90405 Travel Guide
Hotel Technology / Hotel Fun / Hotel Bars / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel News / Necomimi / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Day Trips / Santa Monica Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Spas / Hotel Bicycles / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Fun / Hotel Photo Booths / Santa Monica Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Beachfront Hotels / → All Tags
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.)
In Santa Monica, Calif. the June Gloom has finally lifted (on most days at least) to make way for perfect beach cruising weather. And now at the beachfront luxury spot, Shutters on the Beach you can do your cruising in high style, thanks to their new Kate Spade bikes.
The eye-popping green bikes are actually handmade Italian bicycles from Adeline Adeline but they've been styled by Kate Spade and the green is the brand's signature color.
Hotel restaurants are getting savvy about catering to their diners palates. Several spots started offering vegan fare and now the Hotel Casa del Mar is going gluten-free on one of its menus. (But they aren't the first. Fairmont Hotels also made a similar move back in January and Vegas has done gluten free for a while.)
Unlike some eateries that only offer one or two appropriate dishes, the Santa Monica hotel's Catch restaurant has a substantial menu of gluten-free goodies, from crudo and salads to entrees and sides.
iPad Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Let's not call this an accident waiting to happen
Another day, another hotel finding another way to make use of its iPads. This time it’s the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, which has been trumpeting its tech-savvy over the past week. First, it was its display of Google Image Searches as art. Now, it’s providing iPads in its restaurant, Catch, to act as sommelier.
If you're walking through the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, you may do a double take when you see canvases of screen shots from websites like Google and Facebook.
Artist Ken Solomon uses social media and other websites as inspiration for his paintings, drawings and videos. He tries to comment on the constantly changing digital age and attempts to slow down the constant flow of information on the Web by capturing websites in his art.
How close you are to the beach at Casa del Mar.
Looks like The Standard NYC isn't the only hotel interested in going "private." The Hotel Casa del Mar, a luxury beachfront hotel in Santa Monica, has just announced their own private club membership that gives guests year-round access to the pool and fitness center, along with spa discounts and priority seating at the hotel lounge and restaurant, as well as one-time "benefits" such as a one-night stay in the Penthouse, breakfast in bed for two and several spa treatments. Total cost per year? Just $2,500.
Here's the complete breakdown of what you get:
· One night, Penthouse stay
· Breakfast in Bed for two
· One 60 minute facial treatment
· Two 60 minute massages
· One 70 minute Thai Ritual
· Two personal trainer or yoga sessions
· One Moonview session of your choice (a half-day mind/body/spirit experience)
We're loving this! More and more hotels are offering iPads in their rooms for guests to use. The latest to join the cool tech crowd is Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.
The hotel now has complimentary iPads available in their Premier Suites for guests to use during their stay. Aside from all the usual things you can do on an iPad, the hotel has installed a Personalized Digital Concierge app on each one that will allow guests to order room service, reserve a cabana and even book a massage appointment.
The iPads will also come pre-loaded with a selection of movies and music, the Kindle app (so you can pick up where you left off if you left your Kindle at home) and other popular apps like CNN and SportsCenter. No word if Angry Birds is on it though.
Rates for the Premier Suites start at around $830 a night so yes, please make very good use of those iPads.
We often forget about Casa Del Mar, located on the beach in Santa Monica. That's probably because we're too busy focusing on the celebrity sightings at the valet at Shutters on the Beach or the tequila tasting that goes on at the party-centric Viceroy Hotel.
However last Saturday, we remembered just how much we loved the views from Casa Del Mar's lobby bar which has full-frontal views of the Pacific Ocean. And since we hadn't tried dinner at the hotel's restaurant, Catch, we thought that would be the best way to enjoy a low-key Saturday night with friends.
We picked a good day too as the waves in Southern California were hitting record heights, giving us a little more action with our ocean view. The restaurant, just to the left of the lobby bar, is actually quite small and most of the tables are situated near the windows, of course.
We were seated in a small booth which had comfy, neutral-colored cushions with cute little back pillows. We actually sank into the booth which we much prefer over of one of those hard wood booths or one with squeaky leather seating (ladies who wear short dresses you know what we mean.) However, we probably sank a little too low as we felt like a small child sitting at the grown-ups table. Want more rigid seating? Ask for a table directly next to the window.
So we didn't like it when the Sheraton Delfina wanted to charge us for using their iPod and we didn't much like the view, but it's amazing how fast we can forget these indiscretions now that they've put together a package with our favorite lil' circus of all, the Cirque du Soleil.
With Cirque's incredible Kooza show soon to start running in a big top on Santa Monica Pier, the Sheraton Delfina has put together a combo package so we can enjoy the circus and have a decent place to sleep nearby. Despite the corny name - Kooza for Twooza - the deal seems good: you can get overnight accommodation for two, tickets for two to Cirque du Soleil, a bottle of wine and free transportation to and from the show.
Packages start from $359 plus tax which isn't too bad for a room and tickets, but you have to buy them at least a week ahead of time. The deal is good for nearly all of Cirque du Soleil's season from August 16 to December 20 but there's a blackout on November 3 to 11 – and the performers get Monday off so make sure you time your stay right or you'll have to entertain yourselves with your own circus antics.