CA Travel Guide

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The Most Coveted Room in LA Right Now: The Screening Room at The London West Hollywood

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  Site Where: 1020 N. San Vicente Boulevard [map], West Hollywood, CA, United States, 90069
January 14, 2015 at 3:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Since its opening in 2008, The London West Hollywood has always been a hot hotel in Los Angeles for celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and chef Gordon Ramsay, who has a restaurant there (Sorry, Amanda Bynes.)

But with the opening of The London's new Screening Room, celebs won't have to go far to promote their movie as the press junket will be just an elevator ride away.

The sophisticated 110-seat screening room is located off the main lobby, across from Gordon Ramsay. Designed by Gonzalez Architects with interiors by Richmond Design, it's the largest screening room for a hotel in Los Angeles. And as Hollywood rides out the rest of the 2015 awards season, the room will be in hot demand.

But unlike a lot of things in Los Angeles, there's actually something beneath the pretty surface of this room.

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The Beverly Hilton is Getting Gussied Up for The Golden Globes

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  Site Where: 9876 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90212
January 9, 2015 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Forget Christmas and New Year's. Right now is the most wonderful time of the year for the Beverly Hilton.

On Sunday, the hotel is set to host, once again, The Golden Globes Awards in their International Ballroom, as well as an equally glamorous event outside the hotel--the red carpet arrivals.

If you're hoping to catch a glimpse of hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey or your favorite TV and movie stars, alas, rooms at the hotel are sold-out. Being able to watch the red carpet arrivals is also a lost cause this late in the game.

But should you want to know what the celebs are eating inside while you're stalking them outside, InStyle has the scoop on the menu and not surprisingly, it includes a "modern Waldorf salad." Wonder if it will be accompanied by advertisements for the upcoming Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills that's being built next to the Hilton?

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What Did The Westin St. Francis Have That No One Else in America Had?

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  Site Where: 335 Powell Street [map], San Francisco, CA , United States, 94102
January 8, 2015 at 4:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

It might be hard to believe this but up until a few weeks ago, the Westin St. Francis in touristy Union Square in touristy San Francisco had something no one else in America had--a Goyard boutique.

If you're not familiar, Goyard is one of the oldest luxury "trunk maker" from Paris that's still in business. But today instead of trunks, they are most well-known for their pricey colorful tote bags in the signature Goyard print (monogramming is available too and recommended.)

While several high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Barney's in New York, Boston and Beverly Hills carry Goyard bags, the Goyard San Francisco store was the only actual Goyard boutique in America. That is, until the Maison Goyard in NYC opened quietly a few days after Christmas.

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Everything is Crystal Clear at The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

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  Site Where: 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA , United States, 92270
January 6, 2015 at 6:14 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last month, we showed you all around the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, a resort that was well worth the seven-year wait.

But aside from lounging by the pool, grabbing drinks at the bar at State Fair or napping in your guest room, there's something else you must do during your stay--hit up the spa.

We realize that for serious jet-setters and luxury hotel enthusiasts, this was already on your agenda for Palm Springs as desert retreats and massages go hand in hand. However, the Ritz-Carlton is serious about not just relaxation but tranquility and inner peace.

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All About That Bag at The Paligroup Hotels in Los Angeles

January 5, 2015 at 6:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've always thought an umbrella in the closet for guests to use during their stay was a nice touch (especially when the umbrella looks like this.) But in Los Angeles, where rain is infrequent. to say the least, Paligroup Hotels and Houses has come up with another item for guests to use during their stay--a Lexdray Cape Town Reversible Tote.

It's like one of those utilitarian and durable LeSportsac bags, but way more stylish with one side fronting with black ballistic nylon and the other side sporting Lexdray's custom twill. It's the perfect tote for a lunch meeting to discuss your screenplay. You can also take it to the beach or stock up on goodies at the farmer's market or the grocery store. (Remember, Los Angeles has a plastic bag ban so you need to bring your own or pay 10 cents for a paper bag.)

The bag will be in the rooms at the original residential-style Palihouse in West Hollywood, the funkier and more affordable Palihotel on Melrose Avenue and the newest hotel in the collection, the Palihouse Santa Monica, just a few blocks from the beach. And if you love the Lexdray tote too much to part with it, you can take it home for $150.

[Photo: Paligroup]

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Best Hotel Opening: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

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  Site Where: 929 South Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of year again: the 2014 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

2014 was a huge year for hotel openings. When we compiled our Master List of Hotel Openings at the start of January, we had a feeling this year was going to be more special than the others.

We saw the opening of several new brands like Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott and the fitness-oriented EVEN Hotels, as well as the openings of tried and true brands in popular destinations like Four Seasons Orlando and Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. We also saw the open of jaw-dropping luxury spots like the Peninsula Paris and the hotel fun factory that is Edition Miami.

One of the most memorable hotel openings is that of the SLS Las Vegas which had transformed the iconic but run-down Sahara into a shiny, mod casino hotel that is big on style, restaurants and shopping but small on actual casino offerings.

Indeed, the opening party alone was a hotel nerd's fantasy come true with Philippe Starck, Jose Andres and Lenny Kravitz in attendance. But while the SLS remains a great place to stay in Vegas, especially for those sick of the corporate glitz of the Strip, there has been some behind the scenes trouble since opening night.

However, there's one hotel opening that has stayed with us all year--The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles.

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Hotel Figueroa to Suffer a Modern Makeover Next Year

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  Site Where: 939 South Figueroa Street #930 [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comment (1)

File under things you already knew: Downtown LA is, apparently, the place to be. File under things you might not have known: Downtown LA has the best preserved pre-1950s buildings in the United States. Really! When you wander around like we did the other week, saying “Why, it’s like Chicago, but better,” it really is. Which is why we’re sad to hear of the renovations coming up at one of its most historic hotels, the Figueroa.

This HC member only got her first glimpse of the Fig this month, but one foot in the door was enough to know it was true love*. The coffin-shaped pool. The Moroccan interiors. The belly dancers entertaining a Christmas party in the bar, while off duty cops ate in the kasbah-like lobby. It was like a film set. My god, this is what America is all about!

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Rocking Around The Morro Rock at The Anderson Inn in Morro Bay

December 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

As you set off to do your last-minute holiday shopping/card-sending/gift-wrapping/eggnog-chugging, we'll leave you with this killer view from room 207 at the Anderson Inn in Morro Bay, Calif. near San Luis Obispo.

There’s only eight rooms at the inn, which sits directly on the water at Morro Bay but almost every room has an up close and personal view of the Morro Rock and the (somewhat loud) sea lions that swim around it. If you're doing the whole "driving along California coast" sometime in 2015, then consider this a must-stop.

Morro Bay itself is about three hours north of Los Angeles and 45 minutes south of San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle. It's an incredibly small little town, with knick-knack touristy stores and salt water taffy shops lining the main drag, which probably has seen better days.

But The Anderson Inn has modern-designed rooms with flat screen TVs, super soft bedding and giant showers with body sprays. These come in handy when you've been on the road for a while. Or even for just a few hours.

Put it this way, if nearby Madonna Inn might be too scary kitschy for you, then The Anderson Inn will be just your style.

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Inside The Long-Awaited Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage Near Palm Springs

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  Site Where: 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, 92270
December 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM | by | Comments (5)

It is always a bit surreal to step inside a hotel or resort that you've spent months or years hyping up--you know how we do it--poring over renderings, searching for possible opening dates, hunting for room amenities and cycling through the reservations system to find out the opening rates for different room types.

But when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs last month, that strangeness was heightened because the resort took more than seven years to open.

In fact, the resort was mostly finished in 2008 but then the financial crisis hit and since one of the hotel's backers just happened to be Lehman Brothers (RIP), the Ritz-Carlton was put on hold. The hotel was locked up--but fully secured and with air conditioning--for the next seven years until new owners (and money) were found to finish up the resort.

It finally opened for real in May. And yes, some of the rooms look exactly like the initial room renderings we saw back in 2007.

Yet despite all those years hidden away, half-finished and neglected, the resort has emerged as a bright, shiny desert gem.

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Get on Your Bike and Tour Downtown at the Ace DTLA

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 16, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

There was one thing we missed while skulking around the Ace DTLA last week; we were so entranced by the gingerbread hotel that we totally missed the bikes in the lobby.

Not just any bikes, either (obviously – this is the Ace); they’re bikes from tokyobike.

This isn’t the first collaboration with tokyobike for Ace; the London hotel has them for guests to use. But unlike London, which is all cold and full of British reserve and lets guests get on with it by themselves, the Ace DTLA is all fuzzy and friendly and American – so they are giving free guided bike tours of Downtown LA.

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The Ace DTLA Is Almost Too Cool for Christmas, But Not Quite

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 12, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in hotel-land. Trees. Baubles. Gingerbread houses. Scented candles – they have it all. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be picking out some of our favorite decorations. Got some OTT trees of your own? Send ‘em in to tips@hotelchatter.com!

What does a hipster hotel do for Christmas? Well, if it’s the Ace DTLA, the answer is that it eschews the traditional tree (so bourgeois!) in favor of a stylish, understated nod to the holiday season.

Enter the Christmas gifts on top of the photo booth, above, which went up a couple of days ago.

But the Ace isn’t really too cool for school, and it can’t resist a good old gingerbread house anymore than the posh hotel across the pond. So down at the Coffee Counter (at the entrance to LA Chapter, the restaurant), you’ll find this glorious representation of the hotel itself:

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How to Evacuate Your Hotel With Style, By the Ace Downtown LA

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  Site Where: 929 S Broadway [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
December 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Evacuated hipsters milling around

You never know how you’ll react in an emergency until it happens. Will you freeze? Will you morph into an action hero? Or will you be a little scared and a little excited and start obsessing over the fact that your teeth aren’t clean #notushonest #okmaybeus?

Yesterday morning we were working in our room on floor 12 of the Ace DTLA when the fire alarm went off. Try as we might to ignore it, we joined the bleary-eyed hipsters stumbling out of their rooms. It turned out to be a smoke alarm on the 13th floor, but we were all evacuated anyway. It was our first hotel evacuation! The excitement! And it was pretty spectacular. After some reflection on why it was so good, we present:

The Official HotelChatter Guide to Evacuating Hotels

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