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Recommendations for December/Christmas around LA

Recommendations for December/Christmas around LA

Old Jul 28, 17, 11:09 am
  #16  
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FSWV...out.

Lot's of reading up this weekend . Will also look into Rancho Valencia along with SB.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 12:55 pm
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Santa Barbara over the holidays will be much riskier in terms of weather, so consider accordingly. The area is prone to inland flow and plenty of rain in Dec-Feb.

I live in Newport Beach in Orange County near the Pelican Hill Resort and Marriott Newport Coast Villas. I'll be eating at Studio at Montage this Sunday. We dined at Raya at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel last week. We don't dine at Andrea at Pelican Hill because it's wildly overrated. In a few weeks, we expect to dine at the Stonehill Tavern at the Monarch Beach Resort (former St Regis across from the Ritz Carlton).

The Ritz Carlton is renovated and pretty nice, and just a 10 min drive up into Laguna Beach. Room category matters here, so getting a suite is smart. Amazing seaside location with a wonderful beach for walks. Cheaper than the Montage as previously noted.

Pelican Hill is a good option if you can get a deal since even the basic entry rooms are huge. It's not on the ocean side of PCH (much like Monarch Beach Resort) but the OP seems less concern about that. We aren't fans of Andrea fine dining at Pelican, but the Pelican Grill and Colisseum pool dining are wonderful and also more relaxed...and there are tons of nearby excellent dining options in Newport and Crystal Cove (not to mention Laguna Beach!). The Crystal Cove state beach is perhaps an even better beach than that by the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Stonehill (Monarch Beach) and Studio (Montage) are our favorite hotel restaurants in OC. Basilic on Balboa Island in Newport Beach is my absolute favorite restaurant in OC, however. Mastro's Ocean Club and Bluefin Japanese/sushi are amazing, too. (We had dinner last night at Mastro's and tonight will be Bluefin, in fact!) And Javier's is quite the spot with great drinks and pretty good Mexican. When Marche Moderne finishes its relocation to the Crystal Cove shopping center below us, that really will be a triumph for Crystal Cove--having Marche Moderne, Mastro's, Bluefin, and Javier's together. Crystal Cove is about a 5 min drive from Pelican Hill, maybe 15 min from Montage, and 20 min from the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel/Monarch Beach Resort.

If dining is a priority, the Orange County coastal resorts offer far more choice and better dining than Santa Barbara. Also, Orange County likely will have considerably better weather. And Laguna is more charming and with more to do. San Juan Capistrano is also just 10-15 min drive from any of these properties, allowing the chance to see a beautiful Spanish mission and another adorable little town.

Newport Beach and Laguna beach are also closer to Los Angeles.

Rancho Valencia is also likely to have better weather than Santa Barbara in Dec, but it's also farther south than Laguna/Newport Beach.

I'd say Laguna Beach is the most quintessential town for exploration and dining, with charm and lovely beaches and mountain hikes all combining for an excellent stay for a few nights. Much more intimate and charming than Santa Barbara, though both can be quite touristy--though much less so outside the summer high season. Laguna also has scores of art galleries to explore. It's really a lovely town akin to Santa Fe, another former artist colony...but on the water.

I also completely agree with earlier statements that Santa Barbara can be yawn-inducing and that the FS Westlake isn't remotely comparable with other properties being discussed. Santa Barbara is best during warmer seasons unless you like to "nest" at a resort like KatW seems to enjoy!

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 29, 17 at 3:26 pm
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Old Jul 29, 17, 3:17 pm
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Bhrubin, so much to think about...I do like the idea of being closer to L.A. and being warmer. So now Newport and Laguana beach are on my list. Will add RC Laguana to Pelican for a closer look. Thanks!

Last edited by mumum17; Jul 29, 17 at 5:39 pm Reason: Spelling
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Old Jul 29, 17, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by mumum17 View Post
Bhrubin, so much to think about...I do like the idea of being closer to L.A. and being warmer. So now Newport and Lahaina beach are on my list. Will add RC Laguana to Pelican for a closer look. Thanks!
You mean Laguna Beach...not Lahaina?

My only hope is that you have the info to make the best pick for yourselves.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 5:40 pm
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Lol! I wish I could spell...

This forum and the members make my work/choices so much easier. Much appreciated.
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Old Jul 30, 17, 11:10 am
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could see if any rentals at montage
or at monach beach resort (FTers did it)

pelican hill has villa section with pool
aviara still has FS hotel operation
santa barbara has some hotel villas

curious re new nobu ryokan (service)

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 2, 17 at 3:33 pm
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Old Jul 30, 17, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
could see if any rentals at montage
or at monach beach resort

pelican hill has villa section with pool
aviara still has FS hotel operation
santa barbara has some hotel villas

curious re new nobu ryokan (service)
I absolutely like Nobu's Ryokan idea and will try to stay there one of these days.

The only thing I don't understand about these Nobu ventures is why they decided to have such an underwhelming logo and marketing. The Nobu Hotels logo is about the worst in the entire industry, and that's not an understatement. They could have done something really special but they obviously sticked to the restaurant logo and just added hotels, but there's a really, really fine line between high-end and amateurish 'cheap' and Nobu has crossed this line one too many times for my taste. This started when I stayed at Nobu Manila and used spa there -- great therapists but they cut so many corners, the logo everywhere was a disgrace. Like a brand with no core, no message. Website also very budget. AMAN is so, so much better with these things, especially nowadays.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 7:07 pm
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Shutters on the Beach?

It could be fun to stay at one of the iconic hotels in Beverly Hills near Rodeo Drive to see their holiday decorations. Many of the stores offer seasonal F&B treats and there's the place that makes artificial snow.....
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Old Aug 1, 17, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Shutters on the Beach?

It could be fun to stay at one of the iconic hotels in Beverly Hills near Rodeo Drive to see their holiday decorations. Many of the stores offer seasonal F&B treats and there's the place that makes artificial snow.....
You have to stay in one of the big, ocean-front suites to enjoy Shutters, as the rooms are much too tiny for the 21st century. Food is awful, too.
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Old Aug 1, 17, 3:23 pm
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whats opinion on food at nobu malibu and beachfront location of adjacent ryokan ?
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Old Aug 1, 17, 8:38 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
You have to stay in one of the big, ocean-front suites to enjoy Shutters, as the rooms are much too tiny for the 21st century. Food is awful, too.
So few rooms have balconies/terraces.
Loews beachfront rooms with fireplaces are actually some of my fav rooms in Santa Monica. Not really luxury but a high end hotel ocean front in California without an outdoor space is just silly
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Old Aug 2, 17, 2:19 pm
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which is what makes nobu look good to me
perhaps even if not amazing hotel service
16 rooms, on carbon beach
(beachfront; ocean; garden)
beachfront pool (not huge)
access to private Malibu Racquet Club
adjacent(?) to nobu restaurant
noburyokanmalibu.com
https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=18e54...=2&form=S00027
rooms pretty unique for upscale US
(i enjoyed castle hill beach houses)

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 2, 17 at 3:34 pm
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Old Aug 2, 17, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
which is what makes nobu look good to me
perhaps even if not amazing hotel service
16 rooms, on carbon beach
(beachfront; ocean; garden)
beachfront pool (not huge)
access to private Malibu Racquet Club
adjacent(?) to nobu restaurant
noburyokanmalibu.com
https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=18e54...=2&form=S00027
rooms pretty unique for upscale US
(i enjoyed castle hill beach houses)
Someone needs to do a Nobu report. I nominate Kage.
The hotel literally juts over the ocean and the restaurant is excellent.
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Old Aug 2, 17, 8:00 pm
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wonder what all restaurant offers to hotel guests

good to hear re restaurant being excellent

Originally Posted by PHLbuddy View Post
Someone needs to do a Nobu report. I nominate Kage.
nope, although i would have if it was room-in-a-villa concept

i brought it up in response to posts re beach accommodations

because it literally just opened and there is little coverage

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 2, 17 at 10:01 pm
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