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By Michael Hepworth

Ventura is a great place to go for a break from Los Angeles, and one of the best places to stay now in the seaside town is the newly renovated Crowne Plaza Hotel, situated right on the beach close to Surfer’s Point. After 18 months and about $15 million of work, the hotel is now eager to welcome old and new guests who knew the place as the Holiday Inn. The highlight of the renovations to me has to be the stylish looking Aqua Bar, with great ocean views and an outside patio overlooking the beach and Ventura Pier. The feel of the lobby is very minimalist with warm earth tones of rust, chocolate, ochre and beige, and the cream walls are a nice contrast for the ebony tables and upholstered armchairs.

The 258 room hotel is a 100% smoke free environment and does welcome pets (subject to a $30 pet fee), offering them two collapsible bowls for water and food, and signature doggie treats. This is particularly important as the adjacent  parks and Harbor walk area are all pet friendly, and there are even two nearby parks where the dogs can roam free off-leash. There are only six of these pet friendly rooms in the hotel and they have proved extremely popular, so booking early is advised, especially if you are planning a trip in the summer.

  Located right next to the San Buenaventura State Park, there are a host of things for humans to do like swimming, surfing, biking/hiking and picnicking. Other nearby activities include snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, tennis, golf and rock climbing. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, a 24 hour business center and an expanded fitness room. The hotel is also close enough for a casual stroll to downtown Ventura , a place known for art galleries, museums, boutiques and unique style restaurants.  There is 24 hour service at the hotel along with high speed internet access, same day laundry service, in room coffee and tea, iron and ironing board and in room movies. The restaurant has been completely redesigned and offers breakfast on weekends until 11:30am , and features steaks and seafood at night with a menu created by executive chef Nic Manocchio.

Other things to consider when selecting the Crowne Plaza are the designated “quiet zones,” where no engineering activity, housekeeping or children occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. takes place on weeknights. Windows have also been replaced in all rooms with double glazing to block out noise from the outside. There also appeared to be an over abundance of staff when I stayed there last week, and I subsequently learned that they all went through an extensive three week training period, and it looks like it might certainly be paying off in the months ahead.


Fact Sheet

Crowne Plaza-450 East Harbor Blvd , Ventura , CA 93001




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