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Lovely remote Airbnb in Joshua Tree
It’s taken a while, and a spell at rock bottom, but it’s happened. It’s over. I’m in recovery. I am no longer addicted to Airbnb.
When it launched, I loved the idea of Airbnb. Good hotels are wonderful, of course, but they’re also unaffordable for many people. On the other hand, few things are as dispiriting in travel as staying in a mediocre hotel with uninformed, unmotivated staff. Airbnb promised a local experience with locals who cared. What was not to love?
My first Airbnb hit was in Moscow. In a city where even a budget hotel costs around $300, I stayed in a world-famous Stalinist skyscraper for $130. Sure, there was no hot water but there was history – an infinite amount. (Plus the guy refunded me $80 for the lack of water.)
I went on to have better and better experiences. A stunning midcentury house in Palm Springs – an entire house – for less than a room at the Parker. A cabin on its own 15-acre desert plot in Joshua Tree. A gorgeous apartment in Warsaw.
But this summer I fell out of love.
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.
Ok. Let's be honest. The only good thing that we can say about this old room at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Long Beach, Calif. is that we're loving the Queen Mary outside the window. Everything else though, can go. And fortunately that's exactly what happened.
The Renaissance has just finished an $8 million renovation that upgraded each of the 374 guest rooms, including the 14 suites and the presidential suite, as well as the lobby, the Club Lounge and the fitness center. Work on the pool is set to begin soon.
Well, what are you waiting for? Take a look at how the rooms look now!
It's a significantly big deal that the mercury will hit the 80s this weekend in New York. It's been a long hard road to summer, and we totally think we deserve a drink for getting through that god-awful winter. Racing to the top of our list of summer cocktails already is the Allegria Sunset served at L'Onda Bar and Atlantica, the restaurant, at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach.
We chose this sunny little concoction off the list of signature drinks last week and we were not disappointed. It looks like summer and it tastes like summer. Here's why ...
Yes, this dog has dreads. He’s a Puli. If you’re staying in a Long Beach hotel this weekend, you’ll probably share an elevator with one of these guys. You might also see an Afghan hound in foils, or a sheepdog wearing booties. Dogs with crazy hair will be all over Long Beach this weekend, thanks to the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show. If you loved Best in Show, or just like checking out adorable doggies, you can buy a ticket to the show, scope out the “Meet the Breeds” exhibit at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center—or just hang out in one of the hotel lobbies and watch the spectacle.
We hit up the hotel on Sunday during the first day of brunch service by the hotel's indoor/outdoor resetaurant, Fuego, which serves coastal Mexican cuisine. The views, especially on clear sunny day, are awesome.
You can see the docked Queen Mary cruise ship off to the right as well as any other cruise ships docking in Long Beach for the night. You can see downtown Long Beach across the bay, including the city's aquarium and right in front of you are sailboats galore. Even the city's Aquabus makes a stop here. If you're really lucky, you might spot a seal or two.
The property now sports 197 ocean- and garden-view rooms with private balconies, designed as a “fusion of Latin American beachside resort and modern Southern California style.” That means airy guest rooms decorated in creamy and earth tones, with a few splashes of color on the walls and pillows.
The new hotel will also house a seafood bistro called Fuego, a fitness center, and a business and events center right on the waterfront. For your leisure time, there is a heated lap pool and Jacuzzi, and a water canal where you will find floating cabanas to while away your time.
The Hotel Maya, a JDV Hotel in Long Beach, is set to re-open after a massive $20 million renovation this summer (the date of the big unveiling is supposed to be July 1st, and the website still says work will be completed on June 30th so we think this will happen on time) with totally revamped rooms and a new restaurant, Fuego at Hotel Maya.
While standard rates at the South-Waterfront-district-located hotel will run you $159-$249 most of the time, they're celebrating their big re-opening with a special totally all-inclusive opening rate. Booking the "Mayan Journey" Package available July 15th through the end of the year for $149 per person gets you a room, breakfast, a three-course dinner at Fuego, some Mexicali Chocolate at check-in, a Sangria tasting every day at 5 p.m. (ooooh), water taxi transportation and free parking.