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If you’re staying at Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar tonight or will be there early tomorrow morning, you’ll be treated to a special show—a view of the Space shuttle Endeavour being carried on the back of a specially modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft.
The Endeavour will leave, weather permitting, Edwards Air Force Base around 7:15 a.m. Friday morning, to tour, then enter the Los Angeles airspace around 10:30 am before it retires at its permanent home—the California Science Center. Naturally, because of security issues, timing isn't exact.
Lucky hotel guests can witness this historical moment by taking the elevator to the 10th floor, and climbing the exit door to the Fairmont’s rooftop. We're thinking this a better option than say, rubbernecking on the freeway or getting caught in congestion in some of the most popular fly-by areas.
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We usually flock to hotel lobbies to admire their artwork, slurp down specialty cocktails and entertain ourselves with some people-watching (tourist or local? trophy wife or escort?) but over at the Casa Del Mar this treasured ritual of ours could soon be replaced with mind-reading.
Yes, thanks to these newfangled gadgest from Necomini we can see what it's like to be in Sookie Stackhouse's shoes for once. Kind of.
The futuristic headsets called. Necomimi Brainwave Catears, are on loan to guests at the hotel's Lobby Lounge bar. Here's how they work: One sensor is placed on the user's forehead and another is clipped to their ear. And atop their head, sits a pair of giant cat ears. As the sensors monitor the user's brainwaves, the ears will move accordingly. Apparently, the ears perk up when the user is "alert" and will drop down when the user is relaxed or "in the zone."
We've been known to swipe some hotel swag during our stays--toiletries, slippers, notepads, pencils and the like but when it comes to hotel beach bags, we don't mind having to pay up, especially if it's a limited edition one like this tote that designer kate spade did for Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica.
The bag features a blue and green "solar" print from Florence Broadhurst, the late Australian textile designer whose collection kate spade has been incorporating into her looks. The bucket tote is relatively simple, with an open top, an interior pocket and leather-trimmed handles but it also comes with hangtag noting the exclusive collaboration. Plus, it totally matches the green kate spade bikes on loan at the hotel.
Interested in owning this bag for yourself? Only 100 bags will be available at the hotel and through their online shop at ShuttersBeachStyle.com for $198. With room rates hovering near $500 at the hotel, think of buying the bag as a cheaper way to "experience" the hotel.
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We love luxury hotels but we can't always afford to stay in them. Thankfully, hotels these days are way more than just rooms for paying hotel guests. Between visiting the lobbies, bars, restaurants, and spas inside these upper echelon hotels, it's practically as good as staying the night. Here's our latest installment of how to quench your champagne tastes on a Coca-Cola budget with a Hotel Day Trip.
We hit up Shutters on The Beach the other day for a quick lunch at their beachfront restaurant, Coast. If you can't afford one of the $400+ rooms at the hotel, doing a casual brunch or lunch (or even dinner) at Coast is the affordable alternative to experiencing the hotel.
Our go-to order is the tomato soup ($11) with mini-grilled cheese sandwiches and a side of french fries ($5). But the fish tacos ($15) and the caesar salad ($13) are tasty and filling as well. And if you come on Farmer Market Wednesdays, the chefs at Shutters will incorporate their freshest findings from the Santa Monica Farmers Market into a three-course Market Dinner for just $29.
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Loews Santa Monica isn't about to let kids get away with saying "I'm booooored" during their stay. Through its brand new Fit For Fun wellness program, families wanting to get in a little exercise during their stay can choose from over a dozen outdoor activities offered at the iconic beachfront hotel.
Kids age five and up can try doing yoga on the beach, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains—they'll even get a taste for celebrity life in the "run from the paparazzi" jogging tour. Parents are of course encouraged to join in on the fun too, but the bulk of the activities are geared towards keeping kids fit and healthy.
As the hotel puts it, "Muscle Beach’s newest body builders are four-feet tall and weigh in at 46 lbs," which is probably true ever since word got out that one of the Jonas brothers likes to work out here too.
Aside from having stylish and green guestrooms with Pacific Oceans views, an eco-friendly fitness center and an upcoming Blue Plate Taco restaurant, The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica has now added a bit of fun for their guests in the form of a digital photo booth.
Found in the lobby near the check-in desk the photo booth lets guest take either a single image or an old-school photo strip with the Shore Hotel logo (as you can see in the gallery below, the hotel's logo is everywhere!).
And keeping in line with the hotel's emphasis on being green and conserving waste, the photos are only emailable (no paper waste here) and you can share them on Facebook and Twitter as well. Cheeeeese!
Room rates at the hotel start around $220 a night.
After touring the hotel the other day, we're not so sure we've ever seen a more stylish yet totally green hotel from the construction of the building to the materials in the rooms down to the recycling bins under the desk. The hotel even employs its own Green Concierge. And below is the shot of the hotel's fitness center where we found the water bottle water fountain and which has a floor made from recycled rubber and tires.
While the first weekend open for the new Shore Hotel in Santa Monica was a hot and sunny one, the temp cooled down a bit yesterday when we stopped by to check out the spot.
Still, the chilly weather didn't stop a few guests from hanging out by the street-facing pool (which can only be accessed with a hotel key card btw) and it looked like some sort of corporate event was happening in the lobby. We also spotted a few beach towels hanging over the railing of a room on the top floor as well as some beach chairs in the restaurant space where the Blue Taco restaurant is set to open.
Just yesterday after we learned how good The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica will smell, we learned how good the place will taste. The hotel, opening on October 1, has announced that Blue Plate Taco will be the restaurant that's serving up lunch and dinner to guests and non-guests seven days a week.
As the restaurant's name suggests, menu options will include tacos like the mouthwatering Lobster Truffle Tacos but also salads, grilled seafoods and meats and ceviches, all served with the restaurant's homemade tortillas. Also homemade? The margaritas flowing from Blue Plate Taco's full bar. Not a marg person? It's ok, the restaurant promises ice cold Mexican beer too.
What's that smell? Well, it depends on what month it is!
It's no secret here that HotelChatter is a little obsessed with hotel scents as we've been chronicling who smells like what for some time now. And now we've got a whiff of what the upcoming Shore Hotel in Santa Monica will smell like.
According to our top nose, the hotel is going to use a different scent each month. This immediately had us wondering if the hotel would smell like a Pumpkin Spice Latte since opening day is October 1, prime fall time.
But alas, the hotel is going to start off with "fresh" scents for the opening and then transition into seasonal ones. So will the hotel smell like turkey and cranberry in November and pine trees in December? We can only hope!
If you want to sniff out the Shore Hotel when it opens, rooms are currently avail on October 7 for a special grand opening rate of $220 a night. (That's actually down a lot from when we last looked too!)
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Regardless of where you stand on the gluten-free trend (silly or imperative), these gluten-free drinks are delicious. Even better, they are wheeled around on a little cocktail trolley and crafted at your behest by the hotel's mixologist. For instance, we requested something not too strong but not too sweet and we were given a Sunflower ($12) made with Absolut Citron, Veev Acai and Lemon Sour. Delightful.
Later on, the hotel let us sample some of the gluten-free entrees at Catch prepared by Chef Jason Bowlin such as a prosciutto and melon salad topped with burrata, rosemary and olive oil ($14) and a variety of spiedini or Italian-style kebabs, with swordfish, white prawns, pork tenderloin or beef. (Our fave was the prawns with chorizo, fennel and olives, $26.)
Let's be real here. When you come to Los Angeles for a trip--whether it be business, leisure or to meet up with that "director" who you met online in a chat room--you are going to want to see some celebrities. In fact, you won't go home unless you see one.
Now if you're staying on the Westside (and that means anything west of Beverly Hills), we usually recommend popping into glorious boutique fashion mecca Fred Segal for a guaranteed celeb sighting. After all Blake and Leo were spotted there last week. But Fred Segal is also great for, duh, shopping and now the Loews Santa Monica Hotel has wisely partnered up with the store to bring the fashion to its guests.