LOS ANGELES Scratching your head over what to do with a hard-to-please group? These three ideas have got the tough crowds covered.
1. For savvy, seen-it-all guests: Santa Monica’s iconic Hotel Shangri-La is now available for full buyout—and we do mean full buyout. As of February 1, the intimate, 71-key oceanfront boutique hotel is offering groups the ability to reserve the entire property for $30,000 per night (excluding food and beverage, taxes, and gratuity). The hotel has deluxe ocean-view suites with private verandas, intimate sitting rooms, and oversize soaking tubs. The buyout also offers the use of the 10,000-square-foot pool deck outfitted with a bar and cabanas, and the hotel’s restaurant and courtyard, the Dining Room. The package is available for as many as 200 guests.
2. For guests with dietary restrictions: Last month, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts launched its new brandwide program Lifestyle Cuisine Plus. The program, which has been in development for a year, offers a menu catering to guests with specific diet-dependent conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as dietary preferences including macrobiotic, raw, vegan, and gluten-free. The menus are available at each of the properties worldwide, including the local Fairmont Miramar, where a launch event took place February 10.
3. For out-of-towners: Treat non-locals to an activity the natives are known for. Off ‘N Running Tours is offering a new “Rolling With the Paparazzi” tour. As many as three people can team up with real-life paparazzo Rick Mendoza for three-hour blocks in which they hunt celebrities by car and foot all over Los Angeles—making it a good sightseeing opportunity, too. The tour is unscripted and will be different depending upon the day. “One of the major highlights for people who participate in our guided running tour has been seeing celebrities they otherwise wouldn't have access to,” said Off 'N Running Tours owner Cheryl Anker. The offering is available as a stand-alone tour for $150 per person for one or two people, or $400 for three. (It's also offered as an add-on to the company's “Running From the Paparazzi” guided running tour, which costs $60 per person.)