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A Southern


Hotel Odyssey

· Travel,Luxury,Award Bookings

Firstly, I'd like to introduce you to J5Travel's newest team member, Wendy Scott, who joins us as a recent graduate of our host agency's excellent Travel MBA program.

In her own words, "Ever since my first overseas trip to visit my active duty father in Hawaii I have been captivated by travel. Five-year-old Wendy fell in love with leis, sunshine, hula lessons, and the fine golden sand. Since then my favorite travels have ventured often off the beaten path leading me to simple-yet-unexpected surprises. I take an intuitive approach to travel planning to guide you to the destinations and experiences that are sure to thrill you. My specialty designs include custom worldwide itineraries, river, barge & small-ship cruises, intimate group tours, as well as luxury safari adventures."

I think you'll agree, Wendy is going to be a great fit for J5Travel.

For this weeks blog I am taking you back to my 10-day sojourn in Southern California from which I returned on Monday. This was heavily focused on visiting new and recently refurbished properties, and I have 5 beauties lined up!

Top 5 - Southern California Ocean View Hotels

1. Alila Marea, Encinitas

The stretch of coastline in the map above, from just south of LA to just north of San Diego, has some stunning scenery.

Not only the beaches but the views from the hills of the coastline, with amazing birdlife practically everywhere and funky beach towns that have been getting the upgrade treatment in recent years. My first hotel was Alila, the luxury wellness brand that Hyatt is currently developing as fast as possible, as it has been such a hit.

I loved it. I enjoyed one of my favorite breakfast dishes ever (below), the breakfast rice pot with

sushi rice, glazed Kobe sausage, fried eggs, seaweed salad and kimchi, and a private firepit terrace with ocean views (also below). A super property for a couples or ladies wellness weekend.

2. Mission Pacific, Oceanside (above and below)

Leg 2 of my Southern Californian trip brought me to Oceanside and the Mission Pacific Hotel part of Hyatt's JdV Collection. I had to wait a fair old while to be able to get my room as occupancy was at 95% but it was definitely worth that wait. This was a funkier, hip property that didn't quite fit with me, but would certainly appeal to anyone a few years younger than myself. Only opened last year, the property has clean lines throughout and their main restaurant, Valle is targeting a Michelin star.

3. Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel (above and below)

At the northern end of the map at the top, this Ritz-Carlton property has just completed a huge renovation, and it is simply stunning. It's a gorgeous hotel on one of the most spectacular beaches in California and the ground level ocean front rooms and suites with private terrace and fire pits are sublime.

4. Seabird Resort, Oceanside (above and below)

Although I didn't stay here, our site inspection of another brand new property in Oceanside just across from Mission Pacific revealed my favorite design of the trip. A Destination by Hyatt hotel, it was one off the most refreshing properties I have had the pleasure of touring in the last several years. From the photos I'll think you'll see why I loved the vibe.

5. Park Hyatt Aviara (above and below)

Another property that has completed a comprehensive renovation program, the Park Hyatt surprised me with its appeal to a much wider audience than perhaps any of the other properties featured. It's very family friendly, with water slides in the family pool area, yet also has the calm oasis vibe that Park Hyatt's usually portray with a beautiful adults-only pool.

I came for the golf and any golf course that offers free coffee and muffins pre an early morning tee time, has a guy driving around handing out cherry flavor Tootsie Roll Pops, and then gives you a giant choc chip cookie at the back of the 18th is a winner with me. My golf may have been rather poor, but I had an epic sugar high. But joking aside, this LPGA tournament venue is beautiful and the huge greens some of the most challenging I've ever played.

The two restaurants I tried also won out for meals of the week, with amazing back to back dinners at Ponto Lago (Baja inspired cuisine) and Ember & Rye (epic steaks).

Take your own Californian adventure and start planning today. Click the button below to get started.

I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.


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