on a sunshiney Monday, the entrance was just as busy as I've always known it to be, with folks hopping out of their expensive cars to walk the red carpet into the hotel while town cars were picking up departing guests and their many pieces of luggage. Dignified doormen were, as always, accompanied by studly valet boys in light pink polo shirts, as they directed the light traffic in the narrow porte cochere.

Self-parking, already quite limited, was not available so I drove my car around to the other side of the property and parked on the street. As I walked along a winding walkway along the hidden pink bungalows and amongst lush greenery (vividly green even though Californias is in a severe drought), I passed by two people. A good sign, perhaps?

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Openings And Demolitions: What's Going On In Palm Springs

October 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

As the temperature drops from “inferno” to “tannable” in the Coachella Valley, there’s lots going on in the Palm Springs hotel scene. A new restaurant? A hotel opening? A sad demolition? Here’s what’s happening:


· Here’s the first picture from the forthcoming Palm Springs Hotel. Originally slated for an August opening, it “hit a construction snag” but is now on course, with the website taking reservations from 23 November, with rooms from $139 on opening night ($119 the following week).

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Throwback Thursday: When The Riviera Palm Springs Was Ratpack-tastic

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  Site Where: 1600 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA, 92262
October 2, 2014 at 8:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

It was a time when its Doric columns over the porte cochère symbolised the elegance within, and the fountain outside was as thrilling as the Bellagio Fountains of the 21st century.

Yes, it’s Throwback Thursday, and we’re in Palm Springs, courtesy of a vintage postcard from the Palm Springs Visitor Center (they sell them for $1.99). It’s the 1960s, and we’re at the Riviera, that Ratpack favorite that opened in 1958 as the first hotel in the US to be built in a “spoke wheel” shape. Back then, it was every bit as sophisticated as Las Vegas.

Of course, Palm Springs is still sophisticated, even if we can’t say the same for Vegas. The Riviera has undergone a snazzy refurbishment with some seriously beautiful decor in the rooms, but to us, it’s still the most Vegassy of Coachella Valley hotels – when we stayed, we were surrounded by a hard-drinking, scantily-clothed and pool partying contingent.

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Guess Who's Hiding in The Closet at The Beverly Garland Hotel?

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  Site Where: 4222 Vineland Ave [map], North Hollywood, CA, United States, 91602
September 26, 2014 at 2:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Beverly Garland in North Hollywood didn't quite make its intended summer opening but the hotel is pressing ahead with its $20 million, multi-phase redesign.

The hotel, first opened in 1970 by actress Beverly Garland, is in the midst of renovating its 242 guest rooms, 14 suites and public spaces with a hip new look from Forchielli Glynn. We got a glimpse of the intended room design last December but now we've got a peek inside the closet.

Since the hotel has hosted many celebrities (Kurt Cobain allegedly proposed to Courtney Love at the hotel) and has been featured in many TV shows and films, it's only fitting that the wallpaper in the closet contains some paparazzi. Here's a scene from the 1960s movie, La Dolce Vita. For once, entering the closet is going to be thrilling!

The hotel is still open during the renovations and we found a room for next weekend at $369. The following weekend was much cheaper at $279 a night. Popular Los Angeles chef, Warren Schwartz, has opened his Warren's Blackboard restaurant at the hotel but that should changeover to a sustainable dining concept called, The Front Yard, sometime later this year.

[Photo: The Beverly Garland]

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Hotel Tomo in San Francisco Trades 'Joy' for 'Karma'

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  Site Where: 1800 Sutter Street [map], San Francisco, CA , United States, 94115
September 24, 2014 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

And by that we mean, the Japanimation-inspired Hotel Tomo in San Fran's Japantown has gone from a Joie de Vivre Hotel to a Kimpton Hotel. (For those not in the know, JDV's loyalty program is called Joy of Life while Kimpton's is called Kimpton Karma.)

So far, it doesn't seem like anything has changed from the JDV days (except possibly the toiletries in the bathroom which were once Japanese but are now from LATHER.) Here's a more in-depth TripAdvisor review from a Kimpton Karma member who stayed there as the changeover was happening:

I was happy to learn at check-in that Hotel Tomo is now a Kimpton Hotel as I'm a huge fan of Kimpton.

The changeover literally took place the day we arrived so there are still many, many things that need to be ironed out before Hotel Tomo satisfies Kimpton's usual standards.

The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We were given an upgrade which was nice. The room was quite large, especially by San Francisco standards. The view from our room on the eighth floor was great.

What Hotel Tomo looked like in 2010 when HotelChatter visited

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The Parker Palm Springs Wants You To Celebrate Its 10th Birthday

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  Site Where: 4200 E Palm Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92264
September 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

Not particularly eagle-eyed readers of HC will know we love the Parker Palm Springs with a passion that verges on the stalkeroo, but that our passion is burning a rather large hole in our pockets.

So join with us in rejoicing that the Parker is turning 10 years old on October 1, and to celebrate, it’s inviting us all over for a party at a pretty spectacular rate: a four-course dinner at Mister Parker’s and a room for just $75 per person.

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