Getting away with minimal travel time makes a stay-cation an ideal weekend or overnight affair. The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club is located in Redondo Beach right on the water; an hour or less from most parts of the southland, makes it an ideal spot for those short on time. The ocean breezes that wash through your room secure ideal conditions any time of year, and BALEEN, their signature restaurant for all Noble House properties, is worth the drive too.
You may never want to leave the rooms, which are amply-sized with views of either the Redondo Beach Marina or Pacific Ocean. Decorated in blue and white with gold accents, the aquatic-themed touches perfectly match the location. Armchairs, a work area, and very comfortable beds with high-thread-count linens add to the luxurious but casual feel.
From our balcony we saw seal lions play and pelicans dive for fish. We gazed at sailboats, kayaks, and paddle boats, all of which are available to rent if you’re feeling energetic; we chose to enjoy time in the room with good friends, conversation, and libations.
EDITOR’S NOTE – If you’re getting an ocean view room take binoculars – all the better to view the marine life.
Guests can ride a complimentary beach cruiser for more fresh ocean air and movement. The Strand and Redondo Beach Village are just a short ride away. A longer tour or hike is possible on the 27-mile coastal trail; the concierge will provide directions.
The Portofino has put together a number of packages perfect for a stay-cation. Breakfast at the Beach is an overnight with breakfast, while Surf and Sand is a two-day stay with a $100 dinner credit and surfing lessons for four people. Feeling romantic? Book the Heart of the Harbor for an overnight plus Gondola Amore tour. All packages come with complimentary valet parking, beach cruisers, heated pool, and whirlpool. Regardless of your choice, walks on the nearby beach or boardwalk are calming and reviving any time of day.
Activity or the lack of it both require fuel, and the food at BALEEN, the signature restaurant, will more than suffice. Executive Chef Jesse Souza has created menus to tantalize any palate. The food is so good we plan to go back just for dinner. The restaurant windows open to let in the breeze and the atmosphere has a clean and contemporary vibe.
Breakfast is a treat with so many choices you’ll want the two-day package. BBQ Pork, $14, is slow-cooked 8 hours and comes with bacon potato hash, poached eggs, and chive hollandaise. The Revolution lives up to its name: frittata with duck confit, mushroom, parmesan, and truffle oil. Of course healthy choices, such as the smoothie with banana, peanut butter, granola and skim milk or The Arnold, $12, grilled chicken, chicken sausage, tomato, mushroom, spinach, egg whites and corn tortillas, are just as tasty.
We liked the Burger Bar for lunch. Condiments galore: bacon, cheddar, chile mayo, caramelized onions, Boursin, arugula, and Dijon mayo are just some of the choices. The Andrew Jackson, $20 (no surprise there), features braised short rib, herb sugar-roasted bacon, fried egg, coleslaw, crispy onions, aged cheddar, and burnt sugar BBQ sauce (see photo). This could be the ultimate burger experience. Also notable were their club sandwich and fish &chips.
Chef Sousa’s creativity reveals itself even more at dinner. Check these highlights:
Asian Pear & Arugula Salad | 11
mustard shallot vinaigrette, candied walnuts, point reyes blue cheese
Dungeness Crab Cake | 15
shrimp mousse, lobster/lemongrass sauce, tomato jam
“Hole in One” | 13
brioche, over-easy egg, asparagus, mushrooms, reggiano, truffle vinaigrette
Pan-Roasted Half Chicken | 25
sauteed wild mushrooms, goat cheese dumplings, midnight
tomatoes, madeira cream
Roquefort-Crusted Filet of Beef | 38
short rib ragout, whipped potato, asparagus, natural jus
Surf & Turf | half 17, full 30
roasted sea scallops, braised beef short rib, vanilla parsnip
puree, glazed carrots, mustard pan sauce
Baleen Bouillabaisse | 29
scallop, shrimp, mussels, rockfish, calamari, spanish
chorizo, tomato, fennel, saffron, aioli crouton
PORTOFINO HOTEL & YACHT CLUB
260 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277