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Cottage

L.A. has no shortage of unusual places to hold executive retreats. There’s the two-story Art Deco apartment atop the Oviatt Building downtown, the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium or even a converted DC-3 on the tarmac at Santa Monica Airport.

The latest entry in the field is Clara Vista Cottage, a 5,500-square-foot townhouse on the grounds of the The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

With a boardroom, living and dining rooms, and four bedrooms, the cottage was designed to convey a home-like quality.

“It’s like being invited to the boss’ house for a meeting, and then being invited to stay overnight,” said George Lysak, director of sales and marketing for the cottage, which is scheduled to open June 24.

The $6,000-a-night cottage ($2,500 for just the boardroom) has already been booked by one corporation that wants to use it as a hospitality center during the 1998 Rose Bowl game.

“You would be hard-pressed to make economic sense to market this type of facility in a high rise hotel in downtown Los Angeles or a mid-rise hotel in some suburb,” said Larry Kantor, director of the hospitality consulting practice at Arthur Andersen.

The cottage overlooks an exclusive residential area and sits across from the hotel’s Royce Manor, where President Clinton stayed in 1992.

Lysak said one appeal is that cottage guests can be free from interruptions if they choose or be connected to their offices through telephone, computer lines or video conferencing.

Meals can be served in the private dining room on the second floor or on the 1,000-square-foot terrace overlooking the hotel’s tennis courts. For more formal settings, the board room can be converted to a dining area, Lysak said.

A local landmark for more than 85 years, the Huntington Hotel was completely rebuilt after being declared seismically unsafe in 1985. It reopened in March, 1991. The 383-room resort is situated on 23 acres of gardens and lawns in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains.

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