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Category: California Dreaming

Catalina’s Premier Hotel Atwater

The newly renovated three story Hotel Atwater on Catalina Island is now one of the island’s premier lodging destinations. Owned by the Catalina Island Company, they spent 18 months completely restoring the hotel’s nostalgia and historic past. Built in the 1920’s by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., the hotel’s namesake Helen Atwater Wrigley, loved three things about Catalina Island: fresh flowers, the beautiful ocean views and a glass of champagne every evening before bed. The Catalina Island Company are honoring this stylish woman by offering her favorites to guests. Some guest rooms have ocean views, a split of Napa Sparkling...

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Pali Wine Tasting Room in Santa Barbara

Walking along The Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara into the Funk Zone, you soon come upon 10 blocks filled with an eclectic mix of galleries, shops, restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Converted warehouses are decked out as wine tasting rooms for local wineries in the Santa Barbara County and Central California. We stopped inside the Pali Wine Co., which is located just two blocks from the ocean and Santa Barbara train station.   Once inside, we selected two tasting flights of five wines each, the Pali Wine Taste and Tower 15. Tim Perr and Scott Knight co-founded Pali Wine...

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Wellness Month at the Elegant Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Resort

Many people resolve every new year to look and eat healthier. During the summer, it’s a good time to evaluate yourself to see if you are on track, or if you have slipped a little and need to recharge. In 2018 I was invited to learn how to look my best during the summer at the luxury Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Resort. As I took an elevator up to the Secret Rose Garden for a special Wellness Month preview. Lisa Michaelis, CEO & Founder – Live Love Spa and founder of Wellness Month guests and said, “For the entire...

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Santa Barbara’s Newest Elegant Hideaway

There’s a new boutique bed and breakfast for discerning travelers, blending “old world” charm with “new world” comfort at Hideaway Santa Barbara. Located in the West Beach area on Montecito Street, it recently opened in June, 2019. The Kirkwood Collection, known for their special destinations in San Luis Obispo, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, recently acquired a 1908 California craftsman with a carriage house under a canopy of trees, which they later converted into nine unique guest rooms, some with fireplaces and sitting areas. Founder and president Alex Kirkwood is excited about this new property. “We are delighted to present Hideaway...

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The Charming Gables Inn Sausalito

There are two ways to get to historic hotel The Gables Inn in Sausalito: one by car and two by sea. Built in 1869, the selection of rooms in the boutique bed and breakfast include a king-size bed, fireplace, sitting area, large whirlpool bathtub, and outdoor terrace with unobstructed views of the sparkling blue bay to San Francisco city. Located on Princess Street, it was the first hotel built in the Sausalito hills. Wine and cheese is served daily during social hour at 5:30 p.m. A light breakfast buffet is served every morning starting at 8 a.m. For those...

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Best Artisan Chocolates in Beverly Hills

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet award winning pastry chef and talented chocolatier Kriss Harvey in his chocolate kitchen in the Arts District in Los Angeles. Named as one of America’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs, Chef Kriss was formerly the Executive Pastry Chef at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel. Looking at his arms, I noticed his tattoos told a story about his culinary journey. He trained under some of Europe’s greatest chefs, including Oriol Balaguer and Emmanuel Ryon in France, and worked in the kitchen of the Ritz Carlton and the Wynn Las Vegas....

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‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ in Rancho Mirage

As the lyrics of the famous Irving Berlin song goes “If you’re blue and you don’t where to go to, why don’t you go where fashion sits? Puttin’ on the Ritz.” When the Ritz-Carlton resort re-opened in 2014 in the Greater Palm Springs area of Rancho Mirage, the desert community embraced it for its luxury beauty, un-wavering commitment to service, dining and wellness options. Built in the late 1980s as the Lodge in Rancho Mirage, the resort offered the most desirable panoramic views of the Coachella Valley. When it was slated to become a Ritz-Carlton, the financial backer Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy...

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Summer Fun at Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

What used to be the site of a Travelodge and Pacific Sands Hotel, is now the LEED GOLD certified oceanfront Shore Hotel. Located just blocks from the historic Santa Monica pleasure pier and west of downtown Los Angeles, over 50% of the construction waste materials, including metals, concrete, stucco, terrazzo, wood & carpet were recycled or salvaged from the two hotels to build this luxury eco-friendly boutique hotel. Opening in 2011, the hotel offers an open-air, U-shaped design allowing guests rooms to receive natural light, as well as taking full advantage of the Pacific Ocean views. The Shore Hotel...

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Luxury Evening Spa Experience

The spa inside the The Peninsula Beverly Hills was under construction for three weeks to elevate guests experiences and stand apart from the other spas in Beverly Hills. Not only did the spa add new products and services, but this summer they are offering unique spa experiences for this summer. Recently the Global Wellness Institute determined that the Spa economy was a $119 billion business and the global wellness industry grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015–2017, from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth. The newly enhanced multi-million dollar spa...

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Experience Culinary and Luxury JOY at Sea

I had no idea I would be so pampered in luxury on the revitalized Norwegian Joy during her inaugural sailing to Ensenada, Mexico. Once I presented my passport upon check in, I received a private key card to the Penthouse in The Haven Courtyard. This new, spacious and beautifully appointed concierge enclave offers the most luxurious and well-appointed accommodations. Tapping my card near the entrance on deck 17, the glass door opened to allow me into this exclusive area. A certified butler greeted me and led me to my spacious stateroom cabin 13108. The Haven offers a private bar/lounge,...

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Joachim Splichal’s Domaine De CALA

I was recently invited to celebrity chef Joachim Splichal’s Southern California home for an exquisite dinner paired with his new wines made at Domaine de Cala. We watched an informative power point presentation about how this esteemed chef purchased a run down Domaine located outside of the medieval town of Brignoles, in the  picturesque Coteaux Varois AOP in the heart of Provence.  Joachim’s culinary career began in Provence, where he worked at La Napoule and Antibes, a two and three-Michelin star restaurant. He fondly remembers visiting a truffle supplier near this area, and dreaming of one day buying a...

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Soulful Keanu Reeves Makes Hollywood history

Right before the premier of JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM, celebrity actor and producer Keanu Reeves (John Wick) was invited to participate in the oldest honor in Hollywood – to sign his name and put his hands and footprints in wet cement on the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. Near the stage was International artist and painter Rob Prior, sweeping fluid strokes of colorful paint to the beat of music. His art is a mesmerizing combination of entertainment and excitement, drawing fans to watch him paint Keanu Reeves as John Wick. Soon many of Keanu’s John Wick cast...

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