This Spanish Mission Revival-style luxury resort was born as the Hotel Wentworth in 1907 and was soon bought by railroad magnate Henry Huntington, whose name has endured through Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton incarnations and its current union with the international Langham group. It remains proudly opulent and unabashedly traditional, even though the current hotel is a replica, built after new earthquake standards forced the original’s demolition in 1988. Two historic ballrooms were preserved and restored to the new hotel, whose 23 magnificently landscaped acres feel like a European baronial estate. The public areas and grounds, which include an outstanding Japanese garden, are where the resort shines. Dinner at the steakhouse Royce, Sunday Brunch at the poolside Terrace, or afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge make delightful escapes from from everything L.A. Another option is the new and quite modern Chuan Spa, unveiled in June 2014, which specializes in treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine and new high-tech skin care techniques. While the staff exudes Old World graciousness, overnight stays are less of a sure thing; despite various updates, the rooms and cottages as a whole are subject to random gaps in quality, whether it be too few electrical outlets, slow-draining tubs and sinks, or ineffectual air-conditioning. Still, they are spacious, sumptuously furnished, and flooded with natural light from generous windows; many look out on the San Gabriel Mountains. The ocasional misstep is significant only in contrast with the illusion of perfection the place projects in other areas.
- Frommer's Staff