The Incomparable Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club
There is only one boutique oceanside hotel in Los Angeles that also happens to be the best luxury property in trendy Redondo Beach. This unique hotel is one of our all time favorites. Read this story and the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club may become a special place for you as well.
Looking toward a luxurious yet casual getaway
We were driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles looking forward to a restful getaway weekend. Deep into the Friday crawl along the infamous 405 Freeway, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was just off to our right. We knew our destination in Redondo Beach was only seven miles distant and worst case – probably about 20 minutes away.
Leaving the freeway, we drove south on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) until we saw the familiar Redondo Beach arch and immediately felt the relief that comes from knowing we were just minutes away from a cleansing beverage and the sounds of seagulls and harbor seals.
We arrived at our destination just in time for happy hour. The fabulous Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club was ours for the weekend.
The Portofino is a small, but elegant property. It has just 161 guestrooms and suites. Its greatest asset is its location on a small serene peninsula that is just minutes away from the hubbub of busy Los Angeles. It is truly an oasis.
Stress dripped away as we walked through the comfortable lobby to the registration desk. We were immediately captured by the sophisticated ambiance. It is impressive, but warm. There is always an overwhelming feeling of sanctuary, of returning, of coming home when you visit the Portofino.
After being greeted in true Portofino fashion, it only took a few additional minutes before we were gazing at the setting sun from our seaside guestroom balcony. Ahh, smell that clean ocean air.
A quick freshen up and a walk
After our long ride, we were in a mood to stretch our legs so we headed toward the nearby Redondo Beach Pier.
We have fond memories of the original grand old creaking wooden horseshoe shaped pier that succumbed to storms and a fire in 1988. The part of the original wharf that was not destroyed stayed open until 1995 when a full replacement pier was finally completed. The new pier is much more structurally attuned to the unpredictable Pacific.
Along our short trek to the pier, we spent a few minutes looking around the 1.5 million gallon heated salt-water sand pool at the Seaside Lagoon, a park maintained by the city and enjoyed by kids of all ages.
Next, we passed Ruby’s Diner and then the “been there forever” Captain Kidd’s Fish Market and Restaurant – great clam chowder!
A few steps further and we were walking along the boat slips in King Harbor – at this point, we were at the north entrance to the pier.
When we finally arrived, the usual Friday after-work crowd was quietly mulling around the many restaurant entrances and shops that line the pier. Notwithstanding the mumble of background sounds, we could still hear, and took great pleasure in the soothing and romantic rhythm of the Pacific waves lapping the shore. What an idyllic setting for an evening, or a lifetime.
About Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach typifies the Southern California lifestyle. Nestled between Hermosa Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Redondo Beach boasts ideal weather throughout the year. In the summer, it escapes the inland heat and haze, and in the winter, the temperate Pacific currents keep it pleasantly comfortable.
Redondo Beach is the quintessential beach resort destination with all flavors of accommodations, attractions, and activities. It is a busy community in the summer, but some of the best deals are to be found after the kids are back in school. Be sure to check out the city museum at 302 Flagler Lane. It has some great pictures and memorabilia from the early days in Redondo.
Sand for all seasons
The beach at Redondo is a pristine stretch of manicured sand that begins just south of the Redondo Pier and runs along the Esplanade, an ice-plant garlanded cliff line to the tiny community of Riviera Village. The Village is full of delightful shops and restaurants, and is at the base of the Palos Verdes Peninsula – total distance about two miles.
Biking along the ocean
The Portofino Hotel provides courtesy bicycles to its guests. A paved bike path parallels the ocean and starts at Palos Verdes, passes through Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach and continues for 27 miles to Malibu Beach. It is a beautiful ride full of California buff people.
After our walk
We headed back and could see the lights of the Portofino Hotel twinkling in the distance.
When we reached our room, we opened the sliding door wide, and settled in with a nice wine and the evening sounds of the ocean. It was a great start to a much-anticipated weekend.
For charming ambience and a taste of the finer things of life, Redondo Beach and the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club are simply the places to be.
For more information
The website for the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club is http://www.hotelportofino.com/ for reservations call toll-free 800.468.4292.
We visited and reviewed dozens of unique and outstanding Inns and Hotels in 2011. We are pleased to award the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club the designation of “Best Boutique Hotel for 2011.”
Be sure to check out our photo gallery of pictures of the Portofino and Redondo Beach. The gallery can be viewed by clicking here.
In our next article, we will write about our favorite elegantly casual restaurant and its imaginative Chef. Both of which are located on the property of the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club.
© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
Photos © Wayne and Judy Bayliff
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