Best Place to Get Faxes at
The Peninsula, Beverly Hills
Panic time it's the middle of the night and you're expecting 10 pages of faxes from the Hong Kong office. Except the hotel's business office is shut tight and no one on the late shift has a clue. At the Peninsula, as well as an increasing number of business-friendly hotels, faxes can be picked up at the desk or sent to the room at all hours. Also available at any hour are employees to handle various computer problems, whether it's reformatting files from Microsoft Word to a PDF or clearing a paper jam. "We take every inconvenience of traveling hopefully off their plate when they come to the hotel," said John Rucci, the Peninsula's executive assistant manager. In addition, all the public spaces and nearly 200 rooms are equipped for wireless technology. Laptops can be stored at the hotel and configured just as a guest wants upon arrival in their room.
Best Place to Have a Drink
Standard Hotel, Downtown
A word of advice for drinkers coming to the Rooftop Bar: don't down too much. Blurred vision eliminates the primary reason for coming to this ultra hip downtown watering hole, which is the view. The bar is a visual explosion a splash of prime colors couched in downtown's skyscrapers. Business people can mingle with Angeleno bar hoppers, and the tattooed bartenders are hard to miss in their red and white outfits. Of course, there's a price to be paid: A drink can easily top $10; add on another $6 if you like guacamole and plantain chips with your martini and another $20 if you skip happy hour in favor of the night scene. And don't forget the valet it's $25, plus tip.
Mosaic Hotel, Beverly Hills
A business traveler coming to L.A. is sure to pick up quickly on one crucial fact about Angelenos: they love their cars. And let's face it, for the traveler to really fit in, a rented Chevy Malibu just won't do. The Mosaic, a Beverly Hills boutique hotel with fewer than 50 rooms, will take care of a visitor's automotive needs in L.A. style with a snappy Mini Cooper S. The Mosaic will deposit the Mini at Los Angeles International Airport, so guests can jump in almost as soon as they exit the baggage claim. For those who prefer to cab it, the car can be picked up at the hotel. The best part is that it comes free, as long as you pay full price for a room, about $270. The Mini does have a disadvantage for the manual-transmission challenged it's a stick shift. Not to fear, the Mosaic provides a C-Class Mercedes-Benz as an automatic option.
Best Place for a Meeting
Viceroy, Santa Monica
Want to snag that highly touted recruit? Skip the stale meeting rooms and impress the upstart by interviewing poolside at the Viceroy Santa Monica's fully decked-out cabanas. For that pasty Harvard University graduate, being outside during a sunny mid-winter day could seal the deal. The cabanas seat up to 25 and can be made private with the tug of a curtain. They are equipped for wireless technology, and feature a 26-inch LCD flat-screen television and Power Point presentation capabilities. Sipping on an Arnold Palmer poolside provides needed relief between interviews (not to mention the considerable body-watching). Food and beverages can be ordered from the hotel's Cameo Bar. Price tag for a cabana rental: $500 for a workday.
Best Place for Room Service
Tough call because many of L.A.'s hotels have pretty much anything you want at any time of the day or night. Our vote, though, goes to the Raffles L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills, where it's possible to get Foie Gras in the middle of the night along with cans of both Pepsi and Coke. Special dietary concerns even for dogs can be accommodated, including kosher and Zone Diet meals. And the kids won't go hungry because the hotel will whip up macaroni and cheese or pizza. Room service prices aren't cheap, but they're no different from the prices in the AAA Five Diamond hotel's restaurant. Continental and American breakfasts run between $18 and $27. Non-alcoholic drinks in the mini-bar are complimentary.
Best Place to Schmooze
Beverly Hills Hotel
Since heading west from New York, top studio executives have used this venerable property as their breakfast room, living room and office. Countless Hollywood deals have been made in the hotel's Polo Lounge, where the famed hangout of the Rat Pack has a timeless feel, with its green and white d & #233;cor and oversized booths. For those who prefer to do their dealmaking in the sunlight, the lounge has a patio lined with booths that offer near-total privacy. And the hotel goes out of its way to protect its high-profile guests from snooping reporters and stresses that no paparazzi are allowed on its 12-acre grounds.
Best Place to Stay Ripped
Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa
The 23-acre grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa feature an outdoor Olympic-size pool for business travelers whose pre-meeting ritual is swimming laps. The grounds also have three tennis courts and several nearby private and public golf courses. Visitors can tour the entire area with bikes rented by the hotel's spa. For those who like staying inside, the hotel's fitness center opens at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekend days. Guests can work out on treadmills with attached personal flat-screen televisions, or they can opt for stationary bicycles, elliptical machines and weights. Trainers are on call if guests need instruction on how to flatten their stomachs. Complimentary yoga classes are offered at 6 a.m. for travelers who like to stretch their bodies as well as their minds.
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