Getaway for a Day, Close to Beverly Hills
With much of the world off-limits to American travelers this summer, many locals are embracing day-long “daycations” and overnight “staycations” at properties in Beverly Hills, downtown L.A. and the beach.
The bucolic grounds of the Hotel Bel-Air, with swans floating by the entrance bridge, has always been an ideal spot for an escape. The property is offering a new staycation experience with a relaxed check-in and check-out time based on guests’ schedules. “We have seen a large increase in reservations from drive markets and many are booking our staycation offer, which allows guests to check-in and check-out at their preferred times,” General Manager Denise Flaunders told the Courier.
According to Flaunders, guests like to maximize their time on the property lounging poolside or relaxing on their private patios with landscaped gardens. To add to the specialized experience, visitors can now order a bespoke picnic basket, have a romantic candlelight dinner in their room and even order ingredients to leisurely mix up their favorite cocktails. The staff will also arrange in-room wellness amenities with a bubble bath experience, yoga instructor on the patio or an aromatherapy treatment. “Our guests do not have to travel far to feel like they are truly getting away for a much-needed vacation,” added Flaunders. Of course, the Wolfgang Puck-helmed patio restaurant is available anytime to outside guests as well.
Former CEO of GBK Productions, Gavin Keilly, who produced VIP/celebrity gifting suites every awards season, has channeled his talents into GBK Brand Bar at the Kimpton La Peer. The shop features everything from bathing suits to CBD sundries, doggie-duds by Chanel and Badgley Mischka, to designer masks from Gucci and Prada.
While you’re shopping, sip wines by the glass or selections from the coffee bar. Food options include caviar, vegan cheese and rosé all-day on the first Saturday of the month. Taco Thursdays bring $2 tacos and complimentary drinks with a street party scene.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Brian Ogawa, the former executive chef from Nobu, makes sushi which you can take to go or eat in on the back-patio of the hotel.
If you’re craving a more urban atmosphere, missed during your annual culture trip to New York, downtown L.A. has new skyline offerings.
While many downtown hotels are temporarily closed, the London and Williamsburg, Brooklyn import, The Hoxton, reopened in late July on Broadway. The Pilot rooftop restaurant is a cozy spot for an all-day menu featuring black truffle pasta, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza or Spanish paella for two (weekends only). After 5 p.m., order the Olive Oil Gin martini with grappa and St. Germain. Should you have one too many, a staycation is not a problem. If you’d like to have a small gathering with close friends, colleagues or family, “the apartment” on the second floor is also available for rent with a private kitchen and conference-screening room.
Another mid-century modern newcomer drawing an artsy, eclectic crowd, The Wayfarer opened in early August on Flower Street with an enviable skyline view from The Rooftop bar and lounge that specializes in Tiki cocktails. Currently, they are open for dinner Thursday through Sunday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For a little more culture wrapped up in a historic building, the Hotel Figueroa is celebrating 94-years on Aug. 14. The hotel was originally opened as a safe haven for women travelers in 1926, and today is continuing its ongoing Featured Artist Series partnership with Society6, showcasing the works of local, independent female artists.
For complete seclusion, Nobu Ryokan Malibu is accepting reservations for only eight of the 16 luxury ocean view accommodations, complete with deep teak soaking tubs and indoor-outdoor fireplaces, to allow for full social distancing. You can also have Nobu sushi and sake delivered in-room from the famous restaurant thanks to a special menu for guests.
There is no need to leave your personal space or the soothing waves unless you feel like taking a sunset walk along the shore.