I’m actually not really big on staycations. It always sounds like a good idea and then I start looking up all of the places I’d love to spend a night or two and my mind wanders to spending that money on somewhere a little more far flung. But when the husband suggests it for an anniversary night away, who can resist?
We live very close to Claremont and are literally there every weekend for one of my daughter’s activities. But aside from that, it is the closet city with really good restaurants, a cool character, and a grounding ambiance. My favorite brunch spot, go-to ramen restaurant, and the place for the best cocktails are all there. Oh yeah, and my private practice used to be there, so me and Claremont are…tight.
It really is the most charming city, east of Pasadena and west of Palm Springs. It’s a college town with seven stunning colleges that share an expansive campus in the heart of the city. Sweet and unique shops line the “old village” and the newer area near the Packing House (this area was big for the citrus fruit industry at the turn of the century), west of Indian Hill Blvd. This is the area where you will find Hotel Casa 425+Lounge at the northeast corner of 1st Street and Oberlin Ave.
Hotel Casa 425+Lounge is nestled in the most perfect little square, but you never have to actually leave it’s walls. Their website touts itself as “modern luxury in historic Claremont village” and it is certainly all of those things, but also there is a deep Spanish, California vibe to the architecture with it’s welcoming arch, white-washed walls, and rust-colored accents.
The quaint lobby feels intimate, almost like checking in at a small European establishment, smartly decorated with the stunning artwork of John Kosta (speaking directly to my love affair with downtown LA). The hotel has 28 guests rooms, on three floors, situated in a U-shape that envelopes the courtyard. I was expecting something nice, yet basic, but these rooms are huge and very nicely laid out with french doors that open out to the courtyard, plenty of floor space & storage, and a deep tub, separate from the bathroom. Oh yes, and a complementary breakfast (we opted to walk to breakfast burritos at this secret find). The rooms are quality enough to spend all of your staycation there, if that’s your mission.
But the courtyard is the real gem here and the reason that coming here for a drink and to listen to music, even if you’re not staying at the hotel, is a great idea. Perfectly shaded at all times, this area somehow gives the option of being a lively hot spot, with still being able to let you have your own quiet little corner if preferred. The cocktails are inventive and the waitstaff seem like they genuinely like working there, engaging with the patrons just the perfect amount.
The block that the Hotel Casa 425 sits on has a ton to offer if you want to get out a bit; an independent movie theater, the best Belgian restaurant in the United States, and plenty of cute places to pop into during an after dinner stroll. For more on Claremont as a city and some of my favorite places, check out my former post on this special town here.
Hotel Casa 425 is a smart choice, not only for locals, but for parents bringing their kid to college or business travelers. It will be a nice surprise for all.