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From the Hills (Beverly Hills) To The Beach (Santa Monica)

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From the Hills (Beverly Hills) To The Beach (Santa Monica) BungaLOEWS

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From the hills ' Beverly Hills, that is, to the beach ' Santa Monica Beach, that is, Loews has you covered in the Southern California climes.

I knew I am in Los Angeles when the first billboard I spot is shouting out an advertisement for Prozac on Pico Blvd that runs right past the Loews Beverly Hills.

The Loews Beverly Hills . . .

But staying at a Loews hotel is certainly no need for Prozac. Beverly Hills has a new neighbor sitting 12 stories atop a hillside with great views of Beverly Hills and LA downtown skyscrapers. The famous shopping street ' Rodeo Drive ' merges off Beverwil Drive a block away from the hotel and wriggles down to the high society leather, jewels, and dining emporiums.

Beverly Hills residents don't really have a new neighbor ' Loews Beverly Hills Hotel is formerly a Renaissance Hotel that was originally built in 1964 and known as the Hillcrest, but Loews has modernized the property throughout, an easy entrance hot spot for Hollywood studio executives.

Fantasia, the 2004 winner of the American Idol contest, is checking out the day I am checking in and a film crew is catching her on tape.

The hotel is regionally trendy with the locals, too. I guess originally the hotel must have been platted on a real estate map at one time as Lot 1224, which is the address of the hotel at 1224 Beverwil Drive, and also the name of the hotel's hot, chic restaurant, where new and up-coming and soon-to-be-famous Chef Eric Rillos offers up premium cuisine (Be there for the Friday night Red Couch Sessions, so named because of the huge red leather couch wrapping around the restaurant.).

The Loews Beverly Hills is a small, almost boutique hotel, with only 137 rooms and suites; VIPs and business executive use the place as a second office complex, I think. The concierge, Steve, ensconces himself on the 10th Floor, and he is a delightful resource of local golf, activities, entertainment, and dining information. He is fun just to sit and talk with, even if you don't need his insights.

Now that the Western world is on a low carbs diet courtesy of the late Dr. Atkins, and with even Coke recently launching C2, a low carb cola, Loews has taken the mantra a little farther with 'No Carbtails', or low-carb cocktails. Because Southern California usually sets the fad standards that are as ephemeral and chimera as the next pop star staying at the hotel, I am certain the cocktail recipes will rush across the nation just like a Santa Monica beach wave. The hotel has also gone retro with a choice of high protein and low carb dinners.

The Metro Man . . .

If you are into the low carb groove then you must be sophisticated enough to become a Metrosexual. I am caught off guard with the term, but the hotel packages a complete haute vacation around the trend.

A Metrosexual is a sophisticated man who is fashionable and well groomed, and with the Loews' Metro Man package you will be the talk of the town, especially if you get the Deluxe version. The two-night hotel package includes a complete transformation of your old fuddy duddy ways blasting you into a new, slick persona, and in only a few short days. You are educated and pampered with a complete fashion and psyche makeover. You will be cool. You will be hip. You will be Metrosexual. You will be a Metro Man!

Transformation amenities include an etiquette book, travel kit, and cocktail shaker (and I presume recipes for Carbtails). The hotel's chef hosts for Metro Men a two hour tasting meal, including cooking with wine lessons and mixology instructions (carbtails for me!). The makeover continues with a grooming session involving manicure, pedicure, haircut, shave, sports facial, and a hot waxing for the back and eyebrows; the deluxe package includes a dental bleaching and consultation with a nutritionist and Saks Fifth Avenue personal trainer for those long shopping stints on Rodeo Drive or at Century City malls.

Guys, don't forget your purse, which is now also in style.

The Metro Man package was designed after a research study in 2003 that found men are increasingly attuned to their feminine side ' culture, feelings, cooking, etc., ' while remaining confident in their masculinity, with good grooming essential for success in the business world.

The best rooms in the Loews Beverly Hills Hotel are above the sixth floor because you have panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills. Every room has a private terrace and you have specialized business services with something called Star Service. The elevators are prompted to these upper level rooms when you slide your plastic room key into the swiping slot. These floors are Metrosexually approved, I am sure.

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In-room amenities include: TempurPedic pressure relieving Swedish mattresses, a TV with video, cable, and pay-per-view, two-line telephones with voice mail, high speed internet access (bring your laptop), desk, coffee maker, minibar, in-room safe, and customized amenities.

The heated outdoor swimming pool and cabana area is popular in the afternoon, sweetly located off the new revamped restaurant for quick drink and caf'rders. Pets are welcome in the hotel, but I must admit that the guest cooling off his bowser in the pool was something more akin to the beach.

For rooftop parties and dining Studio 360, also billed as the Ballroom, accommodates up to 200 guests.

Dining is always a treat at any of the Loews that I have experienced, including the one in DC and San Diego, and the Beverly Hills Loews is burnishing the same standard with full signature dinner with cocktails, such as the Governor (give me an Arnold') and Money Martini.

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Kriss Hammond, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent ' Read Jetsetters Magazine at To book travel visit at and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at

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Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at

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