Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa
3287 Mount Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
The “crown jewel” of East Bay hotels boasts a romantic French chåteau architectural style, making it a popular choice for weddings. Combining landscaped gardens, secluded courtyards, bubbling fountains and a stone fireplace, plus that all-important AAA Four Diamond Award, the result is a winning formula of good looks and good service. The top floor Le Marquis honeymoon suite, decorated in an old-world style, measures a generous 750 square feet. An adjoining living room gives easy access to the pool, sauna and whirlpool.
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
For over a century, memorable milestones have been celebrated at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza. Following a top-to-tail renovation in 2009, this historic property is currently among the most luxurious in the area. With 360-degree views, a Presidential Suite overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the city beyond, the Berkeley Hills and the landmark campanile on campus. The Presidential Suite parlor makes for a perfect party venue. The hotel concierge will assist in planning a night out on the town, after which a return to plush king-bedded accommodations and a jacuzzi bath sound about right.
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The Rose Hotel
807 Main St.
Pleasanton, CA 94566
European charm abounds in a downtown Pleasanton boutique hotel. The lobby sets the tone with marble flooring, wood paneling, hand-painted murals, wrought-iron chandeliers, a cozy fireplace beside an overstuffed sofa and bouquets of fresh roses. A four-poster bed with draw curtains is the centerpiece of the Grand King Suite priced at $695 per night. Plantation shutters, a deeply comfy chaise lounge, antique furnishings and potted palms sets the mood. The extra large marble bathroom has his-and-hers sinks, a huge shower and a jet tub for two. Stroll the historic, charming streets of downtown Pleasanton, ranked by the last two census bureau reports as the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States.
The Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa
4549 Cross Road
Livermore, CA 94550
Charming and intimate with only 10 guest bedrooms, The Purple Orchid Resort’s main lodge is a picturesque log cabin at the foot of Manzanilla olive orchards in the heart of East Bay wine country. The Morning Dove Suite overlooks the orchard and a vibrant rose garden surrounding a pretty pool, hot tub and rock waterfall. The king-bedded accommodations feature a cozy living room and fireplace, perfect for enjoying a bottle of local wine or California sparkling. A sublime relaxation spa session after a swim can be delivered right to the suite by professional attendants offering a blissful signature aroma massage, a body wrap and a biodynamic facial.
Claremont Hotel & Spa
41 Tunnel Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
Counting down the days until its centennial in 2015, this grande dame on a hill harks back to a gentler time, while delivering today’s patrons with modern comfort and design. The king-bedded Tower Suite with jacuzzi perched up in the property’s distinctive cupola provides panoramic views from its own outdoor patio, large enough for a private reception. Brides, grooms and honeymooners can catch moonbeams over the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay from the terrace. In a second hotel suite, brides and wedding attendants are thrilled to make good use of natural light afforded by huge floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive mirrors to get everything just perfect.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. A transplanted New Yorker, she has traveled throughout the world as the Big Apple’s official tourism representative. She served as organizer for three Royal Visits to America. As an international relocation consultant, Laurie assisted more than 400 families with overseas moves and is a proud mother of two, thoroughly bi-cultural children. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.