Inspiring Angelenos to Travel Near and Far
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LA TRAVEL MAGAZINE
Escape to the French Riviera
Nothing Beats Bonaire
Jubilant Jackson Hole
Holiday 2014 Also in this issue... One of LA’s hottest concierges gives us insider tips to access the best of the city
Check out this seasons Hot Hotels from Dublin to Ft. Lauderdale
Feasting in Valle De Guadalupe
Dana Point: SoCal Eco Adventure
From New York City to Milan here’s a recap of the best looks we found while traveling for Fashion Week
p.64 Former Olympic Athlete, Jaime Komer shows us 6 ways to stay fit when visiting Park City, Utah
Travel back in time with us as we take you to the most luxurious wedding venue in all of Europe. Adare Manor, located in the heart of Adare Village in Limerick County, Ireland is a magical destination for all ages. World class facilities combined with friendly locals and picturesque scenery are only a few of the highlights you will find here.
p.72 A view of Adare Manor, the most luxurious wedding venue in Europe Published and Produced by
p.18 Cover Photographed by Steve Denenberg
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Letter from the Editors
we begin to wrap up a glorious year of traveling the globe we find ourselves giving many thanks for the outstanding opportunities we’ve been lucky enough to experience thus far. 2014 has been filled with many blessings in various forms; from successful issues and events to getting married and having the wedding of our dreams abroad this past August. We feel so fortunate to have such a strong team at LATM and watch as our writers explore the world and take on new challenges bringing those experiences straight back to you the reader. The year has been filled with so many spectacular journeys and we hope that you’ve gained a renewed sense for our love of travel along with your own.
From Aruba to Zambia we have had a year filled with luxurious destinations near and far, from venturing across the world for an African safari to packing up the car and enjoying a local staycation nearby. Diversity in travel is what drives the globetrotters inside us as we continuously are awakened to new sites around the world and get to share this information with you and hopefully inspire you to get out there and go. It is true what they say, that travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer. The blend of eye opening culture, history, art and beauty is never-ending and we can only hope to take in as much of it as possible throughout our lifetime. Here is to a fabulous holiday season and happy New Year wherever your travels may take you. We can’t wait to continue to share our love for travel with you in 2015!
Mr. & Mrs. Dunn
Where are we off to next?
MEET OUR TEAM
LA TRAVEL MAGAZINE Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer MCLaughlin-Dunn
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Photography Director Huey Bui Fashion & Style Director Tanya Pascua Social Media Alyssa Kuhlman
Tanya PascuaStyle and Fashion
Dave Wrobel Entertainment and Nightlife
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Web Development Joe Issac Event Director Brooke Keegan Entertainment and Nightlife Dave Wrobel Contributing Writers
Kate Roland & Leah Smith LA Brunchers
Jaime KomerFitness Travel
Ava Roxanne StrittSpa Travel
Ava Roxanne Stritt Chantele Petrocelli Chris Dunn Kathryn Lejeune Susan Watkins Leslie Moore Susan Barnes Jenna Rose Robbins Nicole Prentice Williams Jaime Komer
Susan Barnes Travel Writer
Kathryn Lejeune Travel Writer
Richard CarrollTravel Writer
Sarah Dandashy Richard Carroll Amanda Bisson Heather Seidler Kelly Magyarics Seana Pierce
Contributing Photographers Halina Kubalski Leslie MooreTravel Writer
Susan WatkinsTravel Writer
Taylor Cole Dublin and MillerPet Friendly Hotels
You asked... Have a quest ion ab out t ravel? Ask away! Q. Airport parking is so expensive these days. What are some other options when flying out of LAX other than getting a ride?
Q. My husband and I are traveling to Europe for a month during the holidays. Should we pack more clothes or do laundry at the hotel?
A. Check out FlightCar (flightcar.com) the world’s first peer-to-peer car sharing company to operate at airports. They offer a unique service that provides free parking and an opportunity to earn money by renting your car out to other travelers instead of leaving it sitting unused at the airport. They also include: valet service to and from the airport curbside and a complimentary car wash and vacuum for every parked car.
going to have to set aside at least two hours and find a coin laundry facility unless you’re staying at a vacation rental. If you pack more, you may have to pay to check extra bags. Try a solution like the Scrubba which is a new pocket size 5 oz. wash bag. It washes clothes 2x better than in a sink, and can be used anywhere while traveling. The bag includes a flexible internal washboard that allows people to wash clothes quickly and effectively. Plus it’s reusable and environmentally friendly! www.thescrubba.com
Rentals from FlightCar are less expensive than renting from traditional car rental companies, and include complimentary add-ons such as car seats and GPS. Currently they operate near Los Angeles Airport (LAX), San Francisco Airport (SFO) and Boston Logan Airport (BOS), with plans to be in all major US airports in the near future.
A. If you pack less you are
Q. I am flying across the country with my golden lab. Will he get motion sickness if there’s turbulence during the flight?
A. Unless your dog is prone to car sickness, he will likely not have a problem with motion sickness during travel. However, turbulence can be stressful as it is unfamiliar to them and they may not understand it. Change is stressful to pets and flying, especially the first time, can be very stressful. Try to acclimate your dog to the travel carrier a few weeks prior to help ease stress and make him feel more comfortable. You can also get a Thundershirt. It’s a terrific solution for fear of thunder, fireworks, separation anxiety, travel, jumping, barking and more. The gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs when anxious, fearful or over-excited. www.thundershirt.com
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W Hotel, Hollywood The LA Travel Magazine
Summer Issue Launch Party Celebration at the W Hotel in Hollywood, featuring entertainment from the Dancing Fire. Red Carpet Photos: Huey Bui Event Photos: Taylor Cole
On the Scene
LOS ANGELES Fashion’s elite, celebrities and influencers came out to celebrate Jeremy Scott’s S/S 2015 collection at Space Ibiza New York, following his show. Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark/ WireImage
Football wife, singer and reality star Jessie James Decker kicked off the football season by hosting the Smirnoff Ice Ladies With Game Tailgate party in New York City. She joined in on the fun enjoying traditional tailgating games, “fanicures” and Smirnoff Ice cocktails to celebrate women who have the confidence to cheer on their team just as loudly as the guys. Photo Credit: John Parra Getty Images
Alessandra Ambrosio and Owen Wilson attending The PalazzinaG Hotel’s 71st Venice Film Festival Opening Party sponsored by Chopard, Moët Chandon and Cotril. Photo Credit: Stefano Guindani/sgpitalia.com
The PalazzinaG Hotel held its fifth night of Venice Film Festival events on September 3rd. The hotel was the premiere dinner and after party destination during the festival. Celebrity guests Ashley Greene, Ethan Hawke and Milla Jovovich also attended the event sponsored by Audemars Piguet, Moët Chandon and Cotril. Photo Credit: Stefano Guindani/ sgpitalia.com
A bevy of Hollywood beauties gathered for a day of pampering and relaxation at the Second Annual LIVELOVESPA. COM SPLASH! Media event at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. E!’s Untold Maria Menounos, #RichKids of Beverly Hills stars Roxy Sowlaty & Jonny Drubel, and Dancing with the Stars’ contestant Janel Parrish were treated with 30 minute spa & mini treatments from a selection of the most exciting brands within the spa industry.
Walk with Sally
BY Kathryn LejeunE
Cancer sucks. It completely interrupts life, not just for those afflicted, but for their loved ones as well. Walk With Sally is taking great strides to ease the burden for families affected by cancer. The organization provides free of charge counseling for children and siblings of those with cancer, strengthening and giving hope to families who need it most. One child at a time, one heart at a time. Millions of people are impacted by cancer, but Walk With Sally’s 8th annual White Light White Night event proved that there are many, many people who are dedicated to putting up a fight. In a beautiful, star studded evening in El Segundo, California, people congregated from all over to join together and celebrate hope. Celebs spotted included Will Svitek of the Cincinnati Bengals who attended in honor of his father who recently passed away from cancer, tweeting that Walk With Sally is “close to his heart”. Anna Trebunskaya, a Dancing with the Stars regular was also in attendance. She lost a close friend to breast cancer at an early age, and has dedicated much of her time to related causes. An incredible array of silent auction items stretched nearly the entire length of the venue. From personal yoga classes to hotel stays to designer dresses to a signed guitar by Steven Tyler, the donations displayed reflected the huge support of the community. The enthusiastic crowd of supporters, all dressed in white, garnered a record breaking of over $250,000 for the organization’s mentoring services. John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell and Patron, was in attendance as a major supporter, contributing to the evening’s libations, ensuring that Patron cocktails flowed freely. We sampled international cuisine and many farm to table initiatives. Inventive menus– sashimi tacos with seaweed salad toppings from Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, whose executive chef, Chris Garasic, admitted that he hasn’t quite found his style yet because he loves all cuisines. I tasted everything he had to offer, and decided his style is simply whatever is delicious, fresh, and unexpected. Petros Greek cuisine, with several locations in Southern California and an enthusiastic staff, wowed us with mouthwatering Keftethes, a traditional Mediterranean meatball. Other vendors of note were Hermosa Beach’s Abigaile restaurant, Tin Roof Bistro, and Rebel Coast Winery. As the night stretched on, DJs spun music as bartenders smiled and slung tasty drinks. A full stretch limo made for a very unique photo booth with a professional photographer directing glamorous subjects. After a touching film about Walk With Sally’s positive impact on children and their families, Berlin dominated the crowd with an electric performance. We applaud all that Walk With Sally does and will continue to do for families in the upcoming year and look forward to the 9th Annual White Light White Night event! Photo Credit: Tiffany Chien/Guest of a Guest 12
Walk With Sally would like to thank… The City of El Segundo, Continental Development Corporation and all of our Sponsors and Guests of White Light White Night 2014 Moonlight level
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Walk With Sally’s 8th Annual
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TICKETS ON SALE JUNE 19 AT WALKWITHSALLY.ORG
In Memory Of David Freudenberg
GOLD LIGHT SPONSOR
SILVER LIGHT SPONSORS
Taste of Los Angeles Silent and Live Auction
SKY LIGHT & BRONZE LIGHT SPONSORS
Capital Advisors Foundation
/walkwithsally /walkwithsally The 2014 Beacon of Light Award will be presented to Ryan Choura
Steve & Anita Layton
Noelle Interiors & Coast Structures
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www.WalkWithSally.org Like us on Facebook for updates on our mentoring programs and future events
Ethnic Neighborhoods By Seana Pierce
So your summer trip to Thailand didn’t quite take off and Tokyo was never even on the radar. Why not take a day to fake a vacay by enjoying one of L.A.’s ethnic neighborhoods? From India to Ethiopia, Seoul to Osaka, LATM’s got the best of the best of each neighborhood for a taste of culture in your very own metropolitan backyard. Young, fresh, modern strip of Sawtelle Boulevard anchored by lush nurseries at the Nebraska Avenue end. Bustling at dinnertime but with a busy work-day crowd as well. Lots of little shops to peak into, along with a Japanese market, Nijiyi, for delicious bento boxes and specialty treats.
Hurry Curry of Tokyo
2131 Sawtelle Boulevard West Los Angeles 90025 Sun.-Thurs. 11:00am to 10:00pm Fri.-Sat. 11:00am to 11:00pm Casual, quality Japanese curry house. Clean, modern space with friendly service. Photo credit: Hurry Curry of Tokyo
2023 Sawtelle Boulevard Los Angeles 90025 Sun.-Fri. 10:30am to 9:00pm Sat. 10:30am to 10:00pm Well-curated boutique filled with quirky knickknacks and trending fashion.
Little EThiopia With emphasis on the “Little”, there are few options to choose from, but if you love Indian food, you ought to give Ethiopian a solid handshake.
1049 S. Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles 90019 Mon.-Sun. 11:00am to 7p.m. Small and friendly boutique filled with lush, gauzy dresses, tunics, and scarves with rich details, all handmade in Ethiopia for luxurious lounging or festival season.
Markato Ethiopian Restaurant and Market 1036½ S. Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles 90019 Mon.-Sun. 11:00am to 11:00pm
Extensive menu of authentic Ethiopian cuisine in a colorful, casual setting. Expect slow service and excellent food. Photo credit: Ratika N./Yelp
Like a bygone sagging starlet, our beloved Chinatown is in need of an injection. But she still has a few standouts, and with the ever-present red lanterns and distinctive architecture, she, like her airbrushed Hollywood counterpart, still manages to look pretty in pictures.
Beloved among Angelenos for a reason: you wonâ€™t find better sushi in L.A., the open-air plazas are clean and modern with quality shops, and every few feet you will find something irresistible, from boba to soba, to munch or slurp on. The perfect spot for date night or showing off to outof-towners.
950 Mei Ling Way Los Angeles 90012 Old school classic with unpredictable service and decent food, but worth the experience for its nostalgia alone. Dive bar below boasts a wicked pour, so be warned
347 E. Second Street Los Angeles 90012 Mon.-Sun. noon to 2:00pm; 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Japanese Village Plaza 335 E. Second Street Los Angeles 90012
Small plaza with the latest accessories, adorable Japanese toys, specialty home goods, and Japanese comic books.
Unassuming interiors with the highest quality sashimi in town. However long, absolutely worth the wait.
Gin Ling Gifts
441 Ginling Way Los Angeles 90012 Small, friendly shop with well-ordered displays of hair accessories, costume jewelry, and Chinese curiosities for your niece or neighbor, with prices so agreeable youâ€™ll be inventing people to shop for.
Siam Book Center
A little grittier than the average ethnic enclave, but with authentic shopping and dining in spades.
5178 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles 90027 Mon.-Sun. 10:30am to 9:00pm Shelves stocked with imported Thai items with prices clearly labeled. Chic, authentic items to add texture and flavor to any interior, with a large selection of comics and books.
Darabar Secret Thai Cuisine
5112 Hollywood Boulevard, Suites 109-108 Los Angeles 90027 Mon.-Sun. 10:00am to 2:00am Hidden in a nondescript plaza. Glamorous interior with soft chandelier light sparkling off of cut-glass tumblers and polished rough-hewn tables. Authentic, modern Thai food with English language menu, although with limited English spoken by staff.
A sprawling metropolitan area with loose boundaries surrounding Wilshire Boulevard between S. Western and S. Vermont Avenues.
928 S. Western Avenue Los Angeles 90006 Mon.-Sat. 10:00am to 8:00pm Sunday 11:00am to 7:00pm Impeccably clean ‘80s-throwback indoor mall filled with lady-like boutiques, a quirky toy shop for that perfect birthday or housewarming gift, a gleaming café filled with decadent fusion-style pastries, and a bustling neon-lit, Blade Runneresque food court filled with every Asian street food you could desire.
Minh Son Inc.
9550 Bolsa Avenue, Suite 101 Westminster 92863 Mon.-Sun. 9:30am to 7:30pm Charming shop filled to capacity with confection-colored Vietnamese dresses and accessories.
Little India Sona Chaandi
Just fifteen miles south of downtown Los Angeles, this long-standing ethnic enclave boasts a bustling weekend crowd. Smells from buffets entice while lush colors of saris and tunics beckon from shop windows.
18307 Pioneer Boulevard Artesia 90710
11814 East 186th Street Artesia 90701
Sleek, modern café serves filling northern and southern vegetarian fare (a rarity) and offers snacks and sweets in beautifully packaged gift boxes.
Statement necklaces, chandelier earrings, bold bangles, richlyhued scarves, and embellished tunics all compete for your attention in this sprawling, colorful boutique.
Surati Farsan Mart
Date Night (LA’s Version)
With so many dining choices in LA how are we supposed to know where the real authentic restaurants are located these days? There are endless bloggers, websites and media outlets all pointing to various types of cuisine, but it’s rare to hear about a dining experience that offers more than just a meal. Emporium Thai in Westwood has geared up to take your next date night the distance. First start off with an award winning Thai meal, pair that with an authentic Thai massage and you will leave your date wondering when you got so good at planning the perfect night out. Where else can you escape from your daily routine and head to another country without even leaving the city you live in? A true express trip to Thailand!
Established in the year 2000, owner John Sungkamee and his family have always had the same goal; give the people what they want, treat them like family and they will always come back. They truly believe that a strong family bond along with the most authentic Southern Thai food will bring them the kind of customers that will dine at their restaurant for many years to come. It is of no coincidence that Emporium Thai has been ranked in the Top 100 Best Thai Restaurants in the US. Their love for sharing the best and most authentic Thai food was derived from their mother who moved here many years ago. Supis Sungkamee showed her 12 children her passion for cooking authentic Southern Thai food when they were very young and now most of them are here living in the city. A true success story indeed; the family left the challenging life they had come to know in Thailand and through good education, perseverance and passion they have it all. What makes their food so good? First they use fresh ingredients handpicked daily at local LA markets. Every morning they gather together and scour for the finest produce, meats, seafood and spices. Southern Thai style cooking involves vast amounts of fresh herbs and spices such as lemongrass, Thai basil, mint, garlic, and Thai chilies to name a few. The menu may make your head spin though; there are so many dishes to choose from. With literally pages and pages of delectable amazing food; you may need to ask for some guidance! If you love Thai food you must give this place a try.
Aqua Thai Spa
Now that dinner is over and your food has settled head over to Aqua Thai Spa next door for an authentic massage. With a 5 star rating, Aqua Thai has become quite popular with its followers. Spa treatments range from traditional Thai massage to Swedish and deep tissue so no matter how you like your massage, they have you covered. The most popular treatment is definitely the combination of Thai and Swedish together. Thai massage also called “Nuad Borarn” has been practiced in Thailand for over 2500 years and is an absolute amazing experience to say the least when done right. This type of massage combines acupressure and stretching techniques using the therapist’s fingers, thumbs, elbows, arms and feet to alleviate pressure throughout the body. Alleviating the body of stress in this manner also allows the release of toxins to help heal quicker after the session. Swedish massage involves a firm and invigorating massage using sweet almond oil combined with five classic strokesgliding, kneading, friction, vibration and percussion movements. This type of treatment helps improve poor circulation, while also releasing muscle tension to bring more balance and energy to the body. The combination of both Thai and Swedish techniques provide a revitalizing experience you won’t soon forget.
THE MOST LUXURIOUS WEDDING VENUE IN EUROPE
History We’ve all grown up listening to a familiar story, Prince Charming comes along and rescues the lovely princess, they fall in love and their storybook wedding takes place infront of a majestic castle, and then of course they live “happily ever after”. Many children dream of this magical tale to become all their own and envision that fairytale wedding becoming a reality. For most couples it is usually only a fantasy, but for others it can become a visualized reality that will live on in their memories forever. There is something very special about a destination wedding; a place where guests can live out your dreams with you. An escape from their daily reality, on an adventure to celebrate the beginning of two people starting their lives together. Whether it is a white sandy beach in the Caribbean or a majestic fairytale castle wedding in Europe, it is a day that will truly live on forever in the minds of you and your guests. If your dream wedding is one of fairytales and childhood dreams there is a place far, far away…
Back in the early 1800’s the second Earl of Dunraven had been confined indoors due to a painful struggle with Gout. Because of his debilitating disease he needed to distract himself and decided to rebuild the family home which started the legacy of Adare Manor. He used his vivid imagination and came up with a grandiose plan to build something that would add a big change to the region. He chose James Pain, an architect who had flair like no other in the country of Ireland. The Manor was mysteriously laid out like a calendar home which included 365 stained glass windows to mark the days of the year and 52 chimneys to mark the weeks of the year. There are hidden references throughout the home that point to the 7 days of the week as well as the 12 months of the year so take a look around, if you have a keen eye you just may be able to discover them for yourself.
The Adare Manor in the county of Limerick, Ireland is a very special place that words and pictures can only do so much for. If you are looking for a romantic fairytale destination for your wedding then save yourself some time and book a flight to Ireland to give this beauty a shot, you won’t be sorry. As you enter the gates the first impression is grand and hits you right away; a huge smile from the guard followed by a windy parkland drive towards the manor will surely take your breath away. As you enter the manor the first thing you pay notice to is the extreme amount of hospitality you experience. From the doormen to the concierge to each and every employee in between, the staff at Adare Manor goes well above your expectations to welcome you and make you feel right at home. If you have a bit of Irish in you (as most of us seem to) you will feel an even stronger connection with the location and local people. The Manor itself is extremely appealing to the senses and no matter how jetlagged you may feel you will come alive with excitement and become anxious to explore. A walking tour of the grounds along with a pint of Guinness takes you back in time. Immerse yourself in the grounds and take in all it has to offer. It is hard to believe that just one hundred and seventy years before the Adare Manor was only a twinkle in the eye of the original owner, the second Earl of Dunraven.
When the Earl passed away in 1850 his son returned home from Britain to complete his father’s work. The Manor was not yet complete and his son wanted to bring forth a new architect to add a fresh perspective. The 3rd Earl of Dunraven hired the services of Philip Charles Hardwick who spent a large amount of his focus designing the plush garden that ran along the riverbank and well into the surrounding parkland. In the early 1860’s the Manor was finally finished and generations of the Dunraven’s lived in royal harmony. The Manor was sold in 1987 to the Kane family of Florida who purchased all 840 acres in its entirety. A grand restoration took place in Dunraven tradition and the Manor today is one of the top castle and golf resorts in the world.
When it comes time to planning the wedding of your dreams look no further than Adare Manor, an undiscovered treasure that will fulfill all your dreams and more. Words cannot express what you will be feeling as you walk down the aisle on that glorious day with the lush flowers in full bloom all around you and the manor as the backdrop. The Manor’s garden is one of the most beautiful settings you will ever lay on eyes on and is absolutely perfect for an outside wedding. Picture an elegant horse drawn carriage, the driver in a top hat and tails where the bride is glamorously escorted to the ceremony; the icing on the cake for the ultimate fairytale wedding. Your guests will be awe struck as they look up to see the trotting horses gracefully pulling the carriage with the beautiful bride. If an indoor wedding is your preference the Oak Room restaurant can easily be transformed into a stunning setting with glorious views of the garden, golf course and the River Maigue. For a more intimate affair then the Manor’s library is another incredible location for an indoor wedding. Large pane glass windows provide a fantastic view of the formal gardens south of the house. With seven magnificent pane bay windows the library is an ideal spot to tie the knot.
The Minstrel’s Gallery
The Minstrel’s Gallery is as glamorous as the mind can imagine for a wedding reception. The gallery runs 132 feet long and has breathtaking decorative style dating back to 1850 when the Manor was originally built. Grandiose chandeliers, stunning candelabras and wood carvings as detailed as the eye can see line the walls of the gallery. Up to 200 guests can be seated at round tables or a traditional setting of 90 at one long table can also be arranged. The banquet staff is highly trained, knowledgeable and know exactly what it takes to create wedding perfection. With award winning chefs and wine connoisseurs you are in the best of hands. For large parties, banquets and weddings the Minstrel’s Gallery is one of our favorite areas in the manor. The Minstrel’s gallery is the most powerful room in the Manor hands down. You and your guests will marvel in the intricate design throughout each and every inch of this majestic room.
While visiting Adare Manor one of the many things that will indeed stand out to you are the outstanding guestrooms. There is something very special about staying in a bedroom that holds an extensive amount of Irish history. Generations of the Dunraven family have lived in the Manor and if you listen closely you can hear the whispers of Lady Caroline taking care of her ill husband the Earl of Dunraven. Each room in the Manor is unique and individually designed with a luxurious royal feel. Lady Caroline the wife of the Earl of Dunraven had a very special knack for interior design and although the rooms have been restored many times over the original feel still exists and the attention to detail is highly noticeable. Upon entering your room you will be in total awe with the detailed design touches that instantly make you feel as if you are of royal blood. Original fireplaces, carved headboards, bright marble bathrooms with views of the meticulous grounds will blow your mind. If you are lucky enough to stay in none other than Lady Caroline’s room, the most sought after bedroom in the Manor you may not want to ever leave. The vast amount of history hidden within the walls is astounding and the views of the grounds are breathtaking, Adare truly is a magical place! The many windows give you a bird’s eye view of the estate and the attention to detail here is beyond the imagination. Intricate carvings and an eclectic mixture of design house many stories. Whichever room you decide to stay in at the Manor there is one thing for certain, you will not be disappointed. Even the basic staterooms have large marble bathrooms with stunning views and all the fixtures and design aesthetics to go along with it.
A very memorable part of your stay will be the dining experiences. Whether you are enjoying afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, having a casual lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant or a romantic dinner in the Oakroom your experience will be top notch. Internationally acclaimed for their fine dining experiences, Adare is under the close supervision of head chef Mark Donohue. Each dish is meticulously prepared for the guests delight and it is quite apparent. Chef Donohue uses fresh ingredients locally sourced from the surrounding area and puts his heart and soul into preparing each plate which is glaringly obvious to the palate. Donohue has a unique ability of bringing the best produce, freshest seafood and game meats to the table. The meal paired with one of the 300 wines from the Manor’s cellar will take the night to a whole new level. Awake each morning with breakfast at the Oakroom’s adjoining colonnade while you gaze out the window at the River Maigue. Another focal point of the breakfast experience is to watch the golfers finish their round on the 18th hole as you enjoy your morning coffee; a true classic moment at the Adare Manor.
While staying at the Adare Manor it is especially memorable to partake in the activities that are unique to Ireland. From falconry, clay pigeon shooting, archery or fishing on the River Maigue each experience is one to remember. Take a hot air balloon ride across the 840 acre estate, get educated at a wine or whiskey tasting or take a stroll through the woodland walks to find the 12 miniature fairy sized play houses that are hidden amongst the trees. Don’t forget to book a spa treatment at the Lavender Cottage set in a historic building. The spa offers a splendor of unique treatments to make your stay that much more relaxing.
If you play golf then you are in for a special treat! Voted the #1 Parkland Golf Course in Ireland 2006-2012 it goes to show that this Robert Trent Jones designed course is an absolute gem. The Adare Manor Golf Club has won many accolades and has been voted the best Golf Course in Ireland by many publications. There is something remarkable when teeing off on the first hole with the Desmond Castle (1200 AD) as a backdrop for your shot. The ruins of The Franciscan Abbey (1464 AD) are also a main focal point on the course which adds such a unique setting. Where else could you marvel over ruins of a historic castle while going for that birdie putt? Tree lined fairways, manicured greens and hidden challenges await golfers of all skill levels. 22
Sharon McMeel Sharon McMeel
Ireland’s 2014 Wedding Planner of the Year
LATM: How can a couple know if a destination wedding is right for them?
LATM: When deciding whether to have destination nuptials or not, what are a few things that SM: Whether you decide to have a destination wedding greatly discerning brides should take into depends on your own personalities and style, your family, budget consideration? and the number of guests you want to invite to your wedding. For example if the thought of a big family wedding of 200 scares the life out of you, then maybe an intimate bridal party of 6 in St Lucia might be the best option. Is there a guest you really want at your wedding that is unable to travel? If the answer is yes then you would need to decide which is more important to you - having them at the wedding or going away to your dream location. Here are some things to think about before deciding if a destination wedding is right for you:
SM: As mentioned before, the budget and
your guest list is the first thing to consider as this will dictate a lot of choices you make in relation to country, venues, favors, décor etc.
Look at the activities you want to organize for guests. Remember to allow time for you and your partner to be on your own. Schedule a private dinner for you both on Do you want something different or an usual setting for your one of the evenings. It can be overwhelming wedding? Do you need a neutral location which neither side having so many people around you for an can lay claim to? extended period of time. You don’t have to Do you need/want to limit your guest list? Are there cousins babysit your guests, allow them to explore that you really don’t want to have at your wedding and would a the area for themselves also. destination wedding give you an easy way out! Would you like to enjoy more time with your family and One group thing I would recommend is friends in the days around your wedding? to organize a meet and greet before the Has a destination got special memories for you? Do you want wedding so that guests can get to know to share that special place with your family and friends? each other. This helps create a more relaxed What will it cost your guests to get there and can they afford it? atmosphere on your wedding day as How will you feel if some can’t make it? everyone has had a chance to meet already.
LATM: What are the first few steps a couple should make towards planning their destination wedding? SM: Give yourself plenty of time to plan your wedding. Remember things may take a bit longer when
planning at a distance and you may be waiting for vendors to respond. You will also need to find out the legal requirements for getting married in your country of choice. Some countries such as France have requirements for you to be in the country a number of days or weeks before your wedding day and will require proof of residency. If you are a gay couple is civil marriage allowed in that country? In Ireland couples can have a civil partnership at present but not civil marriage. This may change next year following a referendum on the issue. Look at the local weather, before deciding a date – if you’ve always wanted to get married in Dubai make sure you pick a date when the weather is bearable. 120 degrees in height of the summer may not suit your makeup or guests! Make sure to avoid hurricane season in the Caribbean from July to October. Want the best chance of getting sunshine in Ireland, look at early June and September. The other thing to look at in relation to the date is when the high and low seasons are. If you pick a date just outside the high season or a midweek date you may get better deals from vendors. Decide your budget and guest list before starting your search for venues and vendors. If your budget allows for a 3* hotel then do not torment yourself looking at 5* venues! Once the budget has been determined then it’s research, research, research! Jump on to Google and look for wedding websites in that country (weddingsonline. ie in Ireland), look at wedding blogs and forums (mrs2be.ie, onefabday.com). These will give you a real feel for vendors and feedback from real couples on their experience with them. Be wary that some vendor’s websites can be deceptive. I once went to view a venue in Ibiza which looked fabulous on the internet but when I went on a site visit it was very isolated and difficult to get to. It was actually across a quarry.
LATM: How can a bride make her destination wedding less stressful? SM: Hire a wedding planner!
I’m biased I know but trust me it’s money well spent. A wedding planner has the local knowledge which you can’t get from a website. They will be able to match your style, budget and number of guests with the right vendors. They also have the ability to get things done faster and easier so no waiting around by your computer for an email response for 4 or 5 days. If you are going to a country where you don’t speak the language it becomes more important. If possible arrange at least one trip to the country well before the wedding. This will allow you to get a real feel for your ceremony and reception venues and what is possible at both locations. It also allows you to meet your vendors in person which is important for you to be able to build a relationship with them. Your mind will be put at ease if you come away trusting that they are credible vendors and have your best interests at heart. If you are lucky enough to get a second visit you can arrange tasting, hair trials and organise activities for your guests around the wedding. Alternative Skype is a great help with couples who are unable to visit in advance. If you have a wedding planner you can arrange to do a Skype video call at your ceremony & reception venues and can chat through what you would put where and what theme you might develop to suit the venues.
LATM: What is the best part of the job? SM: There are 2 moments I love at weddings. The
Wedding Planner of the Year
moment the couple see each other for the first time is a special one. They are looking directly at each other and for a split second don’t care that there are 200 people looking at them or that it might be raining outside, in that second they are completely connected. It’s not very often that you get to see what a couple are truly like when they are on their own together but in that second you can see what they actually mean to each other. A moment of pure joy and it’s a privilege to witness it.
The second is when you see the couple jumping around on the dance floor beaming from ear to ear. There is no stress, no worry and they are having the time of their lives as they imagined they would. Then I know I’ve done my job and that makes me very happy.
LATM: What is your favorite thing about a destination wedding?
LATM: Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
SM: The time the couple has to
SM: I’m not a fan of speeches before the meal. By
spend with their guests. Often when you have a wedding at home the focus is very much on the one day and many couples find themselves running around on the day trying to talk to everyone and the day is gone in the blink of an eye. Whereas on a destination wedding in general you have several days or even a week with those closest to you and the atmosphere is so much more relaxed as you have time with everyone, nothing is rushed. The wedding becomes an experience for everyone involved.
LATM: Budgeting can be a big concern with brides when it comes to a destination wedding. How do you help manage that process?
the time you sit for dinner your guests are usually pretty hungry and if you delay them getting fed you run the risk of cranky guests who don’t care what anyone has to say, regardless of how romantic. All they are thinking at this stage is, where is my dinner? What you find is that the only story they tell after your wedding is – “we didn’t get our dinner until 8pm because the speeches went on forever!” I have seen it happen with a wedding ceremony at 2pm and the dinner not being served until 10.30pm or later! When you do speeches after the meal your guests are happy to sit and listen. They have been fed and need time to digest their meal. I think guests enjoy speeches more after the meal.
SM: The key here is to decide on a budget
as one of your first steps as an engaged couple. Sit down together and talk through realistically what you can afford and then have both of you write down the top 5 things that are important to you or ideas you have. You may be surprised at what your partner says. If you discuss it at the outset and move forward together then everyone understands the budget, its limitations and what item you can push the budget on. Once a couple have decided their budget I then provide them with a rough breakdown of how the budget is shared out across the different areas and what you need to include. Many times people forget to include things like under garments, cufflinks, or a small purse for the bride. To keep a realistic budget you must start with a full list. I then match the couples style and budget with suitable vendors and secure discounts wherever possible to help get the maximum from that budget. It is important to talk about what areas are important to them. Sometimes we will move amounts around depending on what they want. For example if a couple wants a particular photographer for that is €500 more than we budgeted then we will have to move things around and spend less on the flowers or the décor. Communication is also key when trying to keep within budget. It is important to have regular budget meetings to make sure we are on target and not in danger of overspending.
5 Unique Destination Wedding Locations I N T H E U. S .
Getting married far from home is becoming more and more popular these days, and with good reason. It’s less stressful (and sometimes cheaper) to get a small gathering of friends and family for a mini-vacay somewhere authentic and fun than to go through the hassle of planning a big and costly wedding at home. These 5 domestic locations offer plenty of diversity for the beach-bound duo, outdoorsy couples who love the mountains and family members who demand a high level of hospitality.
BAR HARBOR, MAINE Surrounded by rugged coastline and sandy beaches this destination comes with the perfect backdrop. Maine’s breathtaking waterfront is known for its iconic lighthouses and colorful weather changing scenery. Bar Harbor is the epitome of seaside chic with an undeniable American flair to incorporate into your wedding theme. Serve up fresh lobster, host a pre-wedding clambake or skip the traditional cake for some homemade blueberry pie.
SEA ISLAND, GEORGIA With its turquoise colored waters and pristine beaches, Sea Island feels like a Caribbean dream only without all the tourist traps cramping your wedding style. The oceanfront setting lies on five miles of private beach and couldn’t be a more romantic spot to exchange wedding vows. In addition to the world-class fare and amenities offered here, this tiny retreat has plenty of activities for your guests to enjoy, including golfing, horseback riding, boating, fishing and more.
MACKINAC ISL AND, MICHIGAN This picturesque, car-free island is wedged between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas near where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet. The island is full of charm, starting with the fact that you’ll need to rent a bike or hire a horse and buggy to get around. Mackinac Island is a National Historic Landmark known for its historic Victorian feel but there are so many unique venue styles to choose from.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS San Antonio is known as the gateway to the Southwest and offers numerous wedding venue options from historic missions to modern day hotel ballrooms. Rich Mexican and Spanish influences make weddings in San Antonio unlike other locations. You’ll get all the sophistication and style, along with that infamous Southern hospitality.
S A N J U A N I S L A N D S , WA S H I N G T O N Located in the northwest corner of Washington State, the San Juan Islands are a cluster of low key, forested islands dotted with cow pastures and quiet villages. Though it is an eco-tourist hotspot the islands themselves have only recently been developed for tourism and remain a well kept secret to most. The laid-back tranquility of island life and rustic Victorian chapels are perfect for wedding ceremonies.
The World’s Best Christmas Markets
A new addition to this year’s Christmas markets list, multiple VirtualTourist members suggested that Dresden, Germany is a must visit for market lovers. The Striezelmarkt on Dresden’s Altmarkt Square is one of Germany’s oldest fairs with a particularly unique setting - the town erects a 48-foot- (14.6 m-) high wooden “Christmas Pyramid” in the centre of the market. The market’s name is derived from stollen, the Christmas bread, which is also known as striezel in this area of Germany. In addition to this delicacy, the area is also known for the pflaumentoffel, a good-luck charm made from dried plums, and famous for its handicrafts that come from all over Saxony.
Along France’s northern border and the capital of French Flanders, it makes sense that Lille would have great activities during the holiday season. Around the Christmas market, the whole town is covered in a huge crown of garlands. The city’s primary market is located on Place Rihour, where 80 wooden chalets teem with gift ideas, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and festive food. On the nearby Grand Place, a 50-m (165-ft) high Big Wheel lights up the square and provides visitors with an amazing view of the city. As a city with Eurostar direct services, visiting Lille is an easy stop whether you are en route to Paris, Brussels, or London.
Held on the grounds of historic Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen’s popular Christmas Market is a wonderland of sight and sound. A Christmas Village offers souvenirs, artisan goods, and local delicacies like aebleskiver -- or Danish pancakes -- and glogg, a warm combo of red wine and spices that’s the Scandinavian version of glühwein (mulled wine). This year’s celebration also features a new Russian theme, complete with a Tivoli version of Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral and its onion domes.
Much like the city itself, the Toronto Christmas Market is a blend of old world and new. Along with a Ferris wheel, beer, and mulled wine gardens, shoppers choose between dozens of stalls selling everything from woolly hats and alpaca shawls to regional treats like maple syrup. Come hungry -- snacks run the gamut from hot chestnuts and gingerbread biscuits (Lebkuchen) to French Canadian poutine (decadent fries with cheese curds and gravy).
After nearly a decade at Tallinn’s Town Hall Square (site of the world’s first documented Christmas tree), the city’s annual Christmas Market has relocated to Rotermann Square for both 2010 and 2011 -- and the selection of handcrafted goods remains just as remarkable.Browse among more than 40 wooden huts for one-of-a-kind buckwheat pillows, wooden bowls, felted wool hats, and locally-made honey while sipping from mugs of hot mulled wine. Save room to sample an array of blood sausages, sauerkraut, and marzipan sweets. Keep an eye out for Santa, who makes market rounds accompanied by his elves, Scribble and Scrabble.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania There’s no better way to experience the holiday season than a trip to the Christmas market. These are the perfect spots to purchase last-minute gifts, treat yourself to a cup of mulled wine, taste the local street food and mingle with the crowds all celebrating the arrival of the holidays. This centuries-old European tradition is fairly new to the U.S. and other parts of the world. Most holiday markets now include entertainment, children’s play areas, and sometimes even a little snow or a visit from Santa himself. From Philadelphia to Tokyo, a visit to one of these Christmas markets will ensure your holidays get off to the right start.
This year Philly’s annual Christmas Village is celebrating the holidays in a new location: Love Park, just west of City Hall. The market models itself on Germany’s traditional holiday markets, with more than 50 vendors -- including local craftspeople and German vendors -- selling items such as nutcrackers, nesting dolls, hand-painted glass ornaments, Indian folk art, handmade hats, pottery, jewelry, and vintage toys. As for treats, expect the delicious filling foods that both Philly and Germany are known for: Nutella-topped waffles, bratwurst, strudels, and an undeniable favorite in both locations soft pretzels.
This German-style market offers all the usual attractions: wooden stalls with sellers touting various ‘holiday accessories’, mulled wine, and the obligatory beer and sausages. The lighting in the market area combines nicely with the winter ‘illuminations’ at Tokyo Skytree.
Holiday Round Up California 26th Annual Festival of Lights When: Friday, November 28 - 2:00pm-6:00pm Location: Yountville, CA While Yountville cannot promise a White Christmas, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the people and businesses of Yountville come together to transform their town into a magical winter wonderland nonetheless, with thousands of tiny (energy efficient) twinkling lights. Santa and friends set Yountville aglow with thousands of sparkling lights adorning trees and shops all along Yountville’s main street Romantic carriage rides clip-clop down glittering lanes. Carolers in costume saunter down Main Street, and everyone joins in a holiday sing-a-long There are photos with Santa and his elves, and other treats and activities just for kids. Several bands lend their voices and music to the festivities, Yountville’s award-winning restaurants and Michelinstarred chefs offer tasty bites and more than two dozen wineries will pour. Admission to the Festival of Lights is free. Tasting bracelets ($15-$35) are available for presale now, online at Festival of Lights, at the Yountville Welcome Center (6484 Washington Street), or by calling the Yountville Chamber at 707-944-0904.
IlluminOcean, Dana Point When: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - January 4, 2015 This holiday season, the lights come to life at Dana Point IlluminOcean. This wonderland by the sand shines bright as Southern California’s nightly must-sea with an imaginative twist on a holiday lighting tradition. And with over one mile of larger-than-life sea sculptures and moving light tunnels dotting the coastline, every step is sure to enchant, excite, and electrify your night. See the lights. Explore the sights. This year and every year, only at Dana Point IlluminOcean. Orange County has never seen a lighting event like this before, so it’s an event to be sure not to miss out on. mydanapoint.com
Marina del Rey Boat Parade When: Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 Location: Burton Chace Park; music, commentary and judging at Fisherman’s Village. View from along the channel or from one of the restaurants with a waterfront view. | mdrboatparade.org
Grinchmas at Universal Studios’ Shows and other activities created around the Grinch theme take center stage this year at Universal Studios. Grinchmas activities include a snow play area which is filled with real snow. Look for Santa Claus and tell him what’s on your Christmas wish list. Have your photo taken with the Grinch and his dog Max. Jump on the tram tour and watch special performances take place in Whoville, where colorful sets get a dusting of artificial snow. End the day at the tree lighting ceremonies with celebrity narrators. Grinchmas festivities start Thanksgiving weekend and run through December.
Holiday Round Up New York City
you may know starting in November, New York City is transformed into a beloved holiday destination with celebrations throughout. From annual favorites like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker to smaller, treasured celebrations like viewing Christmas lights, New York City provides a unique experience for visitors and locals during the holidays. Opening the joyous holiday season are the more than 10,000 participants in the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade is followed by the much-anticipated Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3. The 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (macys.com/parade) will take over the streets of New York City on November 27 starting at 9am. Visitors and viewers will be in awe of its giant helium character balloons, fantasy-filled floats, marching bands, performance groups and clowns. The parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and then makes its way toward Columbus Circle, where it will turn onto Central Park South before making its way down Midtown on Sixth Avenue from 59th to 34th Streets. The parade concludes with its final turn onto 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square. Every year, holiday markets pop up across the City, selling homemade goods, holiday treats and gifts. Annual favorites typically include the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park and the Grand Central Holiday Fair. New York City Ballet will present one of the season’s favorite annual productions, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, complete with marching toy soldiers, a one-ton Christmas tree that grows before the audience’s eyes and crystalline snowflakes. The show will run November 28–January 3 (nycballet.com). The Big Apple Circus is coming to Lincoln Center October 17–January 11. The annual show is a New York City holiday season favorite. This year’s show, Metamorphosis, is a brand-new spectacle with a flying trapeze, a musical clown and contortionists (bigapplecircus.org). In its eighth year, A Slice of Brooklyn’s Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour offers visitors the opportunity to see the famed Dyker Heights Christmas lights, most recently seen on TLC’s Crazy Christmas Lights. Every year the neighborhood is ablaze with illuminating exhibitions complete with 30-foot toy soldiers and nativity scenes. The bus also offers festive holiday music and old-time Christmas television variety specials, topped off with a taste of Brooklyn’s best cannoli and hot chocolate. Tours run December 1–31 (asliceofbrooklyn.com).
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Gifts don’t necessarily need to be expensive, but when money is no object, this luxury gift guide will help you spoil that special woman in your life. VALENTINA ASSOLUTO’ EAU DE PARFUM SET $120 Every woman needs that signature scent. Treat her to Valentino’s Valentina Assoluto and she will smell as sweet as she looks. | shop. nordstrom.com
CAMBIAMI INTERCHANGEABLE SANDALS $85 With Cambiami (which in Italian means “Change Me”) you can add 24 pairs of shoes to your collection without adding a whole new closet. Perfect for traveling and saving space in your suitcase, Cambis allow women to have 24 different pairs of sandals in ONE. | cambiami.com
FLORAL CAT EYE SUNGLASSES $28 These floral trimmed sunglasses are so fabulous! They feature a large frame cat eye design embellished with gold ceramic floral beads. Sequins, crystal, and suede are the foundation of the Kristin Perry brand. Each piece is hand sewn, beaded, and welded with precision while staying true to the belief that sparkle and pink really do make everything better. Each piece is designed in a light filled downtown Los Angeles studio. | kristinperry.com
LABYRINTH CLUTCH $2415 Who cares what's in your wallet when it looks like this! This small violet clutch, by designer Rauwolf, is meticulously crafted and perfect for a night on the town. | farfetch.com
MINI CRYSTAL FALLS FOREVER Pendant $162 & Earrings $210 A simply gorgeous pendant perfect as an every day piece! A 10mm sterling silver hand cast disc (with a rhodium plating to prevent tarnishing) hangs from an 18’’ sterling silver chain. A lovely opal cabochon is set in the center of the disc with tiny Swarovski crystals set along the outside edge. | lakaiser.com 30
SUSID JEWELRY Made by hand in Southern California, each necklace comes gift boxed on a card with an inspirational travel quote. The necklaces are available in gold and silver for $33. | susidjewelry.com.
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Gifts don’t necessarily need to be expensive, but when money is no object, this luxury gift guide will help you spoil that special man in your life.
BUSHNELL PRO X7 JOLT SLOPE RANGEFINDER $599 The most powerful golf Laser Rangefinder in the world. The Pro X7 JOLT Slope provides compensated distances for elevation changes. Also features incredible ranging capability, PinSeeker with JOLT Technology to help you zero in on the flag and second generation E.S.P. to provide ultra-accurate yardages faster than ever before. | golfsmith.com
PLAINVIEW FARM GOAT MILK PRODUCTS $90 Why should women have all the fun when it comes to bath products? Guys need quality, nourishing goods, too. We’ve rounded up a great little collection of items any man will appreciate. Plus, it’s basically a guarantee that he’ll smell nice! Paraben Free, Gentle and an appreciable gift straight from Stanford, Kentucky. | kentuckysoapsandsuch.com
GENIUS PACK 25’’ HARDSIDE SPINNER UPRIGHT $188 This crush-proof luggage is infused with “genius” features. Extremely lightweight (only 8.2 pounds) and durable, the Hardside Spinner rolls 360 degrees with eight silentgliding spinner wheels. The interior panel is engineered with designated category compartments, permanent packing checklist to ensure you packed it all, and secluded laundry compartment to keep your dirty clothes secluded. Other features include integrated TSA friendly combination lock, gel-print handles and compression straps. Also available in 21-inch and 29-inch spinners. | geniuspack.com
WATERFORD CRYSTAL LONDON DESKTOP BAR $17,500 A spirited addition to any home, this desktop bar with crystal barware is the perfect mix of centuries-old craftsmanship and modern design. It lights up when opened and features all you need to ring in an auspicious new year. | neimanmarcus.com
EAST DANE GIFTS COCKTAIL TRAVEL CASE $178 Portable cocktail service for 2 in a rigid, faux leather case. The piece opens to everything needed to make drinks anywhere, with space to carry 2 bottles. Straps secure the contents during transport. Top handle and removable shoulder strap. | eastdane.com 31
For Pet s
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Although many of us pamper our pets on a daily basis, the holidays provide an excuse to spoil our four-legged babies even more —From personalized pet beds to bling no pet princess would refuse, Dublin & Miller have rounded up 7 luxurious pet products you’ll want to check out this holiday season.
Dress your pup or kitty up in diamonds with this WHITE ROSES COLLAR $57 poshpuppyboutique.com Give the gift of wagging tails and happy barks with designer pet products from Harry Barker: PALM BEACH WEEKENDER GIFT TOTE from $94 or PARISIAN TOILE GIFT TOTE from $48. Choose from delightful galvanized steel dog gift buckets or our eco-friendly hemp dog gift totes – both stuffed to the brim with our favorite Harry Barker dog treats, toys, balls, and more. | harrybarker.com PET BOWTIE $12 Dress your pup or kitty up with this bowtie from Urban Outfitters. | urbanoutfitters.com PERSONALIZED DOG BED $84.95 Available in Plush, fleece top with brown cotton duck bottom, or Outdoor, water-resistant polyblend top with black cotton duck bottom, your pet will be sitting pretty on their personalized dog bed in no time! Zippered, easy clean cover and comfortable insert included | clairebella.com A BARKBOX SUBSCRIPTION When you order a BarkBox subscription, every month you receive a box in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog – anything from toys, bones and allnatural treats to hygiene products and innovative new gadgets! Plus a portion of profits from each box will go to help doggies-in-need. | barkbox.com
2015 AMORE FOR DOGS CALENDAR $19.99 For those pets that want to give back gifting one of these calendars is a great idea and the best part is 100% of the proceeds goes toward dog rescue! | amorefordogs.com
CLASSIC BLUE DOUBLE BLING BOWL $300 This instant classic redefines eating in style. Our Double Bling Bowl is completely adorned with fine Tiffany blue crystals, a leather top surface and embellished with a ceramic bowl insert. | chrome-bones.com
ESCAPE TO THE
The Cote d’ Azur often known in English as the French Riviera is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. Where else can you find breathtaking coastline, stunning landscapes and more millionaires per square mile? With astounding destinations such as Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Saint Tropez, Provence and Marseille you could literally spend weeks cruising along the southeast coastline of France and not see everything this area has to offer. Whether your journey calls for a wine tasting experience, golf getaway or simply relaxing on the beach, this part of France truly has it all. Start your adventure upon arrival into the Nice Cote d’ Azur International Airport. Pick up the keys to a little red sports car and off you go to explore the world famous coastline. Buckle in and head 33km south towards Cannes for a stay at the prestigious Hotel Majestic Barrière. The Majestic Barrière is a member of the Leading Hotels of the world and for good reason. As you pull into the valet you instantly realize that you are in for a luxurious, true French Riviera experience. Stunning décor, extremely well dressed staff and high end clientele is your first impression as you enter the lobby. You quickly realize you may get into a little bit of trouble as you notice some of the biggest names in fashion have outlet stores on the ground floor such as Prada, Chanel and Rolex. Get those credit cards ready! After you hit your daily limit on your credit card, hit the beach. Located just a few steps across the street is the beautiful Majestic Barrière’s private beach where you can bask in the sun and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel has a private dock and beach restaurant called La Plage. Order a quick bite for lunch while you soak up some rays. La plage is more than just a beach; it’s a unique French Riviera experience. There is something very special about enjoying local French cuisine with your toes in the sand. For Dinner book a table at Le Petit Maison de Nicole and dine where many celebrities spend their time during the world famous Cannes Film Festival. A pure combination of delightful Mediterranean fare, chic French décor and fabulous people watching makes for the perfect meal! Another great option is to dine inside or out on the terrace at Fouquet. Here you can enjoy fabulous southern French cuisine by Chef Maryan Gandon. Gandon has a touch of artistically pairing foods together in a way that truly has to be experienced; a mixture of Mediterranean and southern French cuisine that will make your mouth water. The hotel takes pride in being the perfect French Riviera escape; set up your sunbed at the heated year round outdoor pool, get a workout in with a personal trainer at the fitness hall, treat yourself to a massage at The Spa My Blend by Clarins or shop till you drop at the high fashion outlet stores. No matter what you find yourself doing one thing is clear, the Majestic Barrière is the place to be when you are visiting the world famous city of Cannes. 35
After an action packed French Riviera vacation it is time to fully relax in the lap of luxury. Head north to the historical mountain region of Provence and make your way to Château Saint-Martin & Spa. Located in Vence, 24 km from Nice; Château Saint-Martin & Spa is a 12th century Knight Templar castle that will take your breath away. As you enter the grounds and the valet obtains your car keys a feeling of calmness immediately consumes your core. The atmosphere here is intoxicating, you feel your muscles relax and take a deep breath; now this is what you have been waiting for. Drop your bags and head through the lobby to get a look at the amazing view of the fourteen hectare park. Turn off the cell phone, it’s time to relax. Nestled in the heart of Cote d’ Azur you are fully surrounded by natural rustic beauty and commanding views. Stay on the property and take in all it has to offer or venture out on a trip to one of the local villages nearby to get a closer look at the areas culture and historical sites. Château Saint-Martin & Spa offers many accommodation options from classic rooms to divine honeymoon duplex suites. If you prefer a bit more privacy the hillside villas make for the ultimate peaceful retreat. Step onto your terrace and feel the comfortable breeze that sweeps off the Mediterranean Sea; take in the views while your senses are aroused by the aromas of lavender and bougainvillea. There are several dining options while visiting Château Saint-Martin & Spa, Le Saint-Martin, Le 180 and L’Oliveraie. Three extremely talented chefs oversee all the cuisine prepared onsite and each restaurant has its own flair and style. Le Saint-Martin is the hotels gourmet restaurant which was given a Michelin star due to the works of the three masters of their trade. Executive Chef Franck Ferigutti like most Michelin star recipients is extremely proud of his work and strives to bring the best ingredients that France has to offer to your table. Head Chef Nicolas Davouze has earned many accolades himself such as winning the Bocuse D’or title in 2014. The team prides themselves in delivering the best of the best to guests of the property. Handpicked fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood from the Mediterranean Sea, the best meats and cheeses and breads made from local artisans are just a few examples of how they keep the properties standards and food quality so high. With the help of Head Sommelier Geraud Tournier to pair the best wines and Chef Patissier to create the most decadent desserts, gastronomical perfection is reached. If you enjoy dining outdoors L’Oliveraie is a unique culinary experience not to miss. Sit outside under the ancient olive trees and enjoy a Mediterranean fusion styled menu while you sample some of the finest French wines on property. If you enjoy a good glass of cognac stop by Le Rossini to fully relax for the evening. Try one of the signature French inspired cocktails made by the mixologist on staff as well. Château Saint-Martin & Spa is also known for its extensive wine collection. Their cellars boast some of the world’s best wines including wineries local to the area. If relaxation is not your only goal when visiting the area there are many activities that can be set up by the concierge. Local villages are only ten minutes away; venture out to see what it is that inspires so many local artists to create their masterpieces. If you prefer more of the athletic scene golf, sailing and horseback riding are among some of the many activities you can partake in while staying here. The property has an infinity pool that is more than inviting, a blissful spa in case you are need of some pampering and a fitness facility for those looking to work off all of the fabulous meals they have been consuming. Whatever it is you are in the mood for, whether it’s pure relaxation or on the go activities, the staff at Château Saint-Martin & Spa will make sure your every need is met! 37
C’est l’amour! A M OM E N T I N PA R I S
is no wonder why Paris has been established as the “City of Love”. Stroll through the Champs Élysées, sneak a kiss under the Eiffel Tower, or revel in each other’s company as you share a picnic made of wine, cheese and fresh baguettes. There truly is enough to do in Paris to keep you busy for weeks but if a short stay is all you can find time for then make it the most romantic 48 hours of your life!
R E K I N D L E AT T H E ROYA L M O N C E AU
If you are in the mood to be spoiled than look no further than Le Royal Monceau Raffles Hotel which is literally steps away from L’arc deTriomphe and Champs Élysées. Pull up to the hotel and catch a glimpse of some of the finest automobiles you have ever laid eyes on. Lamborghinis, Bugattis, and Ferraris just happen to line the sidewalk displaying a luxurious first impression. As you enter the hotel you instantly receive the royal treatment. The staff at the Royal Monceau are among the most highly trained in the city and you will experience this immediately as they attend to your every need upon arrival. Once you check into your room you get the feeling that even though Paris has so much to offer it wouldn’t be so bad to spend the day inside. A quick tour with your appointed staff member opens your eyes to a very unique style of hotel. First thing you notice is the intricate design touches throughout the public areas. Stunning chandeliers line a winding staircase, art displays that change regularly are a focal point as you enter the lobby and that “je ne sais quoi” feel is in the air! The words absolute perfection come to mind as you tour the two Michelin star restaurants, the lobby bar as well as the heavenly spa where you could spend an entire day recovering from jet lag in the most exceptional way. Le Royal Monceau has a flair for being not only different, but one of a kind. They have not one but two Michelin star restaurants, the longest and most dreamy indoor pool in the city, the only hotel we know with their own “Art Concierge” in and are well known as having the “best breakfast in Paris”.
THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CABARET SHOW: MOULIN ROUGE For the ultimate Parisian experience look no further than a night out at the famous Moulin Rouge theatre. Founded in 1889, Moulin Rouge (which means red windmill) has been a mainstay tourist attraction in Paris for over one hundred years. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans, the can can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment that is now known worldwide birthing such shows like Cirque du soliel. Get ready for a fun filled evening filled with glamorous costumes, seamless choreography, and even a bit of scantily clad dressed performers. The show Féerie” consists of 80 artists recruited world-wide, 1000 costumes of feathers, rhinestones and sequins, all designed in famous Parisian workshops. Eye catching stage sets in shimmering colors are uniquely designed by Italian artists; with outstanding international acts, all performing to original music recorded by 80 musicians and 60 chorus singers.
to the Good Life in
trip to Paris would not be complete without a champagne tasting and what better place to do this other than, Champagne of course! Book a guided day tour with France Bubbles Tours and encounter just the right mixture of history, culture and bubbly! Located roughly 45 minutes away by train, ride from Paris City center to the region of Champagne and make sure to take in the scenery as your passing by. Your guide will meet you at the train station and begin your sightseeing tour of the Champagne Cru Villages, Reims and its famous Cathedral. You will also see the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay as well as do champagne tasting at two very famous Champagne houses, Moet & Chandon and Pommery. These two Champagne houses are quite the treat to see; Moet & Chandon (where Dom PĂŠrignon is produced) produces the worldâ€™s best Champagne and is filled with amazing history. Pommery is an amazing sight to see to say the least. Madame Pommery had the Pommery Domaine constructed in 1868 and invented the first Champagne Brut Nature in 1874.
Locally-Themed Turndown Amenities Inspire
Luxury hotels are steering far away from the usual ‘chocolate on the pillow’ turndown amenity and are embracing local culture to create unique turndown treats that leave guests feeling locally-inspired.
Signature Sweets: In the Signature Suites at La Mamounia, at turndown the hotel offers its guests fresh seasonal fruits, homemade Moroccan pastries displayed beautifully on special three-level and two level silver platters and a decadent chocolate bar. Champagne, mineral water, almond milk, orange juice and grapefruit juice with vanilla are also served. In addition, fresh white roses are placed in the room. Photo Credit: La Mamounia
Golden Gate Bridge Delicacy: Drawing on inspiration from one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco wows guests with a its charming “Golden Gate Bridge” amenity. Featuring decadent housemade candy and confectionary alongside a bottle of champagne, this is just one of many Ritz-Carlton memories guests are invited to enjoy while staying at San Francisco’s iconic hotel. Photo Credit: The Ritz-Carlton
Lowcountry Classic: Belmond Charleston Place honors their Colonial roots with a Southern favorite at turndown, the Benne Wafer. The sesame seed cookie’s name is derived from the Bantu word for “sesame,” which was brought from West Africa and planted extensively throughout the South. The toasted sesame seeds are mixed with brown sugar, flour, vanilla and other ingredients for a nutlike flavor. Served with coffee or just as a snack, the Benne Wafer is the perfect bedtime treat after a day of exploring the historic city. Photo Credit: Belmond A Cultural Icon: A ‘Siwak’ is a branch of the tooth root tree which has been used through the ages as a traditional Arabian toothbrush. Guests who check into one of the six Angsana riads in Marrakech will find these cultural icons on their pillow as a celebration of Moroccan history (more modern versions of toothbrushes are also available from the concierge team should a guest forget theirs). In 2014, guests can enjoy the 20th Anniversary Package at Angsana Riads Collection with a minimum stay of three consecutive nights including welcome cocktails, 20 percent off on food and beverage and a 90-minute spa treatment. Photo Credit: Angsana Hotels & Resorts Tales from the Bush: Belmond Safaris in Botswana brings the outdoors in with stories from the wild for children at turndown. Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Belmond Khwai River Lodge and Belmond Eagle Island Lodge each share a unique bedtime “Tale from the Bush” story filled with animals and wildlife created by Bontekanye Botumile, a descendant of a long line of storytellers. As the sun sets over the wilderness of Botswana, unwind in the luxurious lodges by learning about the sacred animals of Botswana, following the story of the village livestock and discovering the spirit of the Knob Thorn tree. Children can learn from the stories that are inspired by ancient beliefs, and continue the tradition of sharing the colorful tales. Photo Credit: Belmond
By Susan Watkins
The picturesque Greek island of Mykonos rests like a gem in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The lure of Mykonos has captivated visitors for as long as we can remember, and the island’s former sleepy little fishing village of Mykonos Town – called Chora - has grown up. Despite the passage of time, Mykonos, with its classic whitewashed lanes, houses and churches accented with traditional bright Greek-blue trim, still retains its charm. Our recent evening stop on this fabled island was short but full of memorable moments. Like a kaleidoscope of sight, sound, color and music, Mykonos is a feast for the senses. Here are a few special moments which stand out in our memory - but you really must go to Mykonos and discover your own!
A Table By the Sea
– A little white wooden table perches next to the sea wall. Turquoise water crashes dramatically against the stone wall, spraying its warm mist on your face. The sun is setting, and the glass of crisp white wine at your table invites you to savor the moment. At your little table by the sea, take in the sweeping view as vermilion, gold and violet hues reflect their shimmering lights upon the waters. The sun paints the sky and sinks gracefully beyond the horizon, and the lights from “Little Venice” begin to twinkle. The hush of evening settles in around you. Magic!
A Church Altar
– Tucked away along the streets and alleys of Mykonos are myriads of tiny churches. Tonight, church bells are ringing against the fading sky. We come upon one diminutive church of plain white stucco capped with a bright blue roof. A peek inside the unassuming stone building reveals unexpected jaw-dropping grandeur – a magnificent gold-leafed altar, painted frescoes, a marbled floor and Byzantine art. Just as the spartan exterior belies the treasures inside, so also the quiet here masks the bustling activity just outside the small church door, providing a moment for the faithful to light a candle or reflect on the blessings of the day.
A Stroll Through the Maze – Winding this way and that, the narrow corridors of Mykonos town are a maze
of characteristic black and white cobblestoned pathways. Nestled into the streets are shops, posh boutiques, art galleries, souvenir kiosks, stylish bars and quaint restaurants. Paradoxically, simple craft shops coexist with sparkling high-end designer stores such as Chanel, Dior, Ferregamo, and Louis Vuitton. Surrendering to the labyrinth, we meander hand in hand up and down one delightful byway to the next, stopping to admire custom leather sandals in one store window, or dazzling jewelry in another. We ponder colorful local crafts and sway to music floating out from a corner cafe. After wandering like this for awhile, you may feel as if you’re lost, but the soft evening breezes wafting up will always point you toward the tiny harbor of the town.
A Glimpse of Windmills – The first sight of the famous windmills of Mykonos, standing like soldiers on the hill, will take your breath away. The stout white stucco bases, thatched roofs and stick-like sails reaching their spindly arms to the sky are iconic to the island. Once you’ve seen them, you will never forget the moment!
A Dinner Under the Stars – On an enchanting interior pathway of the island we happen upon Nautilus, a chic
little restaurant housed in simple white stone. The setting is romantic, exotic and seductively charming. We have no reservation, but we are welcomed like family. “Yes, we have a perfect table for you, right here on the street under this little tree.” We sit in the moonlight, feasting on the freshest of seafood, lamb and eggplant, and watching the promenade of fashionably dressed revelers pass us by. Is there a more pleasurable way to let the evening drift by than this? We must leave this captivating place all too soon. The lights of Mykonos glisten on the hillsides, bestowing us with a parting picture of a memorable evening. “Antío -Goodbye” Mykonos, until we meet again…
The Aston Martin Festival By Leslie Moore
The Aston Martin Festival put on by Kevin Buckler of TRG-AMR North America was held August 29 to 31, 2014 at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California. This inaugural event gave Aston Martin owners the opportunity to drive this world class track in their own vehicles, swap stories with other Aston Martin owners, chat with race drivers, and get up close and personal with the real hits of the weekend; the GT3 and GT4 race cars. The event kicked off with a sophisticated cocktail dinner complete with Aston Martin eye-candy, an ice sculpture of the world famous Corkscrew through which was dispensed the ubiquitous Bond Martini and a nice selection of Buckler’s Adobe Road wines. The dinner stations included unique culinary delights such as a Mashed Potato Martini Bar and a new twist on the shrimp cocktail, both delightful, and much more. There was a buzz in the air as TRG-AMR and Aston Martin representatives joined owners, race drivers and friends to mix, mingle and extoll the virtues of the renowned Aston Martin. A nice sized crowd of Aston Martin owners and race enthusiasts turned out the next morning to enjoy the display of owner vehicles, factory cars and race cars in the event paddock. From a beautifully restored early 1950’s touring DB2 and a sleek 1964 DB5 to the luxurious 2014 Vanquish S, the range of vehicles indicated that this event attracted a very diverse crowd. With James Bond music playing the background, enthusiastic vintage owners reminisced about the challenges of restoring a rare car while car lovers drooled over the newer models, and legendary race car drivers, Danny Sullivan and Eliseo Salazar greeted fans, signed autographs and chatted candidly about their respective racing careers. Next to the paddock, the race pit was very accessible; Festival attendees could wander in and talk to the drivers and their team about the cars and their careers. Everyone had a story to tell and everyone had a common reason for attending the Festival - his or her love of the Aston Martin and its unrivaled heritage and elegance. This passion never shone more profoundly than in the faces of the owners as they took to the racetrack for the Owners Parades, vintage cars that saw the outside of the garage only once a year joined the lineup of the flashy newer Astons as they circled the fabled raceway at speed. Big broad smiles where everywhere as the drivers came off the track. A once in a lifetime experience and another remarkable story for their repertoire; driving their own car through Laguna Seca’s world-renowned corkscrew! For race enthusiasts, nothing comes close to the roar of the track but imagine being able to ride in a race car or better yet, drive one! Well, that opportunity presented itself on this weekend! The Aston Martin Motorsports Festival offered four levels of driving packages (plus two levels of corporate packages) that gave Aston Martin lovers the option to receive pro-driver instruction from one of the TRG-AMR drivers, a Right Seat Ride – 4 hot laps on the storied Laguna Seca course with a professional driver in the GT4 - or actually driving the GT4 on this challenging course. We tried the hot lap experience where a professional driver gave us each a right seat ride through the infamous course at white-knuckle race speed. The layout of the track is very unique as it wraps around a hill and the iconic corkscrew is a challenge even for seasoned drivers. I eagerly donned a race helmet and swung myself into the cockpit. I stoically steadied myself on the adrenaline pumping straight-a-ways and bravely braced for every corner but I sincerely questioned the sanity of my decision as we crested the first hill of the corkscrew. What an exhilarating ride! When can we do it again! If “inspiration comes standard” for Aston Martin, Kevin Buckler’s inspiration for this Festival was outstanding! There truly was something for everyone, Aston Martin enthusiasts came from all over the United States, including one gentleman who shipped his car from Hawaii, to attend this event and share their varied stories. If you own an Aston or are thinking of purchasing one, I would mark this event on your calendar for next year. This is truly and experience that you will not soon forget.
Intercontinental Monterey By Leslie Moore
When you stay at an Intercontinental, you know you are going to stay in style no matter where your travels take you and the Intercontinental, The Clement, Monterey did not disappoint. The staff is professional and welcoming, the rooms are spacious and decorated in calming, airy beach tones. From the rooms you can look down on the hustle and bustle of historic Cannery Row or out over the beautifully picturesque Monterey Bay. The Intercontinental is perfectly located for exploring the local area and region. Located just steps away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the ocean where you can enjoy quick access to a variety of outdoor activities. When you return to the hotel after a busy day be sure to take in the panoramic ocean views from The C Restaurant or Lounge. A wonderful getaway for Southern Californians or intercontinental travelers!
Like what you read? For more advice and tips on Los Angeles, find me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! www.AskAConcierge.TV
Hi I’m Sarah, and I’m a concierge at one of the top hotels in Los Angeles. Every day, people ask me, “Where should I go, what should we do?” Well, I’ve got you covered. Whether you have a day or a decade, there’s always something new in LA to discover!
with Sarah Dandashy
It’s officially Fall, and with Summer behind us, it’s time to focus on what LA has to offer gastronomically. Since it’s no longer bikini season, let your taste buds play a little while hunting down the best food trucks, savoring world-class wines, and maybe enjoying a flash-frozen liquid nitrogen treat.
Ask A Concierge
MUST TRY LIST: Food and Drink
You name it, if you’re craving it, there is always someplace in Los Angeles that is serving what your tummy desires! Here are my top picks for those making waves in the culinary and vinous world.
Malibu Rocky Oaks This is anything but your average vineyard. Malibu Rocky Oaks offers an exclusive experience, with stunning 360-degree views, award winning wines, and memories of a lifetime. One of Southern California’s most coveted wedding venues, Malibu Rocky Oaks is the place to host your special event. It’s the type of place where you can fly in and land on their helipad for a perfect proposal or score an extraordinary, private tour of the estate midweek. www.maliburockyoaks.com Concierge Tip: Join their wine club! You’ll have some of the best wine from California delivered to your doorstep and get an invite to party at the estate once every quarter! Grilled Cheese Truck Everyone loves a good food truck, just as much as they love a solid grilled cheese sammy. Combine the two and you’ve got one of the most followed and sought after food trucks in LA! You can’t go wrong with a classic order, but I urge you to venture outside the box and try the Roast Brie, Cheesy Mac and Rib, or one of their dessert melts. Follow with a friend so you have room to try their tomato soup and tater tots. www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com Concierge Tip: Stalking is encouraged. Find out their daily whereabouts via twitter at @ grlldcheesetruk.
The Church Key One of my favorite new restaurants, The Church Key makes going out to eat fun again! The menu is Modern American, and they serve their small-plates, DimSum style! Part regular menu and part rotating menu, the experience is always different. Cute waitresses dressed as Pan-Am Stewardesses add a little flare in an atmosphere that is both comfortable (think sofas), easy (mis-matching, vintage plates), and rustic (exposed brick walls). www.thechurchkeyla.com Concierge Tip: I’m slightly in love with their salt and vinegar popcorn served at the bar. Also their alcoholic otter-pops are delicious!
Nobu Malibu The most coveted reservation of the Summer, Nobu Malibu rocks an incredible location and a stellar menu. Arguably one of the best Nobu restaurants of the famed-chain, there’s not a bad seat in the house. With floor to ceiling windows, you can soak up the sea breeze while sipping on a Yuzu Kumqat Cooler and dining on mini Tuna Tacos, Rock Shrimp Tempura, and melt-in-your-mouth Chilean Sea Bass. Open all day, every day, they offer a smaller “bar” menu between 3 and 5:45 pm. www.noburestaurants.com/malibu/ experience Concierge Tip: Waited too long to get a reservation? No problem. They take walk-ins! Enjoy a cocktail or two while you wait for a seat. It’s worth it.
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MUST TRY LIST: Sweets
Whether it’s baked goods or candy or even ice cream, let’s face it, everyone loves something sweet. Thankfully, Los Angeles has no shortage of options when it comes to satisfying your hankering for sugary goodness. Check out my choices for the best places to fulfill to your sweet dreams and desires.
Porto’s If you haven’t made your way to Porto’s yet, you haven’t lived. This family-run business specializes in the best Cuban recipes, from fresh breads to cookies to outstanding cakes. They even have a cafe to round off your visit. Come for the pastries and stay for a meal. You don’t have to take my word for it, the next time you’re at LAX, see how many bags of Porto’s make their way through security! www.portosbakery.com Concierge Tip: Their Cheese Rolls and Caramel Kisses keep me coming back for more! Sweet! Hollywood A real world Willy Wonka mixed with “It’s A Small World!” This is a candy store experience like no other. With tasting machines to try before you buy and customized candy stations to create individualized chocolate bars to individualized hard candy treats, Sweet! Hollywood is a gigantic candy playground! Located in the heart of Hollywood, this sweet emporium brings out the candy fanatic in all of us. And honestly, I don’t mind at all! www.sweetlosangeles.com
‘lette Macarons A little bit classy, a lot scrumptious, ‘lette Macarons are the perfect sweet treat! With over 14 flavors baked daily, from seasonal favorites to classics like pistachio, sweet wedding almond, and rose, every chewy bite instantly transports you to the beautiful streets of Paris! Purchase a box or build a party tower, either way it’s a win. They have five locations around Los Angeles and two more throughout Southern California, so you are bound to be close to one! www.lettemacarons.com Concierge Tip: Place in the refrigerator to keep them fresh up to three days! Let them hang out in room temperature for 10 minutes before serving... then bon appetit!
Concierge Tip: Sweet! Hollywood makes the best gift bags and presents. Seriously, do you know anyone that would turn down candy? Sugar = Happy. Really, it does. Ice-Cream Lab Finally, ice cream done right! The Ice Cream Lab instantly freezes every order with a blast of liquid nitrogen to create the freshest, creamiest, and tastiest frozen treat possible. With unique flavors like Blue Velvet, Banilla, and Strawberry Basil, they are constantly coming up with new flavors to tantalize the taste buds. Break up a day of shopping or cap off your evening with a stop at this Beverly Hills icy haven. A plus, all flavors are kosher, and they even have vegan options. www. icecreamlab.com Concierge Tip: Be sure to try their Salt Lick Crunch— with pretzels and caramel, it captures the best of saltysweet and crunchy-smooth.
Amore for Dogs Dublin & Miller stamp their paws of approval on this top dog-loving charity.
inding one of our fellow four legged friends a home isn’t always easy, no matter how cute of a brown-eyed grin that pup can have. Neither is the search for a lost pooch ever simple. As the dogs of Los Angeles Travel Magazine, we decided to skip our vacation this issue and share some information from a charity that is close to our hearts, Amore for Dogs. This organization helps solve both those issues that hit close to home, because we want all of our canine friends to find as great of homes as Mom and Dad have given us. Inspired by her late Bichon Frise named Amore, model/art director and international fitness competitor Viviana Soldano FaBrizio founded Amore for Dogs with her husband Bruce. This charitable organization raises money and donates time to find missing animals, encourage animal adoptions, and generates medical care funding for individual pet needs. Viviana’s efforts also help educate and fundraise for a number of other organizations, paying it forward to over 11 animal shelters and rescue centers that share her love for furry friends. Pummy, one of many tail-waggers whose life has been saved by Amore for Dogs, was rescued by Viviana from Pomona Shelter in California. Within the same day of his rescue, a loving family adopted him! Amore for Dogs not only paid all of his vet expenses, but they even prepared a welcome home gift package complete with fun toys, a comfy bed, a convenient carry-on bag, delicious food, a nice blanket, and a Petco gift card. What pet wouldn’t feel special with all those perfect gifts? In order to raise money for dogs like Pummy, the organization offers greeting cards and a 16-month 2015 calendar! The calendar features photos of doggies touched by Amore for Dogs as well as Viviana with her six pooches. For every calendar purchase, you receive a free bottle of Simple Green Pet Stain & Odor Remover and $10 is donated toward saving a dog! We think that’s a win-win situation, and it also helps our friends feel less guilty about any accidents that may happen in their new home. Hey accidents can happen right?
he calendars are only $19.99 each, but when you buy a quantity of five or more, you get each calendar at a wholesale price of only $10.00! The holidays are right around the corner and we think this is a great gift…hint, hint. We recommend buying some calendars to give to your local vet or animal shelter. The proceeds of the calendar sales will also be matched dollar-for-dollar by Simple Green, the manufacturer of the non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner that has saved us a few times (or two) from getting grounded. We bark for joy knowing that when Mom and Dad use Simple Green Tough Pet Stain & Odor Remover, they’re supporting a great foundation that cares for the world we live in. Whether you’re looking to adopt or rescue a dog, or simply contribute to efforts that save lives and provide love to pups in need, Amore for Dogs is a fetching charity we recommend digging your paws into! www.amorefordogs.com
The holidays can be a hectic time for all of us, and we can’t forget about our furry friends either. With many of us traveling throughout the holiday season, Heidi Ganahl, the CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise offers a series of
Tips on Traveling with Your Pets
Flying with your pet. If you are going to take your pet on an airplane, it is important to determine whether your pet will need a crate or a carrier. Larger dogs will fly in a crate in the cargo, and smaller dogs that fit into a carrier can fly in the plane. Make sure you find out the requirements for your dog prior to booking your flight.
Find a hotel that will allow your pet to spend the night. Most pet-friendly hotels will not allow pets to be left in the room alone, so also consider taking your dog to a nearby Camp Bow Wow® doggie day care facility or hire a Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow® pet sitter if you have plans during the day. Camp is open early in the morning until late in the evening, so your pup can play all day and in-home pet sitters will come to your hotel and take care of your pet while you are out.
Feed your pet no less than five or six hours before traveling. It is very easy for your dog or cat to become sick during travel. Providing time for food to digest lessens the chances of your pet becoming ill.
Familiarize your pet with its crate or carrier. Pets like familiarity. If you plan on keeping your pet inside a carrier or crate while traveling, make purchases at least a month before travel to allow your pet ample time to get comfortable with the new environment. Place him or her in the carrier and provide some treats. Gradually lengthen the time your pet is in the crate or carrier until your pet seems at ease in its new space.
Make your pet feel at home. Use familiar dishes, blankets, toys and other items from your home to create a sense of comfort for your pet.
Traveling by Car. It is important that we always think about the dog’s safety while in your car. If you want it to sit on the seat, get your pup a dog seatbelt. It allows your dog to move around, but provides restraint in the case of an accident. If you have an SUV, you can buy a gate that keeps it from jumping from the back to the front.
Washington, D.C. By Kelly A. Magyarics
ituated next to Thomas Circle within walking distance of the many buzz-worthy restaurants and bars in Washington, D.C.’s vibrant 14th Street Corridor, the modern, Kimpton-run Donovan House boasts 193 sleek and stylish rooms and 17 suites, an inviting living room-style lobby, and a trendy Asian fusion hotspot with well-crafted libations. But the property’s biggest draw isn’t actually found inside its walls. Up above is where it’s at. A see-and-be-seen spot, Donovan House’s rooftop boasts a seasonal, 420-square foot pool decked out with lounge chairs, snooze-worthy curtain-adorned cabanas, and a killer view of the city. Come happy hour, staff swaps out the patio furniture for cushy sofas and bar tables and the deck is illuminated, transforming the roof into DNV Lounge (an acronym for Damn Nice View.) Watch the sunset while noshing on pork belly bao buns with pickled daikon and wild mushroom tacos with five spice mole, washed down with creative cocktails like the Saigon Gin and Tonic on draft—with Tanqueray Gin and house made sugarcane tonic water—and the Yellow River Old Fashioned, with Old Overholt Rye, Batavia-Arrack, lemongrass-pandan syrup and green tea bitters. When the sun sets, retreat to the modern and minimalist rooms redesigned in 2014 by CBT architects. Aesthetic details include a muted palette of contemporary grey and deep purple with rust accents, iridescent iris faux leather wraparound headboards, streamlined black and white side tables, and a custom rust-hued faux crocodile bench. Bathrooms feature unique walk-in cocoon spiral showers (some also have a rounded, stark white freestanding bathtub), and guests can lounge post-bath or shower in Kimpton’s signature animal print robes.
itness buffs will appreciate the 24-hour fitness center and complementary bikes available for guest use. But since rooms are outfitted with Gaiam yoga mats and access to a 24-hour yoga and Pilates channel, exercise seekers need not even leave the room to work out—or relax, for that matter, as in-room spa services feature organic and environmentally-friendly body and skin care products from Kerstin Florian. The Donovan House’s cozy and comfortable lobby feels more like a living room, with glowing alabaster, limestone and dark teak, and a palette of olive, burgundy and beige. Long banquette seating with sumptuous pillows are joined by modern egg hanging chairs and square leather ottomans, perfect to relax in with a cup of complementary coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine daily from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Adjacent to the lobby is Zentan, a modern Asian fusion restaurant specializing in Japanese and southwest Asian dishes that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its black and brown tones are offset by hundreds of recessed lights and pillar candles set on rectangular and round chandeliers hanging over tables, rendering a strikingly cool vibe. Peruse the menu of small plates and sushi rolls while sipping the signature cocktail, which mixes Hakushu 12 Year Japanese Whiskey, Choya Umeshu Plum Wine and house made lemon bitters, garnished with a brandied cherry; or choose another eclectic elixir like the Martiniesque Livin’ Is Easy, which stirs green tea-infused Aviation Gin, Aperol and Dolin Blanc Vermouth.
n the dinner menu, hamachi sashimi gets fragrant and zesty notes from orange segments, lemongrass oil and tosazu sauce, while herb butter and panko-crusted oysters pick up an enticing hint of smoke from a minute or two on the robata. Maki are (mostly) named for James Bond films—Shagalicious is one of the best of the bunch, a surf and turf combination of crab salad, cucumber, miazaki beef, tempura ebi and a crispy leek. Miso smoked and grilled black cod with kimchee daikon and karashi mustard is great for sharing—or not. And guests can even cook their own steak tableside over a Japanese river rock. Be sure to save room for the umami-rich miso semifreddo, with thirty second sponge cake, hibiscus sorbet and a Meyer lemon and coconut jam. At once simple, sophisticated and striking, with an enviable location, on trend dining and modern design elements that strike a deft balance between form and function, the Donovan House is a perfect respite in the heart of the District.
Hot Hotels Resting in the heart of Ireland’s capital, The Merrion Hotel, Dublin is an acclaimed 18th century Georgian-style five star hotel and member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Offering exquisite style and graceful service, this classic luxury hotel invites guests to feel like Irish nobility. Grand salons, marbled hallways, and fine china paired with advanced amenities fashion The Merrion as the perfect setting for an elegant stay. Just opposite of Dublin’s impressive government buildings, the hotel is comprised of four restored Georgian townhouses, all exuding impeccable period décor and bearing names connected to historical figures associated with the original buildings. Pristine landscaped gardens and lovely terraces create a cultivated atmosphere. Stroll along the Garden Terrace in the spring and summer seasons, or sip a hot cup of afternoon tea during any time of year in one of the drawing rooms. Each of the 123 guest rooms and 19 suites exhibits an airy ambiance, with fabrics inspired by famous Irish landscape paintings. Choose from among five grand suites. The Penthouse Suite even features a private music room, a study, a Canadian hot tub, and access to a fully-equipped kitchen.
The Merrion, Dublin, Ireland
Free Wi-Fi, telephone lines, bath robes, and bidets are just a few of the amenities in every room. The staff at The Merrion kindly offer butler services, childcare, multilingual assistance, shoe shining, an on call doctor, and more. For children, the Miss & Master Merrion program offers plenty of enjoyment. An 18m indoor pool designed with a medley of blue tiles and a fresco mural on the centerpiece wall lies within the hotel’s Tethra Spa. This tranquil environment is open seven days a week to Tethra Spa members, residents, and non-resident guests. Unwind with a massage or rest in the steam room. Award-winning therapists utilize ESPA and Darphin products in beauty treatments, providing guests with the best beauty regime. The hotel maintains two restaurants, The Cellar Restaurant and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. The latter proudly exists as Ireland’s only restaurant to hold 2 Michelin stars, always exceeding the standard of a traditional fine dining experience. The Cellar Bar rests in the original 18th century wine vaults of the Main House, housing an intimate ambiance at its cocktail bar, No. 23. Venture throughout Dublin by foot or by bicycle, with an abundance of medieval history surrounding the hotel. Grafton Street and Henry Street provide both artisan Irish crafts and international fashion for shopping. Whether you wish to visit the Guinness Storehouse for world famous beer or see the Book of Kells written by Irish monks in 800AD, the city holds a rich culture with much to discover. The Merrion Hotel grants access to the best sights in Ireland’s capital, while upholding grace and the finest Georgian style. Plan your stay at this gracious and unrivaled Dublin destination.
Hotel Valencia, San Jose
Nestled in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the newly renovated Hotel Valencia in San Jose introduces a warm Old World Spanish influence to those seeking luxurious comfort in California’s most expensive city. The sophisticated boutique hotel stands as the only hotel on Santana Row, the city’s hotspot neighborhood of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. With a single walk through its doors, guests escape to world-class luxury that has placed this location on the gold list of the best travelers. Terracotta tiles, wooden paneling, and patterned plaster adorn this architectural haven. The armchairs displaying the embellished “V” emblem of Hotel Valencia resemble pieces from a Spanish castle. Inside, rod iron chandeliers cast a gorgeous glow on the mystique of this European setting, while the bougainvillea overflowing from large urns on the patio reminds visitors of the beautiful California flora. Choose from a total of 215 elegant rooms, including 17 dramatic suites. Step out onto a private balcony overlooking the vibrant street row or sink onto a plush bed of designer Egyptian linens. Order in from 24-hour room service or utilize the same-day laundry service. From indoor to outdoor, this gem of a hotel understands the best ways to relax. Take a dip in the year-round outdoor swimming pool under the Northern California sun, or unwind in the therapeutic bubbles of the hot tub underneath the starlit sky. Complimentary breakfast is served daily in the acclaimed Citrus Restaurant, which also makes for an enchanted dining experience. Presenting seasonal fare, the menu includes ingredients ranging from local produce to choice meat and seafood in agreement with the Monterey Seafood Watch program. Walk in between the sheer curtains to a quiet table indoors, or enjoy a meal in the evening air. An open courtyard with Mediterranean facades and an overflowing oblong fountain lit at night promise guests a captivating setting. For those seeking to explore the local area, the hotel resides in the heart of activity. Old Town Los Gatos lies within a 15 minute drive, while the famous Winchester Mystery House poses just across the street. Engage in successful business meetings or conferences at the San Jose Convention Center or watch a ballet or symphony at the Center for the Performing Arts. Conveniently located at the epicenter of the high-technology and electronics industry yet also near a number of highly-recommended romantic wineries, this San Jose hotel entices guests whose visit stems from business, pleasure, or both. Experience this perfect blend of historic European décor and modern luxury amenities. Plan your romantic respite at the colorful Hotel Valencia in San Jose.
Kona Kai, San Diego
Living in Los Angeles, you would think that traveling to San Diego wouldn’t really present you anything you haven’t seen before, but you would be wrong. Located at the edge of Shelter Island you’ll find the Kona Kai Resort. A “Boutique” style resort that offers a little something for everyone. Centrally located, the resort is only twenty minutes to Downtown San Diego as well as some of City’s other great sites like Sea World. You will feel a world away, but yet you’re still be close enough to experience all the city has to offer. The resort has gone through a multimillion dollar remodel…and it shows! Exuding a modern tropical ambiance the rooms have recently been completely redecorated and provide sweeping views of the Marina. The San Diego skyline backdrop lights up at night and provides a beautiful scene to go along with a nightcap or two. The pool area consists of private cabanas, a full bar, and a assortment of activities. What better way to spend a day than lounging near the water with a drink in hand? You can spend the entire day at the pool straight into the evening and continue your lounging right into movie night which happens on a regular basis. Besides the pool, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Bikes,Kayaks, Segways, Jet Skis, and Powerboats are just a few of the activities available nearby. What trip would be complete without good food?! Vessel, the onsite Restaurant and Bar provides a welcoming dining experience for all ages. Live music brings the night to life and sets a relaxing tone to finish off the day. The menu consists of a wide variety of dishes, ranging from Ceviche to New York Steak and everything in between. One of the more unique things you can experience is a bonfire. Nothing is more nostalgic than the smell of a bonfire complete with s’mores. Relaxing by the Marina, sand between your toes and marshmallows roasting on the bonfire is a perfect way to end the day! If a weekend getaway is what you are in need of, a relaxing and fun destination is waiting for you at Kona Kai. Whether it’s relaxation at the pool or a night out at Gaslamp, Kona Kai is the place to stay. The multi-million dollar remodel definitely has brought this resort to the next level.
W Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale
Stretching across Florida’s ivory sand coastline, the W Hotel Fort Lauderdale is a distinguished luxury hotel perfect for business or pleasure in the beach-bordered metropolis. With two towers appearing like enormous sails of a sailboat, the hotel represents the arrival of a new style of luxury on the beach of Fort Lauderdale. This modern oasis boasts 517 spacious guest rooms, each complete with a stunning intracoastal view. Contemporary décor complete with calming ocean hues and sand-colored tones welcome guests to unwind and relax in their rooms. From a romantic wrap-around private balcony in the Cool Corner Suite to glamorous mod living in the Mega Suite, these accommodations have no limit on elegant comfort. Choose from the variety of ten room types to fit your preference. Among the hottest destinations for starlets, this hotel in South Florida is close to world class restaurants, the gorgeous Everglades, endless shopping opportunities, and a myriad of water sports. Fort Lauderdale, the official yachting capital of the world, provides an epic playground among its numerous waterways and inviting beaches. Entertainment is anything but lacking at this trendy AAA four-diamond hotel. Two infinity edge pools invite guests to dive in and get wet. One pool even incorporates a glass-walled staircase that descends through the middle of the water—resembling a descending stairwell on aboard a ship’s deck. While lounging out by the pool or anywhere else on the premises, feel free to call upon the Whatever/Whenever team who is on duty 24/7 all year round, ready to takes care of any wish or need a guest may have. Sweat it out at the fully-equipped fitness center or treat yourself to pampering bliss at the Fort Lauderdale Spa. Set in retro 1950s décor, the spa welcomes men and women to lounge on outdoor terraces, indulge in a massage, and savor tasty morsels from a brownie buffet. A variety of spa treatments are available, along with exclusive in-room sampling of Bliss Skincare and Bodycare amenities. The hotel also proudly houses renowned restaurants, such as famed Chef Stephen Starr’s Steak 954. With a modern spin on the classic steakhouse, this venue showcases dry-aged meats and savory sauces amidst an ambiance of dark woods and silk floral-patterned walls. The stunning centerpiece, however, is none other than a 15 foot long reef aquarium housing a bloom of jellyfish. Start your day here for breakfast where the Eggs Benedict options are to die for or end the day with one of their signature steaks. For nightlife fun, experience the smooth atmosphere at one of the hotel’s sexiest venues, including Whiskey Blue. Low lighting, a brass bar top, and gold-satin seating spread throughout the area inspire a sensual rendezvous or a cozy conversation. Whether you desire sipping creative cocktails, stepping out on the dance floor, or admiring the stars on the outdoor patio, Whiskey Blue has something for everyone. This cutting-edge luxury hotel lies within convenient proximity to three international airports, only four miles from Port Everglades, and includes 23 miles of beachfront. The W Hotel Fort Lauderdale awaits to be your tropical climate destination.
to Simplify Your Beaut y Routine
ON THE GO! This holiday season, the go-to beauty ingredients are gemstones and precious metals like diamonds, gold and pearls. Just as these indulgences set off skin’s glow when worn as jewelry, they also add just the right amount of shimmer when used in creams, eye shadows and highlight powders.
Gold Leaf, in 24 Karat Gold Dust
For just the right amount of shimmer, jane iredale 24 Karat Gold Dust uses 24 Karat gold to lend a delicate highlight to eyelids, cheeks, lips, nails, hair and body in every shade from Gold to Silver, Bronze and Rose Gold. $13.50, janeiredale.com
Limited Edition Celebrate Eye Shadow Trio
For a minimal yet illuminating look, the jane iredale Limited Edition Celebrate Eye Trio features Mist, a matte pearl shade perfect for a subtle base color. Alongside Mist features Port, a shimmery port wine color and Toast, a toasted caramel for a complete eye look in one palette. $35, janeiredale.com
“The Everything Pencil” by Judith August Cosmetics comes in 6 different shades and covers everything from scars, zits, age spots, circles, spider veins, birth marks, bruises and everything in-between. This beauty miracle is doctor approved, gluten free, fragrance free and contains Vitamin E! It retails for $16 and is available at: judithaugustcosmetics.com/concealerpencil.
We love ShaveMate razors, they are perfect for traveling. (shavematerazors.com) ShaveMate razors are the only razors on the market that have a built-in shaving cream handle to simplify shaving while improving performance and comfort. The ShaveMate TITAN, for men, and ShaveMate DIVA, for women, have lanolin-enriched shaving cream inside each handle that lasts for up to 10 shaves and has a locking dispensing cap to prevent accidental activation. ShaveMate razors also feature six precision blades and patented Flex-Neck Technology for a close and precise shave that conforms to the natural curves of the body.
24K Deep Day Moisturizer Cream
This delicate moisturizer formulated with 24 Karat Gold and Vitamin E is designed to help reduce the appearance of expression lines, relax wrinkles, restore softness, and radiance. This unique moisturizer melts on skin contact and helps make tiny dry areas disappear without making your skin feel oily, giving it a rested and youthful look.
OROGOLD 24K Deep Tissue Rejuvenation Mask ($1,398)
OROGOLD’S 24K Deep Tissue Rejuvenation Mask & Collagen Eye Renewal Mask are made with a magnificent blend of Gold with Lavender and Collagen. Formulated to nourish the deep tissues of your skin and repair the signs of aging by rejuvenating it. This mask will replenish, relax and give your skin a boost of vitamins, minerals and long lost vital ingredients to help you look and feel radiant.
BioElixia BodyShaper Multi-Purpose Rescue Balm
Formulated with natural ingredients beneficial to the skin such as Vitamin E, Rice Powder and a soothing blend of Chamomile, Lavender and Rose floral waters, to soothe and calm the appearance of skin irritation, this balm is great for use on elbows, knees, heels or all over - after sun, after waxing or shaving, to treat diaper rash and the drying effects of the sun, wind, and much more!
BioElixia BodyShaper Firming Toning Body Lotion
This lotion is designed for daily use and supports all-over skin firmness and tightness while assisting skin radiance, texture and vitality. The secret behind BioElixia BodyShaper Firming Toning Body Lotion is a combination of key ingredients and their patented TPM® Dermal Delivery Technology. This groundbreaking delivery system is proven to increase the absorption of key ingredients, including Caffeine, Salicylic Acid, Ginseng Extract and Vitamin E by up to 5 times.
OROGOLD 24K Men’s Set ($572) Men’s Deep Pore Cleanser - Light-lathering, deep pore skin cleanser lathers away daily residue and oil leaving skin soft and supple. It helps leave complexion clean, clear, and refreshed. This powerful blend moisturizes as it cleanses. Men’s Pre-Shave Facial Serum - This lightweight pre-shave serum is rich in emollients, softens the beard while providing exceptional cushion for a close, accurate shave. Helps reduce fine lines and small wrinkles while improving moisture capacity of skin. Men’s Aftershave Balm - This is an aftershave balm and moisturizer in one. Lightweight, hydrating after shave balm softens and calms skin leaving it feeling nourished and hydrated. Quickly absorbent which helps calm razor burn and helps provide the skin with balanced moisture. For use of after shave, use before bed, or under a moisturizer for maximum benefits. Men’s Hydrating Moisturizer - A Lightweight, hydrating moisturizer, prevents dryness of skin due to harsh effects such as wind, sun and daily routines like shaving. This moisturizer is absorbed into the skin without leaving your skin feeling greasy or heavy.
It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask ($28.50 at FragranceNet.com) is here to tame your summer tresses. The mask healthily restores elasticity, detangles, de-frizzes, and imparts luminous shine on your tired locks, so that they’re ready for what the next season throws your way.
Travel For FashioN
International Fashion Bloggers Interviews By Seana Pierce
Los Angeles-based blogger Marianna Hewitt (lalamer. com) is gorgeous and not afraid to show it. With her tanned, multi-racial skin and long ombré hair, she represents the quintessential California girl. On her blog, Lalamer, she graciously interacts with her readers in answering requests for tutorials, expertly guiding readers through her most-beloved beauty looks and products. In addition to beauty and fashion inspiration, Marianna gives readers welledited vlogs, full of the kinds of rich details that make her trips to places like the French Riviera or Jamaica come to life.
Why do you think your blog is internationallyrelevant? My blog isn’t just personal style or beauty tutorials, it is a full lifestyle blog. I travel often and keep my readers and viewers up to date with monthly trips that include vlogs and photos.
International Fashion Bloggers: USA
How did you come to the name La La Mer? “La La” is what I like to call Los Angeles and “Mer” is a nickname for myself. It also refers to one of the most coveted beauty items, La Mer face cream.
Describe L.A. street style for day and for night. LA is all about that California cool style. You can really wear the same outfit from day to night just by changing your shoes and adding a jacket. I prefer to wear all neutrals, a simple tank and an amazing pair of heels. What is the most Cali/Angeleno thing about you? The way I eat! Ha, ordering almond milk and a green smoothie out of L.A. seems very odd. What is your signature drink? Gin gimlet with agave, up. What beauty trends will you incorporate into your look next year? I wear what is best for my skintone and keep that routine all year, but in the fall I do experiment with wine colored lipstick. What will you buy for 2015? I’m lusting over anything Isabel Marant or Alexander Wang.
Twenty-one year old Sven Signe den Hartogh, one of three founders of Amsterdambased blog The Stranded Sailors, is passionate about denim. With an eye for texture and classic, gentlemanly details, The Stranded Sailors revel in their masculinity without a hint of apology. As the weather cools, take inspiration from their stunning natural and city photography and let their passion infect you.
Why do you think your blog is internationally-relevant? We write about subjects that aren’t based on a specific time or place, whether you live in Asia, Europe or America as long as you’ve got love for timeless craftsmanship, you’ll like what we do.
What is one thing I must do in Amsterdam? Well, I think everyone would say go visit some shabby coffeeshop, but I would definitely say go visit a few museums. Where should I shop when I come to Amsterdam? Visit Denham the Jeanmaker, amazing brand with some stunning shops! Where do you buy clothes, shoes, or accessories? At De Rode Winkel in Utrecht, the oldest denim shop in the Netherlands. It’s where my love of denim comes from. Who or what inspires your fashion sense? I don’t really like the word ‘’fashion’’ since it’s a word in which what people think of it constantly changes. I’m inspired in general by legendary artists and revolutionary thinkers such as Da Vinci and Steve Jobs. It reminds me to always stay true and keep looking forward.
International Fashion Bloggers: AMsterdam
What is the most Dutch thing about you? I like cheese and almost every typical Dutch meal is my absolute favorite.
Travel For FashioN In the world of designer and blogger Camille Co, 26, femininity reigns. The leggy Filipina, based out of Manila, has been cultivating an international following with her blog, Camille Tries to Blog (itscamilleco.com) since 2011. Breathtaking architectural and landscape photography provide a beautiful contrast to Camille’s unswervingly feminine style.
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? At first, I just wanted to share my style, travels, and other passions to the world. But now that I’ve been blogging for a little more than three years, I’ve realized that my blog can actually inspire. Readers have written to me saying how my blog has inspired them to take charge, take care of themselves and gain the confidence to dress up. I hope to keep doing this—to remind people that fashion goes beyond. I also hope that one day more bloggers from our region get recognized internationally. What is one thing I must do in Manila? EAT. I may not look like it but I’m a foodie! We may not have Michelin-star restaurants here but we’ve got great restaurants to offer. You know how it’s hard to find certain cuisines in other countries? That’s not a problem in Manila!
International Fashion Bloggers: Philippines
Where should I shop when I come to Manila? There are so many places to shop at! If you want to go bargain shopping, try 168 downtown or Greenhills. For high-end and highstreet finds, I recommend Rockwell, Shangri-la Mall, Greenbelt and the stores around Bonifacio Global City.
What is the most Filipina thing about you? Filipinas are taught to be gentle-mannered and ladylike. We have this term called “Dalagang Pilipina” [translation: Filipina maiden]. I’m a very proper girl. What will you buy for 2015? I don’t know why but I’m quite determined to buy a pair of knee-high gray boots. One day I just realized I needed them in my life. What are your upcoming travel plans? I have trips to Chiang Mai, Bali and Hong Kong planned before the year ends. Hopefully, I can squeeze in London and Dubai too.
Blogging since 2008, Madridbased Silvia Zamora, of Lady Addict (stylelovely.com/ ladyaddict), is a truly inspiring international voice. Blending casual cool and a love of denim, Zamora inspires readers with her unfussy elegance and cool-girl edge. Incorporating travel and interior design, Lady Addict’s readers know that if Silvia’s posting about it or wearing it, it’s probably worth their time as well.
Why do you think your blog is internationally-relevant? In Lady Addict, I show my personal style in trying to reach any woman who identifies with me. This could be due to sharing my age, taste or lifestyle. To be able to share how we wear trends in Spain is an honor. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Thanks to my blog I’ve had a lot of work opportunities that I would have never dreamt of when I started working in the 2.0 world. I’ve worked in television, design and advertising. I’ve also worked as a model for some brands. I’m really proud of having been able to make my lifestyle out of what was just a hobby.
Describe Madrid street style for day and for night. People in Madrid have a mixed style, elegant but practical. When you live in such a big city you learn how to transform day looks into night ones without going back home to get changed. It’s a city full of life and we have events during the week. For evening, people from Madrid like to be trendy and you can sometimes find some risky styles. What is one thing I must do in Madrid? Go for a walk in El Retiro park, visit El Prado museum and if it’s winter, go to eat a good cocido [chickpea-based stew]. Where do you buy clothes, shoes, or accessories, and how often? I love shopping in Zara and H&M every week. I love shopping online in en ikks, topshop, Asos, Isabel Marant, Maje. When it comes to shoes, I normally wear the ones from my own collection, LadyAddict for Krack. What will you buy for 2015? For this season, I want a classic-cut coat, some new knitted jumpers and a couple of masculine styled trousers.
International Fashion Bloggers: Spain
What is the most Spanish thing about you? I need to have a nap “siesta” everyday, even if it’s just for 15 minutes!
Travel For FashioN New York Fashion Week
You expect certain things from an Alexander Wang show. You expect fun and crazy loud music, statement accessories, and a celebrity audience that demands their presence be known throughout the show. Wangâ€™s 2015 spring/ summer collection offered impeccable tailoring brought together with leather, string meshing and rubber to refine the combination of masculine and feminine style that has made him famous. The 30-year-old fashion genius indulged us with his love of black and white and threw in splashes of orange, green, blue, yellow 64
and pink for added pops of color. Monochrome styled looks along with tasseled miniskirts and tops made of string were put together with unique footwear that made a statement. The looks debuting at New York Fashion Week are known to be limited to the runway, but designer Alexander Wangâ€™s latest collection was all about the ready to wear, grab these looks and go. Famous Fans: Notable front row attendees included Rihanna and Nicki Minaj
Industry veteran B. Michael who is known for classic and elegant pieces that never go out of style ruled the runway again this year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Having honed his skills under the tutelage of Oscar de La Renta and Louis Feraud, he single handedly set the stage this year and elegantly unveiled the simple, classic aesthetic of his Spring 2015 couture collection. His graceful gowns donned excitement while an assortment of cocktail dresses sashayed down the catwalk leaving guests wanting more.
Travel For FashioN Milan Fashion Week
Byblos Milano was one of the most versatile collections at Milan Fashion Week. Gearing to a young, contemporary and fashion forward hipster styled demographic, this collection has an edge. Geometric prints connected through bright colors made these looks easy to imagine wearing off runway. Unisex cuts played a big role in the form of uneven skirt lengths and wide trousers while the addition of Aztec printed fabrics provided a diverse and authentic style to the mix.
Rich, deep colors set the tone and made a statement at the showing of Andrea Incontriâ€™s Spring Summer collection. They were used in both the nightwear and the daywear outfits that were presented and set the tone from the opening of the show straight through to the end. Like the colors, the textures were combined, overlapping seamlessly creating a unionized contrast. The fabrics and details were blended extremely well, and the outfits were fitted perfectly to each model that showcased them down the runway. 67
Photo by Taylor Cole
Leah Smith & Kate Roland We recently participated in an amazing event called The Taste of Venice for a wonderful non-profit P.S. Arts. It got us thinking about Venice and all her flavors-brunch flavors. This quirky historical oceanside area of Los Angeles happens to be a quasi brunch mecca for most Angelenos. Whether you find yourself on Abbot Kinney sharing pastries with tourists or drinking a Micheleda on Rose with nearby neighbors, the experience is typically delicious and rich with people watching. Mosey over to this westside retreat, dress down with just a dash of hipster and enjoy some delicious brunch! 68
Willie Jane Located on the west region of Abbot Kinney, Willie Jane serves up a spicy and filling brunch. It’s what one would expect from the famed Armstrong and Johnson duo, with a heavy influence of locally sourced fare (the garden is right next to the large and beautiful outdoor patio) and a unique take on country Southern style cooking. On the menu, must haves include their buttermilk biscuits with soft honey butter, fried chicken and waffles and Willie Jane burger with charred onion, braised turnip greens and pimento cheese with toasted pretzel bun. Throw in bottomless Mimosas and everyone is happy. Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd. 310-392-2425
Tasting Kitchen Further down the road (we’re still on Abbot Kinney- stick with us) you come across an extraordinary brunch haven, The Tasting Kitchen. This brunch spot is not for the weary or cost conscious traveller. The space is communal, loud but aesthetically beautiful. The short rib hash and grilled cheese & fig are not to be missed. Equally as exciting are their brunch cocktails. Sip a Bonneville (aperol, citrus, chinato) or their Moped on the Freeway (gin, lemon, mead, pineapple). Beyond amazing food this lively brunch grotto is known to have the occasional celebrity diner. Make sure to make a reservation. Sat. & Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd. 310-392-6644
Superba Food + Bread Just when we thought we could not like the Superba folks any more, they recently opened Superba Food + Bread. The restaurant reminds us (as if we needed reminding) why carbs really make life worth living. Upon entering this modern and very Venice-esq space, your senses are immediately greeted by the smell of fresh bread baking. Is there anything better? As you can probably guess, the toast is a must try for brunch, with toppings like Superba’s jam of the week, ricotta, or soft scrambled eggs. Simple recipes done well (extremely well) in the pastry department make Superba Food + Bread a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 1900 S. Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90291.
Joe’s Restaurant You can’t read a review for a California restaurant these days without hearing the term California cuisine, or some similar variant. Joe’s Restaurant on Abbott Kinney served farm-to-table well before the term was first used on NPR. At a time when Abbott Kinney still had some grime to it, Joe’s not only introduced fine dining to this famed street, but was one of the first to serve cuisine (and French cuisine at that) driven by local farmer’s market produce. Its brunches are legendary, where you can not only get bottomless mimosas (you had us at bottomless!), but Fennel Cured Salmon Benedict (biscuits, sautéed spinach, béarnaise sauce), but also Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Ham, with cream biscuits, white gravy and eggs any style. Bottoms up! Sat. & Sun.
11am – 2:30 p.m.
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 (310) 399-5811 For more beachside brunch options check out www.labrunchers.com
Nothing Beats Bonaire By Susan B. Barnes Known worldwide for its vibrant reefs teeming with colorful fish and wildlife, Bonaire has long been on SCUBA divers’ lists as the best diving destination. More than diving, though, this island in the Dutch Antilles, very near Venezuela, is filled with on-land adventures, too, not to mention exquisite dining and shopping.
ancient coral reef, and petroglyphs have been found in some. During our outing, we squeezed through small openings in the ground and into a dry cave, which is a habitat for the eight local bat species. In the wet cave, we went snorkeling and looked through our masks to where the caves lead underwater.
First, let’s start with the diving. The entire island of Bonaire and its surrounding coral reefs comprise the protected Bonaire National Marine Park, and there’s a nominal nature fee as admission to snorkel and dive the waters. Within the park are a total of 86 dive sites, whose corals are home to more than 57 species of soft and stony coral, and more than 350 fish species have been documented in the waters. Keep an eye out for spotted rays and sea turtles, too, which float effortlessly by. One of the highlights that most appeals to experienced divers is both boat and shore diving sites are abundant on Bonaire, offering loads of diving opportunities island-wide.
Above the water, Bonaire has staked its claim in the world of wind surfing, and hosts a stop on the annual PWA World Windsurfing Tour each summer. Beginners are invited to test their balance and skills on protected Lac Bay, with shallow waters and brisk winds to set sails in motion. After a quick, 20-minute lesson, you’ll be cutting through the water and flying like a pro!
As rich and vibrant as Bonaire is underwater, its landscape is arid and desert-like – cacti grown rampant, are even used for fencing. A day spent driving through Washington Slagbaii National Park showcases a very different side of the island, including five different ecosystems: sand dunes, beaches, mangroves, saliñas and dry forest. Iguanas scamper along the dirt and gravely roads that wind through the park, leading to dramatic views of the ocean and back inland again. Divers and snorkelers will want to bring their gear with them to the park, as amazing dive sites can be found within its boundaries. A tropical sight within the otherwise arid park are flocks of bright pink flamingos, which are most numerous in Goto Lake. Surprisingly, Bonaire is popular for caving, but unlike other caves, those found on the island are hot, and the water is warm, too. On our expedition, Leo, our guide from FLOW Bonaire, noted that there are between 300 and 400 dry and wet caves on the island, of which 115 have been mapped. The caves are inside and under
Swimming with horses? Why not! Saddle up with Bregje and Marc at Rancho Washinkemba Bonaire and take a leisurely horseback ride across the rocky landscape to the lagoon, taking in more stunning views of the ocean cliffs. Once at the lagoon, hold on tight as you and your horse go into the calm waters for a swim – certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! After a day of under- or above-water adventure, what could be better than celebrating with a sunset sail? The crew with Bowalie Bonaire will cast the lines and take you out for a sail around the island, and even let you take the wheel! Sip a glass of wine or a beer, nibble on some small bites and reminisce about the day you’ve had, and plan the days to come. There are plenty of options when it comes to places to stay in Bonaire, ranging from dive resorts to villas and condos/apartments. Not only does Buddy Dive Resort offer accommodations and diving right from its two docks, but numerous boat dives and night dives are available as well. Not only that, but Buddy’s dive shop is full-service, and is the only one on the island to offer drive-thru air tank refills. Right next to Buddy Dive, Sand Dollar Condominiums have different floor plans to meet guests’ needs, and also have their own dock from
Let’s Protect Them
This Holiday Season, Photo Credit: Stephanie L. Worth
which to dive. Dining on Bonaire can be as casual as a roadside stand with local dishes to the utmost in fine dining. As far as dining like a local, do not miss Posada Para Mira, just outside Bonaire’s oldest town of Rincon. The only thing that makes the food better is the kind hospitality with which its served. Other spots popular with the locals and visitors alike include Sonia Home Bonaire, Capriccio, Captain Don’s Habitat, Bistro de Paris, Ingridients, At Sea Restaurant, Sebastians, Plaza Resort Bonaire and It Rains Fishes Bar & Restaurant.
Remember your time on Bonaire and take a little piece or taste home with you. One-of-a-kind jewelry is handmade at Elements, and Cadushi Distillery makes tasty liqueurs using the aforementioned abundant cactus… you’ve got to taste it to believe it! These little mementos of island life will have you planning your return trip in no time.
Photo © David Schrichte
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Park City IN THE SNOW
For someone who doesn’t really ski, it may seem a bit odd that I frequent a town known for, well, skiing. Let’s be honest, this is an understatement (on my poor ability to ski and this town’s reputation). To put things in perspective - Park City, Utah, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and is home to the US Ski Association and their athletes. If that doesn’t give this town street cred, I don’t know what does. To top things off, Park City has 3 world-class resorts, the Utah Olympic Park, and past – current – and future Olympians flying down the slopes. Not too shabby. So if you’re not skiing in Park City, what do you do? I’m glad you asked! Beyond the snow, there are literally miles of opportunities to sweat. With over 400+ miles of trails, and the highest rated mountain biking destination in the world by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, let’s get active, outdoors, and embrace the entire experience of Park City and its surrounding areas.
Snowshoeing at moonlight
Head out at dusk to experience the glowing mountainside of Sundance under the light of the full and vibrant moon. Using a headlamp to guide you (and of course the bright orb above) snowshoeing at night will give you a whole new perspective to this already dramatic scenery. * Check with Sundance Resort for dates (Sundance is approximately 45 minutes drive from Park City, and well worth it).
Thank goodness for snow plows! Park City offers over 50 kilometers of groomed trails to wander during the winter months, plus over 70 kilometers in surrounding areas. Get your feet moving and go for a panoramic peruse.
Utah Olympic Park
Nordic ski jumps, check. Bobsled, check. Freestyle aerialist winter training hill and summer training pool, check. Two decked-out museums, check. The Utah Olympic Park is your one stop shop for these fast and flying sports. Are you ready to up the ante? I double snow-dog dare you to go for a winter Comet Bobsled ride steered by a veteran pilot, zipping around the 15 curves at up to 80mph. No whammies!
By Jaime Komer; Olympic Medalist, International Instructor, & CoFounder of Athlete. Yogi.Traveler, an active lifestyle company that combines sports, yoga, travel, and philanthropy to ignite positive change.
Park City SANS SNOW
Full moon chairlift rides
For us city dwellers, getting a glimpse of a clear sky, bright stars, and a full moon, is a rare treat. Sundance Resort offers midnight chair lift rides during the full moons of each summer month. Bring a blanket, get cozy, and soak up the fresh air as you soak up the epic view. *Check Sundance Resort for dates.
With miles of quality trails, Park City was given the first Gold Ride Center recognition by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the highest rated mountain biking destination in the world. From beginner to expert, apparently this is the place to be! You probably won’t see me out there, I have enough trouble staying upright on my own two feet.
Athlete. Yogi. Traveler: athleteyogitraveler.com
Fly in the sky
Your adrenaline will start pumping and you’re not even the one walking up a billion steps to fly down a ramp that sends you 70+ feet in the sky, landing in a ginormous pool! From mid-May to Mid-October, Flying Ace Productions puts on special shows at the Utah Olympic Park, featuring former and future Olympians performing these mind-boggling acrobatics. If you feel the need for speed, you can test out your own aerial skills on a mini ramp (it won’t feel so mini once you’re on it).
Top 10 Most Luxurious Islands Marco IslandFlorida Known for: dolphin watching, water sports, bird watching Don’t miss: Dolphin Tour
Known for: diving and snorkeling, rainforest hikes. coconut plantations, hot springs Don’t miss: Dive in Savusavu
Caye Caulker Belize
Known for: snorkeling, diving adventures, reggae vibe Don’t miss: Blue Hole Dive
Don’t miss: Chaweng Stadium Muay Thai Boxing
Bocas del Toro
Known for: scuba diving, eco-tourism, snorkeling, sailing, surfing and hiking
Don’t miss: Bonefish Fishing
Don’t miss: Nivida Bat Cave Tour
Known for: dive and snorkeling spots Don’t miss: Island Hopping
LangkawiMalaysia Known for: sailing, Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO world geopark, mangrove safari island hopping, bird watching Don’t miss: Kilim Karst Geoforet Park Tour
Known for: coral reef snorkeling and skuba diving, sea turtle viewing Don’t miss: Cancun Undewater Museum
Roatan Honduras Known for: coral reef diving and snorkeling, white sand beaches, pine-forested hills Don’t miss: El Aguila Wreck Dive
Known for: elephant trekking, snorkeling, kayaking, spa
Known for: spear fishing, Polynesian culture, jungles, white beaches
Escape Spa Limerick, Ireland Given the obsession with beauty, holistic wellness, and anti-aging, it’s no surprise that Europe’s spa culture is a crowded field. Whether you choose a posh hotel property or intimate boutique spa, Swedish massage or detox treatment, you’ll emerge from this top-notch spa looking and feeling your best. Escape Spa & Vanilla Browns Limerick and Cork is the Ultimate Spa Retreat and not your typical hotel spa experience. Whether it’s a romantic escape to relax, rewind, rejuvenate or a girly glitzy glam getaway, this spa has you covered. Whether you want to spend the day renewing your mind, body and spirit at the spa, or refreshing your look with their professional hair care services at the Vanilla Browns Salon, you will leave Escape Spa feeling like a million bucks. Shortlisted for the prestigious World Spa of the year in 2013, for their uniqueness, quality of service, ultra modern decor and the most up to date treatment offerings, Escape Spa is an oasis for men and women to escape the rigors of daily stress, replenish the body and soul and achieve whole body well-being. Treatments range from laser hair removal, Skin Rejuvenation and slimming treatments to signature treatments like massages, facials and more.
The Ultimate Spa for the Ultimate You Signature Back Massage Escapes signature back, neck and shoulder massage is a tailored relaxing massage to help relieve muscle & joint tension, boost circulation and to help you escape from the stresses of the world feeling relaxed and ready for the day ahead. Radiance Facial The spa’s signature Dermalogica Radiance facial is a customized pick me up facial to give your skin a beautiful radiant glow using tailored products to suit your skins needs. This unique facial is fantastic to relax and rejuvenate. For more information on treatments visit www.escapebeauty.ie.
The Willows invites you to retreat from the world and relax in quiet peace.
Classic Palm Springs
Hollywood’s Playground By Susan Watkins
Beyond Palm Springs’ glitzy mega-resorts, trendy clubs and golf courses lies another Palm Springs – a more established, classic Palm Springs, once the playground of Hollywood’s A- list and still a draw for those who want to stay and dine in the world that once welcomed the legends of the silver screen. The luxurious and intimate WILLOWS HISTORIC PALM SPRINGS RESORT is one such celebrity
retreat. Tucked away against the rugged beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains, this exclusive hideaway has earned a reputation for privacy, hospitality, elegance and luxe living.
Reminiscent of a grand Mediterranean Villa, The Willows was built in 1924 and later owned by Marion Davies, known as much for her famous affair with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst as for her many movies from Hollywood’s golden age. Over the years, The Willows has been frequented by the likes of Albert Einstein, the honeymooning Gable and Lombard, Shirley Temple, Joseph P. Kennedy, and more recently by Hollywood stars who value a paparazzi-free retreat. Extensive restoration of this treasured property promises the discerning traveler all of the modern conveniences, but the resort still wears an air of romance and timeless ambiance. Elegant antique furniture, private terraces and a tranquil charm set this boutique hotel apart. Each of the eight guest rooms at The Willows is unique and thoughtfully designed with privilege and comfort in mind. Most unique is the property’s poolside Rock Room with its impressive boulder framing the oversized shower, separate sitting area and king size sleigh bed, complete with plush snowy linens. The Willows invites you to retreat from the world and relax in quiet peace. Wander the house and imagine the ghosts of Hollywood past enjoying these same rooms. Spend an afternoon floating in solitude on the intimate pool, reading under the shade of citrus trees, or wandering in the Willows’ famous hillside garden. At twilight as the desert skies glow around you, take a place on the terrace and enjoy an array of California wines and delectable nibbles from the kitchen. A stay at The Willows includes a sumptuous breakfast in its vintage dining room. A wall of glass frames a giant waterfall which pours its life-giving water over the rocky hillside and into the pool below, providing a unique setting for breakfast served on white tablecloths and Havilland china. Chosen and prepared by the chef, breakfast is an elegant affair to be savored at leisure. Although it has the feel of a remote hideaway, just up the street from The Willows lies the heart of Palm Springs’ and some of its most famous restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. Why not indulge in places which were favorites of Monroe, Sinatra, Martin and their cronies, and which still open their fabled doors to a new generation of pleasure seekers?
Classic Palm Springs Continued
THE PURPLE ROOM After dinner, enjoy a nightcap at the Purple Room, a nostalgic hangout of the Rat Pack of days gone by is still the host of today’s best contemporary jazz and blues musicians.
MELVYN’S A dining destination with a colorful history, Melvyn’s has been and remains a favorite of Hollywood personalities and all who love to party at its generous bar, dance to live entertainment, and dine in elegance. Glamour and an air of history still beckon those who want to experience a piece of storied Hollywood history here in Palm Springs. Tuxedoed waiters prepare many of the dishes tableside, tossing Caesar Salads, creating Frank Sinatra’s favorite, the timeless Steak Diane, Cherries Jubilee, Crepes Suzette and Bananas Flambé. Melvyn’s boasts an elegant European style interior featuring crystal chandeliers, intimate booths and a delightful patio for al fresco dining under twinkling lights. What is it about Melvyn’s that has made it such a Palm Springs institution over the years? Charismatic owner Mel Haber tells us, “The place has cachet, plain and simple.”
COPLEY’S A long time favorite in the desert, Copley’s on Palm Canyon is built on the site of Cary Grant’s estate. To dine here is to enter a gracious and easy world surrounded by the memories of one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men. It’s a special place made distinct by a lovely front courtyard and a dining room framed by picture windows. The menu will tempt you with all manner of upscale continental cuisine - highly recommended are the Lavender & Parsley Crusted Colorado Rack of Lamb and the Tandoor Spiced Scottish Salmon with Red Curry Coconut Sauce.
To dine here is to enter a gracious and easy world surrounded by the memories of one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men.
books initiated a scandalous fan following and now the movie—with its first trailer released recentlyhas lured them in deeper! Ladies all over the country are planning their big night out on the town, creating a risqué plot of their own. To celebrate, the Heathman Restaurant & Bar in Portland, located in the very hotel Ana and Christian experience their first sensual encounter in the book; has revived the 50 Shades of Gin cocktail that they put on their menu when the book released, and created a punchier younger sister, Fifty Shades of Gin: Part Deux. Whether out and about, or at home, guests can get behind these spirited drinks to ignite the night.
1 oz. Nolet’s Gin 3/4 oz. rhubarb puree* (Heathman restaurant pastry chef John Gayer creates his own) 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz. simple syrup Cranberry bitters Cava/Prosecco Lime wheel garnish
In a shaker, combine rhubarb puree, lime juice, simple syrup and gin. Add ice and shake well. Rinse a martini glass with cranberry bitters. Strain cocktail into glass and top with sparkling wine, either Cava or Prosecco. Garnish with lime wheel or twist.
razy for roatia
By Susan B. Barnes
Nestled along the Adriatic Sea opposite Italy and with a true Mediterranean vibe, the small country of Croatia (population of just over 4.25 million) is a country of 1,000 islands and a popular holiday destination with Europeans, but not yet truly discovered by Americans. That’s sure to change – soon. Though small in size, Croatia is filled with quiet fishing villages, a few buzzing cities, medieval towns and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
On the Dalmatian Coast just south of Trogir lies Split, another bustling city rich in history. Looming large over the city’s harbor is the aforementioned Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, and what an impressive monument it is. In its heyday, more than 9,000 people lived inside the palace’s walls; today, it’s still teeming with life through businesses and visitors alike. A few highlights inside the palace include an olive oil press from the seventh or eighth century, which was also eventually used as a wine press; four of the 12 original Egyptian sphinx that remain intact; the “new” part of the palace, and the Church of St Luce, which was built in the 16th century. For even more culture, City Living plan to visit during the Split Summer City living is alive and well in Croatia, Festival, held each year, mid-July through especially in Zagreb, the country’s capital city with a population of just more than one mid-August. The month-long festival features open-air theater, music and million people. Filled with green spaces, Zagreb is easily explored by foot, and even dance performances around the city, including in and around the palace. easier is via a walking tour. Sign on with Best of Zagreb and take a tour with licensed Island Life guide Samia Zitouni, who showcases her A quick ride aboard a hydrofoil (seasonal; city in the most delightful way, blending ferries available year-round) from Split awe-inspiring sights and anecdotes that ends at the tropical island of Hvar, the bring the city’s history to life. Be sure and oldest establishment in all of Croatia, stroll through late-19th century Zrinjevac Park and the Gothic-style Cathedral of the with its waving palm trees, crystalAssumption, where the city was founded, as clear waters and bright, Mediterranean well as along the 16th century Renaissance sunshine. The Greeks first arrived on the island in the 4th century BC and named wall that was erected to protect the the island Pharus, from which the island’s cathedral. name originates. Highlights of a day spent wandering the historic city include Down the coast from Zagreb is Trogir, a the early-17th century theatre – one of smaller city on the Adriatic coast rich in the first municipal theaters in Europe Renaissance and Baroque architecture currently; and the Gothic Cathedral of that is under the protection of UNESCO St. Steven, built in the 16th and 17th World Heritage. Inside the city’s defense centuries. walls, restored in the 15th century by the Venetians, a thriving community lived and Truly, though, Hvar is to be enjoyed worked and played, much as it does today. leisurely – strolling along the marina, The wall, with its original gates from the 16th century, is so impressive that Napoleon shopping the boutiques, sipping coffee in a sidewalk café. For incredible views, visit spared it when he invaded the area in the the 16th century Španjola fortress high early 19th century. Fun fact: the heights above the city – they’ll take your breath of the pillars outside of the houses found within the old city were used to denote the away. owners’ wealth. Long before its gain in popularity as a vacation destination, Croatia has been a destination for the ages. The Dalmats were a tribe who lived in the region from 4 BC, and the Greeks established themselves on the islands of Korčula, Hvar and Vis. In 9 AD, the Roman Empire reigned the territory of today’s Croatia; Roman Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace in Split – which still stands – when he retired from this reign, in 305 AD. Fast forward 2,000-plus years and today’s Croatia is proud of its history, culture and traditions, while at the same time looking forward to a bright future.
Confession number one: prior to a recent trip to Croatia, I didn’t know much about the Mediterranean country.
Confession number two: I fell in love with Hvar.
A stay in Šibenik on the Adriatic coast is like staying in a medieval fairytale. Centuries-old cobblestone streets wind through the old city center, established in 1290, delivering wonder around every corner. Sitting atop the town’s hill is St. James’ Cathedral, built in the mid-15th century and currently under restoration to bring it back to its original splendor. But don’t let the restoration stop you – the cathedral is stunning as it stands. Wind your way a bit higher from the cathedral and follow markers for the Medieval Mediterranean Garden of St. Lawrence Monastery, reopened in 2007 after hundreds of years of neglect. Stunning! Šibenik is another town that boasts waterfront views and sidewalk cafes – be sure to take advantage.
Back to Nature
Aside from its more than 327 miles of coastline, Croatia has plenty of green space, parks and beaches to enjoy. Two of the most notable are Kornati National Park, a group of arid islands that dot the coastline and accessible only by boat, and Krka National Park, lush with waterfalls and walking paths. Both parks can easily be visited from Šibenik.
Confession number three: I learned loads on my trip to Croatia, and can’t wait to return for more exploration.
This is but a taste of all that Croatia has to offer. The best way to explore is to rent a car and go – discover for yourself all the treasures that this Mediterranean country has to offer.
Most Expensive Food From $5000 Pho in Santa Monica to a $25,000 Dessert in New York, the world’s most expensive dishes are revealed.
f Breakfast e First-Harvest Brisbane Mangoes
Norma’s Restaurant in New York, NY
f Lunch e Almas
Anqi Pho Soup
Caviar House & Prunier in London, UK
Tiato Restarant in Santa Monica, CA
(sold in a 24-carat gold tin)
f Dinner e Florette Sea and Earth Salad
Angelito Araneta’s Golden Sushi
Hempel Hotel in London, UK
(wrapped in a 24-carat gold leaf and topped with 3 Mikimoto pearls)
f Dessert e The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate Ice Cream
Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s 1937 Wedding Cake
Serendipity 3 in New York, NY
Sotheby’s in New York, NY
(sold with a golden spoon)
Del Frisco's Grille Irvine
The newest Del Frisco’s Grille is located in the Irvine Spectrum Center, joining together a diverse collection of over 130 specialty stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. Meeting demand for the popular concept among Southern California fans, this marks the second West Coast location for Del Frisco’s Grille. The restaurant boasts warm wood accents and a striking “glass box” entryway that dramatically showcases the superb collection of wine. Spanning a whopping 8,000 square feet, Del Frisco’s Grille has a guest capacity of 290 which includes indoor and outdoor seating. The culinary team has created an innovative yet classic assortment of appetizers and shareable plates
including Cheesesteak Eggrolls, Ahi Tacos and Fire Roasted Artichoke with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, Parmesan and Black Pepper Aioli. All three were delicious and a great way to start off our dinner. We also tried the Jumbo Lump Crabcake which is a Del Frisco’s classic, always baked and never fried as they say- and finished with a Cajun Lobster Sauce. A collection of burgers, fresh seafood and signature steaks wetaged for 28 days round out the menu along with a series of side dishes that include Truffle Mac and Cheese and Pan Braised Wild Mushrooms to name a few. We highly suggest the Prime Beef Short Rib Stroganoff with Pappardelle Noodles for a rich and decadent dish and of course one of Del Frisco’s signature steaks… hey when in Rome right? The Grille’s calling card is its toast-worthy wine, which includes 300 regional and global vintages, creating an unparalleled and adventurous wine list. For a signature cocktail you must order the Signature VIP with Sweet Hawaiian Pineapple-Infused Svedka Clementine Vodka and Apt 5D with our favorite Vodka, Tito’s, Muddled Strawberries, Lemon Sour, Simple Syrup and a dash of Balsamic. Make sure you leave room for dessert as the Nutella Bread Pudding with Coffee Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce provides a perfect ending and would be a sin to miss out on.
Hailed as the Bay Area’s leading seafood, The Waterbar has the freshest catch of the day along with prime panoramic views and is located right on the waterfront in the Embarcadero district. Locals literally flock here after work for some of the best oysters in the city. If you’re worried about getting here early to reserve a great seat for the view don’t fret, there is not a bad seat in the house. Exquisite terraces, patios, and private dining rooms make this sustainablefood friendly restaurant a great choice for after work drinks or large celebrations. Waterbar remains on many national top ten lists not only for its excellent seafood but also for its romantic atmosphere. Sink into plush seats, savor the finest seafood, and breathe in the views of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the city skyline. Admire the floorto-ceiling aquariums at the epicenter of the restaurant while tasting the fish carefully selected by Chef Parke Ulrich. Waterbar specializes in bringing their clientele the freshest local seafood, yet if you’re a meat lover the menu does offer fresh cuts of lamb and steak as well. From a fresh shellfish raw bar, Waterbar also features a Fresh Oyster Happy Hour daily. Try the Humboldt Kumamoto from Humboldt Bay. This appetizing choice is a long-line culch grown by Coast Seafoods with a buttery, honeydew melon finish. Enjoy up to 24 oysters per table at one time. Choose from an array of sides to share, like the Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts or the Parmesan French Fries. For dinner, try the Garlic Roasted Dungeness Crab Legs. This dish, with trap caught off Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, is served with pan fried soba noodles, green onion, and crisp ginger. Then finish off your evening with a Frozen Chocolate Mousse, made with mint ice cream, beignets, and vanilla bean anglaise. Delicious!
The Waterbar San Francisco
Watertable Huntington Beach
The Hyatt in Huntington Beach is best known for its stellar beachside location, incredible sunset views and fabulous interior design. If you have visited the resort chances are you have dined at the signature restaurant the Californian. The Californian which was a AAA Four- Diamond rated restaurant recently closed and luckily for us a new style and dining experience took its place. The launch of Watertable has been a huge hit with Huntington Beach locals as well as hotel guests from around the world. A true shake up from the previous dining scene, the Gastro bar and restaurant has really brought a fresh new vibe to the beachside dining scene. As you enter the restaurant first thing that comes to mind is the contemporary and fresh ambiance. With ocean views and bold structured statements throughout the anticipation of the meal is consuming. With a sophisticated blend of old and new Executive Chef Manfred Lassahn brings a culinary vision all his own and has become a huge hit on the Orange County scene. The locals have been waiting for a fresh new restaurant to add to the fast evolving rebirth of the area. The new menu features the perfect mixture of innovative new tastes, blended with comfort food favorites that surely bring out the foodie inside.
Make sure to try one or more of the “bar jars” filled with house made pates, cheeses and other gourmet mixtures served in mason jars. Varieties include oven cured tomatoes with sherry, artichoke and manchego cheese spread, iberico and spicy tomato jam. The restaurant also is home to some of the top mixologists in the area serving some of the best hand crafted cocktails in the area. Opt for either the signature “beer tails”, craft beers, or choose from an extensive wine list. For nonalcoholic options there is a unique list of fruit, syrup, herb and spice infused waters. The design of Watertable was inspired by bright lighting and stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean all the while providing guests comfort with the feeling of dining at home. The architecture was designed to resemble a luxurious living space both modern and rustic. Hand painted tiles, farmhouse tables, and open air dining will make you want to come back time and time again. Tip: Don’t miss Sunday Brunch on the outdoor patio. It’s a perfect location to take in the amazing beachside views while sharing a meal with friends.
Abbreviated from “Anchors & Oceans,” A&O Kitchen & Bar is Newport Beach’s latest gastropub opened on the waterfront. With caramel tones and rope-clad light fixtures, this restaurant evokes the natural ocean elements outside its doors. Designed with groups in mind, A&O serves shared plates intended for everyone at the table to grab a bite. Dishes are readily served soon after the order is put in, allowing you to pop a delicious eat while it’s fresh. With free WiFi, TV, and a full bar, the venue is wholly prepped for afternoon sports. During NFL football season, partake in “Beat the Clock” Happy Hour. Need something more than an ice cold beer to ease your nerves while your team is on the line? We recommend the “Tight End,” concocted with blood orange vodka, orange, mint, and a hint of cranberry. For all bacon-lovers, a plate of Bacon Wrapped Dates is high priority! These savory appetizers include balsamic glazed, bleu cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates that will have your mouth overwhelmed by the perfection of the exterior’s crispy flavor and the interior’s sweet softness. The dinner menu features specialties like the “Birthday Suit,” a beef tartar ensemble with raw beef, egg 62, and thick cut French Fries. Pair your meal with one of the three hangover beer floats. A&O strives to accommodate any and every dietary need. Gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan items are available, as well as bacon free menus upon request. With such a variety for families and friends, experience a great night out or a peaceful morning brunch!
A&O Newport Beach
The Aventine Hollywood A must-try on the dinner menu is the Agnolotti, stuffed with roasted chicken breast and goat cheese, baby heirloom tomato white wine butter sauce, and shaved parmesan. Also on the menu are timehonored pizza, pasta, and risotto items, each with a distinct flavor. Gluten free pasta is available upon request. Casually sip a glass of wine with your meal, with all wine bottles at half price on Wine Wednesday. In California’s famed city of starlets and exclusive nightlife hotspots, The Aventine proffers authentic Italian taste. Under the guidance of the talented Executive Chef Adolfo Veronese, this Hollywood restaurant creates an intimate setting with its rural tradition and rustic atmosphere. Brick walls, crimson colors, and trees entwined in romantic lights bring an old world charm to this classy venue. Embrace the feeling of famiglia any night of the week. The Aventine features specials such as Meatball Monday with a $15 glass of wine and aventino, or Live Thursday with a jazz nights and live bands. Munch on the Salumi, an appetizer concocted with black truffle salumi, mortadella with pistachio, prosciutto di parma, and finocchiona. This irresistible choice is served with balsamic cipollini, cornichons, whole grain mustard, and grilled piadina.
We recommend the season’s Pumpkin Pot De Crème for dessert, complete with huckleberry marmellate, cinnamon cream, and salted pumpkin seed. Or if your palate craves a cold sweet, the classic Gelato Del Giorno is always a delicious choice. The Aventine has been praised as the best patio in Los Angeles, and with recipes as savory as theirs, it’s bound to remain at the top of foodlovers’ list!
Barlo Venice Beach
As the in-house restaurant of Hotel Erwin, Barlo Kitchen & Cocktails serves farm to fresh dishes in the heart of Venice Beach. Originally opened in October 2011, Barlo was created to bring both hotel guests and area residents a food and drink menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. This restaurant values organic and sustainable food, humane animal treatment, and minimal processing. The casual ambience of this beachside location makes Barlo ideal for a relaxing catch-up with a friend or a romantic dinner date. The restaurant provides refreshing menu items for breakfast and brunch as well as tempting choices from the diner menu and bar selection. Both bike parking and valet parking are available for foodies seeking out this modern American eatery. For breakfast, try the Bagel & Lox with coriander crusted smoked salmon along with caper and shallot infused with cream cheese and tomato. If you prefer meat over fish, introduce your taste buds to the original Breakfast Burger. This choice is served with a sunny up egg, tomato confit, gruyere, and sriracha aioli on a brioche bun with a side of barlo potatoes.
To experience a night out in the edgy town of Venice Beach, imbibe a cocktail while listening to a live DJ on the city’s only rooftop bar. Witness California sunsets and let loose in the laidback atmosphere. Whether you’re curious about this restaurant’s vegan choices, liquid nitrogen created popcorn creation, or its nightlife vibe, Barlo is a must!
Santa Fe Spas
Capture Your Spirit
By Ava Roxanne Stritt
Regionally inspired spa treatments have been a popular trend for years now, but Santa Fe, New Mexico, takes it to a whole new level. This charming desert destination will capture your spirit, with its local customs and global rituals. My spirit soared, after experiencing the spa menu offerings of Santa Fe, during a special spa excursion there earlier this year. Santa Feâ€™s plentify art galleries inspire the world to venture there. So in addition to my own experiences, I also turned to someone who was drawn to Santa Fe and never left, artist Robbi Firestone, to get the local scoop on her favorite spa day in Santa Fe.
One of my favorite spas in Santa Fe is the Spa at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, which begins treatments with a white sage cleansing ritual aptly called “New Beginnings.” For decades, Native American culture has practiced burning sage as a way of cleansing a person and starting anew. During the ritual, bundles of dried white sage, embraced in cloth and rope, are burned, as spa patrons express a wish. Since I was running late on time, my wish was tossed into the fire for me. Hope my wish will still come true! One of my most enjoyable moments on my Santa Fe spa vacation was La Pasada’s Santa Fe Chocolate Chile Pedicure. This pedicure uses a custom blend of the warming red chile pepper, chimayo, to warm the tootsies, while locally produced chocolates that include chimay pepper take care of warming your insides. Many say the chimayo pepper creates a dreamy state of mind. Whether it was the chocolate, the pepper or just having someone rub my feet with expert precision, it sure was dreamy for me.
In Santa Fe, I stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, nestled near a high mountain desert landscape. The spa here also utilizes indigenous ingredients: honey, Adobe clay, blue corn and more. Spa treatment rooms here are private, but with large glass walls for a unique indoor-outdoor feel that is also deeply inspired by the desert landscapes. The Four Seasons’ remote desert location does not keep it from also embracing spa rituals from around the world. The Global Treatment varies by season. While I was there, a Global Treatment adapted from an Asian bridal ceremony, the Javanese Royal Lular Ritual, included a massage, followed by a skin-enhancing scrub made of turmeric, sandalwood, rice powder and ginger root. The pampering kept going, with a luscious lime and honey mask. The “bride” (you -- no ring necessary!) completes the indulgence by soaking in a tropical flower bath.
Reflection of Luxury
A bath is all you need when you visit The Spa at Loretto. While the bath was only a portion of my lovely Native Reflection Ritual spa treatment, it was the star. Most surprisingly so, since I am not much of a bath person -- multi-tasker here. The luxury took over, when I found myself in an Kohler antique claw foot tub, lights dimmed and chandelier overhead. With candles glowing and the church bells outside my shaded window, I could have been a thousand miles or even a few hundred years away from Santa Fe. Somehow I also felt I should have had a set of pearls on; it was just so elegant. Santa Fe’s spa scene spans many different aspects -- from spiritual to worldly to elegant -- while still retaining a unique Southwestern charm.
Photos: Gunther Maier
The art of the relaxation
Santa Fe is a city deeply rooted in culture, including food, art and spirit. It seems like there is art everywhere, even in the spas. In fact, Santa Fe boasts more than 250 art galleries in a city that’s only 37 square miles big. Artist Robbi Firestone’s gallery, The Art Sanctuary, is my favorite. This Adobe gallery, right in the heart of the historic first livery stable, is all about nurturing creativity, feminine energy and the deeper, spiritual side of art. While you’re in Sante Fe for the spas, sign up for one of Firestone’s creative-spiritual retreats, such as vision journaling or painting meditation, at SantaFeArtClasses.com. Firestone is best known for her unique oil portraits, that aim to capture not just the external features of the subjects, but also their spirits. Firestone’s favorite way to relax and replenish in Santa Fe is to spend a day at Ten Thousand Waves: a private suite, a deep-tissue massage by Reno, a facial, meditation in the quiet room and dinner at Izanimi. She says she also loves to unwind with horseback-riding at Bishop’s Lodge, followed by a hike up the Big Tesuque Trail, with a stop at the Shidoni Sculpture Garden. “Santa Fe’s intellectual capital, coupled with dynamic, individualism and creativity, sophistication and bohemian nature, offers many the cultural benefits of big city,” Firestone says. “Our passionate arts organizations, like Creative Santa Fe and Site, exquisite dining, live entertainment, high-desert beauty and gentle pace are perfect.” 95
Most Unique Treatment:
A white sage cleansing ritual ancient practice that involves the creation of sage bundles tossed into a flame accompanied with a wish. The dried white sage is rolled in cloth bundles that are tied closed using rope. Spa patrons make a wish as they throw the sage into the fire. Top Spa Boutique Purchase:
A favorite found in many spa boutiques is Chloroxygen, an all-natural chlorophyll concentrate designed to aid in adjusting to high altitude by increasing the oxygen intake to the bloodstream. Santa Fe is at 7,000 feet above sea level, and I am certain that was the reason I felt a little off for a time. In no way was it the numerous servings of wine, chocolate or peppers! Best Santa Fe Spa Treatment:
A Teepee Massage
A teepee massage in the spa garden at Bishopâ€™s Lodge is the ultimate outdoor massage. This combo body and mind experience is one of fav ever outdoor massages! Before you drift off to Santa Fe dreamland, peek your eyes open and watch the clouds float by in a small opening at the top of your teepee haven.
B EC AUSE YO U D ESERVE TH E B EST
At The Palazzo, you are always guaranteed a suite for the price of a room. Our Five Diamond suites start at 662 sq. ft. and are just the beginning of the unprecedented amenities we offer.
Restaurants by Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller and Mario Batali World-Class Entertainment The Renowned Treatments of Canyon Ranch SpaClub 速 Extraordinary Shopping
Make it memorable.
Jackson Hole By Richard Carroll
rom the deck of Corbet’s Cabin in the brisk wind-swept clouds, 10, 450-feet above Jackson Hole Valley, the small weathered café seems to be wedged tightly into a crevice in the robust Wyoming Teton Mountain Range. The capricious sun flashes tints and shadows in a mosaic pattern over Jackson Hole, stylish Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Below, the multi-shaded, textured meadows, serene and humble and stretched out like an intricate patchwork quilt, are dwarfed by the imposing Grand Teton Mountain Range, shaped by wind, rain, and glaciers, which emerges starkly, like a dynamic cardboard cutout, from the valley floor. In the distance deep, sheer-sided valleys are carved into the East Gros Ventre Butte which is draped with pine trees as if an artist splashed a huge swath of green across the horizon, while the historic Snake River, appearing from this height like a meandering stream, winds its way towards Jackson town, 12 miles to the southeast. It’s a place to let yourself be one with nature and to enjoy the goodness and beauty of the raw and powerful landscape. The reward is just being here.
he aerial tram to reach Corbet’s Cabin, which boasts the longest vertical ride in the country, carries guests along the 2 ½ mile journey back-and-forth from the valley floor, as the tram operator uses the 12 minute journey to explain that Jackson Hole is the name of the 50-mile long valley or flat hole tucked amongst mountains, which is anchored by the town of Jackson, and named after mountain man, trapper, and trader, David Jackson. Standing at the base of the Tetons, which are surprisingly devoid of foothills, it seems possible to gaze straight up the vertical walls rising sharply from the valley floor in a maze of spires and pinnacles. Nineteen jagged peaks, each rising to more than 10,000-feet in elevation, are wound about with a tracing of trails linking the peaks to hidden lakes in the valleys between. Laid-back and relaxed in its authentic western setting, Teton Village is gifted with a deep yearly snowfall and notorious for steep-terrain skiing. Challenging runs designed for the intermediate and advanced, and ideal for those who learned to ski before they could walk, feature a vertical descent of more than 4,000-feet. “Bottomless skiing” is how long-time resident and avid skier Anna Cole affectionately refers to the extensive cross-country and backcountry trails that loop through 3,000 acres of wilderness. Having dropped by Teton Village “just for the weekend” seven years ago, Anna smiles saying, “I wake up every morning and say thank you to the mountains.” With a trusty Nordic ski guide leading the way, newcomers can follow the trails all the way to Grand Teton National Park and beyond. Teton Village, a chic playground for the entire family, hosts the 156room, Four Seasons Resort and Residences, the only Five Diamond, Five Star resort in Wyoming. Hiking and biking trails, a Kid’s Ranch Camp, trail rides, and music festivals, are year-round attractions, while Yellowstone National Park is a hop, skip and jump away. Three-miles north of Jackson is the National Elk Refuge, the largest in the world, and a noted wintering ground for 5 to 7,000 elk. From mid-December to early April, via a horse-drawn sleigh ride, guests can experience the elk herds up close. Extra warm clothes and hot chocolate are a must. An additional ski and snow play option is Snow King, Wyoming’s first ski area, opened in 1939, located in the heart of Jackson, six blocks from Town Square. Jackson (pop. 9,500), the gateway to the valley and national parks, has a truthfulness of character with a crusty western history. The Shonshone, Crow, Lakota, Blackfeet, Sheep Eaters and Gros Ventre, among other Native American tribes, were the first to leave their imprint in the valley, followed by mountain men, fur trappers, a few bad guys, and the tough-skinned pioneers who settled in for the long haul. Jackson’s personality is an odd and wonderful blend of humanity, where those wearing Levis, scuffed boots and a Stetson, might find themselves dining next to a man dressed in a faded baseball hat and t-shirt, who drives a dusty pickup truck. Curiously, either or both could be beyond well heeled since Jackson Hole is noted as the wealthiest county per capita in the country.
eportedly, more private jets fly into Jackson than any other town in the West. With thumbs down on a dress code, a smile and handshake is a Jackson attribute. Residents explain, “No need to be seen is the unspoken reflection. A world-renowned artist could be rubbing elbows with a rancher.” The small western town, although established in a glorious natural world, is a culturally rich community with more art galleries than bars. It is also home to a 525-seat Center Theater, summer outdoor Shakespeare plays, and a large collective of artists creating mixed media works. A Fall Arts Festival, performances by the New York City Ballet, and an acclaimed, 50,000-square-foot National Museum of Wildlife Art, portraying how artists and others have depicted animals in the wilderness, are a Jackson bonus. The town’s covered boardwalks lead to the famed Elk Antler Arches that open into the tree-shaded Jackson Town Square. Across the street is the illustrious Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, circa 1930s, where visitors stroll into a time capsule of the Old West and find saddles for bar stools. The Old Timers immediately know who owns a horse or can ride one by the way they mount the saddle, noting the view from the rear is not a first-rate look for fashion models. The room feels as if Willy Nelson might appear on stage with guitar in hand at any moment, and indeed, Willy and a host of other top name western musicians have performed here. Sandra Bullock and friends celebrated her 50th birthday at the Cowboy, enjoying the museum-like ambience, and servers who know how to mix. Tim Tetley, voted Number 1 Shoeshiner by Out Door Magazine, is busy near the entrance in his sparkling white, long-sleeved shirt, with his two antique barber chairs, polishing “Y-O- Men” boots and chatting about the days when cowboys would ride their horses into the bar and order buffalo steaks. Not to be over-shadowed, the nearby Silver Dollar Bar, where saddles are banned, features a bar covered in 2,032,1921, uncirculated Morgan silver dollars. Early evenings a western swing band pulls in the local dancers with a big howdy, and it’s the place to be. The Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa The 32-room, family owned and operated lodge, overlooking Miller Park, two blocks from Town Square fits perfectly as a Jackson icon. Opened in 1990 and honored with numerous well-deserved awards, the lodge is a non-pretentious, feel-good property with employees who greet guests by name and authentically care about their comfort. Non-smoking from the first day, the lodge is a virtual gallery of fine original Western Art including an impressive Remington sculpture near the entrance, alder-wood, hand-crafted furniture, a Snake River rock fireplace, elk-shed antler chandeliers, and Hungarian goosedown beds described by guests as “the best ever”. Again, no dress code and celebrity guests not revealed.
Photos by Halina Kubalski
ivacious Heidi Harrison, daughter of the owner, operates the Body Sage Spa, the first full-treatment spa in Jackson. Heidi who learned her craft in Thailand and other world destinations said, “I glanced out the window one morning and saw a black wolf chasing a deer. I won’t promise that everyday but we are in a nature area.” She does offer a full array of massages, face and skin treatments, and a popular Sports Recovery program for those who have spent the day on the slopes or hiking the backcountry, and are in need of tender loving care. At the intimate Wild Sag Restaurant, three busy chefs have created a splendid menu using regional organic products, which they prepare in an open kitchen and pair with wines from their 400-bottle wine cellar. The Rusty Parrot in concert with the Teton Science Schools assist guests to experience the wildlife of the region as well as offering a deeper insight into the area and ecosystem with private personalized expeditions. Owner Ron Harrison said, “We like to sense that guests are coming here to our home. There is a magic in Jackson Hole and you can feel it in the air.” A guest added, “Jackson Hole is a grand sensory overload, from the Grand Tetons to the ever-changing weather, and in great contrast is the serenity of the lodge. It’s needed.”
When You Go Jackson Hole Mountain Resort/Teton Village, www.jacksonhole.com Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa, www.rustyparrot.com. The winter season runs from late November to early April. 101
Valle de Guadalupe By Kathryn Lejeune
Valle de Guadalupe is one of those rare places that is both modern and innovative while remaining true to the spirit of their traditional culture. Residents here have a deep respect for their land, and in return have been blessed with a rich bounty that utilized to its full potential. Rather than trying for a consistent menu, cuisine is focused on whatever is freshest of the moment. The wine, as I was frequently informed, is all about quality over quantity. As a result, both the food and the wine of this Mediterranean like valley exhibit a robust diversity bursting with carefully curated flavor. Chefs from all over the world are flocking to Valle de Guadalupe, at least ten new wineries open each year, and the accolades are pouring in.
wines of Las Nubes, Victor’s thoughtful personality could be seen in each glass, whether he described it as happy or elegant. His secret to crafting a good wine? Listen to the grapes, they will tell you what they want. From there, content and contemplative, we headed down more dusty roads to Monte Xanic winery. Modern and elegant, with a Palm Springs vibe, it is surprisingly difficult to see until you’re right upon it as it is blended perfectly into the valley. Offering a subtle collection of wines that are highly sippable, Monte Xanic is an excellent stop on the route to take advantage of their veranda with fireplace.
Hearing a rumor of the beauty of the drive, we decided to try the back route from San Diego, bypassing Tijuana and the coast. Enormous smooth boulders completely cover the mountains, creating a bizarre and wonderful landscape as we sailed down the newly paved Route 3. Before too long, we were in green valleys with handpainted signs advertising spiced olives and homemade marmelada. As we passed bustling tiendas and horses grazing in wide open fields, we wondered aloud that we had only driven ninety minutes from the border. After passing a half dozen or so wineries, the unmistakable lofts of Encuentro greeted us from their high vantage point on a hill. The unique minimalist cabins are a stunning sight and yet perfectly in tune with their surroundings. Described by its owners as an anti-resort, Encuentro was developed with the idea that true luxury exists within a balance of privacy, leisure, and harmony with nature. A fabulously mustachioed man named Cuco drove us up the dirt road from the lobby. Though deceptively small from the highway, as we approached our loft we could see they were actually quite large. A tall, impressive door swung open to reveal a bright white blend of rustic and modern decor. I hooked up my iPod to the sound system and music streamed all around me from the in-wall speakers as I tried out the waterfall shower. Later, we sipped sparkling sangria and snacked on a plate of local cheeses by the infinity pool as we watched the sun set over the valley and turn everything golden. In the morning, we made our first winery stop at Las Nubes, sitting down with owner and oenologist Victor Segura. Sipping our way through each vintage, we discussed the past, present, and potential of Valle de Guadalupe. His green eyes flecked with gold sparkled in the morning light as he looked out over his vineyards. “The valley right now,” he reflected, “is experiencing a gastronomical revolution. We knew we could not compete with Napa in terms of quantity, so we decided to focus on quality.” Though Victor insisted that there was no organized faction dictating the methods by which wineries and restaurants operated, he did admit that most follow a similar philosophy, which values organic, sustainable practices and uses only the best possible local ingredients. The dedication to the earth goes even further, I noticed, influencing the very aesthetic of the valley. On weekends, Las Nubes partners with Criollo to offer wine tasters a variety of globally influenced tapas. We sampled each with delight, though our favorites were the chorizo montadito with roasted peppers, pesto, and local cheese, and the peach ricotta with prosciutto and arugula. As for the 104
Finca Altozano is another must stop, though we were still so full from Criollo’s excellent crostinis that we could do little more than taste a few dishes and admire the rustic open design of the restaurant and kitchen. Open spring through autumn, depending on the weather, Finca Altozano has an award winning menu and oyster bar, fresh every day from Ensenada. Long tables make it perfect for communal dining with big groups. Originally a summer home with vineyards planted merely for decoration, Viñas de Garza is a family run winery that has won numerous awards and boasts several wines over 90 points despite its short time in production. The wines of Viñas de Garza reflect the family, according to daughter Melissa Garza, exhibiting bold and robust flavors. While sitting on their flowered tasting veranda, I asked her what their secret was and she smiled, saying, “It is my father and the personal care he takes with each aspect of the process. He is a control freak who loves what he does.” As we were coming to expect from the leaders in the region, the Garzas are dedicated to sustainability. Melissa assured us that everything that can go back into the earth, does. Take a closer look at the gravel on the road, for instance, and you will see the tiny black rocks are actually grape seeds leftover from the winemaking process. With advance notice and a group of eight or more, it is possible to arrange for a premiere tour. This special tour provides an intimate look into the inner workings of the vineyard with one of the family members as guide, and Mother Garza cooks up a plate of homemade bites in an exclusive section of the tasting area. After a few more winery stops, we headed to Malva, where Chef Roberto Alcocer has teamed up with childhood friend and oenologist Veronica Corona for their own unique take on the region’s gastronomic aesthetic. It’s a small operation, currently offering less than a dozen vintages, but, as we were coming to expect from the valley, it was all about quality, locally sourced ingredients. Alcocer has been hailed as one of the top new chefs in Mexico, and his approach is a refreshing blend of innovative and traditional. Even as we pulled up, we saw him returning from the gardens with a large handful of greens, freshly harvested. He crafted a feast for us, featuring tuna, partridge, rabbit, pork, and an incredible variety of vegetables and edible flowers. During dessert, Veronica joined us at our table. “Do you like the ice cream?” she asked us, “we milk the goats every morning.” Yes, it’s that fresh.
Down dusty roads with no names, but carefully posted with signs, we found La Villa del Valle, a luxury bed and breakfast with an eclectic ranch charm. Eileen and Phil Gregory are expats who found their way to the valley in order to put their knowledge of sustainable practices to good use. Through their careful stewardship, seventy acres of vineyards, orchards, and gardens have blossomed tremendously. Twenty thousand lavender plants make the air smell like heaven, and you, too, if you buy a bottle in their organic beauty line. La Villa del Valle’s extensive grounds also feature a rock labyrinth perfect for meditation, and a tree-lined path that leads to the pool, hot tub, and yoga studio. Wine tasting is available at Vena Cava just down the hill, a unique structure made from overturned boats and found objects. The six rooms of the villa are beautifully appointed in a luxurious Mexican ranch style and filled with artfully arranged paintings and sculptures done by the owners, their friends, and other local artists. Anyone so inspired is encouraged to make use of the community guitar or borrow a book from the large bookcases that cover an impressive diversity of authors and topics. I selected a well worn copy of Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to peruse on my semi-private balcony overlooking the fountains and gardens. Also sharing the land is Corazon de Tierra, recently voted one of the top 50 restaurants in Latin America. This small restaurant is a beautiful combination of modern and traditional, with raw wood and metal accents, and chairs of all sizes upholstered in traditional Mexican textiles, making a colorful feast for the eyes. A burbling pond hugs the tall windows, which looks out onto the gardens. During dinner, a breathtaking sunset lit the room in rose hues. Having heard so much about the craft beer of the region, I elected for Astillero IPA from a small microbrewery in Ensenada which was floral, hoppy, and an ideal balance of sweet and bitter. Though celebrated head chef Diego Hernández Baquedano was out for the evening, Francisco Ruano, aka “The Mayor”, crafted a custom six course meal for us that was much like an orchestrated symphony, running us through a citrusy fish and avocado appetizer, colorful salad, tender octopus, deconstructed shepherd’s pie, grape palate cleanser, and a dessert that showed of the diversity of the local figs. The valley comes alive on the weekends, with many wineries also offering tasty bites. During the week is a slower pace, which will ensure a more intimate experience. Many restaurants are only open Thursday to Sunday or weekends, so check before you go. Fresh rosemary and lavender add both flavor and beauty to nearly every water carafe offered. The best time of year to visit is fall and spring, as summer can be quite busy and winter weather brings a chill. Every August the valley bursts with activity during the Wine Harvest Festival, though its increasing popularity makes it necessary to book lodging and events up to eight months in advance. Valle de Guadalupe is a testament to the partnership that can exist between humans and the land, showing unequivocally that when respect and love are put into the earth, it is repaid ten times over. Throughout our visit, despite feasting unreservedly, we were left feeling bright and nurtured. This is an exciting time for the valley, and in years to come, if the current philosophy is adhered to, it will surely prove to be a gastronomical paradise unrivaled in the world. 106
Accommodations Terre Blanche consists of 115 suites and separated villas all with private terraces and lounges. The design and layout of the grounds is meticulously well thought out providing guests the ultimate Provencal countryside escape. A walk around the resort and you feel one with nature as the resort encompasses the lay of the land blending elegantly with the natural habitat. The Provencal décor provides the ultimate setting for relaxation. Spacious suites include marble bathrooms with heated floors, an open layout and plenty of closet space. The use of white stone and local red clay provides a warm color scheme with tones of gold and terracotta, synonymous with the architecture throughout southern France. The resort has four pools all designed differently to offer refreshment for everyone, from basking in the sun, splashing around with the family or revitalizing yourself after a vigorous workout. The two indoor and outdoor pools of the Spa are dedicated to wellness and invigorate the body and mind.. The outdoor infinity pool is an ideal place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail while you fully take in the stunning views of the Provencal hillside. With tennis courts, a world class spa, a game room and kid’s club added to the list you truly could never find yourself bored at Terre Blanche, and it will quickly become your home away from home.
Nestled in the hills in the heart of the Provence region, lies Frances only true resort, Terre Blanche. As you drive through the windy narrow roads it is easy to picture yourself in the Tour de France absolutely lost in the beauty of the landscape. Come around one last corner and then you see it; with a big first impression you enter the giant gates with only one thought on your mind, it is time to relax! Drive slowly to fully take in the gorgeous lay of the land, fields of lavender, a manicured beauty of a golf course all fill in the surroundings. This majestic French beauty is comprised of 650 acres and is one of the most stunning resorts in Europe.
Golf If you are an avid golfer (and even if you are not) a stay at Terre Blanche would not be complete without a round at one of the two world class courses on property. The two courses Riou and Chateau were designed by the infamous golf architect Dave Thomas and have been masterfully blended into the natural beauty of the land. With manicured fairways and flawless greens the courses are host to pro tournaments such as the French Riviera Masters as well as the Pro Am Dâ€™Ouvertur. One addition that cannot be missed while visiting the course is the Biomecaswing Center. Run by osteopath and accomplished athlete, Jean-Jacques Rivet this unique center uses scientific knowledge of biomechanics combined with modern technology to enable golfers of all levels a way to improve their performance and understand their swing in order to quickly bring their golf game to the next level. Rivet uses a combination of cameras set from different angles, video monitors and a high tech corrective exercise machine called the Huber to give you the perfect program to better your game. Golf professionals come from all over the world to visit Terre Blanche and work one on one with Jean Jacques. Whether you come just to hit a bucket of balls at one of the nicest driving ranges in the world or for a full round on one of the most picturesque, memorable courses you have ever played, rest assured it will be one for the books!
SpA After an invigorating day of golf, tennis, wine tasting or visiting the local village nearby, a visit to the spa is an absolute splurge you should reward yourself with. The perfect combination of relaxation, fitness and therapeutic bliss is what you will find when you enter this haven. Take a dip in one of the most stunning indoor pools you have ever laid eyes on as you gaze out into the hillside of Provence and take in the sights. If you find yourself in need of exercise the Terre Blanche staff trainers will give you exactly what you need. Try a session on the newly founded Huber machine which is customized to give you exactly what your body needs for perfect muscular balance and not to mention a great workout designed just for your body type and fitness level. The spa also offers the ultimate therapeutic and beauty experience with treatments ranging from deep tissue massages, aromatherapy, anti-aging facials, manicures and more. If you are looking for something a little more private opt for one of the spa suites which include a hammam (Turkish bath), a double jacuzzi, a changing room and your very own private terrace. Dining Dining at Terre Blanche is more than just sitting down for a meal; it is a very sensual experience. With four restaurants on property talented Executive Chef Yannick Franques brings the best cuisine that the French Riviera has to offer. Franques has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge over the years having worked in some of the most prestigious Michelin starred restaurants in Paris as well as the French Riviera. Each of the four restaurants on property offers a variety of cuisines as well as different atmospheres with each meal. Tousco offers a casual dining experience near the outdoor infinity pool, Caroubiers offers a relaxed vibe with stunning views of the golf course, at Gaudina dine in a jazzy atmosphere whereas Faventia is a gourmet gastronomical experience you will never forget. The finest Mediterranean seafood, local meats, cheeses and breads and the regionâ€™s best wines take center stage throughout the meal. Sit back, relax and let the chef and his team bring you the ultimate French experience in a style your taste buds wonâ€™t soon forget.
USC & UCLA TAILGATING By Seana Pierce
College football season in Los Angeles is full of tradition and pride, joy and heartbreak, and most importantly, food and drink. Whether meeting up for a pre-game tailgate or reliving the glory post-game, LATM’s got your newest and best offerings for pre- and post-game.
7475 Beverly Boulevard LA 90036 Sat. 8am – 9pm European market hall offers chef-inspired grab-and-go artisanal sandwiches, salads and rotisserie meats to line your picnic basket. Photo Credit: Jesus Banuelos
1059 Broxton Ave. LA 90024 Sat. 11:00am to 10:00pm Southeast Asian flavors, seasonal vegetables and responsibly-raised meats combine to create a custom bowl to pack into your basket. Photo Credit: ShopHouse
Blue Plate Oysterette 8048 West Third Street LA 90048 Sat. 11:30am – 11pm
Tim Clarke-designed interior to welcome you as you pick up your custom Tackle Box filled with options like the Butter Lettuce Salad or Lobster Roll. Photo Credit: Zachary Hothorn
POST -GAME USC Nest at WP24
The Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live 900 West Olympic Boulevard Sat. 5:00pm to midnight Semi-circular â€œdining nestsâ€? ideal for sharing post-game highlights and catching replays on TV screens while enjoying cocktails, Asian-inspired small plates and sushi. Photo Credit: Nest
POST -GAME UCLA Blaze Pizza
667 E. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena 91101 Fri.-Sat. 10:30am to midnight Custom pizzas cooked fresh to order, with gluten-and dairy-free options. East of Old Town to avoid crowds, with plenty of parking on El Molino. Photo Credit: Blaze Pizza
SoCal Eco Adventure
With first-class resorts nestled along the Orange County coast, Dana Point offers laid-back luxury paired with scenic sights for adventure. Home to world-famous surf destinations like Doheny Beach and whale-watching cruises departing from Dana Wharf, this coastal community welcomes all ocean-lovers. Beach camp with a cozy bonfire at Doheny or feel the salty ocean mist on your face while sailing aboard a historic ship. From exceptional sportfishing to breathtaking local artwork, including an Arts in Public Places program, this city boasts a myriad of recreational activities. Beyond the local amusements, experience the delicious freshness of the fine dining served in this seaside town. From beautiful accommodations to savory eats and playful afternoons, Dana Point tempts any traveler with a desire to explore and relax.
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Breakfast at Vue
Designed with class and comfort in mind, the Laguna Cliff Marriott Resort & Spa lies atop the cliffs of Dana Point for a unique oceanside escape. This AAA four diamond resort features upscale luxuries and services to pamper each guest. Its elegant charm, complete with colorful Duvet covers and gold accented beach towels, reflects the outdoor beauty of the local area. Guest rooms hold an essence of contemporary sophistication, including modern technology such as an iHome clock/player, a 37” flat-screen TV, and a Wired-for-Business program for wireless internet and domestic long distance calls. Fresh robes and exquisite Frette linen beds welcome every guest in their room. Complete with a total of 378 guest rooms, including 15 deluxe suites, the resort provides lodging perfect for romantic retreats, successful business conferences, family vacations, special events, and more. The grounds of the resort model an ideal setting for both casual and formal fun. With two heated outdoor pools with whirlpools and a family-friendly Splash Zone with interactive water play components, the outdoor environment of the resort assures both relaxing and energetic swimmers a memorable experience. Tennis courts, ping pong, and board games are also available, or dive into a game of bocce ball, volleyball, or croquet. Gorgeous lawns sweeping the grounds and lush gardens make this an ideal venue for weddings and celebrations. No matter the length of your visit, this resort makes for the perfect stay.
Afternoon in Dana Point Harbor
Cruise your way through Dana Point Harbor by bicycle. With year round rentals from Laguna Cliffs Marriot Resort & Spa, take a two-wheeled ride on a nifty Trek ® 7100 Hybrid Bicycle. A concierge will kindly route out great cycling tours where you can pedal through Dana Point Harbor and along the beautiful beaches nearby. Then feel free to hitch your bike up and take a refreshing adventure of stand up paddle boarding! Rentals are available per hour or daily and boards may be launched from any beach of your choosing.
Hosted by The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, the Eco-Adventure Center presents entertaining activities that inspire you to connect with the local ecosystems. Directed by expert naturalists, this center teaches individuals how to respect nature, appreciating the science behind the beauty. From a Sea Hike on Strands Beach to improving body boarding skills in a Beach Bonzai class, kids can learn while having fun. Unique excursions like these showcase the land as a natural classroom for kids, families, and groups.
The Ocean Institute
Located on Dana Point Drive, The Ocean Institute is a non-profit nationallyacclaimed marine science and maritime history education center. Over 115,000 students aged kindergarten through high school and 8,000 teachers participate in the Institute’s 61 award-winning immersion style programs. This center focuses on hands-on marine science, allowing visitors to voyage out into the ocean to discover and care for the environment. Sort through live specimens, collect scientific data, and observe migrating whales. On weekends, public family-friendly lab activities are available or visitors can also embark on a “Pirate” Adventure Sail aboard the tallship Spirit of Dana Point. Sunday guests can learn about the Living History programs through a tour on the historic brig Pilgrim.
Captain Dave’s Whale Watching Safari
Have you ever seen a megapod of dolphins and a cluster of whales within the same afternoon? Captain Dave’s Whale Watching Safari holds the highestrated whale watching in the area, guiding you out into the blue of the Pacific to encounter the local marine life up close and personal. Catch sight of sperm whales or blue whales, both species seen off the coast of Dana Point. Sailing on a high-speed catamaran, the half-hour tour includes underwater viewing and an underwater Hydrophone that allows you to hear nearby dolphins. This ecotourism company promises the convenience of no crowds. Captain Dave holds experience as a marine naturalist leading dolphin and whale safaris from Dana Point since 1995, ensuring all explorers a memorable time at sea.
For casual but classy breakfast dining, the Vue Restaurant at the Laguna Cliff Marriott Resort & Spa promises upscale meals with stunning views of the Pacific Harbor. This venue includes low noise level with the option of outdoor seating and carefully selects the best ingredients for its delicious concoctions. Try the Frittata, created with prosciutto ham, Portobello mushrooms, and California goat cheese, served with chicken apple sausage.
Dine at Monarch Bay Club
With a spectacular backdrop of the surf, the St. Regis Monarch Bay Club offers exclusive beachfront dining. The casual ambiance of this high-class location creates a peaceful and enjoyable setting. Resort trams can convey you to this private beach club that invites guests to savor California cuisine ranging from char-grilled meats to fresh seafood. For dinner, we recommend a starter of Spicy Hawaiian Tuna Tartare, made with cream cheese and avocado wontons, curried rice noodles, and micro cilantro. Then taste the Beef Tenderloin for the main course, complete with duck fat potatoes, grilled asparagus, and tarragonbéarnaise sauce. As dessert rolls around, treat yourself to a luscious slice of the Smores Cheesecake with graham cracker crumble and Hershey syrup.
A Night at Raya
Conceived by renowned Chef Richard Sandoval, Raya at The Ritz Carlton features Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine. Prepared with sustainable seafood, fresh local produce, and natural and organic meat, these Latin flavors are of only the most superb quality. For cocktails, order The Pearl in Celebration of Our 30th Anniversary. This drink combines grey goose l’poire, fresh lemon, and crème de violette champagne. Among the savory starters, we recommend the Raya Romaine: a fresh fusion of roasted poblano mint dressing, crouton, grilled avocado, corn, tomato, cotija cheese, and pepita. Main courses include small plates or large plates. For large plate choices, select the All Natural Filet Mignon, a chipotle rubbed meat with Oaxaca potato purée, chili braised leeks, wild mushrooms, and edamame. The dessert menu includes a number of tantalizing choices—Cinnamon Sugar Churros, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pate, and Blueberry Empanadas just to name a few. Dana Point, ever artistic and stunning, satisfies something in every traveler’s desire. A historic Southern California paradise, this beach chic destination offers rejuvenation for the soul. Need a week-long vacation or simply a weekend getaway? The salty air and world-class comfort of this flavorful seaside town await.
Adventure on the
By Leslie Moore
ne of the benefits of being on a ship built for two is having your own cruise director who assisted us in tailoring an itinerary to match our needs. Our priority was diving and dive after dive, as we moved further into this protected reserve, we realized just how unique and unusual this underwater wonderland really is; the vibrant color of the coral formations, all so large, so incredibly healthy and so very precious. But the coral, as impressive as it is, is only a beautiful backdrop for the kaleidoscope of schooling tropical fish that populate this diverse ecosystem; clouds of tiny fish, schools of juveniles and magnificent mature pairs intermixed to create a living palette of color and movement. It was incredible to be, if only for a week, a part of this healthy, robust jewel of biodiversity. The Komodo National Park is listed a one of the NEW 7 Wonders of the World, so when we were not enjoying the underwater wilderness, we took every opportunity to explore the serene, postcard-perfect beaches; so remote that the only footprints were the ones we left as we wandered aimlessly collecting shells and enjoying the sound of gentle waves lapping at the pristine white sand.
he terrain beyond these heavenly beaches is craggy with volcanic hills, rounded and weathered, almost desolate but at the same time, there is incredible beauty here. On one evening we climbed to the highest peak in the park to get a panoramic view of the unending blue oceans and the surrounding islands that sleepily fade away into the distance. From that same lonely vantage point, we watched a giant burnt orange sun slide in to the deep blue ocean. I am struck, as I always am at sunset; the sun doesnâ€™t seem to move when it is high in the sky but it disappears all too quickly as it sets, leaving behind the promise of a new sunrise which lingers, leaving us with just enough light to make it back to shore. As we returned to the Alexa, the vastness of this universe still fresh in our minds, we decided to sleep on the upper deck, an unforgettable experience! We watched as the moonless Indonesian sky turned to a faceless black except for an explosion of stars. We woke to the navy blue sky fading to innocuous grey, that moment when the world has no color, then pale blue and then spectacular yellows, oranges and pinks invade the sky. As always, our crew somehow knew we were up and coffee with fresh fruit was served.
adventure started on a hot dock in the bustling Indonesian fishing village of Labuan Bajo. In the middle of the bay, floating gracefully on the water, sat the Alexa, a bold statement of white sophistication amidst the noisy, dieseling jumble of scarred local fishing boats and live-aboards. The 100 ft. Alexa is, at its bones, a phinisi, a traditional Indonesian cargo schooner, that has been beautifully renovated into an elegant and romantic sailing ship for two. And romantic it was, as the crew, a masseuse, a chef, a dive master and cruise director, masterfully attended to our every whim as we traveled through the uncommon natural silence of the spectacular Komodo National Park.
ur time on the Alexa was the cruise of a lifetime; we were so impressed with the well-oiled, symbiotic relationship of the staff, ready and flexible to accommodate our schedule. The food was spectacular! The owner of the Alexa, Veronica Blomgren, has managed to transplant the menu from her Oazia Spa Villas in Bali to the belly of the Alexa where the Chef cooked without compromising the quality of the dishes. Our personal favorite meal was a surprise on the last night. We had a hint of what might be in store so we dressed for a romantic dinner and were escorted by zodiac to a picturesque white sand beach on a deserted island. The staff had created a candlelight pathway in the sand, which lead to a table set for two. There was a settee created from logs and pillows were we sipped champagne as the sun set in soft yellows and deep corals. Our dinner, cooked over an open fire, was quite possibly the best culinary experience of the trip. We ate and celebrated with no witnesses except the cheery stars in the warm Indonesian sky. Sadly, for us that was our last night, but if you are looking for a romantic getaway or a dreamy honeymoon, you will be hard pressed to find a trip more unique, romantic and elegant than a stay on the romantic Alexa.
Mystical Yogyakarta By Leslie Moore
Yogyakarta, formerly the capital city of Indonesia, is a bustling city east of Jakarta and is an important place to experience traditional Javanese culture, unique cuisine and classic art such as batik and shadow puppets. But like most tourist, we were there to see the world famous temples, Prambanan and Borobudur.
While in Jogjakarta, we chose to stay at the Amanjiwo Resort. Amanjiwo means peaceful soul and it was in this peaceful sanctuary we chose to wind down on our busy trip.
Prambanan, a 9th century Hindu Shrine, is one of the most strikingly beautiful Hindu temples in the world with 240 high spired temples built in concentric squares all against a backdrop of the huge Gunung Merapi Volcano that looms nearby. Rising above the center of these squares are three taller temples decorated with complicated bas-reliefs, dedicated to the three great Hindu divines (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals that serve them.
With the iconic grand stupa of Borobudur as the backdrop, we enjoyed the charming rural area of central Java through the activities offered by the resort. Set off for a sunrise picnic breakfast in a misty hillside park that overlooked the temple nearby. A set of watercolor paints and paper were included in our picnic basket; we lingered for hours happily eating and painting our masterpieces. By special invitation, we experienced an extraordinary dinner by a Javanese family who cooked a wide variety of dishes over an open fire right inside their home. The fresh, uniquely flavored courses continued to arrive at our small wooden table until we felt we were going to burst.
The temples are built from carved volcanic rock and each temple is decorated with intricately carved stone panels depicting many Hindu stories, from the epic tale of Ramayana to an interpretation of the Kalpataru tree, which is considered to be the tree of life, eternity and environmental harmony. There is a calming serenity about this historically significant site; for some there is a deep religious significance and for others, the beauty and magnitude of this site itself is simply inspiring. The Borobudur Temple is best seen in the early morning with the hopes of seeing the sunrise through the perforated stupas. The tropical mist rising slowly out of the lush green rain forest ringed by forbidding volcanoes adds to the mystical feel of this ancient site. Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and draws pilgrims from all around the world. The Borobudur Temple is built so that you experience a spiritual journey as you climb. The lower levels are richly decorated with intricately carved stone panels telling the parables of Buddhist doctrine. As you climb, each level become less ornate, less busy and more spacious representing the Buddhist belief that you must shed material possessions and leave your desire for physical pleasures behind on your path to enlightenment. On the top three terraces are 72 small stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The crowning feature is the grand central stupa, left empty to symbolize absolute nothingness, the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Take your time at the top to enjoy the expansive panoramic view and then, while descending through the terraces see if you donâ€™t look at life a little differently, if only for just a moment.
As the early morning mist hung over the rice paddies, we enjoyed a meditation session with a visiting Buddhist Rinpoche, his Eminence the 9th reincarnation of the first Neyphug Trulku from Bhutan, and were invited to join him for a long meandering, philosophical, private conversation. Needless to say, these last few days of our trip were very different than the first two weeks, but our accommodations were no less lavish. Our room was very spacious and luxurious and our bedroom opened onto our own private terrace with a spectacular private pool and plush lounge for two that looked out over the stunning view of emerald green rice paddies and mist-adorned volcanoes. The gorgeous Amanjiwo is definitely the place to visit if you are looking to rediscover your â€œpeaceful soulâ€?!
Island Fever Vieques Island, Puerto Rico The gorgeous “Vieques Island” located just a few miles off the Puerto Rican coast is a show stopper. The island is roughly about 21 miles long by 4 miles wide. The population is about 7,000 inhabitants, and around 3,000 wild horses that roam the island with pure freedom. It is a spectacular sight to see. With numerous clean and secluded beaches that make you feel as if the island is all your own. The wide array of local restaurants offer tasteful options for everyone, each with their own unique personality and flare. From in house specialties to local favorites dining with the locals is not to be missed. Try the signature dish Mofungo, prepared with mashed green plantains, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, and more garlic. Delicious!
The locals are very friendly, always offering their advice on what the island has to offer. Rent a jeep and head off into the sun to explore the island for yourself. Jump on one of the Catamaran sailing excursions offered daily, a highly recommended way to see the island from a different point view. Don’t forget your snorkel gear. Snorkeling is a very popular activity on the island, as the clear turquoise water allows for spectacular viewing of the community under the sea. Grab a kayak and head for Mosquito Bay, the world’s largest Bio luminescent bay were the plankton glow and sparkle as the water current ripples and moves. It is a sight you can only appreciate when seeing it for yourself.
By Dave Wrobel
DIRECTED BY CRISS ANGEL AND SERGE DENONCOURT WRITTEN BY CRISS ANGEL
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A Tale of Two CIties By Susan B. Barnes
Northwest is known for its rugged beauty, outdoor adventures and laidback lifestyle, despite major corporations and tech firms that are headquartered in the area. The two similar yet very different cities of Seattle and Portland anchor the region, and act as gateways to all of the exploration that lies within, and beyond the cities’ borders.
Nature & Nurture n a clear day in Seattle, catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier looming ghost-like over the Emerald City. For a closer look at the active volcano, plan a day or overnight trip to Mount Ranier National Park about two hours away to go hiking or mountain biking.
Just a few hours north of downtown Seattle, and just south of Victoria, B.C., is another spot to disconnect and get back to nature – the historical, underdeveloped, wildlife- and adventure-filled 172-island archipelago San Juan Islands. Portland has its own ghostly mountain, too. Look just beyond the horizon, in the mix of clouds, and there stands Mount Hood in all its glory. Just 20 miles east of downtown Portland, Mount Hood offers a variety of outdoor pursuits, from hiking and camping to horseback riding and skiing. Nearby Mount Hood is the Columbia River Gorge, another spectacular place to get out and play in nature. The region is so beautiful, in fact, that Congress has designated it a National Scenic Area, the largest in the U.S. Words & Music t’s no secret that Seattle’s music scene is groundbreaking, and any band that’s worth their salt has graced the stages within the city. Without a doubt, music lovers must make a stop at the EMP Museum and take in the collections, exhibits and programming that span the musical spectrum.
Powell’s Books in Portland’s Pearl District can be a bit overwhelming – it is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Covering an entire city block and multi-level, it’s easy to get lost in the endless rows of titles previously unknown, and lifelong favorites. Tip: grab a map to easily find your way around the store.
Food & Drink ou may have heard of a little coffee store chain that has its roots in Seattle – Starbucks. But the cup doesn’t stop there; several other coffee shops have made a name for themselves and an impact on the coffee shop scene. In Seattle, Herkimer is a locals’ favorite, with just three shops dotted throughout the city. Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, not even 20 years old, has expanded its footprint into not only Seattle, but LA and NYC, too.
Seattle’s downtown Pike Place Market may be known for its fish mongers throwing their fresh catch not only for efficiency but for entertainment, but it’s also a terrific place to pick up fresh fruits and veg, meats and fish. Grab a bouquet of gorgeous, vibrant flowers and the evening’s complete! Or, simply stroll around the 100-plus year old market and sample the farmers’ goods and crafters’ wares. Other spots to try in Seattle include the “world’s best” mac & cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (tip: order a small to share – it’s rich!); tour the factory and get your fill of samples of organic and artisanal chocolate at Theo Chocolate; and try the flavor of the moment at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop. The food truck scene took hold of Portland in a big way and is growing, with today’s numbers of carts upwards of 600. Instead of moving from place to place, most food trucks can be found parked in the same spot, in pods, making it easy to find your favorite time and again. Just as food trucks have dominated the scene, Portland also boasts more breweries than any other city in the world. Not surprisingly, the city hosts loads of beer-themed events throughout the year, including Portland Beer Week (June) and the Oregon Brewers Festival (July). Cheers! Prefer sweets to hops? Take your spot in line at the ever-popular Voodoo Doughnut… they must be good, as the line stretches around the block! Whether you choose to visit Seattle or Portland – or both! – you’ll find each made of up easily walkable neighborhoods, and find yourself feeling right at home.
The Hottest New Nightlife Ventures from LA to NYC B Y DA V E W RO B E L
The Argyle Hollywood is a new nightlife concept by James Anderson and Travis Bass, formerly of Drai’s Management Group, and George and Peter Younan of TRU Hospitality Group. The venue, located in the former Tru nightclub space sits at the corner of Selma and Argyle and plays a role no other nightlife venue in Hollywood has dared to try. It offers two different settings located inside, the main level hosts an all out club going experience with extravagant champagne packages that will blow your mind while the underground level caters to the speakeasy trending crowds of which the Hollywood nightlife scene has come to know all too well these past few years. If you are a true cocktail connoisseur then a trip down to the speakeasy style “cocktail den” is the place to be. Experience some of the most avant-garde drinks created by mixologists that take beverage craftsmanship to the next level. “Below the streets of Hollywood lies a secret place, a subterranean hideaway visited for business and pleasure by everyone who’s anyone. Neither modest nor pretentious, it’s a throwback to an era of glamour and sophistication. Above the underground haunt rests an anomaly amidst Los Angeles nightlife, a debauched dancery, a champagne jam where high art, high fashion, and high times mingle on the dance floor and the DJ is only as important as the next song.” –The Argyle Hollywood www.argylehollywood.com
F r o m I bi z a
The World’s Most Awarded Night Club has finally made its way from the shores of Ibiza into the heart of Manhattan with the opening of Space Ibiza New York earlier this Fall. Since it’s opening, Space Ibiza New York has quickly become the go-to spot in New York City with headliners such as Tiesto, Diplo, Skrillex, and celeb clientele like Madonna and Leonardo Dicaprio. With a lineup of electric DJs, a state of the art sound system and nightly artistic performances, Space Ibiza New York offers a one of a kind nightlife experience. Managing partners Antonio Piacquadio and Carlo Seneca, along with Michael Geniton and Rob Toma (Director of Talent Procurement), have come together to create a dream team to bring Europe to the shores of New York for the first time ever through music, entertainment, performances and themed parties giving New Yorkers a taste of European culture, EDM and Dance Music movement that surrounds it. Step into Space Ibiza New York and be transported to the electric feel of Ibiza. The 20,000 sq. ft venue marries the care-free sensuality of its Spanish origins with the urban, artistic roots of New York City’s nightlife, featuring a oneof-a-kind sound stage and lighting system that is often used at music festivals but never before seen in a nightclub environment. Paying homage to Ibiza, legendary Ibiza dancers, scintillatingly dressed performers, electric costumes and aerialists are incorporated into the DJ’s performances bringing an all-encompassing experience to an all-night party impacting all senses. www.spaceibizany.com
AMERICA’S ORIGINAL CRAFT VODKA
Travel the World From Romania to Norway, discover your inner explorer with these travel spots we suggest you add to your bucket list ASAP.
Bran Castle “Dracula’s Castle” 126 Transylvania, HOLIDAY 2014 Romania LA TRAVEL
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam 127
Inca City of 128 Machu HOLIDAY 2014 LAPeru TRAVEL Picchu,
Alesund, Norway 129
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Christopher Columbus 130
Escape together and savour the sensual heat of our tropical sanctuary on Mexicoâ€™s Riviera Nayarit. Ignite your passion in our hideaway and youâ€™ll fall in love all over again.
For information and reservations contact us at 1 800 332 34 42 or the resort directly at 1 52 329 291 60 19 facebook.com/FourSeasonsResortPuntaMita twitter.com/FSPuntaMita
REFRESH THE WAY YOU FLY.
Experience JetBlue’s newest way to fly featuring lie-flat seats, enhanced entertainment and artisanal dining. Fly from Los Angeles to New York starting at $599 one-way.* jetblue.com/mint
*Fare includes government taxes and fees. 30-day advance purchase required. Blackout dates: 11/26/2014–12/1/2014, 12/19/2014–1/5/2015. Mint class seats cannot be booked with a JetBlue Getaways package. Limited exceptions apply. All fares are subject to limited availability; may not be available on all days or all fights; may change without notice; must be purchased at time of reservation; and are one-way, nonstop (except as otherwise noted), nonrefundable, and nontransferable. Reservations made one week or more prior to a fight’s scheduled departure may be canceled without penalty up to 24 hours after the reservation is made. First two checked bags are free (weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including fights operated or marketed by other airlines apply). Fare does not include fees for oversized, overweight or extra baggage or other fees for products/services sold separately. $25 fee per person applies to fares (not Award Flights) purchased by phone or at an airport or ticket offce. Cancellations/changes must be made prior to scheduled departure (otherwise all money for fare is forfeited); $150 change/cancel fee per person will apply for one-way base fares under $750, and for changes, there may be a fare adjustment. Cancellations receive JetBlue travel credit, 132for one year. HOLIDAY 2014 LA TRAVEL valid Proper documentation required for boarding. Other restrictions apply. © 2014 JetBlue Airways Corporation. All rights reserved.