In 2003, Cartan Tours had outgrown the hotel that we had been using for our Rose Parade tours and needed to find a new venue. At that time, I was searching to find something that would not only fit our needs, but more importantly the needs of our guests.
I had a layover in Los Angeles on my way to New Zealand, and scheduled a meeting with Lori Higgins, Director of Sales, at the Ayres Hotel Hawthorne/Manhattan Beach. The Ayres chain of boutique hotels might not be a familiar name to you. Located predominately southern California, there are 22 properties overall, with this particular property being 20 minutes from LAX. From the moment I arrived at the hotel and was greeted by two Italian marble lions from under the canopy, I could tell this was not your average hotel. Walking into the lobby, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful staircase to the second floor. To the right of the entrance stands a 400 year-old fireplace from a chateau in the Loire Valley,France. To the left is the front desk. While the hotel staff was very welcoming, I was distracted by the enormous, 17th century tapestry hanging on the back wall. Later on, I learned that the front desk was redesigned to accommodate the size of the tapestry. Upon walking throughout the hotel, it feels more like the inside of a beautiful European castle than a hotel with the tastefully presented artwork and sculptures.
My tour of the property included seeing various rooms and amenities the hotel had to offer such as the health club, outdoor pool, courtyard, meeting rooms, banquet facilities, and the Matisse Restaurant. After discussing exactly what Cartan Tours offers their clients with Lori, and with Connie Relihan (then President of Cartan Tours), it was unanimous that the Ayres Hotel was the perfect fit for our new “home” for Rose Parade guests.
Cartan Tours is proud to announce that 2014-2015 will mark the 10th anniversary staying at the Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/Hawthorne! All of the guest rooms are spacious and include mini refrigerators, micro wave ovens, and coffee makers. Already spectacular, all of the guest rooms in the hotel are slated for a full makeover starting in the spring of 2014.
The Matisse Restaurant inside the hotel is superb! The staff is friendly and efficient, and the food is superb. I have had several opportunities to meet Ruby Oertle, the owner of Matisse, who is a very wonderful lady that’s often at the restaurant making sure that everything is running to her high standards. From the servers to Miche’l, the Maitre d’, the restaurant staff is focused on providing the highest class of service possible! Head Chef Sheri DiBernardo has done an incredible job of working with Cartan Tours to craft just the right menus for our guests – from the breakfast buffets to the sit down dinner with entree choice that we enjoyed last month. We received a special surprise this year as Doug Ayres, one of the principle owners of the Ayres Hotel, stopped by the ballroom on New Years Eve to say hello and see how our event was running. Talk about spectacular service!
Cartan Tours is always striving to ensure that we are servicing our customer and that everyone is enjoying their tour as much as possible. We gather feedback from surveys that we send out to our guests – and we read every one! The overwhelming consensus from the surveys of our Ayres guests, rated the hotel and food service as excellent!
Join us for the 2014/15 Roses on Parade tour staying at the Ayres Hotel Hawthorne. We are holding last year’s price through March 31, 2014, and we are including a free post night at the Ayres Hotel! Don’t miss out on this trip of a lifetime!