Welcoming the Waldorf Astoria to L.A.

One of the most anticipated openings in Los Angeles recently was the new Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills. The 12-story, 170 room hotel opened its doors earlier month and by the looks of it I am sure it will attract a crowd of “who’s-who’s” in the Hollywood circles. waldorf_astoria_exterior_Beverly HillsThe hotel and grounds were designed by the renowned architectural firm Gensler (a firm I wanted to work at when I was an aspiring architect) along with the studio of French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who has revamped various iconic hotels including the Four Seasons George V in Paris and the Savoy Hotel in London. The interiors are influenced by the Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style appropriate for the Beverly Hill’s location. It’s all about the glamour, baby!

Waldorf Astoria Beverly HillsThere are actually three restaurants on the property, each developed by the acclaimed French chef and author Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Jean-Georges has restaurants all over the globe but this is his first venture in Los Angeles. Welcome to L.A., Jean-Georges!waldorf astoria Jean Georges beverly hills restaurant 1waldorf astoria Jean Georges beverly hills restaurant 5Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills restaurant 4waldorf astoria beverly hills restaurant Reviving Charmwaldorf astoria Jean Georges beverly hills restaurant 2Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills restaurant 2China for the restaurant is from Bernardaud.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills / Photographed for THR Magazinewaldorf astoria restaurant cuisine beverly hillsA beautiful patio is a must for Southern California since we can enjoy eating outdoors almost 365 days per year. This looks most inviting, doesn’t it? waldorf astoria Jean Georges beverly hills restaurant patiowaldorf astoria Jean Georges beverly hills restaurant patio 2Guest room hallways are lined with original works of art. Not surprisingly since the Waldorf Astoria incorporates the best of the best.
waldorf astoria beverly hillsGuest rooms and suites have a quiet elegance about them. waldorf astoria guest suite beverly hillsWALD_BeverlyHills_GuestRoomWaldorf Astoria / Beverly Hillswaldorf astoria guest roomA bathroom fit for a movie star…or for Reviving Charm. Guest rooms are stocked with designer toiletries by the French brand Diptyque. I would stay here for the toiletries alone!

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills suite

A gold glass chandelier hangs over a staircase in the spa. The hotel is the new home to the Spa by La Prairie, a luxury skin care brand. I have been curious about the La Prairie line and just ordered their product to try. The new spa will give me a fabulous excuse to make a reservation for some pampering while visiting the new hotel. Two birds, one stone….waldorf astoria beverly hills artwork Reviving CharmLa Prairie has six treatment rooms and spa “experience showers” for men and women. The spa is ultra chic and modern designed in classic black and white. aldorf Astoria / Beverly Hills spaWaldorf Astoria Beverly Hills / Photographed for THR MagazineThe rooftop pool offers beautiful views of Beverly Hills. In case you’re planning your own trip to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, don’t forget to reserve your VIP cabana! Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills / Photographed for THR Magazine pool

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is a beautiful property dubbed the “soon-to-be-iconic” hotel. I can certainly see why. Once I make my way to the Waldorf Astoria and pay a visit to the La Prairie spa I will be sure to share my experience with photos of my own.

Photos courtesy of Waldorf Astoria and The Hollywood Reporter.

PART 3: THE SUITE LIFE AT BACARA RESORT AND SPA

Booking a room a hotel or resort is something I take very seriously. I do a lot of research and it’s not uncommon for me to call a hotel directly and ask a few questions about the location of certain rooms, types of rooms or their amenities. I have found this helps to ensure we get the best room for our dollar and a room that meets our expectations. At certain hotels I might even go so far as to request a specific room number; however, not all hotels will allow this. The latter was the case with Bacara. But nonetheless, we very happy with our room, its amenities and its location within the resort. This was our first stay at Bacara so naturally I did a lot of research about the resort and even spoke to a reservation agent about the differences between a few of the rooms. I narrowed it down to two room types. Do I reserve a smaller room with an ocean view or larger room without an ocean view? Oh, the problems to have! Ultimately, I ended up booking an 820 square foot Executive Suite sans view. Let me take you on a tour…

Our Executive Suite had a small entry space (photo bottom left) that had a full-length mirror in a perfect location for checking yourself before heading out the door. You can’t see the actual front door in the pictures below but it is located opposite the mirror. The louvered door is a small powder room, as seen in the photo to the right. Having two bathrooms in our room was another huge selling point for booking the Executive Suite. bacara-resort-executive-suite-1From the foyer, you automatically enter the dining area of the open dining/living area of the suite. The dining room comfortably seats six.
bacara-suite-dining-room-via-reviving-charmThe room was generously sized to include a living area, dining room, and dedicated office space. You can see the front door to the suite at the right-hand side of the picture below.suite-life-at-bacara-reposrt-by-reviving-charmbacara-executive-suite-detailsThis is the office area before I got situated in the room. I ended up using this space as a makeshift dressing room and a place to store my suitcase since the only closet in the suite was fairly small. There are lots of drawers in the room but very little space for hanging clothes. I found that the desk was also handy as an area to layout cosmetics, etc. bacara-resort-executive-suite-office-spacebacara-suite-detail

I also used the desk as a place to draft a handwritten note for the hotel Concierge that was extremely helpful in arranging to have a couple of floral arrangments delivered to the room. More on that later…

The office area is equipped with a tablet that allows you to do many things. For instance, you can request housekeeping, room service, and express checkout. I rarely used it but it was a great feature to have when I needed it.barcara resort executive suite via Reviving Charm 1In the corner of the living area there is a comfy chair and ottoman where you can catch up on the reading material supplied by the resort. I am a magazine junkie so I was happy to enjoy some new reading material. The doorway to the left side of the tray table is the entrance to the one bedroom in the suite.
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Window treatment details.bacara resort suite life via Reviving CharmLet’s enter the bedroom now, shall we?bacara-executive-suite-bedroomFrom the bedroom, another louvered door leads you into the main bathroom. The louvered doors are a very nice decorative touch throughout the entire suite but they don’t provide much in the way of privacy when it comes to masking sound. For this reason, I often used the powder room when I needed to tinkle. The hotel should seriously think about making a change to the door situation. bacara-executive-suite-bathroom-1bacara-suite-bath-productsIf you look closely at the bathroom photos you might notice that the floral arrangement moved from place to place within the space. Ultimately they stayed in the location you see below.  bacara-suite-flowers

Speaking of flowers…Whenever we stay in a hotel for any length of time I really like to have fresh flowers placed in our room before we arrive. I usually order two small arrangements: one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom. I couldn’t write this post without mentioning something about the flowers I ordered for the room as it is a testament to the exceptional service we received when it came to a last minute request. You see, I had been meaning to call Bacara to order flowers but never got around to it. It was about three hours before check-in in time when I finally was able to make the call. I called the Concierge and apologized for the short notice and inquired about the possibility to have flowers placed in the room. I had no special requests other than I was looking for something elegant. The Concierge called around and called me back promptly to inform me that my request could be granted and provided me with a very reasonable quote. When we checked into our room we found these two small floral arrangements waiting for us. I was very happy with the floral arrangements but I kinda chuckled when I saw the carnations since it had only been days after writing this post. bacara resort suite life in room flowers Reviving CharmI can’t share photos of our suite without including a picture of our private balcony that overlooks the pool. This was a great place to relax outdoors without having to leave our room. bacara suite balcony via Reviving CharmSo there you have it…the 3rd and final post about Bacara Resort and Spa. I hope you have enjoyed it. Most importantly, I hope this series may be useful in helping you decide any future vacation plans. If you happen to book your next vacation at Bacara, feel free to drop me a note and let me know how your trip was. I would love to hear all about your experience. bacara resort landscaping via Reviving Charm

PART 2: THE SPA AT BACARA

You have a myriad of hotel choices when visiting Santa Barbara, California. I narrowed it down to three choices before finally booking a suite at Bacara Resort and Spa last month. One of the deciding factors was really their reputation for providing a wonderful spa and 3,500 square foot fitness facility. I had a wonderful 80-minute massage in one of their 36 treatment rooms and took advantage of their jacuzzi, sauna and eucalyptus steam room. I even brought home some of this eucalyptus shower spray to recreate my experience at home. I like the spray so much I even plan to purchase the lavender and lemongrass mists also. But the spa has so much more to offer. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This is the walk up to the spa (shown in the background) and the adjacent spa cafe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take advantage of the spa cuisine served at the cafe. spa-at-bacara-resort-via-reviving-charm-1

The entrance to the spa building and spa cafe overlook an adults-only heated salt water pool.spa-at-bacara-resort-via-reviving-charm

As you walk into the spa building you immediately notice the sheer volume of the space and the magnificent wooden beam rotunda. A circular staircase will take you to a large roof top terrace. We’ll visit that area in just a bit.bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm

There are several very comfortably appointed lounge rooms including those designated only for women, men, and a co-ed lounge space. Here is the woman’s lounge area. bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-1bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-2

The woman’s lounge has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the spa pool. spa-at-bacara-resort-pool-via-reviving-charm

A look at another lounge area.bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-3bacara-spa-via-reviving-charm-4

Once you reach the top of the circular staircase you enter this transition space on the rooftop. The rooftop terrace is comprised of several outdoor rooms for lounging or outdoor massages.
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I only had one negative experience while at the spa. While in the jacuzzi I was joined by a group of three women who were talking really loud. There is something to be said about spa etiquette and keeping your voice to a whisper to allow others to relax in a calming environment. I had no shame in asking them to (kindly) pipe down. They immediately obliged.

Nevertheless, the Spa at the Bacara is a great destination for a girls getaway or romantic couples trip. I definitely plan on going back. Only next time I hope to spend more time at the spa to take advantage of all it has to offer.

All images via iPhone.

BARCELONA, SPAIN: THE COTTON HOUSE HOTEL

The “Autograph Collection” is luxury hotel chain owned by Marriott that features distinctively unique properties. The Autograph Collection includes the Cotton House Hotel located in the center of Barcelona, Spain. It is an architecturally impressive building that was formerly occupied by the Cotton Producers Guild. It was converted into gorgeous hotel designed by Spanish interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán with a truly rich and stately quality. This is mainly due to the preservation of many of the original features of the building, including a spiral metal staircase built in 1957 that is only suspended from the ceiling. I am always dreaming of travel and haven’t been to Spain since the early 1990’s. Now I am wanting to book a ticket just to visit the hotel in person and hoping I could meet Lázaro Rosa-Violán and get a tour of his studio!

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