As you might have guessed, I LOVE far flung destinations. Some of my most cherished trips were taken halfway around the globe (looking at you South Africa, Japan, Australia and Greece!) But there’s something pretty amazing about the easy breezy local staycations that give “relaxing trip” a whole new spin.
When a pandemic forces you to get your head out of the clouds and forgo planes, you discover so much beauty right out your doorstep!
With months stuck at home and limited adventure (and no break from mom duty!) my husband deemed it time for a “mom-cation.” (Maybe he was worried that this abrupt pause on my decades of constant travel as journalist was going to send me in a downward spin…) Luckily, I accepted this surprise invitation and started scouring my local area for a nice, safe place to unwind. It was not long before I came across the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach.
The Shade Hotel was imbued with a laidback luxury and given that it was on the marina AND had a rooftop pool. I was sold.
The Shade Hotel Redondo Beach is located right off of Kings Harbor Marina. That means, breathtaking views of the harbor’s many yachts, sailboats and the like. There’s something about a marina that is just so glamorous!
I rode my bike to the hotel from my house–yes it was that close. But biking is a big thing at the Shade Hotel. They are located on the protected bike path, making it easy to get to the pier, the beach, restaurants and beyond. Naturally, they also loan out complimentary bikes for all guests. I happily used one of there’s just to try it out when I was heading out for dinner at the pier nearby.
To fully understand the safety precautions, I called the front desk and they explained all that they are currently doing to keep guests safe from COVID-19. You can find all here but here are some of the main points that I appreciated are listed below:
- Full-time COVID-19 Manager
- Masks required in all public areas
- Limited number of guests allowed on the rooftop and pool
- Temperature checks for the dining and entering the building
- No housekeeping until check out
- Breakfast is fully sealed
- Upgraded and extended cleaning of surfaces and in rooms
- Hand sanitizer stations throughout
- Amenity kit with mask & sanitizer when checking in
Now on to the DETAILS OF THE SHADE HOTEL REDONDO BEACH
Small but tasteful, the lobby is used for check in, breakfast and to access the elevators to upper levels and the rooftop.
I stayed in a ground floor King Suite and was quite impressed the moment I stepped inside. Firstly, it was MUCH larger than expected. The entry hall led me passed the well sized bathroom and into the bedroom and sitting area. The bathroom had an enclosed toilet opposite a glass shower and soaking tub, with a large sink and counter in between.
I liked the surf inspired art behind the bed, which you could even purchase. The mini bar which had some thoughtful additions (artisanal soda? cool!) and wasn’t jam packed to allow you to add your own beverages.
Of course, the Tempur-Pedic California King bed was heavenly, especially for this tired mom! I certainly spread out and enjoyed one of the deepest, quietest, most UNINTERRUPTED sleeps of the past 2 years. 🙂
My favorite part of the room? The balcony facing the marina! I sat out here with my morning coffee, an evening glass of wine and loved the sea breezes wafting in my room. There was a table with two chairs and a soaking tub. I didn’t test out the latter but I wished I’d enjoyed a soak with a view of the yachts.
Rooftop Pool Aquadeck
Understated and stunning, the rooftop is the cherry on top of this luxury boutique hotel. A view of boats, ocean and mountains spans your eye line. Well spaced lounge chairs and comfy seats made it a cinch to find a quiet corner for my “me day.” I went up in the late afternoon after check-in and settled in a spot, far away from any guests. Since the deck railings are glass, you can gaze at that view even while nestled in your lounge chair.
The pool deck enforces a limited guest policy so rarely did I see more than a handful of people up there. After breakfast, I decided to take advantage of that morning sun and had the whole deck to myself. In my opinion, the prime spot is in the left corner, with views of Palos Verdes, the marina and the sparkling sea.
Food and beverage was available to-go from the Sea Level restaurant downstairs.
I happened to be staying on a Thursday so I was able to enjoy a special workout class on Friday morning. The local Shine Studio held a very high energy, open air class on the Aquadeck. What a treat to have such a fun class come right to the hotel. I was able to get a good sweat in and have fun before returning later to relax and read.
As I was staying during a pandemic, room service was suspended. Breakfast was set out in the lobby with packaged items like yogurts, cereals and wrapped muffins. Coffee and tea were available as were some fruits. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a very robust or health minded breakfast offering but considering the pandemic situation and need to have things wrapped, I understand that this probably isn’t the norm.
Lunch was much better at Sea Level restaurant. Tables are spread out and I enjoyed a mouthwatering salmon bowl and a glass of wine in the afternoon. I chose to go after the lunch rush so I could have more space.
Though I biked to dinner off site (R10 Social House was a delicious option and 2 minute bike ride away), I do hear great things about the dinner at the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach. They even have a special weekend Izakaya menu, served on the roof. Another good reason for me to return.
You don’t have to love boast like I do to love the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach. It has an open-air modern elegance and the rooms are pretty fantastic. I can’t say that many can compete in the size.
The rooftop pool and fitness classes offered were definitely the most memorable part of the experience for me. Dining is decent but if you want to check out other options, they are only a bike ride away.
My only real complaint was curt and occasionally slow front desk service, but I suspect the new procedures and pandemic also affected this. I was very grateful when I was able to switch rooms around 10pm when the guests above me where incredibly loud (I had been excited for a good night’s sleep and that wasn’t going to happen!).
I am pleased to have found this spot in the South Bay and I plan to recommend it to friends and family, as well as come back for some dinner and that pool!