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Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

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Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

My husband and I are attending a conference in downtown LA Feb 12-15 2014 and are arriving in LA on Feb 7 for 5 days of pre-conference fun (and romance)!

We would really like to get out of the city and spend some time at a beach boutique hotel (something 5 star, classy and romantic)...We enjoy hiking, biking, wine, live music (and music history in general!), excellent food (the fresher the better -especially seafood) and eclectic shopping. I've thought about Malibu or some other place on the beach but honestly not having been there before I don't have a clue which beaches are worth staying at or if we should try a few different spots??

We will have a rental car so are able to get around. So we have time in the city to get out and explore there but really want to get a feel for the LA greater area - especially the ocean!

Any suggestions from LA-lovers and people who have lived there would be greatly appreciated! Also any good restaurant and attraction suggestions would be awesome.

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1. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

If your budget is unlimited, look at Terranea

http://www.terranea.com/

Be prepared for hubby proposing all over again and wanting to renew your vows!

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2. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

Malibu is a famous brand name, but probably not what you are looking for. It is isolated and not that much is going on near there. Not much in the way of hotels there, anyway.

Santa Monica is a great, vibrant town, and has easy access to the sights of LA. Some of LA's most famous beachside hotels are located there. Wonderful restaurants, great pedestrian life, attractive town-- but more "urban' than some of the other beach choices. Several very upscale choices here; probably LA's #1 beach destination. Shutters and Casa del Mar come to mind right offhand.

I believe Manhattan Beach has a new-ish boutique hotel; I have not seen it. Fun, intimate, charming beach town, a bit farther from most LA attractions than Santa Monica. Less touristy, more low key. Not sure if Shade is 5 star-- perhaps not-- and it is a few blocks from the beach.

Terranea is also in LA County. It is on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, in a gorgeous residential area, but is rather isolated. It isn't really part of a beach community. I'd guess at least a 20 minute drive just to get to the freeway. It is more of a resort hotel than the choices in Santa Monica.

If you are willing to leave LA County, there are some good choices, in lovely areas with lots to do. But they would NOT be a good base for LA sightseeing. The two top choices for me would be Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara. Wonderful towns, but over an hour to the LA area.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 22:00
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3. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

Manhattan Beach is a nice place to visit. We have two hotels that are near the beach, Shade and Sea View Inn. Coworkers who have stayed at both, like them, but they are at opposite ends of the cost spectrum. Shade is upscale and is a boutique hotel in a boutique shopping area in Manhattan Beach, an easy 3 or 4 blocks from the beach. The Sea View Inn is a block from the beach, with ocean views from the rooms, and would classify as a budget hotel ($160 to $250 per night) that is well liked. Hermosa Beach has an expensive beach front hotel called the Beach House. The bar/restaurant scene in Hermosa is a favorite with the under 30 crowd. In the King Harbor section of Redondo Beach are also several ocean front hotels that are not on the beach, but are next to the marina. All of these hotels are very close to the ocean front bike path that stretches from the foot of Palos Verdes Hill in Redondo Beach to Santa Monica.

Terrenea is a resort set on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It is in a beautiful location but unlike the other suggestions, it is remote, away from non-resort restaurants, shopping, or freeways. I don't think that they have a sandy beach, but their beach is large smooth rocks, like Nice.

Edited: 26 November 2013, 05:04
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4. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

You might want to try the Inn at Playa Del Rey - its a small bed and breakfast overlooking a wetland preserve and is walking distance to a beach that doesn't get a lot of crowds. I don't think it would be quite 5-star, but then not many boutique places are. The area feels a little bit isolated - there are some restaurants in walking distance - nothing spectacular but would meet your needs. Its quiet and relatively secluded there so might fit your purposes.

Otherwise, you would probably do best to look at Santa Monica - its a vibrant, but crowded area, and the hotels there on the beach are probably too large to really be considered boutique, however the beachfront hotels in Santa Monica are some of the best in the city - Casa Del Mar, Shutters, Le Merigot (JW Marriott) and Loew's. Many more restaurants in that area as well.

The above hotels are pricey. Terranea is great in its own right, and I think it has something of a private beach, but cost-wise I think it will make the Santa Monica beach hotels seem inexpensive.

Malibu doesn't have too many hotel choices, and what's there is pricey.

You may want to look north or south of LA entirely - Santa Barbara has some great luxury hotels and resorts but is about 90 minutes north of LA. Or you could look at Laguna Beach - the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel or the Montage.

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5. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

One of the favorite weekend get-aways for many of us is beautiful Santa Barbara. Stay the weekend, hike, bike, enjoy the fantastic arts and crafts fair held each Sunday along the beach, visit wineries, just enjoy the very pretty city (great California mission there, too).

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6. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

Under the category of "and Area" as it pertains to places to look at Santa Barbara is a good suggestion for romance with spots like the Four Seasons Biltmore, San Ysidro Ranch, The Inn of the Spanish Garden, El Encanto and Canary. Even Fess Parker's Double Tree is nice.

In Santa Monica you have Shutters at the Beach and Shangre-la that have a bit of romance.

Heading south to Laguna Beach you have the Montage resort and Ritz Carlton.

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7. Re: Maximizing stay in LA and Area - 5 days/4 nights

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