Luxury Comforts and French-Chateau-Style Accommodations
As visitors arrive on the property of the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, they pass beneath a canopy of towering trees and come face-to-face with the pale-yellow and gray façade of a French-chateau-style estate. Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa plays up its European influences with kaleidoscopic gardens and percolating courtyard fountains that lead the eye to a three-story domed lobby. Located on a secluded patch of land in East Bay, the hotel nonetheless remains plugged into the Northern California lifestyle with acclaimed restaurants and proximity to popular Bay Area destinations.
Fine-dining options abound 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 waiters serve regional microbrews and contemporary American fare made from local ingredients. At The Duck Club Restaurant, 18th-century European décor sets the stage for breakfasts of prosciutto-and-asparagus eggs benedict ($14) and suppers of seasonal meats and seafood, such as sourdough-crusted halibut ($25).
The palatial hotel encompasses 138 newly renovated guest rooms, each adorned with custom cherry furnishings, granite vanity countertops, and separate work areas. Fireplaces and vaulted ceilings adorn many of the oversize deluxe rooms, where fabric canopies crown each bed. Guests can admire the hotel’s original artwork or slip away to the private library to face off with the concierge in speed-reading contests. Outdoors, visitors can swim in the heated swimming pool, which glows at night against the flicker of a corner fireplace. The adjacent European day spa offers relaxing services such as the ginkgo-biloba de-stress eye treatment ($25) and a 50-minute hot-stone massage ($120).
Lafayette, California: 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 only venture but five minutes to reach Walnut Creek. The area’s art centers and galleries maintain their own cultural core, and the downtown boulevards are lined with designer boutiques. 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 doppelgänger Grace Cathedral for stunning photo ops and googly-eyed admiration.