‘The vacation was perfect except the days were too short—Indagare even managed to arrange perfect weather! I have been fortunate to stay in wonderful hotels in many fabulous places and Post Ranch Inn is spectacular. It is truly magical and we felt like we were floating in heaven. The staff is wonderful and the food is out of this world. We didn’t leave the property once, except to hike. Guests should know that there is no TV in the rooms and the WiFi is extremely slow. While we never missed the TV, I wish I had known about the internet issues in advance.
‘Montecito’s San Ysidro Ranch was incredibly romantic. We loved our room. We ate dinner on the terrace one night and the food and service were spectacular, and it is one of the most dreamy settings there is. I would recommend Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach especially for breakfast. The food is fine but you go for the terrific beach view and ocean air.
‘I have been to Shutters on the Beach many times and love it but it was a definite adjustment after the tranquility and privacy of the other two hotels. Even superior rooms are quite tight there but are charming and lovely.
‘I went to Gjelina on New Year’s Eve, one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. It is reasonable and has a great vibe. Highlights were the mizuna mushroom salad, the grilled kale, the snapper and the wild mushroom goat cheese pizza. Katsuya was terrific as always—standouts there include the baked crab roll and the seared tuna with Japanese salsa (I prefer this to their signature crispy rice with spicy tuna). Huckleberry was great for breakfast, their eggs over quinoa are divine. On this trip I did not have time to go to Capo but I love their phenomenal (though pricey for LA) Italian cuisine in a beautiful setting, and it is a short walk from Shutters. Also around the corner is Cora’s (1802 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; (310) 451-9562), another great breakfast spot.
‘One day I hiked West Ridge and Paseo Miramar and afterwards went for lunch at the organic A Votre Sante. I love the egg white scrambles and the salads. The atmosphere is low-key but you tend to see celebrities there often. Right next door is the Brentwood Country Mart, which has great shopping. John’s Garden (3835 Cross Creek Road; (310) 456-8377) takeout sandwich shop in Cross Creek Mall in Malibu is a great spot to pick up a beach picnic lunch. Also in Cross Creek is the store Planet Blue (3835 Cross Creek Road; (310) 317-8566), which sells great candles and Julie Hewett lip balms. Finally, no trip to LA is complete without an ice blended at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (coffeebean.com).’
Read Indagare’s review of Post Ranch Inn.
Read Indagare’s report on San Ysidro Ranch.
Read about Shutters on the Beach.