Breaking news: Condé Nast Traveler has come out with its 2013 Gold List. Of the 510 places on earth named to the list, the United States claims 195 spots (oh hey) and California itself claims 29 (snap!) — more than any other state in the union. This makes me enormously proud, and also doesn’t surprise me even a little bit.
Among the properties new to the list is the Montage Beverly Hills (pictured above) — truly one of my favorite places in the area, with a special personal resonance (the site of my bridal shower, a pre-wedding spa day with hubby, and the place where my brother-in-law proposed to his bride). It’s also maybe the most luxurious and comfortable spa I have had the pleasure to visit (which is saying a lot, given my affinity, a.k.a. obsession, with gorgeous spas the world over).
Terranea, where I was lucky to spend my first anniversary weekend, is also new to the list. Scripps Inn in La Jolla, and the Napa properties Lavendar Yountville, Villagio Inn & Spa, and Vintage Inn are also all freshly minted honorees. (Mentally noted: Visit all of those.)
Among those in the “Platinum Circle,” which honors properties that have been on the list for five or more years in a row, is the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s such a stunner, rich with history, and it’s celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. If you get a chance, drop by to check out the historical display in the lobby before it comes down — the pictures, say, of Lucille Ball lounging poolside, are to die. Also, did you know that the pink property was billed as “halfway between the city and the sea” when they started marketing it to guests lo those years ago? (I learned that from the lobby display.) Can you imagine that perspective — at a time when downtown L.A. was the city, and there was no sprawl between it and the shore?
Oh also: Please remind me to go back to 1912 and buy sizable property in Beverly Hills.
Many congrats to California and its gorgeous properties. The honors are all richly deserved.