Two for the price of one is unusual when it comes to hotels. But that’s what greets guests in downtown LA. Opened in July, two Marriott brands—a 174-room Courtyard and a 219-room Residence Inn—now share the same brand new contemporary building, within steps of L.A. LIVE and across the street from the sleek JW Marriott tower.
A new restaurant in Surf City USA, aka Huntington Beach, offers a variety of views for group dining, all of them stunning. The patio at Watertable, the reimagined signature restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Beach Resort & Spa, is a sprawling al fresco space with a smell-the-salt-air oceanfront vista, a fire table, shaded trellis and communal tables, with a capacity of 80.
If you read hotel marketing materials as much as I do, you’ll realize that many like to say they “feel just like home.” I’ve always taken issue with that – not because I don’t love my own home – but because when I travel I want my hotel to be different. I want to experience something unique and memorable. Comfortable, yes, but exactly like what I have at home…no thanks.
How can a hotel make a name and a niche for itself in a crowded marketplace? In Santa Barbara, the 122-room facility once known as Hotel Oceana has new ownership and a new name, Hotel Milo. The name and ownership change (it’s the Independent Collection’s 10th property) presents opportunities for the harborside boutique property to redefine itself.
I am insatiably curious and always keen to learn something new, but I find that I am surprised by the seemingly familiar more often than not. Case in point? The Palm restaurant in Philadelphia. This elegant steakhouse is tucked inside the landmark Hyatt at The Bellevue hotel. It exudes that classic steakhouse appeal – a dark wood bar, a buzzy “business is getting done here” ambience and professional male waiters sporting jackets.
CALIFORNIA HAS SCORES of options for corporate getaways aiming to restore and recharge. These four hotels have spot-on service and make planning the event an exercise in relaxation, too.
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, San Luis Obispo
Bringing a south-of-France taste and look to Newport Beach, the 12,000-square-foot FIG & OLIVE restaurant made its debut in December with not one, but two nights of opening parties for 700. The pace has not slowed since. With six distinct dining areas, event planners have taken full advantage of the 330-seat restaurant’s options, says Samantha Heart, FIG & OLIVE’s director of special events. "The O.C.
One of the phrases that my mother often utters is "kill two birds with one stone." She’s far from violent. Instead, she is highly organized and is the embodiment of a multi-tasker. Like mother, like daughter. I love nothing better than getting two things done at once and just last week I managed to do just that. I interviewed a terrific Philadelphia personality (stay tuned to read that fun interview in our fall issue) and rediscovered a terrific event space. Our interview just so happened to be a lunch meeting at Cuba Libre.
Taking its color palette and sense of openness from the surrounding desert mountain ranges, the re-imagined Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage opens to guests May 15. The now 244-room property - plus 16-new spa suites - will be familiar to many, as it was previously a Ritz-Carlton (and briefly the Lodge) until it closed for renovations in 2006. Financial issues stalled the re-opening but most will agree it was worth the wait.