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.
The world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool will open in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. One of the region’s most anticipated attractions, AURA SKYPOOL will begin welcoming guests in mid-November.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.