Kids love hotels. You don’t even need to be doing anything outside the hotel because the hotel is enough.The invitation to jump on a new bed, eat at a restaurant and explore the inner workings of what, to them, is a new world, is plenty. Before our last trip, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport and I never knew international travel could be so easy. Here are the reasons why starting your vacation early by staying at an airport hotel will get you and your kids into vacation mode that much sooner.
Park and Fly
Airport parking can be a hassle and staying at the only hotel at LAX with direct shuttle service to the airport took the hassle out of it. I loved that I pulled up to the hotel, they took my car and when I returned from my trip, there was already a shuttle waiting outside. Shuttles come every 15 minutes and Libby Zarrahy, director of marketing and public relations, told us many pilots and crew just walk to Terminal 1 since the hotel is adjacent. When the shuttle dropped us back off at the warm hotel, we waited in the lobby until they brought our car.
TIP: Upon your return to LAX, take the shuttle to the hotel, even if you’re not staying there. Your ride can wait for you at the Unity LA bar or restaurant with a welcome drink or snack. Valet parking is only $6 for two hours after validation. It’s much easier than having them drive around the airport loop while you make your way to the curb.
Tasteful, Quiet and Cozy
The Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport hotel recently had a major Hollywood-style makeover. Rooms, Unity LA restaurant, bar and market and the lobby all sport a brand-new Mid-Century, space-age Jetsons vibe. Even though your kids can stare out the windows for hours watching the planes take off and land, you’ll never hear them as all windows are double glazed and vacuum sealed, way quieter than the ones at home. On the way back to pick up our car, we met a flight crew from Hawaiian Airlines aboard our shuttle and they raved about the Hyatt Regency LAX. “The rooms are bright and updated and, as a female traveler, I always feel safe there, unlike some of the other surrounding hotels,” flight attendant Kami told us.
TIP: For long layovers, they offer a day rate so you don’t have to sleep in the airport chairs.
Get A Move On
The Penthouse floor features a brand-new fitness center with the most up-to-date cardio equipment and weight sets, and a 180-degree view of two landing strips and the city below. In any light, it’s awe inspiring. Open 24/7, it doesn’t matter what time zone you’re landing from or flying to, you can get your move on!
TIP: Don’t miss the eucalyptus-scented towels.
If you come when it’s warm, a good bet in Los Angeles, then you could kick back around the heated, outdoor pool. There are cabanas and firepits to complete the mood at night. If you’re traveling with kids, they won’t care if it’s hot or cold. They’ll just want to get wet.
TIP: It’s the only airport hotel with a lawn to enjoy, so bring your soccer ball.
A Bite or A Drink
Its Unity LA restaurant has a menu that reflects the diverse community around Los Angeles, offering Korean, Thai and Mexican choices as well as American. The staff is so talented, they let us order off menu so my 10 year old could satisfy his craving for chicken nuggets. Everything tasted fresh and delicious. The staff was gracious and made us feel like we were honored family — not what we expected from such an affordable and casual property. There is also a Unity LA Bar for creative cocktails and craft beers and a Unity LA Market that’s open 24 hours a day to grab and go with healthy snacks or coffee.
TIP: Room service is available 24/7, yes please.
If you are a loyal World of Hyatt member or you stay in one of the Regency Club rooms, you’ll get access to the private Regency Club Lounge. Complimentary breakfast, happy hour and appetizers are offered here and hosted by Cairo, your long lost uncle, or so he’ll make you feel at home with his sweet disposition.
TIP: Complimentary dessert is available after 8 p.m.
And If You Venture Out…
There’s so much to do around the hotel, after all, it’s Los Angeles. The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, with shops and a movie theater, is about an eight-minute drive. Manhattan Beach is only 14 minutes away and Venice Beach is only 20. You can rent bikes to ride along the Venice Boardwalk, see street performers and buy unique gifts. All are much more interesting than sitting around the airport or fighting traffic on the way.
While large areas of Colorado are experiencing exponential growth with far too many trees being clear-cut (it’s one of the fastest-growing states in the country), it’s still the home for great businesses striving to make the world a little greener. Those businesses include Sherpani, creators of women’s day bags, backpacks and travel bags, including a line of sophisticated, beautifully crafted items made from recycled plastic.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
By Hainan Airlines
My youngest daughter and I arrived from Barcelona on the high-speed AVE train (in less than three hours) and entered Westin Palace Madrid in time for the Sunday Opera Brunch — which takes place under the stained-glass cupola of La Rotonda, where daily breakfast and cocktails are served. I’d heard about this event on several occasions when I toured the hotel in 2015, and when my granddaughter and I stayed there in 2017.