I spent Thanksgiving week with family in Santa Barbara which included a night at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara. However, one day that week I had to head back to Los Angeles for some meetings so I decided to stay for the night at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Yes, that’s an extremely long name, but it’s to distinguish this hotel—which is on Doheny, and though it’s pretty much in the heart of Beverly Hills, it counts as being in the city of Los Angeles—from its sibling property, the Regent Beverly Wilshire, which is also a Four Seasons hotel.
Again, though I wasn’t earning hotel points on my stay, I thought it was worth the $395 room rate that my Four Seasons Preferred Partner travel agent got me because of the value I pulled from various elements of the experience including free breakfast, a $100 spa credit, plus a room category upgrade and the all of the soft amenities such impeccable service and a stunning property.
Even as a Hyatt Diamond and Starwood Platinum, I almost never get upgrades when staying at nearby properties like the SLS, W Hollywood or the Andaz (unless I use a Diamond upgrade certificate), and since I had requalified for both Hyatt and Starwood elite status and all of their rates were about the same sky-high price that week, I decided to make it a Four Seasons trip.
Welcome, Mr. Kelly!
When I checked in, despite having booked their base room, I was upgraded to a corner Premier Balcony Room, with windows on two walls, and slightly more space. While I really liked my room, I thought the décor was a little old-school for my taste, but the rooms were recently “refreshed,” so everything looked pretty new. The room also had a large flat-screen television, a DVD player, and upscale Bulgari products in the bathroom. I also got a customized welcome gift in my room—a plate of chocolate truffles and a bottle of wine—as one of the other value-added benefits of having booked through a Four Seasons Preferred Partner.
However, my favorite amenity by far had to be the new iPad2 I found in my room. That is, after I spent several minutes searching for the spa menu to book my treatment. Then it dawned on me that maybe the guest services book was actually on the iPad. The hotel recently put one in every single guest room and suite—the first hotel on the West Coast to do so, and the first Four Seasons worldwide, according to their press materials—and each is equipped with “Interactive Customer Experience” or ICE technology.
At this particular hotel, ICE lets you order room service, make restaurant reservations, order your car from the valet stand, arrange airport transportation, put in a housekeeping request, and, as I was hoping, see the spa menu then order whatever treatment you want. Once I’d done that, I got a text from the spa with my confirmation within a couple minutes. The only downside is that you can only use it in your room, otherwise you might incur the $800 charge for taking it from the premises! And though using WiFi in my room cost me $14.95, I was told that it will be free throughout the hotel come January.
The Other Perks
The spa is on the second floor by the entrance to the outdoor pool and gym area. The facilities are beautiful, and I spent some time steaming in the locker room after my deep tissue massage (it was just okay, I kept having to ask for more pressure!). I was somewhat consoled by the little chocolate truffle I got after my treatment, though.
Other than that, though, I had a really great experience. The hotel is famous for its amazing floral arrangements so the lobby always looks beautiful, and I had a friend meet me for drinks one evening at the Windows Lounge just off the lobby because the people watching is always so fantastic.
In the morning, I used my breakfast credit at the poolside restaurant since the weather was one of those crisp LA fall mornings—the perfect place to spend the last morning of my trip.
Overall, a great stay that would only be made better if Four Seasons launched a formal loyalty and points program!
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