The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in
Redondo Beach, Calif., has undergone an $11 million overhaul that
has moved it up a notch in levels of luxury. "Everything we did was
with the goal of becoming a four-star property while keeping the
feel of an independent boutique hotel," said Kelly Fogarty,
director of sales and marketing.
The new decor,
she said, is elegant and relaxed, while taking advantage of the
property's oceanfront position. The 161-room Portofino claims to be
the only hotel in the Los Angeles area that actually sits on the
There are plenty
of hotels in the area that are on the beach but the Portofino
boasts that its guests look out directly on the Pacific Ocean. Half
of the rooms face the ocean; the rest face the hotel's private
The hotel also is
known as the final destination of the Cannonball, a car race that
took place from New York to Los Angeles in the early 1970s.
Finishing drivers rang a bell at the check-in desk to complete the
In fact, some
scenes in the 1981 movie "Cannonball Run" were filmed at the
The owner of the
hotel at the time was a racing enthusiast, Mary Davis, and Grand
Prix race winner Peter Revson once had a condominium at the
The renovation of
the lobby made sure to underscore the hotel's oceanfront location.
The centerpieces are two-story-high windows with the Pacific just
beyond. A large fireplace is surrounded by new furnishings that
include seven chandeliers; cream-colored, leather couches; and
theme was eclectic, with lots of stripes and chintz used, said
Fogarty. "It's like your rich, eccentric grandmother's living room
-- on the Pacific Ocean."
clientele is a mix of business and leisure clients. Business
travelers fill rooms during the week; the hotel is close to the
Torrance and South Bay areas of Los Angeles, where several large
corporations are based. Leisure travelers dominate on weekends,
according to Fogarty.
Guest rooms have
new decor that matches the look and feel of the lobby.
carpet, furniture and soft goods are in hues of blue, green and
bright white with a subtle nautical theme.
flat-screen TVs and dark wood furnishings and nautical
were redone with marble floors, black granite counters and new
oceanside suites, averaging 700 square feet each, were added during
the renovation. They have balconies the length of the bedroom and
living room, two 44-inch plasma screen TVs, four-poster beds and a
double-sided fireplace opening onto the living room and
have claw-foot bathtubs and alabaster-colored marble
The dining scene
hotel's restaurant, was redone with a new concept, called Baleen
Los Angeles, specializing in "new American" comfort food with an
emphasis on seafood.
The hotel is part
of Seattle-based Noble House Hotels & Resorts, which owns and
manages properties in six states. Baleen Los Angeles is a signature
restaurant for Noble House's properties.
Angeles serves breakfast and lunch in the restaurant's rooms on the
first floor, where boats bob on the water in the marina, which is
also being renovated.
Dinner is served
upstairs in the dining room overlooking the marina.
also involved the Portofino's pool area, which sports new teak
furniture. A new fitness center features workout equipment. The
hotel also has 8,000 square feet of meetings and banquet space,
which was also redone.
which is seven miles south of Los Angeles Airport, has set a
Mid-Life Makeover package for March and April with room rates of
$199 per night, single or double occupancy, for two or more nights
and a $100 food credit for the hotel restaurant.
Rack rates start
at $279 for marina rooms, $349 for oceanfront rooms and $1,200 for
The hotel also
has a weekend plan that includes a complimentary Thursday or Sunday
night stay for guests who stay Friday and Saturday nights. That
plan is valid through May 15.
bought the 45-year-old Portofino in 1986 and renovated the hotel
after a major storm damaged a part of the property in
Noble House owns
and manages 14 other hotels, including the Adolphus in Dallas,
Little Palm Island Resort in the Florida Keys and the Edgewater in
information, call (800) 468-4292 or visit www.hotelportofino.com.
To contact reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to [email protected].