Monday, February 10, 2014

Innkeepers' Tip! Focus on: Travel

What are the benefits of booking your hotel reservation directly through the hotel vs. an online travel agency?

When reserving a hotel room, do you book directly through the hotel or rely on an OTA (online travel agency), such as Expedia.com or Hotels.com? Do you always get the room your reserved?

Maybe, maybe not. Over the years, we have found that there are distinct advantages to making a reservation directly on OUR website or by calling or emailing the Inn directly. Why?

#1 - Best Price. Our rates often fluctuate on a daily basis. When you call us directly, we know our own best rates and can offer them immediately. Additionally some online sites tack their commission on to our rate, so you may get a room at a higher rate through their site than if you had called us first.

OTAs are not eligible to participate in our special offers. Always comparison shop. Even if you can get a better rate through an OTA, sometimes the hotel is willing to offer you something special - a late check out or a complimentary upgrade (based on availability). Some hotels make certain rooms available to a third party agent at a higher price to offset the commission costs that the hotel must pay. These rooms may not be the best in the house.



#2 - Flexibility. Need to change your reservation? Need to cancel, add a day, switch rooms? No problem, especially when you have reserved your room directly through the hotel. We can make real time changes to your reservations and send you a confirmation on the spot. 

We have had enough guests in the past who tried to make changes or cancellation through their online provider to realize that getting your money back or applied to a later reservation date through the OTA can be an arduous and frustrating experience for the traveler.

#3 - Accurate Information. OTA's may not have the most up-to-date information either about what rooms are available or even basic information about the hotel. Sometimes we can "create" a space for your reservation where none exists online. Our next phone call may be a cancellation for exactly what you want - we keep a wait list, so you don't have to keep checking back.

#4 - Service. Booking directly through the hotel allows the people who have been trained by the hotel to offer you personalized service. It is our pleasure to provide personal touches to make your visit feel more like home. When you speak directly with the hotel, you can reserve a specific room type, not just "request" it. If you have additional questions, you'll most likely be able to speak to the person who took your reservation. 

#5 - Knowledge. Our front desk staff has specific knowledge of the Inn and our rooms, the surrounding neighborhood and Los Angeles at large - and if we don't know, we know how to find out! We are here to take good care of our guests, and to serve you honestly and efficiently. 

Let us make your next trip to our Los Angeles bed & breakfast the best experience you've ever had!

 
Inn at Playa del Rey - another gorgeous sunset from our balcony!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Secret Recipe: Inn at Playa del Rey's Banana Bread


A wise man once said, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
      ―
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Here at the Inn at Playa del Rey, we couldn’t agree more! We love cooking for our guests and feel a true sense of joy when they love what we make.

Below you will find our house favorite Banana bread. You may be asking yourself, "How is their banana bread different from the others?" To be honest...we have no idea! What we do know is that this recipe is absolutely delicious and easy to make! 


www.innatplayadelrey.com


Truth be told, it doesn't get much better than the smell of fresh banana bread wafting throughout your home! 


P.S. Don't forget to post a picture on our Facebook showing us how your banana bread came out!




1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 10” Bundt or two 8” round cake pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until well incorporated. In a Ziploc bag or small bowl, mash the bananas with the baking soda and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter, mixing just until combined. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk to the butter, mixing just until combined. Add 1/3 of the banana mixture to the butter, mixing just until combined. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until all remaining ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape bowl to insure there are no butter chunks.  Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and continue to cool completely.

** Baking Tip** You can make your own buttermilk by combining one cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice.  

Happy Baking!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Secret Recipe: Inn at Playa del Rey’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies



If you’ve ever been a guest at the Inn at Playa del Rey, you’ve most likely indulged in one of our famous chocolate chip cookies - or two! For years, our guests have wanted to know our secret recipe and the time has come for us to share! 

Here at the Inn we love our cookies to be nice and thick, chewy and golden brown but everyone has their own preferences. Below you’ll find a chart you can use to tweak our recipe to make your chocolate chip cookies just the way you like them! 

Post photos of your cookies to our Facebook Page – we’d love to see how our cookies turned out in your oven!

Happy Baking!

p.s. If your cookies don’t come out the way you remember, don't worry- our true secret ingredient is our vintage 1950’s Wedgewood oven!


http://www.innatplayadelrey.com





CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(Double Batch)
Step 1                   Cream together well:
                                1lb butter--softened
                                1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
                                1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Step 2               Mix in:
                                1 Tbs. vanilla
                                4 eggs--one at a time
Step 3                   Stir in:
                                4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                2 tsp baking soda
                                1 tsp salt*
Step 4                   Add:
                                4 cups chocolate chips
Step 5                   Shape into golf ball sized spheres, approx., bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 min. or until nicely browned.  Dough may be chilled overnight, or for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
*salt may be omitted if using a salted butter