As someone who loves the Southern California sun but not without shade, who loves new things but likes to know what you’re getting, the recently renovated Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills is your ideal retreat.
Named for the thousands of trees that dot the community’s curvy tree-lined streets, Woodland Hills borders Calabasas (hello, Kardashians) and Malibu (greetings, Pacific Ocean). You pass plenty of greenery as you jet off the 101 freeway to check into the hotel. You enter a grand hotel lobby with soaring ceilings and stylish wood panels—and the setting is so relaxed you can already feel your shoulders untensing.
You’re here to visit a client on a sales call, but that’s not until tomorrow afternoon, so it’s time to chillax. You head directly to the aqua-hued pool, which is dappled with shade from nearby trees and cool little cabanas—there’s an indoor pool too, but the weather is too perfect to miss. After splashing around, you’ve worked up an appetite.
Dinner is poolside at the Warner Center Marriott’s outdoor bar, aptly named Urban Oasis - surrounded by plants, you feel like you're in the tropics, or maybe that’s your second mango citrus mojito talking? You sup on grilled tajin-crusted salmon with papaya lime salsa and a side of crispy calamari.
You’ve made fast friends with a San Diego blonde who tells you that in the early 1900s Woodland Hills was just a simple cow pasture but now it’s a business hub and friendly community with great hiking and fantastic shopping. You make a mental note to scope out the newly redone Westfield Topanga & the Village, an upscale indoor-outdoor mall that will make your teenage nieces squeal with envy. The blonde tells you about Gucci, Burberry and Jimmy Choo purchases, but you’ll likely head to your fave, Nordstrom to pick up a new business suit. She adds that scenes from Parks and Recreation—which happens to be a favorite show—were filmed at the mall, but the real draw might be the outdoor area’s 100-year-old California sycamores, olive trees and Mexican fan palms.
The sun has faded and it’s getting cool, so the two of you decide to keep chatting and grab something sweet at the hotel's upscale Asado Urban Grill. You and your new bud can hardly decide on the many homemade dessert options - there’s key lime pie, peanut butter chocolate mousse, tiramisu, and gelato. After sharing a slice of pie, you’re still buzzing from the evening’s fun so you both decide to amble over to the hotel’s Q Martini Bar for a vodka-doused nightcap.
You make plans to meet tomorrow morning near the lobby Starbucks Café and head out for a sunrise hike along the pretty trail at the nearby Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve. You raise your martinis and toast to California dreaming—and the next thing you know you’re so relaxed you’re fast asleep in a luxuriant bed.
Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills
21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills 91367