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Pasadena features roses and relaxation

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer June 8, 2012

My second stay at the Huntington Langham Hotel and Spa was not nearly as dramatic and reconfirmed this as a lovely hotel for all occasions. Originally built in 1907 in Spanish Mission Revival style, the hotel was rebuilt from the ground up in 1991 to meet all modern earthquake codes, a very safe place it turns out for our wedding night.

We spent the afternoon at the world famous Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. The same wealthy family that originally owned the hotel had owned the mansion and estate and created the Huntington Library in 1919. The Huntington featured both a rare book and manuscript collection and an art collection in addition to 120 acres of gardens. Wandering through three acres of rose gardens, it is hard to choose a favorite from the 4000 bushes. Each of the 1200 cultivars had a distinctive scent and lovely color.

 If you are looking for something a little more lively, you only need travel to Old Town Pasadena, one of the hippest spots for upscale dining and shopping in the Los Angeles area.  Several square blocks are filled with 100 different restaurants and 200 stores.

Before venturing back to the Langham Club for breakfast, I tried out the Stairmaster in the fitness center. Suitably sweaty, I visited the Huntington Spa with Chuan Body + Soul. Many of the Langham properties offer oriental healing treatments in addition to the regular spa offerings.

Bagels and smoked salmon competed with fruit-filled mini blintzes for my breakfast attention. The club’s charming concierge was available to help us make reservations for lunch at the hotel’s Terrace restaurant. Overlooking the pool, the Terrace is a favorite of locals.

Pasadena is known worldwide for the annual Tournament of Roses parade, where floats decorated only in flowers travel through the streets on New Year’s Day. Football fans know the Rose Bowl as a premier football game held that same day. Pasadena has a great year-round climate and activities to offer, no matter when you visit.

If you go:

The Langham, Huntington

The Huntington, Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

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