Pelican Hill – Newport Coast

Pelican Hill-Newport Coast

Pelican Hill

What: Pelican Hill

Where: Newport Coast

For: All Ages

My little brother used to work at Pelican Hill, and we would visit him there and lounge by the pool while eating at the pool restaurant.  It’s quite the experience, with all amenities you could ever think of.  You never even have to leave the resort!  This is definitely a luxury five-star hotel that highlights Newport at its finest.

The Rooms

The Resort

The resort sits on over 500 acres of beautiful land and boasts six restaurants, a golf course, spa and pool.  Luxury bungalows and guest rooms provide an expansive view with the extravagant feel of a five star hotel.  Camp Pelican is a kid’s day-camp provided for children ages 4-12.  Kids can partake in activities with the camp leaders while their parents enjoy the amenities of Pelican Hill.  Additional camps and excursions are provided for the older children at an extra cost.  A gift shop located inside the main building of Pelican Hill allows for patrons to pick up beach-themed clothes and trinkets from their stay.  A spa boasts over 20 treatment rooms with a diverse menu of treatments to choose from.  The 36 hole golf course is a world-class course with breathtaking views of the ocean at every hole.

Coliseum Bar and Grill

The Restaurants

The Coliseum Bar and Grill is the restaurant that my brother worked at.  All the food was not only delicious but very filling.  We always enjoyed the ability to either eat seated at the restaurant or dine at cabanas by the pool.  Andrea at Pelican Hill is a sit-down fine dining Italian restaurant located in the center of the main building.  Pelican Grill provides a dining experience that overlooks the gorgeous views of the golf course and ocean.  Vacationers can go to the Villa Clubhouse and experience Piccolo to eat small bites and appetizers to share.  The Great Room Social Lounge provides dining with drinks and music.  One of our favorite places to stop by was the Caffe and Market, which serves gelato.  We always ordered gelato and enjoyed it while taking in the breathtaking views. The golf course boasts its own Pelican Hill Golf Club Caffe for hungry golfers looking to take a break from the game.  And if you don’t want to leave your room, there’s always the diverse room service menu to take advantage of! 

Sky and I at the Pool

The Pool

The Coliseum Pool is the largest circular infinity pool in the world.  It’s surrounded by cabanas and lounge chairs, and floating lounges are provided by the resort.  A small kids pool sits on the second level, and it is secluded enough that patrons can enjoy the water without the hustle of the main Coliseum pool.  Guests can take in the beautiful ocean views and surrounding golf course from the comfort of their private cabanas.

Bird’s Eye View

The Crowd

There is a diverse crowd at Pelican Hill.  My brother used to always tell me of the famous actors, musicians and athletes that he would serve.  Although it is a family friendly resort, it still keeps the elegance of an Italian resort.  All of the workers attend to every need of the patrons, which makes anyone feel like they are on an expensive vacation.

The Grounds

Cost

Daily guest fees for golfing is $295.  Room prices range from $400 into the thousands depending on which room is chosen.  Dining ranges from $20 to $60 per person dependant on the restaurant that is chosen.  Please keep in mind that there are additional charges for Camp Pelican and Spa Treatments.

Sunset on the Course

Pelican Hill Information

22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657

(855) 315 – 8214

https://www.pelicanhill.com/

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Hyatt Regency Mission Bay – Mission Bay (San Diego)

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay – Mission Bay (San Diego)

Sky and Emma looking at the boats in the marina

What: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

Where: Mission Bay, San Diego

For: All Ages

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay is a staycation that we took to San Diego with the kids for a few days to end the year.  Not only did the kids have a blast going down the water slides literally a thousand times, but Ethan and I had a great time playing with them in the pool and exploring the area.

The Hotel

The Hotel

The hotel took us about two hours to get to from Torrance.  It’s at a beautiful setting and provides a full-service restaurant, three pools with three water slides, a pool restaurant and bar, a small market, areas to rent boats/kayaks/etc for the water and a fitness center.  We walked around the marina and checked everything out when we got there.   Since we went after Christmas, the lobby was decorated beautifully.  The entire hotel keeps up with a nautical theme.  Outside there are also lounge areas with fire pits that are turned on at night time.  Each morning, Ethan walked to the market and brought us coffee (they serve Starbucks…my favorite!).

Room with Two Queen Beds

The Room

The hotel rooms are large and spacious.  We chose a room with two queen beds, and it was more than enough room for the four of us.  There is a balcony attached to every room, and two outdoor chairs with a table are provided so you can drink a cup of coffee while either looking out at the marina or at the pool area.  Black out curtains allowed us to sleep in, and two bottles of water, a microwave, small fridge and coffee are all included.  There were ample toiletries (including make-up remover wipes for the ladies!) and towels to go around our group of four. 

Pool Area (Slides Not Pictured)

The Pool

The pool was where we spent most of our time.  There is a large pool in the middle of the area and a jacuzzi on the side (understand that sometimes it is filled with kids!).  A small slide with 3.5 ft deep pool was on one side of the area.  This was great for the kids since they could stand up after coming down the little slide.  Lounges surround the area, allowing for parents to keep a close eye on their children (if only all parents would actually do this!).  Two large winding slides are accessible by a few flights of steps at another pool (also 3.5 ft deep).  This slide had a lifeguard, so we felt safe letting the girls go up knowing that they wouldn’t be slid over by another older child.  We brought floaties and pool toys so we could spend the entire day outside.  The pools were even heated enough for us to go in, and we were able to enjoy a few trips down the slide as well!

Lounging at the Hotel

The Activities

Upon check in, we were given a coupon for a free hour long kayak or paddle board rental at the marina.  Although we thought that we would use this coupon, we spent so much time at the pool that we didn’t.  There are a variety of rentals available for patrons, including paddleboards, kayaks, boats and jet skis.  The prices seemed pretty reasonable as well.  The pricing for the on-site restaurant seemed a little steep, but we just door-dashed Panda Express and it saved us a lot of money.

Views of the Marina from our Hotel Room

The Crowd

Keep in mind that because of the pool slides and activities available, this is a very family-friendly place.  I read on yelp that some of the child-less travelers didn’t appreciate all the noise the kids were making, but I didn’t have a problem with it as our kids were squealing with delight almost the entire day.

View of Hotel from the Marina

Cost

The hotel cost us around $500 to stay for two nights.  I definitely thought that this price was worth it, although you can find cheaper stays when you don’t go during peak seasons.  I would also suggest to go through third party sellers to find the lowest pricing.  Valet pricing is offered at almost $40 per night, although the hotel concierge told us to park on the street (there was ample parking) to save us the dough.  Please also keep in mind that discount coupons are offered for local attractions (i.e. San Diego Zoo and Sea World).  We would definitely come back here, and Ethan and I were talking about the possibility of making this a yearly family tradition.

Sky and Emma with the Christmas Decor

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Information

1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA 92109

(619) 224-1234

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/hyatt-regency-mission-bay-spa-and-marina/sanis

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

What: Terranea

Where: Rancho Palos Verdes

For: All Ages

I’ve been to the luxury resort Terranea in Palos Verdes twice so far.  The great thing is that it’s only a 20-minute drive from our home in Torrance.  Once, Ethan sent me for a spa day where I spent my time at one of the outdoor pools overlooking the ocean and an hour with a masseuse in an oceanfront room.  The other time, we went for a round of golf on the 9-hold par three then ate at Nelson’s restaurant at the resort and walked around the tide pools.

The Hotel

Terranea is located on a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean.  If you come on a clear day, you can see Catalina Island on the horizon.   Every time I’ve been here, there have been lavish weddings with gorgeous themes (one even had a baby African Elephant!).  This is truly paradise in our backyard.  For rooms, reservations are around $360 a night depending on what time of year you book (reservations can go up to $600 per night).  We never stayed here because of the price, but the other offerings of the resort will keep us coming back.  The rooms offered include guestrooms, suites, bungalows (only for ages 18+), casitas and villas.  Many guests come here to spend their honeymoon.  Check in is at 11:00am with check out at 4:00pm.

The Spa

There is a spa in the middle of the hotel.  A large pool overlooks the crashing waves of the ocean.  The spa is the epitome of luxury.  Patrons can utilize fluffy robes and slippers and drink fruit-infused water while they await their spa treatment.  My massage was amazing and made me feel like a noodle when I was finished.  If you book a spa treatment, you are able to utilize all the amenities the hotel has to offer for that day.

The Golf Course

Ethan and I used a Groupon ($59) for both of us to play on the Par-3 Nine-Hole course that Terranea offers.  When you walk up, caddies take your information and give you a cart for your bag with their five-star treatment.  We didn’t rent a golf cart which ended up being fine since there was such a short distance to walk on the course.  Everyone was very friendly, and we will definitely be coming back for another round.  Every hole on the course has amazing views of the ocean and city below (good for Instagram pictures!).

Dining

Dining areas include Mar’sel, Catalina Kitchen, Nelson’s, Lobby Bar & Lounge, Bashi, the Spa Café, Sea Beans and Cielo Point.  At the spa, I ate at the Lobby Bar & Lounge.  Live music is offered Thursday-Saturday starting at 7:00pm.  Ethan and I ate at Nelsons following golf, and there is an indoor and outdoor area that has a picnic-bench set up and firepits at night.  We sat at the picnic-like benches in the outdoor area and ate American food (burgers) that were pretty good but not something to write home about.  The ocean front views are what makes the location worth the price.

The Tide Pools

There are trails that lead from the resort down to the ocean and tide pools.  We walked for about an hour out and around the peninsula where we were able to see a variety of small ocean life and take some pictures.  With the amazing Southern-California weather, it allowed us to really enjoy our time exploring the area.  Please keep in mind the tides, since if you go during high tide you might get stranded on one of the cliffs.

The Crowd             

Everyone that came here was dressed up in classy beach attire.  As I said before, there were many lavish and extravagant weddings taking place.  You truly feel as if you’re stepping into a beachfront paradise with people waiting on you at every corner.  The lavish décor of the hotel makes everything feel more glamorous.

Cost

Along with the varying prices for rooms, there is a $35.00 resort fee per room per night.  Deposits for the casitas and villas are 50% of the total room cost plus tax due at booking.  Valet parking is offered at $38.00 per night, with non-resort guest parking coming in at $20 for weekends and $10 for weekdays.  Additional adults per room are charged $50 per night.  I spent $14 per drink at the Lobby Bar & Lounge.  We spent $60 total for food and drinks at Nelson’s.

Terranea Information

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90075

(866) 802-8000

terranea.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Terranea, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

The Millennium Biltmore-DTLA

The Millennium Biltmore-DTLA

What: The Millennium Biltmore

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages/Nightlife for Adults

The Millennium Biltmore is a historic hotel built in 1923 that is a landmark of Downtown Los Angeles and home of Hollywood glamour.  It’s located in the center of the hustle and bustle of DTLA, and Ethan and I spent our most recent staycation at this opulent hotel.

The Hotel

When you walk into the lobby of the hotel, you’re greeted with white and gold carved floor-to-wall décor.  There was a wedding going on when we were checking in, and it was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen.  Despite the opulence of the entryway, the elevators and hallways to the rooms were outdated.  There was also a historic spiral stairway that led all the way down from the top floor.  When we looked down from the top of the staircase it gave is vertigo.  The ice machines and vending machines alternate floor-by-floor.  It was confusing at first, but signs led us in the right direction.

The Room

The room was decorated nicely, but it was not as nice as I imagined.  There was an old window that actually opened up (only part way because of liability).  The closet was the biggest walk-in closet I’ve ever seen in a hotel room.  It could have been another room!  A safe was in the closet along with a refrigerator and television in the room.  The shower was completely separate from the bathtub and had a drip that was very loud at night.  Since our room was in the corner of the hotel, we had to swipe our key card twice through two doors to get in.  This means that if someone gets locked out, there is no way someone in the room could hear any knocking to get in.  Additionally, maid service knocked on our door at 8:45am…which was way too early for a Sunday morning after spending all of Saturday night out and when check out is at noon.  Overall, for the price, it’s definitely a hotel that I would stay at again.

The Restaurants

Smeraldi’s Restaurant is a Medditerranean/Italian restaurant under the hotel.  With glamorous décor and elegant table settings, it is also family friendly and offers family style dining (think pizza and the like).  Bugis Street Brasserie is a Singaporean restaurant that I ate at with my coworkers during lunch.  We asked the waitress to suggest a dish to order and went with her recommendations, and the food was above par.  I tried to take Ethan here one night but it was closed.  It’s definitely a restaurant that I would come back to and try other Singaporean dishes. Gallery Bar and Cognac Room were equally as opulent as the hotel.  Although we didn’t go into this area, we walked past it when we were checking in, and the décor of gold and white definitely makes the bar a classy destination.  Afternoon Tea is also offered on a reservation-only basis.

The Crowd

Everyone at the hotel was dressed up.  At check-in, I wore leggings and a tank top and felt under dressed (this could be because the wedding was going on and I was standing among guests in black-tie attire).   It’s a family-friendly hotel with family-friendly restaurants.  The only area that required guests to be 21+ was at the bar.

Cost

Valet parking is offered at the hotel for $45 each night.  If you go directly across the street to Pershing Square, it allows you to self-park overnight for $16.  The hotel required a $100 deposit for incidentals and was $145 (including taxes) for one night.  I only booked the hotel two days before our actual stay.  Water in the vending machines were $3 each.

The Millennium Biltmore Information

506 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1011

millenniumhotels.com/en/los-angeles/millennium-biltmore-hotel-los-angeles

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Millennium Biltmore, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

The Westin Bonaventure-DTLA

The Westin Bonaventure-DTLA

What: The Westin Bonaventure

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages/Nightlife for Adults

Our stay at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites was a great part of our March staycation.  It’s right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and this swanky hotel offers everything you need for a night out without even stepping foot outside.

The Hotel

The Westin Bonaventure is a recognizable hotel directly off the freeway sporting three tall towers interconnected by bridges.  After parking in valet of this extravagant hotel, you are led down a hall with movie posters of films that were filmed in and around the hotel. The three towers of hotel rooms with corresponding colors and glass elevators.  Amenities include a fitness room, business center, pool deck, and pet friendly hotel.  There is a full-service bar in the center of the lobby along with a lobby bistro that transforms into a bar/club at night by the entrance and LA Prime Steakhouse on the 35th floor.

The Room

Rooms are beautiful, with floor to ceiling windows and great views of the cities.  We had trouble finding an ice machine because of the layout of the hotel.  Room service options are available albeit pricey.  The beds, pillows and bedding are like sleeping on a cloud. Décor is modern, and you’re provided with an in room safe and mini fridge.

The Revolving Bonavista Lounge

I was so excited to try this lounge on the 34th floor before our night out.  We had two cocktails and sat at a two-person table with floor-to-ceiling windows.  The lounge offers a small variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  Rotations are about five degrees per minute, with a full rotation taking a little over an hour.

The Crowd

I only saw adults the entire time we were here.  The vibe of the hotel is expensive, elegant and classy.  Patrons take care to dress up when they are at the different bars and hotels here.

Cost

This was one of the more expensive hotels we stayed at.  A one-night stay was $207 with parking at $49/night and no self-park options.  The Bonavista Lounge food options range from $16 to $25 per person, with cocktails averaging $18.  We ended up leaving the Westin Bonaventure about $300 out of pocket.

The Westin Bonaventure Information

404 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1000

thebonaventure.com

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The Standard-DTLA

The Standard-DTLA

What: The Standard

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages/Nightlife for Adults

During one of our staycations, we decided to stay at The Standard in Los Angeles.  This is a quirky boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.  We had a really fun night here and ended up exploring both the hotel and the city.

The Hotel

The hotel itself is filled with interesting things to look at despite its bland grey exterior.  There is a 24/7 restaurant where you can order food and drinks in the lobby.  They have a ping pong room that’s open daily, and there’s an outdoor firepit to relax by in the lobby.  The hotel itself is filled with bright and bold colors.  The signs are upside-down, and the common areas are not over-decorated.

The Room

We had a standard guest room that was near the top floor of the 207-room hotel.  The room had scarce furniture, with a large bed in the middle.  There was a desk spanning the length of the bedroom wall with George Orwell’s 1984 on it instead of the standard Holy Bible.  One chair stood in the corner, and an open shower separated the room from the bathroom.  Keep in mind that when I say open shower I mean a shower with no doors or curtains, so your significant other will be able to watch you wash yourself.  One thing that I don’t normally like is that the toilet was separate from the double sinks and there was a little door to separate the toilet from everything in a small closet-like room.

The views from the room were breathtaking.  You could see a panoramic view of Los Angeles from the floor-to-ceiling windows that spanned the length of an entire bedroom wall.

The Rooftop

The roof of the standard contains a large heated pool with water-bed-like cabanas surrounding it.  There is ample lounge seating with a DJ spinning later in the night.  We had to go on our phones and buy tickets for the Rooftop because it was considered a ‘special event’.  I didn’t realize that you were required to walk outside along the entire perimeter of the hotel prior to entering from an outer door to access an elevator that brings you to the pool.  Although it made the trip longer, it didn’t slow us down for the night.  Make sure to check the hours the Rooftop is open on the hotel’s website.

The Crowd

This was one of the hotels that I most felt like they were targeting the millennial crowd. From the atmosphere to the quirkiness of the hotel, the common areas were filled with 20- and 30-somethings.  I didn’t see any kids or families my entire stay at the hotel.  Everyone that worked there was friendly and dressed sharply.  I found out that there is a sister Standard Hotel in Hollywood which I would like to try out soon.

Cost

We booked our hotel through booking.com and had to place a credit card on hold for a $150 deposit for incidentals.  Parking is valet for $45 overnight (there is no self-parking option).  Entry into the Poolside Lounge was $20/person, and drinks took us to $17/drink.

The Standard Information

550 S. Flower, Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 892-8080

standardhotels.com/la/properties/downtown-la

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Standard, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com