If you are feeling the wrath of winter 2003 as
most of us around the world are, and a luxurious ocean front sun filled vacation
is what you crave, then Santa Monica, California is the perfect getaway.
Keeping in mind that Los Angeles and the Pacific
Ocean are synonymous in most people’s minds with that of a modern day “Garden of
Eden,” our staff at PR.com traveled to Santa Monica, CA and put together a
luxurious package to take advantage of this enchanting locale. Included are
airline, hotel, restaurant, and automobile rental…
Being that we are not big fans of long plane trips, we decided to fly
into Long Beach, CA on Jet Blue Airlines. There are several things that we found
favorable about Jet Blue. Jet Blue planes are generally brand new. They are also
equipped with plush leather seats, and each passenger has their own color
television with 24 channels. This was especially appealing to us, being that a
flight from New York to Long Beach, California (45 min. outside Los Angeles) is
6 hours long. The Jet Blue staff is enthusiastic, warm, and helpful throughout
the flight. There is a lot of positive energy to this company. You can find
truly unbeatable airfare prices at www.jetblue.com and become a “true blue”
member online for special deals. Jet Blue provides beverages and great snacks,
but pack a sandwich, as not serving in-flight meals is one way they keep their
airfare so reasonable. Jet Blue recently celebrated their 3rd birthday on
February 11, 2003. They are growing tremendously. The onetime New York based
airline now has a west coast base as well. You guessed it…Long Beach is now
their west coast base of operations with an additional 23 flights added to this
airport. To celebrate their 3rd anniversary of revolutionizing the airline
industry, Jet Blue is brightening its plumage with new designs on airplane tail
fins as well as updated airplane interiors.
For more information, please
keeping with our theme for a luxury vacation, we decided to investigate various
car rental companies in the Los Angeles area, specifically, those offering
luxury automobiles. With most of the big car rental chains we found that the
customer can choose only the class of car, such as compact or full size, and
when actually picking up your car you may not get the specific make and model
you requested. In our research, we learned of Hertz’s Prestige Collection. When
ordering a car through the Hertz Prestige Collection, a customer can choose the
specific make and model of automobile they wish to rent, given its availability.
Once ordered, upon arrival at the Hertz office to pick up the vehicle, the
customer’s specific make and model car is waiting for them. The Prestige
Collection is currently available at 31 Hertz locations across North America,
and seems to be the only program of its kind amongst the larger automobile
rental companies. For our vacation, we chose the Jaguar V8 XJ Sport. Given that
we rented via the Prestige Collection, upon walking into the Hertz office, we
enjoyed more personalized service and attention from the Hertz staff. The car
was in magnificent condition, and waiting for us just outside the office.
Customers who rent a car from Hertz’s Prestige Collection enjoy more than just a
luxury automobile for their vacation, they also benefit from first class
For more information, please visit www.hertz.com.
SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH
Shutters On The Beach is the ultimate Oceanside resort,
nestled in a cozy spot on the Pacific Ocean, at the beginning of Santa Monica.
The lobby is warm and cozy, with dim lighting, multiple fireplaces and plush
couches. Rooms have beautiful large balconies, Jacuzzi bathtubs and white
shutters that open wide to expose breathtaking views. If you are lucky enough to
get a room with an ocean view, you can luxuriate in your Jacuzzi while gazing
out at the Pacific. Even the bathroom has shutters! One of my fondest memories
of our stay was lounging in the Jacuzzi with the bathroom shutters wide open and
staring out at the ocean. It doesn’t get any better then that! In the center of
the hotel is a heated salt water pool that simulates the buoyancy of ocean
water. Besides its luxury, Shutters is also conveniently located. Just second
away from Venice beach and 10 minutes from Malibu beach, this Santa Monica oasis
is steps away from Santa Monica’s famous 3rd Street Promenade. 3rd Street is an
endless delight of street performers, shops, movies, restaurants, and
bookstores. At the end of the promenade sits Santa Monica Place, an indoor mall.
The staff at Shutters is kind and courteous, and they add to the elegance of the
For more information, visit www.shuttersonthebeach.com.
One Pico, a restaurant located in Shutters On The Beach, offers an
upscale dining experience that is second to none. In keeping with the cozy beach
lodge décor, there are fireplaces and dim lighting, and did we mention a
breathtaking ocean view! The staff of One Pico is wonderful. The service was
prompt and precise and always with a smile. The food is continental with a hint
of California inspired gourmet. Many of the tables at the 85-seat restaurant
offer a front row seat to the Pacific Ocean and the stirring sunsets which are
famous in Southern California. With an emphasis on locally and regionally grown
produce, much of which is purchased from Santa Monica’s famed Farmer’s Market,
Chef Matt Lyman creates entrees that have a discreet and unobtrusive quality.
“Our menus reflect the offerings of our local harvests,” said Lyman. “In our
kitchen, we work with organic produce, and we design incredible market menus
around the best choices for the season.” One Pico serves lunch from 11:30am
until 2:30pm, Monday thru Saturday. Dinner is served every day of the week from
6:00pm until 10:30pm. Sunday brunch is served from 11:00am to 2:30pm.
more information, visit www.shuttersonthebeach.com/restaurants/index.html.
HOLIDAY INN SANTA MONICA
For those who want the benefit of an oceanfront vacation
without the heavy hotel bill, Holiday Inn Santa Monica proves to be a wonderful,
less expensive alternative. Just one block from the Santa Monica Pier and the
Pacific Ocean, Holiday Inn Santa Monica rests on a corner right across the
street from the 3rd Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Place Mall. The hotel
is boutique sized with an attentive friendly staff and bright cheerful guest
rooms equipped with coffeemakers, hair dryers and irons. Step outside and you
are seconds away from riding bikes or rollerblading on the bike path, the
amusement park rides of the pier, fishing, just strolling along the surf and
some of the cities best shopping. Guests enjoy amenities such as restaurants and
room service, relaxing lounges, swimming pools, and fitness centers. And,
specifically for he business traveler, today’s Holiday Inn offers 24-hour
business services and meeting facilities. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts
operates or franchises 1,600 properties worldwide, with more than 300,000 rooms.
Room rates are set by individual hotels and vary according to the market and
season. For reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY, book online at www.holiday-inn.com or register for Six
Continents Hotels wireless services at www.priorityclub.com/wireless to
make reservations, locate hotels and confirm itineraries.
By Allison Kugel, Senior Editor,
Jason Manheim, Editor in Chief