DESTINATION: The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica
DISTANCE FROM MARIN: 392 miles south
THE FAIRMONT MIRAMAR has famously been welcoming guests to the coastal city of Santa Monica since 1921. Situated just above the bluff, with views of the Pacific, the 302-room compound is minutes from world-class shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Originally it was the private home of Santa Monica founder John P. Jones, a former U.S. Senator, who planted a Moreton Bay fig tree that 100 years later still greets guests today. Now 80 feet tall, the tree is the second largest of its kind in the state and an attraction in its own right — the management spends $30,000 a year to maintain it. fairmont.com
HIGHLIGHTS The central location of this historically significant oasis is within walking distance of the beach and the retail fun of Third Street Promenade. Or hop on a complimentary bike and cruise to Venice Beach or the famous Santa Monica Pier.
EATS While it’s tempting to dip into the Los Angeles wheel-and-deal vibe, poolside or in the Lobby Lounge, you won’t want to miss the on-site restaurant Fig, which the Los Angeles Times called “a raging success.” Here you’ll find a bevy of dishes made with fresh local and organically grown ingredients, although a quick check on Instagram suggests the bread balloon — a disk of gluten glory made in the pizza oven and served with a variety of dipping sauces — just might steal the show.
DETAILS The property consists of The Ocean Tower, the historic Palisades Building, and 31 luxury poolside and bi-level bungalows, the only accommodations of this type in Santa Monica. Each bungalow has a sea blue–gray slate roof and a private entrance — maybe why celebrities seeking extra privacy stay here — as well as two luxurious bathrooms and private lanais with ocean views. Rates for rooms start at $459, for bungalows $789.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.