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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Palm Springs to Redondo Beach Road Trip Ends at Hotel

Updated: Feb 18

Palm Springs to Redondo Beach Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina lobby with firepit and seashell patterned carpet.
Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina Patio Photo by Kathy Condon

We, residents of Palm Springs, California, appreciate our sunshine 350 days a year, but we sometimes feel wanderlust raise its head. Then we know we need a change of scenery. So, when I had the opportunity to review Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina, I was more than ready to explore a new area. Plus, those of you reading my website, Palm Springs Insider Guide, know I love to share my discoveries with my readers.

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Redondo Beach is just south of the Los Angeles airport. So long ago, I learned that if I'm taking a road trip to the area, I must get up bright and early to beat the work traffic or wait until after 9:00 a.m. to leave Palm Springs. It is 120 miles, so it is two hours' driving time with good traffic.

I passed the exit for the Nixon Presidential Library in Loma Linda, which I had previously visited. You can review my reaction when I traveled there with a friend a year ago. No matter what your political leanings, I urge you to see this Presidential Library.

My goal to be at the beach at 11:00 a.m. was achieved. Check-in at Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina was a breeze. It wasn't long before I was on the way to my room. The hotel is built in a U so that more rooms can have an ocean view. Thus, be sure to wear comfortable shoes because some rooms are quite far from the bank of elevators.

The opened door revealed a patio with a lovely ocean view from the 6th floor. With brilliant sunshine and warm weather, it was the perfect place to have coffee in the morning or have a cocktail in the afternoon. Hey, I've come here to relax, and both sound equally inviting.

Square Bar with chandelier over the top and man serving a drink.
Harbor Bar and Grill at the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina Photo by Kathy Condon

Time for Lunch

After pursuing my room, the hunger bug reminded me I had eaten breakfast early. When I arrived, I noticed the Harbor Bar & Bistro appeared to be a happening place. It is just steps away from the hotel's entrance.

I sat down at the bar and was immediately drawn into the conversations. It quickly became apparent that many people eating or having a cocktail had been here before. The conversation soon turned to talking about the staff.

People who frequent this hotel and bar talked about how they had met staff members who have been here for 30 years, with 15 years probably the average. I had already noticed the staff smiles and the accommodating service. With staff staying that long, it is well known that the administrations most likely treat their employees well.

Adjacent to the bar is a lovely lounge area. People chatting, while others found a quiet space to use their phones.

Meeting room at Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina. Tones of brown pattern carpet and scalloped chandliers.
Meeting Room at Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina. Note the unusual lighting fixtures. Photo by Kathy Condon

Tour of the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina

I met the lovely concierge at the appointed time. We visited the many meeting rooms and noted that the artwork on the walls was original, most with a beach theme. Walls can be reconfigured for any size of meeting or conference.

The heated outside pool is next to a large space perfect for a wedding with an ocean view.

On the top floor are windows with beautiful ocean views and a Grab-and-Go shop, accessible with specific hotel keys. It was well stocked, and I loved eating the biscotti with my morning coffee.

Then there was a surprise. I have never seen a hotel with a calming room for the employees.We quietly entered. I first noticed how the high ceiling was draped with cloth. A waterfall feature provided the sound of rushing water while calming music played in the background.

A couple of employees stretched out on lounge chairs while a nearby refrigerator provided water. Maria explained that the administration realizes employees can have difficult things going on in their lives or work with demanding visitors. This room is for them to chill out. I am betting this is one of the reasons employees stay so long, for they understand IF the administration provides a space like this, they genuinely care about their employees.

A set of stairs that have a mural like effect made with tiles. It is an ocean wave.
Stairs on walk from Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina to the Redondo Pier Photo by Kathy Condon

Time to Explore on Trip from Palm Springs to Redondo Beach

The Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina location provides easy access to the beach and nearby restaurants. It was a beautiful day, so I went on foot to explore.

Captain Kidd's market was fun to peruse the fresh seafood you could buy to prepare in your home or kitchenette if you had one in your rental. Since I wasn't hungry, I wasn't interested in going to the restaurant, but noted it was available.

Directly across from the hotel is a large building rumored to become a restaurant soon. It is on prime property with a great view, so it is expected to be a great asset.

At the marina at Redondo Beach. A sign posts mileage to cities uch as Belfast, Milwaukee etc.
Redondo Beach Marina in Southern California Photo by Kathy Condon

Redondo Beach Pier

I walked but noticed a hefty parking fee in the large parking garage. I loved the murals along the walkway and was enamored with the tiles, creating a mural-like effect on one of the stairways.

While walking, I got a bit confused and found myself on the level of modern offices and a few shops. It's impressive how the developer built them on a level above the Pier. I spied an elevator and took it down to the Redondo Beach Pier to begin exploring.

There were shops you would expect to see on a beach. At the end of the Pier, numerous fishermen hope to catch their evening meal.

At lunchtime, I opted to try Tony's on the Pier, also known as Old Tony's. I enjoyed my fish and chips and cold beer while watching the waves lapping up over the nearby boulders.

A little shopping resulted in a new silver necklace from a lovely pearl shop going out of business. Too bad, for it had beautiful pearl jewelry.

View of the entrance of the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina SOL restaurant. Lighting marks the path.
Entrance to SOL. Sonesta Redondo Beach and Mariina Restaurant Photo by Kathy Condon

Dinner at the SOL

One of the highlights of the visit to the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina was having dinner at the SOL Restaurant. It is located adjacent to the hotel's entrance. The well-lit entrance made you feel like a star entering a special place.

I smiled when I saw the décor—very different—an elegance about it, but with still a rustic feel. Large picnic-like tables made of boards rough-hewed but with a lovely, polished seal. They were set with settings for four, two across from each other. Fresh flowers served as beautiful centerpieces on each table.

Addison, the Food and Beverage Manager for the Sonesta Redondo Beach, greeted me as I arrived. I sat down and perused the menu. After a discussion with Addison, I decided I wanted to be surprised.

The wonton soup was superb. The word is that the chef forms each wonton by hand. There was no question in my mind the broth contained some of his secret ingredients.

Ahi tuna on top of avocados surrounded with cucumbers and crackers.
Ahi Tuna Appetizer at Sol Restaurant in the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina Photo by Kathy Condon

Next to arrive was Ahi Tuna Tartare. Until now, I thought I was not too fond of this dish. After eating this, I find myself craving it---looks like I'll have to return to Redondo Beach just for that.

My main entree, Honey Walnut Shimp, with scallion, garlic, and aioli, arrived, and it was apparent I needed a dining partner because the serving was so large. I looked around and noticed all the entrees were large. The SOL is a restaurant that encourages sharing. Various serving dishes were used for the main course, including a charcuterie board.

My choice for dessert was an Espresso Martini. Oh my, one of the best.

Stuffed pug animal sitting in a small car advertising the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina is a pet friendly hotel
Mascot at the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina Photo by Kathy Condon

Time to Head Back to Palm Springs

With my suitcase packed, I sat on the patio with a cup of coffee. Adjacent to the SOL restaurant is a large alcove serving breakfast, a continuation of the Harbor Bistro and Bar. A buffet is available, and my spinach and feta cheese omelet made to order was the perfect choice to sustain me for my drive home.

The valet brought my car to the front of the hotel. It was a wonderful stay. I smiled as I drove out of the driveway. I felt relaxed and delighted about what I had learned and appreciated the grace the Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina staff showed me during my two-day stay.

Even if you have just a day, a road trip from Palm Springs to Redondo Beach is worth the effort. However, if you want to plan a longer stay, consider this hotel, one that honors its staff, a location perfect for exploring our Southern California Coast, and terrific cuisine.

Kathy Condon in white shirt and wearing large gold beads.
Kathy Condon Travel Writer and Journalist

Kathy Condon is a journalist, travel writer, and award-winning author. Her niche is luxury experiences and communities living in the shadows of larger cities. About Kathy  760-902-3094











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Jan 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Lovely overview of a great property!


Jan 20
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Enjoyed the article! However, i think there's a typo - it's Yorba Linda, not Loma Linda, where the Nixon Prez Library is

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