Last week, managing editor Katie Kervin and I absconded from the East Coast, leaving Joaquin’s threat in our rearview mirror, for the easy living of the West Coast. Call us bicoastal, jet setters, or just lucky but we found ourselves in some of the best parts of California. Katie, an amateur sommelier if there ever was one, traveled to San Francisco for the debut of the redesign of the Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco (also visiting Napa Valley), while I spent my time in LA in close proximation of celebrity culture like I was a Kardashian.
In all honesty, The Garland, located in sunny North Hollywood, is an homage to the area’s glamorous past. With Universal Studios nearby, the hotel celebrates its entertainment culture while offering a family-friendly vibe and a bit of nostalgia. Indeed, the hotel has a rich history of its own. Developed in 1972 by Fillmore Crank for his wife, actress Beverly Garland, the hotel became an oasis for movie stars like Dolly Parton and John Wayne. Fast forward to 2000 and their son James took over the iconic property with plans to bring it back to its heyday; a $20 million renovation was completed this summer.
The midcentury and cool California vibes are pervasive throughout the Forchielli Glynn-designed property where dark brown and warm neutral tones give way to vibrant pops of color. A very subtle ’70s aesthetic seen in the drapery and flooring, while original slumpstone, painted white, adds an authentic feel to the guestrooms and hallways.
Meanwhile, up in California’s famed Napa Valley wine country, our group was treated to a hard-hat tour of the upcoming Las Alcobas Napa Valley hotel (the first location is in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood). Also under the umbrella of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, the 68-key property is located next to Beringer Wine Estate in St. Helena, slated to open next summer, and designed by Yabu Pushelberg. As you can see from the photo, there aren’t a lot of design details to share yet, but we were able to see that a good portion of the rooms and suites will feature stunning vineyard views. The property encompasses the historic Acacia House—built in 1907 as a private residence—which will house the lobby, signature restaurant, 3,500-square-foot spa, and several guestrooms.