Leicester Square (West End, London)
[ February 12, 2015 – 1:42 pm | One Comment ]

This quaint but lively London square is the location of many high-end British film premieres and the square itself is surrounded by high-priced theaters. If you want to catch a movie, you can expect …

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Guide of the Week: California Coastal Getaways

Submitted by Shaena Engle on July 26, 2010 No Comment

Summer is here and there is still time to plot a course for an unforgettable California beach vacation. Our sunshine state boasts over 840 miles of coastline and a wide choice of resorts near the shore. Below is a roundup of prime spots to catch a few waves, watch spectacular sunsets and soak up the scenery.

Santa Monica

Casa Del Mar

1910 Ocean Way


Seven stories high along the Santa Monica shore stands this Renaissance revival-style resort. Inside the 129 rooms with ocean views are quaint interior decor like soft yellow walls, wooden blinds and Italian marble bathrooms. Get a massage outdoors by the pool or relax with sushi and seafood at Catch restaurant while enjoying uninterrupted views of the Pacific.

Hermosa Beach

Beach House

1300 The Strand


Hermosa Beach’s upscale Beach House features 96 loft-style rooms with wood-burning hearths, balconies, extra-deep soaking tubs and white wood interiors with navy and beige nautical accents. The small spa offers facials, massages and yoga sessions on the sand. A few steps away is the lively Strand, housing restaurants, shops, bars and The Comedy and Magic Club, where on most Sunday nights Jay Leno performs stand-up.

Huntington Beach


500 Pacific Coast Highway


Shorebreak, the latest boutique hotel in the Joie de Vivre chain, opened in May in Huntington Beach. The 157 room resort sits across the street from the infamous surfers’ beach and walking distance to the Huntington Beach Pier, shopping and nightlife. Inside, photos of surfers abound and modernly-designed accommodations feature private oceanside balconies with views of the Pacific.

Newport Beach

Balboa Beach Club and Resort

1221 West Coast Highway


This former private yacht club evolved into a world-class resort with 132 guest rooms overlooking the boat filled bay. Set on 15 acres, this posh resort has a European feel with its Italian piazza, stone archways and Roman columns. Casually-elegant rooms feature rattan furnishings, giant marble bathrooms, plantation shutters and fireplaces. After a day of shopping at the nearby South Coast Plaza, guests can enjoy dinner and a view of the glistening harbor at the resort’s First Cabin restaurant.



Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue


Just four blocks away from the beach in the center of Carmel, the L’Auberge Resort is an intimate 20-room resort modeled after a Prague building. Guest rooms are filled with antique tiling and sumptuous furnishings, while the restaurant serves 12 tables where guests can nosh on an extravagant tasting menu or sip on a Northern California wine from one of the 4,500 bottles in the wine cellar.

Laguna Niguel

Ritz Carlton

33533 Ritz Carlton Drive


This grand white castle perched on an ocean bluff houses 393 pastel-colored rooms and suites with French doors leading to charming private terraces overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The resort features lush gardens, intimate walkways, golf courses, tennis courts and a seaside spa, as well as the revamped RAYA restaurant serving Pan-Latin coastal cuisine amidst sweeping views of the coastline and Eno wine and cheese bar.

La Jolla

Estancia Resort

9700 North Torrey Pines Road


Built on former equestrian school grounds, this luxurious rustic resort is surrounded by 10 acres of flowers and fauna. The 199 ranch-style rooms reflect the resort’s Spanish style and are adjacent to a gym, outdoor splash pool, spa and Adobe el Restaurant.

Santa Cruz

West Cliff Inn

174 West Cliff Drive


Originally built as a home in 1877, this posh nautical-themed inn located across from Cowell’s Beach commands sweeping views of the boardwalk and Monterey Bay. The nine rooms in this three-story Victorian feature marble tile bathrooms, local artwork and fireplaces. For the ultimate in privacy with a stunning view, choose a second story room featuring a private outdoor hot tub.


Fogcatcher Inn

6400 Moonstone Beach


Located in charming Cambria, this quaint English country-style inn is steps from Moonstone Beach and close to over 60 wineries, Hearst Castle and the downtown art colony. Surrounded by flowering gardens, the 60 rooms feature vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and wood furniture.

Summer is both a time for making new memories and reflecting on those from years past. We want you to share your Best Summer Travel Story (in 100 words or less) with us for the chance to win a free $250 (USD) Visa gift card. Click here for full contest rules and to find out how to enter.

Image 1: Beach House Hotel Hotel

Image 2: Balboa Beach Club Hotel

Image 3: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Image 4: West Cliff Inn

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