My dog Carlos and I celebrated the recent holiday weekend by taking a road trip to a trio of Kimpton properties in Southern California. I’m always happy when an invitation to check out a new property includes a “dog welcome” plus one. And I’m sure many dog owners attending corporate meetings are, too.

Kimpton, a collection of more than 65 boutique hotels in 34 cities across the United States—and their first-ever European property, in Amsterdam--truly puts the “friendly” in “dog friendly.” Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome; there is no extra fee if a canine guest accompanies you, and pet bowls along with a doggy bed are delivered to your room. Oh, and Carlos wants me to make sure to mention that doggy treats abound, and are cheerfully handed out by everyone from valet parking attendants to check-in staff and hotel managers.

We started our journey at the Shorebreak in Huntington Beach, where we only needed to cross the street for a stroll along the dog-friendly (leash required) beach. From that property with its mellow surf vibe we drove up the coast to the Canary Santa Barbara. Here the style was Spanish-inspired and sophisticated, and our walks took us through the heart of Santa Barbara’s downtown, past chic boutiques and wine tasting rooms.

Then, it was off to Goleta, just a few miles north, where we checked into The Goodland Hotel. This hotel was hip, happening and Carlos’ favorite. The retro-cool lobby was filled with dogs ranging from small (mini poodles) to medium (Boston terriers) and large (a pony-sized great Dane), and Carlos, acting as an unofficial canine concierge, made it his business to offer a friendly hello, and a sniff, to each and every one.

Next on Carlos’ bucket list: the Kimpton Solamar and Palomar in San Diego and the newly renovated Kimpton Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills, just down the road.

After many delays and budget overruns, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has finally opened. It’s a blockbuster, with enough dazzle, beauty and innovation to, arguably, justify its $484 million cost. And, in good news for meeting planners, the event space here is gorgeous!

 

It’s the heart of Aggieland & Texas

College Station is located in the heart of central Texas within a three-hour drive of five of the nation’s 20 largest cities – and more than 87% of the state’s population. It’s an easy drive from all major cities in Texas or quick arrival/departure experience via Easterwood Airport (CLL). 

 

Fellow, a gorgeous new restaurant and private event venue (capacity 650) in West Los Angeles, takes a sustainable and serious approach to its cocktail program. Bar director Adam Fournier, the  2021 U.S. World Class Bartender of the Year, repurposes kitchen and bar produce into cordials and kitchen stocks.