Tomorrow is Your Turn
By Sam Russell
If peaceful ocean views, tropical foliage, and a pristine heated swimming pool—where no one talks politics—sounds tempting to the ear, chances are good you’ve spent 2020 indoors a wee bit too long. Burning out isn’t a badge of honor, and improving your social status will be a lovely, unexpected perk.
If you’ve ever traveled well, you’ve encountered 5-star service that breaks the odometer. There is a wrap-around culture at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows that’s paramount—and even that started in pleasant and unexpected ways. Picture a warm generosity of spirit that can’t be taught in schools. It’s this essence of giving that is the manager of this sunny Santa Monica locale. When it’s your turn for that much-needed staycation, seek out Shannon Errisson. Shannon is that twinkle in the eye you are looking for after a long flight. No one driving on the 405 will look at you this warmly, so suck it up while you can.
**Amazing coat by Spirithoods!
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows | 101 Wilshire Blvd. | Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 310-576-7777 | Reservations only: 1-866-540-4470
California’s beachy lifestyle with its warm, casual vibe and innovative arts and entertainment scene exerts a strong pull to so many across the globe. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica is the consummate spot for poolside chatter & people watching because of such. The warm afternoon sun at this popular resort creates such serenely lined shadows everywhere you look; you really should see this with your own eyes.
Enter off Wilshire Boulevard to valet your car underneath the magnificent 140-year-old Moreton Bay fig tree—and then trust me, it only gets better from there. The grounds are spacious at five acres but not overwhelming. Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has boutique shopping down, too. The most adorable swim trunks will catch your eye at the Vilebrequin store just right of the main lobby. In those rare outings from your ocean view or pool view bungalow, guests can be seen scattered about the lobby lounge and serene koi fishponds and rock garden waterfalls nearby to soothe even the crankiest businessman known to the West Coast.
We were lucky enough to have the pool to ourselves on a Saturday. It was off-season and a bit chilly that afternoon. We don’t think guests passing by realized the pool was actually heated and very comfortable. No one promises you such random luck. Hotel staff popped by to see if we needed anything and if a leaf was blown out of place, someone was on hand to put it back. The music was upbeat and spirited, keeping the Californication flowing in the veins.
Something about this setting keeps you interested in life. And we haven’t even gotten to the bungalows yet.
If privacy, comfort, and opulent travel are missing from your life, a weekend at Bungalow #4 can change all of that. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows decor is top tier flair but balanced to secure your bond with that true warm California aesthetic. The space for storage is plentiful (and trust me, I overpack), hinting that staying a third extra night isn’t out of the question.
There’s a secret that should be said out loud: there is no one above you or on either side of you in this bungalow. The room is extremely quiet all day and night, and that is the biggest thing we look for when traveling. A furnished mini patio didn’t expect to host two gleeful travelers at 11 pm, but we couldn’t resist. The Santa Ana winds came in, creating the most serenading sounds before bed. As if the ocean in the distance wasn’t enough.
Avoiding any responsibilities that weekend, we ordered take-out often and enjoyed every bite in the separate sitting area, making it easy to spread out. An after-dinner respite under twinkling patio lights, lush poolside landscaping, and clean ocean air left us desiring much of nothing, except for that third night.
Let Calgon take you away—this soaking tub doesn’t disappoint. The shared shower space is well thought out and makes us ponder a home bathroom remodel. Le Labo toiletries, dual sinks, plentiful fresh towels, bathrobes, slippers, a large vanity mirror, and matching cubby spaces made settling in easy. Our bedding was super soft, and when we ordered additional pillows, they were delivered with a smile. Tomorrow should really be your turn!
Bungalow #4 and pretty much any corner of this Fairmont getaway will shield you from all conflict. That’s more than just some rumor.
NEARBY- DON’T MISS!! Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Dan Modern Chinese (Second Avenue) and Montana Avenue (more great shopping)!!!
Miramar Beach Club | Dogtown Coffee | Lloyd’s Barbershop | Exhale Spa | Glam+Go | The Bungalow | Personal training services available | Laundry services & full beach services available, Pet friendly (see pet policy) | Short walk to the California Incline
* Fig Restaurant is a destination unto itself. It was closed during our visit, but do not despair! Everything coming out of Dogtown Coffee is from this kitchen. The food quality is on fire when you hear the name Fairmont.
This on-property café is open to the public and has a direct link to Fig Restaurant’s culinary magic, which means everything coming from Dogtown Coffee is worth your time. It’s a simple coffee stand and a smile, really. But every libation, post work-out smoothie, adorable souvenir, and quality eats makes this picky palate say it’s so much more. Oh, that farm-to-table dance that they do and do so well.
Dogtown Coffee | 101 Wilshire Blvd | Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 310-576-7777 | 6:30am-9pm
Inside the Fairmont Miramar (main floor—just right of the magnificent Moreton Bay fig tree)
Our Bungalow #4 was to blame. Ordering in from the bedside tablet is yet another techie convenience weaved into your Life of Riley weekend. On hand every morning are fresh breakfast croissants and muffins to rev up the senses—alongside breakfast burritos and omelets. Even fresh-squeezed orange juice—yes, people, fresh-squeezed—alongside local organic micro-roasted staple Dogtown coffee, you didn’t know you loved until you did. Pop back in the afternoon for BBQ chicken pizza (chef's pizza of the day), a fried chicken bucket (10 pieces tandoori marinated served with waffle fries and habanero honey), or let the hearty fresh sandwiches play temptress to the ear. With all your might, though, save room for dinner.
During our stay, Fig Restaurant (a fab bistro to keep on your radar for spring/summer 2021) was temporarily closed but still served up a great menu through Dogtown Coffee. We’ve buzzed about this seafood fare before. Everything is captured and brought in the same day. Instagram worthy chilled jumbo shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce or their famous grilled salmon makes you choose between holding your phone or your fork. The kitchen at Fig Restaurant is fiercely passionate about infusing the local farmer’s market into their supply. If fresh veggie curry and spinach mushroom quesadillas are more in line with your new year’s resolutions, they have you covered there, too, Boo.
Something on any of the above menus at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows will leave a signature mark on your heart. And my shirt.
Where: e.d.b.- eat.drink.be (outdoor Courtyard of Marriott Burbank)818-843-6000, ext. 7121 | 2500 N. Hollywood Way | Burbank, CA 91505 Who: The general manager of Hollywood's latest secret e.d.b. Burbank, that’s who. You can also find her at Daily Grill on the property at Marriott Burbank. So much charisma is exuded from this concierge and her culinary staff behind the scenes that it should be criminal. Why: Flying in and out of LAX is over, out of style, and no longer sexy. Burbank's boutique airport is next door, and your plans of tackling that power meeting in Studio City demands a savvy place to start. Brace yourself for the grind and grit of LA traffic with a fine glass of the Prisoner, an exceptional Napa Valley wine recommended by wine vintner Jessica and paired with their signature baked brie! Neighboring tables opted for the e.d.b. Charcuterie board (choice of cheese/meats and comes with fig jam, fresh berries, caper berries, pepper pops, candied walnuts, and crostini), but we had our sights set on those flatbread pizzas.
Suppose you’re in town to stalk your fave celebrity again, in that case, the fanciful hand-crafted seasonal cocktails should blow wind up your skirt: Blood Orange Aperol Spritz, Spiced Cider mule, Raspberry Beret, or perhaps the chai spiced Horchata. Any of these elixirs will finally give you the confidence to climb the security fence of Henry Cavill’s estate. Again. But pick Jessica’s brain first—she may know somebody, saving you the bail money.
What: Hello, Captain Obvious. e.d.b. Burbank is spilling all its secrets in plain sight. Juicy wagyu beef sliders, lemon arugula salad, maple glazed Brussel sprouts, and fried calamari. And no one can go wrong by ordering the brie, prosciutto & fig flatbread pizza! This slice of heaven was smartly suggested by Jessica and is easy to take back to your hotel suite or humble abode. The menu is not exclusive to hotel guests and is an eclectic mix of unique small plates, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Find a way to include the smokey stuffed bacon meatballs (the offspring of a marriage with the Daily Grill menu, let's hope we never see a divorce). The well-traveled Italian who was also my dinner date can back up my claims of this being by far the best meatball we've ever had. When: It's time to feel like a local—al fresco living is why we can't get enough of the good energy at this hip, outdoor eatery. And S'mores brownie sundae with graham cracker crust might also be a factor for attendance. 11 am - 10 pm (weather permitting)