Open your balcony door and listen to the sounds of a naturally occurring Sea World at the Portofino: Ocean- and channel-side rooms echo with the calls of sea birds and sea lions; marina side rooms look over sailboats and docks. From the hotel's very private peninsula, walk or bike to the nearby seaside lagoon or rent a kayak and explore the protected harbor. Interiors are beachy but sophisticated—guest rooms are a mix of blues and yellows, set off by crisp, white bed
linens. Compact, well-designed bathrooms are accented in stainless steel, with extra-plush towels and pleasing bath products. In its own building overlooking the harbor, is Baleen, the hotel's excellent restaurant—a most welcome addition to the South Bay dining scene.