Karen’s Trip to Southern California with North America Travel Service

I have recently returned from a short but informative four day trip to Southern California with North America Travel Service.
Our first stop was the Ritz-Carlton: Marina Del Rey situated in west Los Angeles. The hotel had a calm and relaxed feel situated on the waterfront; with three-hundred and four rooms, many of which have been adapted to include disabled guests. Facilities wise the Ritz-Carlton included, a pool (with hoist for disabled guests), tennis and basketball courts and a fitness centre. It has two restaurants, one open all year round and the other positioned by the pool open from May. For those who can’t leave their pets behind on holiday would be surprised to know that the Ritz Carlton welcomes pets for a $125 flat cleaning fee. Whilst meal times such as breakfast can be expensive, you are paying for a quality experience. Speaking for myself I undertook a walk along the Marina and found a café along the waterfront which serves breakfast and may provide those on smaller a budget the chance to taste great American breakfast and lunches at a reduced rate.

The second stop on our tour was the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. This resort hotel has five hundred and seventeen rooms of various standards with sixteen accessible rooms.  Facilities wise there are six food outlets; based on seasonality, two pools, a fitness centre, fantastic spa, Camp Hyatt Kids Club and direct access to the beach via a pedestrian bridge.
At this property we hired bicycles and rode along the promenade which runs along the beach. As I hadn’t ridden a bike for over twenty years it could have been a recipe for disaster but I managed it quite well. You do however have to contend with runners, rollerbladers and other cyclists on a small promenade so be careful! Also you may want to keep an eye out for some rather unusual sights such as, a pigs being walked or the causal dog in sunglasses whilst riding in a basket on a bike. Still on the topic of food, be wary of food portions, I ordered a salad at lunchtime and it would have fed two people! Ask your server how large the meals are before ordering.

Things to do locally: try hiring a Duffy’s electric boat from Newport Beach Pier and do a tour of Newport Harbour. This was a great way to spend a couple of hours, taking in some views of amazing homes and boats. You could follow this up by visiting the Fashion Island Shopping Mall or other outlet shopping areas. Not that it’s hard to miss but Disney is also close by so that may be something to plan for. From the Marina Del Rey, trolley buses run to many of LA’s main sights, these are helpfully colour coded for the different routes and the hotel concierge can assist you.

For Huntington Beach, the beach is the main draw and what a place. Volleyball nets are set up along the full stretch of the white sand in close proximity to various cafes and restaurants. In the evenings bonfires are set up so people can bring along marshmallows, sit down and cook them. What a way to end a day by the beach!  My personal favourite hotel was the “Terrenea” because of its location on the coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island; it is also only thirty miles south west of downtown Los Angeles.
All in all, this trip has served to open my eyes to a different area of California. If you are doing a fly-drive, all these properties are worth a visit even is only for a few days. The hotels that I inspected were all very diverse in terms of accommodation, facilities and scenery, and if you would like any more information about my favourite hotel; the Terrenea, or any of the hotels mentioned please don’t hesitate to call the office and ask for Karen or the other members of our team.