With a lovely location in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Art Deco Santa Anita Park racetrack first opened in Southern California in 1934. Home to high-profile races throughout the year – including the Santa Anita Derby – racing fans can stay close to the action by booking one of these special hotels on Culture Trip.
Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia
Courtesy of Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia / Expedia.com
Just opened in summer 2021, fans of mid-century modern will swoon over this contemporary take in central Arcadia with views of the San Gabriel Mountains. Love horse racing, too? This one’s a winner with playful nods to the adjacent Santa Anita racetrack, visible from a variety of uniformly pared-back grey and white rooms prettified with pops of orange in chairs and cushions – including pretty scallop and horsetail details. Need more space? Book a one-bed suite. This being California, outside spaces abound – from velvety lawns to neat patio areas where you can sneak a luscious gelato from Le Scoop.
Not only does this sandy-colored stalwart put you an easy couple of miles away from the racetrack, but Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Universal Studios™ are all within a 30-minute drive. Although there’s a wood-lined breakfast room, all laid-back rooms come with fridges and microwaves for take-out from the walkable stores nearby. Decor-wise, it’s mainly shades of brown offset against light blue walls. Speaking of blue, you’ll love cooling off in the long outside pool, soaking up that Southern Californian sun.
Period property fans will love this 1910-built Arts and Crafts B&B set on a hill overlooking the Arroyo Seco River in South Pasadena. Love golf? The Arroyo Seco Golf Course is a five-minute drive away. Differently furnished rooms range from those with polished wood half tester beds to shiny brass versions. Snuggle up with a book in cozy window-side armchairs, and book the Verandah Room for a balcony where you can watch the sun dipping behind the mountains. Soak up the scene further in the antiques-filled lounge, relaxing with a glass or two of California’s sun-ripened wine in the afternoons.
Langham Huntington, Pasadena
4.6/5 (950 Reviews)
Courtesy of the Langham Huntington, Pasadena / Hotels.com
Every graceful room at this fancy old-world hotel lets the jet-set guests gaze over the grandiose 23-acre (9ha) gardens or the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. Rooms tend to be decked out in regal blues and mustards – Lanai and Patio rooms mean a sweet balcony or outside space framed by trees and flowers. Lounge by the long, saltwater pool and lunch on chicken caesar salad from the Hideaway restaurant – or try a smoky bourbon in the atmospheric Prohibition-era Tap Room bar. The upmarket residential Pasadena neighborhood puts you on an easy 2mi (3km) cab ride from the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.
From the hotel’s scenic rooftop pool terrace, you can survey Old Pasadena below and pick which restaurant you’ll head to for dinner. Also on your doorstep is historic Route 66, just a few minutes away. The hulky sandstone exterior belies the large, gleaming marble lobby divided into cozier sofa spots by red screens. Wave patterns in carpets feel soothing and nod to the California coast – while tan West Elm-ish mid-century-style sofas and chairs and the misty landscapes hung above beds feel homey in a cool way. Dine all day in the Spanish-style tiled restaurant on typically Californian salads and burgers.
Six stories of contemporary Californian style mean gleaming white walls and gold accents greet you in the lobby – if you love clean lines and sharp edges, this hotel is for you. The location – in the Paseo retail and dining complex across from the Pasadena Convention Center – means shoppers love it, too. Grey furnishings and brown furniture, whether wood or leather, unite rooms – the huge dual-aspect king suite also gets you a kitchen and dining space. Try a turkey pesto sandwich in the lobby bar or head out to the multiple local restaurants steps away for refined comfort food such as fried chicken and truffle deviled eggs.
This glassy-fronted multi-story hotel in Downtown Pasadena is two blocks from Route 66 – which leads most of the way to Santa Anita Park, just 15 minutes away. Simple rooms, with hints of mid-century modern in desks and lamps, feature one or two beds – bag a king bed deluxe with a mountain view for a balcony from which to admire the gently jutting San Gabriel peaks. The light and airy Corner Craft Kitchen + Bar serves everything from eggs over easy to a craft beer all day long.