Originally built in 1926 as the grandest of the opulent beach club hotels and the premier playground for Hollywood 'A-listers,' Hotel Casa del Mar re-emerged in October 1999, following a $50 million restoration by Edward Thomas Hotels, parent company to Casa and its sister property, Shutters on the Beach. Take a photo tour of Casa Del Mar
Casa Del Mar: Guest Rooms
My room combined homey, high-end and creative. The four-poster bed had a white teddy bear propped on the pillow; a chaise with a cozy throw was a comfortable resting place. Windows with long gauzy curtains faced the beach. Built-in bookshelves decorated with starfish housed a diverse book collection; a playful kaleidoscope added amusement.
The white marble bathroom had a deep whirlpool tub, glass shower, marble-topped dresser and pedestal sink. A flat-screen TV was well-positioned for bubble-bath viewing. Wi-fi, shoe shines and coffee makers are some of the perks.
Casa Del Mar: Restaurants
We had a memorable sunset dinner at signature restaurant Catch, which inspired thoughts of the French Riviera. The room was spacious and spare with high beamed ceilings, large windows facing the beach, and a mother of pearl sushi bar. The "market fresh" food and service was excellent. Veranda, a casual drinking spot off the lobby, serves breakfast and light afternoon fare. The bar, where locals (and celebrities!) gather, has a specialty martini menu and live evening entertainment. Palm Terrace serves lite fare by the pool; it was the only place I found the service to be slow and the food, fair.
Casa Del Mar: Activities and Amenities
The Spa at the Hotel Casa del Mar has five treatment rooms for wellness rituals, skin care (with excellent Murad products) and salon services. You can get massages poolside in private tent-like cabanas that face the ocean. The pool, located on the fifth-floor of the hotel, has a Jacuzzi, outside dining area and an Italian granite deck landscaped like a Mediterranean garden. I spent some quiet time lounging on the chairs that overlook the beach; one can also chill on chairs by the pool. I also enjoyed a quick work-out in the well-equipped gym appointed with TVs and headphones at individual workout stations.
Guests receive a personal phone number that rings through to your room, and personal business cards (on request) with the hotel's name, address and phone number. There are eight wheelchair accessible rooms. The large lobby area is a special experience. Decorated in a style that is true to the indulgent 20s, the decor is lavish with tasseled pillows, brocade coaches, mosaic floors, chandeliers and overstuffed couches. This is a perfect place to grab a book and a coffee (or martini) and find a cozy corner. (Reviewed 5/1/2008)
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