Last year Priceline declared that the staycation was practically dead. This year a WalletHub report ranked Los Angeles as No. 68 among the 100 best cities for U.S. staycations.
Should you staycation or should you go? Depends on how much money you have in your vacation budget and what L.A. area hotels come up with to elevate the fun factor for a stay-at-home getaway.
Here are two Southern California hotels that don's use the S-word but do offer things more fun than chocolates on your pillow. For instance, you can:
—Learn synchronized swimming: The recently refurbished Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City invites the public and guests to star in their own splashy Busby Berkeley-style scene. Turn up at the hotel's pool on Sunday evenings and learn from the pros, the Aqualillies, who have elevated the retro fad to a new standard of cool entertainment.
Classes are Sundays through Sept. 28. Beginners go from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and intermediates from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. It costs $29 for a single class, $72 for a three-class package and $20 for hotel guests. For information and to enroll, go to the Aqualillies website or send an email.
To create a staycation, grab a room starting at $179 a night plus tax.
—Play ball, volleyball: The tony Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica invites guests and the public to play volleyball at its summer Miramar Beach & Pool Club from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays until Aug. 30. Just show up and they'll set you up on a team. The best part? It's free, and if you're good you can win prizes from swimwear maker Vilebrequin's boutique at the hotel.
Added freebie: free popcorn and poolside movies from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday nights: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (July 4) and "Willow" (July 11).
If you choose to spend the night, rooms start at $419 plus tax.