CA Travel Guide
The Colony Palms has always been a sceney place in Palm Springs – especially now that it has semi-official links with Soho House members. If you’re not staying, a meal at the poolside restaurant, the Purple Palm, has always been a good way of poking your nose into that scene – it takes up one side of the pool, so you’re literally feet away from the beautiful people sunbathing, swimming, or, er, coupling in the pool.
The Purple Palm has stepped it up a gear this summer, with a new exec chef, Greg Stillman. He’s going local – focusing on working with California “producers and foragers” to get seasonal ingredients on PP plates – while the restaurant itself got a makeover last month, vamping up the Moroccan elements.
The menu was in soft opening, if you can say that of a menu, when we visited in July. Here’s what we had:
You may have realized by now that the Parker Palm Springs is one of our favorite hotels on earth. You may even have noted that one of the best ways to stay is through the Spa Junkie package, which gives you credit to PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club, the spa) with your room rate.
The package used to cost $199 plus tax, and give you $200 spa credit. This year, they changed it to a $250 room rate and $250 credit – not so cool, since the taxes and fees take it up to $324.
However, the Parker just announced it’s dialing back the prices for September - $199 for your stay, $200 spa credit. The deal is bookable until midnight tomorrow by clicking here.
Never judge a book by its cover, people, especially if that book is the Hard Rock Palm Springs.
Because the Hard Rock is launching a “dive in” movie season this Friday at 8pm. That’s right – not a pool party. Not a rave. Granted, the movie is Tommy, but even so – a genteel movie screening on a Friday night. In conjunction with the Palm Springs International Film Society, no less. Whatever next?!
But the Hard Rock Palm Springs is not your usual Hard Rock. This is Palm Springs, darlings, and they go after a different crowd. Eclectic. Open-minded. Party-orientated, yet not necessarily of a bro disposition. Some more reasons why it’s not your typical Hard Rock:
You’re in your room in the middle of the day, taking shelter from the aggressive Palm Springs heat. There’s a knock on your door: “Housekeeping!” Urgh. What do they want?
You open the door. There is a man with a cart outside it. “Hello!” he says. “I’m part of the management team. I was wondering whether you would like anything from the cart? I have fruit, soft drinks, water and cookies.”
You look at him, suspicious. Is it a new, cookie-shaped travel scam? Is he going to murder you? Or just your wallet, once he tells you the markup he’s put on the cookies (don’t forget room service charge, service charge plus ‘optional’ gratuity)?
And then he notices your hesitancy and says a weird thing. “It’s complimentary.”
And once you ascertain that it is indeed free, and that he has not roofied the cookies, you pillage his cart as best you can and take your spoils back to bed and eat until the sheets are crackling with cookie crumbs.
This is no hotel-cookie-fetish fantasy, though. At least, it’s not if you’re staying at the Hyatt Palm Springs. Their “wow cart” (so called because that’s what most people say when they’re told it’s free) does the rounds of every room on property each afternoon, starting around 4pm (depending on how many people are in their rooms, it can take anything from 20 minutes to two hours to make the full round). It's normally staffed by management, like Josh here, who's Director of Operations. This is so they can also find out how your stay is going (this is a brilliant idea, since we had issues during our stay and chatting about them over a cookie would have been a much more pleasurable experience than having a go at the front desk staff in front of other guests).
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Los Angeles Hotels / Marina del Rey Hotels / Doubletree Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
$7.5 million of refreshments went into both an interior and exterior spruce-up, ranging from a new lobby and revamped pool area to refreshed guestrooms. The last stop on the renovation track has been the opening of restaurant Barbianca Local Kitchen. More shots from inside below.
Mama Shelter / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Construction / Hotel News / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Mama Shelter in Bordeaux
There's been no formal announcement but there's been no secrecy surrounding it either. We're talking about the pending Mama Shelter Hotel for Los Angeles. See, it's right there on the Mama Shelter Twitter bio.
But aside from a LinkedIn job listing looking for a hotel restaurant and general manager, we were having a hard time uncovering the exact whereabouts of Mama Shelter LA. But today, we've found our Mama.
Previously, we've heard West Hollywood and Hollywood flung about as possible locations but those are two very different areas. West Hollywood is trendy and expensive. Hollywood is gritty chic and more affordable. Since the latter practically describes Philippe Starck's Mama Shelter concept to a T, we suspected that's where it would open.
We put in a request to our contact at Mama Shelter hotels on the exact location, but while waiting to hear back, our resourceful European editor uncovered this article. Even if you don't understand French, you can understand what it says.
Des négociations sont aussi en cours pour l'ouverture dans un ancien hôtel des années 1920, dans le quartier de Hollywood, à Los Angeles, «fin 2013».
So Hollywood, it is. And an old hotel from the 1920s too. But still, we wanted to know exactly where. So, we dug a little deeper.
There are already so many cool things to see at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles from the ruched t-shirts that adorn the ceiling above the check-out desk to the crazy, geometric-shaped lobby seating to the "donuts" on the pillows and the Roy Choi restaurant, POT. But now, there's something else to admire at The Line Hotel.
Contemporary street artist, Shepard Fairey, the man behind the Obama "Hope" poster, has created a 10-story mural on the facade of the property called, "Peace Tree. Notice Fairey's trademark Obey Giant face in the center.
While the finished product is pretty sweet to look at, the time-lapse video is way better, especially the shot from inside one of the guest rooms.
The hotel says the Peace Tree is the first in a series of revolving art that will be featured on the hotel's wall. We just hope it's not too quickly revolving, we'd like to look at this Peace Tree for a while.
[Photos and video: The Line Hotel]
UPDATE: We've been told this is NOT the rendering for Edition WeHo. Phew! We'll let you know when we've got a real one to share.
The Edition West Hollywood won't be opening until 2017 but when it does, it might look very similar to this rendering put forth by Eric Owen Moss Architects.
We first took notice of this design back in 2012 when it was revealed that an Edition hotel would open on the Sunset strip at Doheny. The hotel would take over the space occupied by the Scandia restaurant which served Scandinavian food to the stars before being replaced by a Mexican joint, Senoritas, in the 90s. (That place eventually closed in the early aughts.) Now, a tipster tells us there's more information about the design of the building:
A new, two story, 26 foot high retail building meets the intersection with a series of transparent, irregularly sloping glass planes – a “flying” glass ensemble. A 7,000 square foot ground floor restaurant with office on the second floor above, occupy theopening extends Sunset Boulevard into the site horizontally [in plan], and into the housing above, vertically [in section], visually associating the courtyard and retail spaces with the housing above. A variety of balcony sizes and configurations presents an irregular building volume, with clear glass and anodized aluminum panelized walls to the street below.
Um....ok. There's not much about the hotel component of the project to see, but we do know the property will have a courtyard, a pool and a spa, along with living gardens on the walls and the roofs. Still, with the opening about three years away and nary a construction crane in sight, we bet the design will change before then.
Now we wonder if there's a way to preserve some of the old Scandia restaurant's retro design? Or maybe Schrager will bring back the Scandia restaurant somehow? Ooo, we just got the shivers.
[Rendering via Eric Owen Moss Architects]
We first heard of the grand hotel aspirations for Los Angeles' iconic Sunset Boulevard way back in 2010 when the news came out that the House of Blues would be replaced by a crazy hotel condo complex. Two years later, we learned an Edition Hotel was opening up at Sunset and Doheny. And now, it looks like both of these projects are coming to fruition, along with a few others.
Bloomberg News reports that the House of Blues will close down in the near future and make way for a 149-room hotel which will open sometime in 2017. The property will also have residences attached.
But the House of Blues is not the only spot to lose their presence on the Sunset Strip. Larry Flynt's erotic Hustler Store will also be closed up and replaced by a luxury hotel. Meanwhile, Ian Schrager and Marriott are still working on plans for their Edition Hotel at Sunset and Doheny. And a James Hotel is set to open at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega some time in 2016. Also opening near the Hustler store is yet another luxury hotel hotel with about 190 rooms.
We're not so good at math but to us, that looks like 5 new hotels for West Hollywood within the next three to four years. Way back when in 2010 we wondered if West Hollywood could even sustain two new hotels. But now with the area's hotels reporting 82 percent occupancy, we guess we have our answer.
For a better understanding of our Sunset Strip is being colonized by hotels, head over to Curbed LA which put together a nifty map.
When Hard Rock introduced their Rhythm and Motion spa treatments earlier in the year, we, along with everyone else in possession of common sense, heard the “gimmick” klaxon. “The world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu utilizing amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments,” heavy-breathed the press release. “Bass vibrations ripple through the massage table as treble beats come from above, sending pulses through the body and leaving guests feeling energized and invigorated.” What rot, we thought. Vibrating, titillating rot.
And then we tried one.
A couple of weeks ago, I stayed at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, one of the first to get “the dome” (the treatments are referred to as taking place “under the dome”). Being a massage fiend, I wanted to see what the pulsating “Synchronicity” massage was like. First impressions weren’t great: the spa is small with just four treatment rooms and a tiny, not very atmospheric, relaxation room. The signature Hard Rock pre-treatment guitar on the bed was fun, but “the dome” looked like one of those hair-setting bowls at old lady salons.
The massage started to a soundtrack of chill-out music, and just a hint of a vibrating bed underneath me. Just as I’d thought: gimmick. Rub, dig, swirl, should have chosen a normal massage, rub, dig, swirl, stop trying to identify the music, rub, dig, swirl OHMYGODWHATISHAPPENINGTOME.
No cute hotel doggy to share this week; instead we’ve got cute hotel sealions, the guests of honor at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, where we stayed the week before last.
We’d been warned about the sealions before our arrival – apparently, it’s mating season at the moment, and they’re right outside the hotel – and LOUD. In fact, the hotel even provides earplugs to drown out their racket in every room:
Considering it’s right on Venice Beach (or pretty much right on Venice Beach, anyway), the Hotel Erwin was always going to have top notch views of the Pacific from its rooms.
But, on a recent visit to the rooftop bar, High, we couldn’t help but noticing that not all views are created equal.
From High, the coastline was spectacular – both north, towards Santa Monica, and south, beyond LAX – and the whole rooftop was in the sun.