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Magnificent Belvedere Waterfront Home with Stunning Views of Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco

4 Beds | 5 Baths | 1 Half-Bath | ±8,131 sq. ft

Price Upon Request

Featured in Architectural Digest, this world class residence showcases panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco and Sausalito. A magnificent masterpiece in a dramatic setting, this property has a most prestigious location and is comprised of a ±8,131-squarefoot home on a ±0.67-acre lot. It features 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths. This work of architectural art was designed by the world-renowned architect Charles Gwathmey and boasts spectacular outlooks from every corner of the expansive floor plan. The primarily vertical organization of this house takes advantage of its sloped site on the Southern coast of Belvedere Island. The uppermost level contains a 3-car garage, an elevator descends to a courtyard where you will find a detached 1 bedroom, 1 bath guest house and a wine cellar. The main house’s is situated between two large retaining walls which follow the site’s natural contours and splay outwards toward the Bay. An interior circular staircase winds around an elevator and forms a cylindrical focal point. A barrel-vaulted ceiling articulates the living and dining room at

Featured in Architectural Digest, this world-class residence showcases panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the entire city skyline of San Francisco, and Sausalito. This magnificent masterpiece in a dramatic setting on the most prestigious location is comprised of a ±8,131 sq .ft. home on a ±0.67 acre lot, featuring 4 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. This architectural work of art was designed by architect Charles Gwathmey, with spectacular outlooks from every corner of the expansive 4-level o or plan. The primarily vertical organization of this house takes advantage of its sloped site on the southern coast of Belvedere Island. The uppermost level contains a 3-car garage with glass doors, an elevator which descends to a courtyard, a detached one bedroom, one bath guesthouse and a spacious wine cellar. The remaining levels of the main house are situated between two large retaining walls, which follow the natural contours of the site and splay outwards towards the Bay. The house’s compact organization within the precinct formed by

the retaining walls ensures privacy. An interior circular stair winds around an elevator and forms the cylindrical focal point of the house’s massing. A barrel-vaulted ceiling articulates the living and dining room at the entry level of the main house, and a large deck projects towards the Bay to extend the space into the landscape. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a study and a two-story entertainment room occupy the intermediate oors, while a media room, a beautiful wet bar, a full bath with steam shower and sauna on the lowest level open onto a spacious outdoor terrace with a pool, whose “in nity edge” of water establishes a poetic connection to the Bay. The interior oors are limestone and wide plank, Bubinga wood and cabinets are lightly stained maple. The exterior is clad in gray stained cedar, with a curved standing seam zinc roof. All exterior windows, doors and decks are teak, all terraces are beige/gray amed limestone pavers and the retaining walls are painted warm white stucco. More photos and information can be found at:

the entry level, and a large deck projects towards the bay, extending the space into the landscape. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a study, and a two-story entertainment room occupy the intermediate floors, while a media room, a beautiful wet bar, a full bath with steam shower, and a sauna fill the lowest level which opens onto a spacious outdoor terrace with an infinity pool on the edge of San Francisco Bay. The interior floors are limestone and wide plank Bubinga wood, and cabinets are lightly stained maple. The exterior is clad in gray stained cedar and a curved, standing seam, zinc roof. All exterior windows, doors, and decks are teak; all terraces are paved in beige or gray-flamed limestone; and the retaining walls are painted a warm white stucco. The home is a state-of-the-art smart house within walking distance of the San Francisco Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, and downtown Tiburon where you will find ferry services to San Francisco and Angel Island and dozens of fine restaurants, including Michael Mina’s Bungalow Kitchen, and French Bistro Left Bank.

More photos and information can be found at:

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080 California Lifestyle

California Lifestyle Collection

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080

California Lifestyle Collection

Majestic Mansion with Panoramic Views

Magnificent Fully Furnished Belvedere Waterfront Home for Rent

3 Beds | 3 Baths | Bay Views | 3,000± sq. ft. For Rent

6 Beds | 5 Baths | 2 Half-Baths | ±0.94 acre

Furnished at $ 24,000/Month

This waterfront showplace was a former home of award winning designer Martin Kobus which he fully renovated in 2011-2012. Known for creating calm, welcoming spaces that showcase his modern aesthetic, Martin reimaged this sunny bright home into a waterfront resort-like design with high ceilings and huge windows to enjoy the breathtaking San Francisco Bay views. Located on the coveted West Shore in Belvedere, this appx. 3,000 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 3 baths waterfront home features a state-of-the-art kitchen with a huge Caesarstone island, all bathrooms feature limestone floors and Caesarstone counters; living room with high ceiling, wall-to-wall windows and a large fireplace; family room with TV and built-in desk, dining room and kitchen combo sharing a large fireplace and large view windows; two bedrooms each with full bath on main floor with direct doors to Bay and garden. All main floor rooms have doors opening to the spacious 1,000 + square foot waterfront deck for gracious outdoor entertaining. Luxurious second full floor master

A spectacular high quality contemporary residence with panoramic views of San Francisco Bay from every room, this majestic ±7,693 sq ft 6 bedroom, 5 full baths and 2 half-baths mansion was built in 2006 on a ±0.94 acre lot adjacent to Tiburon open spaces with ample privacy. The interior features huge windows providing great natural light, the formal living room showcases 2- oor-high ceiling windows that frame the panoramic Bay views, a stunning chandelier, and a replace. The formal dining room with matching chandelier connects to a high quality designer kitchen with center island, dining counter for 6 seats, and ample cabinets. This open oor plan includes a butler’s pantry, spacious family room with replace, a wet bar and a temperature controlled wine cellar, all leading to the expansive entertainment terrace with an outdoor kitchen. The private and opulent master suite features a replace, a separate

suite with fireplace, walk-in closets, a cozy office area and a terrace overlooking the Bay. Wide plank hard wood oak floors through-out the entire home. Almost every room enjoys spectacular views of Bay, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, Mount Tam and beyond. There is a two car garage and a gated garden. West Shore Road is the widest street in Belvedere with ample off-street parking. Belvedere West Shore is known as the best yachting location on San Francisco Bay with easy access to Corinthian Yacht Club and San Francisco Yacht Club. Downtown Tiburon is walking and biking distance with Ferry services to San Francisco and Angel Island and has dozen great restaurants.

sitting room, a luxurious bathroom with stunning views and a walk-in closet. 5 other bedrooms all have beautiful Bay views. There is also a deluxe library/ media room and a billiard room with a bar. The nearly one acre grounds feature a huge stone terrace with an outdoor kitchen, a bocce ball court, a golf putting green, terraced gardens, a marble gazebo with re pit, a pool site, a three-car garage, and a gated motor court with a marble fountain and space to park 10+ cars. Downtown Tiburon is just a few minutes away with 2 world class yacht clubs, Bayside bike path, ferry services to San Francisco and Angel Island, great restaurants such as Michael Mina’s Bungalow Kitchen, Malibu Farm, Caprice and Sam’s Cafe.

More details and photos at:

More photos and information available at

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
Text Olivia Decker at 415.720.5915
Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080

California Lifestyle Collection

Two Prime Lots with Panoramic Views Belvedere, CA

Two Prime Lots with Panoramic Views Belvedere, CA

Two Prime Lots with Panoramic Views

2 Lots | Approx 1 Acre

2 Lots | Approx 1 Acre



111-117 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere, CA

2 Lots | Approx 1 Acre

111-117 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere, CA


Located on the prestigious Belvedere Island’s South side, these 2 rare waterfront lots total one acre with boathouse and boat dock have magnificent views from San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito to Mt. Tam with ever changing views of sailing yachts, sparkling

111-117 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere, CA

Located on the prestigious Belvedere Island’s South side, these 2 rare waterfront lots total one acre with boathouse and boat dock have magnificent views from San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito to Mt. Tam with ever changing views of sailing yachts, sparkling

Located on the prestigious Belvedere Island’s South side, these 2 rare waterfront lots total one acre with boathouse and boat dock have magnificent views from San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito to Mt. Tam with ever changing views of sailing yachts, sparkling

evening lights, stunning sunsets and a level area at water’s edge with unobstructed panoramic views. This is a very rare opportunity to build a waterfront estate with privacy, and accessible by both water and land.

evening lights, stunning sunsets and a level area at water’s edge with unobstructed panoramic views. This is a very rare opportunity to build a waterfront estate with privacy, and accessible by both water and land. Price includes two parcels 060-181-34 and 060-181-35 totaling approximately 1 acre.

evening lights, stunning sunsets and a level area at water’s edge with unobstructed panoramic views. This is a very rare opportunity to build a waterfront estate with privacy, and accessible by both water and land. Price includes two parcels 060-181-34 and 060-181-35 totaling approximately 1 acre.

Price includes two parcels 060-181-34 and 060-181-35 totaling approximately 1 acre.

For More Information, Call or Text Olivia Decker at 415.720.5915

For More Information, Call or Text Olivia Decker at 415.720.5915

For More Information, Call or Text Olivia Decker at 415.720.5915

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
Belvedere, CA
California Lifestyle
Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
California Lifestyle Collection
Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
Hsu Decker

California Lifestyle Collection

California Lifestyle Collection

41.76± acres Vineyard Estate with 30± acres of High-Quality Vines

41.76± acres Vineyard Estate with 30± acres of High-Quality Vines

41.76± acres Vineyard Estate with 30± acres of High-Quality Vines

3265 Soda Canyon Road Napa

Napa, California

Napa, California

5 Beds | 4 Baths | 41.76± Acres | 5,487± sq. ft. Residence Offered at $14,999,000

5 Beds | 4 Baths | 41.76± Acres | 5,487± sq. ft. Residence

Offered at $14,999,000

Entering the stately iron gate and tall Italian cypress tree-lined driveway, you will nd this enchanting private vineyard estate prominently sited on 41.76± acres in the Atlas Peak wine region with 30± acres of high-quality vineyard with the best soil. Complexed wines grow on Soda Canyon peak, known for the best rocky soil with undulating elevations. The vineyard includes 18.45± acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.23± acres of Merlot, 2.88± acres of Malbec, 1.33± acres of Zinfandel, 1.98± acres of Sauvignon Blanc, 0.87± acre of Tempranillo and 1.42± acres ready for replant. This spacious 5,487± squarefoot residence with timeless wine country architecture features ve bedrooms, four baths over three oors with large windows in each room facing the panoramic views of vineyard, hills, natural and beyond, and the bright sunlight shines through every room and brings the warmth and charm of wine country living. The open kitchen features the nest materials with a large granite countertop island with a dining bar. The formal dining area faces the magni cent view of the vineyards, a perfect place for hosting dinner events

Entering the stately iron gate and tall Italian cypress tree-lined driveway, you will nd this enchanting private vineyard estate prominently sited on 41.76± acres in the Atlas Peak wine region with 30± acres of high-quality vineyard with the best soil. Complexed wines grow on Soda Canyon peak, known for the best rocky soil with undulating elevations. The vineyard includes 18.45± acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.23± acres of Merlot, 2.88± acres of Malbec, 1.33± acres of Zinfandel, 1.98± acres of Sauvignon Blanc, 0.87± acre of Tempranillo and 1.42± acres ready for replant. This spacious 5,487± squarefoot residence with timeless wine country architecture features ve bedrooms, four baths over three oors with large windows in each room facing the panoramic views of vineyard, hills, natural and beyond, and the bright sunlight shines through every room and brings the warmth and charm of wine country living. The open kitchen features the nest materials with a large granite countertop island with a dining bar. The formal dining area faces the magni cent view of the vineyards, a perfect place for hosting dinner events

Entering the stately iron gate and tall Italian cypress tree-lined driveway, you will nd this enchanting private vineyard estate prominently sited on 41.76± acres in the Atlas Peak wine region with 30± acres of high-quality vineyard with the best soil. Complexed wines grow on Soda Canyon peak, known for the best rocky soil with undulating elevations. The vineyard includes 18.45± acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.23± acres of Merlot, 2.88± acres of Malbec, 1.33± acres of Zinfandel, 1.98± acres of Sauvignon Blanc, 0.87± acre of Tempranillo and 1.42± acres ready for replant. This spacious 5,487± squarefoot residence with timeless wine country architecture features ve bedrooms, four baths over three oors with large windows in each room facing the panoramic views of vineyard, hills, natural and beyond, and the bright sunlight shines through every room and brings the warmth and charm of wine country living. The open kitchen features the nest materials with a large granite countertop island with a dining bar. The formal dining area faces the magni cent view of the vineyards, a perfect place for hosting dinner events

and gatherings. Enjoy a glass of wine in the living room, with replace and attached large deck showcasing the panoramic vineyard view and the dramatic vistas of the sunrise and sunset over vineyards. The Master bedroom located at the end of the hall on the second oor features a marble bathroom, walk-in closets, replace, and large windows facing the dramatic view of vineyards and beyond, bringing privacy, peace, and tranquility. The two guest bedrooms located at the other end of the hall on the second oor each feature a bathroom. Two more bedrooms on the third- oor feature vaulted ceilings and panoramic views of the hills and vineyard. There is a wine cellar, 2-car garage and a laundry room. There is also a separate red barn which serves as an o ce building for vineyard manager and sta . The home is equipped with AT&T Fiber high speed internet and security cameras in front and back of the house, as well as the basement. The grapes produced at this vineyard are sold to prime wineries in Napa Valley.

5 Beds | 4 Baths | 41.76± Acres | 5,487± sq. ft. Residence Offered at $14,999,000

and gatherings. Enjoy a glass of wine in the living room, with replace and attached large deck showcasing the panoramic vineyard view and the dramatic vistas of the sunrise and sunset over vineyards. The Master bedroom located at the end of the hall on the second oor features a marble bathroom, walk-in closets, replace, and large windows facing the dramatic view of vineyards and beyond, bringing privacy, peace, and tranquility. The two guest bedrooms located at the other end of the hall on the second oor each feature a bathroom. Two more bedrooms on the third- oor feature vaulted ceilings and panoramic views of the hills and vineyard. There is a wine cellar, 2-car garage and a laundry room. There is also a separate red barn which serves as an o ce building for vineyard manager and sta . The home is equipped with AT&T Fiber high speed internet and security cameras in front and back of the house, as well as the basement. The grapes produced at this vineyard are sold to prime wineries in Napa Valley.

3265 Soda Canyon Road, Napa |

and gatherings. Enjoy a glass of wine in the living room, with replace and attached large deck showcasing the panoramic vineyard view and the dramatic vistas of the sunrise and sunset over vineyards. The Master bedroom located at the end of the hall on the second oor features a marble bathroom, walk-in closets, replace, and large windows facing the dramatic view of vineyards and beyond, bringing privacy, peace, and tranquility. The two guest bedrooms located at the other end of the hall on the second oor each feature a bathroom. Two more bedrooms on the third- oor feature vaulted ceilings and panoramic views of the hills and vineyard. There is a wine cellar, 2-car garage and a laundry room. There is also a separate red barn which serves as an o ce building for vineyard manager and sta . The home is equipped with AT&T Fiber high speed internet and security cameras in front and back of the house, as well as the basement. The grapes produced at this vineyard are sold to prime wineries in Napa Valley. 3265 Soda Canyon Road, Napa |

3265 Soda Canyon Road, Napa |

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080 California Lifestyle
Olivia Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
Hsu Decker |
Napa, California
Olivia Hsu Decker Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080

465 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere

New Construction Project | 5,000± sq. ft.

O ered at $29,999,000

A rare opportunity to buy a new home under construction to customize your finishes on a dream location near tip of Belvedere Island at end of Belvedere Ave. This appx. 5,000 sq ft masterpiece designed by acclaimed architect David Kotzebue features contemporary design and open floor plans, handcrafted European materials, expansive decks, views of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, East Bay, Angel Island. Modern handmade bathroom vanities, crafted oak floors and stones. Interior design by Barbara Turpin Vickroy leading designer, honored with best design awards worldwide. Adjacent to open space next door, this home o ers privacy to entertain and enjoy the Infinity edge pool with custom pool house. The extensive foundation has cost over $4,500,000 so far. Completion is estimated for June 2023. Buying now would be able to choose finishes except the hand crafted stone decking from Spain and the intricate kitchen mill work from Germany are already ordered. AKA 1 Blanding Ln, Belvedere

Olivia Hsu Decker | Call or Text: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080 Rare Construction Opportunity in Belvedere 465 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere | DRAWI NG I NDEX T1 A1.1 ARCHITECTURAL A2.1 A3.1 A3.2 S1.0 STRUCTURAL A4.1 C1 A2.2 A2.3 S2.2 S2.3 S2.4 A3.3 S2.1 A2.4 A3.4 A3.5 A3.6 A4.2 A4.3 L1.1 LANDSCAPE L2.1 L3.1 L4.1 L1.2 A0.1 A1.0 A1.0.1 A2.5 A2.6 A2.7 E1.1 E2.1 E2.2 E2.3 L2.1 L2.2 L2.3 A5.1 A5.2 M1.0 M1.1 M1.2 S3.0 S3.1 S3.2 S4.0 S5.1 S6.1 SP1 S1.1 S4.1 L1.3 CMP1 CONSTRUCTIONMANAGEMENT PROJECT DI RECTORY ARCHITECT OWNER SURVEYOR STRUCTURALENGINEER GEOTECHNICALENGINEERING TITLE24 SCOPEOF WORK SYMBOLS A 1 A PROJECT DATA I ONS KOT Z EB U E DA V I D 29 Holly Lane El Sobrante, CA 94803 415 286 3233 510 223 7914 VI CI NI TY MAP Belvedere, CA 94920 NewResidence APN06024117 DEFERRED SUBMI TTALS Latitude 37.864 Longitude -122.460 SPECI AL FEATURES 1 1 1 2 2
Concept Rendering Concept Rendering

Travel is back! According to recent reports, travel in the U.S. has returned to pre-COVID levels. Therefore, it gives me a great pleasure to present to you our 2023 Travel Issue.

For luxury travel with a difference, don’t miss reading Laurie Jo Miller Farr’s extraordinary experiences from Europe to South Australia to Jackson Hole’s Yellow Stone wildlife, her story on the glamorous staycation, as well as her cover story, “Luxury Travel with Purpose.” Read, too, Becca Hensley’s conversation with travel maven extraordinaire Karen Loftus.

For hotels, we feature the newly opened, 299-room hotel, LUMA, a modern lifestyle hotel in the new heart of San Francisco next to Oracle Park and Chase Center. This is your perfect urban get-away in SOMA Mission Bay to attend Giants and Warriors games and world class concerts. LUMA Hotel San Francisco is the place to enjoy a vibrant, new lifestyle while staying in the epicenter of its buzzing scene. With its independent spirit, modern and luxurious accommodations, and artistic decorations, this next-generation hotel brings an elevated experience.

We also feature the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, where I have stayed many times and our editor-in-chief, Teresa, recently visited to give you a full report. This destination is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean with only the sounds of nature for your soul-searching trip. Post Ranch Inn is known for its luxurious accommodations, sensational views, and celebrated seclusion. With only 40 guest rooms hidden among 100 acres of lush hills shrouded in oak trees and giant redwoods, its beauty is abundant for nature lovers, from the endless Pacific Ocean to soaking in private outdoor tubs to enjoying the cliffside infinity pools to hiking the many trails to dining in their award-winning restaurant, Sierra Mar. While the surrounding nature is stunning, the guest rooms are a beautiful expression of rustic elegance with more well-appointed amenities than you could ever want.

For destinations closer to the San Francisco, Noël Burgess’ article gives you ridiculously luxurious hotels in Northern California, featuring the newly opened Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Resorts Collection in Napa, where I had a great weekend last fall; The Inn at SingleThread and the Montage, both in Healdsburg; The Lodge at Sonoma Resort; Carneros Resort & Spa; Bardessono Hotel & Spa; and the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa Valley.

For your wellness trip, Becca Hensley reports on the newly expanded Rancho Pescadero near the magical arts haven of Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico, and Latife Hayson shares her 2-week escape to The Ranch in Malibu, a wellness and fitness retreat set in 200 acres nestled in the hills of the spectacular Santa Monica Mountains.

We also give you a preview of the Festival Napa Valley’s 17th summer season, running July 8 to 23. Its program includes the opening weekend concert with Matteo Bocelli, the talented son of Andrea Bocelli, who will perform my Olivia Decker Power of Music concert on July 15, and Carrie Underwood will perform at the Arts for All gala and auction on July 16. On July 17, Seasons of Hope features the Northern California premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6, Vessels of Light. The festival’s dance gala, “Reunited in Dance,” will take place July 21, bringing together world class ballet dancers from Ukraine and Russia, performing in solidarity for Ukraine. On July 22, the festival presents its 2023 Manetti Shrem Opera, Gaetano Donizetti’s beloved Don Pasquale. There are many other concerts with luncheons and patron dinners every day. Please visit for details and to purchase tickets.

I am sure by the end of reading this travel issue, you will be ready to book a trip. Bon voyage!



Olivia Hsu Decker


Teresa Rodriguez


Michelle Restante


Laurie Jo Miller Farr


Karen M. Smith


Jennifer Boden, Laurie Jo Miller Farr, Adrienne Faurote, Becca Hensley, Steph Keay, Fran Endicott Miller, Robert B. Richards, and Sharon Seto


Aubrey Brewster


Lydia Graham


Karen M. Horton, MD, FACS


Tim Lappen


Olivia Hsu Decker


Cindy Pelland

Haute Living San Francisco Visit us at

Follow us @HauteLivingSF for your guide to all things haute














Welcome to one of the most beautiful homes on the Belvedere Lagoon; featuring Southwest exposure and sweeping water views; virtually new construction in 2017, this luxury residence was recently updated with tasteful finishes throughout including top-of-the-line lighting, Rocky Mountain hardware, Waterworks fixtures, Stark carpeting, upgraded window hardware, and meticulous landscape improvements. Farmhouse-inspired design with a chic coastal flair; incredible layout for easy indoor/outdoor living. The entry-level is designed with an open and inviting layout seamlessly connecting the living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room to the spectacular outdoors. Glass doors open out to one of the most stunning backyards on the lagoon with multiple entertaining venues; expansive Bluestone patio ideal for dining al fresco, outdoor gas fireplace and separate firepit, turf lawn, picturesque landscaping with a thriving Magnolia tree, spa, and huge Ipe dock extending the width of the property. Two blocks to downtown Tiburon’s Main Street and ferry service to San Francisco.

Luxury living is redefined in this exceptional custom-built residence. Spectacular views of Keil Cove, the San Francisco Bay, the East Bay and Angel Island. Elegantly appointed throughout, offering privacy, beautiful finishes, and grand scale living spaces. The architecturally stunning great room invites the outdoors in with a wall of La Cantina folding doors opening to the entertainment terrace. State of the art chef’s kitchen, generous in size with white marble countertops, custom cabinetry, center island with seating, walk-in pantry and high-end appliances. Escape to the lavish primary suite with views of the bay, a walk-in closet, and resort style primary bathroom featuring two marble vanities, built-in dresser drawers, a stall shower, soaking tub and marble flooring. Located on the lower level of the residence is the secondary primary suite with walk-in closet, spa like bathroom and two spacious bedrooms (all with 10’ ceilings), a jack and jill bathroom and home office. Expansive astroturf yard surrounded by lush foliage and mature trees, the perfect place for relaxation, or children’s play. Ideal location only one mile to Tiburon’s Shoreline Park and downtown Tiburon’s Main Street with San Francisco commute ferry, restaurants and shops.

Compass is the brand name used for services provided by one or more of the Compass group of subsidiary companies. Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. 26 Cove Road, Belvedere | $8,977,000 | 4 Bed | 3.5 Bath | 2,995 (+/-) sqft | 2495 Paradise Drive, Tiburon | $5,877,000 | 4 Bed | 3 Full & 2 Half Bath | 3,785 (+/-) sqft |
#1 Agent Marin County DRE 01079806 O: 415.789.9999 C: 415.264.7101





You travel to learn, explore, and relax. There’s no reason purposeful travel can’t be luxurious, too.


38 Amenities are important, but it’s the people we encounter who inspire return visits. Meet eight people—and one cat— who have risen to legendary status.

42 Four dancers tutored by Sherene Melania testify their success is due to dance and her mentorship.


46 Globetrotting travel expert Karen Loftus’ company, Women’s Adventure Travel, curates customized travel itineraries by women for women.

48 Fashion, flowers, and botanical beverages combine in Union Square’s celebration of color, beauty, and San Francisco.


56 Find yourself amid breathtaking views, luxurious comfort, and tranquility at Post Ranch Inn.

62 Seattle’s past and future converge perfectly in the luxurious Lotte Hotel Seattle.

64 Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta offers exclusive resort experiences amid sun, sand, and aquatic adventure.


The Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris, France, where, in 1985’s A View to a Kill, James Bond (Roger Moore) famously jumps in pursuit of assassin May Day (Grace Jones).

“The Assignment: Europe,” a curated, 12-night journey into the world of 007 by luxury travel company Black Tomato, redefines purposeful travel.


spring turns to summer, music, ballet, opera, and sailboat racing complement celebrations of fine wine and craft brews.
the bold flavors of North Africa at Berber and recreate those flavors at
with chef Hicham Senhaji’s selected recipes.
the luggage that best complements your jet-setting travel style.
Feeling adventurous? Explore the world through wine with a flight curated by the San Francisco Wine Society.
CUISINE Cyrus and SingleThread share their inspiration
effort to acquire and retain those coveted Michelin stars.
32 56
Photo by Léonard Cotte


66 Discover the epitome of luxury at these seven Northern California hotels.

70 LUMA in Mission Bay combines contemporary design with ultimate comfort, sustainability, and energy efficiency.


This year’s Festival Napa Valley program runs July 8–23 and features a star-studded lineup of award-winning talent.


78 The Vitamin String Quartet delivers a stunning performance at the Palace Hotel.

82 Dress for Success awards Teresa Rodriguez as its 2023 Success Honoree.

84 The Calistoga Wine Growers Association and Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley celebrate local vintages at the Calistoga Wine and Culinary Experience.

86 ODC/Dance celebrates its 50th anniversary at a sold-out gala.

87 The Bay Area Furniture Bank benefits from a fundraiser held at the Poliform showroom.

88 Over 300 Bay Area notables help raise over $978,000 at the 2023 American Red Cross Gala.

89 Epi Center MedSpa celebrates its 25th anniversary with a star-studded guest list.

90 The famed Opera Garnier is the glamorous centerpiece of a week in Paris celebrating entertainment and fashion.

91 Neiman Marcus San Francisco welcomes fashion icons Pat Cleveland and Kevan Hall at a stylish soiree.


Got jet lag? Daphne Chapman’s Airo Skincare helps fight jet lag’s ill effects on your skin.


Recharge at the beloved Baja retreat of Rancho Pescadero’s famous spa.


Luxurious Tiburon house boasts magnificent views and is built for entertaining.


Tim Lappen puts the supercharged supercar, the Pininfarina Battista, through its paces and wins.


106 The Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point uses nature, a program of rigorous exercise, and clean, healthy cuisine to restore and rejuvenate.

108 Man-about-town Aubrey Brewster celebrates his birthday with another extravagant party at Neiman Marcus.

112 Dr. Karen Horton shares her summer health and beauty guide.

114 Embark upon a vinous adventure in Arizona. Yes, Arizona.

116 Purge toxins from your body and mind at The Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu.

@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 11

As a child, travel magazines were my gateway to the world. From pristine beaches and forests to exotic cities, magazines served as portals into unknown lands hidden just beyond my tiny fingertips. Even today, I still find myself filled with anticipation as I flip through travel magazines, dreaming of discovering new cultures in faraway destinations. When producing this issue, I wanted to create that same feeling of wonder for you. When reading our travel issue, I hope you feel that same passion which inspired me all those years ago.

From the dazzling destinations to the exceptional people you meet along your journey, travel can be one of life’s greatest joys. In her profile piece “Friendly Doormen and Regal Black Cats,” we join Becca Hensley as she dives into a world of luxurious travel with seven incredible professionals and a delightful cat that set the standard for extraordinary customer service (page 38). Meet globetrotting goddess Karen Loftus, an intrepid travel expert for women who leads unforgettable journeys around our planet on page 46.

Unlock the secrets of Moroccan cooking with Sharon Seto as she takes us to Berber restaurant and learn how to craft delicious Mediterranean cuisine in your kitchen on page 18. Travelers will want to take advantage of Becca Hensley’s expert insight on some of the most stylish and practical suitcases on page 24.

Embark on a journey around the world with this extraordinary issue. I promise you’ll be enchanted by its stories and the people you will meet. Curl up in your favorite chair while you relax with a cup of tea. Our writers have uncovered some amazing places that will inspire and delight, so come along for an unforgettable ride.

All aboard our magic carpet!

Counterclockwise from top left: Post Ranch Inn, duck liver parfait with winter vegetables from SingleThread Farm, the SingleThread Inn

A bon vivant journalist who believes travel is the ultimate celebration of life awash with lessons waiting to be learned, widely-published, Texasbased Becca Hensley is travel editor for New Orleans Bride and editor-at-large for Insider’s Guide to Spas

In a career spanning three decades, she has contributed to scores of magazines and newspapers, including Architectural Digest, Elite Traveler, Global Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, and the Houston Chronicle Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @beccahensley.


A graduate of Golden Gate University and serial entrepreneur, Sharon loves the excitement and creativity of the business world and its people. Her addiction to business ventures began with the acquisition of the El Cid Building, site of the famous SF Jazz Mural. She has served as a board member, fundraiser, and event chair for nonprofit organizations, including the SF Symphony Board of Governors, City College of San Francisco Foundation Board, Red Cross Board, National Colorectal Cancer Alliance Board, SF Ballet, and Dress for Success.


Jennifer is a freelance wine, food, and travel writer based in beautiful Sonoma County. She has an extensive career in journalism. She contributes to KRON 4 News San Francisco, ABC 10News San Diego, and others. Prior to her writing career, she worked for several network affiliates as a news anchor and executive producer. She earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University’s prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Aubrey, an epicure and man-abouttown, is a product of his environment. His affinity for cooking, fashion, and entertaining was inherited from summer vacations shared in Charleston, West Virginia with his southern belle model-turned-hostess grandmother. It should come with no surprise that he followed in his grandmother’s footsteps, with an inherent talent for hosting legendary parties. He is often listed among San Francisco’s best dressed. Aubrey is a San Francisco native, traveler, and food and lifestyle blogger ( He resides in San Francisco with his husband, Edward. Aubrey can be found enjoying afternoons lunching with friends at Neiman Marcus and some of San Francisco’s favorite haunts when not hosting or attending events.


Noël Burgess is an East Coaster living in Northern California wine country. His goal is to promote diversity and inclusion in wine, food, and travel with a focus on the places, the products, and most importantly, the people! Noël’s work can be found in VinePair , Wine Enthusiast , Travel & Leisure , Thrillist , San Francisco Magazine , and many other media platforms. Follow him on Instagram @mrnoelburgess and at


Laurie is a US/UK dual citizen and dedicated urbanite who loves walkable cities. As a San Franciscobased travel writer, she enjoys views from its crazy, signature hills following half-a-lifetime promoting her two hometowns—a couple of oh-so-flat places: New York City and London. Laurie’s byline is found in USA Today , CBS, Where Traveler , Haute Living , Epicure , Fast Company , Napa Valley Life Magazine , Food & Travel Magazine , Eater , Google Touring Bird , and other major media titles. She was awarded Yahoo Contributor of the Year and is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.


A lifelong petrolholic, mechanic (cars, motorcycles, boats), and automotive journalist since penning a column for his high school newspaper, internationally recognized attorney Tim Lappen is a partner at a major Los Angeles-based law firm where he chairs the firm’s Family Office Group and its Luxury Home Group and is, of course, a member of its Motor Vehicle Group. He can be reached at or visit


Steph Keay is a Canadian freelance and technical writer currently based in Silicon Valley. After completing her Bachelor of Commerce in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta, she spent a summer in Croatia assisting The Yacht Week with events management on the islands of Hvar and Vis. Formerly in PR/marketing, she has also placed stories for a variety of clients—including tech leaders, international artists, and acclaimed actors and musicians—with ABC, FOX, NBC, San Francisco Chronicle, The Mercury News, American Way, and others. In her spare time, she enjoys adventuring, photography, and travel—all of which she documents on on her website,





Legion of Honor | Sargent and Spain

Churches, coastlines, gardens, royal palaces, dancing—vibrant works by prolific artist John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925). Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Spain in this exhibition’s exclusive stop on the West Coast. 100 34th Ave.


de Young | Ansel Adams in Our Time

With lush gelatin silver photographs of national parks, Ansel Adams (born in San Francisco in 1902) is a giant of 20th century photography, whose images are icons of the American wilderness. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.


San Francisco Opera | A Centennial Celebration

Rarely seen costumes and artifacts from the company’s first 100 years and elaborate garments worn by operatic superstars are on display at SFO Museum in Harvey Milk Terminal 1. seasons/2022-23-season/airport-exhibit


San Francisco Ballet at 90 | “Unveiled”

View 18 unique, curated costumes from SF Ballet’s new works festivals, displayed in SFO’s International Terminal.



Founder and executive artistic director Randall Kline is honored with the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award. The visionary, who grew a small community festival into a San Francisco cultural institution and one of the world’s most influential jazz organizations, will step down in November. Hosted by NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves. SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin St. events/2023-gala

4 – 5

“Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One”

GRAMMY, Emmy, and 2-time Tony® winner

Billy Porter delivers passion and joy with his first-ever, career-spanning pop music concert tour, a 90-minute powerhouse event featuring chart-topping hits “Love Is on the Way” and “Love Yourself.” Two consecutive evenings at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre. or

A red hot artist lineup and a sizzling culinary stage. Jazz and country music. Great wines and craft beers. Street fairs and Broadway shows. A legendary thoroughbred horse race watch party and high performance sailboats racing on San Francisco Bay. The opera celebrates its centennial, and the ballet is 90 years young. This spring, May and June have got it all.

PHOTOS: KEVIN HENNEY (TOP LEFT), SFO MUSEUM Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival San Francisco Ballet “Unveiled” San Francisco Opera A Centennial Celebration

5 – 6

Kentucky Derby at Kendall-Jackson Wine

Estate & Garden

Festivities kick off with a live concert by awardwinning, multi-platinum, and GRAMMYnominated country music star Jimmie Allen, with special guest William Beckhamm, followed by the largest West Coast watch party of the 149th Run for the Roses®.

5 – 7

Inspire Napa Valley

Spring Wine Weekend is in its fourth year to support national funding for both Alzheimer’s disease research and care for affected families in Northern California. Participating wineries include Round Pond Estate, Abreu Vineyards, and Harlan Estate.

6 – 7


This 2-day, action-packed spectacle returns to San Francisco for the Season 3 Grand Final. Nine teams push the limits to decide the winner. SailGP Race Village at Marina Green. season-3/united-states-sail-grand-prix-sanfrancisco/overview


A Taste of TEL HI

An evening of live performances, Northern California wines, and a 3-course meal benefit children’s educational programs while celebrating “The Mayors of San Francisco.” With auctioneer Franco Finn, voice of the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Park.


Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival

Second annual event features 40+ California wineries and nationally known jazz artists, including Paula West, the Marcus Shelby Quintet, and the John Santos Sextet. Food vendors, wines, and craft beers on Main Street, 12 - 5 p.m. Tickets:

13 – 14

Mill Valley Music Festival

A 2-day, all-ages celebration of local arts and culture. The musical lineup includes CAKE, Michael Franti, Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew of the Talking Heads performing “Remain in Light,” Tank and The Bangas, Durand Jones, The Dip, and more.

16 – 21

| San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

The Broadway revival national tour of the Tony Award-winning show, 1776, retells the story in a new production from directors Jeffrey L. Page (Violet) and Diane Paulus (Waitress) with actors representing all the “humans who weren’t in the room when it happened.” shows/1776


18 – 21

Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience

A weekend-long event showcases the region’s makers—farmers, growers, winemakers, and chefs—and great Sonoma wines. Michelinstarred and James Beard award-winning chefs, world-renowned wine experts, winemakers, and grape growers come together in one place.

18 – 21

Vida OLE! Napa

In support of nonprofit OLE Health programs and services, an invitation-only Visionaries Luncheon is followed by a Vintner Dinner hosted by Darioush Winery and Louis M. Martini, plus a dinner and auction at Sullivan Rutherford Estate and a farewell brunch at Sinegal Estate Winery. auction

21 Bay to Breakers

The freewheeling footrace has been a City by the Bay staple since May 1912, and the wackiness continues in 2023. From the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach, from about 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

23 – June 18

| Orpheum Theatre

Back by popular demand, this show is “musical theater, missionary style.” A 9-time Tony Award winner for best musical. Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St.

24 – 26

Spring Festival | San Francisco Ballet School

Performances across three evenings at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts feature a world premiere by Myles Thatcher, SF Ballet soloist. The oldest professional ballet academy in America holds a fundraising dinner at the Four Seasons San Francisco on May 25 to honor Patrick Armand, the SF Ballet’s school director, in his final season.

26 – 28

BottleRock Napa Valley

“Three days of music + food + wine + craft brew” with a red hot artist lineup and a sizzling culinary stage. Festival headliners for 2023: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, The Smashing Pumpkins, Post Malone, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and more.

Inspire Napa Valley The Book of Mormon, Orpheum Theatre Kentucky Derby at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience


3, 6, 9, 18, 21, 24, 27 and July 1

San Francisco Opera |

Music director Eun Sun Kim conducts a new staging of Puccini’s heartbreaking drama from director Amon Miyamoto. Costume designs by late fashion icon Kenzō Takada adorn a cast starring Karah Son, Michael Fabiano, Hyona Kim, Lucas Meachem, and Julius Ahn. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

4, 10, 20, 23, 28

San Francisco Opera |

Strauss’ rarely performed masterpiece returns for the first time in over 30 years in a vibrant production designed by acclaimed artist David Hockney. San Francisco Opera’s former music director, Sir Donald Runnicles, conducts. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

13, 17, 22, 25, 30

San Francisco Opera |

Journey back to the Day of the Dead in 1957, through this bold world of desire and release in a pioneering new opera by Bay Area composer Gabriela Lena Frank and the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

3 – 4

45th Annual Union Street Festival

“Kicking Off Summer in the City” is the theme for this year’s weekend-long street party. Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5 – 11

Bouquets to Art | deYoung

In its 39th season, a week-long display of floral installations inspired by works of art in the museum galleries offers new ways to appreciate the permanent collection. Over 100 leading floral designers showcase innovative botanical arrangements. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.

7 - 18

San Francisco Jazz Festival

The 40th annual event features 40 concerts in 12 days at three venues in Hayes Valley. tickets/seasons-series/2023-summer-season

Chardonnay Pinot Classic | Meritage Resort & Spa

It’s the third annual weekend-long celebration of the greatness of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Expert-led sessions, grand tastings, stunning flights, gourmet meals, and luxurious dinners. 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa.


San Francisco Opera 100th Anniversary Concert & Dinner with the Artists

The centennial season culminates in a one-nightonly event. Music directors past and present lead a cavalcade of beloved San Francisco Opera stars plus the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Eun Sun Kim, Sir Donald Runnicles, and Patrick Summers. Proceeds benefit the Company’s secondcentury commitment to artistic excellence and innovation. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

16 – July 16

Marin Shakespeare Company | Hamlet

Hamlet is presented at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University, to start the 2023 summer season. Twelfth Night to follow on Aug. 4 through Sept. 3. 514 Fourth St., San Rafael.

17 – 18

North Beach Festival

The 67th annual event is a longtime favorite hosted by the North Beach Business Association, with proceeds to benefit local community organizations. Street art, music, food, Blessing of the Animals, and more. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

17 – 25

Healdsburg Jazz Festival

The 25th anniversary event is led by artistic director Marcus Shelby for eight days and nights of jazz in beautiful wine country.

20 – 25

| Orpheum Theater

Direct from Broadway, the critically acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony-winning triumph is coming to San Francisco, and with its Broadway stars to boot. Orpheum Theater, 445 Geary St.

SF JAZZ founder Randall Kline Julius Ahn as Goro in Madame Butterfly San Francisco Jazz Festival
9 – 11
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An un-beet-able experience like no other …

I HAD THE UTMOST PLEASURE TO DINE AT BERBER, THE multi-sensory restaurant in San Francisco and the brainchild of three incredible individuals who share a passion for good food, entertainment, and creating unforgettable experiences for their guests. What a pleasure it was for me to meet the co-founders and partners, Borhen Hammami and Tony Garnicki, and chef Hicham Senhaji. Each brings his unique talent and background to the table, creating a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere unlike anything else in the city. As a native San Franciscan having been spoiled eating in restaurants all my life and as one of the top one percent of TripAdvisor VIP contributors and as an Elite Yelper … I can tell you this place is legit! I love everything about Berber!

Hammami is from Tunisia where he spent his childhood surrounded by family and friends at bustling dining tables. The warm and welcoming atmosphere at Berber reflects his Tunisian upbringing. Growing up, he developed a deep appreciation for good food and the joy it brings to people’s lives. After moving to San Francisco, Hammami opened Café Chanta, a popular North African café that featured live belly dancing and Tunisian tapas. His experience with spicy cooking and live entertainment set the blueprint for Berber, which he founded with Garnicki.

Born in Paris, Garnicki has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He built a successful career in real estate and business before turning his attention to the restaurant industry. Inspired by his travels to Tunisia, Garnicki saw an opportunity to create something truly unique in San Francisco. Together with Hammami, he founded Berber, a restaurant that seamlessly integrates dining and entertainment. Garnicki’s passion for business, the arts, and culinary experiences has driven the restaurant’s success.

Chef Hicham Senhaji, the amazing two-time Michelinacclaimed chef at Berber, brings a wealth of experience and passion to the kitchen. Growing up in a large Moroccan family, he fell in love with the traditional cooking of his homeland. At Berber, Senhaji creates authentic and innovative dishes using the best ingredients and spices to bring out the flavors of North Africa. Dining at Berber is an experience that reflects Senhaji’s memories of family and community gatherings, encouraging guests to share meaningful moments over delicious food.

Together, Garnicki, Hammami, and Senhaji have created more than just a place to eat. Berber is a multi-sensory experience integrating dining and entertainment and transporting guests to a world of color, flavor, and excitement. From the live belly dancing to the bold and flavorful dishes, every element of the restaurant has been carefully crafted to create an unforgettable experience for guests. Berber is truly one-of-a-kind, a testament to the passion, creativity, and talent of its owners and chef.


Note: Answers are as follows: Chef Hicham Senhaji (HS) with co-owners Tony Garnicki (TG) and Borhen Hammami (BH).

HL: I’m tremendously fascinated with Berber’s live cirque exhibitions and chef-curated, ever-changing menu. What inspired you to come up with this unusual, cool concept?

TG: A tour to North Africa between two friends wanting to bring the hospitality and culture of Morocco and Tunisia back to San Francisco. We wanted to provide a modern cirque environment where people can experience an all-inclusive dining destination.

HL: How often do you make food for yourself and eat it? What is your favorite “go-to” meal at home? Who cooks it?

HS: I cook twice a week on my days off for me and my family. My favorite go-to meal is breakfast. Who cooked it? Me.

HL: Any secrets or tips for our home chefs?

BH: Try to create or invent a blend of spices that pleases your palate. I personally have my specialty ras-el hanout, a unique blend of 24 different spices.

TG: Get inspiration from your local community and try undiscovered generational recipes. Our new program, Project Foodie, unites both these concepts to give passionate home chefs an opportunity to build their culinary talents.

HL: What are your favorite ingredients in the kitchen? Why?

HS: My favorite ingredients are the spices, because all the dishes I cook require spices and use my personal interpretation of North African food, some of it actually very close to what you’d find in North African cuisine.

HL: What is your fantasy vacation?

BH: Places where I can try the local restaurants and understand their culture through their food.

TG: Tahiti, because of the exotic beaches and the aquatic life.

HL: Any future openings or ventures that we should know about?

TG: Our expansion is to Santa Monica, another exciting city known for its entertainment and creative cuisine.

@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 19



~ ¼ cup (22 grams) ground coriander

~ 2 tablespoons (12.4 grams) ground ginger

~ 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (10.7 grams) ground white pepper

~ 1 tablespoon (8.1 grams) ground turmeric

~ One 3-inch (3.3 grams) cinnamon stick

~ 2½ teaspoons (2.3 grams) saffron threads

~ 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt

~ 2 tablespoons (9 grams) finely chopped flat leaf parsley

~ 2 tablespoons (9 grams) finely chopped cilantro


~ 1 cup (212 grams) duck fat

~ 8 cups (1 kilogram) onions, diced (¾-inch) (3 to 4 medium onions)

~ ½ cup (96 grams) minced garlic

~ 6 duck legs (5 ounces/141 grams each)

~ 1¼ cups (293 grams) water

~ 2 cups (424 grams) Soltana raisins

~ 2 tablespoons (9 grams) finely chopped flat leaf parsley or to taste

~ Finely chopped cilantro to taste

~ 1 tablespoon res el hanout.

~ Kosher salt


~ 2½ cups (385 grams) whole blanched almonds

~ 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

~ ½ teaspoon (1.3 grams) ground cinnamon

~ ⅛ teaspoon (0.2 gram) grated nutmeg

~ Pinch of ground cloves

~ 4 to 6 tablespoons (48 to 72 grams) clarified butter

~ 1½ teaspoons (8.3 grams) orange blossom water

~ About 1 cup (192 grams) clarified butter

~ 9 phyllo sheets

~ ½ lemon

~ 2 to 3 tablespoons (14 to 21 grams) powdered sugar


Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


1. Heat the duck fat in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of ras el hanout.

2. Arrange the duck legs in a very large pan and pour the duck fat over the meat with parchment paper and cook for 90 minutes.


1. Heat the fat from the cooked duck.

2. Add the onions. Once they have released some liquid, turn the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent.

3. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add the spice mixture and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan often to toast the spices without burning them.

5. Add the raisins.

6. Spread the onions and raisins in a rondeau pan.

7. Arrange the duck legs, set over medium heat, and bring to a simmer for 1 hour or until the duck absorbs the sauce and is tender enough to pull easily from the bone.

8. Remove the duck legs from the pan. Leave the onions and raisins and simmer them over medium heat until the sauce thickens.

9. Working over a bowl, remove the skin from the duck and pull the meat off the bones in as large-as-possible pieces. Discard the skin. Stir in the reserved ½ cup (135 grams) braising liquid and the remaining 1 tablespoon (4.5 grams) parsley.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the clarified butter. Let it cool a bit, then pour it into a spray bottle. Put a 9-inch French skillet or other frying or sauté pan with gently curved sides on the work surface.


1. As you work, it is important to keep phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Place a dry towel on the counter, open the phyllo sheets, and lay on the towel. Cover them with the paper they were wrapped in, then a slightly damp towel.

2. Fold one piece of phyllo in half and place the fold in the center, or slightly off-center, of the pan to give you about 3 inches overhang. Repeat with another piece of phyllo, overlapping the first sheet by about half. Continue to work around the bottom of the pan. With the remaining 5 sheets, place the pieces of phyllo more toward the edges, so that the overhanging phyllo will reach the center of the bisteeya once it is filled and the phyllo is folded over.

3. Spray the layer with butter.

4. Put the duck meat in the center of the pan and spread it in an even layer.

5. Add the sauce mixture of onion and raisins on the top.

6. Add the almond mixture over the sauce.

7. Starting with the last sheet of phyllo you added, fold over the sheet toward the center, folding in the edges as needed so the sheets lie evenly over the top. Spray with butter. Continue in the same manner with all the sheets of phyllo until the bisteeya is completely encased in phyllo. Spray the top with butter.

8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

9. Carefully invert the bisteeya onto a baking sheet to catch any excess butter, then using two spatulas, transfer it to a serving platter. Blot the surface with paper towels.

10. Lay a mesh cooling rack over the top of the bisteeya, spoon the powdered sugar into a fine-mesh strainer, and dust the bisteeya with an even layer of powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. Remove from the rack and cut the bisteeya into wedges. Serves 6-8.



A tangia is a tall, terra-cotta pot that looks like a cross between an ancient Greek amphora and a bean pot with handles on either side that hold a loop of wire for carrying it. And, like a tagine, tangia is also the name of the stew you cook in it.

The tangia is uniquely associated with Marrakesh, and it’s a “guy thing.” Men fill their tangias with lamb, aged butter, and ras el hanout (making it a no-brainer from the point of view of seasoning), throw in some preserved lemons and a bit of water, seal the top with the butcher paper from the meat, tie it with twine, and take it with them to the hammam (the steam bath).


~ 2 quarts (1.86 kilograms) water

~ 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (463 grams) granulated sugar

~ 2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (342 grams) kosher salt

~ 1 tablespoon (9 grams) Tellicherry peppercorns

~ 1 tablespoon (7.4 grams) cumin seeds

~ 1 tablespoon (6.6 grams) cloves

~ 4 pieces (4.3 grams) star anise

~ 2 teaspoons (3.7 grams) coriander seeds

~ 4 (2.4 grams) chiles de árbol

~ 5 (0.8 gram) bay leaves

~ 8 cups (980 grams) ice cubes


Place all the ingredients in a large pot with oxtails. Put the pot in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Afterward, take out oxtail and let all excess liquid drain from meat.


~ 4½ pounds/2.04 kilograms) oxtails

~ 12 (42 grams) flat leaf parsley sprigs

~ 10 (35 grams) cilantro sprigs

~ Grapeseed or canola oil

~ 2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter

~ One 3-inch piece (53 grams) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ~

~ ¼-inch pieces

~ 10 garlic cloves

~ 2½ teaspoons (6.4 grams) ground cumin

~ ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger

~ 2 quarters preserved lemon halved lengthwise, rinsed and seeds removed

~ 8 cups (2.2 kilograms) beef stock or (1.88 kilograms) vegetable stock

~ 1 teaspoon (0.9 gram) saffron threads

~ 2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) aged butter or (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Put all ingredients into a big pot and mix to combine. Put the mixture into a tangia and place into the preheated oven for 2 to 3½ hours until meat is soft. Take out and place herb salad on top of the meat.


~ 1¼ cups (15 grams) flat leaf parsley leaves

~ 1/3 cup (5 grams) tarragon leaves

~ 2 tablespoons (4 grams) chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

~ ¼ cup (3 grams) chervil leaves

~ 2 teaspoons (10 grams) fresh lemon juice

~ 1 teaspoon (4 grams) extra virgin olive oil

~ Kosher salt



“I like this best served with warm, grilled flatbread or pita chips.”

~ ¼ cup (43 grams) cooked white navy beans, liquid reserved

~ 5 tablespoons (73 grams) champagne vinegar

~ ½ cup (106 grams) drained piquillo peppers

~ 1¼ cups (125 grams) almond meal/flour

~ ½ cup (106 grams) extra virgin olive oil

~ ¼ cup (87 grams) pomegranate molasses

~ 2/3 cup (79 grams) sesame paste (tahini)

~ ¼ cup (72 grams) garlic puree

~ 2½ teaspoons (6.4 grams) ground cumin

~ 2 teaspoons (5.3 grams) sweet paprika

~ 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt

~ 1 teaspoon (2.7 grams) ground white pepper

~ ¾ teaspoon (2 grams) smoked paprika

~ ¼ teaspoon (1.8 grams) harissa powder


Put the beans (not their liquid) and vinegar in a blender. Begin to puree the beans on low speed, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid to keep things moving. Gradually increase the speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as necessary. Add the peppers and puree until the mixture is completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until the spread is smooth. The spread can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 2½ cups (645 grams)



~ 1 cup fennel oil

~ 1 cup toasted pistachio

~ 2 tablespoons lime juice

~ 2 tablespoons honey

~ 1 garlic clove

~ 1/4 cup caramelized onion

~ 1 tablespoon ground coriander

~ 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

~ 1 cup apple juice

~ 1 tsp kosher salt


In small batches, blend pistachios in a blender. Add some fennel oil until the paste is smooth. Emulsify all of the rest of ingredients with the blended pistachios until incorporated. Adjust for seasoning.


~ 1 head little gem lettuce, cut in half

~ 4 grapefruit segments

~ 1/4 avocado, cut into pieces

~ 2 pistachios, roughly chopped


Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour the dressing over it. Serves 2

Haute KITCHEN @hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 23


WE ALL TRAVEL DIFFERENTLY—AND THAT i ncludes packing and the suitcases we carry. Sometimes we don’t know how we travel (or pack) until we actually take a trip, slowly learning what works for us and what does not. Me? I always carry on—at least on the way to a place. I’m okay with them misplacing my luggage on the way home, but I hate to arrive without a thing to wear. Just because I carry on, doesn’t mean I travel light. Ridiculously, I’m part of the school of packers who want a range of spectacular options, including a multitude of shoes. This means I rarely zip a suitcase easily—it’s always an effort. Often, and I’m not exaggerating, I sit on the suitcase—or, at the very least, ask for volunteers to sit on it while I zip. Throughout our family’s travels, we have seen our suitcases’ seams explode in Hong Kong just as we were about to board a plane, lost wheels at inopportune times, thanks to too many miles of Italian cobblestone tread, and had water leak into one suitcase full of fancy clothing during a rainstorm. I’ve learned lessons from all the misadventures and determined what works for me. That said, I’m always game to try new suitcases and discover miraculous packing hacks. Perhaps it’s not about one perfect suitcase—perhaps it’s about many! Here are five I have in my closet, not one a thing like the other.


Who will love it? Fashionistas and tech aficionados

Inspired by a hat box with vintage air travel tones, this gorgeous, sexy, sleek, round, roller suitcase holds way more than you could ever imagine. So perfectly designed that one can board with two of them stacked (that’s a lot of outfits!), the super luxurious bag, literally carry-on couture, was designed by a woman for women. In two styles and a range of colors, the Birdy is composed of premium vegan leather with a riveted genuine leather top handle and an exotic-embossed trim (from python to ostrich), with custom classic gold or rose gold hardware. It features hidden pockets for your laptop, portable TSA approved power bank, a USB cord and a Bluetooth® wireless speaker. The elevated version, the premium Deluxe Birdy Suitcase, can be ordered with a bundle that includes tons of thoughtful, elegant accessories, including a silky laundry bag, a shoulder strap, a mini clutch, a Bluetooth, speaker, and more. The back-stacking trolley sleeve allows the traveler to stack a Deluxe Birdy on top of another Deluxe or the Essential (first generation) Birdy, As founder and designer Abby Listo says: “Then you’ll have two Birdys in one hand!” Available at Bloomingdales or $595+




Who will love it? Marie Kondo storage buffs and stylish travelers

Touted as the “world’s slimmest luggage brand,” Rollink debuted in the United States in 2022 after raging success in 25 countries around the world from Israel to Taiwan. Partnering with Macy’s, Rollink remains slim when filled, but astonishingly collapses to a mere two inches for seamless storage beneath a bed, hanging in a closet, or atop a shelf. A sustainable trait, Rollink’s slimness allows more empty suitcases to be packed together for shipping, creating less of a carbon footprint. I love the Flex Vega model, which comes with a quick-access side pocket for essentials, two silent coated wheels for smooth gliding, and a heightadjustable telescopic handle. Consumers can choose from three practical sizes, including cabin and cabin plus, both of which are TSA standard-sized carry-on suitcases, as well as a medium checked option. or $155+


Who will love it? The eco-conscious traveler Solo, known for evoking the trendy essence of New York into its functional, stylish luggage designs, has launched feel-good luggage sure to please those with a fondness and passion for sustainable living. Their new Re:cycled Luggage pieces are made from repurposed PET water bottles or recycled ABS plastic from household appliances and automobile parts. With both soft-or hardside versions, including expandable options and useful features such as a tablet pocket, they reign as one of the few brands on the market offering such a thoughtful, affordable, environmentally friendly array of suitcases. $169+


Who will love it? The artistic traveler Function, fashion, and artistry unite in ROAM, one of my favorite suitcase brands. Founded by luggage industry veterans (former TUMI executives), ROAM defines craftsmanship and pays attention to the essential design details that matter to frequent travelers: light weight, water-resistant shells, roomy-but-compact shapes, and world-class Hinomoto ball-bearing wheels. But most fun, ROAM believes that just as we take one-of-a-kind trips, we inveterate globetrotters prefer unique luggage, something that stands out in a crowd. Thus, ROAM allows customers to design their own premium suitcases, providing customizable, mix-and-match options online from a clever palette of colors. For those who’d rather let someone else be the artist, ROAM’s collaboration with multimedia tattoo artist Amanda Wachob seals the deal. In a limited edition offering, she has hand-painted 100 signed suitcases, inspired by the luminescent shimmer of a beetle. Collectors still participate in the design of their Amanda Wachob suitcase by choosing the trim color of their choice to complement her work. $975+


Who will love it? The stylish sophisticate with a penchant for packing a lot in a small bag and stylish travelers

Aerodynamic, easy to haul, a joy to be seen with, Briggs & Riley most astonishes and delights me for its ability to compress a huge amount of clothing and vacation accoutrements into a carry-on sized bag. As a suitcase that I never have to sit on to close, Briggs & Riley features the world’s only one-touch CX-technology that allows users to expand the bag with the push of a button for packing, and then compress it back down to its regular size for travel. The popular Essential 22-inch carry-on also has shock absorbing wheels; easy access SpeedThru pocket for safe storage during security checks; a built-in, tri-fold garment holder; a PowerPocket for cell phones and power bricks; and a “Simple As That” lifetime guarantee which includes repairs on all non-cosmetic components of the bag. Plum, a limited edition color in the Baseline flagship collection, hit the market in April—just in time for Mother’s Day. $699+

With three hat straps, a tiered tassel for adornment, a drawstring closure, and zippered pocket, Sidney Byron’s stunning Suncatcher carryall makes the perfect carry-on purse or bag for summer weekend getaways. Roomy enough for a day’s worth of essentials, the stunning jute tote features either a velvet or terrycloth interior. $140

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This wine bar in the financial district whisks you out of your comfort zone on a wine lover’s world tour.

Sometimes we just need a little motivation to try something new. Enter the Financial District’s laboratory for the wine curious: San Francisco Wine Society, a wine bar with a mission to support global wine exploration in an unpretentious and festive way. There, proprietor Danielle Kuzinich ensures that going out on a wine limb is as easy as ordering an irresistible flight with a playful name, an amusing story, and an artfully curated collection of pours.

Get Your Finances in Order ($134), for example, provides a play on splurging before tightening one’s belt with a trio of top tier taste treats (Dominus Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Napa Valley, California 2006; Ducru-Beaucaillou Cabernet/Merlot, Saint-Julien, France 1985; Dal Forno Romano Corvina Blend, Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy 2012). Visit Italy ($45) takes wine travelers on a tour that includes Terre Frappato, Sicily, Italy 2020; Renato

Fenocchio Nebbiolo, Langhe 2019; Biondi Santi Sangiovese Grosso; and Brunello di Montalcino 2011.

In cozy digs designed as conversation nooks kitted out with wingback chairs, a fireplace, cushy couches and chandeliers, Wine Society features 255 bottles (including a magnum of 1985 Petrus ($10,500), 65 wines by the glass—ranging from $8 to more than $100 each—and 15 uniquely enticing wine flights. There’s always a sommelier at the helm to guide your journey or simply share the joys of discovering new wines among friends.

Check out San Francisco Wine Society’s website for a variety of entertaining educational courses launching this year. We took a tipple with Kuzinich (wine buyer, chef, interior designer, sommelier, and all-around cheerleader for worldwide wines) to find out more.

Haute WINE

HL: Why does wine matter in life?

DK: Wine matters because it brings people together. The celebrations, the cherished moments, the friendships built, the heartbreaks, the laughs, the tears: wine is a part of all these events. Wine also gives us a window into different cultures. It bridges gaps between generations and keeps thousand-year-old traditions alive. Plus, it’s just damn good.

HL: Some might call you bold and confident for bringing an unpretentious, but clever, globally focused wine bolt-hole into a region that can be a bit haughty about wine. Has that been weird or is that what motivates you?

DK: Introducing people to quality wines from all over the world in an unpretentious way absolutely motivates me. For me, the fun part is creating a dependable space for our guests not to overthink what they are ordering and just go for what sounds interesting to them. Watching them get out of their comfort zone, get excited about wines they have never heard of or have been too nervous to order before, and then seeing the aha moment on their faces is what makes every day worth it. Having those customers become regulars, because they know when they come back there will always be a new adventure for them to explore, is when you know you are doing something special.

HL: Where do you source and discover your wines?

DK: I’ve built a lot of great relationships with my wine reps over the years, who know I am always looking for interesting wines as well as quality classics. That’s part one. Part two is having a constant curiosity myself. I travel a lot and really enjoy exploring wines from all over the world. Whenever I see a wine I have never heard of, I always order it. Then the fun begins: sourcing the wines in SF or trying to convince importers to bring them in.

HL: From where do some of your most unique wines hail?

DK: Right now, I am in love with our Madeira list. We have eight available by the glass, dating back as far as 1862. The depth of flavor on these wines that are 73 to 161 years old is unreal. Sipping

those wines transports you back in history. We also have some incredible Pinot Noirs from Patagonia and delicious reds from Uruguay, not to mention the wines from Hungary, Slovakia, and a Solera style Chardonnay from Austria. There are so many.

HL: Wine education is important to you—sharing your knowledge and opening people’s minds and palates. How do you go about this?

DK: By making wine accessible and having an incredible team. Our flights and by-the-glass program are geared toward allowing our guests to explore different wines and to encouraging conversations. I try to think about every curiosity I can imagine people have about wine and find a way to fill those curiosities. Whether you are just learning about wine and want to try everything and anything or you are seeking out those unicorn bottles you only have on special occasions, having these wines in flights and by the glass gives accessibility to them. Keep in mind “accessible” can take on different meanings throughout your wine journey.

The most important key to this is having a staff that understands hospitality. They are educated, friendly, and make our guests feel comfortable, no matter if they are ordering a $9 glass of wine or a $1,000 bottle of wine. Everyone on the team is a certified sommelier and happy to answer questions.

HL: You opened SFWS in 2020 during tough times, developing a concept and logo that embodied the idea that San Francisco needed a space where “society” could come together. Tell us about that. DK: The logo represents two things. First, it represents a bunch of grapes going through veraison. If you are not familiar, veraison is the onset of the ripening of the grapes; it is when the grapes turn from green to red. To me, veraison represents change, growth, and maturity, which is what I felt the country needed the most at the time.

The second meaning represents society. Each color of the dots represents different ethnicities that make up our “society.” Each dot is represented equally in the logo with the darkest shade, lightest shade, and shade in the middle anchoring each corner, so one dot doesn’t overpower the other. At Wine Society, everyone is equal.

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Haute WINE

Duck liver parfait with winter vegetables from the SingleThread farm, pain d’epices croquant, and koshu sake

Inset: Katina and Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread FarmRestaurant-Inn PHOTOS: JOHN TROXELL, EVA KOLENKO (INSET)

Reaching for the Stars

Restaurants old and new strive for excellence in Sonoma.

On the evening of the 2022 Michelin star announcements, restaurants in Sonoma bustle with energy. The new kids on the block are on the edge of their seats to find out if their hard work is on the radar, while longtime awardees hope to maintain their aura of prestige. One of the newest restaurants also happens to be not-so-new. Following a near decade-long closure, former Healdsburg fine-dining establishment Cyrus reopened amid a pastoral setting in Geyserville. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows show off the surrounding vineyards, a sweeping view made even more spectacular thanks to a plinth raising the floor of the historic building. Jensen Architects adapted the concrete structure, a former prune packing plant, into a modern marvel that pays homage to the area’s agricultural history prior to its rise as a wine-growing region.

This link to the past is also reminiscent of the first Cyrus and its current iteration run by co-owners chef Douglas Keane and maître d’hôtel Nick Peyton. “The values are not different [from] the values we had at the first Cyrus,” says Peyton. “We just get to institute exactly what our vision is here.” That vision is a progressive 3.5hour dining journey that rebels against traditional multicourse meals served in one sitting, adopting a less formal approach inspired by visiting a friend’s home for a dinner party.

The idea is that movement from room to room keeps guests energized—allowing for guests to stretch their legs as well as their imaginations—which contributes to the feeling of the evening as an event. The journey begins in the Bubbles Lounge, where guests

get their first taste of the evening with canapés that address each of our major taste receptors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. It continues to the kitchen table, then the dining room, and ends in the Chocolate Room—the pièce de résistance that brings the journey full circle.

Peyton slides open a hidden wall near the restaurant’s entrance where 500 pounds of molten chocolate driven by a three-horsepower motor cascades in a brilliant waterfall. Nearby, a floating disc revolves above a pedestal stacked with parting gifts of house-made chocolates inspired by the canapés from the start of the evening.

Although it seems Cyrus has found its groove, despite having only opened in September, there’s still plenty of room to evolve. Peyton teases a future tableside cheese course inspired by a wintertime French tradition, involving a spectacular box with a warm stone floor and soft-ripened cheese wrapped in spruce cambium. The best thing about the “new” Cyrus for Peyton is that he can test out these ideas. “What Doug and I love is to do it. We built it, but we also want to do it,” he says. “He’s in the kitchen, he’s cooking, and when you come to the kitchen table, he’s presenting. I want to be in the dining room—I want to feel that energy swirl around me, to be able to touch the tables, to develop that cheese course, and invent more things like the floating wheel [in the Chocolate Room]. Those things are the delight and the joy of doing this.”

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Liberty Farms duck breast served with Tokyo turnips and house-made hoisin at Cyrus Inset: Chef Douglas Keane preparing the fresh oyster service

Meanwhile at SingleThread, the acclaimed Michelin 3-starred restaurant and inn run by chef/owner Kyle Connaughton and owner/head farmer Katina Connaughton, it’s business as usual. The dining room is full on a Monday night, yet the open kitchen and service maintain a zen-like quality that heightens your senses. It’s the ideal atmosphere for escaping into its exquisite tasting menu which changes according to 72 micro-seasons—the goal being that produce is served at its peak ripeness.

For this established destination, you might wonder what could be new. For one thing, the Connaughtons are continually finetuning. This pursuit of perfection is apparent in their attention to detail, not only in the kitchen but also on their 24-acre farm which brings stunning biodiversity to Dry Creek Valley. “It’s rewarding to share with our guests everything and anything that Katina grows on the farm,” says Kyle. “We have some of our favorite varieties, and it’s always fun to see how they evolve, growing year after year to refine the flavor. The sweetness that Katina achieves with the turnips is off the charts—I have no idea how she does that.”

The team behind SingleThread has also expanded with the opening of Little Saint, a fully plant-based restaurant—not to mention cocktail bar, coffee bar, wine lounge, and marketplace— just a few blocks away. “We have so much amazing produce up here all year round,” says Kyle. “We wanted to really celebrate that and also show that good food … doesn’t always need animal products.” Little Saint also aims to support local food systems and share plant-based cuisine with a wider audience. “It’s about creating something for everyone, and to have that conversation about sustainability and how we can all be the best stewards of the planet.”

The work of these passionate restaurateurs paid off. Shortly after my dinner at Little Saint, the list of 2022 Michelin stars was released: Cyrus is awarded one star, and SingleThread successfully retained its trio.

Fort Ross Vineyard is perched atop a steep coastal ridge less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean Inset: Sip awardwinning wines above the coastal fog at Fort Ross Winery’s tasting room Little Saint’s gem lettuces salad with pumpkin seed dressing, dill, and radishes PHOTO: EMMA K. MORRIS PHOTOS: GEORGE ROSE, FORT ROSS VINEYARD & WINERY (INSET)


Stay at Farmhouse Inn, which brother and sister owners (and fifth generation Sonomans) Joe and Catherine Bartolomei describe as “a love letter to Sonoma.” The luxury boutique hotel is in an exciting new phase, featuring freshly renovated cottages as well as a new tasting menu at its fine dining restaurant. Originally conceptualized by chef Jeremy Cabrera who departed Farmhouse Restaurant at the end of 2022, chef Trevor Anderson’s interpretation of the menu will continue to showcase the farmers, ranchers, artisans, and terroir of Sonoma County. Plus, you can’t go wrong with recommendations from wine director and sommelier Jared Hooper, whose encyclopedic knowledge of grapes is delivered with delightful flair.

The inn’s high-touch service is apparent throughout, with a concierge team who excels at crafting personalized itineraries for guests. Not only will you enjoy VIP experiences at the inn’s world class winery and artisanal partners, but you’ll also be welcomed warmly as friends of the Bartolomeis. Needless to say, you’ll be in fine hands.

A trip to Sonoma also isn’t complete without a little vino. One hidden gem is Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, the only tasting room open to the public along the Sonoma Coast AVA. Its awardwinning wines reflect the prized maritime climate and challenging topography of its vineyards, which owners Lester and Linda Schwartz were originally cautioned against planting due to the property’s proximity to the ocean. Winemaker Jeff Pisoni calls it a tale of fortitude: “They had a dream and wanted to see it through.”

You’ll feel like you’re a part of that dream as you wind your way through the fog to go sip Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and even Pinotage—a tribute to the Schwartzes’ South African heritage— while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Closer inland, Paul Hobbs Winery in Sebastopol is a must for collectors of extraordinary Cabernet. The Vineyard Designate Experience, a tasting of six single-vineyard wines with seasonally inspired culinary pairings, comes highly recommended. During my visit, a succulent duck breast served with maitake mushrooms, charred leeks, carrot puree, and toasted bay jus was revelatory. The wines are world class, the product of a vintner whose dedication to farming the best grapes is second to none. “Paul was part of that early movement that identified how you grew the grape really influenced [the] quality of the wine that you’re making,” says Tyson Ducker, senior estate host.

Frankly, a visit to the winery is worthwhile just to hear Hobbs’ incredible story, which Ducker is happy to recount to guests.

“Wine is more important to us as people than just a beverage that gets scored and sold,” he says. “It’s a way to document human history—I think that’s the way Paul feels about it.”

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Indulge in a spa treatment at Farmhouse Inn’s 3,000-square-foot Wellness Barn Farmhouse Restaurant’s coconut milk panna cotta with bergamot anglaise, pistachio cake, orange brittle, and bee pollen Farmhouse Inn’s Barn Junior Suite offers the ultimate in comfort PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT) AUBRIE PICK, FARMHOUSE INN, PAUL FERRADAS



IN A TIME CAPSULE HOLLYWOOD MOVIE FROM 1969, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, a group of American tourists dash through Europe on a whirlwind bus tour of nine countries, escorted by an overwhelmed tour guide. A tidbit from the funny script: “This tiny country is famous for Rembrandt, tulips, Edam cheese, and also for Van Gogh, Dutch chocolate, Dutch beer, Dutch cleanser, Dutch treats, Dutch doors, Dutch uncles. In fact, folks, you’re in Dutch!”

The rom-com film’s representation of a vacation is precisely what people don’t want. Less is more and priorities have shifted.

Today, the evolution of luxury travel takes us to the intersection of education, personal development, and imaginative fun layered with eco-friendly destination considerations. As travel inspiration for 2023, we highlight three unique and starkly different itinerary suggestions in diverse locations: Europe, South Australia, and Yellowstone National Park.




With the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023, all things quintessentially British are at the forefront of our minds—including the 60th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise. Since Ian Fleming wrote Casino Royale in 1952, the trendsetting Bond stories have sold over 100 million copies worldwide, while the films hauled in another $7 billion dollars. From Egypt’s Great Pyramids in The Spy Who Loved Me to the Casino Monte Carlo in Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye and beyond, the world’s most famous fictional spy has put plenty of miles on the odometer.

In partnership with EON Productions, the UK-based luxury travel company Black Tomato has created “The Assignment: Europe,” a curated, 12-night journey into the world of 007. Guests will pursue Bond-worthy adventures inspired by the famous, fictional special agent through London, Paris, Monaco, Lake Como, Venice, and the Austrian Alps.

Get trained to drive an Aston Martin with veteran Bond stunt coordinator Lee Morrison. Have a drone capture your own high-octane chase in a Superhawk 34 on the River Thames, accompanied by Sarah Donahue, the Cigar Girl in The World Is Not Enough. Board a private yacht to cruise the Riviera with Octopussy and A View to Kill actress Carole Ashby. Head up to the summit of Austria’s Gaislachkogl for lunch at ice Q restaurant overlooking the spot where Daniel Craig as Bond first encountered Hoffler Klinik in Spectre and met Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). Tour the secretive Bollinger Champagne estate in a Land Rover and sip exclusive vintage selections from its hush-hush private cellar. Ascend the interior of Torre Dell’Orologio, the 15th century landmark clock tower above St. Mark’s Square, featured in


Moonraker. Pull on some gloves to handle 007’s actual props and classy Omega watches with the James Bond archival director. Hear about cinematic, death defying feats by seaplane, mountain, and water skis from former cast, special effects crew, and a Bond stunt double.

Looking for something even more extraordinary? Adventurous guests can tailor a unique Bond-inspired trip from among 35 experiences. Personalized trips, which run for a minimum of five nights, are priced from $18,000 to $30,000 (excluding airfare) per person. More information at:

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South Australia is the “Artisan Australia” where the brand promise is succinctly expressed as WOW—wine, outback, and wildlife—all abundant and easily accessed from the charming city of Adelaide. Visit

A hop, skip, and jump by ferry off the mainland, the wildly beautiful Kangaroo Island (say “KI” like the locals) is widely regarded as Australia’s Galapagos due to the abundant wildlife. More than one-third of the nation’s third largest island is covered by national and conservation parks, making it a haven for kangaroos, wallabies, possums, frogs, bandicoots, koalas, platypuses, sea lions, and fur seals. To visit KI is to help support the island’s regeneration and recovery from devastating bushfires in 2020.

On Kangaroo Island, an ambitious rebuild of the iconic Southern Ocean Lodge, notable for its breathtaking ocean views, is well underway. The resort’s holistic approach recreates a premium, nature-based experience and sense of place, emphasizing a strong focus on sustainability. For example, hybrid solar and battery infrastructure allows the lodge to operate off the grid in a remote area. Investment in reverse osmosis uses solar power to convert bore to potable water and rain savers harvest pure, drinkable rainwater.

Since opening in 2006, Southern Ocean Lodge has worked closely with over 170 local suppliers, ranging from Ligurian honey producers and gin distillers at KI Spirits to tour operators with a lifetime of knowledge to interpret the island’s extraordinary wildlife and landscape.

Southern Ocean Lodge is a member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, a co-op of 19 independently owned and operated, high-end lodges that partner with Tourism Australia to highlight experiential luxury. From leadership in conservation and environmental sustainability to engagement with indigenous communities, each lodge employs “makers” who are skilled local craftspeople using best practice initiatives to achieve excellence. Collectively, the lodges offer more than 250 privileged access experiences for every season. Together, the properties showcase Australia’s extraordinary diversity with purpose and positive impact at its core. Separately, each place provides compelling reasons to visit.

The property is a sanctuary of calm: there are just 25 luxurious suites along the coast, plus the Ocean Pavilion, a contemporary villa of nearly 7,000 square feet perched on the limestone cliffs. With a spectacular outdoor terrace leading to an infinity pool, when Southern Ocean Lodge reopens in December 2023, guests will have the best seat for sunrises, sea mists, and thundering breaking waves. More information at: au/lodges/southernoceanlodge



A living museum of Australian winemaking history exists in the Centennial Cellar at Seppeltsfield in the picturesque Barossa Valley. The tradition of laying down a barrel of the finest wine from each vintage has continued here since 1878, so visitors can taste their birth year at this famous estate with its own historic lodge on the premises.

Historically speaking, there’s a great deal more. In South Australia’s Flinders Range, the country’s largest mountain region, Nilpena Ediacara National Park is a place of rich cultural heritage and exceptional scientific value. Here, evidence of Earth’s earliest complex animal life dating back half a billion years has been discovered as fossils preserved in fine sandstone grains on an ancient seafloor. The nation’s newest national park, due to open later in 2023, will present

an exciting, one-of-a-kind fossil experience for visitors. More information at:

For getting there, Australia’s luxury trains are just the ticket. With weekly departures, the famous Indian Pacific links Sydney to Adelaide in 26 hours, crossing the great, treeless Nullarbor Plain on the journey. In platinum class, limited to 24 Tasmanian myrtle wood-clad cabins, the day lounge with windows on both sides converts to a comfortable sleeper cabin with a private en suite bath and shower. In addition to full room service, platinum class offers an exclusive dining room for guests. Alternatively, travel 515 miles from Melbourne to Adelaide, a 10.5-hour daytime trip on the historic train, The Overland. More information at: best-train-journeys-to-take-in-australia.html

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Tourism officials say the top-rated Yellowstone television series demonstrates the power of the American West’s imagery to influence people to visit the region. The show is actually filmed in several locations across Montana and Utah, including Bozeman, Livingston, and Park City. Just over the border in Wyoming, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is near enough to be a comfortable base for exploring by private aircraft. The 5-star alpine resort is surrounded by some of America’s most rugged peaks and an inspiring array of wildlife.

“A Day with the Wolves Experience,” is a day-long, immersive adventure curated by the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. It allows guests to potentially view the elusive, native gray wolf population of Yellowstone National Park in their pristine habitat. In partnership with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and Yellowstone Safari Company, the experience provides for a charitable donation to Yellowstone Wolf Project which helps support sustainability of the wolves, one of the most mesmerizing apex predators in the natural world.

In early morning, a party of up to eight guests departs the resort for a gourmet breakfast before joining two pilots on a Swiss Pilatus for an aerial tour to appreciate the grandeur and majesty

of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first park. After landing under Montana’s big skies in Livingston, guests are greeted on the ground in a luxury, 4-wheel-drive SUV with a team of biologists, certified naturalists, and tracking experts to provide insights on the diverse, delicately balanced flora, fauna, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Following a 4-course lunch, continue your excursion by viewing and photographing wolves through specialized Swarovski spotting scopes. Personalize your adventure by adding a snowshoe trek into Yellowstone’s wilderness, get a wildlife photography lesson from a pro, take a deeper dive into wolf biology, or try a mini-class on identifying animal tracks and signs.

In summer, the “American Serengeti” tour focuses on animals active in North Yellowstone during the warmer months: bison, elk, moose, grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, bald and golden eagles, foxes, and more species. The inclusive experience is priced at $16,000, inclusive of hotel transfers, private plane transportation, luxury SUV vehicle, wildlife safari guides, and customized, full-day food and beverage. More information at: JAC/pdfs/JAC-a-day-with-wolves.pdf


Friendly Doormen and Regal Black Cats

These hotel characters keep you coming back for more

ON A VACATION, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE SUITE, THE resort’s proximity to the beach, that long-awaited rendezvous with your favorite travel companion, the lavish amenities, the splendorous sheets, or the first-in-class activities. Sometimes what actually compels you to return to a certain hotel is simply the existence of one extraordinary person.

Legendary characters have been a standout resource at the world’s best hotels for eons. Doormen, concierges, activity managers, bartenders, elevator operators, waiters, and more, they are people who have worked so long in their jobs and so joyfully that they define the destination. They welcome back adult guests they first met as children—and so it goes for generations. As time passes, resorts evolve. And the standout characters retire or, sadly, pass away. But they’ve left their legacy. Whether it’s legendary characters such as Andrew Lounsbury who operated the gilded cage-style elevator at Hotel Del Coronado for four decades; Pierre Grueneberg who taught celebrities to swim at Four Seasons Cap du Ferrat’s cliffhanging pool during a nearly 70-year career; Jessie Davis, a charismatic, four-decades-long restaurant server at Wigwam Resort in Scottsdale; Ritz Paris’ Hemingway Bar head bartender since 1994, Colin Peter Field; or Freddy, whose margaritas were so famous the Maroma a Belmond Hotel on the Riviera Maya named an iconic beachside bar for him, we raise our glasses to you. This story is my ode to them—and to the new generation of hotel personalities who forever draw us back to a place. Here are a few to meet on your next trip.


At the hotel since its inception more than a decade ago, beloved doorman Dwayne Hamilton reigns as the star of the Langham New York’s social media content, thanks to his beaming smile and big personality. A natural ham whom one guest described as “the sunshine of the hotel,” Hamilton once tried his hand at the front desk, but returned to the door as he missed his daily interactions with arriving guests. He also stands in as the hotel’s resident photographer.



Evoking Southern amiability with his welcoming parlance and dapper seersucker suit, Pops gets rave reviews on TripAdvisor for his personal touches and sincere hospitality from his outpost at this luxury hotel sited in a historic district. Greeting guests with complimentary champagne or cocktails, he shares insider tips that can’t be found elsewhere, sometimes even taking guests on mini-tours of the city as he directs them to nearby restaurants or monuments. One guest wrote: “Running into Pops is like coming home.” Where did he learn his consummate customer service? “It’s something that cannot be taught, something you’re born with,” he says.


Stargazing with guests for more than 22 years from this island resort’s rooftop observatory (rated number one in the world), Eddie Mahoney is a NASA ambassador who offers guests a Tour of the Stars experience several nights per week, during which attendees can see 80 of the 88 constellations. Enamored by the stars since watching Sputnik, the world’s first satellite to orbit earth in 1957, Mahoney lovingly remembers helping a young boy with the Make-A-Wish Foundation see his dream of a shooting star.

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An historic hotel needs a storyteller. Enter Bob Tagatz, a passionate historian who has been named a Historic Hotels of America Historian of the Year. Obsessed with the bygone glamor of sumptuous heyday hotels and fervent about telling their stories, he came to Mackinac Island 27 years ago to work at the Grand Hotel, begging them to christen him the inhouse historian. Instead, they started him as a bellman. But, Tagatz persisted, studying the hotel’s history at night and impressing guests with fun facts. Respecting his knowledge and commitment, the hotel created the position at last, a job Tagatz does with gusto. Today, he leads acclaimed daily tours and gives myriad lectures at the hotel, relating the history of both the Grand Hotel and the island.


Breaking all stereotypes suggesting only men could lord over the concierge desk in stately European palace hotels, Sylvie Gonin took over the role as head concierge in 1995 at this noble hotel on Lake Geneva. Her stories of achieving the impossible for guests are legion, though favorite memories include the time she was given carte blanche to find a small dog for a gift (she selected a Bijon Frisé) and a Middle Eastern guest’s request for estrogen to treat his 500 camels.


The magniloquent Hassler, the only “grand hotel” in Europe that remains privately owned and managed on a full-time basis by its owners, stands proudly above the Spanish Steps. The hotel, founded in the 19th century, has been led by six generations of the Wirth family. With the recent, sudden death of their father, legendary hotelier Roberto Wirth, his children, twins Roberto Wirth, Jr. and Versuschka Wirth, sixth generation hoteliers, took the reins. Known for his warm, elegant, and effusive welcome to guests as well as his generous charitable works, particularly with the deaf community, Wirth will be honored by his children as they embrace his ethos and memory, even as they look to the future. “The Hassler is in our DNA,” say the twins, who plan to increase the hotel’s sustainability and green footprint, institute a spa, and continue to bring the restaurant and wine cellar of the Hassler’s ancient grotto to life.



Having worked at Twin Farms for 30 years (and on the farm property for two decades longer), beloved jack-of-all-trades Ron Porter loves his job mostly for the people he meets. “Everybody has a story, and I so enjoy hearing bits and pieces of peoples’ lives, the places they have been, and their experiences,” he says. He notes that he particularly likes helping to create successful guest experiences, such as a 3-day birthday party the resort once organized for a guest in the middle of winter. Revered by guests who run straight to see Porter on return trips, he has mascot status at Twin Farms.


Originally from the UK, Donald Crawley has been teeing off in the otherworldly Sonoran Desert for more than 20 years, starting the Boulders Golf Academy two decades ago. Guests repeatedly return to take their annual lesson from Crawley, who has been named in Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers in America” for 20 consecutive years—a recognition considered to be the industry standard for teaching excellence.


In Paris’ only château hotel, neatly secluded in gardens in a residential pocket on the Rive Droite, a beautiful black cat stands at attention, watching as each guest enters the feline’s personal haven and sometimes deigning to greet them with a purr and playful meow. Pilou, 14 years old, has long held court at Saint James Paris, its walled garden of topiary and flowers his playground. Happily napping on a sofa in the restaurant or by the palm plant, this truly French chat knows where to sit and how to act to be perceived as the consummate prince.

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Full Circle

Trained under the tutelage of Presidio Dance Theatre, these dancers share the wealth

Natalia Garcia Moreno

SHERENE MELANIA, DIRECTOR OF PRESIDIO DANCE THEATRE (PDT), has been fascinated by tiaras and tutus since she was a toddler. At age eight and without her parents’ knowledge, she called San Francisco Ballet to ask for an audition. The rest is history. But her long career in dance has embraced more than pirouettes and pas de deux. This dance maven, social advocate, and role model has been giving back since the beginning, and years later, her dancers, longtime members, and associates of Presidio Dance Theatre, join her to keep the torch lit.

Melania’s story goes back to when, as a young apprentice dancer at St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theatre, she met an orphan on the street. Moved by the child’s plight, Sherene enlisted her fellow dancers to help organize a benefit concert for the orphanage. Since then, Melania has not ceased mentoring and helping others. “I’ve combined my love of performing with humanitarian work. I believe it is critical to mentor the next generation to do the same,” she says on her website. She adds, “Our Young Ambassador Program, international tours, and community programming enable our students to gain a global perspective while developing leadership, service, and cultural diplomacy skills. By instilling a sense of awareness, students develop empathy and compassion for others.”

Four students, now grown and still loyally committed to the Presidio Dance Theatre, its myriad outreach programs, and socially conscious events, sing Melania’s praises and attribute their success as adults to their dance training with her. We talked to them to hear their stories in their own words.


Now a practicing registered dietician living in Palo Alto, Alyssa Kwan was born in San Francisco and works at Stanford Health Care. Part of the PDT family for more than 18 years, she started with them in third grade, performing local and international tours in both folk dance and ballet. Today, she serves as the company’s registered dietitian, providing educational workshops in health and nutrition.

HL: What do you love about dancing here, and how has it made a difference in your life?

AK: I have loved dancing with PDT. Starting at such a young age and committing to the arts and dance have truly impacted me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Sherene Melania has always been a large role model for me, and having her as my dance instructor for all these years has helped me grow as an individual. What I have appreciated the most from dancing at PDT is the unique genre of dance the studio provides and its mission to develop culturally competent dancers and professionals. Having immersed myself in learning various folk dances across the world has helped me appreciate the diversity of dance and even in my personal profession, nutrition and dietetics.

HL: Some thoughts on PDT?

AK: PDT has truly laid the foundation for dancers and youth alike! I cannot be more thankful for my time and commitment to PDT. I would not be so far personally and professionally if it weren’t for dance. It’s the main reason why I decided to be in the health profession, to obtain my master’s in nutrition at Columbia University, and become a registered dietitian. It sparked my interest in health and well-being, and now I am a working health professional.

HL: How does dancing inform your world?

AK: Dancing has informed my world and broadened my horizons! I was fortunate enough to participate in two international dance tours with PDT to St. Petersburg, Russia and Budapest, Hungary. From these international tours, I was able to share my love for dance with students around the world and to use it as a universal language to communicate.

HL: What else do you love to do?

AK: Sherene and PDT have also taught me the importance of mentoring, and I now coach students aspiring to become registered dietitians. In 2020, I founded The RD Route, an online platform aimed at mentoring prospective dietetic students and nutrition professionals in pursuit of becoming registered dieticians.


Raised in San Francisco, 18-year-old Natalia Garcia Moreno was introduced to dance at age three through Mexican Folklorico. At age six, she began her formal dance training with PDT. The first in her family to attend college, she currently studies at the University of San Francisco, majoring in social justice and performing arts. As a company artist and instructor with PDT, she continues her training in both ballet and contemporary dance at PDT.

HL: What do you love about dancing here, and how has it made a difference in your life?

NM: For me, dance has always been a form of expression. Whenever I entered the studio, I was able to channel and portray sentiments that I would not have been able to express through words. Dance has made me a very perceptive and analytical person and, in some ways, a perfectionist. I am always finding ways that I can improve as an artist and adapt these skills to my personal life as well. Sherene has been such a wonderful mentor to me and I’m so grateful for her continued support.

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PHOTO: PDT Alyssa Kwan

HL: How does dance inform your world?

NM: Dance has paved my path both in the artistic world as well as my life. By gaining cultural diplomacy, I have been able to have a better understanding of the importance of creating equal opportunity and accessibility to the arts. I have also been able to use dance as a platform to speak my truth.

HL: What else do you love to do?

NM: The first thing that comes to mind is helping people. I love being able to bring joy and serenity into people’s lives whenever I can, and I think dance has been a great medium for doing so.

HL: What is something that makes you feel grateful?

NM: I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that Presidio Dance Theatre has provided, such as being able to travel the world (Ireland and Italy) and spread love and appreciation for dance.



This San Francisco native began her dance training at PDT in 2006. A student of a plethora of dance styles, she has traveled the world with the company, performing ballet, modern, jazz, folk, and ethnoclassical ballet.

Persky was recognized as an advanced level dancer and choreographer for multiple years in the pre-professional program at the San Francisco School of the Arts where she was trained under directors Elvia Marta and Andrea Hinman. After a stint at the University of Southern California and more dance honors, she joined PDT as a company dancer and administratively as PDT’s programs and outreach director.

HL: What do you love about dancing here, and how has it made a difference in your life?

HP: The “PDT fam” has served as a second home to me and has always been a supportive environment where I feel encouraged to reach my full potential as a dancer and in my personal life. Over the course of 15 years with the company and under Sherene’s guidance, I have developed a deep appreciation and understanding of different cultures, motivating me to pursue a degree in East Asian languages and cultures. Dancing with PDT hasn’t just impacted my life, it has also truly molded me into the person I am today.

HL: How does dancing inform your world?

HP: Dancing has allowed me to express myself creatively and physically, helping me to develop my identity and sense of self. I have also developed fundamental leadership skills that have served me well in my academic and professional life.

Hanna Persky with Sherene Melania at PDT’s 2022 Gala

HL: What else do you love to do?

HP: I love to exercise; spend time with my family, friends, and dog; and travel.

HL: What’s something interesting about you we might not expect?

HP: I speak Korean fluently. And, I will begin law school at Hastings College of the Law in the fall.


An athlete and dancer in multiple disciplines, LeVander Brown, the first of his family to attend college, is a private trainer at Bay Area Professionals Fitness and Wellness and a football coach at Riordan High School. A former pro football player, he began dancing at PDT nearly 18 years ago and attributes his dance training to his “better coordination” in other sports. As a member of the adult company, he also serves as PDT’s strength and conditioning coach. His goal for all clients is to teach them that working out is not just good for you, but fun, too.

HL: What do you love about dancing here and how has it made a difference in your life?

LB: I love is the different dances and cultures and being around wonderful young ladies and men who love to be a part of dance and perform in front of thousands of people. Most people don’t expect me to dance at all, so to show I can dance brings me great joy. Last summer, I traveled to Italy with PDT. It was my first international trip, and I’m so grateful to Sherene for making that possible.

HL: How does dancing inform your world?

LB: If I didn’t do dance, I don’t know where I would be. I don’t know what I would do without dance. Dance is just that one thing that you can use and where you can just get out and be free, and Presidio Performing Arts Foundation is what started it all.

HL: What else do you love to do?

LB: I love to work out, go on hikes with my dog, travel, and train/coach.

HL: What’s something about you we wouldn’t expect?

LB: I spent some time playing in the NFL. My junior and senior years of high school at Washington High, San Francisco in basketball playing against one of our rival high school, Lowell High School, I performed a dance routine during our varsity girls basketball game, and then played the boys varsity game later that night at Kezar Stadium.


On May 18, Presidio Dance Theatre presents its 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration: Honoring the Women of Iran. The performance will be held at 5 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre, followed by a gala dinner in the Green Room at 7 p.m. The evening will feature our signature pieces as well as a world premiere, honoring the women of Iran. This piece will additionally be streamed globally for UNESCO’s World Dance Congress in July. Proceeds from this event support our local educational and dance programs as well as the Center for Human Rights in Iran, which works tirelessly to promote and protect the rights of all Iranians.

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PDT’s Children’s Day at the Sf War Memorial Opera House Levander Brown
Hanna Persky at Gallo

Travel Inspired

This travel expert will take you around the world

THE DAUGHTER OF JET-SETTING PARENTS, PERIPATETIC, curiosity-driven, joy seeking, travel maven extraordinaire Karen Loftus says, “Travel helps me sate my appetite for many things.” She loves “life, new people, places, big laughs, long conversations, unique landscapes, endless adventures, and learning a lot.” Fueled by these passions, Loftus has worked and communicated with the world as a comedian, a film maker, a travel writer, a podcaster, a travel advisor, a producer, an advocate for good in the world, a trip organizer, a photographer, and an adventurer. Her gusto for life is immense and obvious the moment one speaks to her or sets eyes on her—and it’s contagious. Loftus describes the experience of travel as the way to learn more about ourselves: “For me, travel has been an endless university that gave me a Ph.D. in me.”

Wanting to be infused with her wanderlust spirit, we talked to Loftus about some of her newest projects, her trips for women travelers, and her thoughts on the latest in travel.

HL: How did you get here?

KL: Long before a career in travel as a travel writer and travel advisor, I always made travel a part of my business. As soon as I started writing plays in LA, I took them on the road around the country, then to Edinburgh.

When I was a comedian, the glass ceiling was so low all female comedians walked around like the letter C: we were all bent over, facing the floor. That led to my moving to London, standing tall, and getting on the international comedy circuit where my comedy career took off, as did my international travels. My life and career have always been in entertainment and media with travel woven throughout.

HL: What are some of the most unforgettable trips you’ve taken and why?

KL: You never forget your firsts. My firsts in travel have left the biggest and best impressions on me. My first big international trip was 30 years ago when I went to Edinburgh to perform at the Fringe Festival. Today we see art from all over the world on YouTube and streaming TV. Back then, we didn’t. So, to see five phenomenal shows a day from the best international theater companies was—and still is—incredible. Other phenomenal firsts: my first international comedy gig was in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Bahrain 23 years ago. It was so exotic at the time, as no one had heard of Dubai, if you can imagine.

My first trip to Asia was to Korea 20 years ago to entertain the troops. Like Dubai, the past and the present or the future were seen in the city side by side. It was an incredible, raw, and authentic time in travel with so little tourism.

One of my first trips as a travel writer was to South Africa for the World Cup’s Draw in Cape Town. I was traveling side by side with FIFA, so I saw all of South Africa, the cities, safaris, wine lands, beaches, and all the new stadiums. It was a unique trip.

Everyone is going to Antarctica today. I went 10 years ago, and it felt like I had left the planet. It was so majestic. To go someplace that is essentially uninhabited is incredible.

HL: Why do you think travel is so important?

KL: I think it is essential to see different people and perspectives. It’s a big world with tons of people living very different lives. It opens our eyes to possibilities and understanding and being more empathetic and compassionate toward others. And it’s fun!


HL: We understand you are leading trips around the world … and just for women!

KL: Women’s Adventure Travels specializes in small, well-curated, customized trips for women. All trips are designed by women for women and with women with a distinct feminine thread woven throughout the trip. You see a destination through a feminine lens. WAT supports women-owned and women-run businesses and celebrates women of influence and distinction worldwide. All trips shine a light on all women, from a hotelier to a chef, artisans, conservationists, a sheepherder, or village women defying the local and global odds. In addition, there is a give-back factor on all our trips, a nod to my nonprofit past. WAT gives 5 percent of its profits from every trip back to the country and community visited.

HL: Packing tips? What do you always take that we wouldn’t expect?

KL: I rarely travel without a Sorel shoe or boot.

HL: Is there anything about travel you don’t like? What and why?

KL: The travel part. I love being there, not getting there.

HL: What’s your best advice to make us better travelers?

KL: Be kind, patient, and gracious. Get into a good mood, strap on your sense of adventure, and let the magic happen.

HL: What is trendy, and where should we go next?

KL: Far off the beaten path: otherworldly, luxury adventures, like what White Desert does in Antarctica and Bravo Whisky Golf does in Scotland, are excellent examples of taking a far-flung experience and flinging it further with a well-curated, luxury slant throughout. Similarly, those who love Africa are flying private and taking over an entire property, lodge hopping, making cross-continent trips, and jet-setting around Africa. Last, Saudi Arabia may be controversial, but it’s hot now that it is open, especially Alula. Saudi Arabia is next if you’ve done Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Oman.

HL: What’s a place other people don’t like but that you’ve always loved?

KL: Not a place, but a style of travel, as people—myself included— are surprised that I like cruising. It encompasses a lot of what I said prior, particularly in trends. It takes the to-and-fro away. Then, you wake up in another locale. So, the hassle of travel is gone. You unpack once, which I love, and expedition travel gets you to places (Antarctica, Galapagos, Greenland) that are otherwise hard to reach, certainly on your own. I’m always so relaxed after a cruise. (I do prefer small ships.)

HL: Anything else you want to tell us?

KL: Aside from my women’s trips, I have been coordinating a lot of custom, high-end corporate travel and retreats ( People hop on the WAT site and ask if I can do this for their company. And the answer is, yes, I can, and for all sides of the gender fence.

So pretty in pink at The Westin St. Francis, Marisa Rodriguez models the official “Bloom Gown,” designed by Vasily Vein and featured in a Neiman Marcus fashion show for Union Square in Bloom 2023.

Union Square IN Bloom










IN A CITY FILLED WITH COLORFUL TRADITIONS, THE newest one is also the prettiest. Now in its second year, Union Square in Bloom is a springtime floral initiative by the Union Square Alliance that extends a beautifully eye-catching welcome to the heart of San Francisco for residents, workers, and visitors alike.

Marisa Rodriguez, CEO for the Union Square Alliance, said, “Union Square in Bloom is about bringing bright color, beauty, and positive energy to San Francisco’s iconic center. Dozens of vibrant floral displays and interactive programming create a cohesive theme throughout the district. This is just the beginning of a strong tradition we hope to build on year after year.”

Spectacular, oversized floral displays cascade from the entrances of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops throughout the area. Grab a shot of the flower-adorned cable car on Powell Street, a moving display of quintessential San Francisco lifestyle marking 150 years.

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Sean Peake enjoys a floral-themed cocktail at The Westin St. Francis where Michael Mina’s Clock Bar has a brand new menu of floral-themed drinks to complement the opulent blossoms adorning the room. San Franciscans Sean Peake and his wife, Marisa Rodriguez, wearing custom Vasily Vein in a tribute to Union Square’s enduringly elegant cable cars, a National Historic Landmark celebrating 150 years in 2023.
In Maiden Lane: Marisa Rodriguez wears the original Vasily Vein-designed “Bloom Gown,” the official dress of Union Square in Bloom 2023, unveiled at a Neiman Marcus fashion show.
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A spring floral bouquet awaits guests booking a “Room in Bloom” staycation package in Union Square at participating hotels. Fashion by Vasily Vein, shot on location by the mezzanine lounge fireplace at the historic Beacon Grand.

Imaginative activations are everywhere, and there’s an interactive activity passport for children to explore, too. Union Square in Bloom features a Bloom + Bubbles Passport program in conjunction with several local bars pouring sparkling wine and serving floral-inspired craft cocktails and refreshing botanical drinks. At a spring fashion show, Neiman Marcus unveiled an official “Bloom Gown” by fashion designer Vasily Vein and modeled by Sonya Moldetskaya. And on Mother’s Day, Union Square is the place to be for an afternoon of heartwarming music, dance, and food. Book the “Room in Bloom” package through June at the landmark hotel, The Westin St. Francis, or the newly renovated boutique hotel, The Barnes.

Plan a visit to Union Square this season. Go on a shopping spree, meet friends for cocktails and a wonderful meal, treat mom for afternoon tea, enjoy a show, or make it a longer staycation: the seeds of Union Square are blooming once again.

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Enviably situated overlooking Union Square, Tiffany & Co. is a classic. Marisa Rodriguez strikes a pose inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s wearing Vasily Vein.

The Space Between

Post Ranch Inn

MYSTICS SAY THAT MUSIC IS FOUND BETWEEN THE NOTES, that hollow place where everything is possible. After a stay at Post Ranch Inn, I discovered that place in a physical location.

It is rare to find a destination so breathtaking that it leaves an indelible mark on your soul, but as I sat in the cliffside pool overlooking the expansive Pacific Ocean with only the sounds of nature, I was at peace and feeling connected to something greater and more spectacular than just myself. It was as if this sacred space called me to be a part of it, and I listened.

Post Ranch Inn is famously known for its luxurious accommodations, sensational views, and celebrated seclusion. It has been a world leader in 5-star service for 30 years and is perched on the edge of the world in Big Sur. With only 40 guest rooms hidden on 100 acres of lush hills shrouded in oak trees and giant redwoods, I wandered the property’s many trails in awe of its beauty.

From urbanites to nature lovers, guests enjoy a bounty of activities. A few of my favorites include gazing at the endless Pacific Ocean, soaking in private tubs, enjoying the cliffside infinity pools, hiking the many trails, and dining in their awardwinning restaurant, Sierra Mar.

While the surrounding nature outdoors is stunning, the guest rooms are a beautiful expression of rustic elegance with well-appointed amenities, including an organic king-size bed overlooking wood-burning fireplaces, indoor spa tubs and/or large walk-in showers, private terraces, and mini fridges packed with complimentary, healthy snacks. In addition, there are 15 rooms with custom outdoor steel hot tubs (made from recycled steel) either with ocean or mountain views, six of which are heated by solar assist hot water panels located on the roofs of the rooms. The water used in each of these rooms is heated by the sun daily. For an extra touch of comfort, the floors are heated by radiant heat.


Along with world class guest rooms and an award-winning restaurant, the resort offers many activities for the body and mind. The Post Ranch Spa offers myriad massages, healing therapies, and reflexology treatments. Inspired by local history and community traditions, the spa provides organic signature spa treatments and Mother Nature’s healing elements to nurture guests. There are a few other wellness programs that you can add onto your stay, including the Post Ranch Sleep Program. Post Ranch Inn has partnered with Dr. Michael Breus, known as The Sleep Doctor™. One of the country’s most distinguished sleep experts, he collaborated on the Post Ranch Sleep Program which is a comprehensive approach to improve the way you sleep each night. I met with Monika, the spa director, and she tailored a massage specifically for my needs. I was lucky to receive a deep tissue Post Ranch Inn Signature Massage from Brandon, who added lymphatic massage to my treatment. After the incredible massage, I floated back to my treehouse, cozying up to the warm fireplace with a cup of hot mint tea. The guest rooms include surround sound, and my treehouse had preprogrammed spa music playing when I returned. Heaven.

During the day, guests are invited to enjoy complimentary yoga, meditation, and sound healing classes. One of the favorite activities is their signature falconry class. Guests meet and learn about the local birds of prey with a professional falconer. Along with riveting information about each species, the activity ends with a falcon perched on your forearm. Being so close to nature gave me a new perspective on wildlife and our need to protect this earth and the many animals that live on this delicate planet. Ironically, Post Ranch Inn utilized biodynamic practices before “eco,” “green,” and “sustainability” were considered possible in hospitality. Nevertheless, their ecological, holistic, and ethical approach to gardening, farming, and management has guided the way for the industry’s responsibility to employ Earth-friendly practices.


Post Ranch Inn’s eco-friendly endeavors have led the hospitality sustainability movement. Some of its impressive innovations include:

The use of low and zero-VOC paints.

The room desk lamps are made from recycled plumbing parts (fabricated by a San Francisco artist).

The redwood used in some guest rooms was re-milled from old redwood wine barrels.

Low voltage LED and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs, CVUs, and LEDs) are used wherever possible, especially in guest rooms. In addition, most outdoor lights utilize LED light bulbs.

The 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets are manufactured in California without chemicals or dyes.

Flower-based guest soaps are handmade in nearby Santa Cruz; other in-room guest amenities are Earth-friendly. These specialty products and others are available for purchase in the mercantile to support small, regional businesses and cottage industries.

No single-use plastic containers are used at the resort.

Adjacent to the resort , the Inn provides subsidized housing for many of its employees in 20 two-bedroom and 12 studio apartments to help reduce traffic and energy emissions.

Chef Il Hoon Kang is the acclaimed executive chef of Post Ranch Inn and Sierra Mar. Before leading the culinary charge at the Inn, he was at Michelin-starred Madera in Menlo Park,

California. His other appointments include Commis in Oakland (one Michelin star), The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena (three Michelin stars), and Auberge Resort’s Calistoga Ranch in Calistoga. Each night, Chef Il Hoon Kang uses seasonal, local, and garden ingredients to craft prix fixe menus that change regularly. All the herbs and some of the vegetables are from his private garden located on the property.

With more than 3200 wine selections and a wine cellar of more than 12,000 bottles, Sierra Mar features one of the largest restaurant wine lists in California with a Wine Spectator Grand Award. It has the only Grand Award in Monterey County.

There is a sense of place grander than the 100 acres of Post Ranch Inn. It is a sense of responsibility and history as well. For example, the owners named each unique guest house after a family who shaped the Big Sur region. Before opening the resort to the public, the owners invited each family to stay in their namesake’s guest house. Every guest room has a photo of that family and their history in the area.

The Post Ranch Inn invites guests to experience something more significant, more magnificent, and more important than “just a visit to a pretty resort.” For me, it was a profound shift from witnessing the world encased in technology and deadlines to genuinely hearing, feeling, tasting, and seeing the world through Post Ranch Inn’s expansive spaces where anything is possible.


Toll-free: 1-800-527-2200

(831) 667-2200

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Elevated Luxury in the Emerald City

Lotte Hotel brings South Korean hospitality and inspired design to the heart of downtown Seattle


Hotel Seattle glimmers in the sun on an uncharacteristically clear day. Lotte Hotels is reputed for its luxury hotels across Asia, and its Seattle property—which opened September 2020—marks the company’s first hotel on the West Coast and its third in the U.S. The 189-room luxury hotel, outfitted by world renowned French designer Phillippe Starck, occupies 16 levels of a 44-floor modern glass skyscraper in Seattle’s downtown business district. Coined a “modern lodge,” Starck’s playful design incorporates nature and history with carpeting and light fixtures featuring timber patterns.

Past meets present in the first floor lobby where the tower seamlessly transitions into its neighboring building, The Sanctuary, formerly known as America’s first United Methodist church. The nation’s oldest Beaux Arts-style architectural building, this treasured Seattle landmark underwent a $40 million restoration and was incorporated into the hotel as a unique event space. Aside from striking aesthetics, the hotel also encompasses an expansive spa, restaurant, and lounge—not to mention its exquisite guest rooms. Column-free floors and floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the city’s sea ports, while marble and midcentury modern furniture lend a stylish, luxurious feel. Residential-

style suites on the upper floors also offer unparalleled privacy in the heart of the city. The 2,097-square-foot Presidential Suite is ideal for an extended stay in Seattle, an opulent retreat set up for in-suite entertaining with a dining room, full kitchen, bar lounge, and sitting room complete with a Yamaha baby grand.

Back on the 16th floor, Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge buzzes at happy hour. Helmed by executive sous chef Caleb Babcock, a seasonal menu showcases Pacific Northwest cuisine with a contemporary spin on local ingredients. The rotating cocktail program also keeps things fresh with inventive drinks I found myself savoring with dinner or as a standalone nightcap. Asian influences can be seen in ingredients such as Szechuan buttons, and the standout bar team also incorporates house-made and local ingredients—such as MarketSpice tea from Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market—all of which lend themselves to brilliant flavor combinations.

Those seeking the ultimate in wellness and relaxation will want to visit to the hotel’s third floor spa and fitness center. The ethereal Le Spa de l’hôtel LOTTE offers a wide range of services, from customized facials using exclusive products (the hotel is Bellefontaine’s only spa partner in Washington) to a full slate of massage and body treatments. The hotel’s prime location also means

Contemporary design meets Travertine stone, merging the modern hotel with its historicalneighboring landmark

drivers can whisk you to the waterfront or Pike Place Market in a matter of minutes.

Wineries are ample in Woodinville, just 20 miles northeast of downtown Seattle in a region known for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. Oenophiles can also enjoy tasting at boutique wineries—as well as a spectacular view of Seattle’s skyline during the 35-minute ferry ride—on Bainbridge Island, one of Washington’s best kept secrets. Art collectors and appreciators would be remiss to skip a private tour of the Chihuly Boathouse (by appointment only). Even if you aren’t in the market for one of pioneering glassblower Dale Chihuly’s magnificent chandeliers, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore this stunning space. The Boathouse not only showcases Chihuly’s work and eclectic collections (including a 1954 Austin-Healey 100M), but it is also home to the workshop where you can witness his extraordinary team pull molten glass like taffy.

Lotte Hotel Seattle is a perfect convergence of Seattle’s past and future, skillfully merging its storied history with its contemporary creative spirit. Perched above the Emerald City with immaculate vistas, the hotel is a jewel of the Pacific Northwest, a home away from home with unmatched service and attention to detail.

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Lotte Hotel Seattle’s luxurious glass towersskyscraper above The Sanctuary Contemporary Pacific Northwest cuisine is served with views of Elliott Bay at The Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge Indulge in world class treatments at Le SPA de l’hôtel LOTTE

The Bold and the Beautiful

A weekend well spent at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, a vibrant designer hotel perched on the edge of a lush, emerald jungle

Hotel Mousai is set in the lush tropical jungles of the Sierra Madre Mountains The property boasts two rooftop pools, both of which overlook Banderas Bay

THOUGH I ADORE THE BAY AREA’S PROXIMITY TO THE rolling hills of wine country, dewy coastal forests, and powdery slopes of Lake Tahoe, sometimes I’m seeking a little sun and sand. Fortunately, Puerto Vallarta has more than enough of that to offer— and it’s just a hop, skip, and jump from the Bay. Finding myself in need of a short and sweet getaway, I journeyed to Hotel Mousai on Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore for an all-inclusive vacation to destress and decompress.

Just minutes from the beach, this 5-diamond luxury boutique resort offers chic design and coastal views with 145 suites: 73 in its North Tower and 72 in its newest South Tower. The secluded, adultsonly property is a few miles south of downtown and situated on the picturesque Garza Blanca Preserve where development is limited to safeguard its bountiful tropical surroundings. Though R&R is certainly on the menu—all suites feature a private terrace with a hot tub and hammock to enjoy exquisite views of the Pacific Ocean— culinary and outdoor adventures also abound.

Start your morning with exclusive resort experiences such as beach, river, and mountainside kundalini yoga sessions, which combine breathing techniques with meditation and asanas for a relaxing and restorative experience. Nature lovers also have their choice of jungle jaunts with hiking trails and guided walks to explore the wild rainforests—and even a splendid waterfall—around the preserve. From November through March, you might even spot humpback whales from the viewing deck.

Having invested in a new GoPro and underwater filters, however, I was keen to explore underwater. We jumped at the chance to join the resort’s early morning kayaking and snorkeling trip to the beautiful Los Arcos rock formations in Banderas Bay, where we paddled through the towering natural arches and dove into azure waters to discover the subaquatic wildlife. Satisfactorily sunned and in need of a little recuperation from the morning’s

adventures, a hydrotherapy ritual at the resort’s spa was in store for the remainder of the day.

Featuring a stunning, open-air deck with unspoiled views of the ocean, Hotel Mousai’s Spa Imagine is an idyllic space for a variety of treatments to feel utterly pampered in addition to its cutting-edge hydrotherapy circuit. Complete with a sauna, steam room, heated whirlpools, and warm and cold plunge pools, the circuit also includes a unique pressure massage shower that targets weary muscles in the shoulders and upper back—perfect for post-kayaking escapades. Tip: Be sure to schedule your treatment in time to wrap up and catch the sun dip into the ocean while you relax on the spa deck.

Guests can also indulge in afternoon activities such as tequila tasting sessions set in a tropical oasis where the hotel’s jefe de bares led us through the distinctive tastes, aromas, and color variations of white, reposado, and añejo tequilas. (If you’re already a connoisseur, visit the bar at Blanca Blue restaurant which offers more than 100 varieties of tequila.) As night falls, indulge in Hotel Mousai’s vast culinary offerings which include contemporary takes on international fare with options such as the Japanese-influenced Hiroshi, and DAO’s contemporary Chinese dishes. (For casual, daytime meals or sunset libations, enjoy garden-fresh selections and handcrafted cocktails poolside at the property’s two rooftop restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding Sierra Madre mountains.)

An eclectic retreat with modern amenities in the heart of the jungle, Hotel Mousai is a destination that merges the indoors with its spectacular natural environment. Whether you seek to reconnect with nature by immersing yourself in outdoor pursuits or by simply enjoying the dazzling sunset from your suite’s private terrace, what’s certain is that you won’t run out of divertissements before the weekend is up.

The private terrace of each suite offers a jetted plunge pool and ocean views

Ridiculously Luxurious Hotels in Northern California

Upgrade your extravagance when visiting Napa and Sonoma wine country.

MAY IS HERE AND SUMMER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. This is when the desire to travel peaks for many looking for their first vacation of the year. For those looking for a vino holiday, there is no better place than California wine country. Sonoma and Napa are known for beautiful vineyards, delicious cuisine, and, of course, the wine. But what about luxurious lodging? Whether you’re partaking fine wine or just looking to be pampered during your travels, below are best luxury hotels to book when visiting.

Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

Napa, CA

After joining Du Soleil and Solage in 2022 as Auberge’s third property in the Napa Valley, Stanly Ranch just celebrated its first birthday in April. The resort features 135 cottages and guest rooms on 700-plus acres of former ranchland only a few miles from downtown Napa. What sets Stanly Ranch apart from its sister properties and other luxury hotels in the area? Experiences!

Whether it’s a helicopter ride to Donum Estate for wine, a sidecar motorcycle adventure, or a pasta making experience, the Stanly Ranch has an experience to indulge the senses. Don’t worry if you’d rather relax during your stay; Halehouse is ready to improve your well-being. Work out your stress in the fitness center, restore in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or revitalize with a spa treatment.

Top Amenities: Chef Garrison Price leads the culinary team at Bear Restaurant. Swim in adult and family pools. Halehouse Unlimited is for locals looking to use the facilities as a monthly membership.

Best Experiences: Learn how to make botanical cocktails in a class with farm director Nick Runkle. Enjoy 100-point wine tasting. Track mountain lions with wildlife conservationist Dr. Quinton Martins and educator Liz Martins.


Inn at Single Thread Healdsburg, CA

Single Thread is more than a 3-star Michelin restaurant located in Sonoma County; it’s also an inn with the highest level of hospitality. Chef Kyle Connaughton and his wife, Katina, combine their California roots with Japanese philosophy for a truly elevated mind, body, and spirit experience for guests.

The Inn is comprised of only five guestrooms, each furnished with heated floors, paper ceiling lanterns, Japanese toilets, and a rotating list of wines from Sonoma County producers. In addition, an overnight stay includes elegant Japanese, Sonoma, or English breakfast options prepared by the Single Thread kitchen team.

Top Amenities: The restaurant is often booked months in advance, but Inn guests are guaranteed indoor dinner reservations for two. Head up to the top floor for 360-degree views from the rooftop garden. Use the $400 Teaforia digital tea infuser which includes a box of marvelous oolongs and masala chais.

Best Experiences: In-room or rooftop, enjoy a donabe hot pot meal from Sonoma County’s only 3-star Michelin restaurant.

Montage Healdsburg Healdsburg, CA

Set among the undulating vineyards and ever-present oak trees of California, the 260-acre property opened its doors in early 2021. This Sonoma County sanctuary feels like it is one with nature, as the exterior was purposely designed to match the colors of the surrounding forest.

The Montage Healdsburg has 130 bungalow-style rooms, including 34 suites and one 3-bedroom guest house. Interiors feel like contemporary design meets camping because of the earthy tones and clean-lined décor of the property. The resort is home to a 12,000-square-foot spa, two pools, and several dining options, including their signature restaurant, Hazel Hill. The locally sourced, French-inspired restaurant offers a rotating, seasonal menu paired with the best wines from Sonoma County. If you fall in love with the property there is also a residential program to acquire your very own wine country retreat.

Top Amenities: Drive one of the top-of-the-line Cadillac vehicles. Use indoor and outdoor showers in the guest rooms. Enjoy 24-hour inroom dining. Take fitness classes, including “Yoga Among the Vines.”

Top Experiences: Immerse yourself in the “Dive In” movies every Friday in the summer, where the adult pool turns into an outdoor movie theater. Go “bee-lining” with local apiarist Candice Koseba, learn all about bees, and view the property’s new log hive. The art and gallery tour starts at the award-winning Aperture Cellars for a special tasting experience curated for Montage patrons by winemaker Jesse Katz. Then head over to Harris Art Gallery in downtown Healdsburg for an insider look into local art with Alexander Harris.

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Carneros Resort & Spa

Napa, CA

Located in the Los Carneros AVA in Napa Valley, the Carneros Resort and Spa stays true to its agricultural roots with 100 farmstyle cottages and suites on 30 acres. Cottages are equipped with fireplaces, fire pits, hot tubs, and wine dispensers with local Napa favorites.

A highlight of the property is the range of dining options. The upscale FARM restaurant incorporates produce from the on-site garden for those looking for an elevated gastronomic menu. Enjoy a fine dining experience on the outdoor terrace with fireplace or inside the softly lit, high ceilinged dining room. Guests can’t stay at the resort without stopping by the Boon Fly Café, a local favorite because of the comfortable, casual atmosphere, and comfort food offered. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the biggest winemakers in Napa standing in line for lunch.

Top Amenities: Exclusively for guests, the Hilltop Dining Room is open for breakfast and lunch. Enjoy meals with a scenic view of the Napa landscape. The new culinary gardens feature dozens of herbs and vegetables, many of which are used in the resort’s cuisine.

Best Experiences: Bring your favorite record to pair with wine at “Vinyl + Vino” in the summer months. Look to the stars, enjoy an outdoor movie, or go old school with a game night by the fire with “Cozy Cottage Nights.” Learn the history and proper technique for sabering a bottle during the Secrets of Sabrage experience. “The SelfCare Package” takes place at Spa Carneros’s private farmhouse suite. Feel a sense of tranquility and well-being through prioritizing the most important person in your life—yourself.

Bardessono Hotel & Spa

Yountville, CA

Who says sustainability and luxury can’t co-exist? Bardessono

Hotel & Spa demonstrates hotels can provide lavish amenities while maintaining environmental efficiency. When it opened in 2009, Bardessono was one of four hotels to earn a LEED Platinum certification, in part due to half of the electricity used on property coming from solar. Throughout the 65-guestroom property, interiors and exteriors incorporate recycled steel, wood from salvaged trees, and stone from the original Bardessono house built 80 years ago.

The location in the center of a small town is also a feature of the property. Once you arrive at Bardessono, take a stroll down the walkable avenues of Yountville to find public art, wine tasting rooms, and fine dining restaurants within steps of the hotel. If you’re planning to venture out a bit further, take advantage of the newest Lexus models available to hotel guests for the day.

Top Amenities: Don’t miss dining on-property at Lucy Restaurant & Bar. Enjoy a luxury spa without leaving your room, as every room at the Bardessono contains soaking tubs, massage tables, steam showers, and organic bath amenities. Also check out the year-round heated rooftop pool.

Best Experience: Put on your best face with a haute couture oxygen therapy facial plus hyaluronic at the B SPA. Bring your dog to “Yappy Hour” at Lucy Restaurant on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. and enjoy drinks and dog biscuits on the outside patio.


Lodge At Sonoma Resort, Autograph Collection

Sonoma, CA

The spirit of Sonoma is captured at the recently upgraded Lodge at Sonoma. The hotel’s Mission style architecture pays tribute to Sonoma’s Mission San Francisco Solano, while incorporating the luxury amenities travelers expect at a Marriott Autograph Collection property. Located one mile from the historic Sonoma Plaza, the property consists of 182 options for accommodations, such as the renewed Cottages suites and rooms which have private outdoor soaking tubs to take advantage of the California weather. The most recent improvement is the completely remodeled 7,800-square-foot Spa at the Lodge. Guests will relax and recharge in the 11 rejuvenating treatment rooms comprised of two dedicated, deluxe couple’s quarters and separate facial and massage rooms. Also, visitors can complement their treatments by utilizing the outdoor garden space, whirlpool spa, and dry barrel sauna.

Top Amenities: At Michael Mina’s acclaimed Wit + Wisdom restaurant, the High Horse Bar’s décor enlightens guests to the friendly rivalry between Napa and Sonoma. Join the evening wine reception with a local Sonoma winemaker in the grand foyer.

Best Experiences: Write down your most intimate dream on the Dream Wall at the resort’s 400-year-old tree called Heritage Oak. The Valley of the Moon spa package draws from the energy of the moon, and patrons will appreciate the 90-minute full body massage using handpicked gemstones. Grab a bike and “Pedal for Pinot” to Sonoma Plaza. This experience includes a detailed map of the tasting rooms located within one mile from the resort, such as Sosie Wines, Buena Vista Winery, Pangloss Cellars, and many more.

Silverado Resort & Spa

Napa, CA

The resort, which started as a private home in 1870 and was converted to a public golf course in the 1960s, is located between the well-known Silverado trail and downtown Napa. The 365room property, set on 1,200-plus acres, has 13 tennis courts, 10 pools, and a spa.

One of the major selling points of the Silverado is the two PGA championship golf courses. Since 2016, the Fortinet Championship, part of the PGA tour, is held in mid- September. The tournament features the finest food and wine from the Napa/Sonoma area along with a concert series during the weekend.

Top Amenities: Rejuvenate at the SPA at Silverado. Play in the pickleball courts. Visit the new chef’s garden, featuring seasonal produce.

Best Experiences: Listen to live music at the Blue Note Jazz Festival hosted by Dave Chappelle. Take a golf cart down the road to Prime Solum Winery. Indulge in the 7-chakra body treatment at Spa Silverado, which includes aromatherapy and a sound bath.

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LUMA: A new lifestyle hotel in the new heart of San Francisco


San Francisco is your gateway to world class entertainment in downtown Mission Bay. Experience a vibrant new lifestyle while staying in the epicenter of its buzzing scene. LUMA is just steps away from Oracle Park and only a 10-minute walk to Chase Center. With its independent spirit, this next-generation hotel brings an elevated experience and is the perfect urban city getaway.

Designed by San Francisco-based Hornberger + Worstell, LUMA features 299 contemporary guest rooms and suites, including 50 double king rooms, that thoughtfully blend technology with premium amenities. Most rooms feature floor-toceiling windows with mechanized privacy shades. The layout of each room is meticulously designed to maximize vantage points of San Francisco’s skyline and the bay.

Paying homage to the history of Mission Bay, which once housed salt ponds and wetlands, the color palette infuses cool, neutral tones with pops of teal to play upon the touchpoint where water meets land. The illuminating jewel of the property is the 16th floor Presidential Suite, featuring separate living and dining spaces and connecting bedrooms for a truly expansive feel. It offers eye-catching views into Oracle Park. The one-bedroom Presidential Suite is complete with a wet bar, powder room, and full spa bathroom, including a soaking tub, handcrafted river stone shower, and rare fossil tile from industry leader Stone Source.

Custom furnishings may be found throughout the penthouse, including curved sectional sofas from California-based Lily Jack and the bedroom headboard designed by Kevin Farry Fine Art. The suite has a second large, double king room connected through an enclosed vestibule, ideal for larger families. There are seven junior suites available with separate corner living rooms and bedrooms, all with fantastic views. All guest rooms feature Frette linens and bathrobes and ETRO bath amenities. Bathrooms have one-of-a-kind glass wall design with full visibility to the bedroom.

The hotel’s common area, COMMUNITY, serves as a gateway for both locals and visitors to feel as though they are one with the neighborhood. It has glass-enclosed walls, plentiful lounge furniture, and access to the coffee bar, TWYNE.

Upon entry as a guest, you are welcomed with exclusive, large-scale art installations commissioned by local artists. Visible inside the hotel and from the street, COMMUNITY features Helical Trace by famed visual artist Jim Campbell, which includes 4,000 wires that end in single LED light bulbs to reflect a man climbing through the flow of water. Additional large-scale artwork includes Oakland-based artist Adia Millett’s 18-foot abstract painting titled Refuge, which emulates the indigenous birds known to the neighborhood. LUMA also plays up its name, meaning “bright light,” and features several artistic light installations throughout the property as part of the city’s illumination program. Standout pieces include the exterior,

Haute HOTEL 70 HAUTE LIVING Hotel exterior

giant, backlit, laser cut panels that emulate the Mission Bay salt ponds and display an array of changing colors at night in addition to a beam of light that stretches up the corner of the building along Third and Channel Streets.

The property is home to GLOW FIT, a 1,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center, designed with the pro athlete in mind. It aims to energize and motivate you during your stay. The expansive space features premium cardio equipment, including Precor® ellipticals, Assault air runners and air bikes, Aviron rowing machine, and TRX, alongside universal hand and free weights. Two fully equipped FORME studios complete the experience with on-demand experts from every discipline, including fan favorites like Barry’s Bootcamp.

For the extra-tall athlete staying at LUMA, the hotel has created 12 premier king guest rooms that feature customized, 8-foot-long king beds, 7-foot showerheads, and heightened ceilings.

A multitude of culinary options include a coffee bar, grab-andgo marketplace, and 17th floor Latin American-inspired rooftop bar and lounge featuring open-air patios overlooking city and bay views. The coffee bar, TWYNE, brews sustainably sourced coffee from Bay Area-founded Sightglass Roasters paired with a menu of baked goods from San Francisco-based Craftsman and Wolves and cold brew and kombucha available on tap. Keeping in line with local fare, LUMA’s bodega features a curated assortment of snacks and bites from local purveyors such as La Cocina, Nana Joes Granola, and famed neighborhood deli Jackson Market.

A prime destination to enjoy live music and craft cocktails and to take in stunning views of the surrounding bay and San Francisco skyline, Cavaña celebrates the spirit of Central and South America through food, beverages, music, and art. The menu features an expansive collection of agave and sugarcane distillates

alongside artisanal cocktails, minimal intervention wines, and shareable plates. The music offerings complement the experience with the sounds of Bossa Nova and Afrobeat on vinyl records, with a DJ spinning live in the main room. Cavaña features four gas firepits, two decorative fire elements, and 30 overhead radiant heaters for comfort on cold nights.

The in-room dining menu highlights Mission Bay neighborhood favorites, including Tyler Florence’s Miller & Lux with items like truffle deviled eggs and the M&L burger, in addition to select items from New Belgium Brewing Company.

LUMA’s GATHER boasts 7,250 square feet of dynamic meeting and event space for corporate events and celebrations of all sizes. Each of the eight versatile rooms features fully integrated Avidex digital connectivity, including lighting, sound, and projection embedded into the room’s Bluetooth® system for effortless control and the ability to bring any style of event to life. Boardrooms are equipped with Mersive technology for seamless, optimized, remote capabilities in more intimate gatherings and breakout space featuring lounge seating along with an extended tabletop work area.

LUMA Hotel is also LEED Silver certified, a global recognition for achievement in sustainability and leadership. You can rest easily knowing LUMA’s forward-thinking approach includes a rainwater harvesting system that reduces potable water use by 32 percent, Bolon flooring made from recyclable materials in all guest rooms, and motion sensors to promote energy efficiency.

LUMA Hotel is the perfect choice for catching your favorite games at Oracle Park, or watching the Warriors or concerts at the Chase Center, seeking treatment at UCSF Medical Center, or visiting the many high-tech firms in the area. For details, please visit:

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Cavaña rooftop bar

Festival Napa Valley

CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY’S FLAGSHIP FESTIVAL, FESTIVAL Napa Valley (FNV), returns for its 17th summer season July 8 to 23 with a rich lineup of one-of-a-kind performances and food and wine events held at iconic venues surrounded by the incomparable beauty and enchantment of Napa Valley. Celebrating music’s unmatched power to uplift and inspire, the festival’s summer season features an incredible diversity of artists and programs from around the world.

Opening night is always a grand reunion for music lovers and a chance to meet new friends. The event takes place this year on the Festival Napa Valley stage at the historic Charles Krug Winery on Friday, July 14. Patrons will gather in the reserve lounge to toast the season before taking their seats in the beautiful venue. The concert features Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas performing Joaquín Rodrigo’s iconic Concierto de Aranjuez, pianist Alexander Malofeev celebrating Rachmaninoff’s 150th anniversary with the Piano Concerto No. 2, and this year’s Maria Manetti Shrem Daniel Brewbaker Composer Prize winner, Yang Bao, unveiling a world premiere. Following the concert, patrons will attend an opening night dinner at Dario Sattui’s magnificent Castello di Amorosa.

On Saturday, July 15, the festival’s signature celebration of food, wine, and music—Taste of Napa—returns to the central piazza of the Meritage Resort from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Best-in-class wines from Napa Valley and around the globe and delectable cuisine from more

than 70 participating wineries, breweries, restaurants, and culinary artisans are featured. A reserve tasting salon offers private premium wine tasting, and everyone has a chance to win prizes, including international travel, by collecting Taste of Napa passport booklet stamps throughout the day. Music throughout the day includes performances by the Frost Jazz All-Stars and Broadway singer and actress Christina Maxwell.

That evening, guests can catch rising star vocalist Matteo Bocelli and violinist Francisco Fullana with Festival Orchestra Napa at Charles Krug in an Olivia Decker Power of Music concert. A patron dinner follows at the spectacular, art-filled HALL St. Helena.

Crowning the opening weekend, 8-time GRAMMY® award winner Carrie Underwood headlines the Arts for All Gala on Sunday, July 16, at Nickel & Nickel. Benefiting arts education and FNV’s community programs, the gala features an exquisite dinner prepared by Michelinstar chef Charlie Palmer, paired with offerings from the Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel family of wines. A fast-paced, live auction led by Emmy award-winning auctioneer John Curley offers a chance to win once-in-a-lifetime luxury travel, wine, and performing arts experiences. One of the nation’s premier arts charity events, FNV’s Arts for All Gala has raised over $20 million since its inception to support free and affordable access to world class performances, public school arts education, and scholarships.

Carrie Underwood Matteo Bocelli
PHOTOS: RANDEE ST. NICHOLAS (BOTTOM LEFT), LUCA ROSSETTI (BOTTOM RIGHT) Pablo Sainz Villegas Lester Lynch Time for Three Lucas Meachem Serena Saenz Gordon Getty

Seasons of Hope on Tuesday, July 18, features the Northern California premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6, Vessels of Light. This inspiring work commemorates the heroism of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese vice-consul to Lithuania who saved thousands of Jewish refugees during WWII. Their descendants number more than 40,000 people, including the family of renowned cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper, who is performing as soloist. The program also includes Gordon Getty’s celebrated cantata Joan and the Bells, inspired by the life and martyrdom of Joan of Arc who transcended gender roles to become honored as a savior of France. The concert features Festival Orchestra Napa under the baton of Constantine Orbelian, Volti Chorale, and vocalists Ronit Widmann-Levy, Lisa Delan, Lester Lynch, and Melody Moore. Expect an evening that transcends time and place and that inspires as only great music can. A patron dinner at Odette Estate Winery follows.

The FNV’s dance gala, Reunited in Dance, on Friday, July 21, brings together world class ballet dancers from Ukraine and Russia performing in solidarity for Ukraine. The artists of Reunited in Dance have performed with premier ballet companies around the globe, from Norway to Hungary, Germany to Bulgaria. But they share common origins in Ukraine and Russia—all were ballet stars there until the outbreak of the war. Many have harrowing tales of escape, and all spent long months off the stage, separated from their colleagues and friends. The program is directed by Xander Parish, the celebrated, British-born, former principal dancer at Mariinsky Ballet. The evening concludes with a patron dinner at Trinchero Napa Valley.

On Saturday, July 22, the festival presents its 2023 Manetti Shrem Opera, Gaetano Donizetti’s beloved Don Pasquale, directed by Jean-Romain Vesperini and starring Lucas Meachem, Alexey Lavrov, Serena Sáenz, and Xabier Anduaga. The production also features participants of the festival’s Manetti Shrem Summer Vocal Conservatory, and Festival Orchestra Napa conducted by Constantine Orbelian. Quintessa hosts a patron dinner following.

Other highlights include a concert of opera scenes with the Manetti Shrem Summer Conservatory vocalists on Wednesday, July 19; jazz at Charles Krug with the Frost School of Music All-Stars

on Thursday, July 20; Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito at Beringer Vineyards, also on Thursday, July 20; and a season finale concert on Sunday, July 23, with Festival Orchestra Napa led by Kyle Dickson. Also not to be missed is a fashion show luncheon curated by Neiman Marcus at Frank Family Vineyards’ stunning new Miller House on Saturday, July 22.

Vintner’s luncheons and patron dinners take place daily throughout the festival at leading wineries, resorts, and estates. In addition to those already mentioned, 2023 venue and event hosts include ADAMVS, Alpha Omega, B Cellars, Bouchaine Vineyards, Brasswood, Cameo Cinema, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Dana Estates, Darioush, Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley College, ONEHOPE Winery, Stanly Ranch, Trefethen Family Vineyards, the Walther Green Car Barn, Boisset Collection/Wappo Hill, and Wheeler Farms. Furthering Festival Napa Valley’s commitment to making the arts accessible to all, admission to daytime concerts is free, including daily Festival Live! concerts featuring participants from the Frost School of Music at Festival Napa Valley’s Blackburn Music Academy, three Bouchaine Young Artist concerts, and the family-friendly Novack Concerts for Kids. These concerts take place in the Jackson Family Wines Amphitheater at the Culinary Istitute of America at Copia.

Evening performances are affordably priced at $35. Patron passes provide access to special events, including vintner’s luncheons, patron dinners, and the Arts for All Gala. Taste of Napa general admission tickets are $150 and $295 for reserve salon access.

In addition to its summer season, Festival Napa Valley presents international stars and emerging talent at iconic venues year-round in the Bay Area and beyond through the Olivia Decker Power of Music series.

With inspiring education programs for youth and seniors, tuitionfree academies for vocalists and instrumentalists, and scholarships for talented students, Festival Napa Valley plays a vital part in creating a thriving, healthy, and engaged community, fulfilling its mission to bring the arts to all.

A full schedule of events and information on how to purchase tickets or passes is available at

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Olivia Decker Power of Music Presents Vitamin String Quartet at Palace Hotel San Francisco


Power of Music concert by the Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) at the Palace Hotel San Francisco on April 22. The evening included a reception hosted by Olivia Decker, Palace Hotel General Manager Angie Clifton, and Festival Napa Valley president Rick Walker, featuring fine wines from Grgich Hills Estate. The sold-out concert delivered powerful, enchanting music for a remarkable evening at the Palace Hotel’s magnificent Garden Court.

Since their debut in 1999, VSQ has helped establish classical crossover as a genuine force in contemporary music with captivating string performances, scoring unforgettable film and TV moments, and helping couples around the world create their perfect wedding playlists. Fresh off high-profile placements in Netflix’s smash series Bridgerton and Universal’s The King of Staten Island, VSQ has become one of the most popular contemporary string ensembles in the world. With more than 300 releases, VSQ has produced cutting-edge string renditions of a highly eclectic mix of artists, erasing boundaries between classical, dance, hip-hop, rock, and pop. Their longstanding VSQ Performs the Hits series showcases their

Vitamin String Quartet members Leah Zeger, Thomas Lea, Rachael Grace, and Simon Huber Leah Zeger, Thomas Lea, Olivia Hsu Decker, Rachael Grace, Richard Walker, and Simon Huber Olivia Decker, Pasquale Esposito, and Samira Ghazvini Stephanie Chung and Konrad Niemiec Mindy and Jesse Spencer
Dr. Michael E. Hebrard and Rochelle Hebrard Olivia Decker and Anita Wornick Scott Rosen and Rick Walker Vitamin String Quartet members Leah Zeger, Thomas Lea, Rachael Grace, and Simon Huber with young fans

transformation of the best hits pop has had to offer for the past eight years. The quartet also engages with select artists on a full-album basis, including visionaries such as Cardi B, Lana Del Rey, Björk, and Sigur Rós, as well as music from the films of Studio Ghiberti.

To date, these heartfelt renditions have earned the ensemble over 1 billion streams, almost 4 million downloads, and over 1 million physical units sold. Seven of VSQ’s albums have charted with Billboard magazine, peaking at number four in both the classical and classical crossover categories. Most recently, the full-length album VSQ Performs Lana Del Rey, was nominated for “Best Classical Record” in the 2021 Libera Awards.

VSQ’s music has appeared in other high-profile TV shows besides Netflix’s Bridgerton, including HBO’s Westworld, Showtime’s Shameless, and ABC’s Modern Family. The ensemble also appeared onscreen with 30 Seconds to Mars for an episode, MTV Unplugged, and an episode of Gossip Girl. VSQ can also be heard alongside Danny Elfman, Plain White T’s, Korn, and others in the official The Nightmare Before Christmas tribute album, Nightmare Revisited

Based in Los Angeles, VSQ features a rotating cast of musicians and producers and frequently collaborates with animators, creators, and like-minded artists. Their collaborations with ThatViolaKid, Simply Three, the Dutch Domino Team, and DoodleChaos have been major creative successes.

Festival Napa Valley’s Olivia Decker Power of Music Series showcases globally recognized performing artists and emerging talent in year-round, live presentations on spectacular stages in the San Francisco Bay Area and other locations. For past and upcoming concerts, visit: https://festivalnapavalley. org/ programs/olivia-decker-power-of-music-series/

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Sold-out audience with Vitamin String Quartet at Palace Hotel Garden Court Amy Ko, Olivia Hsu Decker, and David Park Anna Wayne, Sadhana Cardozo, and Laura Gigounas

Dress For Success San Francisco Honors Teresa Rodriguez

GLITTERING GOWNS AND GENTS IN BLACK TIE TUXEDOS SET THE tone at the Palace Hotel on the occasion of Dress For Success San Francisco’s 18th anniversary fundraiser, Casino Royale Gala. Chaired by Sharon Seto, the themed event raised over $400,000 toward continuing efforts aimed at empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to thrive at work and in life.

Nearly 400 guests were present to recognize Teresa Rodriguez, editorin-chief at Haute Living, San Francisco and a best-selling author, as the 2023 Success Honoree. “I grew up surrounded by the warmth of my nine Mexican aunts who showed me unconditional love and taught me the true meaning of generosity. There was always a plate of food for anyone who

walked into their homes, along with a hug and a warm smile. Each of my aunts instilled in me the importance of giving back and sharing what little I might have.” Also in the spotlight were Volunteer of the Year Sandy Lynch and Client Success Ambassador Allyson Bufano, who eloquently shared heartwarming personal stories.

Both a live auction and a silent auction took place prior to a lively casino after-party with dancing. Among the gala’s notable attendees were Carolyn Wente, Dress For Success board chair, past honoree, and CEO of Wente Vineyards; Kellie Abreu, honorary co-chair of the event; Rodney Fong, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce; Yuan Yuan Tan, principal dancer of the San Francisco Ballet; and Aly Wente, VP Marketing & Customer Experience of Wente Vineyards.

Vicky Wong, Kathryn Lawrence, Beth Schnitzer, Sharon Seto, David Seto, Teresa Rodriguez, Lin Hoffman, Amanda Sargisson, Jason Gan, Steve Seto, and Helen Cheung Aubrey Brewster, Navid Armstrong, and Olivia Hsu Decker David Seto, Sophie Azouaou, Orkut Buyukkokten, and Pablo Fischer Yuan Yuan Tan and Michael Tung Pernella Sommerville and Paula West

Dedicated to Supporting Women

Meet Godavari Ghosh, Director of Operations, Dress for Success San Francisco

GROWING UP IN INDIA WHERE WOMEN FACE OPPRESSION IN everyday life, Godavari Ghosh realized at a very young age that her mission in life would somehow involve offering support and help to women and girls.

As a teen, she spent many weekends volunteering at a local all-girls orphanage and a women’s clinic. She recalls, “I spent most of my weekends helping girls my age or younger than me with their math homework or learning about women’s health and the lack of access to good healthcare.” In 2008, her educational pursuits led her to the University of San Francisco where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in finance, continuing her studies at Hult Business School to earn a master’s degree in international business. During college, Ghosh volunteered with Dress for Success San Francisco and fell in love with the organization’s mission: “Being in a space that was not only a safe haven for women, but was also dedicated to their professional success, made me overwhelmingly happy.” After graduating in a tough job market, Ghosh returned to Dress for Success San Francisco. “To cheer myself up, I went back to Dress for Success, volunteering during the few months I had left in this country with my visa.”

A month after devoting her spare time to the mission of the organization, Dress for Success San Francisco hired Ghosh as a contractor. “I was thrilled to be able to work at a place where I was making a difference. I also felt that my recent struggles searching for a job really helped me empathize with the women we were serving and made me stronger in my new role. A lot of my family and friends back home ridiculed me for working at a nonprofit when they believed I should be working in the finance sector at a larger company. Despite this, I am blessed to have very supportive parents who told me to drown out objections if this is what I really wanted. And that’s exactly what I did.”

Ghosh is passionate about financial education and upskilling women for jobs paying sustainable wages. During her time working at Dress for Success San Francisco, Ghosh has recognized that women’s equality, equal pay, and equal rights are not only problems in India, but a worldwide issue. This realization makes her even more passionate about her work.

“Through my work, I have realized how important financial education is for women, as it is a step toward independence. At Dress for Success, we offer financial literacy courses. It brings me so much joy to see the women we’re teaching realize that they have the power to change their lives.”

Currently, Godavari Ghosh is the director of operations at Dress for Success San Francisco. She has been with the organization for several years, serving over 15,000 women in the Bay Area, and says she feels like her mission is only just getting started.

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“Being in a space that was not only a safe haven for women, but was also dedicated to their professional success, made me overwhelmingly happy.”
Godavari Ghosh (left) and Pauline Maninang , DFS Client

Raise a Glass to Calistoga’s Wines

THE CALISTOGA WINE GROWERS ASSOCIATION AND FOUR Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley hosted the second annual Calistoga Wine and Culinary Experience on Saturday, April 1, 2023. The event brought together the best of Calistoga’s wine and cuisine at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley in Calistoga.

Located at the northern end of Napa Valley, the Calistoga AVA produces some of the world’s most prized wines. Talented winemakers get the most out of the region’s unique terroir to craft impressive white and red wine varietals which are attracting global attention. This event showcases what makes Calistoga one of the world’s most unique and special wine and hospitality destinations.

Guests enjoyed some of California’s best wines produced by top winemakers. Participating wineries included Amici Cellars, Au Revoir, Baldacci Family Vineyards, Barlow Vineyards, Bennett Lane Winery, Canard Vineyard, Chateau Montelena, Clos Pegase, Elusa Winery, Fisher Vineyards, Girard Winery, Jack Brooks Vineyard, JAX Vineyards, Jericho Canyon Vineyards, Jones Family Vineyards, Kaiser Family Winery, Kenefick Ranch Vineyards, Knighton Family Vineyards, La Sirena, Lawer Estates, Lúnasa Wines, Mancini Family Vineyards, Maria Concetto Winery, Phifer Pavitt Wine, Poggi Wines, Romeo Vineyards, Solorio Family Wines, Stellareese Wines, Storybook Mountain, Switchback Ridge, THE GRADE Cellars, The Wager, Twomey Cellars, and Work Vineyard.


Participating in the event were a few of Napa’s Valley’s legends, including world-famous winemaker Heidi Barrett and Rogelio Garcia, the executive chef from Top Chef’s 15th season, who is now creating magic at Auro, the extraordinary restaurant at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley.

Between sips, guests dined on delicious food offered by some of Calistoga’s top restaurants, including CAMPO, Auro, TRUSS Restaurant + Bar, Solbar, Evangeline, Lovina, and Flourish Chocolate. Favorites included caviar served on cracker pillows created by Auro, Lovina’s mushroom soup, CAMPO’s carne asada tacos, and tater tots with caviar by Evangeline.

Many guests extended their Four Seasons experience and enjoyed a stay at the Four Seasons Resort where several dined at TRUSS and Auro. After the wine tasting, some adventurous guests ate poolside, enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine from CAMPO between swimming and soaking in a hot tub.

For those looking to escape city life, consider visiting the pastoral Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley in Calistoga. Although less than a 2-hour drive from San Francisco, it feels like a world away.

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ODC/Dance celebrates 52 years

ON MARCH 31, ODC/DANCE CELEBRATED THEIR 52ND anniversary with more than 325 art lovers at their sold-out 2023 Dance Downtown Gala at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. From the artistry of the ODC/Dance to the choreographers to the hundreds of glamorous guests lighting up the after-party dance floor, it was magical to be surrounded by the joy and community that are at the heart of ODC’s mission to foster inclusivity and diversity through dance.

The event raised more than $410,000 to support ODC’s groundbreaking professional dance company and the expansion of its

campus to house the extensive programming and resources that serve the entire community. The evening featured an exhilarating performance by ODC/Dance, which included the world premiere of Collision, Collapse and a Coda by ODC’s founder and artistic director, Brenda Way; Impulse by guest choreographer Dexandro Montalvo; and Triangulating Euclid, a 3-way choreographic collaboration between Way, KT Nelson, and Kate Weare. The gala’s chairs, Tim Schroeder and Jackie Schneider, and the gala’s committee, Navid Armstrong, Anna Boyer, and Rachel Goldberg, did an amazing job. Table hosts included Eleanor Coppola and corporate sponsors Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan.

Performance Christopher Lawrie, Navid Armstrong, and Jarrod Baumann Andrew Saunders, Christian Squires, Kippy Marks Jeff Shen, Sally Yu, and Tim Schroeder Eleanor Coppola and Alice Waters

Where Form Meets Fundraising

Poliform hosts event for Bay Area Furniture Bank

ON THURSDAY, MARCH 16, APPLEGATE TRAN INTERIORS PARTNERS and founders Gioi Tran and Vernon Applegate hosted a glitzy fundraiser at their luxurious new Poliform showroom. Over 200 esteemed guests delighted in the nearly 9,000-square-foot space. The Poliform showroom is a toast to modern Italian design and innovation, with beautifully appointed vignettes throughout the impressive space. This lively fundraiser benefited the Bay Area Furniture Bank, a local nonprofit providing free furniture to families in need. The Bay Area Furniture Bank is a nonprofit charity close to Tran and Applegate’s heart, serving over 70 newly-housed families monthly in the bay area

PHOTOS Alan Dao, Kimberly Henry, and Tuan Cao Gioi Tran and Pamela Pennington Gioi Tran speaking about coming to America Jen Hale, Auggie Djekic, and Lisa Lovely Burcu Garnier, Sheriann Glab, and Lillian Pham Holly Baxter, Claudia Juestel, Rocelyn Chen, Jason Gan, and Carla Vinhas Yannick Heiniger, Mayela Solis, Jenna Dart, and Tyrone Pater


THE 2023 AMERICAN RED CROSS GALA RAISED OVER $978,000 to support the organization’s mission. Taking place on March 24 at the California Academy of Sciences, the event was attended by more than 300 Bay Area notables who helped recognize this year’s honorees, Briana Taylor, Visa, and the Visa Foundation. Co-chaired by Kenzie Ferguson and Elizabeth J. Folger and emceed by KRON4 news anchor James Fletcher, the red-tie event featured a cocktail reception, a 3-course dinner compliments of Componere Fine Catering, a magazine-styled photo shoot experience by The Vanity Portrait Studio, and live entertainment by Bay Area deejay C.J. Flash. For additional details, please visit

Guests making their way through Cal Academy to the cocktail reception in the aquarium Gala program in the piazza Briana Taylor, Red Cross Humanitarian Volunteer of the Year, accepting award with Regional CEO Hanna Malak James Fletcher, KRON4 news anchor and Red Cross Gala emcee

An Epic Evening with Epi Center MedSpa

EPI CENTER MEDSPA SHIMMERED IN CELEBRATION OF ITS 25TH anniversary as San Francisco leaders, influential VIPs, and pioneering eco-warriors gathered for a glamorous evening. Freddy Clarke tantalized attendees with his acoustic guitar mastery, and Paula West serenaded guests with her sublime jazz vocals. Glamorous guests explored the treatment rooms, learning about the latest beauty solutions and groundbreaking procedures offered by the nation’s first medspa.

In 2009, Epi Center MedSpa received a proclamation from Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco for obtaining a Silver LEED certification by the U.S. Building and Green Council.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the San Francisco community for over 25 years through the Epi Center MedSpa. Watching our staff and patients grow and develop on their personal journeys has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am also grateful to have been a part of conceptualizing this industry and watching it grow worldwide. It’s truly amazing to travel to another country and see ‘MedSpa’ in the name of the center. It’s a testament to the impact we’ve made on the world of beauty and wellness,” shares Margaret Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of the Epi Center MedSpa.

Epi Center MedSpa swag Pernella Somerville (left) and Stephanie Block (right) Amalie Ababneh (left) and Navid Anderson (right) Darryl McKinnon of SkinCueticals Left to right: Heidi Pettit, Will Wick, and Margaret Mitchell Suzette Clarke (left) and Farah Makras (right) Freddy Clarke and Corinna Siebt
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The Epi Center staff

A Paris Fantasy

WHAT A WEEK! FROM AN EXTRAORDINARY GALA AT OPERA GARNIER, one of the world’s most iconic buildings, to the hot, new Alain Ducasse restaurant floating on the Seine River, lunch at the Paris SoHo House, and more, it was indeed a fantasy week in the City of Light!

Paris buzzed with the celebrity-studded annual gala at the one and only Opera Garnier. Sponsored by Rolex and Chanel, the event paid tribute to legendary ballet star Patrick Dupond, who passed away in 2021. A glittering mix of international figures in the entertainment, fashion, and social worlds attended, including Whitney Peak, Vanessa Paradis, Clara Luciani, Alma Jodorowsky, and Woodkid.

The evening began with a cocktail reception in the extraordinary building’s central atrium, followed by a breathtaking performance by the Paris Ballet. Next, dinner was served in the Grand Ballroom, the architecturally dazzling, almost fantasy-like space as if the Hall of Mirrors met the Sistine Chapel.

We had the pleasure of sitting with Jeanne Hoefliger, director of the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet, a fascinating mix of American patrons from across the United States. Finally, we went to the after-party as only Parisians know how to do it. Wow! With a mix of the patrons plus the ballet dancers, the energy was through the roof, and we danced until three in the morning. Talk about joie-de-vivre—it was a perfect end to an unforgettable evening.

One-of-a-kind view form the top of the Opera Garnier Luncheon at Cercle de L’Alliance, one of Paris’ most exclusive private clubs Navid Armstrong Joel Goodrich and Tanum Davis Bohen The Grand Ballroom of the Opera Garnier

The Girl from 7 th Avenue Comes to San Francisco

NEIMAN MARCUS SAN FRANCISCO WELCOMED CELEBRATED fashion icons Pat Cleveland and Kevan Hall with a spectacular cocktail reception. A luxurious evening of delectable offerings from the Rotunda restaurant, paired with an exclusive preview of Kevan’s 2023 collection, set the stage for a wonderful event filled with San Francisco’s style set. The soiree included a preview of the Museum of African Diaspora’s special screening event, which featured conversation between these two esteemed visionaries in fashion history.

Kevan Hall and Pat Cleveland Paula West, Pat Cleveland, Carolyn Tyler, and Pernella Sommerville Paul von Ravenstein, Pat Cleveland, and Antonio Contreras Pat Cleveland, Gehno Aviance, Mark Sullivan, and Antonio Contreras Paige Stark, Jobina Fortson, Carolyn Tyler, and Gary Love Pat Cleveland and Mark Sullivan Raynel Lynn, Emily Masini, Pat Cleveland, Sydney Reed, and Kevan Hall


GLAMOROUS JET-SETTING HAS AN UNSAVORY UNDERBELLY called jet lag, that onerous state of zombie-ism in which you feel wedged between time zones—awake and asleep simultaneously. While a dose of sunshine, exercise, and sleep help most people adapt to their new surroundings enough to enjoy their vacations, our skin may still bear the consequences of that long flight. Recirculated air, cabins with just 20 percent percent humidity, reduced oxygen circulation (which activates the stress hormone cortisol), UV exposure, lack of sleep, and a change in diet combine to contribute to the malaise. The condition can take days to remedy—if not more. While hydrating, moisturizing, and enough rest support the healing process, jet lag’s effects on the skin can linger.

Luckily for our skin, 25-year-plus master esthetician Daphne Chapman created Airo Skincare, an acclaimed new product line designed specifically to counteract the effects of long-haul flights and travel’s ill effects on our skin. As a passionate traveler, the beauty expert, who has been obsessed with skincare since she was a teenager, noticed that she could tell when her clients had been traveling by just looking at their skin. “Their dull, dehydrated visage gave it away,” she said, noting that people also tend to

forget their routines while on the road, even reaching for the soaps, shampoos, and lotions offered by the hotel instead or simply skipping steps they wouldn’t at home.

That’s where Airo comes in. A full-scale product line that offers everything from masks to serums to mists, plant-based Airo does wonders for travel-wrought skin. Choose the signature plant-based Globetrotter kit ($142). It includes a face serum with boosted apple stem cells, a Joshua tree and prickly pear-packed hydrating mist for the face, an anti-puff eye serum made with licorice root, and a wildcrafted, African shea butter lip treatment. Those traveling to the beach can opt for The se Beach Bum kit ($142), which features four marine-based après sun warriors: a toning mist, a cooling eye gel, a hydrating serum, and a lip treatment. Both sets come neatly packed in a chic travel bag. For speedy skin recovery, smear on the super-popular Airo Jetsetter recovery mask, best applied before bedtime ($56), and don’t forget to pack the brightening Airo exfoliating cleanser ($42).

Note: Travelers to San Antonio can find Airo in their rooms and at the spa at The Thompson San Antonio.

It isn’t pretty: Airo Skincare has a kit for that




Two new products from ever-innovative British celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury promise instant skin repair while on the road—and at home. Charlotte’s Magic Cream, an award-winning, bestselling moisturizer composed from a matrix of oils, has long been beloved for the instant glow it gave super models’ faces before a fashion show. Just launched, that same formula has been tweaked to soothe and smooth the skin on our bodies. Hello, smooth arms and legs! $65 Don’t arrive at your 5-star hotel with puffy eyes. Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery eye serum is supercharged with an anti-aging complex, including Vin-Uplift, Ice Awake, and Charlotte’s signature peptide fusion, Replexium, which instantly revitalizes tired, allnight-airplane eyes. Brighten and depuff with its skin-cooling cryo-tip. $68


NAD+, an essential and beneficial molecule needed for energy metabolism and overall cellular function declines with age. A lack of it can result in dehydrated skin, wrinkles, dark spots, and beyond. Perfect for travelers, Aramore has released a line of highly researched NAD+ products, including NAD+ Cell Energizing Lotion - AM/PM. The lightweight lotion combines proprietary NAD+ technology with nature’s most potent botanicals for plumping, firming results—a boon for with jetlagged skin. $150


A new twist on Saje’s flagship Pocket Farmacy, Mindful Pocket Farmacy helps keep you centered even on the most stressful travel days. The packet of five essential oils includes three exclusive new blends alongside two cult-favorites. Enhance your mood and seek tranquility with oil blends that target confidence and empowerment, reflection and grounding, connection and heart warmth, energy and vitality, and calming and unwinding. $65

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Rancho’s Back

This beloved Baja retreat has reopened with a wellness focus, and it’s better than ever


YOU’VE HEARD OF FOREST BATHING? THAT JAPANESE STRESS reliever known as shinrin yoku in which one seeks relaxation and tranquility amid a leafy landscape, finding calm among the trees and observing nature’s sights, sounds, and smells as a healthboosting route to well-being? At Baja’s newly retooled and artfully expanded Rancho Pescadero, I experience what I come to think of as desert bathing—or maybe even Baja bathing.

It begins with an arrival to a door set within an unadorned concrete wall found down a remote, dusty road near the magical arts haven of Todos Santos. Just as you ponder the possibility of having rolled up to the wrong cacti-peppered desert location and just as you process the wall, something ephemeral like a mirage, somebody in a very fairytale-like fashion, suggests you open the door. When you do, you catch your breath, blinking as an otherworldly realm unveils itself as sacred as a temple. You enter, astonished and eager like Alice in Wonderland, to an al fresco anteroom, colorful with local art, hung with vines, and anchored by an altar. “Please feel free to make an intention for your stay,” says the person who suggested you open the door, a resort member who hands you a welcome drink. Entranced by the scene, you whisper your intention: the hope for just a smidgen of tranquility. Then you take a deep breath. Not yet checked in, you feel something shift. It’s the resort’s gift: what owner Lisa Harper calls “crossing over.”

But that’s just the beginning. Next you wend your way across the soft desert sand, barefoot if you wish, toward your suite where the ocean and a pool come to view. The Sierra Laguna mountains stand watch. As you ramble, you’ll tread through nine interconnected gardens, abundant with indigenous plants, many displaced during the resort’s renovation and replanted in their original locations to thrive once again. Signs point to places you’ll want to visit, like Kahal, the glamorous seaside restaurant, but you’re most bedazzled by the immense garden beside you, rife with every imaginable eatable temptation.

Pick a tomato and pop it in your mouth—nobody cares. They want you to. In fact, later in your stay, they’ll urge you to snip herbs, gather eggs from the henhouse, cut flowers from the flower garden beside the spa, and wander with the chef who wields an immense basket and fills it with manifold ingredients for a handpicked, garden-to-bowl salad lunch. At last, ensconced in your artful suite kitted out with folkloric accouterments gathered from across Mexico, including Talavera tiles, copper vases, and steel headboards accented with leather tassels, you’ll rush up the balcony’s staircase to find a rooftop terrace and romantic lounge. The view will stop you in your tracks. You’ll think you should stay in the room, indulge yourself, never leave—but you’ve come for Botánica Spa, the resort’s 25,000-square-foot-wellness arena, a highlight of Rancho’s redo.

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When you see Botánica Spa, you’re happy you stepped out of your room. The shaded haven includes an apothecary, a semiOlympic-sized lap pool, two yoga shalas, a Pilates studio, a stateof-the-art fitness room, an en plein air relaxation pavilion, and a Baja bathing-worthy garden abundant with flowers and healing herbs, not to mention undulating paths. The spa might be called Rancho Pescadero’s heartbeat or—better said—soul. When the original resort opened in 2009 with 12 rooms, it was known as a chic-but-earthy hideaway, a bastion of barefoot elegance. The original Rancho exuded spirited disengagement, authentic seeking, and unfettered bliss with an emphasis on well-being defined uniquely by each guest. Now, with 103 keys, it’s vastly larger and fancier. But Rancho’s original soul sings—it’s everything it ever was and more. And that gravitas is embodied most in its prodigious Botánica Spa—a veritable marvel.

Much like the founders of Rancho Pescadero, I believe that wellness has many mothers. It isn’t about deprivation or massage or chanting or veganism—unless you want it to be. Wellness, instead and in my point of view, is an array of healing moments that can be as simple as gazing at a flower in bloom or chatting with the chicken that laid the egg you’ve selected for your huevos rancheros. Wellness is slowing down, stopping to feel the sand between your toes, hearing the roosters crow, and making your own bouquet of flowers from Rancho’s garden. Wellness is drinking a mescalita at the bar with friends, doing yoga on your rooftop terrace, and eating chef Sandro Falbo’s farm-to-plate food—especially if you’ve walked the garden with him. For those longing for guilt-free well-being, the sort that feels mystical, customized, and hedonistic in turns (if that’s what you want), I offer you some of Rancho Pesadero’s best wellness immersions.



Originating with Aztec and Maya traditions, cacao ceremonies date back thousands of years. A spiritual ritual, it involves sipping small cups of adaptogenic, nutrient-rich cacao in a heartopening, breath-focused, meditative session.


Walk the garden as if it were your own, cutting flowers and herbs to create your own bouquet for your suite.


This rejuvenating, energizing massage uses freshly cut basil leaves from the garden, soaked in warm oil which ensures the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the herb are deeply absorbed.


Translating to “rosemary booster,” this immunitybolstering massage utilizes rosemary from the garden. Used in aromatherapy for stress relief and to reduce anxiety, rosemary has also been shown to lower cortisol levels. This 50-minute restorative treatment adds hot stones to target problem areas.


Under the tutelage of a gardener or a resort team member, make your own mists, soaps, lotions, bug repellant, scrubs, or other well-being products with herbs and botanicals from the garden.


Baja bathing happens to the maximum degree in the gardens at Rancho. A variety of resort programs supports guests in their desire to wander the gardens—most fun with the chef—to pick the ingredients for their salads, meals, or cocktails. In the morning, greet the hens which happily share their eggs for your breakfast.

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Magnificent San Francisco Bay View Residence


THIS FABULOUS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED ON TOP OF THE MOST premier of Tiburon locations. It boasts a perfect, contemporary design with high ceilings and wall-to-wall windows showcasing magnificent, panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, Angel Island, Belvedere, Sausalito, and majestic Mt. Tam. Every room is oriented towards the awe-inspiring views and filled with natural light. This newly remodeled, stylish, 4-bedroom home is an entertainer’s dream!

The spacious living room has a fireplace and a wet bar, and the family room just below it also has a fireplace as well as an attached deck. The formal dining room has open beams, 30-foot ceilings, and 2-story windows overlooking breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. It offers a uniquely spectacular dining experience. The stylish kitchen features fine quartzite countertops, a large center island, an eat-in-breakfast area, a handmade Spanish tile floor, and top-of-the-line appliances. The double oven

is equipped to be preheated from anywhere using the app. The primary bedroom features a large sitting area with wall-to-wall windows for perfect views, and the attached bathroom has a steam shower and state-of-the-art heating system with unique quartzite vanities and a walk-in closet. All bathrooms are equipped with brass faucets and tile floors, handmade by Italian artisans. Other features in the house include an office, a spacious laundry room with copper sink, and a 2-car garage.

Located at the end of a cul-de-sac with a private driveway, the home is both peaceful and quiet. It is within close proximity to downtown Tiburon’s shops, restaurants, waterfront pathways, ferries to Angel Island and San Francisco, and the prestigious Corinthian and San Francisco Yacht Clubs. It gives every resident the remarkable sensation of vacationing at home and is offered at $7,999,000. Details and pictures on

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Pininfarina Battista

The storied designer delivers a magnum opus

YOU ARE TO BE FORGIVEN IF THE NAME PININFARINA RINGS A bell, but you can’t quite place any of their earlier cars. There’s a simple answer: they have been creating designs and fabricating bodies for some of the most beautiful cars in the world, but the glory for those cars goes to the names on the hood ornaments, most notably Ferrari and Aston Martin, as Pininfarina didn’t produce cars ... until now. And, boy, was it worth the wait!

First, let’s see a little history. Pinin Farina was the youngest (and probably the shortest) member of the Farina family. His given name was Battista Farina, but he was called “Pinin,” the term of endearment for the youngest and smallest family member. At five foot even, he was both. In 1930, the Farina family already was involved with creating car bodies, and Pinin did that for some time. Then he created his own company, calling it Pininfarina to differentiate it from his family’s Farina brand. Flash forward several years.

By then, they had had a hand in creating many aspects of the most beautiful works of rolling art ever made and which were sold under more famous names like Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Cadillac, Fiat, Hispano-Suiza, Maserati, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, and others. Pininfarina’s designs and bodies graced some of top cars in the world. For the last 40 years, they’ve also had their hand in the designs of buses, trains, yachts, airplanes, and private jets, so they’ve been busy with many types of conveyances.

Now let’s look at the company’s efforts over the past few years. In 2015, Mahindra (the multinational car firm based in India) bought over 75 percent of Pininfarina and decided to create a hypercar under the nameplate of Automobili Pininfarina. They christened the car “Battista.” Using the basic workings of the Rimac Nevera (Rimac, the fast-growing Croatian automobile and high-tech company founded in 2009, owns 55 percent of Bugatti as of 2021), the all-electric Battista is a force to be reckoned with.

I first saw the completed model of the car in 2018, when it was on a roadshow to impress potential buyers and prospective investors. It was gorgeous. Although not an operating vehicle at that time, the body’s fit and finish were superb and its style unique and stunning. It had its formal unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2019, but it wasn’t until very recently that I was able to see—and drive!—the finished product. I was amazed at how much like the 2018 model it looked; so many cars lose their special touches when it comes to production realities. However, the living and breathing (more on that below) Battista was both stunning and an unbelievable performer to drive.

There’s a certain reality to a car’s design in which “form follows function” is clearly the phrase of the day if you hope to be able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under 2.0 seconds and hit a top speed of 217 miles per hour (both of which metrics the Battista achieves). The hypercar needs to have a design that cuts through the wind without becoming airborne at high speeds. Though I stayed well below the top speed (I was on Mulholland Highway and the Pacific Coast Highway, after all), I can assure you that the acceleration numbers are accurate and the top speed seems eminently doable.

The car is a very interesting and successful combination of beauty, comfort, performance, and intrigue. It clearly has the stance of a champion, and it drew a big crowd wherever we stopped, no doubt because the misty green/gold paint radiated in the sun and because the car’s sound at “idle” (stand-by?) is completely unique. Let’s start with the sound.

Sound engineers play a big role with electric cars, since those vehicles are inherently quiet—no exhaust sounds, no fan noise, no internal-combustion engine (ICE) sucking in fuel and exploding it. The Battista’s engineers had two very interesting design goals: to give the

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car a “personality,” a signature sound that was unlike any other, and to provide the driver and passenger the aural feedback that, like an internal combustion vehicle, makes more noise the faster it goes and the more power being created. Investing a reported 2,000 hours in the process, sampling and combining all types of sounds, they’ve achieved their goals.

They achieved the first goal by using the sound frequency related to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls. The Battista uses a 54-hertz sound which is three octaves lower than that of the Tibetan bowls (432 Hz). That sound not only is audible from outside the car, but you can also feel it when you touch the car, as it literally hums through the carbon fiber body. The Pininfarina folks not only wanted a sound that was unique, but one that would also increase the feeling of well-being by the driver. I can’t opine on how successful the car was at making me feel better, but driving a $2.2 million, 1,900-horsepower hypercar on some of the best driver’s roads in the world had me feeling pretty, pretty good, even without factoring in the sound!

The second goal was interesting, too, as ICE-powered cars mostly whine and growl in a way which is directly related to the power being expended and the acceleration and speed being achieved. What the Battista sound magicians did was create a sound which becomes somewhat louder and higher-pitched the more power that was being utilized and the faster the car was going. For those of us from the past millennium when analog was king, driving an electric car that provided feedback related to performance was a welcome addition.

With this background in mind, you can imagine my delight in not only spending the day with the car, but also having lunch with the team: Paolo Dellachà, chief product and engineering officer; Dave Amantea, chief design officer; and Franziska Queling, global head of public

relations. It was such a treat for me to be able to visit with the creators of amazing art and have them point out the features and design cues which were important for them in their work. Time with them added immeasurably to the joy of the day.

So, what’s it like to drive? First, one is firmly ensconced within a plethora of leathers, metals, and carbon fibers resembling a fighter jet’s cockpit designed by a high-end interior designer. The controls are easy to understand and operate, and all are laid out well for the driver. The seats are beautiful, comfortable, and supportive, necessary criteria to meet when rocketing through the canyons. The whole package together makes it easy to feel at one with the Battista. (Cue the Tibetan singing bowls here.)

With some 300-plus-horsepower electric motors on each of the front wheels and around 600-plus-horsepower electric motors on each of the rear wheels (let that sink in for a minute), the car is capable of some magic tricks, like slowing the inside wheels and speeding up the outside wheels on a corner to improve turn-in and overall handling. The effect is uncanny, as the car feels like it’s on rails and seems as sure-footed as a panther.

As if anyone who bought a Battista would be concerned about range anxiety (since they also could have a chase truck or helicopter with a generator on board), it gets an estimated 300 miles on a charge. As only 150 Battistas are slated to be built, you likely won’t see one on the road very often.

My time with the Battista was coming to a close and, try as I might, I could not extend the drive or take a quick run to San Francisco. (From Los Angeles at top speed with no traffic, that would take about one hour and 45 minutes.) One thing’s for sure: my Tibetan bowl would have been singing mightily on that run! Bravo, Pininfarina!


Lydia is a passionate advocate of healthy living. She has launched and positioned many health and wellness-related companies, products, technologies and organizations receiving more than 100 awards nationally and internationally. Her focus in the health sector is specifically on healthy living, aging and longevity. She is a partner and investor in several recognized national brands. She sits on the board of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging whose mission is to eliminate the threat of age-related disease for today’s and future generations. It is the only independent research organization globally dedicated to extending the healthy years of life. Like the scientists at the Buck, Graham envisions it will be possible for people to enjoy life at 95 as much as at 25. To support Buck’s mission, please visit

So Close, So Far Away

Taking time-out at the Cavallo Point Healing Arts Center & Spa

REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A KID (OR YOU HAVE KIDS) AND were told (or you tell them) to “take a time-out?” Well, sometimes we must tap into our inner parent to get permission as an adult to take a time-out and temporarily step off life’s merry-go-round.

When asked what my favorite places are for restoration and rejuvenation, the Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point in Sausalito immediately comes to mind. First off, it is a great escape when you really need to get away but do not have the time or energy to go out of town. It is so close, yet my healing starts the moment I arrive. I am transported as if miles away.

Perhaps, it is the sheer natural beauty of the sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the rolling hills of the Marin Headlands (perfect for hiking or biking before and after the spa), and the expansive landscapes. A bounty of nature greets you when you first enter what feels like a secret enclave as the world you just left begins to fade.

Catch refreshing whiffs from the surrounding eucalyptus and pines walking up the path to enter the tranquil and earthy, 11,000-square-foot Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point. Here, a world of globally inspired wellness offerings designed for nurturing and renewal awaits. Integrating the finest cultural healing practices, this contemporary oasis offers everything from signature spa treatments, such as massages and facials to soothing soaks in the heated outdoor meditation pool. Plan time to sip away stress and enjoy a delicious lunch in the tranquility of the outdoor garden or at the indoor Tea Bar Café before or after your treatment. The spa’s seasonally inspired menu from chef Michael Garcia features salads and light fare and a curated selection of Ikaati teas.

What is unique about the Healing Arts Center & Spa is the variety of treatments and practitioners available under one roof. While there are the expected (and not to be underestimated) massages and facials, an array of unexpected healing modalities and alternative holistic medical treatments are also available, such as hypnotherapy and guided imagery for addressing anxiety, weight loss, addiction, or that feeling of being stuck or blocked in an area. There are four energy work treatments to choose from, as well as herbal treatments and consultations on nutrition. And for the adventurous, there is even a guided journey towards inner healing with a shaman (Shamanic Journeys). Men, if you think all this fun is just for the ladies, check out the Guys Day Out package tailored just for men. (Drop a hint: it is the perfect indulgence for upcoming Father’s Day.)

For guests looking for more enhanced, deeper, and longer experiences, the Healing Arts Center & Spa offers five “Retreat into Wellness” itineraries for planning a personal wellness retreat (all can be customized) alone, with friends or your partner:

View from bluff above Cavallo Point

• Room to Roam: An active itinerary. Suggested activities are hiking, biking, and/or kayaking, ending the day with a deep tissue massage and meditation.

• A Haven for Healing: Activities are designed to be transformative for healing.

• Lean in to Love: Perfect for two. Enjoy connectedness meditation, custom sound bath for two, hiking, and organic massage.

• Relax. Reset. Renew: Sleep longer with a sleep package, outdoor yoga, meditation massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and the tea bar.

• New Year. New You: For any time you need a fresh start. This package includes a shamanic journey, herbal consultation, hypnotherapy, dermalinfusion facial, chakra energy balancing, and tea bar.

These five immersive itineraries offer wonderful opportunities to take time out to return to nature, quiet the mind, find gratitude in simple joys, reconnect with yourself or your partner, and focus on well-being.

The Healing Arts Center & Spa is the perfect getaway for singles or couples. My favorite day there begins with a hike, then a massage or treatment, a steam or hot tub, then tea and food afterward either at the spa or at Farley Bar or Sula—a great place to meet friends. I always stop by the Mercantile before lunch, drinks, or dinner to check out their latest offerings or pick up a gift for an upcoming birthday or holiday. Such is my perfect day, either alone, as a girlfriend’s getaway, or as a special time away with my husband.

There are plenty of after-treatment options to continue your wellness journey if you decide to stay overnight, such as daily morning yoga and miles of hiking trails in the 75,000 acres of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Private guided hikes are available if you want to learn the trails. For the less ambitious, just strolling around the lodge’s parade grounds before or after a latte or cappuccino and walking down near the water is very relaxing and still affords a bit of exercise.

If you are concerned about leaving your best four-legged friend behind, the Cavallo Point Lodge is pet-friendly if you decide to stay. My dog, Arnie, always remembers the room I stay in, as he goes right to it each time. Just keep your pet on the leash, as it is a national park and there is wildlife.

So, the next time you think you just cannot get away, think again. Your wellness retreat is right around the corner just waiting for you to discover it.


Marin Wellness Escape

• Overnight stay (your choice of historic or contemporary room)

• Complimentary room upgrade at time of check-in, subject to availability

• Organic massage

• $100 dining credit for Farley or Sula

Starting at $795* (single) $1,099* (double)

*Excluding taxes and gratuity and depends on room type and availability. For reservations call: 415-339-4700

@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 107
Outdoor courtyard and heated meditation pool Contemporary deluxe room with view Lunch at the tea bar Personalized facial

Aubrey Brewster, a bon vivant and man-about-town, is a. product of his environment. His affinity for cooking, fashion, and entertaining was inherited from summer vacations shared in Charleston, West Virginia with his southern belle model-turned-hostess grandmother. It should come with no surprise that Brewster followed in his grandmother’s footsteps, with an inherent talent for hosting legendary parties. He is often listed among San Francisco’s best dressed. Aubrey is a San Francisco native, traveler, and food and lifestyle blogger ( He resides in San Francisco with his husband, Edward. Aubrey can be found enjoying afternoons lunching with friends at Neiman Marcus and some of San Francisco’s favorite haunts when not hosting or attending events.


Hosting The Party of The Year

AS SPRINGTIME ENDS AND WE STOW AWAY THE PASTELS, the vivid and bright summer months beckon. The warm months make us anticipate the dog days of summer and entertaining with friends and family. Whether it be a family cookout, an enchanting night’s get-together, or an elegant soiree, those summer parties are always the most memorable.

Though springtime partying is still going strong with those Aries, Taurus, and Gemini birthdays, flower shows, and spring galas, for me, spring entertaining comes to happy end with the wrap-up of my annual birthday bash.

One comes to expect that each year’s party out-tops the previous, so who am I to disappoint and break tradition? Not to say, my mission every year is to outdo the year before; I guess it just happens that way. Back in 2022, I transported 60 guests to Paris, France—well, almost Paris—by transforming the fifth floor of Neiman Marcus in San Francisco into a near facsimile of the City of Light, complete with a 12-foot Eiffel Tower, a 10-foot Arc de Triomphe, the Jardin des Tuileries, and even a Moulin Rouge lounge with a bona fide absinthe bar!

Researching and planning for the event I’m currently working on often inspires the next, just as it came to be for “Meet Me in Paris,” my Parisienne-themed birthday party last year. When looking for all things Paris, I came across things like Victorian circus tents and 19th century sideshow advertisements, just to name a couple. I guess, subconsciously, it’s a need for a creative mental break from the research monotony of the theme at hand. And the spark of imagination always ignites there: “Wow, wouldn’t a Victorian-era carnival be so cool?” A couple days later, I already designed a logo!

I knew “Under the Big Top Birthday Carnival Spectacular” had to be special. It had to have a sense of whimsical nostalgia, an afternoon

Ferris wheel and candy bar
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Aubrey Brewster

of pure escapism where guests are given permission to be kids again, but with an elegant backdrop of sophistication for sensibility. Recall 12-year-old Josh Baskin in the blockbuster film Big (1988, starring Tom Hanks) who’s tired of the confines of his age and size. After the embarrassing mishap of being told he was too short to ride the “Super Loops” carnival ride in attempts to impress his crush, he comes across an enchanted antique mechanical fortune teller called Zoltar and wishes to be “big.” Zoltar dispenses his fortune that reads “Your wish is granted.” (Spoiler: Zoltar was unplugged the whole time!) Young Josh awakens the next morning to find that he’s a grown man (Tom Hanks). In our case, I wished for my guests to be kids again. Naturally I had to find a Zoltar fortune teller machine. And thanks to Video Amusement in the Bay Area, I did, along with a love tester machine in which I was dubbed “Hot Stuff!”

Setting the ambience was key. My first thought was to build a big red and white striped circus tent and seat guests underneath. I mean, the party is called “Under the Big Top,” is it not? But, sadly, blocking the overhead fire sprinklers was out of the question. Safety is paramount. Glamourous fix? Floor-to-ceiling, alternating red and white drapes curtaining off the large room with a grand “carnival” arbor entrance arch in marquee lights in the center to welcome all under the “big top!”

It was all hands on deck in getting props built and installed to bring this shindig to life and set the mood. It took me over a week to build the 15-foot, illuminated, gold Ferris wheel that would act as an anchor against the back wall overlooking the main room. My dear friend, the general manager/vice president of Neiman Marcus, went above and beyond in personally assembling the circus tent cutout backdrops that would adorn the remaining walls. Even his 15-year-old son, Tyler, came out to help his dad put together the marquee-lit, red carpet center ring stage that would be the main focal point while guests dined around it.

Guests arrived to an hour and a half of cocktails and amusements in the “Ring Toss Bar & Lounge” where they enjoyed cocktails under a circus cabaña specially curated by mixologist extraordinaire, the Rotunda’s Julian Velasquez. Drinks included the red velvet espresso martini and Monkey Business (an intoxicatingly refreshing punch of banana liqueur, rum, and pineapple and orange juices). Guests sipped on Henriot Champagne from the chic champagne cart, noshed on lobster “corn dogs,” “corn nuts” (equites in masa cups), and caviar potato puffs. They indulged themselves at the endless caviar bar, featuring The Caviar Co.’s “white sturgeon” caviar, all while competing at the ring toss game to win the giant stuffed elephants, giraffes, and teddy plushie prizes. For those who dared, the concession stand offered chocolate-dipped softserve ice cream cones, strawberry sundaes, cotton candy, and popcorn!

Competition at the ring toss was so intense (in the most thrilling way) that partygoers were hard pressed to adjourn when seating for lunch was announced.

Fashionable guests made their entrance down the red carpet through a grand carnival arch and on to the illuminated circus center ring where they were sat at red and ecru velvet tables with linen hemstitch napkins set with 19th century style, gold-embellished, porcelain china and elegant gold flatware. Guests sat under a canopy of glamorous red, yellow, and fuchsia roses with white feather blooms designed by masters of the craft, Bella Fiora Design of San Francisco. Godiva cherry cordials and chic Victorian filigree-style menus created by Lindsey Smith of Greeting Yours Truly ( announced what to expect.

Haute Living, San Francisco’s editor-in-chief, Teresa Rodriguez, and former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. Mitzi Manzano and Jerold Osato took to the theme The cake and the birthday boy
@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 109 Haute AMBASSADOR
“Bartender carney” Julian Velasquez

Carnival-themed menu offerings by Erik Harrelson, the executive chef of the Rotunda, and the Rotunda’s general manager, Katrina Parlato, complemented the afternoon beautifully. To begin, fresh-fromthe-oven, Southern-style cheddar and chive biscuits were served with La Conviette butter flown in from France for the special day and the whimsical “Fish in a Bowl,” salmon mousse suspended in mandarin sake gelée served in miniature fishbowls. The second course, “Whack a Duck” (named after the classic carnival activity), was a delightful salad of house-smoked duck breast, endive, radish, asparagus, and blackberry vinaigrette. The main attraction thrilled guests as much as its namesake: “The Ring Toss,” a scrumptious, slow-braised beef short rib over creamy potato purée topped with crisp, fried onion rings.

And a fan favorite to end the elaborate luncheon and as a precursor to the cake was the “Milk Bottle Knockdown,” rich peanut panna cotta with caramelized chocolate sauce served in cute glass milk bottles for guests to pour themselves. Chef was gracious enough to share the recipe with Haute Living, San Francisco’s readers.

As guests dined on their peanut panna cotta, Under the Big Top’s very own favorite carny, the “Bearded Lady” played by the ever-sofabulous Travis Santell Rowland, introduced the afternoon’s magician and illusionist Alan Leeds ( Leeds took center ring and mesmerized guests with his brilliant and mindboggling magic. Following the magician’s fantastic performance, the cake was cut.

Once again, world renowned cake designer BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake in Menlo Park created this year’s masterpiece. Inspired by circus carnival nostalgia, the 3-foot-tall work of art was mastery in cake design. It consisted of three tiers featuring a circus tent at the bottom with intricately sculpted carousel horses, topped with a black ringmaster top hat and candy apple.

For guests’ amusement, the cake’s flavors consisted of two carnival classics: “caramel apple” (layers of apple cider genoise, salted caramel, and toffee filling with caramel buttercream) and “Victorian Polka Dot” (layers of red and white polka dot vanilla genoise, raspberry coulis, sweet cream buttercream—a creative play on the traditional British afternoon tea cake, the Victoria sponge).

San Francisco Mayor London Breed toasted the birthday boy: “It’s so meaningful to be here today, and this theme (carnival) is incredible! … I know we’re here to celebrate your birthday, but every time you do anything that brings people together, we feel like you’re doing it to celebrate us.”

“I am!” I yelled.

Mark Sullivan, vice president and general market manager of Neiman Marcus San Francisco, said, “How many of you here are on Aubrey and Ed’s holiday list? Then you know the planning for the holidays starts in August. We shop through to December 24th. He (Brewster) gives me Christmas Day [as a] reprieve, then we meet to plan his birthday party on the 26th … and the meeting always starts with caviar!”

Guests continued partying late through the afternoon.

Among the afternoon’s 70 guests were Brewster’s partner, Dr. Edward Winger; San Francisco Mayor London Breed; former Mayor Willie Brown, Jr.; Neiman Marcus San Francisco’s general market manager/vice president, Mark Sullivan; Union Square Alliance President Marisa Rodriguez; ABC7’s Carolyn Tyler (retired); fashion designer Vasily Vein; philanthropist Navid Armstrong; author Jennifer M.

Walske; socialites Daru Kawalkowski, Jorge Maumer, Clara Shayevich, Sonya Molodetskaya, Farah Makras, and Victor Makras; philanthropist Sophie Azouaou; Dr. Carolyn Chang; and luxury real estate agent (and Bravo’s “A-List San Francisco”) Joel Goodrich. Counterclockwise from top left: Navid Armstrong, Farah Makras, Jennifer Walske (left to right); the “Bearded Lady” Travis Santell Rowland; Farah Makras, Dr. Carolyn Chang, and Sonya Molodetskaya (left to right) at the caviar bar; Sonya Molodetskaya; Heide Betz; Zoltar Fortune-Teller Machine; and vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus, Mark Sullivan helping to assemble props.


For my “Under the Big Top” birthday party, the Rotunda’s executive chef’s pièce de resistance to end the meal was his peanut panna cotta (which he created just for the affair) with Valrhona chocolate sauce (chocolate that top chefs worldwide go to) which guests poured over the panna cotta from old-fashioned, miniature glass milk bottles, an homage to the classic carnival amusement that he humorously dubbed the “Milk Bottle Knockdown.” This is a refreshing, do-ahead dessert for summer entertaining. Not to state the obvious, but if peanut allergies are an issue, this recipe is not for you. For best results, Chef Erik suggests the use of a kitchen scale to weight out the ingredients.



~ 300 grams milk

~ 300 grams heavy cream

~ 100 grams granulated sugar

~ 3½ gold gelatin sheets

~ ½ vanilla bean, scraped of seeds

~ ¼ cup peanut powder (available at gourmet foods stores or on Amazon)



~ ¼ cup sugar

~ 1¼ cups Valrhona Manjari

64% dark chocolate, chopped

~ ½ cup water

~ ½ teaspoon corn syrup

~ ¾ cup heavy cream

~ ½ vanilla bean, split


1. In a pot over medium heat, bring milk, peanut powder, seeds from vanilla beans, and sugar to a scald.

2. While mixture is heating on the stove, soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.

3. Remove the mixture from the stove, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin and add to mix.

4. Stir with a spatula to make sure everything is well incorporated.

5. Pour into small bowls, let cool to room temperature, then wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

6. Remove plastic film and serve with Valrhona chocolate sauce on the side.

Makes six 4-ounce servings.


1. Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and cream in a sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean in half and reserve one half. Scrape the seeds from the other half and place both seeds and pod into the pot. Bring to a boil.

2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments until melted.

3. Remove the vanilla bean and discard.

4. Slowly pour the hot mixture over the melted chocolate in several additions, stirring well before adding more. Once all the liquid is incorporated, finish with a handheld immersion blender.

5. Cool slightly before using or chill until ready to serve.

6. If the chocolate sauce is cold, heat in the microwave in 10-second increments until liquid but not hot.

Recipe Credit:


Dr. Karen Horton is an internationally board certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco, a fitness enthusiast, proud mom to fraternal twin girls, and devoted wife of over 26 years. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, “Dr. Karen” relocated to San Francisco in 2005 for her final year of surgical specialty training. A surgeon’s daughter, she is proud to have built a successful, women-focused boutique private practice in Pacific Heights. Featuring a brand new Quad A-certified, fully equipped operating room, Dr. Horton offers her patients the highest level of aesthetic care, both surgical and non-surgical, in a modern, bright and discrete setting. She considers it an honor and a privilege to care for her patients! To learn more about Dr. Horton, visit www. and follow her on social at @drkarenhorton.

Look and Feel Your Best All Summer Long

Dive into the sunny season with my simple health and beauty guide

SUMMER IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SEASON. BIKINIS AND BARE feet are my go-to outdoor summer attire. Makeup is minimal, except for foundation, sun protection, and waterproof mascara.

My family spends a lot of quality time in our backyard oasis— pool and hot tub—and we entertain outside at “Club Horton.” We also travel to our lakeside cottage in Canada.

I love water sports, including swimming, water skiing, and riding our Sea-Doo personal watercraft on Lake Ontario. My twins also love the water, as does our golden retriever, Gordy. Summer means we get to frolic.

PHOTOS: AMELIA PLUMB (TOP LEFT), KENTA KIKUCHI/UNSPLASH.COM (TOP RIGHT), MELISSA WALKER/UNSPLASH.COM (BOTTOM) Snack on healthy summer foods like watermelon. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.


When it comes to my health, I love getting creative in the kitchen and whipping up delicious, protein-packed smoothies. They’re a great way to stay energized throughout the day.

Drink lots of water and snack on hydrating foods. In summer, my family eats a lot of watermelon and cucumber each day. They’re excellent sources for water, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.

I am the master of healthy salads, and I always add seasonal fruits, fresh herbs, and my homemade dressings. My favorite is the 1-2-3 dressing which is one part granulated sugar, two parts red wine vinegar, and three parts vegetable oil. Shake immediately before using and discard after 24 hours. It’s light, complements any salad, and is so easy to make.


Sun is fun, but it can do a number on your skin, causing sunburn and ultraviolet DNA damage. Wear high SPF sunscreen and continuously reapply. Sun damage is cumulative and permanent. Although some treatments, such as intense pulsed light and medical-grade skin care can help rejuvenate skin, nothing compares to protecting yourself from harmful UV rays.

Use sun protection rather than strong chemical exfoliants and other potentially photosensitizing products. A good vitamin C serum (phloretin CF gel is my go-to) and broad-spectrum sunscreen are must-haves. Physical sunblocks containing titanium and zinc, such as Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF50 and Sunforgettable Brush-On SPF50 powder, are more effective than PABA-containing sprays.

Skin can accumulate damage, but so can the lips and scalp. Protect your lips with SPF products and wear a hat. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas can happen anywhere on the face, neck, and chest 30-plus years after sun exposure.


Focusing on sun protection creates a great canvas for laser skin rejuvenation in fall and winter. Do not seek a real tan if you plan to undergo sunspot and hyperpigmentation treatments.

I also visit my hair stylist and colorist for my seasonal hair refresh. I’m naturally blonde but like to go a little lighter in summer. Their treatments help prevent my hair from going brassy from chlorine.


Warm days and nights make summer a great time to work out. Consistent exercise releases endorphins, promotes a positive attitude, and maintains lean muscle tone.

I take advantage of the longer days by spending more time in the fresh air and getting much-needed vitamin D. I embrace outdoor workouts, including runs, hikes, and swims.

Afterward, I enjoy getting deep tissue massages to restore healthy circulation for tired muscles and to relax and rejuvenate. I visit a spa at least monthly. Regular exercise, stretching, and massage are vital to prevent injuries.

With these tips in mind, you can stay beautiful and healthy all summer long. Now go outside, live your life to the fullest, and safely soak up that sunshine!

@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 113 Haute AMBASSADOR
PHOTO: AMELIA PLUMB Dr. Horton loves making fresh, healthy salads in summer.

Rooted in California and having earned her degree at UCSB, Claudia Ross is living her best life in Knights Valley after leaving behind a career in public relations as the founder of Cross Marketing and former director of Harper’s BAZAAR and Marie Claire. She has worked with the world’s most iconic luxury brands. The owner and vintner of Ross Ranch, a working farm and vineyard producing a farm-totable experience, Ross now enjoys sharing thoughtful insights into the world of wine country life, both socially and agriculturally.

Southern Wine & Spirits

WHEN MOST PEOPLE THINK OF WINE AND SPIRITS, THEY might imagine regions like Napa Valley or Bordeaux, not the arid desert of Arizona. However, the state’s wine and spirits industry has been quietly growing in recent years, producing distinctive and delicious products that are earning national recognition. While the Arizona wine and spirits industry may still be under the radar compared to other regions, it is certainly gaining attention. In 2021, the state’s wines won a total of 30 medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the country.

Tucson is the major metropolitan city closest to Arizona’s wine country, so it naturally gets associated with wine; however, the fruit is actually grown in a little known part of the state referred to as the Kansas Settlement, a small, rural, agricultural area in the Sulfur Springs Valley located about 20 miles south-southeast of the town of Willcox. This is really where Arizona wine is sourced from, and it’s where (according to recent USDA surveying) about 75 percent of Arizona’s entire crop is grown. The region boasts a growing number of wineries that are gaining recognition for their unique blends and beautiful settings. From the lush vineyards of Sonoita to the scenic mountainside tasting rooms of Willcox, there are plenty of wineries and spirits worth exploring.


Flying Leap is one of the larger winegrowers in the Willcox area, with nearly 40 acres under vine in the Kansas Settlement. Flying Leap is special, based on the diversity, quality, and composition of wines and spirits they produce. Because they operate a distillery, many of their wines are finished in spirit casks (and many of their spirits are

finished in wine barrels), which gives their products unique flavors and finishes.

By producing spirits, Ugni Blanc (a traditionally distilled grape varietal from Bordeaux) and Amontillado-styled sherry wines that are made as closely as possible to the techniques used in Jerez, Spain. They are also Arizona’s only producer of fine grappa. Flying Leap also produces whiskies from uncommon and locally sourced grains and malts, including blue corn sourced from New Mexico to make an aromatic bourbon that they finish in maple syrup casks and a smooth wheat whiskey made from Sonoran white wheat, an indigenous heritage summer wheat grown north of Tucson. They also produce a pure, clean, and wonderfully smooth vodka distilled from fresh wine. Flying Leap provides their guests with a more distinctive, cosmopolitan wine country experience.


Then there’s Hops and Vines. owned and operated by dynamic sister duo Shannon Austin and Megan Stranik, who are shaking things up. Located in the idyllic Sonoita region of Arizona, the vineyard and winery feature flavors that showcase the character of the local terrain, mountainous and green from monsoonal storms. Known for their unconventional approach to winemaking and tasting, Stranik has been pushing boundaries since they started the vineyard in 2012. With signature wines such as the Drag Queen, a sparkling white wine hopped, as in a wine dressed up like a beer. Bloom, a beautiful rosé, is the perfect wine for Arizona. Interesting pairings like Cheetos® and their Cabernet Sauvignon or a dessert wine with Cocoa Puffs make them unforgettable. Arizona’s Hops and Vines is a must-visit destination for wine lovers looking for something unique. With their passion for experimentation and commitment to sustainable practices, Austin and Stranik are leading the charge for a new era of winery and wine-making in Arizona.


Located in Tucson, Old Pueblo Cellars is a winery that has been producing award-winning wines since its establishment in 2003. The winery focuses on crafting high quality, completely organic wines using grapes sourced from the best vineyards across Arizona. Their portfolio includes a wide range of red, white, and rosé varietals as well as blends that showcase the distinctive terroir of the region. The winery’s tasting room offers visitors the opportunity to sample and purchase their wines while taking in the beautiful desert scenery.

Old Pueblo Cellars’ commitment to quality and passion for winemaking have earned them a loyal following among wine enthusiasts, both locally and nationally, especially since their wines are not sold online and can be only purchased onsite.

If you’re a wine or spirits enthusiast looking for something new and exciting, Arizona is definitely worth exploring. With its unique climate, diverse terrain, and passionate producers, it’s a hidden gem in the world of wine and spirits.

Willcox Vineyards Sangiovese veraison Old Pueblo Cellars Old Pueblo Cellars winery Glass of Ugni Blanc wine for distilling

Latife has 20 years’ experience in winery, vineyard, and luxury sales in Napa Valley. She honed her communication skills as a television writer and anchor in Sydney, Australia, and later on her podcast Napa Valley Inside Out Her Sydney Inside Out production was used by the Sydney Olympic Committee to help win the 2000 Games. A lifelong world traveler, adventurer, and seeker of both luxury and roads less traveled, her goal is to share her unique travel experiences with all of us.


An endurance, nutrition, and wellness retreat like no other

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO ESCAPE FROM YOUR REALITY to a luxurious health and fitness retreat and embark on a serious challenge? You know ... like a total mind and body reset? A place you go to give your body and mind a vacation—purge the toxins, boost your metabolism, shed unwanted pounds, tone up and build physical endurance—all in one week and leave feeling like you’ve had a complete mind and body overhaul? Well, look no further than The Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu.

The Ranch is set on 200 acres nestled in the hills of the spectacular Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a wellness and fitness retreat like no other and promises to do all the above in just one week. Let me tell you, it definitely delivers.

Their program has been meticulously designed to achieve those goals using a combination of daily stretches, endurance hikes, strength training, yoga, deep tissue massage, and an array of other optional wellness practices, all supported by an incredibly delicious, 1,400 calories-per-day, organic, plant-based diet.

I first learned of The Ranch at the end of an interview with a hotelier for my podcast Napa Valley Inside Out. I was eager to go there the following January, but learned that the trails and part of the property had been severely affected by the 2018 wildfires. So, my first sojourn was in January 2022. I signed up for nine days.

As soon as I made the booking and committed to the challenge, I started receiving detailed weekly emails on how to prepare for what I affectionately now call “boot camp.” The messages contained guidance on daily workouts I needed to do, how many hours a day I needed to hike, how steep the hikes needed to be, what to cut from

my diet, and what time to go to bed. As I read through the four weeks of instructions, I realized that I had clearly underestimated what I had signed up for, so I dutifully set out on long, daily hikes in the mountains surrounding Napa Valley.

En route to The Ranch, I was nervous, especially after the driver told me that people go there to challenge themselves, and some had been known to leave after the first day. However, a wave of calm washed over me when I arrived. The friendliness, serenity, stillness, and beauty of the mountains were heavenly. I had been holding off exhaling for years, but if ever there was an opportunity for letting go and surrendering to the unknown, this was it.

The first order of business was being weighed and measured. It was somewhat intimidating, so I had to remind myself to “trust the process” like thousands of people before me.

The cottages were private, rustic, and luxurious, as was the dining room where we all gathered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was always lively with great conversation and lots of laughter. Many guests had been there numerous times, some of whom told how they left after the first day on their first visit (vowing to never return), only to come back determined to be victorious. It wasn’t long before we all felt that we were at camp with our lifelong friends, and we never lost anyone throughout the program.

Day One started by rising at 5:30 a.m., followed by a 30-minute stretch class in the barn, then breakfast, followed by our fabulous guides strapping our weak spots: hips, knees, and feet. We lathered hiking glue on our feet and loaded into the vans to head out to the trail of the day. The first day was a relatively easy hike lasting only two hours—a warm-up of sorts to acclimate us to the terrain.

Day Two’s hike was more challenging with a moderate trail that tested our endurance. The hikes from then on were 10 to 13 miles, each taking four hours with steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow paths. The scenery was truly breathtaking and helped take our minds off the distance and any discomfort.

Day Three was the most intense hike of the week. We started out on the Leo Carrillo trail, a 2.9-mile climb, and the wind was blowing


up a storm. It took all our mental and physical strength to put one foot in front of the other as we navigated the path, frequently hunkering into the mountainside to keep from being blown over. Once at the top, we enjoyed the stunning views of the mountain range, lush forest, and a peaceful pond before continuing for hours through rugged terrain that eventually led us back to the van, a glorious and welcomed site I longed to see.

My favorite hike was on Day Five. On that day, The Ranch’s staff want you to reflect on your journey, so guests depart at 30-second intervals to hike alone for a 3-mile meditation hike on the Yerba Buena trail which is beyond stunning. Then we headed up to Sandstone Peak. The views were out of this world. If you were game enough to climb right to the peak, 3,000 feet above sea level, you enjoyed 360-degree views of Malibu and beyond. I loved this hike so much that I returned to The Ranch for two weeks in January 2023, so I could take it all in again.

The program is not for the fainthearted, but highly recommended if you like to really challenge yourself.

Each day when we returned from our hike, we made our way to the whiteboard to see what time our desperately needed deep tissue massages were and to choose which strength training class we would go to. Of course, we always signed up for a much-needed yoga class. After lunch, we headed straight to the hot tub and cold plunge for several rounds of hot and freezing cold plunges to reduce the inflammation in our bodies. After that, I hit the infrared sauna for 30 minutes. There were optional treatments like intravenous therapies, acupuncture, energy therapy, and chiropractic to help the body adjust to the adventures it didn’t sign up for. And for those still wanting a little more, there was rock climbing. I never signed up for that.

The chefs prepared delicious and beautifully presented vegan meals and snacks for us from The Ranch’s mouthwatering cookbooks. When we all lined up to be weighed and measured before leaving, we were immensely grateful that our losses were not from hunger.

The Ranch is a fabulous escape from the hustle and bustle of life that you will share with interesting, like-minded people. Their extraordinary team will inspire you to dig deep within and find the courage to rise to the challenge.

Keep climbing and never say never.

@hautelivingSF HAUTE LIVING 117

California Lifestyle Collection

Serene Wine Country Estate

6 Beds | 8 Baths | 6,800± sq. ft. $9,888,000

This enchanting, gated estate in St. Helena o ers resort-like living, privacy, and the best of Wine Country at your door. Located next to the renowned Meadowood Resort, the residence is located on two legally separate parcels totaling 12.13± acres on an undulating knoll with sprawling grounds and mature gardens in a park-like oasis. Approached through a Mediterranean-inspired central courtyard with fountain, the grand yet understated 6,800± sq. ft. home combines contemporary design with timeless California architecture. The residence is an entertainer’s dream, featuring six bedrooms, seven and one-half baths, stately living and dining rooms with soaring vaulted ceilings, and a true gourmet chef’s kitchen that has been graced by the likes of Thomas Keller and other culinary masters. The primary bedroom rivals that of a five-star hotel suite, featuring dramatic vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, lounge area, walk-in closets and a spa-worthy bathroom complete with both indoor and outdoor showers. Adjacent to the main living areas are expansive Ironwood decks, terraces, and an outdoor dining pavilion with a modern twist on the classic California barn silhouette. Beyond is a 55-foot infinity edge swimming pool with spa and a cascading

stone waterfall façade best viewed from the two private ensuite Casitas nearby. Additional highlights include a home gym/guest house, a 1,300-bottle wine vault, boccie court, built-in children’s bunk room, meandering garden pathways, vegetables gardens, a twelve-car motor court, and custom lighting throughout. The second parcel has a separate APN and is suitable for a private residence or guest house compound. Located approximately 1.6 miles to the center of downtown St. Helena bustling with restaurants, art galleries, wineries, boutiques and more, this serene Wine Country estate offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the most discerning of buyers

1250 Oakwood Lane, St. Helena, CA |

Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080
Olivia Hsu Decker |

Magni cent Belvedere Island Italianate Villa

Belvedere, California

8 Beds | 6 Baths | 2 Half-Bath

This iconic appx. 7,695 sq. ft. mansion featuring eight bedrooms, six full baths, and two half baths is one of the most admired homes on Belvedere Island for its styling, magnificent gardens, spectacular pool, and panoramic views overlooking Tiburon Hills, Corinthian Island, Angel Island, East Bay, Bay Bridge, and beautiful Belvedere Cove reminiscent of Portofino, Italy. Located on the desirable, warm side of the island with allday sun and sheltered from the wind, this classic residence was renovated in recent years, featuring a beautiful custom-designed kitchen with Italian marble countertops and a breakfast area with a balcony to enjoy the views and for al fresco dining. The eight bedrooms mostly open onto balconies with expansive bay views. A generously sized master suite with his/her dressing and sitting areas includes a kitchenette/coffee bar, closets, a luxurious bathroom with a steam shower, and a sunroom. The

Offered at $10,495,000

lower level includes an exercise room with a full bath and sauna, wine c ellar, and two spacious storage rooms. There is a security system and a t wo-car garage, plus an adjacent one-car carport. Across the street-tos treet lot are extensive brick terraces with elegant balustrades, lush g ardens, and water features. Three separate entrances and multiple l iving spaces create a perfect floor plan setup for an au pair unit and an i n-law unit. Easy walking distance to the San Francisco Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, downtown Tiburon restaurants such as Malibu Farm and Mi chael Mina’s Bungalow Kitchen, and ferry services to San Francisco and Angel Island. Offered as a newly certified historic property, t his magnificent home provides a very substantial property tax reduction to the next owner and comes with an assumable mortgage. Details and p hotos at

Olivia Hsu Decker | Cell: 415.720.5915 | | Lic.# 00712080 California Lifestyle

Xabier Anduaga

Sophia Bacelar

Yang Bao

Shelly Berg

Matteo Bocelli

Breshears String Quartet

Kristina Cooper

Lisa Delan

Kyle Dickson

Pasquale Esposito

Festival Orchestra Napa

Gregg Field

Frost School of Music All-Stars

Jennifer Grim

Francisco Fullana

Fiona & Hina Khuong-Huu

Eugene Kohn

Kevin Korth

Alexey Lavrov

Lester Lynch

Alexander Malofeev

Christina Maxwell

Victoria Thuy Vi McDowell

Lucas Meachem

Melody Moore

Constantine Orbelian

Xander Parish


Harper & Cole Randolph

Richard Howell Ensemble

Serena Sáenz

Pablo Sáinz Villegas

Time for Three

Carrie Underwood

Jean-Romain Vesperini

Volti Chorus

Ronit Widmann-Levy

2023 Media Partner 707.346.5052 | @napafest | SEASON 17 | JULY 8–23, 2023 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Arts for All
photo by Randee St. Nicholas
2023 Media Partner 707.346.5052 | @napafest | MATTEO BOCELLI IN CONCERT SATURDAY, JULY 15 Festival Napa Valley Stage at Charles Krug
photo by Luca Rossetti

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