SoCal Summer Staycation Planner

Pasea Hotel & Spa

For those of us fortunate enough to live in a perpetually sunny place that draws tourists year-round like Southern California, it can often feel like everyone except you managed to get away from the daily office grind. Instead of succumbing to the FOMO blues or beating yourself up for not buying that ticket to Mykonos last December for your Summer 2019 travel, block a couple of days off of your calendar and treat yourself to a mini-staycation at one of our top picks for SoCal’s hottest, waterfront or beachside properties. Here are four properties to suit your every mood:

Nobu Ryokan Malibu


If the idea of sitting on the 405 for hours in the sweltering heat doesn’t appeal to you, look no further than Malibu. No place is more quintessentially Californian. Book one of the 16 custom guest rooms or suites at the Nobu Ryokan with an ocean, or garden view or directly located on the beach. Named after traditional Japanese inns and built with naturally stained teak and ipe woods, the Nobu Ryokan will immerse you in a serene environment perfect for self-reflection and meditation.

Reserve a beach lounger and umbrella so you can enjoy the iconic and exclusive Carbon Beach that is literally steps away. If more lively pursuits are your desire, Ryokan guests can schedule a quick match at the private Malibu Racquet Club. After building up an appetite, saunter on over to Nobu Malibu for a taste of Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s culinary offerings.

The Portofino Hotel & Marina


Just a little further South, you will find the calm and quiet of Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach is a coastal city located in the South Bay region of Greater Los Angeles that draws those looking for a physically active yet serene lifestyle. There are endless options for surfing, shopping, dining, bar hopping and beach volleyball. The Redondo Beach Pier is located conveniently near the harbor and marina where many sailing schools operate.

The Portofino Hotel and Marina offers a taste of coastal living at its chicest level. Originally named after Portofino, Italy, the nautical themed property is situated in a private marina and rooms come with an ocean or marina view. Luxury suites include a private balcony to watch the sailboats cruise by to the tune of a colony of frolicking Sea Lions that inhabit nearby King Harbor. Summer nights in SoCal can get chilly at times, so it’s nice to have a double-sided fireplace and a claw-foot tub to warm up to in your luxury suite.

After breakfast, take a dip in the heated pool before borrowing a complimentary beach cruiser to explore the 27-mile bike path that leads all the way to Malibu! Afterwards, reward yourself with a waterside, al fresco lunch for two at BALEEN Kitchen- voted by Zagat as “One of the Top 10 Best Restaurants for Waterside Dining in LA.” Order the Ahi Tuna Tacos or the Lobster Roll and you won’t be disappointed. Experience the 'Endless Summer Package' that includes a free 4th night with a 3-night booking and a daily breakfast for two.

Pasea Hotel & Spa


Dubbed Surf City USA for its surf culture and stellar waves, Huntington Beach is located in Orange County, approximately an hour and 20 minutes from LA. The whimsical Paséa Hotel & Spa is artfully decorated with colorful artwork such as the floor to ceiling “Wavelength 4” created with 1,400 flip flops that greats guests upon arrival. Service at Paséa is second to none, as you will be ushered inside by your helpful bellman and checked-in by a sharply dressed representative of the front desk staff. It is hard to not want to head immediately to the stunning pool and order a cool beverage, as one of the two hotel pools is quite visible from the expansive lobby.

Paséa Hotel & Spa offers 250 playfully decorated guest rooms and suites, almost all of which have ocean views and balconies. Expect Frette linens, FRESH bath products, deep soaking tubs, flat-screen TVs, and a Keurig coffee maker to make your stay enjoyable. There is even an onsite Surf Butler should you want to hang ten and the hotel provides access to beach chairs, towels and umbrellas for your perfect beach adventure.

Pasea Hotel & Spa

Though the ocean and iconic Huntington Beach pier are located just steps away from the property, you will be held captive by the engaging environment of Paséa as it has the formula for the perfect staycation down. Aside from the inviting pool atmosphere, you have Tanner’s restaurant where surfers and locals alike gather to enjoy the ocean view, casual, open-air design and the tasty, well-rounded menu that leans towards the healthy side with offerings such as Blackened Salmon Tacos and a Chicken Teriyaki Bowl. Ascend the glass staircase to reach the Treehouse Lounge, Paséa’s chic, rooftop lounge that serves up live music, seasonal craft cocktails and panoramic ocean views.

If by chance you get hit with the shopping bug, a car won’t be necessary. Simply stroll over to Pacific City, the ultimate venue for shopping, dining and entertainment where you will find stores like Drybar, Sephora, H&M, Free People and so much more.

Estancia La Jolla Resort & Spa


San Diego County is best known for its stellar beaches, the U.S. Navy, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and fish tacos. Just 12 miles north of downtown San Diego, you will find the luxurious yet charming seaside community of La Jolla. The famed Scripps Research Institute is located in La Jolla, as is the University of California, San Diego, and the Salk Institute. The breathtaking Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is situated between La Jolla Shores and Torrey Pines State Park. Although the property does not have direct beach access, Black’s Beach is a four-minute drive away and La Jolla Shores, popular for swimming, kayaking, surfing and scuba diving, is less than 3 miles away. A car is not necessary to get around, however, as the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle that operates within a 5-mile radius.

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is the only property that made our list that does not offer water views because it makes up for that and more with its storybook-like setting amidst 10 acres of lushly manicured lawns, romantic courtyards, adobe fireplaces, meandering paths and Hacienda-style architecture. Guests of the Estancia welcome the luxurious seclusion as the 210-room property manages to stay quiet even when it is completely booked.

Mustangs & Burros

If you are in the mood to socialize with other guests, there are plenty of options for that. Reserve a lounge chair or cabana at the perfectly situated saltwater pool, hit the gym or sample award-winning wines from Estancia owners at Trinitas Cellars Wine Bar, the only SoCal tasting room from the Napa Valley winemaker. Indulge in an alfresco lunch on the patio of Mustangs & Burros, Estancia’s Baja-inspired California cuisine venue that is housed in an antique hacienda with adobe brick. The Mustangs Burger with caramelized onions, bacon horseradish aioli, heirloom tomatoes, aged Hooks Cheddar and Truffle-Cotija Fries are to die for, as are the hand-crafted cocktails like the Hibiscus Garden of Estancia Herradura Reposado, lime, orange and Hibiscus syrup. For breakfast, there are two options- Blend Café that offers freshly brewed coffee, sandwiches and pastries and Adobe El Restaurante that serves an indulgent breakfast complete with Añejo Tequila Bananas Foster French Toast and a Farmer’s Benedict with a quinoa vegetable patty, kale, roasted pepper crema and poached eggs.

If you are up for a little activity, allow the hotel concierge to arrange a local experience for you. A great experience would be the “Behind the Scene Ocean Research” excursion in which you would join Marine Scientists from World Below the Waves to explore the fascinating marine life of La Jolla with Scripps Institution of Oceanography or Southwest Fisheries for a behind-the-scenes look at how marine research is conducted. If you’d rather stay on-property for all of your staycation activities, fortunately, The Spa at Estancia is recognized as one of SoCal’s top resort spas and has been recently named “Best Spa” by San Diego Magazine. The spa boasts 9 indoor treatment rooms, an intimate couple’s bungalow for joint treatments, a Eucalyptus steam room, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. Spa packages include massages, facials, nail services, body skincare, waxing and other services using predominantly organic ingredients. Book your summer getaway now and save 30% off stays of 3 nights or more with Estancia's Summer Savings package.

It's not too late to plan your summer staycation as many of SoCal's hottest destinations are running specials for late summer travel.

Carin von Berg

Carin von Berg lives in Los Angeles and writes about food and wine, luxury travel, beauty, fashion and luxury products. She is the editor-in-chief of Luxlife Magazine and the author of the novel Gucci Girl. In her spare time, she works as a lifestyle model when she isn't traveling to some exotic, luxury destination or dining in the latest hot-spot. ...(Read More)

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