Luxury Comforts and French-Chateau-Style Accommodations
Traveling onto the property under a canopy of towering trees, arrivals sense a transition from Bay Area bustle to pastoral Parisian airs as the pale-yellow-and-gray façade of a French-chateau-style estate emerges, dramatically lit to welcome rarefied entrances. Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa plays up its European bearings, with kaleidoscopic gardens and percolating courtyard fountains that lead the eye to a three-story domed lobby. Rife with enchanting seclusion and understated European chic, the hotel remains plugged into Northern California vibes with its acclaimed restaurants that draw local foodies and a short proximity to popular Bay Area destinations.
The palatial hotel encompasses 138 newly renovated guest rooms, each adorned with custom cherrywood furnishings, granite vanity countertops, and separate work areas. Fireplaces and vaulted ceilings adorn many of the oversize Deluxe rooms, where fabric canopies unfurl above each bed, beckoning in sleep’s wooing tendrils. Round-the-clock room service hastens guests to sample the wonders of fare lovingly prepared by someone else without leaving their rooms. When wanderlust calls, the hotel’s original artwork and private library come to mind, adding inner nourishment to a relaxing respite. Outdoors, visitors can drift lithely in the heated swimming pool, which glows at night with lapping flames from a corner fireplace. The adjacent European day spa offers tension liquefication in such forms as the ginkgo-biloba de-stress eye treatment ($25), and muscles simmer under a massage therapist’s kneads or in the steamy sauna.
Lafayette, CA: Quiet Hillside Turf Close to Lively Bay Area Destinations
The rolling hillsides of Lafayette lie within 30 minutes of Oakland and Concord, but visitors need venture but five minutes to reach Walnut Creek. The area’s art centers and galleries maintain their own cultural core, and shoppers stroll along downtown boulevards to browse clothes and fine jewelry. Trains pulling into the Lafayette BART station—about 1.5 miles from the hotel—transport passengers to the heart of San Francisco. There, a ride on a California Street cable car from Embarcadero Station shuttles visitors past colorful Chinatown and to the foot of Notre-Dame de Paris doppelganger Grace Cathedral for stunning photo ops and googly-eyed admiration.
Fine-dining options abound back at the hotel, where a pair of restaurants deliver haute cuisine enjoyed by locals and new arrivals alike. Bistro at the Park’s large stone fireplace licks its sizzling chops as diners browse the menu of thoughtfully prepared American fare made from local ingredients, as well as regional microbrews and signature cocktails. At The Duck Club Restaurant, 18th-century European décor sets the stage for breakfasts of prosciutto-and-asparagus eggs Benedict ($14), and evening dining inspired by organic produce and seasonal meats and seafood, such as chew-accelerating sourdough-crusted halibut ($25).
Though Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.