Airport Hotel – Begin Your Adventure at Hyatt Regency LAX

airport hotel pool
Take It Easy Before You Begin Your Next Adventure

I fly out of LAX quite often. Let’s be honest: I prefer Burbank, like everyone else in the area, because it’s smaller and friendlier. But for the trip in this story, I had to fly out of LAX because I was going to Cancun. My flight left in the morning, and I didn’t want to get up before the sun to fight through traffic to be on time (3 hours before the flight time, according to the airline’s website), so for the first time in my life, I booked a hotel room at the airport for the night before.

airport hotel hyatt lax exterior

I used to think that was for divas. But I’ve been beaten down by traffic, airport traffic in particular. The Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has recently undergone a renovation, and their whole situation seemed inviting: location, decor, food, parking. I decided to do it – stay at an airport hotel the night before my flight.

I was not disappointed. Even though the Hyatt Regency LAX is basically adjacent to the airport, once you are inside you don’t hear the flight noise. You can enjoy views of the planes taking off and landing. You can lounge by the pool, enjoy a tasty cocktail, and indulge in a delicious dinner that celebrates the unique cuisines of Los Angeles. And if you’re lucky, the events held in the hotel’s spacious ballrooms will be full of personality, like the one that happened on the night I was there: urban line dancing! People had come from all over the country to celebrate and dance together, and they wore special bright green shirts, so you couldn’t miss them. Their joy was infectious, and although I was there to relax and rest up for my flight in the morning, I couldn’t help but be caught up in it.

airport hotel line dancing event

In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t join them!

Because of its location and relationship with travelers, this Hyatt property is a way station for airline employees and passengers from all over the world. The recent renovation has modernized the look of the lobby and all of its rooms. One design detail I particularly enjoyed was the orb, which I spotted in multiple places:

hyatt regency lax lobby

Start Your Vacation a Day Early

Checking in to the Hyatt Regency LAX, I felt like my vacation was beginning early. I was away from my home and its ever-present need for attention. (Laundry: fold me! Floors: wash me! Cat: feed me! And so on…) My room at the Hyatt was spacious and tastefully decorated with a minimalist modern theme. All 580 rooms at this property have been updated, and there’s plenty of space in the king bed room for a family, with a pull out bed in the living room area. A fridge, breakfast bar, and sink are handy to have for snacks (microwaves are available downstairs in the Unity Cafe area for guests to use, to keep food smells out of the rooms). The bathroom’s design was sleek and minimalist too, although its functionality may have suffered: my shower door would not stay closed, and the sink is mostly basin, less room for all my toiletries.

airport hotel room lounge

The room was equipped with a super-fancy illy espresso maker, which will probably delight many guests. I prefer giant steaming cauldrons of hot American coffee, which was easy to get downstairs at the cafe at unity LA.

The best feature of the room was the bed, hands down. It was firm yet soft, just the way I like it, and so inviting. How nice to wake up and think only about getting my coffee, and getting downstairs to the shuttle pick-up on time, versus worrying about getting out my door without cat hair all over my clothes, and fighting through traffic for an hour and a half or more.

airport hotel room

Each of the 580 rooms is newly remodeled in a minimalist, soothing style

Start Vacation-Eating, Too

Isn’t that why we go on vacation in the first place? To eat food in different places? Okay, there are more reasons…and if you’re traveling for work this probably gets old. But the Hyatt Regency LAX has so many great choices, you can eat healthy or you can indulge, or both!

First, unity bar has giant-screen TVs so you can watch sports while you sample their delicious cocktails and bar dishes. Next door, unity cafe serves everything from coffee to gelato to freshly made cheesecake.

And just beyond that is unity la, a full-service restaurant, which offers dishes inspired by the ethnic cuisines of Los Angeles. If you’re just passing through yown and you don’t have enough time to head to, say, Thai Town, well, you can have the Thai drunken noodles right here.

airport hotel hyatt lax unity la

airport hotel hominy salad

You can taste Boyle Heights in the charred corn salad. Have a Venice-inspired coco-tini and drink in the flavors of the beach. The service here is excellent and you will not wait for more than 3 seconds if you need something, because a server is standing by at all times, making diners feel like they have personal butlers!

airport hotel hyatt lax food

Clockwise from top left: spicy margarita, Brandt Farms steak frites, papaya salad and Venice cocotini, dessert, drunken noodles with chicken 

After a delicious meal, it was so nice to wander outside and watch the urban line dancers from the quiet darkness of the pool, where outdoor orbs were lit from within and provided accent lighting. If I was the working-out type, I might have woken extra early or made time before dinner to visit the 24-hour gym. Water and towels (dry AND chilled) are provided and all guests have access. The cardio machines are lined up facing the runways, so you can watch the air traffic as you chug along on a treadmill. You wouldn’t even know it was an aiport hotel, except that the view from the gym of the planes landing at night is especially enchanting.

Convenient Parking and Shuttle

I know, all that other stuff is great, but what about parking? With parking at a premium around LAX, that is a serious question. Valet parking at Hyatt Regency LAX is $44 per night. That’s not in my budget (I’d be leaving my car for a total of 4 nights) but there is a QuikPark business that shares the property. The shuttle picks you up right at the back door of the hotel. It is quick (like the name) and easy and the shuttles are clean and modern. Helpful drivers carry and stack your bags. When I returned, I walked out of baggage claim and a QuikPark/Hyatt shuttle was right there. That was probably a coincidence, but it left me with a great impression of how easy it is to park there. It’s only $12.95 a night for self-parking (plus some small fees).

Special Guest Star

Here’s something new: I was also lucky enough to meet Sir Hyatt, the hotel’s dog in residence. When the hotel was undergoing its remodel, the security team adopted this adorable little guy, and now he lives there and serves as the Hotel Ambassador. During my stay I watched him delight children and adults alike. I’m told his favorite hangout spot is by the pool cabanas.

Well, folks, now I’m spoiled. I don’t have immediate plans to fly out of LAX again soon, but it will happen for sure, since I go back east to visit family at least once a year. When I do, I will not be able to compare any other trip to this one, since I was calm and on time because of a night at a relaxing aiport hotel: Hyatt Regency LAX. I am even considering staying there again just for attending events on that side of town. Why drive all the way back to the bubble when you can just slip into a lovely, comfortable room that doesn’t have your laundry and chores waiting for you?

Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport
6225 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Reservations: (424) 702-1234
$169 to $ 249.00. Suites start at $199.00. Guest room rate plans vary according to seasonality.

 

Wellness Day at Four Seasons Westlake Village – Free Admission

Wellness Day Yoga

On Saturday, June 10, The Four Seasons Westlake Village and the California Health & Longevity Institute will welcome guest and visitors to its Global Wellness Day. The events will include sunrise cycling, yoga and mindfulness sessions, culinary demos, “tea talks” about health-related topics, and special healthy cocktails and a tasting menus. Admission to the events is free, with drinks and tasting menu at the restaurant’s pricing, and a special Wellness Dinner and Comedy show for only $65 per person.

Wellness Day culinary demo

The California Health & Longevity Institute has put this day together in partnership with Global Wellness Day, a worldwide initiative dedicated to helping people live well with the slogan “one day can change your whole life.” The purpose is to raise awareness about living well and increase motivation for the rest of the year.

Wellness Day pool

What better place to celebrate than at this oasis of paradise in The Bubble? I can say with full confidence that my life has been changed by the Institute and the spa, and if you treat yourself, chances are you’ll experience that too. For this event the Spa at Four Seasons will feature a special Lavender Milk Cocoon Wrap, a comprehensive whole-body treatment that restores the glow of health, for an additional fee.

To attend the free events, sign up here on the Eventbrite link.

Mother’s Day Hike: Nicholas Flat

trail in the forest

A trail in the forest: my favorite thing to see

Mother’s Day. Every year for several years now the only thing I want to do on holidays is hike with my family. Without any whining. It seemed like it would happen on Mother’s Day this year—I gave the boys plenty of warning, and it was such a simple request.

But then this morning all three of them were sick. They’re leaving this week on a trip, so it seemed best to let them stay home and rest. So I went on a hike all by myself, and it turned out to be exactly what I needed. Since I knew I was going solo and could therefore go anywhere I wanted, I returned to a beautiful spot that isn’t super popular…yet.

Nicholas Flat

You can approach this area from the south via Malibu Springs Trail at Leo Carillo State Park or from the north at the end of Decker School Road. That was the convenient spot from here, because it’s off Route 23, which begins at Westlake Blvd. It’s a hairpin turn to the right and then just park when you reach the trailhead at the very end. The wide pathway takes you south through a foresty patch and then emerges out into a grassy meadow where you are greeted with this glory:

Nicholas Pond

This pond was dry until the recent rains. 

Bench by pond

A perfect place.

A side trail takes you around the west end of the pond and up into the rocks. As of today there were several fallen rotten tree limbs and one of them jumped out of nowhere and bonked me right on the head. Okay that was actually my fault because I was rushing up to the rocks, racing against my dying phone battery and distracted by a text (out here where there’s no service!). Lesson learned, nature. I’ll pay better attention.

Nicholas Pond

West end of Nicholas Pond

The side scramble and even the head bonking were totally worth it though because this:

Pacific Ocean from Nicholas Flat

I played around with trying to get a good picture of myself in this spot…

Selfie

New profile pic

But that wasn’t the point of the hike, I promise. It was solitude and freedom to explore without anybody whining or standing around impatiently waiting for me to find a geocache. Which I did. Several times, and it was fun. So there. Happy Geocaching Nerd Mother’s Day to me.

Wildflowers in meadow

Had to bushwhack to find a cache. Rewarded with this view.

Wildflowers on trail

Nicholas Flats Road trail

Meadow

View from trail. Lots of brush, worried about snakes.

snake on trail

This was the only one I saw today, and he left quickly.

plastic rat

Rat in a geocache!

burned trees

Entering the Fire Swamp

My total hiking time was 2.5 hours, but you can easily park at the trailhead and be at the pond and then the ocean view in less than 20 minutes. I bopped around and took lots of pictures (these are the best) and stopped at the above bench to pull all the pokey things out of my shoes and socks. By the time I got home, I was relaxed and accomplished, and my boys had cleaned the entire house even though they weren’t feeling good. Wins all around.

I’m curious about approaching this area from the beach, plus there are a few more caches out there that I’d like to find, so I’d like to go back sooner than later. People get really protective of their favorite hiking spots and caution you about telling everyone about them so they don’t get too popular and crowded. So keep Nicholas Flat and its trails between us, okay?

Decker School Road