I've stayed at this property three times in the last nine months, each time about one week. The location is not only beautiful, but also practical. There are many restaurants, bars, the beach and many other things within walking distance, and it isn't too far from LAX airport - about 25 minutes by car. Each stay was during the week on business as we held conferences there for our customers. Don't expect a modern, state-of-the-art hotel. It is an older property with a lot of charm, and very sweetly renovated.
This last stay was disappointing. While there is still the charm of the beautiful building, location and the carefully renovated rooms, we noticed that the service quality dropped massively, and this mainly in the Baleen - the restaurant. The service was not only slow, they brought wrong drinks, couldn't get ice tea made for two days straight - and didn't realize that for about half an hour. The service was slow, sometimes very slow, and almost lazy. Even though there weren't many customers, they were hesitant to serve us in the downstairs area which is may 30 to 40 feet away from the main restaurant. I can't say the staff wasn't friendly, they were. But they seemed to be lacking motivation with maybe the exception of one or two who did go out of there way to serve us outside.
The other issue with the Portofino is that they don't seem to realize that conference guests are there to work and need to be productive, but the meeting facilities aren't really laid out for that, nor are things such as very pricy wifi and other things.
On the upside, it is a super charming location, and totally relaxing. If they can just fix the service issues and conference issues, it'd be darn near perfect.
I'd go there again, hoping that it will be better but wouldn't hesitate to find a new hotel if it doesn't live up to expectations again...