By Patti Pietschmann Pavlus BlogMaster with photos by Richard Pietschmann
Although we live in Los Angeles, sometimes we just need a fast break. A quick getaway that feels far from home, but is just a few miles away. So a couple of summers ago we booked a room at Loew’s Santa Monica Beach Hotel—a short, 40-minute drive from where we live. Yet once we checked in and got comfortable, it felt like we’d left town. And we didn’t have to fly.
We stayed in the impossibly comfy Palm Suite—a one-bedroom spread with a living room, two baths (one with a gorgeous Jacuzzi tub fit for two), spa amenities, robes, flat screen TVs, wet bar, refrigerator, coffee maker, and huge balcony with extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier.
Salubrious spa treatments
The first thing I noticed during check in was the friendly, warm staff. The hotel lobby is welcoming with its the breezy, contemporary atmosphere, highlighted by the 80-foot high, glass-enclosed atrium. We knew right away we were going to enjoy our stay. Especially since we’d pre-booked spa treatments which turned out heavenly.
After a good workout in the really, well equipped Ocean Spa Fitness center, we hit the Spa for steam baths followed by some of the best massages we’d ever had. Nancy, my masseuse, went deep and managed to relieve just about any aches lurking in my neck, shoulders and lower back. Not an easy feat.
I’m truly a diva when it comes to spa treatments, and the ones I had here were tops. Another part of the escape was time in the salon where I treated myself to to wash and blow dry and mani/pedi. Pure bliss. Then it was cocktail time. Off we went the Papillion Lounge, where they were serving $6 drinks and $6 bites. Who could resist. It was called 6 at the beach. I went for the tasty house Chardonnay. Richard opted for a martini.Obviously this drink promotion works, the place was hopping with couples, business people and singles texting away or working on laptops while consuming adult beverages.
Fine dining by the sea
We dined at Ocean and Vine, the hotel’s three-meal-a-day restaurant. Another treat. The California cuisine proved exceptional. Quite surprising actually. We met another couple there and shared copious platters of appetizers before settling on entrees of 14 ounce prime New York steak (for me) and simply grilled local halibut for Richard. We also shared the hummus trio, grilled asparagus, sautéed spinach and red Swiss chard, lemon grass infused Basmati rice, and other goodies, along with bottles of wonderful wine. It was all good.
Day 2 up and at ’em
The following morning we made coffee in the room from the pod machine (great brew) and went jogginh along the waterfront Strand—a long stretch filled with local denizens walking, jogging, skate boarding, or roller blades.
Then the a good breakfast at Ocean and Vine. I had a perfect egg white omelet that came with the best potatoes and Richard went for the oatmeal with fresh fruit. We were delighted to see they had Press coffee on the menu and ordered a pot, which was rich and jump starting.
After a light lunch at Pappillon we returned to the spa for more pampering. I had a fantastic facial from Bridgette, who firmed, tone and lifted my face—at least temporarily. Bridgette gave my husband the man’s treatment, which he enjoyed equally.
The Palm Suite was so inviting we decided to do room service our last night. So we popped open a bottle of wine, sent up by management, and mulled over the menu. We pretty much ordered the some of the same dishes as the night before: the salmon tartare and the greens, but this time I got the halibut and it was wonderful.
Our two-day escape proved so therapeutic I felt like I’d been to a spa for a week. Guess it’s good to get away once in awhile. You should try it in your home town. I highly recommend it.
Loews Hotel is located at 1700 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California.