CA Travel Guide
Beverly Hills / Hotel Rebrandings / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / → All Tags
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]
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?
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.
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?
Palm Springs Hotels / Desert Hot Springs Hotels / Spa Hotels / Gay Friendly Hotels / Autograph Collection Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
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).
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.
Hotel Renovations / Los Angeles Hotels / North Hollywood Hotels / San Fernando Valley Hotels / → All Tags
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]
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
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.
Hello Kitty Hotels / The Line Hotels / Koreatown Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel News / Hello Kitty Con / → All Tags
If you're a huge Hello Kitty lover (as if there is any other kind), then you should book your room at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, STAT. The hotel, which is the official Hello Kitty Con Hotel, has put together a "Hello Kitty Sweet Stay" Package which includes an exclusive Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Welcome Kit at check-in, and lots of "super cute" Hello Kitty themed surprises throughout the hotel like HK limited edition items at the hotel's Poketo gift shop and Hello Kitty food. Yes, food. There will even be Hello Kitty-styled theme rooms, although we're not quite sure what those will look like. We do know that LA-based designer Sean Knibb will be designing a special Hello Kitty Suite that will be open to the public.
The Line is also hosting a Hello Kitty Birthday Party on Saturday, November 1 with the Hello Kitty suite serving as the VIP room. Tickets were available through the package but the hotel is now sold-out on Saturday night. Saddies. Rates are still available for Thursday and Friday nights at $344 and $229 respectively. At least you can still get that welcome kitty. Er, we mean, welcome kit.
[Screengrab: The Line Hotel]
Photo Gallery / Palm Springs Hotels / Desert Hot Springs Hotels / Hotel Architecture / John Lautner / John Lautner Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we heard about Hotel Lautner, it was surrendering to the Coachella Valley heat and closing down for the summer. Now, it’s open again (actually, it opened a little early for Labor Day), and with a special September deal: $199 (plus tax) per night, with no midweek minimum stay (though there’s the standard two night minimum on weekends).
You might think this looks relatively expensive for a Palm Springs hotel, since we told you before how low prices can go there. Is a two night minimum and a $200+ room really worth it?
Yes. 100 percent worth it. A million times over. And not just because it has a kitchen so you can save on eating out. Pictures speak louder than words, so here are some photos from our stay back in 2012, when it was newly open.
New Hotels / Hotel Openings / Pasadena Hotels / Dusit Hotels / DusitD2 Hotels / California Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Wait! There's one more hotel
Pasadena, a city well-known for its New Year’s Day Rose Parade as well as its historic bungalow residences, is actually building quite a cool hotel scene, with several new hotels set to open in the next few years.
Kicking it off is the DusitD2 Constance Pasadena, opening on September 8 with a bright contemporary design (and a bright outlook for Pasadena as a SoCal destination.)