Arrival/Check-In: My 5:57 a.m. departure from Philadelphia with a stop in Atlanta landed me at LAX about 11:30 a.m. I caught a shuttle to the LAX-It lot, where travelers can grab rideshares and taxis, and headed toward my final destination.
I could see Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows from Ocean Avenue as my Uber approached the property. We turned into the long driveway through well-manicured landscaping. Seconds after the car stopped at the entrance, attendants pulled the car door open and grabbed my luggage from the trunk. I told them I didn’t need help and took my luggage inside. I did not expect my room to be ready, as it was barely after noon.
I headed through the clean and spacious lobby to a long, well-staffed check-in counter. I noticed a little bar and lounge at the other side of the room, next to the staircase. The hotel staff checked me in, and my room was ready. Even better, they upgraded me from an ocean-view room in the hotel proper to a full-on bungalow.
Guest Quarters: An attendant showed me to my bungalow. The bungalows all sit in a courtyard behind the lobby, in the middle of the hotel proper. This area houses the outdoor pool, an outdoor dining venue and a few other scenic spots where it would be nice to sit and spend some time with a good book.
Entering my bungalow, I was happy to see all the usual amenities. A well-equipped wet bar held every kind of spirit I could wish to drink, including water and two bottles of wine. The counter space under the TV housed a bottle of wine, a fruit plate and wine glasses. The bedside table held a tablet for ordering room service plus a pile of complimentary books.
The bungalow was a little bigger than a standard hotel room; however, the bathroom was larger, with two sinks, and a sliding glass door led to a small patio area with seating, another incredible spot to sit and read.
Services/Amenities: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows boasts everything you would expect at a luxury hotel in the heart of Santa Monica. The property is home to an expansive spa and full fitness center. In addition, it offers a barbershop and a few places to shop. I didn’t get a chance to explore these, but I liked what I did see.
For dining, the property offers four options plus in-room dining. During our stay, my colleague Angelique and I had lunch at FIG Restaurant. I ended up getting a delicious chicken sandwich while Angelique enjoyed a salad. In the morning, I had breakfast and coffee at the on-property Dogtown Coffee. The breakfast burrito was excellent.
◆ The fitness center’s fully versatile space offers any kind of workout, including five Peloton bikes. There are also outdoor workout spaces, which I had not seen before at a hotel.
◆ The location in the heart of Santa Monica, a short walk from the famous Santa Monica Pier, makes it convenient to get out and stroll the neighborhood.
◆ On-site services can get you ready for a night on the town. Get a haircut at Lloyd’s Barbershop, hit the Exhale spa to relax or pick up some jewelry at Atelier by Edward Avedis. You can easily spend time on site without being bored.
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
Copa Airlines is celebrating its 75th anniversary by showcasing a Boeing 737-800 NG in an aircraft livery that harkened back to the airline’s look in the 1990s. During that time, Copa Airlines launched an expansion of their network to become the Hub of the Americas®, changing the way to travel to and connect in our Continent.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
At nearly 30,000 square feet, United Airlines’ newest United ClubSM now welcomes Newark Liberty International Airport travelers with its modern design, enhanced amenities, culinary offerings, locally sourced art and furniture and Manhattan skyline views. Seek airport solace at the new location in Terminal C3, near Gate C123.
Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.