Thursday, February 25, 2021

Home sweet home -- how about a "Staycation" while we transcend Covid's woes?


The beautiful Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel offers splendid digs, immaculate hygiene standards, wonderful room service offerings, gorgeous views, proximity to attractions in America's finest city.


The famous Hotel Del Coronado is a San Diego
landmark, much loved by locals and tourists.
Staycation: (Also called a holistay.) A period in which an individual or family stays near home and participates in leisure activities and R&R within easy driving distance.


IF YOU'RE tired of being shut in and cut off, afraid to fly and yet eager for a change of environment, consider a "staycation." 
No matter where you live in the world, there's likely an interesting hotel, B&B or some kind of unusual place to stay within a few minutes or an hour's drive from your home.
Montana friends -- stir crazy from the winter's blasts -- took a drive south to a hot springs get-away in Wyoming recently, and returned refreshed.
Friends in England took a trip across the border to Wales to a boutique inn, and found it was a sanity-saving sojourn.
WE BOOKED three different hotels all within minutes of our home then treated ourselves to three long "staycation" weekends.
Stately grounds and architecture of Mar Brisa
Carlsbad Resort welcome strolling and biking.

It felt as if we were doing a grand tour of Europe. Since we've logged almost an entire year without international travel, we were looking for places that would make us feel as if we were in another world -- places away from the bustle and worries of life with the constraints of COVID-19, and yet places that would make us feel safe, with masking, distancing and the important hygiene and safety protocol -- including "sealed rooms" -- all of
which we believe to be life-saving.
Splendid views await at Hilton's Bayfront
as water life below unfolds and captivates.
We also wanted places where we could safely order take-away food or room service, with the assurance that our meals were prepared with the highest possible cleanliness and caution.
WE WANTED to be surrounded by beauty and difference, with unique opportunities for photography.
We wanted a connection to nature, interesting architecture and newness -- something with which we weren't previously familiar.
And we wanted places where we could store and use our bicycles, keeping to our daily fitness regime.
We also wanted proximity from home -- no more than 45 minutes from our door.
 At Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 
enjoy a bike ride along the
 scenic Embarcadero.
WITH A LITTLE homework, we found three unique properties, all within an easy drive. Put your own spin on the concept, and check out nearby get-away hotels, spas, thermal baths, hot springs, cozy inns or B&Bs. You'll be surprised what you might find with a simple Google request: vacation spots near me. Here's what we discovered:
A delightful 15-minute ferry ride awaits nearby
to take you to or from Coronado Island with easy
access from  either Hotel Del or Hilton Bayfront.
* Hilton San Diego Bayfront: Sleek, contemporary property with bird's eye views of San Diego Bay and the city's artful skyline.  
Walking distance to Petco Park, Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter. A beautiful new shell at South Embarcadero Park awaits concerts  postponed because of the pandemic. We plan to return and make a weekend of it once San Diego
Symphony announces its schedule for the virus-derailed outdoor concert season.
Room service Bayfront brunch
includes this tasty avocado
 garnish on whole grain bread.
Mar Brisa in Carlsbad, Calif., offers beautiful landscaping
and "family friendly" options, including biking and water slides.

THE HOTEL boasts comfy quiet corners to relax, especially around the heated saltwater bayside pool. Our suite had a telescope for watching the gorgeous water  life -- pleasure crafts, fishing boats,  cargo ships and soon -- the return of cruise ships to the city's state of the art terminal. Excellent room service dining is offered. We enjoyed several beautifully plated meals, including tasty brunch specials.
The Hotel Del Coronado offers pampering, fine dining,
history, splendid ocean views and gorgeous sunsets.

  *MarBrisa Carlsbad Resort: Beautifully designed on 43 acres, the property boasts three swimming pools, hot tubs galore, a relaxing spa, and proximity to San Diego's splendid outdoor offerings. The San Diego Zoo's famed Safari Park is just minutes away and for golfers, a championship golf course is adjacent. The architecture is classic Spanish Mediterranean-style and the villas offer kitchens, spacious balconies and pretty views.
If you've a sportsman in your midst, the golfing is internationally regarded and a beautiful green awaits -- whether you've brought your clubs or are simply admiring. Once Legoland reopens, Mar Brisa guests enjoy a private entrance. And you can drink the water because Carlsbad's alkaline water, discovered in 1882, ranks among the country's finest. 
An elegant suite offers ocean
views at Hotel  Del Coronado,
built in 1888 near San Diego
*Hotel del Coronado:  Since 1888, this distinguished Victorian era property has been a favorite of locals and west-coast tourists.  It is also beloved by an international clientele and by my partner, who remembers visiting for elaborate afternoon teas with his grandmother. Royalty, presidents, jet setters, movie stars and famous directors have
sipped, supped, slept and lounged at "The Del," as it is affectionately called. Marilyn Monroe stayed here during the filming of "Some Like It Hot," and the property has a proud heritage as an architectural masterpiece and historic register gem.
 "Hotel Del" offers a charming seaside boardwalk.

 Its builders, Babcock and Story, are immortalized in plaques and hotel literature, and in a wonderful bar bearing their name.  We strolled the lovely boardwalk to try tasty small bite specials and watch skilled bartenders make specialty cocktails. Golf, yoga and the ferry to the "mainland" are all at your disposal with a variety of superior class rooms including beach cabanas.  

The Palms at Indian Head takes its name from the various
types of stately palm trees surrounding the property,
and the silhouette of a sleeping Indian behind, left.

UP NEXT: It's "bloom time" in the desert and Borrego Springs beckons, with an opportunity to base yourself at a charming small inn with history, character, beauty and a Hollywood connection. Consider an outing to view the spring flowers while headquartered at the Palms at Indian Head, a historic boutique inn with a long link to Hollywood and legendary show biz folks. Expect gourmet dining, gorgeous weather, rabbits out the window, terrific sunsets, all in a nature lover's paradise. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each week for a fresh look at travel, nature, the arts, family and more:



  1. Great idea. We are in landlocked Montana but excited to try our version...Red Lodge!

  2. San Francisco FellasFebruary 26, 2021 at 1:29 PM

    Fabulous idea, great pointers. Glad to see travel returning after this brutal year.

  3. "Staycation" time is a wonderful, safe way to feel almost normal again. We are north of you in Los Angeles, and planning a safe, distancing, masked outing to Big Sur. Hooray!

  4. We have been taking small, safe trips since the pandemic first thwarted our larger travel plans. Great that you have kept "out there" and still stayed safe. THANK YOU for inspiring and encouraging us!