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Los Angeles: Luxe camping in downtown L.A., outdoors not required

March 01, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The "camping" suite at the Los Angeles Athletic Club is available for stays through Aug. 31.
The "camping" suite at the Los Angeles Athletic Club is available… (Los Angeles Athletic Club )

Ready to take the family camping this summer to experience sleeping on the hard ground, applying alternating layers of bug juice and sunscreen and rising early to make coffee on a two-burner gas stove? The Los Angeles Athletic Club Hotel says it doesn't have to be that way.

The boutique hotel at 431 W. 7th St. in downtown L.A. offers an Urban Camping Package that's all about the Great Indoors. This isn't remotely close to camping but rather a stylized visit to the land of tents and campfires.

Designer Jim Tanner decked out one of the hotel's nine suites as a "luxury campsite" that includes a tented king-sized bed, a tepee filled with throw pillows, an electric fondue set to make upscale s'mores and decorations such as saddles, animal throws and "cow poke" art. Oh, and there's a survival kit with Champagne and trail mix.

Miss the ghost stories? "Friday the 13th" and other movies will send you hiding under the covers of your cushy un-sleeping bag.

The real drawing card to this inside outdoors: the 80,000-square-foot fitness center. It has an indoor basketball court, squash courts and indoor pool as well as workout machines and spin classes.

Spokesman Mike Stommel says the camping package may appeal to couples who want to stay in the city without being in the typical "cookie-cutter" hotel room and families with kids. Either way, it goes for $429 a night plus tax, based on availability, and includes breakfast and parking. Use the code "CAMP" when making a reservation.

The hotel with 72 rooms and nine suites in the 100-year-old building has been renovated in the past few years. Guests receive temporary memberships to the Athletic Club to take advantage of the fitness center and other amenities.

Info: Los Angeles Athletic Club Hotel, (800) 421-8777.
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