I hope this review doesn’t read like a fairy tale but that is kind of what it is. The Portofino holds a special place in my heart, in our hearts. A small town Texan girl met a SoCal kinda guy and we fell in love online through our mutual passion for photography. He was turning 40 and I was head over heels for him. I needed our first meeting to be special, memorable and perfect[/inlinetweet]. We had been dating for several months now and it was time to take the next step. I needed the hotel to be in Redondo Beach because that was his area and he wanted to show me everything he loved when I arrived.
I made reservations by phone and good thing I did because once I told the coordinator my special news she gave me a better deal. A king sized bed, ocean view room at a discounted rate. She saved me about 80.00 a day with the special.
I flew in and landed at LAX and my baby was there waiting for me at the luggage counter. It was very romantic. We took a cab from the airport straight to the hotel. The hotel is located at 260 Portofino Way and is fairly easy to get to. You take PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) into Redondo Beach and turn right on Beryl and take it all the way down until it turns into Portofino Way. That street will dead end into the hotel and marina.
When we arrived the first thing I noticed were all the boats sitting at the marina. It was very foggy and misty outside and it was a moody type scene but a quiet place to take a stroll.
Walking up to the hotel we were greeted by a doorman and concierge who were both very courteous. Since I was coming from out of town and received a special the hotel had emailed me a check in voucher to present when I arrived. The hotel was charming and had a sophisticated nautical theme with my two favorite colors throughout (yellow & baby blue). Everything was lavish and very pretty, from the lobby to, sitting areas, parlor and hallways.
The hotel had a fitness center, computer rooms and small pool with outdoor sitting areas.
The furnishings and décor throughout the hotel were relaxing and gave you the feel of vacation.
After a quick tour of the hotel we went directly to our room for some much needed alone time.
Since it was my man’s birthday I wanted to get him a cake but he said the only kind he liked was the Mango Mousse cake from Red Ribbon bakery. We jumped in a cab and headed out to get his cake. I told him he could have anything for dinner because it was his birthday as long as we could take it back to the hotel and enjoy it. He quickly answered me by saying I had to try In &Out Burger. He said it was a California staple, a must try, especially since we didn’t have any in Texas yet.
He was right that was one of the best burgers I had ever had in my life and all homemade right in front of you. We took our cake and our burgers and quickly went back to our hotel for a night of cuddling and movie watching in bed.
had a nice king sized bed, a small eating table, TV with cable, fully stocked mini bar with snacks and candy, large closet and dresser for clothes. There was not a big tub in our room and frankly nothing great about the bathroom but the soaps and lotions were nice. We did have a big glass door that opened to a nice size patio with a full ocean view.
We were staying in this hotel for 5 days and I was not familiar with the area so luckily the hotel offered room service. The food came from Baleen Kitchen next door at the marina. Our first night we slept in, enjoying the oversized bed and I ordered room service from the menu next to the phone. It was easy to order and very prompt service. We had coffee, juice and a delicious assortment of eggs, potatoes and bacon. The coffee that came with the room wasn’t good nor was it enough for 2 people so we had to order a pot (extra charge). I will say the breakfast from room service was some of the BEST breakfast food I have EVER had. I fell in love with the potatoes and the little green salad they served with all morning entrees. We ordered room service for breakfast every single morning our entire stay, it was just that good.
Our first full day together in Cali he wanted to take me to the Redondo Beach Pier to shoot some photos and go sightseeing. It was gorgeous. Living in Texas I’m used to the Gulf of Mexico and dark waters and tons of seaweed. This beach and water were incredible and there were little shops and eateries all along the pier. We held hands and enjoyed the cool breeze and seagulls flying about. The mist and fog were still in the air so it made for great photos. The Redondo Beach Pier was very close to the hotel but we had to take a cab. I was disappointed that the hotel did not offer us a shuttle and that was additional expenses in cab fare. I did see a shuttle van but it was not made available to us.
That evening we dined out at Tony’s on the Pier for a fantastic dinner sunset and scrumptious seafood. The views and water side dining were amazing.
We went back to the hotel and took another romantic moon lit stroll through the marina.
The next morning I woke up to a new sound I had not heard on the trip yet. It was seals, a cluster of seals were sitting on a bank right in front of our patio. I opened the door to a stunning blue view and the cutest little honks of seals.
After breakfast we stayed out on our patio enjoying the fresh air and smells of the ocean. We broke open the cashews in the mini bar and proceeded to throw them up in the air for the seagulls….they went nuts (literally) and we had a blast. We were able to see wake boarders and boats coming back and forth during our stay.
So for that day we planned a trip to Del Amo Shopping Center, the closest mall to the hotel. It had everything including an AMC movie theatre and several chic shops.
After that he wanted steak for dinner and being a Southern girl he didn’t have to ask me twice, I love steak. Black Angus Restaurant was the closest to the hotel so we decided to go and I wish we hadn’t. I am from Texas so I am super picky about my steaks and quality of the meat. It was not a good dinner and it was not quality steak in my opinion. I would not dine there again.
Our last day was quickly approaching and we decided to go out a bit further and visit Manhattan Beach Pier. There are a trio of Piers in the SoCal area with Redondo Pier being the closest to Portofino Hotel, then there is the Hermosa Beach Pier and finally Manhattan Beach Pier. All are gorgeous but Manhattan had the most action. There were surfers, tours and all kinds of things going on.
We stayed at the pier just soaking up the beauty of the beach and atmosphere and later returned to the hotel for our last night together and my last night in Cali.
We ordered our first dinner room service of our stay (remember we had been ordering breakfast daily) I had the bone in pork chop with the most delicious green beans. My sweetie had the nightly fish special and both of our dinners were yummy.
The next morning we checked out
and I turned in the keys and they handed me a printed bill to sign and it looked correct. Little did I know a week later the hotel would charge my credit card an additional 400.00 for “extras” they stated. I was highly upset because there was not 400.00 in extras. It put a damper on my feelings to the hotel. I ended up getting it straightened out after a week of calling.
On the way to the airport we stopped back by Redondo Beach for one final goodbye and a walk in the sand.
The hotel had some great positives and a few negatives.
I really enjoyed the beauty of the hotel and the staff was always helpful and friendly. I was a bit annoyed they didn’t offer us the shuttle van nor did they allow us to use the Wifi. They did have a great work station so I was able to check emails and print my boarding pass. We did enjoy walking around the marina and we also loved the sounds of the seals and seagulls from our patio in the room. The restaurant that serviced the hotel was amazing. Even though I got a discount I still feel the rooms were a bit pricey for what they had to offer. The little things like water and items from the mini bar were also expensive.
Oh in case you’re wondering how the story ends…… we were married a year later.