Getaway to Los Angeles + Santa Monica + Malibu
“I love LA!” do your remember that Randy Newman song from the 1980’s? Every time my husband and I return to the ‘old stomping grounds’ (where he grew up and I lived in my later 20’s) one of us ends up riffing on that song. We decided on a road trip to LA for New Year’s week. In reality we spent time in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Newport Beach.
With at least an 8 hour road trip that day, our first stop was the wonderful Hotel Angeleno, on the border of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, just off the 405. Located below the renowned Getty Center, this cylindrical hotel has stood the test of time. As a little kid I remember thinking ‘how cool’ it would be to stay within those curved walls. We arrived 2 hours later than expected (due to heavy traffic on the notorious I-5) and were so happy that we had made dinner reservations at West restaurant, conveniently located on the top floor of the hotel.The ambiance at West is romantic, with candlelight tables and stunning views of city lights from downtown LA to the coast. The seasonal menu was super fresh and delicious. We returned the next morning, and Scott’s Special K french toast was beyond tasty. We highly recommend West for a romantic dinner or sunny brunch.
The view from West
We spent the next sun-splashed day touring our old haunts, mine in Pasadena, La Canada, Santa Monica, and Scott’s in Westchester. Sometimes a walk down memory lane is good for the soul. I pulled out my spanking new Canon EOS Rebel T3i to take it out for a spin.
We ended a memorable day cruising along Pacific Coast Highway, sunroof open wide, in time to catch the sunset and drinks on the terrace at Geoffrey’s Malibu. The stunning views combined with tasty bites, generous pours and warm service make it a must do for every visit.
Santa Monica is just a few miles from Hotel Angeleno and is one of my favorite spots in Southern California. I remember many weekends during my late 20’s, driving to Santa Monica with my bike strapped on my Honda to ride the beach bike path. I always had a little makeup, black skirt and heels stuffed in the trunk, as well as a picnic blanket. There was lots of fun to be had at the beach, and you just never knew what adventure was in store for your day… or evening. I regaled poor Scott with those funny stories of the fun and folly of my youth. Somehow getting in touch with memories makes you feel a bit younger. #spontaneousdanceparty
After a leisurely morning we headed to Montana Avenue for a filling brunch at Cafe Montana. The street is lined with sweet boutiques, great coffee houses, cafes and yoga studios. I gathered that yoga mats are a ‘must have’ accessory for strolling around on Montana Ave. Another favorite for lunch or dinner is Father’s Office. It’s said they have the best burger in the States. I love to drive around the residential streets north of Montana, where the mix of classic and modern architecture reside beautifully side by side.Heading to the coast on Montana Avenue brings us to Ocean Blvd., with a row of iconic mid-century hotels. This area always reminds me of South Beach Miami. A stroll along the path, with sweeping ocean views, is mandatory. People watching is always an added bonus. We did a little shopping at the new Santa Monica Place. An open air shopping destination with higher end department stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom as well as ‘visionary’ restaurants.
On my wish list for this trip was a visit to the Viceroy Santa Monica with interiors by one of my favorite designers, Kelly Wearstler. I own several of her books, have the images all over my pinterest boards, but had never been there in person. We lounged, we grazed and satiated our thirst in luxurious style. #bucketlist
Back at the hotel, we dressed for dinner and headed to one of my favorite spots from back in the day, Huntley Santa Monica Beach. We dined at the Penthouse with incredible views of the ocean and city lights. It was another memorable evening in Santa Monica.
Scott and I have stayed at Hotel Angelo two times before and the location is fantastic. Each room has a balcony, stylish furnishings, luxury linens and Lather spa products. The pool is heated, and the outdoor lounge area has a cozy fireplace.
For this visit, the Hotel Angeleno generously offered us a complimentary stay/media rate nights. Our thanks to Dean, Riley, Elijah and staff for the warm welcome and making our stay so comfortable. All opinions expressed are my own. It was time to head out for our next destination, but we are already looking forward to our next stay at Hotel Angeleno.
Palm Trees in Beverly Hills
Where are your ‘old stomping grounds’?
Do you ever make time to retrace your steps?
I would love to hear…..
Sparkling gifts at my Stylemindchic Boutique