Author: jill-weinlein

The Elegant Art Hotel in Shanghai

While visiting our daughter who was studying at Donghua University in Shanghai, my husband and I stayed at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in Pudong. Built in 2013, the property is also known as the “Art Hotel,” with 4,000 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the elegant property showcasing 50 different artists. This area of Pudong is also known as “Skyscrapers in Greenbelts.” The most distinctive and unique skyscraper is the Oriental Pearl Television Tower. It looks like magenta luminous pearls that shine during the day and night sky of Shanghai. While the Bund is located along the Huangpu River and...

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Ten Fun Facts About Chef Nancy Silverton

Recently I had lunch with James Beard Award winner Nancy Silverton at her Chi Spacca restaurant on Melrose. It was an informative afternoon that also included Cheryl Forberg, the nutritionist for the popular television show, The Biggest Loser in a promotion with the American Pistachio Growers. I learned a lot about celebrity chef Silverton and pistachios as I sipped a flute of Prosecco and nibbled on falafel with pistachios, bacon terrine with pistachios and a pizza with pistachios, red onion, Castelvetrano olives, thyme and fennel pollen. Silverton offered a cooking demonstration on how to make two salads: a market...

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Luxury Delights at Terranea

Sitting out on my balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I heard seals barking nearby. Along the cliffs of Palos Verdes a bevy of marine wildlife reside in the bucolic setting. Before dinner, I took a stroll and saw about twenty sea lions basking in the sun on rocks near the shore line. Continuing my stroll I was startled to see the spray of water coming from the blowholes of two humpback whales swimming near land. It was quite a magnificent sight to see these enormous mammals so close to the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. A staff member told...

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Couples Getaway: Four Seasons Westlake Village

  When you and your significant other want to get away for a one-night respite to relax, enjoy a wonderful meal and sleep in without an alarm clock waking you up, stay at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. It’s an ideal overnight or weekend holiday destination. The luxury hotel is formal, yet friendly and comfortable. There is a top-notch spa and one-of-a-kind wellness center. The pool is inviting for a swim or for lounging with a favorite book. Best of all the new Executive Chef Jesse Hansen is creating award-winning dishes and special Chef Table dinners for guests.  ...

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Glam Surfing at Rancho Pescadero

Sitting in the raised hot tub overlooking the stunning pool and bar area of the elegant boutique resort, Rancho Pescadero, guests congregate in the hot, bubbly water. Many are here to surf during the day, while their spouses take a yoga class or sit in one of the “floating” chaise lounges in the pool with a cool hibiscus margarita. You don’t have to be a surfer to stay at this luxury boutique resort. Guests range in their mid-40s to -60s. No party animals allowed here. Just well-off people, ready to relax, eat great organic food, take long walks along the...

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Cabo Rebuilds Luxuriously

Flying into Los Cabos International airport, tourists don’t recognize too much damage from Hurricane Odile, which hit Baja California Sur on September 13, 2014. Driving towards the lavish hotels and beautiful resorts towards the Cabo San Lucas Marina, guests will notice how the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, destroyed almost every building in its path with its 125-mile-per-hour winds. An estimated 92% of the population were left without power or water. It was the biggest electrical disaster in the history of Mexico, according to the Mexican Electric Company (CFE). One of the...

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Spectacular Silver Anniversary on Bora Bora

  Celebrating our silver anniversary, we flew to Tahiti and took a smaller plane to one of French Polynesia’s most desirable Leeward Islands, Bora Bora. We enjoyed exploring the bucolic French Polynesia Leeward Island 25 years ago for our honeymoon. We made a vow that if our marriage lasted 25 years, we would come back. The only way still to arrive at any of the resorts on the island is by boat. Our first stop was at the private Motu Tehotu, a reef islet formed by broken coral and sand surrounding an atoll. The sand is powdery white and the water...

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Glam Biking Through Santa Ynez Valley

Walking from my recently renovated room # 33 at Alisal Guest Ranch to the main pasture in front of the resort,  I was meeting a group of friends for a morning ride around Santa Ynez’s wine country. Then, I excitedly saw ten Titanium Motobecane road bikes resting against the white wooden fence. Motobecane bikes offer a plush ride with sweet handling, so for a novice like me, used to riding a cruiser, I was excited to ride on a thoroughbred of a bike. Long time Santa Ynez resident and Alisal employee, Eric Larsen, greeted us, adjusted our seats, helped us...

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