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Who says you have to travel far to get away from it all. Sometimes a memorable journey is just a short drive up the 101 Freeway. Such was the case last Saturday when a friend and I checked into a gorgeous suite at the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village.
Located in the city of Westlake Village, about 40 minutes from Pasadena, the 270-room resort is a secluded paradise, surrounded by gardens and lawns, ponds and footbridges, a rocky waterfall, giant sequoia trees, and a myriad of luxurious amenities and accommodations.
Our 5th floor room overlooked the cascading waterfall, the lush main lawn, and a row of tall trees – a view which reminded me of a rustic mountain locale. The room featured two queen beds, large TV, office/desk area, mini-bar, and a beautiful, marble-rich bathroom, with a walk-in shower, huge tub and a second TV for those who like to soak and watch.
Once acquainted with our quarters, we strolled through the elegant lobby and explored the 450,000-sq-ft property. Our first stop was the Pagoda Lawn, where an authentic Chinese pagoda towers above a reflecting pond and a serene, two-acre private garden featuring sequoia trees, 2,000-year-old boulders from the River Kwai in Thailand, and lots of colorful flowers. It is easy to see why this is a favorite spot for special gatherings and events.
From here, we walked down curving pathways, lined with thousands of plants, flowers and shrubs, to the Waterfall and main lawn, where the hotel was setting up for a royal British celebration.
After relaxing by the waterfall, I visited the state-of-the-art fitness center for a workout and a spell in the steam room and Jacuzzi. I then hit the showers and had an invigorating, deep-tissue massage at the hotel’s spa.
Voted one of America’s best by Conde Nast Magazine, the 41,000-sq-ft Four Seasons Spa, boasts 28 treatment rooms and numerous body and face treatments and massages, including a lavender milk and honey cocoon; detoxifying sea kelp thermal body contour; a bamboo body polish and many more.
After the rub down, I walked through the gardens back to my room and prepared for dinner at Marcato Italiano, a magical restaurant/marketplace that rises like fresh baked bread in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge each Saturday night.
Here, in a lively buffet setting, I devoured fresh pastas, salads, cheeses and meats. Highlights included a divine Cioppino soup, with mussels, clams, fish, and shrimp; mushroom ravioli; pizza Margarita; octopus appetizers; local wine and olive oil, and much more.
After dinner, we stopped by the Lobby Bar for a couple Bloody Mary’s and a few games of billiards. In the morning I went swimming in the indoor pool, which is covered in a full-length skylight.
I then met my friend for Sunday champagne brunch on the Waterfall Lawn, where we enjoyed an incredible feast of fresh seafood, gourmet breakfast favorites, fruits and veggies, and live jazz music, all against the backdrop of crashing waterfall and swaying sequoias. This was a great way to wrap-up a memorable getaway.
Besides all the regular amenties, the hotel is currently offering a “Room and Board” package for the summer. This fun in the sun package includes surf lessons in nearby Malibu and the option to add a Jeep Wrangler rental. Another special happens the week of July 4, with a special hotel rate of $195 per night. For more information on these and other packages and deals, and directions, visit: www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage.
-Photo by Greg Aragon