Staying in the Shade

This Manhattan Beach, Calif., boutique hotel knows how to play it cool

By: By Deanna Ting

The Details


Shade Hotel
866-742-3377
www.shadehotel.com
Commission: 10 percent when booked through GDS

Through December, Shade Hotel is offering a Sunday Rejuvenation Package for $225 per night. The package includes one night in a deluxe guestroom, a complimentary room upgrade to the best available room at check-in and a $50 Dine & Drink voucher valid during the client’s stay. This package cannot be combined with any other offer.

Shade Hotel also has an Endless Weekend package that gives guests a 50 percent discount on a Sunday night stay with the purchase of a Saturday or Monday night stay booked at full price, based on double occupancy.

 

view of Shade Hotel from the Metlox Plaza in Manhattan Beach, Calif. // © Shade Hotel I

A view of Shade Hotel from the Metlox Plaza in Manhattan Beach, Calif. // © Shade Hotel

Southern California summers can be hot — sizzling hot.

Walking back from the Manhattan Beach pier, accessorized in perspiration beads, all I could think of was quenching my thirst and lowering my body temperature by at least a dozen degrees.

So, when I finally arrived at the Shade Hotel, I felt as though I had found an oasis, complete with a fully stocked watering hole.

Placing myself at the Zinc Lounge bar, I asked the bartender for his recommendations. My only request? That the beverage be cold, ice cold. Well, he certainly delivered.

Shade Hotel’s Zinc Lounge is open for breakfast, lunch and nighttime drinks and small plates. Weekend brunch is also available. // © Shade Hotel

Shade Hotel’s Zinc Lounge is open for breakfast, lunch and nighttime drinks
and small plates. Weekend brunch
is also available. // © Shade Hotel

He headed straight to the freezer and pulled out a cone-shaped glass made entirely of ice. Into the ice, he poured a mixture of Finlandia Lime vodka, Pama liqueur and pomegranate juice for a “Passionate Kiss.” That Subzero Martini was just what I needed — cool and refreshing — much like the Shade Hotel itself.

The Shade Hotel, which opened in the winter of 2005, is a relaxing respite located in the heart of Manhattan Beach. Just minutes from Los Angeles International Airport and a five-minute walk to the beach, it offers guests a quintessentially laid-back, but luxurious, beach vacation in SoCal.

Manhattan Beach, in particular, is known for its chic and sophisticated atmosphere among its neighboring South Bay beach cities. The Shade Hotel is at the center of the city’s restaurant and retail scene, including the award-winning Petros Restaurant and plenty of fashionable boutiques, including local favorite, Diane’s.

 Deluxe Spa Rooms feature a Tempur-Pedic bed and chromatherapy lighting in the bathrooms. // © Shade Hotel

Deluxe Spa Rooms feature a Tempur-Pedic bed
and chromatherapy lighting in the bathrooms.
// © Shade Hotel

While Shade’s environs offer plenty in the form of food, drink and retail therapy, the hotel provides guests with a true getaway. The entire property, swathed in hues of tranquil aqua blues and seafoam greens, gives guests the sense that they are staying in a luxury boutique hotel, but without the pretentiousness. It encapsulated the embodiment of California cool — utterly casual but, at the same time, conscientiously arranged and put together.

Shade’s 38 guestrooms, including five suites, are custom-designed for relaxation. Each room features a Tempur-Pedic mattress and a two-person Sanijet spa tub, outfitted for chromatherapy. Standard Deluxe Spa Rooms also include a Lavazza espresso machine, a martini shaker and a balcony for two. Deluxe Spa Suites, of which there are two, are even larger, sleeping up to four people with a separate bedroom and a queen-size sofa-bed in the living room. The hotel also offers a Bridal Suite, a Penthouse Suite and an Executive Studio Suite. The Penthouse Suite features a separate living area with a full bar, including complimentary beer and wines on tap; a bathroom with its own sauna/shower; and a separate bedroom.

If guests would rather soak in the sun by the pool than on their balconies, the hotel also offers a rooftop Skydeck with a bar and pool. While the pool is a little on the small side, it’s just big enough for a cooling dip and the view from the Skydeck can’t be beat.

While the hotel does not house its own spa or fitness center, all guests are given complimentary access to nearby Equinox Fitness Club and clients can book spa treatments at the Trilogy Spa, which is located in the same Metlox Plaza as the hotel. Trilogy can also perform spa treatments en suite.

Complimentary services and features are another added perk of staying in the Shade. Free Wi-Fi is provided, as are a business center, beach cruiser bicycle rentals and a full-spread breakfast buffet, served daily at the Zinc Lounge from 7 to 10 a.m. The hotel does decent business with visiting business executives as well as meetings and events, including weddings.

The Zinc Lounge is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, its ambience transitioning effortlessly from one meal to the next. By day, it’s a breezy, casual eatery that can just as easily accommodate a power lunch as it would a family affair. Lunch is especially enticing, with a three-course, prix-fixe menu, including a beverage, for only $15 per person. By night, the lounge transforms into a vibrant hot spot for locals and visiting guests, although the crowd tends to skew a little older than other Manhattan Beach nightspots.

If guests get hungry in the wee hours of the morning and wish to order in, the hotel will deliver catered room service from The Kettle, a 24-hour eatery that specializes in all imaginable manner of comfort foods. Room service catered by the Zinc Lounge is also provided throughout the day.

Even at night, however, when the first-floor lounge was packed, I found that I could still retreat to my second-floor suite in peace — I didn’t hear a thing. The next morning, I woke up feeling refreshed and relaxed — just how you’d expect to feel, having it made in the shade.

 

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