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Hotel Cars / Hotel House Cars / Luxury Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / ETC Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
One of the perks of staying in a luxury hotel is riding in the complimentary house car, which is often a car you'd never be able to afford in real life. We're talking Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous cars like Mercedes, Rolls Royce and Bentley. But now in Santa Monica, Calif., Shutters on The Beach is offering a very 21st century type of house car, one that's quickly become the new "it" brand in luxury--a Tesla Model S.
General manager Gregory Day said the hotel changes out their house car every year but have slowly been moving towards a greener alternative.
"We've always been heavy-Mercedes house," he said, while showing off the Tesla in the hotel's porte-cochère. "We had a CLS 550 when I got here and I think our next one we got, to make it more environmentally-friendly, we got a V6 engine, and then the last car we had was a S400 hybrid Mercedes," Day said. "But the more we learned about it, hybrid isn't that green in a sense because the battery, once it's done, there's no way to recycle it."
The hotel considered electric vehicles but Day said it was hard to find one that would also appeal to their high-end guests. So when the Tesla came out, the hotel dug both its sleek look and its technology.
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Select Loews properties have revved up a partnership with super-cool car brand, FIAT.
Five Loews Hotels & Resorts across the U.S.—Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., Loews Regency Hotel in NYC, Loews Hollywood Hotel, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and Loews Miami Beach Hotel—will ensure you keep your very important appointment in a chauffeured 2014 FIAT 500L.
Plus, three of the properties—Loews Miami Beach, Loews Hollywood and Loews Santa Monica Beach—really go the distance by offering two complimentary FIAT loaner vehicles (the Fiat 500L and either the Fiat Cabrio or the all-electric Fiat 500e depending on location)—for you to tootle around town on your own for up to three hours a day.
Rooms at Loews Hotels & Resorts go for approximately $209 per night depending on the individual property.
[Photo: Loews Hotels & Resorts]
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Fresh off a rather good review in the NY Times, the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica will soon no longer exist. But don't worry, it's not as dire as it sounds. Actually, the hotel is getting a brand upgrade to Le Meridien.
The hotel, which incidentally is managed by the Viceroy Hotels, will be known as the Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica. It will also receive another round of renovations to feature the signature Le Méridien Hub™ lobby experience, large-scale artwork, the exclusive Le Meridien signature scent, and the brand's UNLOCK ART program, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collection and access to Le Méridien brand affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city.
Rates at the Sheraton start at $270 a night. The Le Meridien brand will officially take over sometime this fall. Rates will definitely go up then but don't worry, your SPG points are still good here.
Not only does this news mark a return to Los Angeles for Le Meridien (they used to be where the SLS Hotel now is), this is another example of the brand's push to expand their brand, right here in America. So far this year, we've seen Le Meridien take over existing hotels in Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. We wonder who will be next?
When we toured the Palihouse Santa Monica a few months back, the hotel was still in the middle of transforming the old Embassy Hotel Apartments near Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade into hotelier Avi Brosh's vision for "Palihouse at the Beach."
But now the hotel is ready to show off its incredible design.
Here's a bunch of photos we've received from the hotel of the lobby and a guestroom. Take a minute and browse through these shots. We think you'll like.
Room categories are classic rooms, studio suites and one and two-bedroom "residences." Rates range from about $350 to $1,500 per night. But remember, that includes free WiFi, AppleTV, Dean & Deluca minibar treats and finally, a chic and sophisticated place to stay in Santa Monica.
[All photos courtesy of Palihouse Santa Monica]
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The sun is shining, the water’s warm and a girl needs a chi-chi bag that’ll be able to keep up with her stylin’ swimsuit. These three hotels make it easy for you to do just that and here’s how to get your hands on 'em.
If you’re a Starwood SPG member, this is your lucky day. Starwood has partnered with kate spade new york to come up with a line of beach totes inspired by four categories in the SPG Members' Favorite Resorts List: Best Spa Indulgence, Most Romantic Retreat, Best Island Paradise, and Best Golf Getaway. Each tote has its own punchy phrase, matched with its own punchy color, that represents each category. The bags are available at kate spade new york boutiques or online for $199. You can also enter the “Off We Go” contest until June 6 to win a trip to a Starwood resort along with a choice collection of kate spade goodies.
This is the scene these days on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and as you can see, The Viceroy Santa Monica is right in the thick of the construction zone (without having any work done to its own building.)
The construction, which has made this stretch of Ocean Avenue from Pico to Colorado a pain to get through, is all for the Ocean Avenue South, a luxury apartment project from Related Companies, with 318 residences as well as retail, restaurants and walkable plazas. The sales launch for the units should launch this summer with construction going for at least a year beyond that.
Which means that the entire north side of the Viceroy looks out onto a building site and much of its entrance is slowed down by the traffic caused by this annoying scene. While the Le Merigot Hotel and The Loews Hotel also have to put up with ugly construction views, at least their properties are across the street from the actual jackhammering.
Fortunately for the Viceroy, the noise doesn't seem to be bothering too many guests. All of their recent TripAdvisor reviews are really positive except this one which said the construction made it hard to enjoy being outside by the pool. The hotel's director of rooms wrote that work is "expected to lessen."
We sincerely hope so.
Rates this weekend start at around $300.
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As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
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Once again, here's your semi-regular update on the Los Angeles hotel scene....
The Loews Santa Monica: We've been chronicling the exterior update to the Loews Santa Monica since the beginning of the year. The other day we drove by at sundown and noticed special light projections on the exterior as well as a living wall. Pretty! But it turns out changes were happening on the inside as well. Guestrooms have new glass balconies that enable better enjoyment of the Pacific Ocean views. Later this year the pool will get premium poolside cabana rooms and beach-level rooms that will have residential-style patios, complete with fire pits. Rates at the hotel start at $498 a night for a weekend in mid-May. Ocean view rooms are more at $588.
The Moment: Last we checked in on The Moment, the new boutiquey hotel in Hollywood (above), the place had missed its planned February opening. Looking on the hotel website today, we still can't book a room for tonight or later this weekend or the first of May. We were, however, able to find a room in mid-May for $235 a night for a queen bed. That includes free WIFi and complimentary bikes. While the website may not have room rezzies open for tonight at this time, it does sport some cool new photos of the rooms. If you can splurge, the king suite patio at 600-sq.ft. looks the coolest with two flat-screen TVs and even a Keurig machine.
Oceana Santa Monica General Manager, Christoph Moje
Have you ever flirted with a hotel concierge? In our series, Concierge Interviews, HotelChatter goes behind the Front Desk and gets chummy with the men—and women—whose job it is to never say no. Got a burning question you'd like us to ask? Or have someone in mind for us to interview? Email us your requests!
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Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.
Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!
We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.
Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.
More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.
Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!
Hotel Renovations / Photo Gallery / Beach Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Restaurants / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
It's Guess the Hotel revealed!
We could have picked plenty other parts of LA for our West Coast jaunt this weekend: Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, or maybe, if we were feeling reaallly generous with ourselves, Beverly Hills. But no, we had to be stubborn about it and go after beachy, balmy Santa Monica.
The sun, the sand, the waves, we wanted it all. The only problem was, luck wasn't on our side, and the weather all weekend stayed cloudy and in the 60s.
This gave us a good chance to acquaint ourselves with our room, a spacious Ocean View Suite at the Oceana Santa Monica (ocean views are normally a good thing, but this time it just reminded us how we were missing out on quality sprawled-out-on-the-beach tanning time).
Inside the room, we caught up on work, watched Gladiator on TNT, and even played a few rounds of checkers with our friend. (Yup, that's right! The mystery flip-top checkers board table we showed you yesterday is indeed found at the Oceana Santa Monica.)
Then, just as we were getting ready to check out, we saw shadows start to become defined on our wall, and realized—gasp!—the sun was finally coming out! And just in the nick of time. So we did what any hotel geek would do and scoured the property to take photos of the hotel the way it's meant to be seen.
Click through for our photo gallery of the sun-drenched lobby and pool courtyard!
When The Shore Hotel opened in Santa Monica, Calif. over a year ago, we were excited that (finally!) a new, hip and eco-friendly hotel had opened just a mere two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier along Ocean Avenue. But we were equally, maybe more, excited for the Blue Plate Taco restaurant to open adjacent to the hotel.
The taco joint would be the third restaurant from the Blue Plate people who also have well-reviewed Blue Plate Oysterette further north on Ocean Avenue as well as popular breakfast spot, Blue Plate Kitchen inland on Montana Avenue. It took a while, but BPT finally opened last Fall, giving hotel guests a fun spot to grab margaritas, ceviches chips and guac, grilled corn and of course tacos. And we finally got to hit up the spot on Saturday night.