Redondo Beach California Accor Hotel
As America approached the 20th century, the city of Redondo Beach had only just been incorporated and was eager to become a secular destination. Located on the south shore of Santa Monica Bay and just a few miles south of the city of Los Angeles, California, it had large underwater canyons that allowed one to get close enough to unload railroad cars waiting at one of the several wharves on the beach. The porch also offered guests panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, dotted with three-masted ships waiting to dock at the quay to load barrels directly onto train carriages destined for markets in nearby Los Angeles.
Thompson and Ainsworth decided that a grand hotel was needed to accommodate the growing number of passenger ships and support the tourist trade that attracted tourists and trade to Redondo Beach.
Most visitors arrived at Redondo Beach via steamship stops, but retreats brought thousands of people to the coastal paradise. To facilitate easy arrival and departure from the hotel in Redondo, a two-track railway line was built and served by a first class train that ran every day. The rail line connected downtown Redonda Beach with the city of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, as well as San Francisco and San Diego.
The grounds south of the hotel included an 18-hole golf course, where the Redondo Beach Country Club often held open and handicap golf tournaments. The golf season opened at the beginning of the summer and was played for both men and women, and the 18th hole was a celebrated experience. The veranda provided shade from the hotel and was designed for the 7th Regiment Band, which often played concerts in the afternoons on warm summer days. For $3 to $13 a week, guests could stay in tents with wooden floors and electric lights.
For a more private experience and an extension to the hotel, it offered several nearby beach huts. Hotel guests often strolled along the esplanade in their finest Victorian outfits, enjoying the irregular sea views peeking out from the cottages scattered along the wide avenue.
Hundreds of double-hung windows ensured that the sun touched every room sometime in the day. Outside, there were more seating available, like tables sheltered from the sun by giant palm trees whose branches stretched more than 30 feet in each branch.
In the middle of each table stood potted plants, interspersed with flowers and plants of various kinds, some of which were completely hidden in the water. Apparently, the rich dark leaves of some plants grew in the shade of the trees, completely hidden from the sun or even from the eyes of their owners.
The outside of the hotel was punctuated by a row of Cambridge cruciferous flowers with towers of varying sizes, their red-brick fireplaces dotted with classic Victorian cowls. The exterior walls were mainly clad with gingerbread wood, some of which stood more than six metres high. A veranda supported by numerous Tuscan-style columns and paved with wooden planks snaked along the front elevation of this hotel.
The balance sheet is well documented: "The hall is in its usual glorious form, the cast is perfect. The LA Herald reported that Mrs. R. Post held a six-hand Euchre party at the hotel on September 18, 1904.
This part of the land known as the Ocean Tract went to the owners of the Redondo Beach Hotel and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. On 18 September 1904, the hotel hosted a celebration of the grand opening of a new railway station on the property, the John Lowe Railroad, to celebrate the recently completed electric railway built in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
When Henry Huntington took over the hotel in 1905, he sold the holiday homes to his brother-in-law John Huntington and sold them to the Redondo Beach Board of Supervisors. In 1889, the 433-acre Ocean Tract was sold for $12,000, and several seaside properties, including the hotels and vacation homes that still stand on the Esplanade, were bought by the Huntington family and their son, William Huntington.
In 1906, four prominent citizens of Redondo Beach leased the grounds of the Hotel Redondo in the north to open a tent city for guests. The large mud structure formed the backdrop for the grounds and offered enough space for seventy guests and a well-stocked kitchen.
The hotel was surrounded by lush vegetation, covered by gently sloping plots. The site was chosen for its natural beauty and proximity to the beach to the hotel entrance.
Fishing is a major attraction for many people in Redondo, and the quay in front of the hotel is the most popular fishing spot. There is also the possibility to spend the week at the Wharf from the sun to the sunset.