Many residents will be making long journeys across Southern California this holiday season for pleasure or family visits. These can be grueling excursions as we fight our way through Los Angeles and Orange County traffic. Often I find myself wondering why we did not research a nice hotel property to spend the night at and make the trip easier. Recently we had a pleasant surprise with the Ayres Hotel Group.
Ayres Hotel Chino Hills
While Chino is probably not on your vacation list, it might well be very close to relatives or a good stopover on the way to San Diego County and the desert. The Chino Hills area has experienced a great deal of new development over the past decade, including new hotel properties. The Ayres Hotel Chino Hills is the best bet in this area or anywhere close to here.
Ayres Hotels are probably in the 3.5-star range and an upgrade from Courtyard Marriott or Hampton Inns. They are located throughout L.A., Orange County, San Diego, and the Inland Empire, convenient for any venture this far south. As you know, holiday traffic in these areas can be overwhelming. A well-planned trip should include a night’s stay to take advantage of easier traffic patterns.
The Chino Hills location, just off Highway 71, is located in a newly developed area with multiple restaurants and shopping nearby. This property offered oversized rooms with tall ceilings. The bedding and bathrooms were very nicely appointed, and the rooms all have state-of-the-art electronics. The workout room was more than adequate for a one-night stay. A sumptuous breakfast was served each morning: bacon, eggs, muffins, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee. Visit Ayres.com for complete details.
Highway 71 connects Pomona to Corona and is about halfway between Santa Barbara and inland San Diego County. If you leave Santa Barbara, say, around 6:30 p.m., you should encounter less traffic as you make the 2.5-hour trek to Chino Hills. From there, in the morning, you will be going mostly against traffic to the desert or San Diego. I would also strongly suggest taking Highway 23 in Thousand Oaks to connect to the 118 in Simi Valley and then the 210, which goes all the way to Pasadena. This allows you to miss the San Fernando Valley traffic on the 101, which is relentless.
Holiday Travel Ideas
Each holiday season there is a mass exodus from our big cities, and this leaves quite an opportunity, to my mind. Most four- and five-star hotels located in metropolitan downtown areas offer large discounts. Downtown L.A. is perhaps the best deal with hotel prices sometimes 50 percent less. In San Diego’s business district you will find much the same. San Francisco, while a bit more popular, is still well off peak prices. Newport Beach and San Jose will also be steeply discounted.
If you can be flexible, wait till the last second and then check which one offers the best prices on sites such as Priceline. From December 26 to December 30 you should have no problem. Many city hotels will get busy for New Year’ s Eve but then slow down very soon after.
These quieter times in the big cities allow you to take in all the culture with relative ease. Even the finest restaurants will have more availability. Traffic flows are also much more manageable.
Winter Golf Necessities
With our first couple of rainy days recently, it dawned on me that I was not really ready on the clothing front for a wet winter. Now I know with what we have been going through the last several years, it is almost hard to remember what real rain is like. However, many experts are predicting a reversal on this front, meaning golfers will need a very good rain suit this winter.
Nike Golf has some of the best rainwear available, and the line is always on the cutting edge of fashion. The Nike Storm-Fit Hyperadapt in cool grey is something your golfing friends would be very happy to have. It will keep you dry even in the heaviest rains and warm as well when the temperature dips below 55.