Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Fall/Winter 2022

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/1481873

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Page 43 of 63

DREAMSCAPES FALL/ WINTER 2022 44 SOPHISTICATED STAYS My dizzying days of eating and exploring are sandwiched between nights of superb slumber at Santa Monica's hottest hotels. I start at The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach, a chic boutique property with a beachy vibe located along a quiet tree-lined street, just steps from the action. I con- clude my trip at Hotel Casa del Mar, a Mediterranean-style seaside stay, where bedside beach views, soothing spa treatments, and a posh pool make it easy to unwind in style before heading home. DS C I T Y S P O T L I G H T Santa Monica L.A.'S BEST KEPT SECRET WELLNESS IN WAVES I'm attending a one-on-one beach yoga ses- sion with Brenda of Beach Yoga SoCal. While I would normally feel intimidated by the slew of onlookers I'm totally at ease. Simultane- ously stretching, sightseeing, and sunning at this seaside yoga practice, the beach is the ideal antidote to connect with my surround- ings. Later, I find solace again, as I pedal past the sea by bike, care of rental operator, The Bike Center. But it's further along the popular Santa Monica Pier that I discover "the" place to people-watch. The historic Annenberg Community Beach House offers free public swims, and is bustling with locals. CANINES AND CAFÉS The next morning, I venture beyond down- town to Montana Avenue. The charming 10-block stretch boasts chic boutiques and cute coffee shops. At La La Land Kind Café dogs are everywhere! Patiently they wait as the owners consume caffeine and chat among friends. The popular organic café with a purpose employs foster youth, providing mentorship and work experience. I'm taken aback by the positive vibe and welcoming atmosphere and immediately understand the long lineup. FRESH FARE On my final morning I stroll to the famous downtown farmers' market. Among the oodles of oversized beets and coolers of freshly caught fish, I come across bountiful heaps of pastries and can attest that the hyperlocal restaurant scene shares a connection. Their ingredients are sourced fresh from these locally run stands. For instance, at The Lobster, a seafood staple in Santa Monica, Executive Chef Govind Armstrong roams the farmers' market weekly to create seasonal dishes like Charred Octopus, served with new potatoes and pickled baby fennel. At Pasjoli, a Michelin-starred French bistro, I devour a melt-in-my-mouth butter-poached halibut caught by a Californian fisherwoman, pre- pared by Chef Dave Beran. TRAVEL PLANNER For hotel reservations see thehuntleyhotel.com and hotelcasadelmar.com and for Santa Monica travel tips, visit santamonica.com i BY BIANCA BUJAN WHY GO NOW? Extend the summer and head to this ocean playground that embraces a "Secret Summer" season now until November. Digging my heels into the sinking wet sand, I slowly draw one foot up the side of my leg into a tree pose. Fixated on a palm tree in the distance, I grin widely, proud of my ability to maintain my balance. Then suddenly, a wild wave washes over my grounded foot and I wobble out of my stance, laughing. PHOTOS: SANTA MONICA TRAVEL AND TOURISM | BIANCA BUJAN HOTEL CASA DEL MAR THE PENTHOUSE

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