More clients are ready to travel again — and they’re also ready to spend what they saved from foregoing travel during the pandemic on the best rooms and experiences. In response, hotels are coming up with creative ways to ease travelers back into the communal hotel experience, while honoring their return with splurge-worthy ways to celebrate.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, for example, released its Awaken Your Senses package in June, which offers indulgent dining, wellness experiences and luxury accommodations to tackle the parts of us that may have gone dormant during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Like, say, the ability to enjoy simple pleasures and truly unwind.)
Well thought-out components targeted to awaken our senses of touch, taste, sound and sight make up the framework of the package.
The most important inclusion — a guestroom on one of the top stories of the 16-story hotel —guarantees gorgeous views from the private balcony. My King Bed Superior Balcony Room looked out to a wide swath of Los Angeles, from the Hollywood Hills and the Hollywood sign to the iconic skyline of downtown, from where I spotted the sun rising over the skyscrapers in the morning.
Guestrooms underwent a major refresh in 2017 and are still in tip-top shape with highlights being the cloud-like king-size bed and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the wrought-iron balcony. After more than a year of being stateside, I especially appreciated the transporting Italian influence found in the room’s furniture and photography.
A welcome amenity of sparkling wine and salted dark and milk chocolates filled with raspberry and hazelnut — seated on a bed of chocolate shards — kick-started my stay. The other package inclusions — bath salts by Codage Paris to enjoy in the marble bathroom, and an atmospheric playlist provided via QR code and styled by Bellosound, a sound curation company — were the perfect pair for unwinding and destressing.
The Four Seasons Spa’s Surrender Treatment
The package also includes 20% off spa services, an incentive that is criminal to pass up after the last 20 months.
I tried out the hotel’s signature 50-minute Surrender treatment, a multimodal mix of Swedish massage strokes, trigger-point therapy, light stretching, crystal-infused aromatherapy and what the spa describes as "secret manual techniques." Crafted by six of the spa’s massage therapists and in collaboration with spa consultant Jean-Guy de Gabriac, the treatment is equal parts blissful, effective and on-trend.
After a quick rundown of what was ailing me — and a request for deeper pressure, lighter stretching and the Amethyst-crystal-infused massage oil — I happily sunk into the massage table for a treatment that was tailored to my needs.
I don’t know how a treatment that included prolonged pressure on my piriformis muscle and extra prodding under my shoulder blades managed to be so deeply restorative, but it did — so much so that I even caught myself drifting to sleep after the therapist left the room. (I woke myself up by letting out a single snore — and I never snore.)
Culina Sunday Brunch
Relieving all that built-up pandemic tension put me in the ideal headspace to indulge in Sunday brunch at the on-site Culina Ristorante + Caffe, which is now headed by Giovanni Spataro, the restaurant’s new chef de cuisine, and is available from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The property offers a la carte brunch on Saturday, but Sunday is a full-blown who’s-who affair that is inclusive of three courses, including a dessert buffet. (The Awaken Your Senses package includes daily breakfast for two either at Culina or via in-room dining.)
Spending Sunday brunching al fresco at Culina is a celebration thanks to joyful, hard-working servers who work in concert with the kitchen to fulfill special requests and deliver courses and drinks in a timely manner (especially worth noting, since many hotels these days are struggling with staffing these kinds of roles). A full bar list includes a mix of classic brunch libations such as a mimosa and a Bloody Mary, as well as uniquely crafted cocktails including That’s So L.A. (mezcal, peach jalapeno shrub, lime and agave) and Perfect Thyming (Guillotine vodka, Amaro Montenegro, pear, ginger and thyme).
The decadence extends into the menu with the must-order, maple-glazed Cast Iron Cinnamon Rolls, one of the extra dishes that groups can order for the table, along with Culina’s signature pizzas. Appetizer and entree courses run the gamut from healthy (such as The Brunch Bowl, a vegan dish featuring hemp-seed-dotted hummus and a salad of shaved Brussels sprouts, kale, Peruvian sweet peppers, roasted butternut squash, pickled onion, sunflower seed and slices of avocado) to decadent (such as the Southern Fried Jidori Chicken, which comes with a cheddar cheese waffle, peach compote, buttered maple syrup and pickled jalapeno.)
The Awaken Your Senses package also includes a 2 p.m. late checkout and included valet parking for the duration of the stay. Pricing for the package begins at $1,135.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills