Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Waiting out the fire at Four Seasons

Posted @ 6:29 AM

CARLSBAD -- Colin O'Brien and his wife, Jocelyn, were enjoying a getaway at the Four Seasons in Manhattan when they heard about the fires in San Diego. At first, they weren't worried about their Rancho Santa Fe home of 10 years.

But by the time their plane touched down Monday, they were scared. They rushed to their house to retrieve computers, insurance papers and sentimental objects. Their neighbors took off for their second home in Carlsbad, and brought the O'Briens' cats with them.

Then they headed for one of the most comfortable places where evacuees could wait out the fires, the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad.

The Witch Creek fire tore through some of San Diego's toniest neighborhoods, including Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe. Some of their residents landed at upscale hotels like the Aviara, which is nestled at the end of a winding driveway lined by palm trees and birds of paradise and features a shushing fountain with sculpted flamingos, four restaurants and a spa.

Sweating about losing a house is certainly no fun no matter where you're staying, but it has to be a little easier when you can book a massage, practice your golf stroke on a putting green, soak in a whirlpool bath or order creme brulee and lamb chops from room service. Rooms at the Aviara start at $350 a night.

To check on his house, O'Brien called his answering machine, which he was relieved to find still picked up, and scanned the Internet on computers provided to guests. Provided there's no more bad news, he figures he'll be at the resort several more nights. "We forgot to pack clothes, though," he said.

Shouldn't be a problem really. The concierge can always direct him to Moonbeams or Peaches En Regalia, the resort's two boutiques.


-- JENIFER GOODWIN

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jenifer you should be ashamed of yourself. How pathetic! Taking advantage of this situation to post an ad about a hotel! Who are you in bed with? What was your compensation? Did you get a comp room at this hotel? I hear people are being slaughtered in Darfur you should look into that...you might get a free meal out of it.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think we want to hear about rich people being cozy during this whole mess?

Anonymous said...

Your "anti-elite" attitude is reallly screaming through your article. Just because someone is able to afford to stay at the Four Seasons doesn't make it any easier for them to lose their home. I am not wealthy by any means, but I have as much sympathy for these people as someone who lost a mobile home, or a rental apartment. Losing EVERYTHINGS is horrible, no matter how much $$$ you have!! Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

For the record, I was at the hotel yesterday and watched hotel employees try to stop her from bothering this guest. I think she was asked to leave and did so.

Anonymous said...

This makes me sick. Who gives a rats ass that you can get a massage and/or imnprove your golf swing when people are losing thier homes. Find something construtive to do - like move to the East coast

Anonymous said...

Are you FREAKIN serious?? Let me know about the families with 10 people living in a 2 bedroom APARTMENT. Where are they staying?? are they COZY and COMFORTABLE. Did they get a grand room in a hotel... oh wait we can't afford it..

Anonymous said...

pretty silly; who cares about the rich snoots when the county is in a crisis emergency? pathetic.

Anonymous said...

It isn't easy losing a house to fire regardless of financial standing. I lost my house to fire 20 years ago and have not gotten over it. While I was financially secure, the pain of being "wiped out" was very devastating. Please don't compare people's financial position with their ability to deal with such a significant loss. I lived in a nice place the entire time I was rebuilding and resettling my life. It did nothing to reduce the pain and anguish of watching my wife search in vain for pictures of her late father.

Anonymous said...

having money does not make this situation any less tragic. the issue here is the obnoxious tone of this article. we shouldn't be comparing losses, we should be supporting all victims of this terrible natural disaster.