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Suite Escape: Hotel Los Gatos & Spa

Suite Escape: Hotel Los Gatos & Spa

Suite Escape: Hotel Los Gatos & Spa

Though just a short drive from San Francisco, the charming city of Los Gatos can feel like another world entirely.

Though just a short drive from San Francisco, the charming city of Los Gatos can feel like another world entirely. With quaint, tree lined streets, an upscale walkable shopping district, leafy open spaces for hiking, and numerous wineries nearby, it seems more akin to the Napa Valley than an extension of Silicon Valley.

But unlike Napa, Los Gatos is quiet and traffic free.

Recently, on a scorching weekend, I landed at the Hotel Los Gatos for a calming weekend away from the hustle and heat of urban San Francisco. It was the perfect refuge; the centrally located, Mediterranean styled boutique inn resembles an Italian villa with elegant, old world styling and up-to-date top of the line furnishings. Our two-room suite with a color scheme of gold, umber and green provided a soothing backdrop to what felt like an escape to the European countryside. The spacious rooms included a King bed, elegant décor and all creature comforts: chocolates on arrival, a two-way gas fireplace, an enormous well-outfitted bathroom with spa notions and a separate WC, two flat screen TVs, and a balcony with our own outdoor furniture.

On the hot afternoon, the pool beckoned. Reasonably sized, with a Jacuzzi, umbrellas, greenery, and complimentary bottled water, there were a few families splashing about. Though Los Gatos is far from the Castro and our rainbow-flagged hamlet, everyone we encountered nary blinked at two women sharing a room -- nor at our (G-rated) public displays of affection.

That friendly vibe carried over later in the evening at MIchelin-starred Dio Deka -- while at the pool we'd caught a whiff of oregano and spices, making the decision to dine in-house a smart (and easy) one -- where we welcomed warmly. Renown for its Greek specialties, dinner was pitch perfect: Kalamata olives, pita paired with an assortment of Greek spreads, and Mesquite-grilled lamb chops sided with whipped spinach. The dessert, alled Mossaiko, a rich chocolate cake with citrus ice cream, was so generous as to be more than two of us could finish.

But in the morning, after a swim, thoughts of food somehow crept back in. For only a flat $10, the hotel offers a generous continental breakfast that includes scrambled eggs, potatoes, cereals, Greek yogurts, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, bakery items, and good coffee and tea, milk, and juices. While the restaurant’s bar is offered as the breakfast nook, other options for taking a morning coffee are plentiful; scattered around the meticulous grounds and inside the main building are unexpected lounging areas with couches, pillows and other creature comforts perfect for hanging out. With the sun already overhead, we opted to take breakfast at the pool.

 

Los Gatos is a location that works well in combination with day trips to both San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Entertainment options are plentiful: aside from wineries, the Montalvo Center for the Arts offers summer theater and outdoor performances by world-class artists such as k.d. lang and Al Green. For those less ambitious, Elia, the hotel’s spa, located just minutes off the property, offers a range of treatments, including massages and facials. With free parking in the basement, and the handy village nearby, a stay here can also mean a car-free weekend. That being said, I hardly left the room let alone got into a vehicle. For a close-by escape, ironically, it seemed oh so far away...

Hotel Los Gatos and Spa
210 E. Main St.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408-335-1710

Doubles $240-$375. Internet specials offered; check the website for availability.

-- LOUISE RAFKIN

 

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