CA Travel Guide

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The Miramar's Iconic Bungalows Get a Well Deserved Makeover

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 101 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
July 28, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | ()

You don't have to be a star, baby, to bask in the sunshine and seclusion of the Miramar's reborn bungalows, but just in case, sign the guest book.

Alright then, you've heard the news but don't be too sad. We're still publishing until Friday.

Curious about Old Hollywood? Then go west to Santa Monica and check out the guest book at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Better yet, sign it as you check into one of the 32 newly revamped bungalows, of which 22 are now open with the others scheduled for completion by August 1.

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And Now Kimpton Has Lost Hotel Palomar SF as Well

July 28, 2015 at 12:24 PM | by | ()

Alright then, you've heard the news but don't be too sad. We're still publishing until Friday.

Last week we told you that the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco, a flagship Kimpton Hotel, had been deflagged into The Marker Hotel, managed by Destination Hotels and Resorts. The move was apparently due to a union dispute as Kimpton is now a part of InterContinental Hotel Group, and all IHG hotels in SF need to be unionized.

A tipster with inside knowledge on the rebranding told us last week to expect "More Kimpton hotels to be rebranded in the weeks ahead to avoid become unionized." And now, here is news of another one--Hotel Palomar, the choicely located hotel at 4th and Market, just steps away from the Powell Street Cable Car.

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Le Méridien 'San Francisco Treats' Itself to $12 Million Renovation

July 24, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | ()

Your next stay in San Francisco just got that much better, as there’s one Starwood property throwing open the doors on its latest renovation and remodel.

All in all there’s been $12 million spent on Le Méridien San Francisco, and the place is ready to show off its stuff right in the middle of the city’s Financial District. For those keeping score at home, there are 360 rooms to checkout and of those 80 are sweet suites.

New stuff includes the brand’s signature Le Méridien Hub—think of it as way more than just the lobby, as they spin things into something that operates as coffee shop by day and lounge by night. There are subtle touches in this space reflecting the streets of the city, and even the carpet shows off a little local love. Even the event space and meeting spots have been improved, so if you’re looking for 12,500 square feet of space for your next soiree this place has you covered.

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The Hotel Monaco San Francisco is Now The Marker Hotel

Where: 501 Geary Street [map], San Francisco, CA, United States
July 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM | by | ()

The Hotel Monaco San Francisco, a flagship Kimpton Hotel, just got de-branded to The Marker Hotel, managed by Destination Hotels and Resorts. (You can see the hotel on their website here.)

De- or reflagging, as hotel industry folks know very well, happens all the time but a tipster tells us this particular switcheroo, might be directly related to IHG acquisition of the hotel brand late last year.

More Kimpton hotels to be rebranded in the weeks ahead to avoid become unionized. IHG's local union contract requires any new IHG properties go thru "card check", and the union came a' knockin'. Lasalle and Pebblebrook own almost every Kimpton Hotel in SFO, so Kimpton will only be left managing the Buchanan and Sir Francis Drake, which are already unionized.

Our tipster also says that Viceroy Hotel Group may pick up the management contract for at least two other Kimptons.

We reached out to Kimpton for a statement about the deflagging but have yet to heard back. We'll keep you posted on which if other Kimptons get deflagged. Currently, The Marker (which has changed absolutely nothing at the hotel) is going for about $329 a night.

For what it's worth, Kimpton was made #11 on Fortune mag's "Best Places to Work" in 2015.

[Photo: The Marker Hotel]

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L'Ermitage Beverly Hills Will Soon Have a L'ovely New Look

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 9291 Burton Way [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
July 17, 2015 at 2:33 PM | by | ()

At long last, L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, an iconic but low-key luxury hotel in Los Angeles, will have a new posh look to show off.

A full renovation of the hotel's 117 generously-sized suites is currently underway, led by luxury design firms Smith/Firestone Associates (SFA Design) who will preserve the hotel's best attributes--intimacy and privacy--while bringing the decor up to today's standards of modern luxury.

Here's a detailed description on the modern glamour and high-tech amenities guests will find in the rooms

Guests staying in L’Ermitage's spacious suites (which start at 650 sq feet) will find a sophisticated residential hideaway draped in tranquil hues, subtly accented with bold provocative color. Lavish Venetian cut-glass mirrors reflect caramel-colored walls, shimmering with gold and gray sparkle, leading guests to a celebrity-ready dressing room, complete with a walk-in closet and a selection of mirrors featuring indoor/outdoor lighting settings. In the bedroom, floor-to-ceiling suede and velvet headboards, white onyx and gray marble, eclectic art and inspiring technology align to create a perfect reimagining of this Beverly Hills retreat.

“Our intent was to create a series of unique settings that celebrate the individuality and personalities of L’Ermitage guests,” said Kara Smith, Principal at SFA. “Room Designs were infused with a modern interpretation of the blend of indulgence and sanctuary for which the hotel is famed. The fusion of colors, textures, and curated artwork deliver that perfect realization of the hotel you always wanted to stay in, the home you always wanted to live in, and the space you love to entertain in.”

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The Future on the L'Horizon for Palm Springs Looks Bright

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1050 E Palm Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92264
July 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Last time we checked in on L’Horizon Palm Springs, the trumped up new name for the midcentury Horizon Palm Springs, it was preparing to reopen after a nearly year-long refurbishment, gunning for the top end PSP clientele.

Well now it’s open, the website is finally up and running (kind of - we still can’t see anything but a seductive lady on the homepage and the reservations tab) and the photos are in. So without further ado, here’s the new look:

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Checking In On All That Palm Springs Construction

July 13, 2015 at 10:25 AM | by | ()

Sleepy Palm Springs is undergoing precedented construction at the moment, so it felt only right to check in on a couple of projects when we were in town last week.

First, Arrive. No extra info on the project since we last checked in – but from these photos it looks like the winter opening may finally be on track. Look at those midcentury lines!

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Inside the Renovated Soulstice Rooms (and the 1940s Grotto Rooms) at Two Bunch Palms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail [map], Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, 92240
July 9, 2015 at 6:41 PM | by | ()

Yesterday we talked green stuff as Two Bunch Palms becomes the first carbon neutral resort in North America, thanks to its swanky new solar farm. Today, let’s talk renovations.

Two Bunch Palms celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, but it’s in the last couple of years that it's got really interesting. The resort got new owners in 2012, having been in receivership. Kevin Kelly of Canyon Ranch fame became CEO in July 2013. In September they stripped out the heavy, steakhouse-style restaurant and made a fresher, more Californian area (see it after the jump).

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This Is the First Carbon Neutral Resort in North America

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail [map], Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, 92240
July 8, 2015 at 10:31 AM | by | ()

Oh nothing, it’s just a solar farm – a solar farm which, when it was switched on last week, made Two Bunch Palms, the hotel on whose property it sits, the first carbon neutral resort in North America.

Two Bunch Palms is one of Desert Hot Springs’ historical spa resorts, using the natural hot springs for which the town is named. And Two Bunch has some history, too – it’s one of the two oldest mineral spa resorts in the country (75 this year) and has history with Hollywood and even Al Capone, who, legend has it, had it as a hide-out before it became a hotel.

But who needs celebs when you have one of the greenest resorts in America? The stats speak for themselves: 3.5 acres, 1,824 300-watt photovoltaic panels, generating enough energy to power the entire resort. The power it generates will save 375 million gallons of water and 13.5 million pounds of carbon emissions over the next 21 years, compared to normal power sources.

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Proper Hotels Heading to Downtown LA

July 7, 2015 at 5:09 PM | by | ()

Proper Hotels, the new hip hotel brand from the founders of Viceroy Hotels, has just announced a location for its second Proper property--Downtown Los Angeles.

Developers Frank Stork, Channing Henry and The Kor Group teamed up to buy the historic 1924 YWCA building at 11th and Broadway (aka The Case Hotel.) We reported on this purchase back in December 2013 and wondered if the building would turn into a Viceroy. Now we know it's going to be a Proper sort of joint.

The historic building will undergo extensive redesign and redevelopment over the next year and a half in order to open as a Proper Hotel in 2017. Here are some brief details on what will be inside when it opens:

The new hotel, located on the border of Downtown’s Historic and Fashion Districts, will reside in the 13-story red brick and stone masonry building. Amenities include a destination restaurant, a rooftop pool and lounge, and the conversion of some of the building’s historic, double-height spaces into unique suites and public areas.

The team is thrilled to be one of the key players in the redevelopment of South Broadway, an active area whose nearby projects include hundreds of apartment units under construction along Broadway and 11th, the Hearst Herald Examiner renovation, and the City’s planned streetcar construction that will stop in front of the hotel, directly connecting Broadway to the Convention Center, 6 blocks away, as well as the Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum in Bunker Hill.

Proper will open their first hotel in San Francisco by the end of the year. The company also runs the Avalon Hotels in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs.

[Photo: Google Street View]

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The Colony Palms Is the Next Palm Springs Hotel to Get a Facelift

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 572 N Indian Canyon Drive [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
July 7, 2015 at 9:41 AM | by | ()

As if there wasn’t already enough upheaval in the wonderful world of Palm Springs, here comes more big news: the Colony Palms has been sold, and is going to spend the next few months getting its face lifted.

Palisades Hospitality Group (which has a 30-strong portfolio across California, Hawaii and Mexico including the El Dorado in Sonoma) and CovoCapital (a San Francisco-based investment company) snapped it up last week, and have already announced “enhancements” to the spa, Purple Palm restaurant, and guestrooms, along with landscaping changes and an extra 1200 square feet of event space being created (hopefully not out of the lush gardens).

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Where Will Palm Springs Fit All These New Hotels?

June 24, 2015 at 8:17 AM | by | ()

One of L'Horizon's sexy ladies

It’s summer in the Coachella Valley, which means searing temperatures, misters working overtime and – most importantly – lowered prices. Palm Springs, too, is a huge Fourth of July destination, so what better time to recap all the openings and happenings in PSP?

Remember way back last year when we talked about the Horizon having closed unexpectedly? It’s reopening this week as L’Horizon Resort & Spa. Its 25 Cody-built bungalows have been revamped, there’s an infinity pool and the grounds span 3 acres. The as yet untitled restaurant will be helmed by Giacomo Pettinari, a Michelin-starred chef who was last at Valentino in LA, and is spouting all the organic and biodynamic buzzwords you might expect from a sleek California place rather than a retro PSP hotel. L’Horizon has already signed up to be part of the Leading Hotels of the World. No photos yet, other than sexy ladies, and no word on rates – you have to email the hotel a reservation request. Let’s hope they change that pronto!

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