CA Travel Guide

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Before and After: Embassy Suites San Diego Bay Ditches The Corporate Look

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  Site Where: 601 Pacific Highway [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
April 28, 2015 at 3:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Embassy Suites, known for its spacious rooms, free breakfasts and gratis happy hours, has overhauled its downtown San Diego property -- and it's looking quite spiffy. Above is a photo of the lobby before the renovation. Below is the lobby now:

In addition to the lobby enhancements, the restorations included work to the atrium, 341 two-room suites, fitness center, meeting spaces, business center, hallways and guest areas. The hotel now has new flooring, lounge décor and furniture. Catering to frequent business travelers, the property also improved its more than 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space and its technology.

Rates start at $197.

[Photos: Embassy Suites]

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New York's NoMad Hotel to Go BiCoastal With New DTLA Location

April 28, 2015 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Downtown Los Angeles' award-winning hotel scene continues to shine.

The LA Times reports that Giannini Building at 7th and Olive, a former Bank of Italy building that first opened in 1923, has been purchased by hotel developer The Sydell Group and wants to turn it into a boutique hotel--possibly a spin-off of the NoMad Hotel in NYC. Here's what Sydell has in store for the building:

The main former banking floor will be converted to a "living room" lobby for the hotel where guests can lounge or work, [Andrew E. Zobler, CEO of Sydell] said. The first floor will have a bar and a restaurant.

Sydell will operate the hotel, perhaps as a second branch of its NoMad Hotel on Broadway in New York. Plans call for 250 guest rooms that would either face outward or look into a large existing light well in the center of the upper floors of Giannini Place.

A rooftop swimming pool and event space with panoramic views of downtown are also on the drawing board. The hotel is to be a step up in room price and sophistication from Sydell Group's Freehand hotel being built in the former Commercial Exchange Building.

But there's another new boutique hotel coming to DTLA, just one block away from this one.

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Nobu's Next Hotel Will Be in...

Where: 22752 Pacific Coast Hghway [map], Malibu, CA, United States
April 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Green tea waffles from room service at Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace

After opening the largest Nobu restaurant in the world at the Four Seasons Doha comes a new Nobu concept on a much smaller scale--Nobu Ryokan, set to open in Malibu, California, nearly next door to Nobu's restaurant there on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Apparently, the sushi chef's ryokan has been in the works for about two years, as Eater La discovered that Nobu Matsuhisa joined forces will billionaire Larry Ellison in 2013. Now, according to a real estate agent, the signage just went up on the former Casa Malibu space, meaning an opening could be in sight.

There's not much to go on other than signage and the ryokan concept which typically means a very small amount of rooms. The ryokan is located at 22752 PCH, directly on the beach, meaning that a room there will cost far more than a Nobu omakase meal.

The next proper Nobu Hotel will open in Miami at the Eden Roc this summer, with Chicago and London opening after that.

[Photo: Nobu Hotels]

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The Landsby, a New Landing Spot for Wine (and Danish) Enthusiasts in Solvang

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  Site Where: 1576 Misson Drive [map], Solvang, CA, United States, 93463
April 20, 2015 at 2:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

The quirky Danish-themed village of Solvang, California was made extremely popular by the movie, "Sideways" but visitors have long come to the town because of its proximity from Los Angeles (about two hours away) to the wineries of Santa Ynez valley. Oh and let's not forget Solvang's excellent Danish pastries, especially the aebelskievers.

The hotel scene in the town is mostly small independent spots that are often wine-inspired, like the Wine Valley Inn and the more upscale Hotel Corque or old world Danish-themed like the King Frederik Inn or the Viking Motel. (There's also a neighboring casino/resort, Chumash.) But the newcomer on the scene, The Landsby is paying homage to the town's Danish roots in a more contemproary way.

Opening on April 23, The Landsby is a 41-room boutique hotel that's been completely renovated from its old days as a "The Petersen Village Inn." (Landsby actually means "village in Danish.) The guestrooms at the hotel are bright and happy with a residential feel but most importantly, the decor is more in line with what you'd find in Denmark today, not 500 years ago.

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Before and After: The Palace Hotel San Francisco Mixes the Historic With the New

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2 New Montgomery Street [map], San Francisco, CA, United States, 94105
April 16, 2015 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (2)

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.

When we think of The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, we think of its rather splendid Garden Court. What is now the Garden Court once was the Grand Court, an open air carriage entrance in the original Palace Hotel, which burned down in the 1906 earthquake that destroyed 80% of the city (for more on its long history, go here).

As much as we immediately think of the Garden Court, less of an instant image comes to mind when we think of the rest of hotel, including its guestrooms. Or at least we did, until we saw what The Palace is doing to its rooms this year, grabbing 2015 by the horns to bring them up to date in a big way. See both before and after below.

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This is the First Hotel for Yosemite in Over 25 Years

April 9, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been 25 years since a hotel last opened around Yosemite National Park. And you can feel it, too – good luck booking last minute accommodation that isn’t a tent.

But now, finally, here comes a much needed hotel: Rush Creek Lodge, a “contemporary mountain resort” and sibling property of Evergreen Lodge, opening in Spring 2016, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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Viceroy Palm Springs to Transition into The Avalon Palm Springs Tomorrow

Where: 415 South Belardo Road [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
April 6, 2015 at 11:01 AM | by | Comment (1)

Time to change up the welcome mat!

Remember last month's news that Proper Hospitality Group would be taking over Viceroy's Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Viceroy Palm Springs and using them to create a new hotel brand, Avalon Hotels? No? That's ok. Here's the recap.

Anyways, tomorrow, April 7, is the day for the Palm Springs hotel to drop all Viceroy association and turn into an Avalon. Here's the note from the Viceroy Palm Springs hotel website about the change:

Effective April 7, 2015, Viceroy Palm Springs will no longer be managed by Viceroy Hotel Group. On this date, the hotel name will change to Avalon Hotel Palm Springs and Proper Hospitality will take over hotel management. As a guest of Avalon Hotel Palm Springs, you will receive the same services and amenities that you would have received under the previous management.

Indeed, considering the recent reviews on TripAdvisors are rather amazing, we doubt Avalon will change up anything. We also hear that Avalon Hotels will unveil their new brand website shortly which will be fun to look at as well.

Meanwhile, actually staying at The Avalon in Palm Springs this weekend will be an expensive stay. There are only suites available starting at around $1,700 a night. However, rates for next weekend are a bit more reasonable at $500 a night, plus a $30 resort fee per day which includes valet parking, WiFi, and coffee in the morning.

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Vivienne Westwood to Seriously Glam Up The London West Hollywood's Penthouse Suite

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1020 San Vicente Boulevard [map], West Hollywood, CA, United States, 90069
April 2, 2015 at 7:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has already lent her creative genius to Virgin Atlantic's flight attendant uniforms. Now she's set to make her mark on a hotel--The London West Hollywood.

The Vivienne Westwood-inspired penthouse suite for the luxury hotel will feature exclusive art and customized furnishings, as well as perks for the suite's guests such as--one hour of private shopping at the Vivienne Westwood store in West Hollywood and a special discount on all purchases; His and Her gift bags from Vivienne Westwood upon check-in; and Vivienne Westwood-branded amenities within the suite.

At 11,000-sq.ft., it will be the largest hotel suite in Los Angeles when it opens on May 18. Here's a bit more on the layout and style of the bi-level, two-bedroom suite, including its impressive rooftop terrace, all of which was done in collaboration with Richmond Design. There are a lot of design details to pore over, and since we don't want any of you eagle-eyed fashionistas to miss out, we've put the official suite description down below.

Alas, such a couture stay and all the Vivienne Westwood perks come at a very haute couture price--$25,000 a night. However, the hotel will also unveil three Metropolitan suites on May 18, ranging from 1,600-2,200-sq.ft. and which may be slightly more affordable.

The suites' unveiling will mark the end of the hotel's $25 million renovation, which has created a 110-seat Screening Room, along with new junket suites, new ninth floor suitesand a new 2,600-sq.ft. fitness center. We just hope those sacred Vivienne Westwood scarves are on a strict lockdown.

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No Joke, This Hilton Hotel Has Its Own Karaoke Room

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 750 Kearny Street [map], San Francisco, CA, United States
April 1, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

There are lots of April Fools jokes flying around today but this is not a joke.

The Hilton San Francisco Financial District really does have its own karaoke room on site.

Located on the lobby level near the meeting rooms, the Karaoke Room costs around $1,000 to rent out for several hours. You can have food and drink placed in the room as well, but at an extra charge.

The set-up is a groovy modern lounge, not unlike many common areas found in tech start-ups, and your gear includes four microphones, an iPad stand for reading lyrics (or playing songs not in the system), a small TV and even a semi-professional sound system. (You know, the ones that will minimize the horrible drunk singing voices.)

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Your Next Andazm Could Happen at The Andaz Palm Springs in 2016

March 30, 2015 at 9:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thinking about your next Andazm? We know we are and if you can “wait for it” along with us, here’s a totally spot-on location – eternally hip Palm Springs. Yep, Andaz Palm Springs is coming to the California Desert but not until late 2016.

Still, when Andaz does the desert, it will do so in the heart of the Uptown Design District, a mile-long stretch of cool boutiques and great eats, and the iconic Palm Canyon Drive.

The hotel will offer 150 rooms, 17 suites, and two outdoor pools surrounded by an elevated terrace with bar (of course,) desert-friendly gardens, and plenty of party space, a Palm Springs prerequisite.

Indoors, expect a signature restaurant and lounge, spa and fitness center, indoor/outdoor meeting space, and the Andaz Salon, a celebration of local culture through live performances, exhibits, and exclusive special events.

The rendering above features Andaz's cool urban vibe while keeping a low profile, which is the norm for mid-century dominated Palm Springs. Floor-to-ceiling windows show off the neighboring San Jacinto Mountains while deep overhangs keep things cool.

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First Look at Mama Shelter Los Angeles, Opening on May 15

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  Site Where: 1557 Wilcox Avenue [map], Hollywood, CA, United States, 90048
March 27, 2015 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

Voilà! At last, we have a room photo of the forthcoming Mama Shelter Los Angeles located in the heart of Hollywood.

We've been tracking this hotel's progress since we first learned of its existence (and exact location) back in August. But now, you can finally begin to plan your night with Mama in LA.

Room rates will start at $139 a night on May 15. Currently, booking is not working on the hotel's website but we expect that to be in action very soon.

The ground floor of the hotel is set to be a free-flowing reception area, lobby, bar and restaurant (from chef Benjamin Bailly of LA hotspots, Petrossian and Fraiche) while upstairs there will be just 70 Thierry Gaugain-designed rooms spread out over six stories, but tricked out with king beds and 27-inch iMacs which will serve as the room TV. As you can see, the rooms are very much like other Mamas, complete with those funky nightstand lampshade masks. (Hello Burt and Ernie!)

Mama Shelter Los Angeles will also have an outdoor rooftop gym which we kinda can't wait to see in action. #workoutselfieoverload

Want to learn more about this Mama? She's already "written" you a "letter." Here it is in full below.

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This is Exactly What You Want to See From Your San Francisco Hotel Room

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 750 Kearny Street [map], San Francisco, CA, United States, 94108
March 26, 2015 at 11:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

Um, yes. Do we really need to say anything more? Ok, we'll say just a little bit more about this stunning view of Coit Tower and the San Francisco Bay from the Hilton San Francisco Financial District.

This is the view from one of the Premium Bay View Rooms which are located on the 20th through 25th floors. There are city views on these floors as well that are just as interesting, especially since the hotel overlooks Chinatown ,but really, it's all about the bay here. Fingers crossed for a clear and sunny day!

All rooms at the Hilton SF FD feature 32" flat screen TVs, a long desk for working and tea and coffee makers. Best of all, you don't need Zuckerberg dollars to stay here as we found a bay view room for this weekend for just $239 a night.

[Photo: Juliana/HotelChatter]