From the white sandy shores of La Jolla beach, to Napa Valley, and to the most spectacular views over the San Francisco Bay; it’s all about sweet, relaxing Californian dreaming in designer, luxury style. Here are three designer hotels to be found in California, each chosen for their unique designer feel.
Just moments away from the shoreline, Hotel La Jolla is a Kimpton Hotel offering coastal chic, whilst being within walking distance of trendy restaurants, high end shopping and galleries. Gulla Jonsdottir (www.gplusdesign.com/ Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Red O restaurant), LA’s prominent designer, conceptualised Hotel La Jolla and it opened its doors in August 2012, having undergone a dramatic $4M transformation.
Some of the 110 deluxe guest rooms enjoy daily sunsets and panoramic, far-reaching views over the Pacific Ocean. If you fancy even deeper relaxation there is an in-room spa service, between 9am and 9pm every day.
Hiatus, the hotel’s outdoor pool and lounge area is really inviting; tempting guests to swim, sip a drink, sprawl on a lounger, or cosy up by the fire in the evening. Hiatus and the entire hotel have the Gulla Jonsdottir stamp. She is known for designing from the heart, and creating spaces that are seductive and encourage people to linger.
Outside the hotel the shores of La Jolla are ideal for strolling romantically, to de-stress by the ocean or to collect sea shells. If you feel more adventurous, you can go diving into the deep blue through Hotel La Jolla’s partnership with OEX Dive and Kayak Centers and Surf Diva.
As part of Kimpton Hotels, La Jolla offers the Global Business Program, which caters for businesses, associations and clubs of all sizes, to avail of a minimum of 10% discount off the best rates.
Hotel La Jolla also has a good choice of special offers running. The Love, Play, Dream Package which includes deluxe ocean view accommodations, $100 food and beverage credit for the new Mediterranean-inspired 11th floor restaurant, Cusp, champagne and chocolates upon arrival as well as hosted nightly wine hour, complimentary beach cruiser rentals, and more.
Amongst the other specials, the one that intrigued me, because of its name, was the Ménage a Trois Romance Package. This package lets you customise the romantic experience at La Jolla. The Trois (three) refers to a choice of three enhancements which you can choose from seven different options.
Sample price of the Ménage a Trois Package, going for one night on Friday 26th April is $259, with free valet parking and a choice of 3 romantic activities. At this rate there is a choice of 4 different rooms, or you can get an Ocean View Deluxe (385 sq. ft.) with a King Bed for $299.
Located in Yountville, Napa Valley, the Bardessono Hotel is one of only three U.S. hotels to be Leed Platinum Certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification system which has been developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Bardessono team believe that a hotel can be luxurious and very green at the same time.
Designed by WATG, the Bardessono design concept is to melt into the peaceful surroundings of Yountville, yet to shine as a true destination resort. Sustainable building materials, sophisticated energy management systems and organic landscape management practices have been employed in the development of the Bardessono. There are 940 solar panels, 100 year old olive trees and rammed earth sculptural walls, amongst the many environmentally friendly features.
Open since February 2009, the 62 room resort offers accommodations of three different categories, all being sanctuaries of timeless indulgence. These are the Steam Spa-Suite, the King Spa-Suite and the Tufa Suite. The first two are quite similar, the main difference is that the Steam Spa-Suite is on the ground floor.
The hotel’s rooftop pool provides superb views of the Mayacarnas Mountains and the Stags Leap Palisades. There is wine tasting within walking distance and free yoga for guests on Monday and Wednesday evening at 6.00 pm to 7.15 pm, and on a Saturday morning from 9.00 am to 10.15 am.
The Bardessono was voted America’s most romantic hotel on TripAdvisor. One of its packages is the Bardessono Romance, from $450 per night, subject to availability. It includes a complimentary Romance Turn Down which includes TARA body oils and bath salts, champagne and candles, as well as 20% discount at the spa.
“The inn’s accommodations are impeccable…plus bay views to die for” is what Diablo Magazine has to say about the Inn Above Tide. Winner of the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, the Inn Above Tide has 29 rooms and suites which literally hang over the water. Each has its own private teak furnished deck, from where you can watch the fascinating play of light on the sea and enjoy magical views over the Bay. It is a top contender for the most beautiful hotel room view.
Originally built in 1995, in 2004 it underwent a $4 million transformation with Anamar (http://www.anamar.us) being responsible for the interior design. The design concept of the Inn Above Tide is to create soothing, fresh and harmonious spaces that balance the senses. Amongst its many accolades, Frommer’s 2012 states “Sausalito has the bay’s finest accommodation. The view cinches it. Nobody checks out early.” and the British Daily Telegraph says “We liked the sense of relaxed, effortless luxury and those incomparable views.”
There is a continental breakfast which you can either have with the other guests, or ask for it to be delivered along with your newspaper to your room. Then you can enjoy it on your private deck with picture postcard views. The Inn Above Tide also has wine and cheese tasting in the evenings, from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm, which is a nice way to mingle with other guests if you fancy it.
However other dining needs to be done in Sausalito, where you can walk to a generous range of good restaurants. Alternatively you can take the ferry to San Francisco. Room rates start off at $330 for a double superior room.
Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Holiday Home Advice.