Six Ways to Spoil Yourself
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- For star-gazing, and we’re not talking astronomy, head for super-service hotels in Hollywood, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills Hotel, nicknamed the “Pink Palace,” has a guest list that includes Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, and Michael Caine, among many others. Another famous star haunt, the boutique Hotel Bel-Air, has undergone a major renovation, and is as posh and service-oriented as ever.
- Outside L.A. is the desert oasis of Palm Springs, where golf and spa retreats abound. The Parker Palm Springs is set amid landscaped gardens. Visit Norma’s, the resort’s restaurant , and tuck into a Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, with eggs, lobster, and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar–all for a cool $1,000. At La Quinta Resort & Club, features include a full-service spa, 41 cabana-trimmed pools, 53 whirlpools, and world-class golf.
- California is packed with luxury that tells a story as well. The spectacular Hotel del Coronado on San Diego’s Coronado Island was immortalized in the 1959 Marilyn Monroe classic, Some Like It Hot. The former transatlantic ocean liner Queen Mary is now permanently moored as a hotel and tourist attraction at Long Beach, west of L.A. Surround yourself with natural beauty, as waterfalls and granite monoliths in Yosemite National Park frame the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee), built in 1927.
- Consider an epic and jaw-dropping drive through Big Sur, which makes a spectacular setting for overnight stays. Check into Post Ranch Inn, lauded as one of the country’s top lodgings, with glass-walled cottages tucked into the cliffs, and evening views of nothing but sea and sunset. Ventana Inn & Spa is another five-star option in Big Sur, as is Hyatt Carmel Highlands.
- Try for luck at some of California’s major casino developments, which offer luxury accommodations such as Harrah's Resort Southern California in San Diego County, and Agua Caliente near Palm Springs.
- Luxury can also encompass environmental awareness, and California has some of the country’s most beautiful eco-conscious hotels. Consider Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, near Lake Tahoe; luxurious Montage Beverly Hills near L.A.; and the Pacific Blue Inn in downtown Santa Cruz. All have taken major steps to incorporate green materials and practices into their facilities.