Spa

By Kimberly McDonald

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Ever stay at a hotel and feel, immediately upon your arrival, that you are at home? That’s exactly how you feel when you arrive at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Of course most homes don’t have this hotel’s rich and colourful history. Greta Garbo lived in the Palisades Wing for more than four years, and the bungalows were home to stars such as Jean Harlow, Charles Lindbergh and Marilyn Monroe. For nearly a century, the property has been a vital part of the history of sea-side Santa Monica.

Today the landmark hotel is operated by the Fairmont group. You may recall how I raved about the Fairmont’s Kea Lani in Maui (BeautyNewsNYC.com – White Heaven) and my theory that the Fairmont Hotel Group is setting the bar for hotels across the world. Well, the Miramar fits right in with that theory. The attention to detail from the moment you enter the property is palpable. Beautifully manicured grounds and gorgeous landscaping give you a sense of privacy the moment you turn into the circular driveway leading up to the property.

The staff here also maintains the Fairmont reputation. Warm, friendly, ultimately helpful and accommodating. None of the nose-in-the-air attitude you get from the staff at some other hotels. When you’re here, you’re home…only home means you have only to step outside to the beach in Santa Monica…or ring up the kitchen for room service.

The guest rooms in the Palisades Wing of the hotel run a bit small. However, what they lack in size they certainly make up for in comfort. And the bathrooms are well appointed and the tubs are great for bubble baths. Not that you’ll be spending too much time in your room while in gorgeous southern California, but if space is an issue…you have options! The Ocean Tower is a newly renovated ten-story building with great views of the Pacific. And then there are the Bungalows…oooh….the Bungalows.

Surrounded by tropical flowers and palm trees, water from the waterfalls trickling in the background, the Bungalows at the Miramar are ideal for escaping the noisy world outside. Whether you’re in need of some r&r or some serious romantic alone time, this is where you want to be. French doors that lead to private patios with front row seats to a Pacific sunset.

The hotel offers a variety of options at mealtime, as well. For delicious California style cuisine, The Grille is an excellent choice. I recommend their Oatmeal with fresh berries for breakfast and there is no better chopped salad on earth than theirs (you’ll find the recipe here: BeautyNewsNYC.com – Health & Fitness) ….an ideal lunch item that you can enjoy at the restaurant or poolside. The Koi Pond, located in the lobby area, serves bar food and snacks to go along with libations. Added bonuses here: more gorgeous tropical vegetation and a large Koi pond, as well as live music (think Michael Buble/Michael Feinstein). Of course you might never see these areas if you choose do dine in-room…but you can certainly still order the chopped salad!

The hotel offers some really fun packages such as the Chef For A Day Package (the hotel teams up with the culinary masters at Sur La Table) , which includes:

*Deluxe accomodations
*VIP entry to Sur La Table with a 25% discount on class rates
*Hands-on class with a professional chef at the famed eatery
*Souvenir apron and more…lots more.
For further information on this package log on to Chef For A Day Package or phone the hotel at (310) 576-7777

The hotel’s Spa and Fitness center are open seven days a week. Spa treatments include a variety of massages and skin care options ranging from waxing and basic facials to Meta skin peels and body reduction.

As if everything you’ve read up til now wasn’t reason enough to pick up the phone and book a room…here’s a little something to make a holiday visit to the Fairmont Miramar an absolute must: Gingerbread! Well, the event is actually called Meet Me Under the Fig Tree (in homage to the utterly unique and unforgettable landmark fig tree in front of the hotel) and it takes place this Sunday, Dec. 4th, 5-8 pm.

As you stroll the event area surrounded by holiday décor by Hollywood’s one-and-only Bob Pranga you’ll enjoy music by the Santa Monica H.S. Chamber Orchestra that will have you looking for some mistletoe and someone to kiss. If all of this doesn’t evoke the holiday spirit, how about sipping some Eggnog or Hot Apple Cider as you browse the Gingerbread City. Eight of the 23 Ginger-buildings have been created by neighboring elementary schools and they are all being auctioned off to benefit Chrysalis. Plus … there’s a silent auction with items donated by local and surrounding businesses to benefit Habitat For Humanity/Operation Home Delivery.

The Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica is truly a place where tradition and luxury blend seamlessly. Whether you’re looking to get away, celebrate, or be near the action…this is THE Place to stay.

For more information, or for bookings, log on to www.fairmont.com/santamonica.

Originally published December 2005
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