You and hubby are so good at getting away that I figured you would have a good tip on a romantic, chill, place where the two of us can go, sans baby, for one or maybe two nights while we are in Los Angeles. Any ideas?
[Pasadena-bred gal, now a resident of Zimbabwe on diplomatic business, so a bit out of practice with the local stuff (But Zimbabwe! How cool is that?!)]
Dear Pasadena Bred,
Oh my gosh, yay. Romance and vacations are two of my favorite things. I totally got this one. Here are three (of so very many wonderful) ideas for weekend trips within driving distance of Los Angeles:
We visited Rio the last stop on our — completely kick-butt — South American vacation, which also included Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. The Porto Bay Rio Internacional hotel is right off Copacabana beach and it towers over the city, which means the views are excellent. There’s also a pool on the rooftop, which is a nice escape from the busy (and exciting) beach below, where the hotel rents chairs and umbrellas free for the use of hotel guests.
For context, we visited Iguazu Falls as part of a three-leg trip that began with Buenos Aires, included the falls in the middle, and ended with Rio de Janeiro — a fabulous one-two-three punch I would recommend to anyone. We did the whole thing in eight nights (three-two-three) — the American way! — and didn’t feel rushed or tired.
When we pulled into Puerto Iguazu around midnight after our flight from Buenos Aires was delayed, we weren’t sure what to expect as far as the safety of the town. We would eventually learn it’s a quaint little place with kind people and even its own mini (but lively) restaurant row. That said, Puerto Iguazu is not fancy. For fancy, stay not at the Sheraton in the park on the Argentine side of the falls, but at the Hotel das Cataratas in the park on the Brazilian side, which looked lovely.
Anyway, for about $100 USD, we got a simple but clean room (much larger than the one we’d come from in Buenos Aires), and two daily breakfasts (also no frills, only pastries, cereal, coffee, juice).
I feel guilty writing a tepid review of this or any property without this preface about my predisposition: I love the sun. My husband jokes (fairly) that I have a solar battery. If it is not charged up, I am depleted. Happiness and comfort wane immediately. So please consider this review of a hotel located in a so-called “cloud forest” through that filter.
Ahem, now then.
Bora Bora: I am practically without words. It’s incredible.
When we returned from our honeymoon to French Polynesia (Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora) and I posted my photos to the Web, friends and family agreed that it looks like we shot everything in front of a green screen here in L.A. It’s just too spectacular to be real.
But back specifically now to the Hilton Bora Bora Nui. The great service began when the Hilton’s boat picked us up from the Bora Bora airport. For some reason, we were the only ones on it — V.V.I.P.-ish! We got our leis and never had to hassle with our bags (at all, on the whole trip). The staff whisked them away and handled everything. We were greeted with fruit juice and taken by golf cart to our bungalow after a little tour of the sprawling resort. Seeing my jaw drop, the woman checking us in said (in her best English, which was overall great): “Welcome in the postcard.”