Hotel Presidential Suites Aren't Just For VIPs Anymore
While the majority of hotel presidential suites still adhere to a four figure room rate, a select few have eased their sky-high prices, giving those with a special occasion, or an extra tax return the ability to experience how the other half lives. Below are a few examples of both. So, carpe diem !!!
La Valencia Hotel
1132 Prospect Street La Jolla, CA 92037 (800) 451-0772
The trademark pink façade endears guests to this 1926 piece of history. La Jolla Shores and the Pacific Ocean are the Valencia’s backyard. An ornate hand painted ceiling presides over the lobby and antique filled La Sala Lounge. Oriental rugs bathe the Mexican tile floors. It’s easy to see why celebrities such as Garbo, Chaplin, and Gregory Peck have slumbered here throughout the years.
While several additions have propelled the one-time apartment complex into the echelon of monarchs, Historic Hotels of America dictates the color and original structure must remain the same. Even so, the pink lady is still irreputedly ultraposh. Pockets of privacy make her impervious to the outside world.
Custom made marble and brass luggage carts transport guests’ belongings to the 1,200-square-foot La Valencia Suite. Your private reality consist of a butler’s pantry with private entrance as not to disturb the occupants, a living room, master bedroom and bath. An indoor/outdoor fireplace accentuates the patio which surrounds the villas perimeter. It’s obvious why this destination is a member of the Preferred Hotels Worldwide. (Rates range from $2,500 to $3,500 per night).
Andaz San Diego
600 F Street San Diego, CA 92101 (877) 489-4489/(619) 814-1000
The Andaz's architectural pilgrimage begins with its classic 1921 exterior and culminates with a recent $90 million interior renovation. Travertine stone, leather wallpaper, and floor-to-ceiling abstract murals have catapulted the Gaslamp Quarter beauty into a celebrity haven. Hollywood’s A-listers Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Fey, Jessica Biel, and Will Ferrell continuously reserve either of the three suites -Cabana, Sweet, or Star. A mere $1,500 per night books 1,275 square feet of decadence with king bunk beds, two full bathrooms, and a living area in the Star Suite. Tinseltown’s bad boys stay in the Sweet Suite with modern, couture furnishings, opulent soaking tub, and a shower built for a party. The racy gift shop comes in handy should guests forget their thong panties, curry flavored toothpaste, or candle that melts into massage oil. A more modest choice is the Cabana Suite, where the rooftop pool and personal cabana is accessible by a private spiral staircase.
(Rate range depending on occupancy. Cabana Suite: $1,299 to $3,000 per night. Sweet Suite $1,299 to $2,500 per night. Star Suite: $1,500 to $4,000.)
Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
5951 Linea Del Cielo Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 (858) 756-1131
The Inn shares its exclusive zip code with high-brow residents Bill Gates and Madonna. Spanish-style guestrooms and cottages sit on 23 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds just a half-hour north of San Diego City. The beauty of the ranch is its no-nonsense approach to elegance. Cliché trompe l’oeils, and fluted columns have been nixed. The Magnolia Suites’ monochromatic white color scheme follows suit, with intermittent hints of beige on the furniture upholstery. A compendium of amenities is sure to indulge even the choosiest of guests.
The patio-cum-fortress is secluded by eight foot walls for those with a penchant for privacy. A wood-burning fireplace and steaming Jacuzzi create the perfect setting for stargazing evenings. (Rates start at $650 a night and go up depending on requests.)
326 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 232-3121
The land where this hotel sits was originally inhabited by the Kumeyaay Tribe of Indians, until they were relocated to 640 acres in San Diego’s East County in the early 1800s. Over the next hundred plus years, the vacated downtown terrain had numerous rebirths, including a luxury hotel built by Ulysses Grant, Jr. in memory of his father. In 2003 the Kumeyaay Band of Indians came full circle with the purchase of The US Grant hotel and it’s land, returning possession to the original ancestors.
A $56 million renovation showcasing marble columns, crystal chandeliers, and exotic woods has resulted in polished elegance. The Kumeyaay tribal flower, the primrose, is inconspicuously depicted throughout the hotel, whether it be on the lobby’s $250,000 silk carpet, or diminutive statues perched among antique furnishings.
The bi-level Presidential Penthouse Suite with full dining and living rooms offers a glimpse of San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bay Bridge from it’s 11th floor perch. It was added onto the rooftop in 1939 as a radio station from where President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his first fireside chat. (Presidential Penthouse rates range from $1,500 to $3,500 a night depending on occupancy and weeknight vs. weekend. Signature Suite ranges from $450 to $750 a night.)
1055 Second Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 238-1818 or (800) 522-1564
Modeled after a European palace, the Westgate’s lobby resembles an anteroom at Versailles, which was used as a waiting area when being presented to His Majesty Louis XIV. A seven-foot long, 18th century desk braced with golden cherubs shares the space with ornate mirrors and paintings from the same era. Couple those with gorgeous hand-cut Baccarat crystal chandeliers and one of Steinway's first five pianos ever manufactured, and it’s difficult to determine where your eyes should land first.
While the décor lends itself to having all guestrooms feel Presidential, only one suite bears the moniker. The two-bedroom, 1,800 square foot space houses a full kitchen, living room, dining table, and private balcony with views fit for a king, er, President. (Rate is $2,700 per night).
1111 Prospect Street La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 454-1511
The 29-room boutique hotel doesn’t have presidential suites. Instead it took the luxury quotient up a notch to apartments - dubbed Parisi Apart - located across the street from the unobtrusive inn in the heart of downtown La Jolla. The Corporate Penthouse Apartment with 2,050 square feet of Feng Shui Zen elegance is the largest of the four residences. Natural woods, metals and earth tones infuse the kitchen, study, living and dinning rooms, while snow-white linens cover the goose down duvet and pillow…optimal setting for an in room holistic spa treatment, facial, mani or pedi. (Rates start at $479 a night. Includes complimentary European breakfast, parking, and 24-hour fitness center.)