A very untypical airport hotel emerges at LAX

Hyatt Regency LAX provides a haven for travelers

Piece and pictures by Patti Pietschmann and Richard Pietschmann

(Photo of our Regency suite and a piece of the fine artwork that hangs on the hotel walls)

We spent a night at the Hyatt Regency LAX, which is so close to the airport you can walk there and we actually saw a pilot doing just that.  The reason for the visit wasn’t what you might think. We weren’t flying anywhere.  Alas, my mate, Richard, had let his TSA renewal  lapse and had to do one those face to face interviews again at the Bradley International Terminal. His appointment was in the morning and with traffic the way it is in Los Angeles, it made sense to  overnight and as travel writers we really wanted to check out the property after it’s major upgrade of the last couple of years.

We were very impressed. First by the  big smiles the receptionists flash as you check in through the stunning  lobby. Then by all the other staff we met at the fantastic Club Lounge on the third level and in the UnityLA bar and restaurant. It was all good.

Although the hotel has 580 rooms (from standard to Presidential Suite) it doesn’t feel big, or even bustling for that matter. There’s a chic, but homey feeling that pervades. It’s curb appeal combines modern California décor with mid-century architecture and beautiful artwork on the walls.

Our Regency suite proved perfect with the free WiFi, king-sized comfy bed, large bath, two humongous flat screen TVs (one in sitting room, the other in front of the bed), coffee maker and real cups to use, fridge with bottled water, robes and upscale toiletries that can be added to for free should you need things like a razor, more toothpaste, shoe horn, hair spray, etc.  I like that.

booze club loungeWe also had Club Floor access. One of my favorite hotel amenities at Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and other upscale spots. This one didn’t let us down. The hosts were cool and the offerings from morning dishes of oat meal, eggs, fruit, breads and pastries, to the huge containers to top quality mixed nuts. You do have to pay a small fee for drinks due to California law prohibiting distribution of free libations. But the freedom of food choices and to eat on the run is very appealing to flyers.

rib eyeThe culinary highlight was dinner at unityla—a creative kind of food court-style venue. There’s a take out counter, a bar with tables for dining and a bigger  room for a more leisurely meal (where I feasted on one tasty rib eye and Richard  said his fresh sea bass was  a best ever in LA).  If the restaurant were closer to where we live, we’d be regulars.

The concept behind unityla, according to a hotel spokeswoman, is to bring tastes of what chefs at some the citys finest restaurantshave to offer that guests at the hotel may not have the time to experience for themselves at those restaurants.

Seasoned Hyatt Executive Chef Charles Fusco stands at the helm of the hotel’s three food and beverage outlets, unity laTM restaurant, market and bar, whose menus and food presentations are designed around convenience, community and a focus on Asian, Mexican and fresh Californian dishes unique to the LA food scene. These new restaurants bring the best of LA’s diverse neighborhoods to hotel guests, from Boyle Heights, Thai Town, Little Tokyo/Arts District, East LA, Santa Monica and the Sunset Strip.

Those of you familiar with my Travel Diva postings should know by now that my raves are real. I do tell it like it is. That said our lunch at the unityla bar was just so so. Maybe because our expectations after that phenom dinner were too high.

There is a large, inviting , heated pool and deck with cabanas but it was way too chilly in LA to make use of it. We did get to the fitness room, which is nicely-equipped and sized and offers views of the runway or TVs.

pool.JPG

The Hyatt Regency LAX is at 6225 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, reservations: (424) 7021234:                              

Nightly room rates range from $169 to $ 249.00. Suites start at $199.00. Guest room rate plans vary according to seasonality. Club Floor privileges are roughly $50 extra.

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A long hot summer staycation in Los Angeles

The temperature’s rising in the Hollywood Hills. It’s nearly 90 right now.  Confirmed conservationists that we are we don’t have air conditioning, had it taken out actually when we bought the house.  Dumb move, you might think, and maybe it is.  But we think of it as our contribution to save the planet.

So how are we staying cool on our LA staycation?  We dive into the pool every few minutes. While there are many fine beaches in SoCal, the ocean is just too chilly for this New York/Florida transplant where the sea in the summer never dips below 80.

So here we are sweltering. Going to see the Campaign to stay cool in the theater, they always keep the AC on frigid in LA movie theaters. Then planning to eat out in air conditioned restaurants.

Have a Zinful ‘Cinco de Vino” at Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda

Zinfully delicious

Get ready to party on Cinco de Mayo– Mexico’s Independence Day which is celebrated with a passion throughout Los Angeles and most of California. Every Mexican restaurant worth its margaritas with salt in Los Angeles puts on a party on the 5th of May. Downtown bursts with piñata parties and fiestas and people pretty much use the day as a good excuse to get well, blotto with tequila, beer and wine.

Speaking of the latter, if perhaps you’d like to get away from it all but still have fun, you might enjoy a drive up the coast from Los Angeles to Alameda (well you have to go to San Francisco and hop a ferry because this  quaint, picturesque place just across the Bay.

One of the best little wineries of northern California, Rosenblum Cellars, known as the original “urban wine experience”, winery is tucked away in an old railroad building in the center of Alameda shipyards. It is there you will taste some zesty Zinfandels. If you go up there for Cinco de Mayo, you can also enjoy a wine soaked barbecue picnic from Noon to 4 p.m. (prices are $29 for club members and $39 for others when booked on-line).

The Zinfanatic winery staff exude an old town warmth and friendliness with any of the pomp and ceremony of Napa, but with wine just as good. It’s just a short ferry ride across San Francisco Bay. You can fly up to SFO from Los Angeles on Southwest (www.southwest.com)  or Virgin America (www.virginamerica.com), or drive. If you pick the road route, go on-line for directions at www.rosenblumcellars.com.

B-ring it on for New Year’s Eve with the “Hot Box”

B-ring it on for New Year’s with a fine bottle of champagne (the Diva prefers Cristal, and perhaps a feisty red like Merryvale Cab) along with a special boxed meal from San Francisco’s  Fork and Spoon

The newest “Hot Box” is typicallya Valentine’s Day favorite, but they are packaging a special one  for NYE filled to the brim with a feast any classic food lover will crave.

Your “Madman-esque” dinner for two includes: House-Spiced Nuts; Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with Sauce Remoulade; The Wedge Salad with Radish, Bacon, Pickled Carrots and Rogue River Blue Cheese Dressing; 12 oz. Beef Wellington with Chanterelle Mushroom Duxelles and Himalyan Black Truffle Cream Sauce; Classic Creamed Spinach with a Touch of Horseradish; Pomme Duchess Potatoes; and, Individual Chocolate Lave Cakes with Preserved Cherry Compote.

 If that isn’t enough to ring in the New Year in Style, the box will also include poppers and noise makers, just to make sure when you watch the ball drop, they can hear you! Just heat up a few things and you are ready to celebrate. Cost is $195 plus tax for two and it must be ordered by 12/28 at 4 PM.

Pick up your Hot Box and Fork and Spoon Productions (“www.forkandspoonproductions.com“) , 2161 3rd Street, SF Limited Supply. Order now by calling 415-552-7130.

PR Between a Hard Rock and a Hotel

From the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, California

So the Divaonthego went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, California today to learn all about the namesake hotels.

The PR firm was there as was Michael C. Shindler, exec. vp and Blake smith, global music and marketing mgr.
They did a slide presentation but basically told us little about the hotels (and no press kits were provided either), save that the group was expanding, economy willing, to Budapest and beyond. It’s actually in Bali and London and places you wouldn’t expect.
Blake mentioned some hush hush free music amenities will be added to the already in place perks guests get at the front desk during check-in. But he couldn’t divulge except to say if we went to the San Diego Hard Rock Hotel we might catch a hint or two.
Hmmmm, we did get swag, a very large black Hard Rock robe that would go around me three times and maybe more.
Hey I’m not complaining, just would have like a press kit and more info to report about on my LA Travel Diva Examiner page.
I did get cool photos, though of the Cafe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The $1,000 a pop tequila

The Diva on the go loves good tequila….

Tequila

 World’s Most Expensive Tequila Pop Made with Clase Azul Ultra & Gold Flakes Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (May 11, 2011) – At $1000 a pop, the world’s most expensive tequila popsicle is made with 24 ct. gold flakes and Tequilas Premium Clase Azul Ultra tequila, which retails around $1500/bottle. For those on a budget, there’s straight Clase Azul Ultra for $500 a shot.

 The pop is now available at the 237-all suite Marquis Los Cabos resort in Baja California Sur where it’s served poolside, regularly lauded as one of the most impressive infinity pools in the world. For more information on Marquis Los Cabos, please visit http://www.marquisloscabos.com.

 “From mini-indulgences like the Tequila Pop to indulgent fantasy services and programs, Marquis Los Cabos allows guests to personalize their hotel stay as part of the resort’s new approach to service, ‘Customized Luxury,’” said General Manager Ella Messerli. As the first Distinctive T recipient in Baja California Sur, Marquis Los Cabos hosted the worldwide launch for the Clase Azul Ultra in 2007.

Awarded by the Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC) in Mexico, Distinctive T honors resorts, hotels and restaurants dedicated to promoting the quality, culture and prestige of tequila. Marquis Los Cabos exceeded strict and numerous requirements to obtain and maintain the Distinctive T certification including educating the entire staff on the tequila culture, preserving the authenticity of tequila products and only serving authentic, certified tequila.

About Marquis Los Cabos: The 237 all-suite beachfront Marquis Los Cabos Resort is located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and is minutes from the authentic Old World village of San Jose del Cabo as well as the lively town of Cabo San Lucas. The resort features a 15,000 square foot holistic spa and fitness center, an exclusive gourmet restaurant where a Michelin-pedigreed chef prepares a nightly prix fixe menu and an extensive collection of Latin American sculpture and painting on display in public areas and guest suites. Since its 2003 opening, Marquis Los Cabos has earned the travel industry’s most coveted awards including “World’s Best” (Travel + Leisure); “Gold List” (Condé Nast Traveler); “Best Value” (Condé Nast Traveler); the AAA Four Diamond, and the Five Star Diamond for its Canto del Mar restaurant. Marquis Los Cabos is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World and the only member of Leading Spas of the World in Los Cabos.