The folks at Shade Hotel know how to make anything fun.  Situated a few blocks from the quaint piers and surfer-friendly sands of Los Angeles’ Manhattan Beach, the Shade’s retro-chic ambiance is tucked into a convergence of stylish boutique shops and café-laden corners.  Straying from the footpath of the usual LA visitor, the Manhattan Beach district (splendid name) is well worth stopping by and staying a night or two.

Laid back in its own particular brand of Southern California relaxed, friendly, chic, the Shade Hotel fits perfectly into its surroundings, while simultaneously elevating it to a more contemporary, edgy experience.  The rooms, for example, are a playful mix of Asian elegance and modern, modular engagement.  Beautiful, sliding Shoji screens allow you to change the very layout of your room’s floor plan to suit your whimsy, while innovative “Chromatherapy” lighting allows you to color code your mood.  Throw on the switch of the cyclone fireplace, that teeters on the edge of kitschy but ultimately wins you over as you can’t help but be mesmerized by its futuristic 1950’s cool factor.  Also, they leave a delightful little box containing scrumptious mini cupcakes of the local, Cupcake Couture, as a token of welcome at your bedside–how can you not be charmed?

If you can tear yourself away from your room, put on easy sundress and some shiny, low-heeled sandals and visit the Skydeck, and lounge next to the rooftop pool, sipping some sort of cool, intoxicating lemonade.  The sunset is extra special from up there, but you could also take a dusk stroll along the white sand beaches, lined classically with towering palms and upscale beachfront homes as the sun sets over the deep, dark, Pacific waters.

Upon returning, let yourself be coaxed into indulgence by Zinc, Shade’s onsite restaurant.  Echoing the style of its décor, the menu, dreamed up by Milo Bacic, is a dreamy modern fusion, combining fresh and healthy California, sexy Mediterranean, elegant Japanese into the fun small plates style that makes every meal feel like an event.

Returning to your room, choose perhaps a soothing blue light to lull you into the inviting arms of your awaiting Tempur-Pedic™ bed—probably the most ridiculously comfortable bed we’ve gone comatose in for a long while.

Another noteworthy aspect of the Shade Hotel is its convenient proximity to LAX and Long Beach airports.  For serious business travelers who want to maximize their productivity and relaxation, a stay at the shade will allow you to spend much less time in transit and more time soaking in the sun while reviewing your PowerPoint presentation.

– Ava Fedorov & Jeffery Owens