If you just want to 'party” this IS NOT the place. If you want to just 'crash' it might be, BUT if you want to be able to relax and feel at home, like or love to cook, read books (730+), watch movies (over 1,600 + 6 3D movies with 3D glasses), listen to music (36,000+ songs) and feel like you are at home with lots of amenities and attention to detail this is definitely the place. It's the front half of a duplex on a residential street that was just completely remodeled, even completely re-wired, and most of everything is new (except some furniture) I live in the back half.
I’ve had a difficult time explaining what it exactly is to my friends as there is nothing I know of exactly like it. Here’s the genesis of the concept; I traveled a lot in the wine biz (20-40 weeks a year for a long time) and I got so tired of hotels (from okay to top notch), lobbies, parking hassles, lousy coffee & tea, hotel TV, no refrigerator, no way to prepare any food, having to eat out every night etc. Relaxing, escaping or unwinding on the road was hard to do in the sterile atmosphere of hotels. I wanted a place like 'home' where I could relax and be comfortable, have a fridge for keeping the wines & food, a place to prepare it and ideally have the potential to entertain clients, friends or reps in a home like environment. I took some ideas from the top hotels & from B&B’s, but no matter where I stayed I very rarely got my 3 basic essentials to start a good day: a good night’s sleep on a good mattress with good pillows and lsheets, the right temperature and fresh air; a good shower; and great cup of coffee or tea without having to leave my room to get it or pay room service prices, are all of those are here plus much more.
How I addressed my 3 basics for a good start:
For the bedroom:
Queen bed with a new Sealy Posturepedic Memory Foam with cooling gel; high quality and threadcount cotton sheets, flannel in the colder months; comforter & blankets as needed. Choice of 2 pillows from: Hotel Collection Hungarian Down (1 ea, $300+ retail per)– Firm for side sleepers or Medium for back sleepers; Memory Foam Hydraluxe Cooling; Nova Foam Memory Curve or Down Alternative (2). Temperature: Windows (3) open to driveway; ceiling fan; the wall heater is just out the bedroom door and an electric blanket is available as is a room fan. Nights are normally comfortable, it’s 3 miles to the ocean.
Delta Lahara 2 in 1 shower head with good water pressure; Noritz tankless water heater so you will never run out of hot water; Charisma bath sheets & towels and a towel warmer (1 at a time). There is a choice of robes and slippers in the bedroom closet.
The morning wake-up:
Organic Whole Bean Coffee: You tell me what type of coffee you like & it will be here with a Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill to grind the quantity you choose however you like it. There are 6 ways to make ground coffee; Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, La CafeTiére French Press, De'Longhi Retro BAR32 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, Melitta Pour-Over Single Cup Brewing Cone, Hario V60-02 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, and a Primula stainless steel stove top espresso maker.
Pod Coffee & Cappuccino: Nescafe Dolce Gusto, I have Cappuccino, Caffé Americano (House Blend) 100% Arabica & Chococino (Hot Chocolate, no coffee) but I will get whatever your choice is.
I will also get whatever sweetener and milk or cream that you want .
Tea: I have a choice of 6 whole leaf teas some organic; an immersion tea pot; electric & stove top tea kettles. I will also get your choice of tea if I don’t have it.
Other: Fresh juice oranges from the Santa Monica Farmers Market with a Cuisinart Pulp Control Juicer provided. Fresh farmers market eggs will also be provided if desired as will protein bars, cereal, bread or muffins of your choice.
For unwinding and relaxing:
TV: Direct TV with HBO, the bedroom has a 46” Sony & the living room has a 55” Vizio 3D TV. The living room has Bose Acoustic Mass 6 speaker surround sound. I will record on the DVR any shows you would like to see if you let me know in advance in either or both rooms.
Movies: You will have a choice of over 1,500 movies to choose from that I own & will provide you like a local Netflix from the list you give me. The list is on my website on the amenities page. There is a blu-ray player in both the living room(3D) and bedroom.
Books: About 500 in the house, lots of cookbooks and food & wine related, fiction, non fiction, sports, many award winning etc. There is a clip on book light on the night stand. The list is on my website on the amenities page.
Computer: There is ASUS Book Vivo (touchscreen net) book in the living by the electrically reclining leather couch and free WiFi for any of your devices.
Music: 35,000+ songs are on the computer in the Amazon Cloud Player with several playlists to choose from; you can just put it on shuffle on any playlist or I will create a playlist for you by artists, genre, style etc. that reflect your taste. The music can be played through all the Bose surround speakers or just the ones near the TV via Bluetooth. There is also am Unplug portable Bluetooth speaker that will play in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or front porch if you choose. The complete music list on my website on the amenities page.
Lighting: Ambiance and mood were the leading considerations, so all of the lights in the house are on Lutron Diva dimmers except the ceiling fans which have a different dimmer for the lights. The bar, dining table and living room all have Besa glass hand blown fixtures. The Living room has 5 sconces and the dining table has a globe pendant (no overhead lighting), the bar has pendants but no direct downward light. The kitchen has “canned” very bright LED’s in the ceiling and small amber hidden LED’s under the cabinets.
Flowers: There will always be flowers in the bedroom, living room & on the dining table and/or the bar. All from the farmers market or the garden outside, orchids when in season and almost always non fragrant unless requested otherwise.
Front porch: There is a Jack Post Patio Glider with tables on each side for you beverage of choice and/or ashtray.
Cooking: The complete list of cooking tools and equipment is ???? There is a Brinkman dual BBQ grill outside the back that has both a charcoal and a propane side with a burner. There is a lettuce and herb garden outside as well that will change with the seasons, I will try to keep the listing current. Right now, I just replanted the lettuce and cilantro, there is basil, rosemary, chives, garlic chives, savory, lemon savory, oregano, Cuban oregano, Greek oregano, thyme, lemon thyme, curly & Italian parsley, dill, peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, sage, pineapple sage, apple mint, orange mint, epazote, arugula, wild arugula, medicinal aloe vera (for burns), marjoram & Provencal lavender.
Ice Cream: I will stock the freezer with a pint of your favorite (locally available) ice cream.
Bar et al:
Glassware (6ea); Spieglau red & white wine glasses, Govino stemless wine glasses, Champagne flutes, Schott Zweisel Tritan double rocks glasses, Schott Zwiesel by Charles Schumann Cocktail Cup Tritan martini glasses, Authentic British Tulip Beer Glass with Imperial Pint Etched Seal. There are also Beer Essential glasses (4 each labeled in the corner kitchen cabinet); Classic Pint, IPA, Saison & Porter. There is a decanter on the bar shelf.
Tools etc: Charles Schumann’s recipe book American Bar, bar tools, shaker a bottle trivet on the bar shelf. In the top drawer just out of the kitchen there is; an Oggi Wine opener, waiters corkscrew, foil cutter, wine charms made for the house by my friend Barbara, a Vacu-Vin pump & corks, a Brookstone wine preserver, a champagne stopper and a soda stopper (my preference for sparkling wine).
Ice: All from filtered water; Cubed or crushed from the freezer door, 2 Tevolo King silicone ice cube trays (6 each per tray 2” square cubes, 12 tota), 6 Tevolo Ice Spheres (2.5” round spheres) and 9 natural soapstone “On The Rocks Chilling Stones” in the freezer which can be used to shill any beverage without dilution.
Beer: There will be a 2 Sierra Nevada Pale Ales in the fridge.
Other stuff of note:
There is an Everpure H-1200 water filtration system under the sink that comes out of the small faucet in the top of the sink (it’s labeled) for room temp water or cooking and it also filters the water to the fridge & freezer (which filters it again). The tap water isn’t that bad but this is much better and you don’t have to buy bottled water.
Appliances, Cabinets etc. (All are new):
Thomasville cabinets with brass silverware pulls
Granite counter tops, bar and mantle
Burnished Straw Plank Cork Flooring with a Chef's Design Ultra Comfort Gel Mat by the sink
Frigidaire Gallery Counter Depth Side by Side Refrigerator in Stainless Steel
Frigidaire Gallery Gas Range in Stainless Steel
Broan Elite Range Hood in Stainless Steel
GE Spacemaker washer & dryer
Kenmore Dishwasher in Stainless Steel
Kohler Stainless Steel commercial sink 33x22
Moen Motion Sensor single Handle pull down faucet (motion sensor currently unplugged so people that aren’t familiar with it don’t get a surprise burst of water. Your choice, on or off)
Waste King 1 HP continuous feed garbage disposal
Moen soap dispenser (dish soap)
Sharp Insight 24” drawer(pull out) microwave in stainless steel
Umbra hands free motion sensor hand free soap dispenser (hand soap)
iTouchless Deodorizer Touch-Free Sensor 13-Gallon Automatic Stainless-Steel Trash Can
Comfortable leather swivel bar stools
Henckels Bellasara 45 piece 18/10 stainless flatware set (service for 8)
Henckels International stainless steak knives (6)
Ginsu Chikara Stainless Steel Knife Set with Bamboo Block (Ginsu, who knew? Great knives, Consumer Reports Best Buy) Henckel 5 Star available on request
My mom & grandparents bought this duplex and I now live in the back unit. I love music, food, wine and was an avid golfer and played in college. I was in the restaurant business and then in the wine business for over 25 years before retiring to spend time with my mom for 5 years before her passing. I cook for fun, friends and family, I have catered parties and cooked meals for a week at a time for a couple in Montecito when I lived in Santa Barbara. I know the city well and the surrounding areas & will gladly assist in any way I can with whatever you would like to do or wherever you want to go.
Lance Bowling purchased this house in 1963
Easy to get almost anywhere including Malibu, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, downtown LA, amusement parks, shopping, restaurants, movie studios, many beaches and museums. Easy free parking with everything here for a very comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable stay whether it's for business, pleasure or a combination of both.
Completely redefines the business & vacation rental guest experience with personal choices, luxury appointments and amenities. You have complete privacy and everything you need to enjoy yourself already here plus concierge like service if you desire. I provide fresh fruit, eggs, butter, Harry's Berries strawberries in season and oranges for juice from the farmers market, bread, coffee & tea choices (with 6 ways to make coffee including espresso), your choice of dairy products and sweeteners for it, ice cream & cookies plus a fully stocked pantry. Free WiFi with high speed internet and an ASUS touchscreen netbook for you use.
Completely remodeled just to be a vacation & business rental with great attention to detail. Almost everything is new, incredible kitchen with EVERYTHING, herb garden, 3D TV with 3D glasses (more available), Bose surround sound, lots of amenities that you won't find other places unless they cost a whole lot more. Westchester Golf Course is at the end of the block with a park just on far side of the golf course. Shopping and restaurants within blocks.
I will gladly help you plan your trip, make suggestions or reservations, for wherever you want to do, eat or see. I also have a GPS you can borrow that has traffic is programmed to take you 'home' from anywhere.
Written in the guest book:
A perfect place to stay while visiting our son at LMU. So comfortable and luxurious. We need to come back just to enjoy the cookbook library! Thank you for being such a gracious host!
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this review, you will be aware of the informative website for Relais in LA. Lance Bowling, the proprietor has provided an inexpensive, close to downtown, residential haven that you sometimes wish you hadn’t rented because you won’t want to leave. We have traveled to many places around the world over the years and have never encountered a host like Lance. We were greeted with his usual fresh flowers in the rooms, a fruit dish that lasted a week, sherbet, cookies, coffee, bread, farmers eggs; essentially everything you need to get started. Just in case we wanted to cook there was a gas/charcoal BBQ, and a fully outfitted kitchen (I bet many chefs would envy the cooking gear he has in the well-stocked kitchen). If you think you’ll get a good deal with the spacious well-outfitted comfortable environment he provides, wait till you see the extras like the stereo system, 3D TV, extensive music collection and hundreds of books. He also has an impressive and extensive collection of movies, which he will provide through the mail slot on request. As Lance says, he made sure he bought the best of everything and it definitely shows. His intention is to provide a home-away-from home and he has succeeded! Unfortunately we had only allocated a week in LA, so were gone every day to see the sights and couldn’t make use of the amenities as much as we would have liked to. Lance even had that covered and provided lots of information about the area and insights on what to do. There is just too much to mention here but, as I said earlier, just have to review his website to get the full list. Believe me, all of it is true. I could be writing through the night and still not cover the good times we had at Lance’s place. We won't stay anywhere else when in L.A. This is one of the times when that old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, doesn’t apply.
Honestly i am hesitant to review this place because part of me wants to keep this gem to myself. Nothing short of an amazing experience! If I could give this place more than five stars I would! For the service and amenities provided this place should cost double what it does per night to stay. If it isn't at the house chances are you don't need it. Endless selection of books (especially cookbooks), music, and movies. Kitchen is a gourmet kitchen fit for a chef stocked with every appliance known to man and a stocked pantry to match that you are free to use during your stay. We were even provided fresh fruit from the farmers market, farm fresh eggs, and much more (really too much to even mention here). Lance the owner/host is amazing and will help you with any request you have and usually already takes care of any questions you might have before you can even think to ask. Location is central to everything including airport (but not too close) so even if you don't have a car you can Uber or Lyft to get you where you want to go quickly. We were so thrilled with our trip we are already planning our next one and have decided that this is the only place that will do. We have never had an experience like this and don't think we could have found it anywhere else!
We chose Lance's home as we were would be visiting our daughter and her family for 23 days and required a place for that length of time that would allow us to have the freedom as if we were back home and all of our expectations were greatly exceeded. The kitchen facilities are a gourmets dream. There was not one utensil,small/large appliance or dish missing.Lance was more than accommodating to ensure we had everything we needed from the fresh oranges,strawberries and eggs from the local market to any type of coffee, tea,bread and fully stocked pantry. We love to cook and this kitchen was fantastic. Did i mention the fridge was stocked with beer from a local micro brewery. We can't begin to describe all the reading material especially the cookbooks and movies that were available. There was not enough time to read through them all. And this being our first trip to LA the magazines and books on things to do in LA was very helpful and Lance was a great resource as well. The bed was very comfortable,sheets and pillows luxurious and we had plenty of space for all our clothes.Again attention to detail,there were robes,slippers,steamer for clothes.Fresh flowers every week in all the rooms. Any toiletries you required were there and backup in the cupboards. As we stayed for a while Lance brought us to the local market to purchase fresh produce from the vendors which was wonderful and my husband managed to get in a golf game with Lance which is within walking distance to the house. The neighbour's were very friendly and the neighbourhood quiet, close to all the beaches,Santa Monica,Manhattan Beach,Marina Delray and not too far for a nice drive to Redondo and Hermosa beach area.We felt we made a new friend in Lance during our stay and were sad to leave. It was stupendous and we were thrilled with our home away from home. Thanks Lance!!!!☺
When we visit our son, who attends nearby Loyola Marymount University, we generally stay at the Custom House hotel simply because it is close to the campus (it is not the most comfortable accommodation for people over 50, with low-to-the ground beds and poolside parties).
However this time our son asked us to supply food service for his on-campus senior thesis film shoot so we needed a kitchen. When we discovered Lance’s listing we were thrilled because of its location. “Thrilled” does not begin to describe the incredible luxury, comfort and hospitality Lance offers. His gourmet cookware, utensils and appliances, as well as the sensuous sheets, pillows, towels and blankets spoiled us. Lance is a generous host stocking the unit with our choice of coffee, tea, farmer’s market produce, eggs, gourmet ice cream, etc. The unit’s kitchen is better stocked than our home --- and we like to cook!
Lance has carefully thought of everything a guest might want including multiple choices for icing one’s single malt Scotch whiskey which one can sip from beautifully crafted glassware. The coffee table is filled with an array of books for the Southern California visitor, everything from the best places to eat, to an engaging book on L.A.’s architecture. The reclining couch and large screen television provide a relaxing atmosphere to end one’s day after enjoying the area. And did I mention the wall of cookbooks? My husband wants to return just to browse through the books, Scotch in hand.
The location was perfect for us. The easy parking, with only two steps into the unit, made taking groceries and luggage in and out very simple and convenient.
We highly recommend Lance’s place for anyone who wants more than the comforts of home while visiting the Marina del Ray, West L.A. area. It is a short drive to the aforementioned Marina del Ray, Venice, Santa Monica and southward to the beach cities of Hermosa, El Segundo, Manhattan and Redondo.
Goodbye Custom House! We will definitely book Lance’s place next time we visit the area.
I am well overdue on this review, but I feel it still needs to be written. First of all, the accommodations were top notch. The bed is very comfortable, the kitchen has everything you need, and the living area is very comfortable. You are not within walking distance of any entertainment districts, but I thought the location was still very centralized. I was doing most of my business in Marina del Rey and was only about a 5-10 minute drive away. Lance is an excellent host. He really goes out of his way to make sure your stay is comfortable. When I first contacted him, he went down a list of things that I might want while I was staying (thanks for the breakfast selection... and more importantly, the beer!). This is something that I don't usually expect on VRBO, so I was pleasantly surprised. It would be very hard to find a better value in LA and I will be staying here when I visit again.
This was the most comfortable I've ever been while away from home. I slept soundly; very nice sheets, pillows & mattress. The owner provides wonderful fruit and fresh foods for breakfast. I loved fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning. Everything I needed was here; it was like being in my own home. I've been called OCD when it comes to germs and he met my standards...from dust mite protection down to the brand new clean sponge in the kitchen.
He is an excellent cook too! It was very clean and the fresh flowers were lovely. I felt safe alone here and it's in a nice quiet, safe location.
It was truly like stepping into my own home, and it made my stay very easy and relaxed.
Quiet residential neighborhood with plenty of parking, shopping, markets & restaurants within 1 mile. Close to freeways, major roads & highways so it's easy to get anywhere. The beach is less than 3 miles and extends many miles north & south. Golf course & driving range at the end of the block with a park with a pool in the summer next to it. LMU, LAX are very close as well. El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Culver City, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood and West LA are all with 10 miles.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
|Cleaning, mid stay+final||$50|
I accept PayPal, Credit Cards, personal & travelers checks and cash. It's $25 per person, per night for a 3rd person. There is well stocked pantry plus breakfast foods, fresh orange juice, farmers market fruit etc.
For more detailed info and to access my PayPal button please go to my website: http://www.relaisinla.com
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.