A confirmation declared I would be placed in an oceanfront room for $325 per night and conveniently included very clear and specific directions to the hotel from the airport, greatly appreciated as I made my way there after a late night arrival.
All apprehensions surrounding the value of my hotel splurge were soon dissipated as I made my way into the lobby of the glamorous (in the old Hollywood/Titanic style of glam) establishment. Past a bougainvillea-draped, palm tree-shaded courtyard down a Spanish tiled hall bedecked with glorious blossoms and objet d’art, I arrived at the registration desk and remembered then to close my gaping jaw. After a cleansing sigh, the good kind, I was informed I had been upgraded to an oceanfront suite and my butler would meet me at the doorway to introduce me to the workings of the room.
The original old pink-stucco Hotel La Valencia begins at Prospect and Girard, but extends via a series of individual lodges, additions and newer villas down the hill. So it was a pleasant surprise following a long trip down many staircases past the glittering pool and gardens that I found my villa with a private entrance unto the street across from the park that borders the famed La Jolla Cove. I dismissed my butler and ambled into the park feeling as if I were a Holly Go Lightly with an apartment in the World’s Best Village.
The Villa interior supported the fantasy. So spacious, so cool, so luxurious with every detail noted; a walk-in closet and extra down pillows, mini-kitchen stocked with coffees, teas and toaster. Shutters offered a window to the world outside but complete privacy to me. Just outside my door was a very private courtyard filled with tropical blossoms.
The bathroom was celebrity status. Big enough to pamper, small enough to be comfortable, this Goldilocks, er, Holly, pronounced it "just right." The utterly fabulous steam shower featured multiple jets, water pressure to put a masseuse out of business and an overhead "rain forest" option should an entirely new fantasy light mid-stream. The whirlpool bath was perfect with built-in padded headrest and a small TV where I watched the E Channel countdown of the century’s funniest movies and laughed until my fingertips shriveled.
It was a tad chilly during my visit so I didn’t use the beautiful pool for swimming but I did use the lounge chairs to sit languorously and watch the gorgeous sunset and people parade down by the shore. Then, I adjusted my boa, blew air kisses to the hotel staff and valet parking kid and toddled off to dinner at the Star.
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SO23 8SD, England, United Kingdom
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From journal Autumn Trip to SoCal
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