This story first appeared in the August 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Addicted to your iPhone? Put it down (or at least bring it along) and head to one of these chic new hotels as Hollywood all but shuts down through Labor Day. Plus: Where to find a deal now.
CARMEL: A Carmel icon that's even older than Clint Eastwood, La Playa Hotel (Camino Real at Eighth Avenue; rooms from $249) was built in 1905 two blocks from the beach and was a getaway for the Ghirardelli family. The property, which became a hotel in 1916, now has had a major reno. The lobby and library are adorned with plantation shutters, as are the 75 rooms, which boast pillow-top mattresses and a citrus palette. For dining, head east to Michelin-starred Marinus at Bernardus Lodge (415 W. Carmel Valley Road). Reopened after an overhaul, the once-stodgy look has given way to a more casual backdrop for Cal Stamenov's modern California cuisine. -- Josh Sens
NANTUCKET: Nothing says late summer like a jaunt to the preppy Massachusetts island Nantucket, where regulars include Lifetime's Nancy Dubuc and Google's Eric Schmidt (and where the quiet vibe was disrupted recently by the arrest of Jay Penske, owner of Nikki Finke's Deadline blog, for allegedly breaking and entering). Three hotels make it more inviting than ever. The wood-shingled Nantucket Hotel (77 Easton St.; rooms from $435), opened in 1891, has been given an elegant face-lift by Cape Cod hoteliers Mark and Gwenn Snider. Expect Balzac novels on the bookshelves, whales on the pillows and a too-cute restored 1934 Ford bus to ferry you to the beach. Rehabbed in a much more spunkily au courant fashion -- call it Hollywood Regency-on-the-Sound -- is the 11-room Chapman House (20 North Water St.; rooms from $129), which dates to 1717. And the new Inn at the White Elephant Village (19 S. Beach St., rooms from $275), an offshoot of the 1920s-era White Elephant hotel, is bursting with white-picket porches and manicured lawns plus Pratesi linens in the rooms. -- Gary Baum
TAHOE: Back when it was The Block, a snowboarders' hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., it was run by twentysomethings with raunchy Facebook pages. Under new ownership, the place -- now called Basecamp (4143 Cedar Ave.; rooms from $109) -- has gone boutique. Although it doesn't exactly count as roughing it (think high thread-count sheets), the 50-room property embraces a spirit of adventure, with guest room headboards embellished with images of grizzlies or snow-covered pines, plus a Great Indoors Room with an (electric) campfire and a bed sheltered under a canvas tent. There also is a rooftop hot tub and fire pits for s'mores. All one block from the Heavenly gondola and three blocks from a private beach. -- Josh Sens
HIGH HEAT ON THE CHEAP: If you can stand it, summer is perfect for cool deals at these (literal) hotspots
SCOTTSDALE: It's seemingly always summer in Scottsdale, Ariz., but in August the town really sizzles. Visitors and in-the-know locals love the sexy swim scene at W Scottsdale, the Latino chic boutique vibe of The Saguaro and the hip and historic Hotel Valley Ho (book the Loft Suite for $449 in summer; high season, it's up to $619). All are within a mile of one another, helping form a critical mass of restaurants and clubs. The $3,500-a-night Extreme Wow Suite at W Scottsdale is the prime room to nab for the hotel's Midsummer Night's Dream party Aug. 30 (think Hef's similarly bacchanalian soiree, sans the grotto). Or drop down a notch to the Wow Suite, pay $1,250 the first night and then pay the last two digits of your birth year the second night: 1981 pays $81 (Hef would pay $26). If serenity is your scene, Sanctuary at Camelback (Jay-Z and Beyonce honeymooned there) offers a three-day Summer Satori Wellness program with trainers, treatments, lifestyle consultants and such. Summer rates for a 1,500-square-foot Spa or Mountain Casita Suite are $439 a night, down from $719 a night in high season. Average high temperature in August: 103 Fahrenheit.
PALM SPRINGS: What started as a winter retreat has evolved into a year-round design-driven desert destination. Resorts with summer deals include The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa, which has just reopened after a remodel (check out the penthouses and private villas with butler service) and is offering third and fourth nights free. Elsewhere, the in-demand Parker Palm Springs has rooms as low as $129 a night and villas from $399 weekdays; the Viceroy Palm Springs offers a third night free; and when THR contacted the Colony Palms Hotel to confirm its summer rates of $109 weekdays, $229 weekends and $249 Labor Day weekend, management offered THR readers an additional 20 percent off. Average high in August: 107.
LOS CABOS: Although there are whispers that the much-anticipated Montage Los Cabos resort project might resume construction on the old Twin Dolphins site, for now the Cabo luxury resort world is dominated by the big four. Two-year-old newcomer Capella Pedregal -- which has one of the best spas in the Americas and is city-close yet private thanks to a tunnel entrance under a mountain -- is offering rooms starting at $425 a night, down $100 from its normal summer rates. (The three-bedroom beachfront suite is $2,950, down from $4,000.) Luxury also is on sale at the family-friendly One&Only Palmilla, which has a four-night package with 25 percent off summer rates, the fourth night free and two $50 spa certificates, while palm tree-dotted Esperanza has villas at $1,400 a night, down from $2,500 in high season. Recently, Mexican-meets-Mediterranean Las Ventanas al Paraiso (where the fourth night is free right now) underwent a polish, with a redesign of the spa, a new raw bar in the Sea Grill beachside restaurant and a new menu at The Restaurant. But the best upgrade is the addition of three luxury Beach Cabanas, with their own plunge pools and butlers. On a hot August night, consider sleeping under the stars -- the resort's director of romance (yes, they have one) will organize a camp-out ($126) complete with king-size bed and other amenities including a telescope and candles. Average high in August: 95. -- Kedric Francis
POWER TRIP: Where the industry players are seeking R&R
WME's Ari Emanuel was vacationing in his usual getaway, Newport, R.I., where wife Sarah's family is from. … Fox's Jim Gianopulos was off to his place on the tiny Greek island of Antiparos. … ICM's Chris Silbermann just returned from the Big Island in Hawaii. … Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and wife Lorraine plied Lake Como with George Clooney and Stacy Keibler on the actor's boat. … Slate PR's Stephen Huvane was headed to Ibiza, where Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves have been beaching it. … The Newsroom exec producer Alan Poul and his partner, journalist Ari Karpel, have been taking in Stockholm. … Kris Jenner, after a jaunt in Istanbul, jetted to Paris. And Netflix's Ted Sarandos and his wife, Democratic fund-raiser Nicole Avant, visited U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin in the City of Light. … Producer Lawrence Bender hit Sardinia. … Among the many headed to Long Island's South Fork were producer Jamie Patricof and wife Kelly Sawyer Patricof, who'll be in East Hampton, as will Alloy Entertainment's Les Morgenstein. Manager Jason Weinberg and screenwriter Merritt Johnson will be ensconced in Southampton. … Ricki Lake enjoyed Mexico's San Miguel de Allende. … DreamWorks Animation's Bill Damaschke and business manager John McIlwee were off to Woodstock, N.Y. … Costume designer and stylist Arianne Phillips wended her way to the land of Mozart, Vienna.