Built in 1906 and essentially rebuilt in 1991, this dowager hotel stands on 23 acres of manicured grounds. If my August stay is a fair indication, it has slipped since its days (1991-2007) as a Ritz-Carlton (and celebrated chef Michael Voltaggio has left, with the Dining Room to reopen as the Royce on Oct. 22 under chef David Feau), but it's more affordable now (as little as $209 a night), the old painted bridge and pool are still fun, the afternoon tea and public rooms are a treat, the 380 rooms are stately, the spa is next door. Info: (626) 568-3900, http://www.pasadena.langhamhotels.com.
Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times
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