LUGGAGE INSIDE, THEN HEAD OUTSIDE: Every traveler has a different arrive-at-the-hotel ritual. Some sniff the complimentary soap found in their bathroom, some try out the television, and others check out the closet. But many people, it can be said, share this trait in common: They place their suitcase on the luggage rack and then head back out, the better to eye the hotel's immediate environs, the area sights, and possibly the beach, if there is a beach nearby. But what if, while checking out your room, you notice a whole bunch of rain streaming down the window? Kind of puts a damper -- literally -- on your later exploration plans. Some hotels, however, are greeting the wintry rainy season with pluck and packages, too.
PACIFIC EDGE HOTEL... in Laguna Beach, which sits cheek-by-jowl -- or surf-by-beach -- with the ocean, is greeting the El Niño forecast with a way for guests to savor a stay and not mind any moisture in the process. The package is indeed named after the every-so-often weather event, and it includes an "(i)n-room DVD player with a wide selection of movies for all ages," a cheese and charcuterie platter to nibble while watching the films, and an Oceanfront Room or Village View Apartment, which'll give the guest an eye on the ocean, should they pause the movie now and then. Oceans, of course, look postcard-perfect in the sunshine, but a rainstorm brings out new depth and character in the powerful Pacific.
SHOULD YOU VENTURE OUT... you'll have a "Laguna Local" umbrella to keep you dry, and a trucker hat paying homage to Laguna Beach's Sleep Hollow. If communing with the rain for a few minutes has you wishing for a warm up, there's one back at the hotel: A comp bottle of wine for your room, which you'll snag upon arrival. It turns out you can weather the weather and do a bit of neighborhood exploring, or, conversely, stay tucked up in your hotel room with films and cheese and wine and a window to watch the droplets meet the wide, wide water beyond the beach.
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HOW TO BOOK: Use the code ELNINO through March 15, 2016.