It’s vacation time, or in our case staycation time, since lately, we’ve been enjoying short jaunts within a few hours from Los Angeles. This time, we decided to explore Culver City by vacationing five minutes away from home.
In our neighborhood is the recently renovated DoubleTree Hilton Westside, on the edge of Culver City and Westchester. I have passed by this hotel upon numerous occasions, and have noticed the change of hands over the years. When I heard that they had recently renovated the property with Hilton hands, I decided it was time to take the plunge and investigate this hotel.
It was close to 3 o’clock and time to check in. Boy this place is busy. I stood in line, anxious to unwind in my room, when all of a sudden a nice fellow from the front desk appeared with chocolate chip cookies. I hungrily grabbed a few. The aroma alone lifted my spirits.
“What a smart way to appease the weary traveler,” I thought to myself. This was a nice touch and a great way to begin our stay at the DoubleTree Hilton Westside.
Munching on my treat I rolled my suitcase toward the elevators. Outside, the window showcased a cool beckoning pond that reminded me of my visits to Hawaii. Although I’m only five minutes from my home, I felt like I was transported across the Pacific. without having to endure the crush and stress of a busy airport.
This is a cool place, the earth tones providing a welcoming air. Amenities are modern with over 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space to accommodate business meetings and conferences. This is a great venue for the busy business traveler, yet there are enough things to do that give families a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. There was even a high school reunion in full swing in the lounge. What fun!
Our suite was gigantic, affording both of us the opportunity to have some privacy before we headed down to dinner. Normally I’m not particularly impressed with hotel restaurants. They are usually overpriced and the food is fairly mediocre, but both of us were wowed at the selections and caliber of food that was served at Share Restaurant. We started with some crab cakes and unlike most I’ve tried that are diluted with all types of cheap filler, this dish had tons of crab layered over a tangy Caesar salad.
The short ribs were both succulent and flavorful, braced with mashed potatoes and a medley of roasted vegetables. I opted for the seafood linguine, an ample mound that was more than I could handle. I knew doggy bags were in order for both entrees before I even begin the meal, although we did some serious damage on our hot fudge sundae before heading back to the room.
Nearby, you can go shopping at the Westfield Culver City or catch a movie at the IMAX in the Howard Hughes complex. There are hiking trails and beautiful park settings nearby in Playa Vista, and for those who want a plethora of dining options, downtown Culver City is a few miles away where you can enjoy live music, art galleries in a wide variety of restaurants.
If theater is your thing, catch an affordable production at the Westchester Playhouse, where “Sordid Lives,” winner of 14 DramaLogue awards is currently playing. This campy and colorful production will keep you laughing as you delve into the quirky nuances of a dysfunctional family in a small Texas town.
My favorite scene was when Dr. Eve (Cherry Norris) was attempting to cure Brother Boy (Greg Abbott). Her attempts to obliterate his homosexuality were quite amusing, yet a provided a poignant commentary about alternative lifestyle choices. (See enclosed photo in the slideshow by Shari Barrett.)
Culver City is a happening area, and it was exciting to discover it with fresh eyes.I’m glad we solved the mystery of the DoubleTree Hilton Westside, and now, I will no longer drive along Centinela Blvd. without doing a “double” take as we pass the hotel.
DoubleTree Hilton Westside
6161 W. Centinela Ave.
Culver City, CA. 90230
Publicity photos of Kentwood Players/Westchester Playhouse courtesy of Shari Barrett