I have a soft spot in my heart for boutique hotels. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy writing about the mega-chain hotels too and I give equal credit to both. But boutique hotels are often the little guys that struggle for press amid the larger conglomerates.
So when Johnny tells me there’s an assignment up for grabs at a boutique hotel, I jump at the chance. I love to cover the lesser-known, hidden gems of the travel world. So this month, I find myself at the lovely Westlake Village Inn located in Westlake Village, California.
Westlake Village is about 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, nestled in between Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills. It’s renowned as a favorite haunt for bicycle enthusiasts as well as a training ground for Tour de France teams.
I was told the Westlake Village Inn was an intimate boutique hotel with about 141 rooms. In my mind’s eye I imagined a quaint mom and pop Tuscan style inn. So you can imagine my shock when I arrive and find a sprawling estate!
This is a four diamond award winning property that covers over 17 acres and has its own separate restaurant and nightclub on the grounds, not to mention the tennis courts and coffee house that’s under construction and set to open this July.
“Boutique” just doesn’t seem like the right word to describe a place this huge. Yet somehow the Westlake Village Inn feels romantically cozy. It’s like magic, I have no clue how they pull it off.
As I strolled around the grounds, I was even more surprised to find the staff was genuinely happy and enjoyed working with each other. Everyone knew each other by name. And in my experience you can tell the type of service you’re going to receive at a hotel by the attitude of the staff.
My Mini Suite was huge. Again, “Mini” and “Boutique” are misnomers, not the right words to describe the grandness of this place. My suite had a beautiful fireplace, king size bed, and jacuzzi tub. I also had a lovely view of the golf course next door.
The Westlake Village Inn has several room options, all of which are non-smoking and include balconies or patios and a complimentary continental breakfast served in the hotel lobby on weekdays. I got a sneak peek at several of the rooms and with rates starting around $175 you can’t go wrong. They have a touch of luxury for every budget.
However, if you’re feeling generous I would recommend you treat yourself to a night in The Villa. For $1,500 you get two stories of decadence complete with natural hardwood floors, two fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, a winding staircase and of course, a baby-grand piano.
Weddings & Nightlife
With elegant accommodations and stunning surroundings it’s no wonder Westlake Village Inn plays host to more than 300 weddings a year.
During your stay you must eat at Mediterraneo located on the grounds and overlooking the gorgeous lake. You’ll find it hard to believe this is hotel food – but it is. Treat yourself to the mac and cheese rib eye steak combo and in the morning go back for the red velvet pancakes. Yes, it tastes like heaven.
If you have time before or after dinner hit up Bogie’s, the lounge located between Mediterraneo and the hotel lobby. Go see Eric at the bar and have him make you a mojito. It’s the best mojito I’ve had this side of Miami. Bogie’s is open to the public and cover is typically $10 but since you’ll be a hotel guest you get in free.
Tips and Deals
If you’re a bride on a budget consider Westlake Village Inn — it’s like your very own local all-inclusive resort. Check out the months between January and March for the best deals.
I would also recommend staying here anytime for a romantic weekend getaway. However, right now they have a summer time deal that includes a classic car rental, accommodations and a picnic lunch. But it’s for a limited time only so ask about the “Classic California” deal when you book.