With the official start to summer right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your activities to get you out of the house, enjoying the fresh air and time together…or alone for some peace and quiet! No matter what kind of company you decide to keep this summer, I know you will enjoy THIS fun new site that gives you access to luxury hotel amenities without requiring a room reservation. Day/Axe gives you day access to select hotels and resorts and the ability to use their pool, gym facilities, meeting space and often the exclusive spa.
I visited the Fairmont Miramar property in Santa Monica, CA because of its beautiful views and its family friendly atmosphere. For $20 (kids under the age of 6 are free there) my daughter and I headed to the pool for the afternoon! We were instructed to check in at Exhale Spa, which is associated with the Fairmont and has its own private entrance off of 2nd Street. The staff was very professional and gave us a tour of the facilities, including the locker room which we were granted access to with the use of a key card. They had many lockers available with digital locks (so no need to bring your own!), showers, steam room, sauna, lounge area and restrooms. I attempted to use multiple lockers and couldn’t get them to work. With no attendant available, I ended up just taking our belongings to the pool which worked out just fine.
Olivia and I visited the Fairmont on a Wednesday afternoon, which ended up being a relatively calm day. It was slightly overcast so we were able to enjoy the outdoors without getting too hot. There was one other couple just exiting the pool as we arrived, which allowed us full freedom to splash and play! I was delightfully surprised to discover that the pool was treated with saline (not chlorine) and heated to a comfortable degree.
When Olivia needed a little break, we took advantage of the poolside lounge chairs and umbrellas. Towels were already laid out for guests and cucumber water was provided at a nearby refreshment station. A communal bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen was also complimentary for those who may have forgotten to pack their own.
After a snack and a snooze, we jumped back into the pool for a refresher before calling it a day. By the time we left, two other guests had joined us poolside, although we seemed the only ones keen on the pool. A jacuzzi was also available on the pool deck and I’m sure it would be lovely in the evening or on a cooler day. Olivia and I had a great time at the Fairmont and will definitely return periodically throughout the summer!
Moms, if you have the opportunity to take advantage of a day trip like this sans kids, do it! I wish I could have had the chance to utilize the gym facilities with its indoor/outdoor training options and ocean views. Combine that with a dip in the pool followed by a steam and shower….heavenly! Even more amazing would be if a yoga or barre class were included in the day access pass, or at least an option to bundle. Hint, hint….
If you want to make a day of it, Fig boasts of some of the most creative and tastiest dishes in Santa Monica. On a separate occasion, I treated my husband for dinner there and we shared the dinner tasting menu with wine pairing which was absolutely phenomenal. Seriously one of the best (and biggest) meals of my life with enough to take home for lunch the next day. Their patio overlooks the pool so depending on the time of day you are there, the scent of fresh bread and wood roasted delights may be too tempting to pass up.
Parking at the Fairmont Miramar is easy as there are several options. Metered street parking is plentiful, Santa Monica City Parking Structure 2 is a short walk and the first 90 minutes are free, Valet parking at the hotel starts at $18 for the first hour.
With or without kids, Day/Axe is a great service and they currently have participating properties in Beverly Hills, Century City, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Newport Beach San Diego and San Francisco. The process to book is simple, the value is amazing and you don’t have to deal with the sand from the beach that gets everywhere! You know you are getting clean facilities and a five star experience that is much different from the community center. Totally worth it!