Backstory The Dusit brand has been a luxury mainstay in its native Thailand—and across Asia and the Middle East—since 1948, and it added the youthful, tech-driven dusitD2 line to its portfolio back in 2006. Last fall, Dusit’s first U.S. property debuted in a converted 1920s hotel in Pasadena—directly on the Rose Parade route, of course—as part of a hotel boomlet that promises to re-invigorate this once-sleepy hamlet. The first phase of development brings 130 rooms; next year will see the addition of a lounge, a rooftop pool and a spa.
Design Notes Opened in 1926 by socialite Constance Perry, the grand Hotel Constance once attracted scores of Midwesterners hoping to escape the winter snow. You’ll still find the occasional era-appropriate detail—coffered ceilings, carved marble friezes on the facade, a serene fountain in the courtyard. But thanks to a $60 million renovation and redesign by Hong Kong–based designer Joey Ho, the vibe here now skews more modern, with sleek white furnishings, modish curvilinear installations and a cool palette of greens and blues.
Amazing Amenities Home to Caltech and a burgeoning startup scene, Pasadena ranks as one of SoCal’s most progressive tech hubs. Engineers will love the hotel’s thoughtful use of technology, from in-room iPads (to adjust the AC or lighting, make reservations or call housekeeping), to a smart key system that alerts housekeeping when you’re out of the room, to the most important gadget of all: the ultra-smart toilets found in all suites, which come complete with built-in bidets and blow dryers.
What You’ll Find Just Outside Among snobbier Angelenos, Pasadena is seen as out-of-the-way and suburban, but there’s a lot going on here—from the stunning city hall (which served as the Pawnee government offices on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”) to the boutiques and cafés of Old Pasadena. The city also has a surprisingly robust art scene, including the modern-skewing collection at the Norton Simon Museum and the immaculately manicured grounds, rare manuscripts and world-famous paintings at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.