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Author: jill-weinlein

Santa Monica’s Sexy Shangri-La

Built 1939, Santa Monica’s Hotel Shangri-La offers a unique elegant streamlined art deco design that resembles a luxury ocean liner, especially when you stand outside in the renovated multi-level courtyard deck. This property is known to locals as the hottest outdoor rooftop bar in Santa Monica. ONYX is a modern ’70s theme space-age lounge, decorated in sexy black, white, purple and gold colors. During sunset, this area is filled with people enjoying views of Malibu to Palos Verdes. In the evening, the changing colors on the giant ferris wheel at the nearby Santa Monica pier are an exciting backdrop....

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Wellness at Island Spa Catalina

Recently I cruised on a one hour Catalina Express boat ride from Long Beach to Catalina Island. The captain slowed down when a pod of dolphins were feeding, so we could all admire this magnificent mammals. Once I arrived in Avalon, I walked along to pedestrian-only front street to enjoy a day at the spa with a 60 minute Sea of Life facial, complimentary treatment enhancement, $30 credit at Encanto Cafe, 25% retail discount at the Spa Shoppe and complimentary access to all spa amenities. Walking into the spa, I was introduced to Spa Director Zach Thomas formerly of...

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A Sneak Peek Into the Governors Ball at This Year’s Emmy Awards

Recently I had the opportunity to see, taste and experience the 2018 Emmy Awards Governors Ball at L.A. Live up on the Event Deck. Hollywood’s largest dinner party is produced by Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions and/or the legendary chef and Patina Restaurant Group Founder, Joachim Splichal and the Patina Catering team will serve the nominees, presenters and guests an array of 35 chef-driven small plates and bites and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, including some celebrated favorites from the Michelin-starred Patina and the fabled Nicke + Stef’s Steakhouse. Before sipping on an Emmy cocktail, guests can fill up at the Nick & Stef’s...

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2018 Julia Child Award Winners Too Hot Tamales – Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

When Los Angeles based celebrity chefs, television personalities, cookbook authors and philanthropists Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger learned that they were receiving the 2018 Julia Child Award, they were thrilled. A distinguished panel from the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts awarded these two chefs. They are not only the first women to receive this honor, but also the first chef team to be acknowledged by this prestigious non-profit organization. The Foundation will be presenting their award on November 1, 2018 in association with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History at a gala event...

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Hotel Honoring Hawaii’s Queen Kapiolani

Across from Kapiolani Park, Honolulu Zoo and one short block from the surf of Waikiki Beach, the Queen Kapiolani Hotel is enjoying a $35 million dollar renovation. As one of the first modernistic hotels built in mid 1960s, its becoming one of the most authentic, engaging and unique properties in the Waikiki Beach area. There is a story behind this 19 floors and 315 room hotel offering ocean and Diamond Head views. In honor of the rich history of the Hawaii’s most beloved royal, Queen Kapiolani, the property is celebrating her deep commitment to health, education, and well-being of...

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Yappy Hour at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa

As the sun sets at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, guests bring their dogs out of their dog-friendly guest rooms and walk along the paved and grassy golf course paths, to socialize with other guests during “Yappy Hour.” The Westin Mission Hills is an upscale dog-friendly resort that caters to canine guests year-round.  Dogs up to 50 pounds are welcome to stay in guest rooms for no additional fee. Upon check-in, the resort will collect a refundable $100 deposit in case of damage to the room. Dogs have the opportunity to sleep in a signature Westin...

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Hawaiian Luxury: The Four Seasons Oahu in Ko Olina

Two years ago the JW Marriott in Ko Olina became the Four Seasons Oahu. Set among green lawns and a dramatic coastline with the Waianae Mountains in the background, the Four Seasons connected with designer Mary Philpotts and invested millions of dollars to transform the 17-story property into the most luxurious resort in the area. I had the opportunity to enjoy lunch at the resort’s Waterman Lounge and Bar with Yvonne Hunter, the Director of Public Relations and Joy Goto, with Stryker Weiner & Yokota. Meeting them at a table next to a circular pool, I mentioned how it’s much...

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New Golf Retreat in Loreto, Mexico

The newer luxury beach front Villa del Palmar Loreto resort opened a few years ago with a Rees Jones designed golf course. For a few years, the TPC Danzante Bay golf course offered 11 holes, until recently when seven additional dramatic holes were added to total 18 holes. There are 11 ocean-facing holes with some next to beach dunes near the property’s hotel, while others wind through the desert and up the dramatically chiseled canyon. This challenging course has four tees for all levels, and is the fourth international facility in the TPC network’s collection of championship golf courses. The highlight...

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10 Reasons to Stay at the Hilton Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is known as the seaside American Riviera offering a coastal mediterranean atmosphere with ideal temperatures during the day, swaying palm trees, red tile roofs on white plaster buildings, and billowing sails skimming the Pacific Ocean. The beloved Fess Parker Hotel in Santa Barbara recently had a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranding to the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. The long-standing partnership with the Fess Parker family and Hilton remains intact. Eli and Ashley Parker, son and daughter of Fess Parker said, “The resort may have a new look and a new name, but will continue to provide...

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Newport’s Newest Lido House Hotel

Walking into the newly opened Lido House, the first thing guests may notice about the Newport Cape Cod meets Newport Beach style resort is its signature scent. Asking the front desk about their aromatherapy, I learned the scent is called Golden Bamboo. It’s fresh, distinctive and pleasing to the senses. Three blocks from the beach and near the Newport harbor, the Lido House sits on the site of former City Hall. It’s privately owned by Bob Olsen and a group of local investors, and managed by Marriott Autograph Collection. The Lido House offers an on-site restaurant, spacious guest rooms...

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Actress and Winemaker Drew Barrymore

After receiving three bottles of wine from winemakers Drew Barrymore and Kris Kato from Carmel Road Winery, I wanted to learn more about this union of one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses and a winemaker in Northern California. Here are Six Facts I discovered while sipping their wines: Actress Drew Barrymore believes that some of the best memories are made around a table. She enjoys sitting with girlfriends on a Sunday, sharing a bottle of wine. As an avid traveler, she believes breaking bread and sipping a glass of fine wine is an ideal way to discover new cities and meet...

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10 Things To See & Do in Puerto Rico

During the month of October, 2017 Hurricane Maria tried to decimate Puerto Rico island. The level five hurricane ravaged certain cities more than others, causing widespread destruction and most of the residents without electricity and clean water.Recently I traveled to Puerto Rico to see what recovery efforts have been made in historic Old San Juan, Fajardo and Ponce areas on the island. I’m happy to report that  the airport has arrivals throughout the day, tourist sites are repaired, cruise ships are visiting San Juan daily, hotels are reopening refurbished or rebuilt and tourism is coming back to experience the...

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