Hotel Casa Del Mar Building Turns 85 This May

The Apple iPad is making inroads into the luxury hospitality industry. The latest on its hit-list is the Catch Restaurant and Wine Bar at Hotel Casa del Mar. The highly acclaimed restaurant has come up with an innovative iPad app to browse through its wine list. No more checking up on a particular wine. Waiters greet diners with an iPad that uses the new application. The wine list is easily displayed along with photos and extensive additional information including price, ratings and pairing suggestions.

Hotel Casa’s Catch restaurant boasts of an award-winning wine list. To have that extensive list literally at one’s fingertips is definitely a plus for guests, whether or not they are connoisseurs. The iPad wine list gets a boost from the SmartCellar application designed by NY-based firm Incentient.

Hotel Casa del Mar’s Catch restaurant turned four last month. Once known as Oceanfront, Catch specializes in seafood and pasta. Its menu has been created by Chef Jason Bowlin. White leather chairs and dark wood furnishings build a cozy ambience at this restaurant. Plus there is a sushi bar and live entertainment from midweek through to the weekend. Limited to jazz and soft music, the acts include singer Barbara Morrison on Wednesdays, Stuart Elster Jazz Piano on Thursdays, band Leftover Cuties on Fridays and Erin Boehme on Saturdays.

There are plenty of luxury hotels in Santa Monica, but few have as rich a history as the hotel in del Mar. On 1 May 2011, the building will be turning 85. Yes, among the many hotels in Santa Monica, the Hotel Casa del Mar is definitely a landmark. Back in 1926, when it opened as Club Casa del Mar it became a haunt for the most glamorous personalities. It grew into one of South California’s most popular beach clubs. Even the Great Depression did not dent its popularity. It was only during World War II that the hotel’s fortunes began a downward spiral. The beachfront club struggled for survival but shut down in the early 1960s.

From 1967 to 1978, Charles E. Dederich’s Syanon Foundation used the building for its drug rehab program. Thereafter, until 1997, the building served as a nutrition and health-care center, the Pritikin Longevity Center. When the latter shut down, the Edward Thomas Hospitality Corporation bought the property and gave it a makeover that cost over $50 million. In October 1999, the hotel in del Mar opened again to great response.

Moreover, following its 1999 reopening, the Hotel Casa has been steadily increasing its business. General manager James Barela quipped that the Hotel Casa del Mar has three things going for it, “Location, location, location.”

Located in West Los Angeles, facing the ocean is this property in Santa Monica and hotels don’t always boast of such wonderful locations. Inside, the Hotel Casa, you will find plush seats, grand pillars and a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean. As you enter, there is the sense of stepping back in time. Yet, this is not a relic from the past. No hotel housing a restaurant that has an iPad wine list can be accused of being too old.

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