Pasadena's reputation as an idyllic retreat began in the 1880s, when visitors from the eastern U.S. and Midwest sought sunny refuge from harsh winters. Its modern popularity as a resort destination endures because of its mild weather, its proximity to major Southern California attractions, its Metro transit system, excellent restaurants and shops, as well as a short drive to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Pasadena's downtown hotels offer a diversity of amenities, package deals and picturesque views of the city and the San Gabriel Mountains.
Nestled in an upscale residential district, the Langham Huntington has been a Pasadena fixture since 1907. It's a popular backdrop for weddings, fund-raising events, conventions and romantic getaways. Its Chuan Body + Soul spa features traditional Chinese therapies, a fitness center and head-to-toe pampering services. The newly renovated bar and restaurant -- The Tap Room and The Royce -- are an eclectic mix of history and modernism. Sunday brunch, high tea, a stroll on the Picture Bridge, three tennis courts and 23 acres of gardens are among the hotel's most distinctive features. Room and suite amenities include Internet access, honor bars, flat-screen televisions and Frette brand linens.
If you bring your four-legged best friend to Pasadena, several hotels are happy to put out the welcome bowl. The Hilton Pasadena is a pet-friendly venue that provides your pooch with a pet pillow, two bowls, a package of treats and biodegradable waste bags, all for a nonrefundable deposit of $75. In addition to a pool, fitness center and on-site restaurants, the Hilton Pasadena is within walking distance of Old Town, South Lake Avenue shops and the Convention Center. Saga Motor Hotel is a small, nostalgic setting near Pasadena City College and along the route of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. Pet-friendly rooms are available for a $35 deposit per pet, and room amenities include refrigerators, ironing boards, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also offers complimentary parking, newspaper, breakfast and laundry service. A variety of discounted specials is available on its website, including New Year's Eve reservations and Rose Parade seating.
The Westin is a Starwood property in the heart of Pasadena and the only one in the city to which AAA has given its Four-Diamond rating. With 350 guest rooms and 29 meeting rooms, including a 5,000-square-foot ballroom, it's a popular place for conferences and corporate retreats. The Westin is within walking distance of City Hall, the Convention Center, the theater district, restaurants, museums, the shops at Paseo Colorado and Old Town nightlife. The Sheraton's meeting and banquet facilities -- along with its proximity to the Pasadena Convention Center and Pasadena Civic Auditorium -- are a natural fit for business conferences and fund-raising galas. The hotel also features a private club lounge, business center, fitness center and free shuttle service to such attractions as the Rose Bowl, Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, and museums.
Marriott Courtyard is the only hotel right in the middle of Old Town. It offers money-saving package deals with tickets to the Norton Simon Museum and Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. The dress code is casual at its on-site cafe, and there's no shortage of restaurants in any direction, including The Cheesecake Factory. Easy freeway access and proximity to a Gold Line Metro station make it easy for the family to visit Los Angeles' Union Station and Chinatown, Universal Studios, Dodger Stadium and Hollywood. At Vagabond Inn Executive in Pasadena's business district, children under 18 stay free with a parent. In-room microwaves and refrigerators -- in addition to selected rooms with kitchenettes -- help lighten the meal budget along, with the complimentary continental breakfast. The heated swimming pool, high-definition televisions, 100+ cable channels and free Wi-Fi are kid-pleasers, and a 10 percent room discount is available to parents who are AAA members. Baby cots and rollaways are available upon request, along with connecting rooms for families.
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