Holiday Escapes from the Desert to the Italian Alps
Wine Country Trips You Don’t Want to Miss from Temecula to Napa
Holiday Escapes from the Desert to the Italian Alps
Wine Country Trips You Don’t Want to Miss from Temecula to Napa
he Holidays are finally here, and the fresh crisp fall air has finally arrived in Southern California. After this past summer, we must admit the cooler temperatures are a nice change.
The past few months were anything but relaxing thanks to a plethora of events and trips. We started this season with Bentley Newport Beach and hosted our second annual Celebrity Golf Tournament for Barks of Love Animal Rescue. We explored locations full of adventure from Temecula to London. We also ventured to the Greek Islands covering Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete where the hospitality is so authentic and inviting. Breaking bread at a restaurant called Metaxi Mas in Santorini with the owners and their friends was an unexpected highlight during our trip. There is no better way to dive into a culture than by experiencing it firsthand with the locals.
On our way back from London we made a stop into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow Airport and almost missed our flight as we were having the best time working out on their pelotons, trying various cocktails that are on their mixology program and taking selfies at the onsite photo opps. We can’t think of another airport lounge that has so many things to do while you wait for your flight.
We look forward to celebrating with all our Southern California fans at our upcoming events taking place this season, from Mixology Masters in November to our Winter Uncorked event in December. Make sure to follow us on all our social media channels to receive updated information on these exciting experiences. This was a year like no other and we are already chomping at the bit to share with you what we have in store for 2023. Follow along as we get ready to road trip our way along the west coast to Canada for NYE. We will certainly make sure to kick off the new year in style and we hope you all do the same!
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On October 21st, we hosted the 2nd Annual Bentley Newport Beach Celebrity Tournament to benefit Barks of Love Animal Rescue. This exciting charity golf tournament included an awards ceremony and reception following play. The exclusive event attracted audiences composed of celebrities, professional athletes, philanthropists, corporate and community leaders as well as other influencers. Upon arrival golfers enjoyed a Barks Brunch with adoptable dogs and an array of delicious vendors including Wild Waffles, Batter Bites, Batter Bites Brew, Good Choice Catering, Chups Social Kitchens, a wine & putt competition sponsored by South Coast Winery, hand rolled cigars, a Bloody Mary bar presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and beats by DJ Mario.
Guests and celebrities were invited to a day on the golf course enjoying beverages from BODYARMOR, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and OC Local Tap Room and gourmet food from Chups Social Kitchens and Prisca’s Boozey Shave Ice. After the tournament golfers joined in for an evening of entertainment and philanthropy paired with dinner featuring Caribbean cooking from Good Choice Catering, a grazing table from Graze Box OC, Latin Flavors from Savory Roads Catering, upscale dishes from BiTE by Chef Ray and beautifully presented desserts from local favorite It’s All About the Cake Bakery. They also enjoyed a glass of bubbly as they grabbed a selfie at the Press for Champagne Wall courtesy of Wonder Wall OC. The reception was positioned with a perfect sunset view to add to the gorgeous decor and florals provided by Da Kine Flower & Lei.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel was named the official hotel partner for the event. Fusing modern luxury with playful creativity, this ocean-view hotel provided a welcoming nature that catered to tournament guests and celebrities with direct access to the ocean and opportunities to explore California’s natural beauty. Celebrity guests in attendance included Carla Esparza (MMA), Cris Cyborg (MMA), Rob McCollugh (MMA), Jeff DaVanon (MLB), Pete Shaw (NFL), Willie Buchanon (NFL), Chris Hale (NFL), Ron Brown (NFL), Donovan Carter (Actor) & more.
Sponsors for the event included Bentley Newport Beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Around the Box Events, BODYARMOR, Bug Bite Thing, Cotton Candylicious, Clayer, Lazy Dog, Da Kine Flower & Lei, Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Prisca’s Events & Decorations & Sun Country Marine Group.
Presented By Porsche Irvine
This year’s Best of So Cal event took place at Porsche Irvine and pulled in the who’s who of Orange County with exciting guests from two-time UFC Champion Carla Esparza to former OC Housewife Peggy Tanous. The event included live performances by Edge of the World Entertainment, a silent auction, and a plethora of casino games for guests to enjoy from Royal Flush Casino. Ketel One Vodka, Nolet’s Gin, El Cristiano Tequila & Wilson Creek Winery sponsored the evening’s hosted beverages while DJ Richard Wayne stole the spotlight with beats from around the world. Delicious small bites were created by hand-selected chefs including BiTe by Chef Ray, Chef Kelvin Bellamy, Critic’s Choice, Kiro’s, Lalu’s Catering, Poppy & Seed and SOL Cocina.
A wine tasting presentation from Wilson Creek Winery which included a champagne cirque performance had each event participant in awe as they entered the venue. Insta-worthy backdrops created by Wonderwall OC were a picture-perfect addition paired with summer-themed cocktails prepared by La’Creay’s Bartending Service. The Bartesian Lounge was well attended throughout the evening by VIP guests thanks to an exciting array of on-demand premium cocktails by Bartesian and an over-the-top sushi showcase from Shari Nori by Chef Han. An array of sweet treats took centerstage from Kokonut Dessert Bar and Paderia Bakehouse while Facial Lounge gifted VIPs with complimentary facials.
Editors Jennifer McLaughlin and Michael Dunn debuted the latest issues of LA Travel Magazine and OC Travel Magazine, the ultimate resource for the west coast’s savviest travelers among magazine contributors, city officials, media guests, and local Southern California residents.
Presented by BMW of Buena Park
The Endless Summer Bash at BMW of Buena Park pulled in the who’s who and included live performances by Jewels Entertainment. Tito’s Handmade Vodka and LaCreay’s Bartending Service sponsored the evenings hosted cocktails while DJ D-Dub stole the spotlight with beats from around the world. BiTe by Chef Ray, Simply Cheese & Yums & Descanso Restaurant showcased delicious small bites that guests enjoyed throughout the event. A wine tasting experience showcased Monserate Winery and New Zealand Wine Navigator. Insta-worthy backdrops created by Wonder Wall OC were a picture-perfect addition paired with summer themed décor details from tropical floral centerpieces to bright colored lounge set ups.
An array of sweet treats took centerstage from Cotton Candylicious, Cookie Lab OC and Little Macaron Bakeshow. Editors Jennifer McLaughlin and Michael Dunn debuted the latest issues of LA Travel Magazine and OC Travel Magazine, the ultimate resource for the west coasts savviest travelers among magazine contributors, city officials, media guests, and local Southern California residents.
Red Carpet Photos By: Michael
Event Photos By: KenPascual @_michaelpascual Alcazar @alcazark
Event Sponsors: BMW of Buena Park and Icelandic Glacial Water
This year’s Power of Pink event raised over $50K for Providence St. Jude Medical and took place at BMW of Buena Park. This selfless night of giving showcased strength and philanthropy by honoring breast cancer survivors and hospital staff members.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Three C’s Bartique and LaCreay’s Bartending Service sponsored the evenings hosted cocktails while DJ Leenie stole the spotlight by playing powerful female ballads that set the tone for an exciting evening. Love Swirls Cotton Candy, Je Taime Cherie Gourmet Dates & Wild Honey Boozy Popsicles sweetened the event which guests thoroughly enjoyed.
A wine tasting display from Avensole Winery and Boissett Collection had guests in awe as they tasted their way from local to worldly wines. Insta-worthy backdrops created by Balloon Ladies Co. were a picture-perfect addition paired with pops of pink themed décor and even set the stage for a group of empowering survivors to share their stories.
Little Rosie Flower Truck was a huge hit that provided not only great photo opps but beautiful make your own floral arrangements. The build your own bouquet option challenged guests to create something special they could take home with them.Event Photos By: Trynh Photography @trynhphoto
Presented by Valencia BMW
This year we kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month with a 50 Shades of Pink event which raised over $35K for City of Hope and took place at Valencia BMW. This inspiring evening showcased strength and philanthropy by honoring breast cancer survivors and hospital staff members. This luxurious night out in support of Breast Cancer Awareness brought together top local businesses and brands for a cause. Guests enjoyed decadent bites from Savory Roads Catering, Coyote Elote and Contemporary Catering paired with pink themed drinks, live entertainment, vibrant photo-ops, a silent auction, dancing and more.
The décor was a curated mix of everything pink all put together for our charity partner City of Hope. Tito’s Handmade Vodka and LaCreay’s Bartending Service sponsored the evenings hosted cocktails while DJ MOJOE stole the spotlight by playing powerful female ballads that set the tone for an exciting evening. PB and Jenny, Wild Waffles, Batter Bites & Sugar and Grace Bakeshop sweetened the event which guests thoroughly enjoyed.
Insta-worthy backdrops were a picture-perfect addition paired with pops of pink themed décor and even set the stage for a group of empowering survivors to share their stories.Event Photos By: Picture Perfect Photography @sherin_ppp
On November 12th we hosted our third annual Mixology Masters event at Porsche in Irvine, a signature event created to celebrate SoCal’s top mixologists. VIP guests were greeted with bubbly courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery as they entered the dealership and took photos at the insta-worthy step and repeat created by Balloon Ladies, Co.
Once inside the crowd enjoyed passed decadent hors d’oeuvres and small bites from local caterers including Savory Roads Catering, Iron Catering Crew and Pleasure Palate Life. An alcohol inspired wellness station provided sweet readings thanks to Spiritual Wellness while Basil Hayden and Mario’s Hard Espresso served up creative cocktails. In the VIP area guests enjoyed an array of specialty canned cocktails from Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, wine tasting with Monserate Winery, Italian delicacies from Chef Marco of Il Goloso and gourmet dates from Je Taime Cherie.
During the extravaganza guests had the opportunity to try a sample of each specialty cocktail presented by the competing mixologists which showcased Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Two Shores Gin, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum and Dos Caras Tequila while Icelandic Water kept guests hydrated. Selfie Here and Wonderwall OC provided picture perfect backdrops throughout the event for guests to secure the perfect selfie.
Great Gatsby themed music from DJ Leenie kept patrons entertained throughout the event while Kissed by Tulips provided beautiful floral decor for guests to enjoy at intimate seating areas.
To end the event guests were encouraged to nominate their favorite mixologists of the night. After tallying all the votes, Miguel Sandoval from Pasea in Huntington Beach took the win for Best Mixologist while Inga Tantisalidchai from OLEA in Newport Beach was awarded the win for Most Creative Cocktail.@michaelpascualmedia
If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for the traveler in your life, guess what—it’s travel! This year, wow your globe-trotting friends and loved ones with a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. With a lineup of unique travel experiences on the horizon for 2023, why not splurge on a sailing to the North Pole, a foraging excursion through the Brazilian rainforest, a Greenland heli-skiing expedition led by one of the world’s most decorated skiers, or a genealogical research trip to Ireland?
If you’re going all out on the gifts this year, you can’t do better than a cruise to the Geographic North Pole aboard PONANT’s Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker and the only passenger ship to take travelers to the mythical and remote region. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season beginning at $35,960 per person, PONANT’s North Pole sailings will take tourists to the farthest corners of the Northern Hemisphere, where floating pack ice, polar bear sightings, naturalist-led excursions, and scientific collaboration are part of the itinerary. The 16-day exploration begins in Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, then along the icy coast of Spitsbergen, the last stretch of land before the Arctic ice floe, and finally to the Geographic North Pole. Off-ship excursions range from outings in Zodiacs, ice fishing, and chances to participate in citizen science experiments like setting up a research station on an ice floe. While the landscapes in the Geographic North Pole are frost-bitten and extreme, the accommodations aboard Le Commandant Charcot are inviting and luxurious. The ship is designed to feel more like a yacht versus a
traditional cruise ship, with 123 staterooms and suites, chef-crafted meals designed by Alain Ducasse, a wellness area in partnership with Biologique Recherche, and extras like Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Kristal caviar, and Bordier butter.
Buying for the friend or family member who just completed their diving certification? Or the person who’s always watching BBC Earth? Gift them the experience of discovering the extraordinary aquatic world just off Cape Town’s coast, with renowned shark scientist Justin Blake as their guide. The ocean expedition will take travelers through the Cape Kelp Forests, where they’ll explore the same octopus gardens made famous in the 2020 Oscar-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher—plus, snorkel with friendly sharks, explore fascinating sea caves, and discover spectacular views of Cape Town both above and below the water’s surface. For sustenance, explorers will feast on a sustainably sourced seafood picnic created by chef Rudi Riebenberg of the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson hotel. Expect delicacies sourced by ABALOBI, a South African-based social enterprise that supports small-scale fishing communities.
While heli-skiing is a favorite pastime of the world’s most fearless adventurers, the sport is becoming more popular among a wider set of adventurers than ever before, opening up access to some of the world’s most pristine skiable terrain. In Greenland, the world’s largest island, 80% of the glaciated landscape has never been skied before—which means wide, treeless powdery expanses, snowfields flanking glacier-carved peaks, and conditions ranging from powder to corn. On April 23-30, 2023, US Olympic alpine ski racer Bode Miller—the most decorated male alpine skier in U.S. history— will join an EYOS on a “slope-to-sea” heliskiing adventure in Greenland aboard the Nansen Explorer. Solo travelers can book single cabins on the yacht, making the exclusive voyage more accessible than ever before. Miller will be joined by ski guide and two-time World Extreme Skiing Champion Chris Davenport and polar pioneer Doug Stoup. The expedition will take adventure lovers to the island of Maniitsoq on the western coast of Greenland, widely considered one of the most remote places in the world to heli-ski, where it’s possible to ski from slope to sea. The ship will cover 150 miles beyond the Arctic Circle to Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the largest icebergs in the world. Days will be filled with deep powder runs—some stretching more than a mile—on the narrow fjords down to the water’s edge. Bode Miller, Chris Davenport, Doug Stoup and EYOS’s expert team of internationally certified mountain guides will guide guests as they navigate crevasses and knife-edge ridge tops, helping them find the best runs for their ski levels. Originally designed as an Arctic research vessel, the 12-guest Nansen Explorer is specifically equipped for polar waters, with an ice-strengthened hull and a commercially certified heli deck that makes for the ideal launch pad for heli-skiing adventures. Because of the vessel’s ice-crushing power, it’s possible to reach Greenland in time for early spring.
Teens are notoriously difficult to buy for. Instead of splurging on a skateboard or the latest piece of tech, why not invest in an immersive and educational eco-adventure in Chile? andBeyond’s new WILDchild Eco-guide Challenge in Chile invites one adult and one teen for a four-night, conservation-focused itinerary, with thrilling excursions—horseback riding, catch-and-release fishing, rock-climbing, and much more—and the possibility to win certificates and prizes at a festive ceremony dinner. Teens will also work on a sustainability audit of the lodge and visit the local Mapuche people and a traditional ruka (Mapuche house).
We all have that one family member who is devoted to tracing the family lineage. If your family has Irish roots, consider gifting a trip to Ireland complete with a stay at a centuries-old castle and a session with a genealogist. Dromoland Castle’s in-house genealogist, Lorna Moloney, will uncover birth records, land deeds, baptisms, marriages, ship logs and other information that will shed light on your family’s history and expose little-known details. One client discovered they were related to the famous female pirate Grace O’Malley, and another discovered her great-great-grandfather had a tattoo of Queen Victoria on his bicep!
At UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil, inhouse doctor Jullian Hamamoto leads custom foraging expeditions through the area’s four different biomes (including the nearby Itapororoca beach, and the 50acre UXUA ROÇA farm) in search of rare and exotic fruits, roots, and herbs, ingredients, many of which are sacred to Brazil’s Indigeous Pataxó people. Postexcursion, Hamamoto will take guests to VIDA Lab, the on-site nutritional laboratory and medical kitchen, to demonstrate how to transform these ingredients into nutritious juices, essential oils, and even ice cream.
A 1920s Art Deco icon, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express evokes the golden age of travel with its restored vintage carriages, each of which formed part of the famous, historic trains of the 1920s and 1930s, including Le Train Bleu and the Rome Express. Crisscrossing through Europe, the journeys whisk travelers to some of Europe’s most beautiful and historic cities including London, Paris, Venice, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. The classic journey is the overnight route to and from London and Venice via Paris, through the Alps and across the Venetian lagoon. A particularly wonderous itinerary is the five-night journey between Paris and Istanbul, which is offered just once a year and includes overnight stops in Budapest and Bucharest and daytime halts in Sinaia and Varna for excursions. The next trip will take place September 1, 2023 (from 17,500 EUR per person). Also coming up for 2023 is the unveiling of eight new suites. Two original 1920s and 30s carriages, accommodating just four suites on each car, will be carefully restored, their design inspired by pastoral European landscapes and featuring plush fabrics and furnishings from renowned brands and makers like Majorelle, Dufrene, Leleu, Rousseau, and Lalique. The suites are portals to the golden day of train travel, with luxuries like private marble ensuite bathrooms and lounging areas that transform into either double or twin beds by night. Additional amenities might include personal 24-hour cabin stewards, complimentary kimonos and slippers, and free-flowing champagne.
New to Montana Ave. Chef Dan Smulovitz recently introduced a new crudo concept to the Santa Monica dining scene. Classic dishes include Hamachi, Lobster Bisque, Flounder Ceviche, and Lobster Roll Sliders, paired with a seasonal fall/ winter menu that includes Salmon Tartare, Shrimp Tostada, and Caviar. Artfully showcasing his experience both in the U.S. and abroad through his signature culinary style, Smulovitz remains true to his Mediterranean roots by producing simple, multiculturally inspired dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. With only an 80-square-foot kitchen his stamp is being made through minimal cooking and creative presentations. Savida’s new beverage program features locally sourced offerings like Juneshine Hard Kombucha and beer from Santa Monica Brew Works. They are also serving up organic wines and sake, in addition to a variety of cocktails from a house made Sangria to a Michelada.
Officially opened to the public on Huntington Beach’s lively Main Street this summer, Sandbar is the newest concept from Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group. The menu offers a variety of revamped Mexican food classics, vibrant handcrafted cocktails, and an extensive range of international tequilas and mezcals. Located just steps from the beach, Sandbar’s guests are transported to the glory days of 1970’s HB laid-back lifestyle, as the restaurant is adorned with a curated collection of vintage surf and strand photos, and surfboards. Quickly becoming a popular spot with the locals their menu serves up authentic items from Bocaditos to Ranchero Bowls. From the Isla Cortez Shrimp Tacos to Ensalada Fresca and of course the wide selection of Margaritas this is one stop along PCH you don’t want to miss.
Located in the 100 Pier 4 building in Boston’s bustling Seaport District, Ocean Prime combines striking interior design and an authentic east coast dining experience that is second to none. Created by renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, guests are greeted by a glass revolving door and a large-scale bar upon entering. This dark and moody environment awakens the senses and sets the tone for a dining experience that will take you on a classic culinary journey from the first bite to the very last. Starting with small plates, the Oysters on the Half Shell and White Truffle Caviar Deviled Eggs are two items that cannot be missed, bursting with tang, and literally melting in your mouth. The Ocean Roll on the sushi portion of the menu entices the senses with Tuna, Salmon, Hamachi, Avocado, and Chili Garlic Oil all wrapped up in an explosion of flavor! What would a menu of this stature be without an array of prime steaks? Thankfully the restaurant offers a variety of options ranging from Filet Mignon to Ribeye plus a few sauces and add-ons to complement like Black Truffle Butter and Maytag Blue Cheese Crust.
Less than 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles lies Temecula Valley Wine Country, the heart of California’s South Coast wine region. Rolling hills covered with vineyards, expansive views reaching 11,000-foot-high mountains, air swept by ocean breezes, and world-class wines make Temecula Valley Wine County a beautiful and easily accessible area to visit. In the past Temecula has been a hotspot for bachelorettes and a tipsy filled weekend of winery hopping but these days local winemakers are getting serious notoriety thanks to the numerous awards coming into the valley each year. This destination is tipping the scale and competing with not only Napa Valley but the historic wine regions of Tuscany and Bordeaux. You don’t need to take our word for it, come see for yourself and sip your way through the top wines of Temecula Valley.
When planning a visit to the area here are our top picks for an educational and fun-filled escape.
BOTTAIA Winery is a chic, modern destination winery and tasting room in Temecula Wine Country, inspired by Northern Italy. Here visitors can indulge in luxury and refinement with different interactive and immersive wines. The tasting rooms are designed to enhance the appreciation of their wines, and to introduce you to them in a calm and elegant environment, away from the noisy crowds that have become commonplace in almost every wine country. Private chaises and a poolside Café + Cocktail Bar at The Pool at BOTTAIA provide ultimate relaxation surrounded by vineyards.
Carter Estate Winery
Although Carter Estate and South Coast Winery share the same owners and management each location has its own unique style and approach to winemaking. Carter Estate focuses on a more premium and technical process with its wellknown “Methode Champenoise” production of their sparkling wines. Although true Champagne can only be produced in the region of Champagne, France Carter uses the same bottle fermented process you would find there, and the result has visitors coming in droves. Featuring the only sparkling wine in the Temecula Valley using “Methode Champenoise” guests are in for a real treat with a visit to the private tasting room where they can spend the day sipping on an exquisite collection of Carters esteemed wines.
2022 is the year that marks 25 years since owner Marcelo Doffo purchased a piece of land in Temecula Valley. He could not envision then that it would one day be home to one of the region’s premier wineries, but he was ultimately rewarded for the courage required to start a new business from nothing, the years of hard work in developing the vineyards and the winery, and the passion poured into every bottle of Doffo wines.
Now, as the second generation of Doffos run the daily operations of the winery, the third generation begins to get involved. Winemaking is, and has always been, the family’s primary endeavor and their philosophy is that bigger isn’t better, and instead have chosen to keep their operations small to deliver powerful wines, excellent customer service and outstanding Wine Club satisfaction.
Exquisite towering structures, majestic grounds and extraordinary dining make Fazeli Cellars a popular and memorable getaway, but it’s the wines that make it a world-class winery. Our Roots Run Deep is the motto of Fazeli’ Cellars where its acclaimed wine offerings celebrate rich ancient Persian traditions.
The wines itself reflect BJ Fazelli’s discriminating palate and over the top personality. The red wines are aged to perfection in French, Hungarian and American barrels before being bottled and the 10-12,000 cases of annual production are released to consistent demand. Careful consideration is also made when it comes to selecting the unique names of each wine and those names bear a meaningful connection to Fazeli’s Persian heritage.
Leoness Co-Founder Gary Winder began farming in Southern California in 1972 and founded Stage Ranch Farm Management with a focus on organic citrus and avocados. He quickly built a reputation in the valley for being a talented, high-quality
farmer. Joined in 1989 by Leoness Cellars’ Co-Founder Mike Rennie, they focused on the growth of their newly acquired vineyard operations.
The Founding Fathers of Temecula Valley Agriculture, including John Moramarco, encouraged Gary and Mike to expand their vineyard footprint which led to the sale of grapes to world famous wineries in Central and Northern California, resulting in the acquisition of 60 vineyard acres, owned and leased, and over 450 acres contracted. Plan your visit to the winery towards the end of your day in order to secure a dining reservation at the restaurant onsite. The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars has been voted the number one restaurant in Temecula so plan your meal accordingly as you don’t want to miss this local favorite.
At Masia de la Vinya Winery, you are encouraged to visit the trail less traveled for an intimate wine tasting experience. Located on the De Portola Wine Trail this ten-acre property is owned by Temecula residents Ken & Tina Smith and is a part of the Kentina Hospitality Group.
This boutique winery showcases a heavy Spanish influence in the wines and a Southern California ambiance, beautiful panoramic views, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. With an Old-World approach, winemaker Justin Knight is passionate about producing wines that are filled with tradition and simplicity, while incorporating new-age techniques to ensure great, high-quality wines. Justin’s story to becoming a winemaker is one of hard work, patience, and perseverance.
As a Temecula native, he began his journey to winemaking eight years ago, at Danza del Sol Winery. Starting in the tasting room, Justin quickly realized the cellar and vineyard was where he truly wanted to be.
Oak Mountain Winery
This family-owned winery on the De Portola Wine Trail is home to Southern California’s only mined wine caves. Most known for their raspberry and strawberry champagnes, the winery also boasts over 30 award winning wines. All wines offered at the winery are as unique as they are decadent. The smooth, varietal, and well-balanced attributes combined allow for a taste that is sure to procure a real sense of quality.
The winery grows classic warm weather Mediterranean varieties of grapes which include Mourvèdre, Viognier, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese Brunello. Also included are some unique wine varietals such as Tempranillo, Primativo and Pinotage.
Owners Steve and Valerie Andrews came by their wine heritage quite naturally.
Valerie’s father Ed Snyder, and her uncle Jerry Snyder were partners in some of California’s pioneer wine shops. In the late 70’s they were named one of the 10
best wine shops in Southern California as the stores carried some of the best boutique wines of the time, including Heitz, Schramsberg sparkling wine, Callaway, Hart, Chateau St. Jean, and Caymus. As fate would have it, Valerie slowly found her way into the wine business as well. Ed decided it would be invaluable for his daughter Val and son-in-law Steve to see the Santa Barbara wine country. He called in a few favors from friends at the wineries for V.I.P tours, to give them a comprehensive look at this budding wine community and in turn Wine makers were born that day.Robert Renzoni Vineyards
The history of winemaking in the Renzoni family dates to 1886, when Robert’s great grandfather Federico began working in the vineyards near Fano, a small Italian village on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. While working in the vineyards, Federico and his father began making wine for family and friends. Federico emigrated to America and after two years working as a commercial Fisherman in New London, Connecticut he decided to relocate to Buffalo, New York in 1914, where he entered the wine and cordial business with his brotherin-law, Romeo Battistoni. Unfortunately, that venture was short lived, as they were forced out of business by the advent of Prohibition in 1918.
After successfully operating a construction business in the intervening years, Federico and Romeo returned to a variant of their first business venture together when prohibition ended in 1933, this time in the form of a wine distributing business.
Robert’s grandfather, Domenic, joined them in 1934 and together they began importing wines from Italy and France. By this time, the American wine industry was resurgent; having recovered from Prohibition. It was at this time that the trio began doing business with a number of Italian immigrants who had settled in California. These immigrants would go on to become some of the more famous winemakers in California, and included August Sebastiani, Lorenzo Cella (Roma Wines) and Cesare Mondavi (Charles Krug).
After many years apart, the family was once again reunited in Temecula, when Robert and his parents each moved there in 2004. The muse of winemaking again beckoned. They purchased a beautiful property on De Portola Road in Temecula and supplemented the existing vineyards with additional plantings in 2006.
This Temecula jewel is a gathering place for corporate events, weddings, special events, extended family gatherings, and wine connoisseurs at large. Located just 7 miles east of the 1-15 freeway, the winery grounds and gardens are the pride and joy of the Wilson family. Long known as the “fun” winery along Winery Row, a bridge spans a meandering stream, dubbed “Wilson Creek”. The family legacy of Wilson Creek is alive in all aspects of this Tuscan-themed
get-away. Come for the fine wines. Come for exquisite food. Come for the entertainment and enjoyment of the good life.
Wiens Family Cellars
Located among the rolling hills and plateaus of the Temecula Valley, Wiens Family Cellars is a short drive from Los Angeles and San Diego and is a great place for you to get away from it all and enjoy wine country. Wiens Family Cellars produces a broad range of California, gold-medal winning, estate-farmed varietal wines for the enjoyment of people who appreciate a down-to-earth family lifestyle. The family is known for their “Big Reds” like the 2002 Merlot and 2003 Cabernet Reserve, as well as their rare White Port. You can visit their website for a complete list of current releases. Wiens Family Cellars is owned by four Wiens brothers and supported by 46 members of the extended family.
Where to Stay: Ponte Vineyard Inn
Located in the heart of Temecula Wine Country and surrounded by nearly 300 acres of mature vineyards and rolling hills. This 90-room boutique hotel offers elegant interiors, fine amenities, and a relaxing ambiance.
Wine Inspired Relaxation: Grapeseed Spa
To take your visit to the next level of relaxation check in to the Grape Seed Spa. Located at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa guests have full access to a day of pampering at this world-class facility. Access includes a 24-hour fitness center, heated outdoor pool, alfresco saltwater whirlpools, steam rooms, dry saunas, two tranquility rooms and a wide range of treatment rooms. Choose from an array of spa services from a Green Goddess Facial to a Deep Relief Back Treatment Massage, any treatment you choose is designed for pure bliss. Posttreatment take a stroll down the tranquil paths through the vineyard or relax poolside sipping on a glass of the resort’s signature wines which is included with your treatment.
The Best Way to Get Around: Sidecar Tours
One of the many things that makes Sidecar Tours unique is the modification of the standard motorcycle sidecar to accommodate two passengers. This accomplishment has led them to the World’s First and Only Tandem Sidecars. Their goal is to give winery goers a unique, fun, and intimate way to get to know the beautiful wine region with knowledgeable drivers. Sidecar Tours offers real-life knowledge, recommendations, event information, and history of the winery locations you’re about to visit.
It has been said that life in Southern California is hard to compete with on a worldwide scale due to its temperate Mediterranean climate, jaw dropping coastline and one of the only places in the world where you can surf and ski in the same day only a few hours apart. One of the major attractions for world travelers is the unending list of world class resorts that we have along the Southern California coast. From San Diego all the way to San Francisco you will find a long list of world-renowned brand name resorts offering the quintessential Californian escape. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is just that and now a culinary infusion escape awaits.
Situated high above the nearby coastline, the Park Hyatt Aviara offers amazing views of both the Batiquitos Lagoon as well as the shimmering blue Pacific Ocean below. One of the best overall views is sitting poolside as you gaze out into the surrounding Lagoon and the nature reserve as far as the eye can see. With over 130 species of birds and local indigenous wildlife the reserve serves as a calming addition to the parkland sanctuary. Surrounded by foliage in every direction you turn it is quite easy to feel like you are hundreds of miles away from the nearest city.
Whether you are visiting the property for business or pleasure your every need will be met by the staff. This Forbes Five Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort is home to an Arnold Palmer designed 18hole golf course, a 15,000 square foot world class spa and fitness center, multiple meeting and social gathering spaces, tennis courts as well as a 3.5-acre lawn with multiple activities offered such as bocce ball, badminton, croquet, sand volleyball and a basketball court.
All 327 rooms and suites on property come with private balconies with panoramic views of either the golf course or the Batiquitos Lagoon which adds another level of peace and serenity to your stay. Spacious and luxurious, with all the amenities you could want from a hotel stay, you will see it is quite easy to spend most of the day just relaxing in the privacy of your own room. Oversized marble baths make for the perfect afternoon escape after a round of golf, a workout at the fitness center or even better yet, a day of pampering at the spa.
This year the resort transitioned its dining program to send guests off to embark on an impressive culinary journey they won’t soon forget.
Book a table at the award-winning Ponto Lago which showcases a Baja-influenced menu, extensive tequila selection and stunning views. Two new offerings were recently introduced to elevate the restaurant as a premier dining destination in the region. The Chef’s Corner is an experience that puts guests right in the heart of the kitchen to watch the culinary team in action. Your dining journey starts with a personal phone call from the Chef as he takes time to learn about you and your flavor preferences which he will then use to craft a personalized menu designed to inspire and delight.
Another new addition is the Agave Tasting Experience where guests can “take flight” through Baja and explore the over 50 different tequila and mezcal selections. Indulge in a sweet, floral-inspired agave from the Highlands of Jalisco or savor the spicy, earthy, and herbaceous flavors produced in the Lowlands. The experience takes you on a journey of various tequila and mezcal offerings while you enjoy a tasting of two tequila and two mezcal selections of your choice.
For those looking to embrace the warmth of the sun the property offers an Ocean View Pool Deck with private cabana rentals perfect for a day of lounging. Grab a bite on a dedicated chaise lounge while dipping your toes in the resort pool with a cocktail in hand. Cabana rentals include a private shaded area with overhead fan, a 43” TV, personal fridge and charging outlets, a fruit bowl, water and a bottle of sparkling wine. Whether you spend part of your day away from the resort or just whisk your time soaking up all that is offered on property you are guaranteed a delicious experience at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa.
The city of Beverly Hills is world famous for its over-thetop establishments from fine dining and shopping to lavish wellness spas and opulent hotels, making it the ultimate luxurious getaway. From A-list celebrities to well-off visitors, tourists arrive in droves looking to sample the glitz and glamour they see on TV. For those ready to run up that credit card bill and pretend money ain’t a thang, here is the top spot to splurge.
The Maybourne is the perfect place to indulge like the rich and famous, offering a prime location just minutes away from everything that gives Beverly Hills its character! Merely walk footsteps away and you are in the limelight of some of the best shopping and restaurants in the world. Since the neighborhood demands a certain style level of luxury the property delivers exactly what the doctor ordered. Take a short stroll to the boutique-lined boulevard of Rodeo Drive, grab lunch at The Terrace overlooking the lawns of Beverly Canon Gardens and end with a selfie in front of the Beverly Hills Beautiful sign.
Upon arriving through the lobby doors, it is obvious why so many celebrities have set foot in this establishment, it’s the epitome of extravagant luxury. Inside the property, you are welcomed with first-class service from the moment you walk in the door. The high level of service and dedication in providing guests with the best amenities is apparent from the second you check in. Choose to stay in a Maybourne Terrace Suite for an elevated accommodation experience with an expansive terrace and views of Beverly Canon Gardens below. The off-white walls and natural décor elements inside each guest room create a warm ambiance, while a flat-screen TV, plush robes and complimentary soft drinks add an extra bit of fancy flair.
If you are planning on spending any length of time lounging around the hotel you will be pleasantly surprised by the
warmness of the staff and their undying devotion to making sure you have the best stay possible. Whether lounging at The Spa with a green juice or taking care of much-needed business the staff will make sure that your needs are met. If you decide you just can’t be away from your four-legged family members, take them with you. The property is pet-friendly so your canine pals will feel more than at home here, truth is they may not want to return home after they stay. Add in a Peloton session at the gym, 600-thread count linens in the rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, and experiences ranging from pasta making to mixology classes and you have a hotel stay that will leave you with great memories!
While the property’s rich history brings together locals and curious tourists alike, it’s perhaps the delectable dining at this hotel that keeps this location a prime hotspot for weekend crowds. The Maybourne Bar is a recommended favorite for an after-dinner drink while The Terrace is a great choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Can’t make it for brunch? Stop by with friends for their Afternoon Tea Menu showcasing handpicked delicacies by tea connoisseur, Henrietta Lovell of Rare Tea Co. Working hand in hand with the Executive Chef, Henrietta carefully selected teas to complement the food. This dining location is well worth the visit from the Amuse Bouche to the handmade pastries!
It can be said that there are two types of people in this world; those who love Las Vegas and those clearly who have not seen the transformation that has taken place over the past decade. Consisting of 83 casinos between the strip and downtown, it is no wonder the arts, entertainment and culinary division of this world-class city bring in over 32 million visitors annually. Simply put, if you have not visited Sin City within the past 3 years, there is a whole new level of excitement ready to welcome you. Here is our highlight reel of the latest and greatest, the newest and most notable attractions that make this city as fascinating as they come.
First off let’s start with the grandest attraction in both scale and overall wow factor. One of the newest tourist attractions, Area 15 is a stopover that cannot be missed on your next trip to Sin City. This immersive bunker-style retail and entertainment complex offers something for everyone with its largerthan-life art installations, virtual reality experiences, outdoor concerts, shopping, dining, axe throwing and yes even a zip-lining tour as you soar above the indoor retail space. As you enter Area 15 you are summoned to leave all your worries behind and pull up a seat at the Oddwood Bar which will perfectly set the tone for a day filled with unlimited imagination and creativity. As you sip your hand-crafted cocktail you marvel at the captivating tree of life that surrounds the bar, a mesmerizing concoction of metal and worn wood, this 23foot maple tree dances with color pulsing with life with each breath it takes. Each of the 5000 leaves lined with individually programmed LED lights seem to have a life of its own displaying every conceivable color in the universe, a breathtaking spectacle, and the ultimate place to start your adventure at AREA 15. Where to go next?
This is what makes AREA 15 so special, perhaps a virtual
reality experience soaring on Birdly, an avian experience that mimics all the feelings of flying. From the wind beneath your wings to a 3D flight experience over New York City to flying amongst dinosaurs 150 million years ago with Jurassic Flight, you will get a bird’s eye view of some of the coolest landscapes in the digital world. With your hair blown back, it’s now time to check out Wink World, a visually and sonically dynamic exhibit created by Chris Wink. Keeping with the theme of pushing the limits of light, color, sound and motion, guests enter portals of the infinite through six infinity rooms each displaying the unique thought process of Wink’s mind. With all this mind-stimulating entertainment, it is time to take a break and make your way to the signature dining experience
The Beast at AREA 15. A fresh take on a food hall in the belly of the dragon The Beast is the product of renowned chef, restaurateur, and four-time James Beard award winner Todd English. Featuring a menu bursting with innovation and creativity, guests can choose from a wide variety of culinary options that span the globe. Choose from fan favorites such as the Korean Corn Dog, Peanut Butter and Jelly Chicken Wings, Bang Bang Shrimp, or if you’re craving a Midwestern delight opt for the BBQ sampler. With your belly full it is time to move on to check out the highly acclaimed Omega Mart, an interactive, mind-bending immersive art experience that is second to none. Created by American arts company Meow Wolf, Omega Mart welcomes guests to an intensely theatrical world, entering through what seems like your everyday convenience store one soon realizes they have opened a portal to a multitude of themed rooms, a labyrinth of mind-altering stimulation to say the least. Showcasing contributions from more than 325 art, music, and digital creators The Omega Mart is a living, breathing organism that will likely leave a different impression every time you dare enter its lair.
The makers of the world-famous Cirque du Soleil have not only done it again but this folks may be their best show ever. Taking place where else other than New York New York, Mad Apple is a breath of fresh air that the Las Vegas entertainment scene has ever been so craving. A tantalizing concoction of everything New York, this show has been the talk of the town since its opening night May 26th, 2022. With over four decades of producing groundbreaking entertainment, it is a well known fact that the creators of Cirque du Soleil have mastered the art of bringing the highest level of human performance to the stage on a nightly basis. Celebrating the city that never sleeps guests are prompted to arrive early to get a bird’s eye view of pre-show magic, hand-crafted cocktails at the stunning stage bar as well as an array of eye-catching performers prepping to put on a show of a lifetime. When the curtains are pulled back get ready for an evening of electric energy, from live music belting out the greatest New York themed songs ever to jaw-dropping life threatening acts you will find it hard to sit still in your seat. Breaking up the adrenaline rushing action get ready to laugh uncontrollably with the genius of stand up comedy from one of the funniest comedians to ever grace the stage (Harrison Greenbaum). Witty banter with guests and gut busting jokes set the stage for the next round of live performances, an incredible collaboration of dance, contortion, high flying trapeze and ungodly strength makes this the pinnacle of all Cirque du Soleil shows on the Las Vegas strip!
We may be a little biased here but this may be just one of our favorite television programs of all time, I mean where else can you watch people live out their dreams performing death defying acts? Blockbuster television show America’s Got Talent can now be seen live at the Luxor hotel Wednesday through Sunday 6 pm and 830 pm showcasing some of the greatest live performers of all time. Not only will you get a chance to witness firsthand a wide list of your favorite golden buzzer winners but even past champions grace the stage nightly. Although there are no judges since this is not a part of the actual competition you will get the feeling of being live in Los Angeles for one of the televised tapings with red carpet photo ops, big screen visual aids, and a theater that is second to none. Emotions run high as your favorite performers take the stage, you will laugh, you will cry, you will hold your breath and yes you will scream your lungs out! With a rotating cast from years past the shock and awe factor steals the show at AGT Live, never knowing which incredible performance you will pay witness to is what makes this iconic Vegas show so captivating. See a wide list of past champions and judge’s favorites such as death defying husband and wife acrobatics Duo Transcend, comedian Preacher Lawson, mind reading duo The Clairvoyants, genius music savant Kodi Lee and much more.
Opening its doors this past June at the MGM Grand it is safe to say the Jonas family could not have asked for a better location. Occupying a massive corner of the MGM’s ground floor food court perfectly situated between Ayesha Curry’s new joint project with Chef Michael Mina (International Smoke) and the interactive Hunger Games exhibition Nellie’s Southern Kitchen is quickly becoming the talk of the town. Helmed
by Denise and Kevin Jonas, Sr. the parents of Kevin, Joe and Nick (the critically acclaimed Jonas Brothers) and Franklin – in partnership with TLI Bedrock LLC. Nellie’s welcomes guests to a seat at the Jonas family table with nightly live music, good ol Southern hospitality and of course classic comfort food that runs deep in their family roots. Honoring Kevin Sr’s Grandma Nellie, the Jonas family pays tribute to her with their second opening, the first which was opened in Belmont, North Carolina in 2016. From the moment you enter the premises, you are treated like family by each staff member, the type of service that is few and far between these days. Outstanding service, check, authentic Southern vibe and décor, check. Now the final test, the menu. Can Executive chef Mario Nichols recreate the family favorites that Kevin Sr grew up loving? Starting with the highly touted Southern Rolls the first impression was divine, to say the least. BBQ Chicken, mac & cheese and drunken collards rolled in a crispy fried egg roll served with their signature sauce for dipping, can you say Southern goodness all rolled into one? Trying all the fan favorites we opted for Nellie’s Chicken and Dumplins, Shrimp n grits and the famous Country Fried Steak, all of these items did not disappoint.
Leaving the best for last, Mayfair Supper Club just may take the cake for our all-time favorite establishment when it comes to fully experiencing the best that Las Vegas has to offer. A place where return guests are pretty much guaranteed it is no wonder Mayfair Supper Club has been touted as one of the world’s best new restaurants. Giving a new meaning to dinner and a show, overlooking the famous Bellagio fountains guests are sure to be impressed with the high class, swanky vibe that is filling every seat in the house day in and day out. From the moment you take your seat, you will be enamored by live performers gracing the stage just steps away, spectacular entertainment conceived through a collaboration between the team at No Ceilings Entertainment and Bellagio. The multiact production which has recently been renewed with new songs, new dance routines and of course new characters are getting rave reviews on a nightly basis. In the latest rendition, Claire Souliér appears as “Mae Montgomery,” a tribute to some of showbiz’s most iconic leading ladies such as Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and Lady Gaga. Jason Martinez stars as “Fred Lowell,” paying homage to Fred Astaire; the two together putting on a show for the ages. With a musical track featuring songs from the beloved jazz era to postmodern jukebox favorites, guests will surely be dancing in their seats.
Moving to The Mayfair’s themed dinner menu what you will discover is a finely tuned orchestra of high grade sushi, world class steaks, seafood and more. Supper Club classics include decadent dishes from Maine Lobster Thermidor to Garlic Crusted Prime Rib and a 36 oz Dry Age Tomahawk Steak. For those yearning to finish off the meal in style look no further than one of the decadent desserts. Featuring favorites from a table-side cherries jubilee to an edible chocolate and hazelnut cigar that arrives vanilla-smoked under a glass cloche.
Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, never stops growing and equally never stops evolving with its dazzling entertainment value that brings in over 32 million visitors a year. One of the newest tourist attractions Area 15 is a stopover that cannot be missed on your next trip to Sin City. This fully immersive entertainment and retail complex offers something for everyone with its rhythmic blend of virtual reality experiences, music festivals, shopping, mesmerizing night life, mind altering art installations, and so much more than meets the eye. There truly is the only thing you must bring with you when you spend the day at Area 15 (besides your wallet) and that my friends, is your imagination.
Now that your interest has peaked and your imagination is ready to be taken for a wild ride let us introduce you to our favorite stopover inside this mega-compound, The Lost Spirits Distillery Tour. First off, this attraction is far from your typical distillery tour, quite the opposite. This one-of-a-kind tasting experience comes from the twisted mind of Bryan Davis, a man that has dedicated his entire life to pushing the limits with every experiment he unveils, a man with a thrill-seeking attitude that was made for Sin City. From his first athome rum distillery at 16 to launching his own Absinthe line in Spain to running one of the top distilleries in the country, this man has done it all. His first major move in the U.S market came with the opening of a highly creative and modern distillery in Northern California back in 2010. Davis and his partner at the time were tasting the fruits of their labor and gaining fans left and right, so much so that they opened a new facility in Los Angeles where Lost Spirits Distillery came fully to life.
In 2015 Davis made a significant mark in the industry with his invention of the Thea One Reactor, a device that enabled him to drastically reduce the time needed to age alcohol, rumor has it this device uses Photodegradation at an intensity three times the sun to age the alcohol 10-20 years in just six days! This futuristic device and much more can be seen during your tour at the Lost Spirits Distillery in Las Vegas. The tour includes a vivid combination of live entertainment, unexpected science, and a tasting of five award-winning, ultra-high-proof rums filled with twists and turns around every corner. Upon arrival guests embark on their spirits journey through a dim-lit entryway where the story begins, a labyrinth of themed rooms awaits. From a multi-sensory submarine experience to an animatronic bird show to cirque performances, magicians, snake charmers, and more there is only one thing that can be said, welcome to the creative mind of Bryan Davis. If you are one of the lucky ones who get the pleasure of spending time with the master curator himself, you will find yourself enamored by the conversation before you. The passion and fervor of a man possessed with bringing entertainment to the masses are on full display with each themed room you step inside and experience.
We don’t want to give too much away as this imaginative experience is chock full of surprises and a bit hard to explain. It is certainly a tasting one should embrace firsthand and with an open mind to fully appreciate. This football-field-size immersive dream world is a must-visit on your next visit to Sin City.
Images Courtesy of Lost Spirits Distillery
Las Vegas Nevada is home to over 50 golf courses, each offering unique designs, challenges, and spectacular landscapes. In an area that is densely populated with world-class courses tourists and locals alike reap all the benefits of a dealer’s choice of unlimited incredible layouts to choose from. Two courses that stand atop the mountain, as Las Vegas’ “bests” are Cascata and Rio Secco which have been fan favorites since 1997 and 2000 respectively. Both owned by Vici Properties and designed by Rees Jones one can expect to see similarities in the overall challenge but take it from us, these two are unique works of art all on their own.
Cascata Golf Course originally opened in 2000 and has been in the conversation more than once as one of the finest designs in the world. Designed by legendary golf course architect Rees Jones, Cascata Golf Course is rated as being in the top five golf courses in the Las Vegas area year after year.
Although only 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Cascata Golf Course has the feeling that you are worlds away in pure seclusion, the ultimate golfers’ paradise. It all begins as you pull up to the private gate to enter the property, the windy drive eventually takes you to an oasis of unbridled luxury. Greeted by the utmost professional staff you will receive the highest level of customer service from the moment you pull up to the curb. With clubs set in your cart you are escorted to the clubhouse where you will meet your caddie, yes folks every golfer receives their own Tour-class caddie. The 37,000 square-foot clubhouse is as impressive as they come and aptly equipped with a full-service restaurant, bar, cigar lounge and first-class golf shop offering the latest and greatest of modern golf gear and stylish apparel. After a warmup at Cascata’s world-class practice facility, your caddie takes you to hole the first hole and the round of a lifetime begins. This par 72 course is as challenging as they come, with high winds, elevated tee boxes, undulated fairways eventually leading you to the slickest of greens, no easy shots here. Standing 3600 feet above the valley expect dramatic drops, tight fairways, and frequent windy conditions, all demanding the most out of your game. Although a constant challenge awaits you at every turn it is the panoramic, scenic beauty that will surely steal the show. Elevated tee boxes with carries sometimes over 200 yds of the unforgiving desert take a back seat to the most incredible juxtaposition of red rock against the greenest of manicured grass. With cascading canyon-style par 3’s offering up the most picturesque of backdrops beware of the water features surrounding your target consisting of lakes, streams and yes the ever-famous waterfalls flowing from the steep mountainside. Make sure to take a moment to fully enjoy the panoramic beauty before you, it is quite often that upon a gaze onto the surrounding red rock mountainside you may catch a glimpse of the infamous Big Horn Sheep, an incredible sight. Measuring in at 7137 yards from the back tees with four available tee boxes, Cascata will surely challenge even the lowest of handicaps. It is no wonder Cascata has not only been named as one of the best courses in Las Vegas but for some, it is one of the best in the world.
Designed by Rees Jones once again along with Keith Evans Rio Secco is another diamond in the “rough”. Originally opened in 1997 and then fully revamped in 2017 by the “U.S Open Doctor” Jones himself, this course quickly made its way up the rankings as one of the areas best in no time. Located roughly 15-20
minutes from the strip, Rio Secco offers a plethora of breathtaking vistas displaying the city’s bright lights in full glamour. The 18-hole championship golf course was originally designed mainly for guests staying at the Rio or Harrah’s Hotels but is now as popular a golf destination as any in the city. When you think about playing this Jones-designed beauty two things come to mind, stunning landscapes as far as the eye can see and one of the most challenging rounds you will ever play. Not for the faint of heart, this par 72 course stretches 7,313 yards with a slope of 153/75.0 and is cut out of the rugged high desert foothills making for some of the most challenging shots you will attempt. Although a difficult course to play from the championship tees Rio Secco has playability for all levels of golf but be warned you may want to take a lesson before you attempt this course for a first time player. Speaking of lessons what better place to learn the game than from the man himself Butch Harmon at the Butch Harmon Golf School located at the course. Tiger Wood’s swing coach from 1993 to 2004 Butch has worked with a multitude of other tour champions such as Phil Michelson, Ernie Els, Stewart Cink, Fred Couples, and Justin Leonard just to name a few. You may want to bring a few extra sleeves of balls when you attempt this beauty with several tee shots having to carry up to 200 yards of unforgivable desert as well as several water features spread throughout the course.
One of the signature holes that is worth mentioning is the par 4 sixth which plays only 409 yards from the tips but from an extremely elevated tee box. Jones has created what he calls a “natural cathedral hole.” that drives down to a narrow fairway that has been carved through a rock valley that will surely get your heart pumping a little faster, to say the least. The green being guarded by a huge wall of rock and surrounded by trouble on all sides are as daunting as they come. Another important factor to discuss is how to play well at Rio Secco and that is by getting to know the Dominant X-treme Bentgrass greens. Lightning fast like their brethren at Cascata it is a true test for even the most skilled of players.
Rio Secco Golf Club truly is the ultimate Las Vegas golf destination. A picture-perfect venue for weddings, social functions, corporate events, or charity golf tournaments, Rio Secco has it all. With one of the best views a golf course could ever ask for, a world-class golf school, excellent playability, a full-size driving range able to accommodate any group size, a chipping green, and a practice putting green, Rio Secco is the place for your next day of Las Vegas Golf.
When looking for a flight path direct to London the obvious choice is to fly one of our all-time favorite air carriers, the iconic Virgin Atlantic airlines. With seamless connections to more than 350 destinations, Virgin Atlantic has been Britain’s second-largest carrier, and for very good reason. With British billionaire Richard Branson at the helm Virgin Atlantic has always strived to create the best experience in the skies for their customers, no matter the class, the service is as good as it gets.
With one of the most modern and efficient fleets of airplanes in the industry, the choice was easy and upper class never looked so good. With roomy seats that lie flat into beds, premium food and beverage service plus an amenity kit including pajamas, a toothbrush, eye mask, and face cream, one thing is certain when you trust your cross-Atlantic flight path with Virgin Atlantic, you are in the best of hands.
With daily nonstop flights to London from Los Angeles, Virgin Atlantic is the airline of choice for our travels. With friendly and hospitable service, travelers can relax on their internationally bound journey with over 300 hours of on-demand entertainment all while enjoying complimentary curated wines in partnership with Londonbased fine wine merchant Jeroboams. We can certainly cheers to the Upper Class pods which offer extra comfy seats in a bubble of privacy. There is ample room to sprawl out and when you are ready
to call it a night the seats transform into fully flat beds with cotton pillows and a duvet to ensure you won’t be jetlagged upon arrival. As you touch down at Heathrow airport, the anticipation and excitement both grow knowing what lies ahead. You are about to pay a visit to one of the most magnificent cities in the world. The capital of the United Kingdom boasts so much to offer you could literally spend weeks here and not see everything. The best part about visiting this royal city is that you can always enjoy the usual historical sites such as Buckingham Palace, the soaring arches of the Westminster Abbey, the iconic Houses of Parliament and of course Elizabeth Tower (most know as Big Ben, although that’s only the clock portion), but there are always new tourist attractions, restaurants, and hotels popping up to try as well. Since London is such a melting pot of cultures there are endless opportunities; new dining experiences, cultural festivals, art galleries, museum exhibitions, sporting events, just to name a few. Due to the massiveness and diversity the city has to offer it is important that you plan out how to maximize your time in order to create the best travel experience.
After customs head straight to the Revivals lounge to re-invigorate and re-energize after the long flight. Freshen up with a power shower and then sit down and relax with a complimentary full English breakfast and coffee. You can catch up on emails or read the newspaper all while the housekeeping service team presses your clothes. Now that is what we call arriving in style.
Take a trip back in time to the majestic Great Fosters. A mere 10 miles from Heathrow airport and you will be transported to a country hotel that not only offers absolute seclusion but a stay at a historical landmark dating back to 1550 AD. At the time of its original build, Great Fosters was conveniently placed for its royal residents between Windsor and Hampton Court. Today it serves as the ideal spot for visiting both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace, as well as Windsor Great Park, Runnymede, Ascot and much more. Set on 50 acres of iconic gardens and stunning grounds framed on three sides by a Saxon moat, complete with topiary mazes, a fountain, many thought-provoking art sculptures, as well as a superb art-deco heated outdoor pool, this indeed stands alone as a one-ofa-kind property.
A perfect setting for the weary traveler, and a rare find so close to an international airport, Great Fosters truly is a diamond in the rough. Originally built as a hunting lodge, the building still bears evidence of the noblest of names that graced its halls such as Henry VIII who was thought to have used the house as a royal residence and hunting lodge. Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I spent time there as a child and later used it herself for hunting as well. Over the porch, you will find the coat of arms that is dated 1598 signifying the royal connection. The connection is even more evident in the Anne Boleyn Room, where Queen Anne Boleyn’s crest and royal symbols are used.
Walking the grounds, you pay witness to the fact that this is easily one of the finest arts and crafts gardens in Europe, designed to imitate the effect of a Persian rug, its intricate formal patterns surely make for some worldclass photo opportunities. At the center, you will find the Drake Sundial, which dates to 1589 and is owned by the descendants of Sir Francis Drake. The main formal gardens were laid out in the 1920s with a knot garden bounded by clipped yew hedges. An Oriental bridge draped with Wisteria (a purple flowering plant) crosses the moat and leads to a rose garden. Another one of the garden highlights is the Archery Pavilion, built in the 1920s and restored in 1998.
As one can imagine the accommodations at this iconic landmark are no less than magnificent. Choose from 56 individually styled bedrooms, each designed with indulgence and all the comforts of home in mind. All Great Foster’s bedrooms can be found spread across four buildings. The Main House, dating back to 1550, features a collection of beautiful historic suites and bedrooms, whilst The Cloisters and The Coach House, a short jaunt across a courtyard, offer an array of more contemporary suites and rooms. The newly restored Dower House features 2 historic suites brimming with wondrous tales from a time long ago as well as 2 splendid suites and 3 luxury king bedrooms, all rich in their original details bearing the decor of that time. From 17th-century Flemish tapestries adorning the walls to elaborately carved feature pieces dating back to Jacobean times, and Grade I Listed wall features, you will feel like Tudor royalty who once called Great Fosters home in any one of The Historic Suites.
At Great Fosters, expect the finest of modern English and European cuisine, created using only the freshest local ingredients. Whether you choose to dine in their gastronomic restaurant The Tudor Pass or opt for a more casual fare at The Estate Grill, prepare to embark on a culinary journey fit for a king or a queen. Recently re-opened for dinner service, the former iconic Tudor Room became the new and improved Tudor Pass. Under the tutelage of Executive Head Chef, Alex Payne guests will marvel at the level of excellence that is evident in each meal that is served.
This intimate dining affair with only seven tables is a new chapter in the storied history, a chapter that Chef Payne is taking full responsibility for creating lasting memories for his guests in the years to come. Alex’s signature tasting menu, which is available for both lunch and dinner is inspired by classic flavors and seasonal ingredients, artistically displayed using the most modern of techniques. Having worked under such culinary geniuses as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay Alex’s approach to serving classic English fare with a twist surely is a sight to behold.
Tucked between the gardens of the property, the heart of Utopia Retreat is the art-deco heated outdoor pool & hot tub, with treatment rooms spread throughout all awaiting guests seeking healing and respite. Locally acclaimed with gentle therapists who use carefully crafted skincare products the Utopia Retreat allows guests to enjoy one-ofa-kind treatments that will transport you to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean, using essential-oil packed products. Have a nice long soak in the hot tub, immerse yourself in the amazing health benefits while you find harmony and become one with nature. Treat your partner to a couples treatment in the Medieval Teepee or opt for the Ultimate Full Body Swedish Massage solo. Whichever you choose, you will leave this country hideaway feeling invigorated and whole again.
Once you have finished exploring London and it is time to say goodbye to the English countryside there is just one more level of luxury that one must succumb to back at Heathrow Airport. No trip to London would be complete without a visit to the Upper Class Lounge. Out of all the first class lounges we have had access to over the years, I think it’s safe to say this is our favorite. As your car pulls up for the departure home, the airline staff is ready and eager to greet you. As you are whisked through a private security channel straight to the Clubhouse, the celebrity treatment begins. No need to worry about getting a workout in before you head to the airport, as the Clubhouse offers Peloton bikes overlooking the runway. Sweat it out with Cody and then hit the showers to freshen up.
Once you’ve got your apple watch counts in for the day, head over to the bar and watch expert mixologists create unique and delicious cocktails. A must try is their signature Virgin Redhead which is created with Bubbly, berry liqueurs, Bombay Sapphire Gin and fresh raspberries. For those morning travelers the bar offers a delicious Espresso Martini and Bloody Mary, but for something a little different we recommend the Breakfast Martini which tastes like a lemon drop topped with a piece of toast.
Whatever time of day, the menu at the Clubhouse offers a selection of freshly cooked food, with a local flavor. From Small Plates that include BBQ Cauliflower Wings to Large Plates of Lucky Saint Beer Battered Fish & Chips you won’t be disappointed.
While we certainly could spend hours in the Clubhouse, our time seemed to fly so quickly, and the departure gates were calling. Before rushing off don’t forget to grab a few selfies at the Instagramable photo opps. Leaving the Clubhouse can be a feat but knowing a glass of champagne is waiting for you once you board the flight does make it a bit easier to say goodbye.
Every savvy traveler knows this is the best time of year to visit Europe due to lesser crowds, lower prices and yes, the beaches are virtually empty! With so many incredible countries how does one choose the idyllic holiday escape? For us this year the choice was easy, the Mediterranean waters of Greece were calling our name. Visualizing the bougainvillea draped cliffs, world class sunsets, fine wines and mouth watering Greek food, say no more, our bags were packed and ready to fly!
Greece’s largest Island Crete, a tapestry of sun drenched beaches, ancient treasures, scenic landscapes all woven through vibrant cities and picturesque villages, a place that could easily be a vacation all in its own. Although not one of the ever popular Cyclades islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos or Paros, Crete offers a blend of breathtaking landscapes, ancient archaeological sites, quaint little towns, mountainous hiking and an incredible food and wine culture. Although sadly only being graced with 48 hours in this wondrous ancient island we certainly made the best of the time we had.
I think most can agree every great vacation starts with the finest of accommodations, Now if those accommodations happen to be one of the top resorts in all of Greece, well expect nothing less than the highest level of hospitality set in the one of the most idyllic locations on the island of Crete. Abaton Island Resort & Spa, set on Crete’s northern coastline is conveniently located close to the lively town of Hersonissos, a vibrant town filled with night life, beach-side bars, restaurant and taverns. Although close to such a booming harbor town the real reason most guests flock to Abaton is for what it truly stands for, unrivaled seclusion bathed in luxury. Situated along a cliff seemingly melting into the shimmering, blue waters of the Aegean, this low lying, ultra-modern resort sits boldly against a long rocky shoreline. Opened in April 2018 and designed by Konstantinos Kaloutsakis, father of the hotel’s current owner Georgios Kaloutsakis the minimalist yet sophisticated layout is truly a spectacle that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. Upon entering the hotel the light filled hill top lobby gives way to enormous glass pane windows effortlessly displaying the beauty of the azure waters below. Leaving the lobby you make your way down a cascading, long wooden stairway as if entering the steps to
the grand ballroom of the famed Titanic. A tour of the property is as awe inspiring as they come, the simplistic yet modern touches found all through the hotel brings a sense of peace and holistic wellness. White marble floors lead you to a number of thought provoking art installments throughout the hotel eventually inviting you outdoors to marvel in the surrounding beauty of the Abaton grounds. A stunning infinity pool as well as a private sandy beach with a jagged rocky cove entice you to fully immerse yourself in the scenic landscape before you. A place where rest and relaxation are at the utmost of importance guests have many options of ways to spend their day in utter bliss. For those looking for more of an elevated beach club experience head over to the world renowned Buddha Bar on property for an afternoon or evening filled with Asian fusion cuisine, handcrafted cocktails, international DJs and live events.
The crystal blue waters of the Aegean give way to a staggering backdrop for 152 exclusively-designed rooms, suites and villas. With a total of 14 different room types for guests to choose from Abaton Island Resort & Spa offers a multitude of open plan living quarters with over-sized outdoor spaces that provide the utmost in comfort, luxury and seclusion. With well over half of the room options including their own private pools guests can opt to take in the awe inspiring sunsets and gorgeous skyline views from the comfort of their own personal sanctuary.
Five dining options are available on property serving only the finest of ingredients spanning the globe with Abaton’s wide spanned culinary outreach. Guests can opt from local Cretan fare at Elemes, the finest cuts of meat at WOW Steakhouse, classic seafood dishes at Bony Fish restaurant, a diverse menu of international flavors at F-Zin Ivy League restaurant or Asian fusion at the aforementioned Buddha Bar Beach Club. A trio of skilled young chefs lead Abaton’s prominent food scene. Executive Chef Giorgos Christoforides, Executive Sous Chef Giorgos Chronakis and Executive Pastry Chef Michalis Giannoulis present the most imaginative of food pairings and award-winning dishes. Using fresh, local ingredients, together they create exquisite local Cretan and international fare for discerning diners.
It can be said that hiring a private tour guide can truly augment your overall experience when visiting an exotic land. A personalized tour of unexplored streets, historical landmarks, architectural structures, and yes of course, the food; for us this truly is the only way to see a new city. What makes a good tour guide? At Crete Private guide you will find exactly what defines this question. Firstly made up of a group of local passionate guides is
an absolute must, it clearly comes across in your experience when a guide not only loves their job but the area they are presenting before you. Secondly the fact that your guide pays attention to how you would like to spend your time throughout the entire touring process, what are your true interests and sticking to that plan is what makes the best tour possible. Crete Private Guide offers a number of recommended tours to take the guesswork out of the equation for its customers, whatever your interests are, likely there is a tour perfectly suited to fit your needs. From the Spirit of Crete which is a nature, mountain and villages private tour to the Drops of Crete for a wine, beer and olive oil tasting private tour all the way to the Pathway to Tranquility Tour for 4X4 off road exploration and private beach swimming, there truly is something for every interest. For our tour we chose the The 4 Winds Private tour of the town of Chania which is arguably one of Crete’s greatest attractions. Taken through the picturesque narrow streets of this historic city we had the chance to talk with locals, taste the specialties of the area, different local drinks and get a first hand view of what truly made Chania such a unique place to visit. We traveled through time and history of the original cultural parts of the city (Ottoman, Venetian, Egyptian, Jewish) where we visited various places of interest such as temples, churches, shops and local sites, through our own observation and expert guidance we genuinely felt our time spent was exactly what we were looking for.
One of the highlights of the Chania tour was a visit to Miden Agan Premium Wine Cellar. A leading business in all things wine since 2001 Miden Agan has been recognized both locally and internationally from such media outlets as Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, National Geographic as well as the BBC.
This family owned business has been thriving for decades due to the unbridled passion for not just producing and selling the finest of wines but more importantly bringing education to the island of Crete and beyond. By organizing conventions on wine and presenting it as a cultural product they have made great progress in putting a spotlight on the island of Crete for its excellent wine culture. One of the ways Miden Agan Premium Wine Cellar has brought recognition to the wines of Crete is through its annual Oinokritika Cretan Wine Exhibition. Started in 2007 this Pancretan cultural event showcases local wineries from all over the island of Crete bringing together local growers, producers and those interested in getting into viticulture in general. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones to have the chance to attend the local Oinokritika event make sure to stop by their store in the heart of downtown Chania; a place where you can not only try a multitude of the island’s best wines but also receive some incredible information on how to decipher a wine’s region, year and varietal as well as how to perfectly pair each wine with food.
For the ultimate authentic Cretan dining experience look no further than Salis restaurant. Located in the famed Chania harbor this iconic landmark has been serving traditional Greek cuisine made with a twist highlighting the finest of local farm to table ingredients. At Salis restaurant you will experience the best representation of Crete like no other location on the island, a place where creativity and sustainability are at the forefront, this is Salis in a nutshell. Growing almost all their own produce and paying close attention to organic, natural and sustainable ingredients
customers are guaranteed the freshest and most flavor bursting meals imaginable.
With a menu that is highly influenced by the varying seasons of Crete guests can expect a menu that is ever changing, yet still the most perfect representation of the finest of ingredients available at that time. Co-owner Afshin Molavi, a man wearing many hats is not only involved in the farming process but also an experienced sommelier and one of the most creative chefs in the kitchen we have ever come across. Utilizing every possible ingredient in his kitchen this culinary genius serves up some of the most incredible creative dishes you will ever have the experience of tasting. For all lovers of the sea you have definitely come to the right place. The freshest of seafood hand delivered right off the docks allows for some of the finest creations involving locally caught octopus, sea bass, corbfish and many other delicacies from the surrounding Mediterranean waters. For those craving a mouth watering local Cretan pasta dish the Carbonara with Mini Pennes is an absolute must. Fresh village eggs, wild boar sausage and bacon, a dish simple yet made to perfection. Pairing these delectable dishes with one of the most varied wine lists on the island of Crete, Molavi along with head Sommelier Grigoris Rappos and Aimilios Andrei guarantee each and every customer a meal of a lifetime.
Looking for fine dining in one of the most serene settings within the entire island of Crete? Look no further than La Bouillabaise at Minos Beach Art Hotel. This iconic property sits on the edge of Mirabello Bay in Agios Nikolaos and is arguably one of the most magical locations to experience the finest of dining under the stars. Making your way through the luxuriously designed property you pay close attention to the ease of perfection seamlessly blending elements of art and nature. One of Crete’s finest hotel properties since 1963 Minos Beach Art Hotel is a spattering of bungalows and villas with private pools overlooking the most stunning of ocean views and two private white sand beaches.
As you walk through a small piece of the 2.5 kms of Crete’s rugged coastline the overall beauty of Minos Beach Art Hotel is suddenly interrupted by the most intoxicating of aromas, it then becomes clear, you have arrived at La Bouillabaisse. Sitting at your seaside table the shimmering waters demand your attention with a dazzling display of marine life swimming before you as the sun sets in the distance. With the most idyllic of settings before you an esteemed team of La Bouillabaise’s best offers the highest level of customer service setting up for a meal for the ages. What sets apart the overall experience at La Bouillabaise is the rare combination of traditional Cretan cuisine prepared in the most modern, artistic presentation in a setting that is second to none. The team of chefs enjoy the art of slow food and the ritual of cooking using the freshest of locally sourced ingredients showcasing the most authentic Cretan cuisine with a twist. With an introduction to Head Chef Kryiakos Mylonas it becomes instantly clear why La Bouillabaisse has been deemed as one of the top dining establishments on the island.
Born in Germany Chef Kyriakos started his culinary journey at the young age of 16 where he worked as an assistant in fine dining restaurants all throughout his region. Through dedicated education and experience in the kitchen he started to participate in culinary competitions and after a few years was set apart as one of the most distinguished chefs in his home country of Germany. After many
years working in Michelin starred restaurants in Germany and the UK he eventually found himself in his new home of Crete. Upon the highest of recommendations the true way to experience the culinary genius that is Chef Kyriakos is through his Degustation Menu which showcases the blending of traditional Cretan cuisine served with a flair. Starting off with Amberjack with cucumber, gin and cedar seed, the lightest yet most flavorful way to start a meal, next moving to the Scallops St Jacques served with green peas, Shimeji mushrooms, lemon leaves and pumpkin, artistic perfection to a tee.
Moving forward Langoustines served over passion fruit and Shiso leaves stuffed with rice set the stage for arguably one of the most flavorful fish dishes ever prepared. Turbot with celery root, black truffle and champagne which absolutely melts in the mouth, a rare seafood dish that could be a meal all in its own. Wagyu beef with asparagus, morel mushrooms, black garlic give way to the grand finale Mochi Choco cake with Macadamia praline and nutmeg ice cream. It is easy to see why Chef Kyriakos is among one of the most awarded chefs on the island of Crete, straight to the point La Bouillabaisse is a true masterpiece.
Arguably the most recognized of all the Greek Islands, Santorini stands alone in its pure stature, a sight that needs to be seen in person to be fully understood and easily one of the most magnificent landmarks on this entire planet. Arriving by high speed ferry the view from the ocean is as awe inspiring as they come, multicolored cliffs soaring out of the most striking volcanic crater topped by whitewashed buildings, as surreal a view as the mind can fathom. As you make your way up the winding narrow roads you gaze below at the surrounding blue waters which seem miles away, you are about to experience one of the most incredible places in the world.
Although world renowned for its cliff-side hotels and restaurants there truly is so much more to the island of Santorini. A multitude of villages, 20 to be exact, make up this magnificent volcanic rock structure each with its own character, personality and historical value. In the village of Mesaria you will find NOŪS Santorini, one of the newest resorts on the island which in its short lifespan has created quite the impact on the ever evolving hotel scene.
A part of Yes! Hotels Group NOŪS blends Santorini’s history (which dates back to more than 3000 years ago) with modernism and contemporary flair. Designed by Divercity Architects, in collaboration with MplusM Architects, the resort’s concept draws inspiration from the geometric shapes of Santorini’s architecture and was then presented in the most modern of terms. With the guests overall experience at the forefront this property was intended to serve as the ultimate Grecian retreat combining luxury, tranquility and all the comforts of a five star hotel. Centrally located only five minutes from Santorini International’ Airport and a ten minute shuttle from the Athinios Ferry Port guests revel in the convenience and ease of the hotels geographical position. A mere 3 kms to Fira, the island’s capital, 17 kms to the picturesque village of Oia, 11 kms to the Red sand beach and 2.7 kms to Monolithos black sand beach there truly isn’t a better spot to call home during your time on Santorini.
Upon check in a gracious and well trained staff will be at your
beckon call to ensure the best possible experience while not only on property but also your time spent touring the island. With bags whisked away you find yourself drawn to the hotel pool, an oasis in itself. Seemingly to go on forever set against the crystal blue Mediterranean sky you instantly envision a day spent poolside basking in the sun.
Making your way to your room you pay notice to the lush, sloped gardens that give way to luxuriously designed bungalows spread throughout the property each designed with maximum comfort, style and privacy in mind. 121 rooms, bungalows and suites contemporary in design come fully equipped with all the modern amenities one should expect from a five star luxury property. Several room types are offered ranging from standard or superior garden rooms to pool bungalows all the way to deluxe pool suites each adding its own style, character and level of seclusion. To add to the Cycladic themed architectural design all of the resort’s common areas and rooms include volcanic-inspired art works created by young Greek artists. Modern design icons of significant designers such as Doshi & Levien, Konstantin Grcic and Faye Toogood are also present throughout the grounds.
Dining at the resort’s signature restaurant is the definition of minimalist simplicity at its finest. Dine indoor or poolside enjoying the freshest of local ingredients that the island of Santorini offers. The team of chefs use locally sourced organic produce combined with the best of ingredients from all over Greece to create a menu that guarantees utmost guest satisfaction. The most tasteful, flavor bursting organic produce grown in a volcanic setting makes for mouth watering salads, pastas, seafood dishes and a variety of other traditional Greek recipes. Another one of the organic fruits that can be tasted at NOŪS is the ever famous Santorini grape. Because of zero annual rainfall and its overall struggle to survive in the volcanic setting the grapes on the island yield some of the most dense, flavorful taste ever imagined. Getting their moisture from the sea mist and high mineral content from the volcanic rock this makes for some of the finest world-class wines that can be found in the resort’s wine cellar. A wine tasting experience at NOŪS is truly a one of a kind experience learning the incredible viticulture that can be found nowhere else like this on planet earth.
For those looking for the ultimate pampering experience look no further than the resort’s five star spa. Dedicated to the principles of ‘Ef Zin’ the Greek principle of well-being, this spa experience radiates a mind, body and soul approach to self-care. Here you will absorb the benefits of spa treatments using superior natural products that offer the therapeutic qualities of gifts of the earth. Featuring 5 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, cold tank, gym and outdoor yoga area guests can spend the day in the highest level of relaxation and rejuvenation. In addition, a Vitamin Bar operates in the spa area – a spot where guests can find fresh salads and juices, smoothies and local Santorini based products.
NOŪS Santorini, a new hotel concept catering to those who want the most out of their time spent on one of the world’s most iconic islands. Contemporary design blended with the tradition of what makes Santorini so unique all served up in the highest level of modern luxury is what sets this hotel apart.
Deemed as the best restaurant in all of Santorini Metaxi Mas is a dining experience that absolutely cannot be missed. Upon
researching the internet to read the reviews it seemed one restaurant kept coming up in every critics top five, and yes you guessed it the one and only, Metaxi Mas. Opened in 2009 by brothers Dimitri and Kosta Chrysoherakis, this family owned business has been serving tourists and locals alike with the most authentic Cretan and Santorinian cuisine that is simply, to die for. Riding our scooters into the secluded village of Exo Gonia in south central Santorini we must admit finding this deemed hot spot was not as easy as we would imagine. Located down the steps from the church of Agios Charlambos, a monastery built in 1705, Metaxi Mas truly is a hidden gem. Not accepting reservations too far in advance guests may find themselves with a short wait but fear not the staff at the restaurant make sure their guests feel right at home. It has been said that those who wait will frequently be served a welcome offering, a tray of meze with cheese, olives, bread, and raki, the symbol of Cretan culture and hospitality. Metaxy Mas which literally translates to “between us” is exactly what you will feel as you are seated at your table with a view of the crystal blue Aegean Sea below. Good conversation, no time constraints, incredible authentic cuisine made from the freshest local ingredients, this is what you will find during your time spent at Santorini’s best restaurant. With a menu that is bursting with flavor it truly can be difficult to decide which items to choose with so many tantalizing options before you. With the understanding that Santorini is world renowned for some of the most flavor packed vegetables and fruits we decided to try several of the salads on the menu, The Cretan, The Pomegranate and The Rocket Salad, all highlighting the freshest of flavor bursting Santorini cherry tomatoes, Cretan Olive Oil, cucumbers, olives, feta, local honey, balsamic, oranges and more. An order of the Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) was arguably one of the best appetizers ever tasted with most incredible flavor profile, sprinkled with fresh herbs and the most high quality olive oil one can imagine. Moving to the main courses the decision to go Greek style seemed inevitable, a sampling of the restaurant’s best dishes were heading our way. The chef selection consisted of Spicy Fried Pork, sautéed pork morsels finished with Assyrtiko Santorini wine, Lamb with Yogurt sauce flavored with spearmint and coriander, accompanied with aromatic bulgur, Grilled beef filet with Vinsanto sauce served with fresh mushrooms, asparagus and baby potatoes sautéed with fresh thyme. What would a proper Grecian feast be without a tasting of the famed local seafood you ask? Chef was certain to make sure we did not leave without trying two of his most requested dishes, the Shrimps Saganaki finished with ouzo, tomato sauce, fennel and feta cheese as well as the house specialty the Grilled Octopus with fresh oregano, balsamic, Cretan green olive oil, served with Santorinian fava. Two words can easily describe this Santorini family owned business, absolute perfection!
May 2018, the island of Santorini welcomes a brand new luxury property, one that brings a level of hospitality that is second to none, one with stunning sunset and dazzling ocean views for all of its 49 suites, one that showcases the best that Santorini has to offer, this property is Canaves Oia Epitome. Perched above the picturesque fishing town of Ammoudi this world-class hotel is home to one of the best vantage points on the entire island to catch the most awe inspiring sunsets on this planet. This past summer the property debuted its latest addition, a poolside restaurant that is quickly becoming the talk of the island. Omnia restaurant, a place where guests can fully immerse themselves in the ultimate Aegean cinematic performance while sampling a menu that highlights the best seafood available on Santorini. The evening kicks off sipping champagne while you stretch your legs on one of the pool’s sunbeds, the quintessential spot to catch the fiery red sun as its drops across the horizon. With a toast to one of the most
magnificent viewpoints you will ever pay witness to you make your way back to your table for a meal to remember. Chef Tasos Stefatos has curated a menu filled with the most succulent fresh seafood from the surrounding Archipelago, a menu that is encouraged to be shared, filled with the highest quality of local fish, mollusks and more. From fresh salads such as the Lobster with watercress, beetroot and citrus fruit to Thesauri Greek Caviar Selection Beluga, Oysters Rockefeller to Sardines Cured with Lemon and Oregano, all highlighting a wide variety of delectable treats from the local Santorini waters. For more substantial menu items make sure to try the Kolopia pie with Prawns and Spinach, the Saganaki Shrimp Fondue or the Moussaka with Langoustine, all specialties that Chef Tasos has created from his multi-cultural culinary influences he has gained through his worldly travels.
Another one of Santorini’s most famed restaurants, Roka, a place where you can find locals enjoying the freshest of dishes, the most true sign of an authentic hotspot. Only a minute’s stroll from the famed caldera main walk way you will find yourself entering a labyrinth of a 1912 building. Warm colors, bougainvillea draped stoned walls invite guests into a courtyard filled with trees and flowers, Roka’s hidden and private setting with each and every table filled tells you something special is happening here. Enjoy stunning views on the balcony or on the small patio at the back of the restaurant where wonderful sea views of the northwest side of the island can be captured. The pleasant atmosphere is as welcoming as it comes, sipping local Greek wines from the Argyros Estate, sampling local olives, breads and cheese, this truly is a local hideaway. With Head Chef Gregory Karagiannis at the helm a wealth of experience is showcased through his menu, sticking to a theme of less is more this esteemed chef is surely here to impress.
Highlighted plates on the menu include the Roka Salad which is comprised of Greek vegetables, wild rocket, organic herbs, quinoa, caramelized fruit, cranberry, fresh fruit in a blackberry sauce, Traditional local Fava Beans with sauteed Crayfish tails, White Aubergine Cannelloni filled with goat cheese crusted with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs and Risotto with mushrooms, black truffle and spicy pecorino. Small and off the beaten path yet everything one could desire from an authentic Santorini dining experience, Roka should definitely be on your list of restaurants to visit!
In a day where competition is as fierce as ever, how does a hotel brand stand out from the crowd? Kimpton La Peer in West Hollywood has found this answer through its philanthropy efforts and more and we would like to congratulate them by putting a spotlight on this incredible hotel.
Opening its doors on February 27, 2018, La Peer became the first hotel in the West Hollywood Design District and has been making itself very well known for all the right reasons ever since. Situated in the heart of West Hollywood and within walking distance of some of the most iconic bars, restaurants, and shops that line Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, the hotel’s location is as good as it gets. Uberchic and ever so inviting, La Peer boasts more than 8,000 square feet, and showcases 105 beautifully designed guest rooms and suites, a courtyard pool, and a rooftop event space. Mastermind L.A.-based Icelandic designer Gulla Jónsdóttir was brought in to leave her mark on the interior design of the hotel and the result is as they say, priceless. A thoughtful mix of natural materials (concrete, leather walls, white oak flooring) and custom furnishings, such as six-foot light sconces in the lobby make for the most inviting of atmospheres. Jónsdóttir also collaborated with artists, poets, and photographers, personally selecting each work on display to create the perfect masterpiece. Outside, olive trees and a vertical garden give the pool area the feeling of ultimate seclusion, an oasis tucked away inside one of the busiest cities in the world.
Locals and tourists alike have been flocking to Issima to try Executive Chef Michael Fiorelli’s menu, one that honors the “on holiday” experience by staying true to the ingredients and styles of preparation found in our favorite beachside getaways. The name Issima comes from “Bellissima!” the Italian translation for extremely beautiful describes the setting of the restaurant concept created by the minds behind Olivetta and The Draycott. Derived from their love of a European Beach Holiday, Issima brings the style, beauty and exquisite flavors of the Mediterranean coastline to West Hollywood’s La Peer Hotel. Issima boasts three distinct areas, the interior restaurant which offers lavish comfort, poolside dining under the stars, or taking in the iconic views of the Hollywood Hills from the private rooftop.
So besides offering the most opulent hotel with a multitude of worldclass features and amenities how else does Kimpton La Peer West Hollywood stand out? Well, the most important of them all is the philanthropic efforts that they’ve been focusing on since opening their doors. When the pandemic shutdown devastated Los Angeles businesses, Nick Rimedio, the general manager of La Peer, stepped in to help wherever he could. Through much thought, Rimedio came up with the plan to create a series of unique pop-ups by opening their property in West Hollywood’s Design District to struggling local companies. Since the hotel was fortunate to have several different spaces suitable for pop-ups of many kinds, they did everything they could to have local businesses open up to try to make ends meet. Another philanthropic effort to highlight is La Peer was the first hotel in West Hollywood’s Design District to partner up with nonprofit Project Angel Food for a year-long collaboration of art exhibits, events and fundraisers to help feed hungry families. The partnership offers pop-up gallery shows on-site as well as helping with events and volunteer efforts that fundraise to assist Project Angel Food in continuing to extend a much needed helping hand across Los Angeles.
Finally, La Peer has always been a pet-friendly boutique hotel where guests are encouraged to bring their furry, feathery, or even scaly family members to enjoy their time spent basking in the LA sunshine! What stands out is the fact that no matter what the size or the breed, if they can fit in the elevator they are welcomed with open arms, all at no extra charge. If that wasn’t incredible enough the hotel has a Director of Pet Relations Chandler, (an adorable rescue pup) who personally greets guests in the lobby, oversees quality control of the
hotel’s pet amenities as well as makes appearances at the nightly wine hours that Kimpton is so famous for. As of recent La Peer has launched new partnerships that have solidified its pet culture to a new level of hospitality setting them further apart from surrounding hotels in the LA area. La Peer Hotel is participating in Kimpton’s recently announced partnership with Wag! a mobile-first platform that connects pet parents with dog walking and drop-in services. Through 2022, all La Peer guests will have access to a complimentary month of Wag! Premium with every stay, which includes 10% off every pet service booked, waived booking fees and 24/7 access to vet advice. Another pet-friendly feature to be highlighted is “It’s a pet’s life” at Kimpton La Peer Hotel. This package includes a pet bed, bowl, and treats, a $50 Food and Beverage stay credit and a complimentary 30-day Wag Premium membership for pet walking services.
In addition to those new offerings, several other pet amenities and recommendations for local groomers, dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants and more can be found at the hotel. Highlights include a nightly wine reception where pets are welcome to join the party, and pet portraiture by David Heise – a gallery wall of La Peer’s lifelong furry friends, and the opportunity for guests to commission their pet’s portrait while making a 10% donation to Paws LA.
La Peer West Hollywood is a hotel that has set itself apart by more than simply caring, it is the fact that they go way above the standard of hospitality that has become expected today that helps them rise above the competition. Starting with an idyllic location, unbridled style, and luxury with the most modern of amenities and ending with a heart of gold and a willingness to help others, this truly is the secret to longlasting success!
How to keep your pup cool at any location
With warm temperatures in full effect heat waves and humid climates among us, there are plenty of days that even reach as high as 115 degrees! Of course, these temperatures are rare to most unless you live in a desert climate like Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Arizona but let’s be honest it seems temperatures globally are rising year after year. What does this mean if you have pets exposed to this type of weather, sadly it does not bode well for our furry little friends. With extremely hot temperatures our pets are limited to outdoor exercise and can NEVER be left in an unattended vehicle. In general, during the summer months, they may even need to spend most of their time indoors with proper air conditioning to avoid unwanted health conditions such as heat stroke. For those unaware of heat stroke, it is a term commonly used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. If a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F, it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. Body temperatures above 106°F without previous signs of illness are commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat and are often referred to as heat stroke. The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is around 107°F to 109°F.
So, what does this all mean for our pets in the hot summer months and how do we prevent this from taking place before it becomes a serious health concern? First, we genuinely need to consider our pets every day as we plan out our schedule. If you check the forecast and it shows well above normal temperatures, it’s always best to take your pets for a vigorous bout of exercise first thing in the morning as well as in the evening time when temps drop enough for them not to be affected. As always be very aware of hot pavement or asphalt which can easily cause burns to their paws leaving them in distress and pain for days. Did you know that
asphalt can reach as high as 125 degrees during a 75-degree day? More so if the temperature outside reaches 85 degrees the asphalt will grow to as high as 140 degrees! If you do take your pet outdoors for a quick walk during these rising temperatures make sure they are properly hydrated, choose areas with shade and grass and if for some reason they must be exposed to rock, concrete or asphalt consider footwear which can help prevent, burns, cuts even avoiding frostbite in the winter months.
What about those of us who have pets that never leave our side? Always riding shotgun, rain or shine and are in constant need of being outdoors even in the hottest of temperatures? The animal lovers over at Ruff Wear are here to help pets everywhere with their life-saving Swamp Cooler Harness which is an allin-one cooling solution for dogs that are exposed to hot conditions. Since dogs don’t sweat the same as humans, this cooling vest uses its three-layer Swamp Cooler™ Tech construction to absorb water and facilitate evaporation. It’s that evaporation that helps cool the surface temp of your dog. Simply soak your pets vest with cool water, dip it into a stream or lake, or even pour water over it from your water bottle and away you go! The Swamp Cooler™ Vest works great for hiking, running, walking, and camping. In addition to helping keep cool through evaporative cooling, it boosts that cooling by offering the maximum amount of shade and thermal protection to keep your dog happy and healthy! How does the vest provide thermal protection you may ask? The material is rated at 50+ UPF protection (blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays) so not only is your dog being cooled by evaporation the harness also acts to protect from the sun as well.
This state-of-the-art harness integrates their Swamp Cooler™ evaporative cooling technology with Ruffwear’s reliable multi-use body harness platform.
Ruffwear’s signature strong leash connection points, high adjustability, quick-grab handle, and easy on/off features are elevated with cooling capability throughout the back panel and supportive chest/belly panel. So how do we know that these vests do what they say they do? A recent study done in Australia was performed to show the efficacy of the cooling vest by testing a dog’s temperature with and without the vest after playing for 5 mins in the direct sun. With an outside temperature of only 77 degrees F, the test was done to show how even on a day that wasn’t extremely hot a dog’s temperature could rise to an unsafe level. The original temperature with no cooling vest before play was 101.48 F, they ran the dog for 5 mins and the core temperature rose to 106.7 F. At this point the dog was taken inside, crated, and monitored to see how soon the excessive panting went away as well as the temperature returning to normal. Without the cooling vest it took the dog 30 mins to stop excessively panting as well as 50 minutes to return to normal temperature. The second test was then performed with everything the same, the only difference was putting the cooling vest on the dog after the exercise in the sun and the proof was in the pudding. This time it took 20 minutes to stop hard panting and only 30 minutes to return the temperature back to normal. It is also noteworthy to state that the test was done by adding the cooling vest after outdoor play so it is safe to say that if your dog wears the vest while playing you can expect even better results. All in all, we are so happy to report that our pups themselves own a Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler Cooling Dog Harness and are living their best life no matter
Art Hearts Fashion held its event this year at The Majestic in Downtown Los Angeles and the four-day event hosted over twenty designers from around the world. Featured designs included big-name companies, such as Nike and Dr. Martens, while a few familiar designers from Bravo’s Project Runway attended the event. The fashion event, founded in 2011, not only included runway shows but also an art gallery for guests to enjoy. As the designers showcased their Spring/Summer 2023 collections, guests were treated to a wide array of styles, including streetwear, athleticwear, swimwear, and haute couture.
Custo Barcelona opened the event with brightly colored casual attire and prints that truly embodied the brand’s values of eternal youth. The Carmen Steffens show featured colorful attire that was accessorized with the brand’s signature shoes and bags. Giannina Azar’s show took place on the first day of the event and the celebrity designer showcased beautifully embellished outfits with tasteful prints. Morfium Fashion closed the show with designs in neutral, black, and red colors. The avant-garde pieces left a lasting impression on the crowd.
Day two of the event began with Alexis Monsanto. The designer showcased sophisticated pieces, many of which were pleated and in pastel colors that are fit for spring and summer. Diva Fashion Couture featured dresses and two-piece outfits suitable for any night out. Coral Castillo, winner of Hulu’s Stitched Ep5 and finalist on Bravo’s Project Runway S19, showcased stunning pieces that featured intricate macrame embellishments and that were influenced by Aztec goddesses. Sergio Tacchini’s collection featured ready-to-wear tracksuits and sportswear that enabled models to make their way down the runway in comfort. Original Penguin showcased fun menswear in shades that are perfect for spring and summer and Carlos Pineda closed the show with remarkable ensembles covered in frills and ruffles.
Naughty Boy Golf opened the show for day three. The brand brought excitement to the world of golf attire and featured shimmering pieces that are sure to stand out on any golf course. Tell The Truth revealed ready-to-wear pieces that were a blend of edgy and classic designs. The brand also presented pieces made from recycled materials. Kenneth Barlis displayed his Monochromatic collection, and the large collection of couture ensembles stunned the crowd with attire in shades of almost every color. Merlin Castell’s show featured bold avant-garde attire that made heads turn. Many pieces were in black and gold or deep shades of purple, red and green. Diana Couture x UBS Gold unveiled the Siren’s Song collection, which featured elegant gold and silver attire that was perfected with shimmering rhinestones and gold chains. Mister Triple X + Dr. Martens closed the show with high-end, ready-to-wear, streetwear that featured leather, print, and metallic fabric combinations.
The final day of the event opened with Argyle Grant, who showcased men’s swimwear. The summer attire featured bold and fun prints. S16 Project Runway winner, Kentaro Kameyama, showcased sleek minimalist designs, which featured attire in black, red, and white. Joseph Auren showcased his signature black and white urban attire. The androgynous looks featured many unique
geometrical cuts. Charles and Ron presented couture ensembles in flattering spring colors. Nike Swim featured sporty swimwear. The athletic brand featured designs suitable for any water lover. Local favorite Walter Mendez closed the event and dazzled the crowd with a collection that consisted of both couture and readyto-wear attire.
This seasons LAFW event presented by Art Hearts Fashion was filled with guests who share a greater appreciation of artwork, specifically the art of fashion. The runway shows did not disappoint this year from casual streetwear to haute couture, the artistic abilities of each designer were truly exhibited through their ensembles. The creativity exuded by each collection left the crowd inspired and wanting more as they caught a glimpse of the future of fashion.
Harvest is underway in California wine country and Foley Family Wines has seized the season as inspiration to spotlight a slew of wine tasting experiences at seven of its Sonoma County wineries. Foley is rolling out the welcome mat with activities ranging from new outdoor tastings, on-site entertainment, and unforgettable epicurean experiences.
Holidays at the Estates, All Foley Food & Wine Society Wineries
The entire Foley Family Wines portfolio will be celebrating the holidays at its estates in Sonoma, Napa, the Central Coast, and the Pacific Northwest with delicious food, festive décor
and lots of cheer. On Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, each of the Foley Food & Wine Society wineries will feature a special tasting flight paired with a festive holiday bite, plus exclusive wine specials to make holiday shopping easy. These experiences are best enjoyed as a progressive tasting, hopping from winery to winery. A complete list of participating wineries is at www.foleyfoodandwinesociety. com/events.
New to the Foley portfolio this year, Chateau St. Jean invites visitors to sample its famed chardonnays or Cinq Cépages Bordeaux blend in a choice of unique indoor or outdoor settings. Inside the winery’s 1920s chateau, a wine educator will guide guests through a sample of five Reserve and winery-exclusive wines. Outside, guests can enjoy the Bocce, Bordeaux & Burgundy Experience, where groups can sip wines by the bottle in a private outdoor area equipped with bocce ball court, lounge furniture and picnic tables. Larger groups can consider two unique options that showc ase the winery’s extraordinary views and historic property: the Chez Nous Experience, a seated, private tasting in the historic chateau’s elegant dining room for 7-15 guests, with a wine educator guiding the group through a flight of five wines and optional cheese & charcuterie board; or the Olive Grove Experience in the open-air pergola, where groups of 20-35 guests enjoy a private tasting surrounded by 120-year-old olive trees. Bocce Experience, $50 per person for two-hour reservation; Chateau Experience, $60 per person.
As a pillar in the Sonoma County hospitality scene, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery recently unveiled their newly opened Fontana Pergolas, surrounded by 100-year-old olive trees, gorgeous fountains, spectacular gardens and sweeping vineyards. Guests can enjoy a flight of five reserve wines in the privacy of a reserved Pergola setting. On Sundays, guests can savor an Italian-inspired Brunch featuring Prosciutto Benedict, Breakfast Pizza, Croque Madame and more, all well-paired with the Ferrari-Carano wine selections. Pergola Tasting, $95 per person, reservations available Monday – Saturday at 10 AM, 12:30 PM, and 3 PM; Sunday Brunch 10:30 AM – 1 PM, $95 per person, reservations required.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the 1,300-acre Chalk Hill Estate is a Sonoma County icon celebrated for its flagship Estate Chardonnay and limited production, estate-grown wines. More than 60 percent of the Chalk Hill Estate remains uncultivated, inviting exploration and adventure via the Chalk Hill Hummer. The Estate and Garden Tour and Tasting begins with a seated tasting on the terrace, followed by a Hummer ride through sustainably cultivated vineyards and organic gardens, offering stunning views of the Russian River Valley to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, and concludes with a seasonally inspired garden-to-table food and wine pairing. $105 per person.
When most winery tasting rooms are closing, Banshee hits its stride with daily happy hour from 5PM-7PM, featuring wines by the glass in its newly remodeled, lounge-style tasting room. Flights are available from 12PM-5PM by reservation for parties up to six people (last appointment at 4:30PM). Flights, $40 per person, reservation required; Happy Hour pricing varies, no reservation required.
Built on bold Bordeaux grape varieties, Roth Estate offers unique experiences at their picturesque location on Chalk Hill Road. Come hungry for their Ultimate BBQ Lunch experience where these wines shine alongside smoked barbecue short ribs and estategrown potato salad or enjoy a seated experience with their Premier Cave Tasting featuring wines from across the Foley Food & Wine Society portfolio paired with small culinary bites. Ultimate BBQ Lunch $90 per couple, reservations available daily 12 PM and 2 PM. Premier Cave Tasting, $90 per person, offered at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM, Thursday- Monday.
Located at the confluence of the Knights Valley and Chalk Hill appellations in the southern tip of Alexander Valley, the 53-acre Lancaster Estate features an exceptional wine cave--which visitors can explore by booking the Hillside Cave Tour and Tasting. The tour highlights Lancaster’s library of estate-grown wines exclusively from classic Bordeaux varieties, including its esteemed Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Guests will learn about the winery’s detailed barrel aging process and taste four estate wines in an elevated indoor setting. Cave Tour, $100 per person. Reservations required.
When everyday life starts to get to you, there’s no better way to rest and recover than by booking a luxury spa retreat. A spa getaway is just the sort of quick trip that can straighten out months of stress. But what kind of spa weekend to choose? From rigorous programs promoting fitness to indulgent CBD-fueled relaxation, there are no wrong choices here.
A visit to the Mandarin Oriental in Boston provides utter relaxation as you surrender yourself to wellness and discover your inner glow at their award-winning spa. The spa manages to be both a serene place for respite and completely urbanized with state-of-the-art facilities, skilled therapists and treatments that complement the area such as the Restorative Massage which consists of traditional massage techniques combined with the soothing effects of CBD oil. This treatment provides
physical relaxation and mentally uplifts and cleans the mind and is part of their Causemedic program which combines the healing properties of hemp-derived CBD with other active botanical ingredients to enhance overall wellbeing and restore balance to the body. With the combination of a proprietary PhD-developed CBD delivery system and holistic sustainability practices, each highly curated therapy has the potency to transform skin health and state of mind.
Upon arrival at the spa, you will find an expansive serene space, featuring a Crystal Steam Room, Vitality Pools, Couple’s Spa Suite and more offering top-notch products and signature services. Spend your stay enjoying a variety of services, including facials, waxing, professional make-up, hand and foot therapies, body wraps, hair color, styling, and much more.
From luxurious treatments to total isolation, these spa breaks are the ultimate in self-indulgence.
Could a romantic, snowy getaway in a luxury chalet be any more perfect? Only if the resort had a remarkable spa waiting to warm you up and rejuvenate you. Lefay has dedicated two entire floors of its resort to a serene spa for guests to relax, reset, and truly indulge in self-care. The spa offers a wide range of therapeutic and pampering treatments that are sure to rejuvenate you after a long active day exploring the beautiful outdoors.
The Lefay SPA stands out for its signature treatments, created by combining traditional massage techniques with the stimulation of energy points and meridians and personalized according to the individual psychophysical state. In addition, the à la carte sections offer couple rituals, a wide range of massages from the Eastern and Western traditions and beauty services. Guests can enjoy an enchantment to be
experienced at any time of the year: in winter the snow-capped peaks, glaciers and lifts are the ideal destination for skiers of all levels; in summer the Dolomites awaken the green idyll of the mountains. The resort suites are perfect for admiring the valley and the splendid peaks of the surrounding landscape, each offering an enchanting view. Inside the rooms, oak wood and fine fabrics create an enveloping atmosphere for unforgettable moments of well-being that continue beyond the spa. Whatever treatment or service you choose, this lavish spa resort is sure to bring guests great balance and optimize personal wellness on every level.
World-renowned Iridium Spa is award-winning thanks to its Best Resort Spa Award and Indian Ocean’s Best Resort Spa Award. The prestigious titles were awarded to the private island resort for consecutive years during the World Spa Awards Gala Ceremony.
The Iridium Spa is revered for its distinctive, crustacean-inspired architectural design and oceanic setting that breeds an unparalleled healing environment. At nearly 20,000-square-feet, the spa destination features six over water treatment suites, including two Ayurvedic suites, promising a transformative journey of customized rituals and treatments led by an Ayurvedic specialist. Within the elegant retreat, spa guests can experience the Blue Hole Pool, the most expansive hydrotherapy pool in the Maldives, where heated seawater and whirlpool jets offer curative benefits for both the mind and body. Since opening in 2016, the Iridium Spa continues to be recognized as a leader within the market, earning sought-after titles including ‘World’s Best Spa Design’ in 2017, ‘World’s Best Spa Signature Treatment’ in 2018 for its Caviar Journey experience, and ‘World’s Best Resort Spa’ in 2018 and 2019.
The island of St. Lucia is one of the most beautiful and sought-after destinations for a Caribbean vacation, BodyHoliday is one of the world’s best spas. The resort boasts luxurious rooms and delicious cuisine, but the spa itself is designed to give you the most relaxing and rejuvenating wellness holiday in the world. The resort is an all-inclusive, so guests are offered one spa treatment per day already included in their stay, and have access to the award-winning wellness enter, exclusive Skin Clinic, and Body Science Clinic with a massive range of treatments and therapeutic cares. The wellness center has spa treatment rooms, a yoga studio, fitness center, dance studio, thalassotherapy pool, and holistic specialists offering Eastern therapies, including acupuncture, Ayurveda, Bhutanese massage therapy, other osteopathic therapies. At BodyHoliday, there is special focus on mindfulness and the mind-body connection. Meditation, tai chi, and body yoga are just a few of the activities on offer to promote mental health and clarity. Nourish your mind and your body at this rejuvenating and restorative resort, literally created for your relaxation and well-being.
No state is more synonymous with wellness and health than California.
The Larchmont Sanctuary Spa located in the historic Larchmont Village community of Los Angeles, is an award-winning boutique spa welcoming guests on a journey of mind, body and spirit. The luxurious offerings range from anti-aging facials and nourishing body wraps to traditional massage therapy incorporating Jade Stones, scalp therapy, and even therapeutic baths in copper tubs with aromatic milks. Skincare is taken seriously at Larchmont, and they have created a customized Anti-Aging skincare treatment for some of the more neglected areas using the Environ skin care line. This renewing treatment begins with a thorough cleanse, extractions, exfoliation of face, neck, décolleté and hands followed by a mask, anti-aging peptides and LED light therapy to give your skin that special glow.
Each service is meant to balance emotions, release tensions, and harmonize your body. Specialists have created treatments that blend physical and spiritual healing concepts and use natural local ingredients to leave you feeling deeply relaxed and ready to take on the day.
Located in the famed wine region of Mendoza, SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites features a sense of place as well as the hostesses’ authentic wine roots in everything from design, décor, and setting to culinary experiences, art, wellness, and nature. The hotel offers seven spa suites with fully integrated in-room spa features and services, including a steam room, sensations shower, and massage table. Four of the seven suites are also equipped with a dry sauna.
Designed as a place to have experiences with wine and nature, custom experiences at the include Argentine cooking and grilling, wine tastings, yoga, and vinotherapeutic spa treatments among others. Curated and led by Susana Balbo and her family, thematic wine tastings focus on discovering each wine’s unique appeal with typical Argentinian varietals and innovative signature wines to be sampled. A 99- + 100-point luxury ultra-premium tasting is also offered at the property.
After four decades dedicated to the wine industry and international recognition, Susana Balbo created the bespoke estate and luxury boutique hotel with her daughter, Ana Lovaglio Balbo. The newest luxury hotel in Mendoza features a sense of place as well as the hostesses’ authentic wine roots in everything from design, décor, and setting to culinary experiences, art, wellness, and nature. It’s also about exclusivity. Guests will feel as if they’re staying in a private estate, where Susana and Ana become hosts for travelers who want to experience their culture and
wines. Seven spa suites feature fully integrated in-room spa features and services, including a steam room, sensations shower, and massage table.
La VidA restaurant features Argentinian cuisine that exudes bold flavors with high quality, sustainable and organic ingredients, Chef’s Table with open-flame cooking, and signature wine cocktails. Inspired by Susana Balbo’s long history with wine, art in the form of sculptures, woodwork, and mixed media can be found from twenty local artists around the property and in the rooms. A lounge bar, wine cellar with top Argentine and global wines, heated swimming pool, shop with local artisanal products, and tasting room complete the SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites. With the help of the Experience Curator, guests have an opportunity to explore the region near and far, including Patagonia to the south and Cafayate to the north, on the hotel’s private seaplane.
Spa Suites features a sense of place as well as the hostesses’ authentic wine roots in everything from design, décor, and setting to culinary experiences, art, wellness, and nature. The hotel offers seven spa suites with fully integrated in-room spa features and services, including a steam room, sensations shower, and massage table. Four of the seven suites are also equipped with a dry sauna.
Curated and led by Susana Balbo and her family, thematic wine tastings focus on discovering each wine’s unique appeal with typical Argentinian varietals and innovative signature wines to be sampled. A 99- +
100-point luxury ultra-premium tasting is also offered on the property.
After four decades dedicated to the wine industry and international recognition, Susana Balbo created the bespoke estate and luxury boutique hotel with her daughter, Ana Lovaglio Balbo. The newest luxury hotel in Mendoza features a sense of place as well as the hostesses’ authentic wine roots in everything from design, décor, and setting to culinary experiences, art, wellness, and nature. It’s also about exclusivity. Guests will feel as if they’re staying in a private estate, where Susana and Ana become hosts for travelers who want to experience their culture and wines. Seven spa suites feature fully integrated in-room spa features and services, including a steam room, sensations shower, and massage table.
La VidA restaurant features Argentinian cuisine that exudes bold flavors with high quality, sustainable and organic ingredients, Chef’s Table with open-flame cooking, and signature wine cocktails. Inspired by Susana Balbo’s long history with wine, art in the form of sculptures, woodwork, and mixed media can be found from twenty local artists around the property and in the rooms. A lounge bar, wine cellar with top Argentine and global wines, heated swimming pool, shop with local artisanal products, and tasting room complete the SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites. With the help of the Experience Curator, guests have an opportunity to explore the region near and far, including Patagonia to the south and Cafayate to the north, on the hotel’s private seaplane.
‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach located on the fashionable Kalakaua Avenue sits directly across the street from one of the most legendary strips of sand in all the Hawaiian Islands, Waikiki Beach. Situated where the city meets the sand, guests could not ask for a more prime location to spend their sun-soaked vacation in one of the most popular destinations on this planet. Residing on the land of Queen Liliʻuokalani’s beachside cottage, the resort celebrated its grand opening on May 8, 2018, a date that has forever changed the Waikiki Beach hotel scene.
A five-year project that yielded perfection from inception, ‘Alohilani Resort had been transformed through a $125 million redevelopment from the previous Pacific
Beach Hotel into what is now a 4½ star resort that has set the highest of standards for its guests. Acclaimed design firm Rockwell Group was the mastermind behind the resort’s dramatic lobby features, restaurants, amenities, infinity pool and deck as well as all guest rooms and suites. Architectural firm Pacific Asia Design Group enhanced the grand and refined space with elegant touches that pays homage to Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the crystal-clear blue and green ocean, Diamond Head and Waikiki, ‘Alohilani is a modern oasis that offers a refreshing balance of energy and relaxation in a lively, urban location.
It all starts as you enter the ‘Alohilani lobby, an anomaly in its own right. Featuring
soaring ceilings and tall wooden pillars, the design is dominated by natural materials like wood, stone and straw, setting the stage for the warmest of welcomes. The real showstopper though is the gigantic, two-story, 280,000-gallon oceanarium which holds 600 indigenous Hawaiian reef fishes, from 44 different species. Twice daily at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm an ‘Alohilani scuba diver feeds the fish and will frequently interact with guests so they can learn about the wonders of the Hawaiian undersea.
The hotel’s all-new 839 guest rooms and suites feature private lanais, or verandas, which offer panoramic ocean, Diamond Head, and city views. An airy, guest room experience inspired by Oahu’s serene landscape pairs rich natural woods with a calmness inducing
blend of whites and beiges combined with spatterings of blues and greens. A multitude of room options are available at ‘Alohiliani ranging from the standard room to the luxurious Beachside suite which offers magnificent, unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki Beach. For the ultimate stay look no further than the stylish one-bedroom suites with elegant living rooms accented with large-scale black and white photography, a dining area, a wet bar plus a sleek bathroom with dual vanities, a wet room with a rain shower and a soaking tub. All guest rooms and suites feature Malie Organics’ Koke’e scented bath products as well as a custom blended coffee program for those early mornings hoping to catch that infamous Waikiki sunrise.
For the ultimate in relaxation, an afternoon at the ‘Alohiliani fifth-floor pool deck certainly fits the bill. Fully
equipped with loungers along a heated saltwater infinity pool guests can bask the day away in the warm Hawaiian sunshine. The pool deck also includes the Swell Bar, cabanas perched atop reflecting pools, tiered day beds, custom teak furniture, driftwood sculptures, lanterns, and fire pits.
For those looking for a little self-care during their time on property a visit to the Island Club and Spa is just what the doctor ordered. Featuring a state-of-theart fitness center with a movement studio for daily classes and Fitness on Demand virtual classes as well as two rooftop full-size clay tennis courts, batting cages and training turf, amenities one would never expect to find from a hotel exercise program. As if those world-class amenities were not enough the hotel also includes sunset yoga and TRX classes overlooking the ocean as well as three spa treatment rooms, including a couple’s
room for massages, body treatments and facials.
The culinary program at ‘Alohalani is as fast-rate as one could expect from a hotel of this stature showcasing four dining experiences, two of which are the brainchild of world-renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
Morimoto Asia is an integration of Chef Morimoto’s Western and traditional Asian ingredients showcasing a fusioninspired menu with items ranging from Shrimp Pad Thai to Peking Duck to a mouthwatering selection of tantalizing dishes using the infamous A5 Wagyu beef.
Located at street level just steps from the sand, Momosan beckons both locals and tourists alike with intoxicating scents of Asian-inspired dishes drifting to the
“Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is a breath of fresh air on the ever-evolving island of Oahu. With a resume complete with a jaw-dropping beachfront property, world-class amenities, culinary excellence and the most inspirational of sustainability efforts this surely is the hotel of the future.”
beach. The fun and casual dining experience puts noodles front and center and features signature Morimoto sake and beer selections. This all-day dining restaurant serves small plates and appetizers, Chef Morimoto’s unique take on a local favorite garlic shrimp, original salads, classic izakaya-style rice dishes as well as yakitori and flavor-forward ramen dishes.
SWELL Bar at the seascape pool deck serves handcrafted craft cocktails and an all-day menu featuring Oahu light bite favorites. With scenic city and ocean views, SWELL Bar is an escape that invites the most relaxing of atmospheres equipped with private cabanas and lounge areas with fire pits. A Waikiki Beach hotspot with one of the most impressive cocktail menus in Honolulu, SWELL Bar is a place to see and be seen.
Anchored by the two-story Oceanarium teeming with tropical marine life, O Bar is the resort’s panoramic gathering place from meetings during the day to cherished time with family, or for a night out with friends. O Bar offers ocean-inspired craft cocktails, beer, wine, and live music to enjoy the awe-inspiring Hawaiian undersea.
‘Alohilani Resort recently announced its commitment to achieving its PAS 2060 carbonneutral certification, a statement showing the hotel’s unbridled love for its motherland. The resort has also engaged DEKRA for verification
services and has partnered with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI). This builds upon ‘Alohilani Resort’s sustainability initiatives, including its commitment to plant 100,000 indigenous trees in its Legacy Forest, and its use of renewable electricity throughout the hotel. This initiative is at the forefront of ‘Alohilani’s sustainability and eco-friendly mantra, it is vital for them to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also to educate their guests in these processes hoping for a greater future.
‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is a breath of fresh air on the ever-evolving island of Oahu. With a resume complete with a jaw-dropping beachfront property, world-class amenities, culinary excellence and the most inspirational of sustainability efforts this surely is the hotel of the future. Only a 5-to-10-minute walk from many of the island’s hot spots such as the International Marketplace, world-renowned restaurants, shops, and miles of white sandy beach, one thing is certain, a stay here surely will not disappoint.
Venue Will Feature World’s Largest DeepWater Standing Wave, Exceptional Dining and Signature Events
Wai Kai, set within Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach on West Oahu, recently announced its grand opening date set for February 10, 2023. The highly anticipated development is the first of its kind in Hawaii, known as the birthplace of modern surfing, and is poised to become an active year-round destination that inspires locals and visitors to connect to the water, land, and rich Hawaiian culture. Located 35 minutes from Honolulu overlooking the turquoise
waters of the Pacific Ocean, amenities include the world’s largest deep-water standing surf wave, the 52-acre Wai Kai Lagoon for water sports, three delectable restaurants, sprawling event lawn with waterfront fire pits, waterman’s club, and a unique retail shop.
The Line Up at Wai Kai will serve as a dynamic social and recreational activity hub of water sports and activities headlined by the Wai Kai Wave in a sun-kissed setting with cool ocean breezes. Powered by citywave®, the technology creates authentic surfing conditions with perfect endless and adjustable waves ranging from two to six feet for all skill levels. The 100-foot-wide adjustable wave allows up to three surfers at a time with an additional 30 in the barefoot zone and emulates famous natural standing river waves like the Oahu North Shore’s famous Waimea River Sand Bar. The Wai Kai Wave was created in collaboration with Oahu’s-own Shane Beschen, X Games Gold Medalist, and a former world No. 2 ranked surfer. Shane and other former and current professional surfers will be available for handson instruction and training sessions.
The Wai Kai Wave overlooks the Wai Kai Lagoon, a serene, protected area for standup paddling, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, peddle boats and piloted electric boat cruises. Aquabanas and sun loungers will line a sandy beach area near the water. An optional monthly membership will be available for frequent visitors with preferred rates and access to special events and programming. Major surfing and waterman competitions are being planned for the Wai Kai Wave and Wai Kai Lagoon.
Dining is set to be an integral part of the Wai Kai experience. A dual-concept restaurant
presented by Michelin-awarded Chef Todd Humphries of Kitchen Door Napa sits at the heart of the expansive property. The signature restaurant, the Plaza Grill, is situated on the upper level featuring a full-service dining room with lanai seating and unobstructed lagoon views. Contemporary yet casual, it will showcase a globally diverse menu, driven by local and seasonal ingredients. The second concept, the Boardwalk Café, will offer an interactive and intuitive counterservice restaurant concept on the ground level featuring an all-day menu of eclectic yet traditional favorites. Other restaurants include The LookOut Bar and Restaurant, which will fuse fresh and healthy cuisine with front-row views of the surf action, and Foam Coffee & Bar just off the boardwalk.
Hawaii-based Events International has partnered with Wai Kai to curate a robust schedule of unique, interactive, and engaging events and experiences for all ages. The company will work closely with corporate clients, destination management companies and the team at The LineUp at Wai Kai to coordinate memorable group functions and catered events ranging from intimate gatherings to full buyouts. Venues include a 61,200-square-foot Event Lawn, Fire Pit Terrace and Promenade along the adjacent Wai Kai Lagoon, a 12,600-square-foot Surfside Lawn at the Wai Kai Wave, and a variety of other function spaces.
What would a trip to the tropical islands of Hawaii be without being one with nature fully experiencing the raw Jurassic landscape that has made this destination so famous? For the ultimate day trip highlighting the best of the island of Oahu look no further than the iconic Kualoa Ranch.
With not one, but two listings on the US Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places since the 1970s, Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the eighth-generation descendants of Dr. Gerritt P. Judd. Kualoa’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by preserving its sacred lands and celebrating its history. Established in 1850, Kualoa’s company vision is to be a role model as stewards of these amazing 4000 acres named Kualoa, Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa.
Their goal is to protect and enhance the natural beauty of these lands while developing sustainable recreational, agricultural and aquacultural enterprises that are compatible with the environment. All tours and commercial activities enable Kualoa to keep the lands undeveloped so that future generations will be able to enjoy them as well. They truly care about and strive to educate all visitors … kama’aina, military and malihini … about traditional Hawaiian values, reverence for our natural environment, respect for the host Hawaiian culture and most importantly, the sacred history of Kualoa.
Multi-passenger UTV Raptor vehicles are a great way to see Kualoa up close and personal! Led by professional tour guides, you will drive your Raptor into the remote areas of Kaaawa “Jurassic” Valley as well as the lush Hakipu’u rain forests where surprises await. Your guide will lead you deep into scenic valleys and remote areas, often rambling through dirt roads, dusty trails and crossing seasonal streams.
This amazing “Jurassic Valley” Zipline Tour crisscrosses the beautiful Ka’a’awa Valley with 7 exciting tandem stations, a suspension bridge & 3 mini-hiking nature trails. Get ready for a thrill ride of a lifetime as ziplines range from 200 feet up to a quarter of a mile in length! Guests will learn about Hawaiian traditions and zip through native flora and fauna. And if your surroundings look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Ka’a’awa Valley in one of the 200+ movies & tv shows like Jurassic Park, Jurassic World & Jumanji that have been filmed at Kualoa over the years.
Secret Beach, the ultimate Aloha Day showcases the best of the island of Oahu. Enjoy all types of water equipment such as kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, catamarans, glass bottom boats & more. The Secret Island Beach Adventure is an ideal place to relax and spend the day with family and friends while enjoying water sports and beach games. Make sure to bring your reef-safe sunscreen, swimsuit, water shoes, towel, shades, and a camera for a funfilled beach day basking in the warm Hawaiian sunshine.
Venice is a destination unlike any other, with a reputation for romance thanks to its Renaissanceinspired architecture, gorgeous sunsets, public squares, narrow canals, and gondola rides. There is no doubt it’s a city you’re bound to fall in love with.
The main tourist area of Venice is entirely car-free, which is most conducive to romantic wanderings by the canal at twilight, dinner à deux in an intimate cafe, and watching the sunset over the buildings painted on top of cotton candy skies. Because of these enticing activities, it can also be overrun with tourists, and it can be hard to find solitude with your significant other when
you want some alone time. When looking for a break from the excessive presence of tourism look no further than the south of Venice, secure the next water taxi and head to Giudecca Island. This quiet and residential island is the largest island of Venice, and its history is intimately linked to the city.
To enhance your stay in Venice, book a suite at the Hilton Molino Stucky which is easily accessible by a private shuttle boat from the Piazza San Marco. The property comes with a historic past as it was a former flour mill. The hotel has been welcoming guests arriving by land or sea for decades.
Before the property became a hotel, it was once one of Europe’s largest mills. In the 1880s, the Swiss-Venetian businessman Giovanny Stucky decided to construct an industrial flour mill in Venice’s Giudecca Island neighborhood. Already a successful manufacturer, Stucky intended for his prospective flour mill to be the crown jewel in his commercial empire.
With the help of German architect Ernst Wullekopf, Stucky began building the mill at the site of two former convents on Giudecca Island: St. Biago and Cataldo. The construction project took several years to complete, finally concluding in 1895. When the dust settled, the mill encompassed a complex of thirteen distinct buildings, all of which featured unique Gothic Revival architecture. For the next several years, the mill produced some of the greatest yields of flour in all of Europe. At its peak, the mill employed 1,500 people on a 24-hour work schedule. Stucky quickly became one of the wealthiest people in Venice as a result.
But that prosperity was not to last for long. Labor strife within the mill happened regularly at the start of the twentieth century, with strikes becoming a common occurrence. This strained relationship even cost Stucky his life, as a disgruntled worker assassinated him in 1910. War and other calamities wrought havoc on the business in the years following Stucky’s death, further harming the mill’s financial stability. The flour mill was a shell of its former self by the mid-twentieth century, eventually closing its doors in 1955. For many decades, the mill remained vacant. Working closely with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the Societa Dell’Acqua Pia Antica Marcia SpA purchased the complex in 1994, with the intent on transforming the location into a hotel. A massive restoration project began in earnest a few years later. During the renovation, Hilton Hotels partnered with Societa Dell’Acqua Pia Antica Marcia SpA in the mid-2000s, making the site a Hilton institution. When the renovations concluded in 2007, Hilton reopened the facility as the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice.
Today, the hotel’s location is convenient for all travelers, whether the trip is for work or for pleasure. For those looking to explore Venice and its surrounding islands, the hotel is just a short water taxi or hotel shuttle service away.
There are 379 rooms and suites in total, each with a timeless design and thoughtfully decorated and many featuring breathtaking views of the canal. Every guest room and suite in the hotel is spotlessly clean with contemporary décor and
elegant furnishings, a flat-screen TV, a marble bathroom, and coffee maker. The attention to detail is spectacular, with even small-detailed provisions throughout.
For an even more opulent stay, book into the Molino Presidential Suite. Take in the beautiful views of Venice and the lagoon from the large windows of this charming suite, the largest and highest suite in Venice. Spreading across two floors, the suite is located at the top of the hotel tower, accessed by a separate lift, and has direct access to the panoramic swimming pool terrace.
Immerse yourself in the private jacuzzi while admiring the Giudecca Canal, keep fit in your personal fitness area, and enjoy exclusive access to the top of the tower, one of the highest points from which you can admire the city.
The Presidential Suite includes a large living room with Murano glass design details and a dining room, two bedrooms (one with a double bed and one with twin beds) with the finest linens, a walk-in closet, four bathrooms, and a kitchenette. This Presidential Suite is undeniably the best luxury suite in all of Venice – and yes, it does come with a private elevator for guest use only!
As you can imagine, dining options on property excel in every way imaginable. The hotel’s bars and restaurants are not only great for visitors, but they’re also popular with locals as well, which is always a great sign. You do not want to miss the creative concoctions at Skyline where award-winning cocktails await you paired with an exceptional view. Twenty-one signature cocktails crafted by expert mixologists are available to enjoy in a hip ambiance while watching the sunset. The ever-popular Aromi is romantic and seductive, and dinner is located on a terrace overlooking Venice and the Giudecca Canal. Offering an exceptional wine list, in addition to a menu that includes everything from homemade pasta to fresh seafood and vegetarian dishes. Here you are in for the most decadent meal as you wave to the boats in from their day at sea and sip cocktails while enjoying the pure relaxation and luxury the hotel offers. From the sweeping views of the city and the canals to the award-winning dining options and sophisticated guest suites, you will love this hotel and all its amenities. The lovely staff makes it their mission to provide excellent service and attention to each guest, ensuring your experience is always beyond compare.
How many of us have dreamed of packing up a vehicle and driving across the country? As one can imagine if you have a pulse, you would be on this list due to the life-changing experience that comes from this kind of cross-country journey. Now lets up the ante and take that road trip to Italy for a cultural experience you won’t soon forget. Coast to coast and back again, each time taking a different route; road tripping through Italy is beyond all imagination thanks to the number of iconic cities, historical landmarks, national parks and let’s not forget the mouth-watering food that you will find at each stop along the way. Even though a trip of this magnitude demands quite a bit of time, planning and freedom, it can and absolutely will change the way you look at travel for the rest of your life.
As the wheels of our plane touched down on Italian soil the anticipation started bubbling and a feeling of excitement quickly made its way to the forefront. Before our trip, the first priority was to find the perfect vehicle for this type of trip that checked every box. After doing some research and conferring with friends who had done the trip before starting in Venice was the best option. For a painless experience to go through it is easy and seamless to grab a rental car, especially having already prebooked through wisecars.com. After a quick process at the checkin counter, we loaded up the car with all of our luggage and were on the road to our first destination, Pinzolo Italy located in the heart of the Italian Dolomites.
Average Driving time: 3 hours
Most of us that live in Southern California have made a road trip to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead and this drive was just as easy as it gets for a fun-filled getaway! The excitement building each mile that brings you closer to that mountain-filled fresh air is one that never gets old. There is nothing better than getting lost in the miles of trees before your eyes as you come over that last bend and into the quaint village of Pinzolo. It is no wonder tourists flock here from literally all parts of the world with the unending ski trails, authentic dining, cute local shops, and more!
It is a well-known fact that Italy is world-renowned for its wide array of incredible restaurants. So many choices-how does one pick a winner? When visiting the Dolomites, you can’t miss Grual inside Lefay Resort & Spa. This celebrated concept from Executive Chef Matteo Maenza, and Resident Chef Mirko Pistorello pays homage to innovation and classic Italian origins – an era of glamour showmanship, and exceptional service which is the real showstopper. With the perfect combination of hospitality and local ingredients, the Altimetric Menu provides a step-by-step guide to the mountain trails just outside
the resort door. Impeccable service is guaranteed during each course with options from twelve to eight divided into three different attitudes to choose from. Select the High Mountain when looking for items like Artic Char, Trout and Deer or the Valley Floor which includes Whitefish, Radicchio and Lake Sardines. With contemporary cooking techniques served day in and day out with an idyllic mountain vibe, it simply doesn’t get better than Grual for creative and expressive Italian dining.
Best Place to Stay: Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti
Lefay is an internationally-inspired spa hotel perfect for those who love the great outdoors but prefer to enjoy it in an exclusive and relaxing setting. The building is set within the serene natural scenery of the Dolomites, surrounded by ski slopes and snow-capped peaks overlooking the village of Pinzolo. With over 50,000 square feet of natural well-being and innovation, spa days are the helm of this warm and inviting environment. Escape with friends or loved ones and enjoy the expansive treatment selection. Offering signature treatments created by combining traditional Eastern and Western techniques the attentive and enthusiastic staff will allow you to enjoy the comfort of a home away from home without the hassles of daily life. Choose from a Junior Suite to the Exclusive Spa Suite all fully furnished with natural fabrics and local materials, an oversized bathroom, and a private balcony that serves perfectly as you rise in the morning coffee in hand gazing out onto the village below.
After a beautiful scenic drive back down the mountains to the Marco Polo airport showcasing the countryside just like a painting and in full exploration mode just taking it all in you will notice that the Dolomites is one of the most amazing geographic wonders of the world. Passing rolling hills of vineyards, Lake Garda and the occasional deer, this route through the great outdoors is truly magical. This mountainous drive is filled with incredible landscapes and offers nature at its best depending on the time of year. If you are traveling in the winter months, be fully prepared for winter conditions as you will be climbing to
high elevations which can be dangerous at times. As you make your way through one of the most majestic mountain ranges in Italy you will be surrounded by natural beauty in any direction you look, snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and more, it simply doesn’t get better than this.
Next Stop: Sardinia
A short flight from Venice to Sardinia brings you to the Island of Myth & Magic
Alghero to Castelsardo
Average Driving time: 1 hour
After securing your next rental from wisecars.com and leaving Alghero Airport you will find your way to the coast as your travel partner switches from googling waterfall stopovers to finding the best beaches. Another change of scenery is on the horizon, and this is what truly makes this road trip one for the ages. With the GPS set to Castelsardo a whole new level of excitement kicks in as the dreamy villages of Sardinia have so much to offer from deep-rooted culture, unbridled history, and some of the best seafood in the country!
The drive from Alghero to Castelardo can be especially enjoyable, particularly at the end of summer when the sizzling heat has somewhat subsided. From the natural beauty of the area’s terrain to historic landmarks there is quite a bit to see, take your time, stop by a hole in the wall restaurant for some locally influenced pizza and enjoy the ride. With a multitude of wineries, and local shops throughout your journey you will be more than glad that you gave yourself that extra bit of time to find a few hidden gems along the way.
Continue East to find the Beverly Hills of Sardinia
Castelsardo to Porto Cervo
Average Driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes
From the luxurious resorts at Costa Smeralda where the rich and famous come to spend their vacation days, to Carthaginian and Roman archaeological sites and world-class museums, Sardinia has plenty to offer. Embraced by the warm waters of the Mediterranean, the diverse coastal area of Costa Smeralda
showcases a plethora of beachfront resorts, rental villas, boutique hotels, chic marinas, shopping areas and vibrant nightlife. Located roughly between the villages of Baja Sardinia and Porto Rotondo, the Emerald Coast consists of picture-perfect bays, coves and white sandy beaches.
Start your adventure in Porto Cervo a luxurious seaside resort in the northeastern section and the main center. Created in the 1960s upon the request of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, this small center flourished quickly, especially after the new tourist port was built.
Deemed one of the most opulent and expensive resort cities in the world, the area is a natural fit for the rich and famous. The Porto Cervo Marina is where yachts come to dock making it extremely accessible by sea. Stroll around town through the luxury boutiques or sip a cocktail at a posh club and you will likely see a celebrity or two.
Next stop and our final destination: Cagliari, the capital city of the island. Porto Cervo to Cagliari
Average Driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is located on the south coast of the island. Uniquely combining the ancient with the modern, the sunny city is famous for its rich history and impressive monuments. Like many Italian cities, Cagliari has a rich past. Traces of its long and eventful history are everywhere, from the elegant buildings and century-old churches to the beautiful works of art and the language. Full of chic restaurants, clubs and old cafés, the historic center bustles with life.
LATM Tip: The city has six limited traffic zones where access to nonregistered vehicles is prohibited during certain hours. To avoid getting fined, make sure that you check the timetable for each zone.
Located just a short drive from the city, in the heart of Pula, Lantana Resort was a quiet reprieve that was just what we
needed. The rooms and apartments on property are surrounded by a Mediterranean park, shaded by lush palm groves, and overlook green gardens embellished by succulents and water features. Comprised of 24 rooms the hotel features all the comforts one could need including free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, minibar, hairdryer, safety box, satellite TV and the apartment area which houses 32 furnished apartments surrounded by a quiet garden and overlook it through furnished private terraces and patios.
Time away is precious and between flights, lodging and meals, it can get costly. No one wants to wait in line, get lost in a crowd, or stuck at a touristy eatery. In the last ten years Portugal has burst onto the world stage as a major travel destination with major cities like Lisbon, Lagos, and Porto paving the way. While these cities are all fantastic destinations, they are just a small part of what makes Portugal so special. Imagine just seeing New York and Orlando, but skipping Charleston, Savannah, and other gems on the way. Lisbon or Porto are great starts for a trip — but then travelers should explore the country with an eye for the authentic, charming, and unforgettable. As lines form, and crowds take selfies, a whole other section of Portugal remained a bit of a secret. For those who want to get out and explore here are some hints to find the real Portugal.
Sintra is beautiful and is the gatekeeper to royal palaces. Portugal was a monarchy from 1143 to 1910 - the kings and queens had plenty of palaces that they loved to escape to. Many travelers don’t know that two other royal palaces are just a short drive from Lisbon, in Queluz and Mafra. The University of Coimbra was constructed from a former royal palace, and the castle of Leiria was built for royals. In the Alentejo there is a royal tour that highlights the good, the magnificent and the struggles of being a monarch.
Start in Estremoz a place that has been a royal city for generations, with its impressive walls the castle sails above the plains. Built of local marble, it is white and decorative. The oldest part of the castle dates from the 13th-century reign of King D. Dinis. This was a popular escape for King Dinis and his wife, the Sainted Queen Isabel, who dedicated her
life to helping the poor, and preventing war between Portugal and Spain. Isabel died on July 4, 1336, in the castle of Estremoz. The castle, the royal chapel and all its history are free to explore Tuesday through Sunday 9am to 5pm.
The Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa is a large royal palace located in the town of Vila Viçosa. This was the seat of the Bragança dynasty that ruled Portugal from 1640 to 1910 when King D. Manuel II, was deposed on October 5, 1910 during the Republican Revolution. Set on a grand square, the palace is encircled by convents, churches and a Pousada.
The principal facade is of pink Estremoz marble, with three floors in a grand and classical style. The main entryway showcases magnificent tile panels from great moments in Portuguese history. The many public rooms are built for a king, including the e Sala das Tapeçarias, the Sala do Gigante, the Oratório da Duquesa and the Sala de Medusa. There is a sizable armory and a magnificent kitchen with huge ovens, wine cellars, and more copper than you have ever seen.
In the distance, on a high mountaintop stands the fortified town of Évora Monte, walled around a massive castle that soars above the horizon. Here two royal brothers, both kings, ended the Portuguese Civil War. Two brothers, one an absolutist, the other in favor of a constitutional monarchy, fought it out for the future of Portugal. The final battle at Asseiceira on May 16, 1834, ended six years of civil war; a peace treaty was agreed to in a simple house on May 24, 1834, at Évora Monte. Today the town is a wonderful escape with its ancient churches, cobble stone streets, sweeping views, and many local arts and craft shops.
Ancient but trendy Estremoz is full of up-and-coming places to eat, run by young talented chefs. This marble city of over 8,000 people has become the go-to dining spot, after Évora, for a hot and emerging food scene.
This bistro offers sushi, local classics, and a new approach to Alentejo cuisine with a bright setting right on the main square. The gourmet eatery is made to feel like a classic corner grocery store. And to top it off, the bistro provides a long list of great wines from all the local wineries.
This castle winery and restaurant sets the standard for fine dining, not just in the city, but the region. An elegant concept, which elevated traditional ingredients in an international version. Try their tasting menus, enjoy the grand dining room, and dine on a fusion of Portuguese and Asian cuisine. The wines are small batches, made just up the road and you can’t get more sustainable than that.
Dining at the Cadeia Quinhentista is taking in centuries of history. This former prison of Estremoz is a monument of the sixteenth century, with two floors of local marble. The food is delicious and the views from the top of the building where there is a terrace overlooking the city and the local olive and wine groves is breathtaking.
On any given day there are lines to see some of the most popular monasteries and churches in Europe. But not far from Lisbon, significant religious sites are awaiting with no lines, and amazing stories to tell. Check out the main sites that cannot be left out of your trip, but won’t keep you waiting:
Designed by Francisco de Arruda in 1517 and set in Praça da República, in Elvas, it was an episcopal seat until the 19th century. Its design features Manueline side doors, the Baroque
chancel and Baroque gilded altars finished in marble. Attached to this grand church sits the Museum of Sacred Art.
The Convento dos Congregados in Estremoz has a rich history starting in the 16th century when it was used as a palace. Its facade is crafted in beautiful pink marble and its tiles depict the life and miracles of Saint Philip. Currently, it also houses the City Hall, the City Library, and the Museum of Sacred Art.
Opened in 2004, the Museum of Sacred Art of the city of Moura is in the Church of São Pedro, a building that has magnificent 17th century tiles. Most of the exhibitions highlight hundreds of pieces that demonstrate the religious traditions of the region.
Standing out for its tall silhouette in the walled city, the Basilica Sé de Nossa Senhora da Assunção is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal. Its construction began in 1186 and was completed by 1250. The structure is made entirely of local granite, marked by the transition from the Romanesque to the Gothic style. The church has a unique crucifix called the “Father of the Christs,” which is above the painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, allegorical statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and a spectacular organ from the Renaissance period.
The Mértola Church is quite close to the castle, just down the slope of the hill. Dating back to the twelfth century, it was built to be a mosque and rededicated as a Christian church during the 13th century. Therefore, the different styles used in the building are noticeable: Muslim, Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance. Among the modifications, the main altar was moved to the North wall and the qibla, which indicated the direction to Mecca, was removed.
Set in the landscapes of the Serra de São Gens, the Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe is just 1 mile from Serpa and boasts simple architecture of the Mudejar style of the Iberian Peninsula. The small refuge houses the image of the patron saint who is honored in a great celebration promoted for the arrival of spring, which begins at Easter and lasts for five days. The event includes processions, parades, and masses.
Obidos is a great escape, with its strong walls, cobbled streets, and sweet shops. But with it comes a rush of visitors, so we have an alternative suggestion: There are many walled towns, from Marvão to Monsaraz, but we want to offer up the suggestion of Castelo de Vide.
The medieval castle, surrounded by the town’s elegant houses, dominates the landscape of the foothills. The best way to appreciate the town’s medieval charm is to stroll the winding streets, narrow São Mamede mountains. Between the castle and the renaissance town fountain, are a series of narrower streets that define an ancient Judiaria (Jewish Quarter) dating back to the time of D. Dinis in the thirteenth century. One of the best-preserved Jewish areas in Portugal, with a collection of religious and civil architecture from the Gothic period, including a former synagogue. The Capela do Salvador do Mundo is the oldest chapel in the region with panels of blue and white azulejos, just one of the town’s 24 churches.
Switzerland has always been one of those places you only seem to hear about, it is usually not on the top 5 list of places most people add to their European vacation. Well, we are here to tell you it should be!
One of the main political, financial and transportation hubs of Europe, Switzerland is one of those places you will have to visit at some time or another. If you talk to most world travelers that have been to this beautiful country, they will probably tell you that they only visited for a few days but there are plenty of reasons to stay longer. First off, the location is breathtaking. Beautiful emerald green bodies of water everywhere you look with the snow-covered Swiss Alps in the background. Many of Europe’s deep thinkers come to this area to find themselves and it is said that a lot of the world’s problems have been solved here.
With a blend of fresh country escapes and new modern cities mixed with medieval ramparts Switzerland can make for an ideal getaway to refresh and rejuvenate.
Country Escape of Choice: Villa Honegg
Location, location, location! Set high above Lake Lucerne Villa Honegg is an influencers dream come true. Step onto your spacious balcony with a glass of Swiss wine and take in the awe-inspiring views from every angle. The Boutique Hotel Villa Honegg has 23 comfortable rooms and suites to suit any discerning traveler. Featuring a pleasant blend of natural materials and elegance, the decor and furnishings create an inviting ambience fostering relaxation and a sense of well-being. Set in the heart of Switzerland and perched high above Lake Lucerne this art Nouveau-style villa on the Bürgenstock was built in 1905 and reopened in 2
2011 following a complete refurbishment that succeeded in preserving its historical charm. Rooms and suites offer plenty of privacy, tranquility and comfort in a scenic mountain setting. Boasting breathtaking panoramic views and a popular excursion destination, the Bürgenstock is on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Lake Lucerne.
Book a first-class meal in the stylishly furnished restaurant or on the terrace with its stunning view. The cuisine focuses on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and an evening visit to the restaurant is a unique experience, any time of year. Enjoy menu creations prepared by imaginative chefs, as well as a fabulous wine list. The spa on property is one of the most relaxing wellness facilities in Switzerland. Immersed in the 34ºC heated outdoor pool, what you experience at any time of year is nothing short of phenomenal, thanks to the views of the mountains and the lake or the sea of clouds in the valley below.
Built along Lake Lucerne just next to the historic city center, this beautiful property offers an elegant atmosphere and charming historic rooms sure to satisfy even modern hotel lovers.
The gold accents throughout the classically decorated rooms contrasts well with the creamy beige and cranberry splashes, while antique furniture and marble bathroom floors add that classic flair that speaks to the sophisticated and elegant nature of the property. That’s not to say that the rooms aren’t without modern amenities like Nespresso Coffee Machines and flat-screen TVs. Stucco ceilings, shimmering silk wallpaper and hand-woven carpets are just a few of the rich touches that don each guestroom to enhance its opulence. Quiet and spacious, this fabulous feel-good haven is flooded with light. It’s topped only by the balcony and its stunning views of the Lucerne Lake basin, the city and the surrounding mountains of Central Switzerland. While the hotel’s impressive historic past is reason enough to visit the hotel, these days, it’s the range of gastronomy with Four restaurants that attract most guests
to the doors of the hotel. The voyage of culinary discovery takes you from Italy to Vienna and from there eastward as far as China. The hotel didn’t get to be one of Europe’s signature hotels by providing anything less than the best of the best to its guests. Set right in the heart of downtown you are only a few minutes away from waterfront dining and numerous shops. Walk roughly five minutes across the bridge and get lost in the charm of Old Town Lucerne where you can find local restaurants, wine bars, shopping and historic sites.
The staff at the hotel is extremely friendly and hospitable, catering to your every need. From the second you walk into the hotel you are greeted like family, with a glass of champagne to compliment. The rooms are spacious and modern and if you are lucky enough to get a lake view you might not want to ever leave the comforts of your new sanctuary.
When in Switzerland it is an absolute must to try authentic Swiss fondue. If you ask a local where to go for the best fondue, they will typically suggest Restaurant Lapin, Schiff or Fondue House Du Pont. Designed with culture in mind you are in for a full night of delicious food no matter which you choose. For a fun night out with family to see traditional music and dance book a table at Restaurant Stadtkeller. Throughout your entire dining experience local Swiss entertainers play a variety of instruments that will make your dinner that much more memorable! From spoon playing, to giant horns to yodeling you will get to see a full array of all that is authentic to the Swiss at this restaurant. Whether you are on a date or a full family dinner with the kids, Stadtkeller will not disappoint your inner tourist. Great fondue, great wine, great service and of course some local entertainment always makes for a good night.
The American Bar inside Hotel Château Gütsch offers the perfect place for exciting encounters, inspiring conversations or simply moments of relaxation in a comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy bar culture with classic as well as creative drinks and bar snacks. Weather permitting, you can sit on the terrace or in the open air in the castle courtyard. The city view of Lucerne below is the showstopper here. People from all over the world have been visiting the historic Hotel Château Gütsch for over 140 years to take in the history and extraordinary views. With its warm, pleasing atmosphere guests spend quite a bit of time just lounging around the bar area listening to an array of music. At any given time, you can find numerous people sipping on specialty cocktails while enjoying small bites from the kitchen.
From the ‘Grinchmas’ wonderland in Orlando, Union Square in New York and the world’s longest running Christmas market in Germany, those searching for some festive magic should travel to these beautiful markets this winter.
Christmas lovers searching for festive magic and beautiful markets this winter are being told exactly where to head. The experts at StressFreeCarRental.com have researched the world’s weird, wonderful, traditional, and themed Christmas markets. One of the best ways to celebrate this time of year is to browse the Christmas markets and join in with the festive traditions different countries have to offer. Whether it’s in the sun or snow, on top of a mountain or underground, Christmas markets come in all different sizes and traditions - but they all give those magical festive feelings to those that visit, wherever they are in the world.
StressFreeCarRental.com rated these Christmas markets as the most magical spots to celebrate the festive season this year:
Fans of the classic Christmas film, The Grinch need to travel to Universal Studios in Orlando this year to experience the magic of the ‘Grinchmas’ wonderland. The life-size characters and extravagant displays transform the ‘Suss Landing’ Universal Park into the ultimate Grinchmas experience, topped off with a live stage show, Christmas lights, and food stalls.
Dresden’s ‘Striezelmarkt’ is the longest-running Christmas market in the world and one of the largest, attracting millions of visitors each year - a definite trip for all Christmas lovers. With over 200 stands Striezelmarkt features traditional foods, drinks and lots of handmade crafts, this famous Christmas market also hosts fairground rides and a giant wooden Advent calendar in the heart of the festive city.
Christmastime in New York is a guaranteed exciting and beautifully festive trip - and no visit to the Big Apple in December is complete without heading over to the Christmas market at Union Square. The market has loads of food stalls as well as precious souvenirs and gifts to get in the festive spirit. And for true New York fans, a trip to see the massive Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree is just a short distance away, and visitors can ice skate on the rink below, after warming up with a hot chocolate from the market.
On the 5th of January every year, Tenerife celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men. The tradition goes that Los Reyes Magos bring sweets and small gifts for Spanish children overnight, and during the day families enjoy a festive feast together. The parade is a wonderful festive tradition to enjoy in Tenerife over Christmastime with camels, floats, dancers and local bands and market stalls.
One of the most famous Christmas destinations is the Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland, the home of Santa. The Village draws in thousands of visitors every Christmas, who can meet Santa, his elves, and his reindeer. Santa Claus Village is also home to a large Christmas market featuring lots of traditional Finnish foods and crafts, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a reindeer ride or dog sledding. The classic Christmas village is also a great place to try and see the Northern Lights, which really adds to the festive magic.
Valkenburg is home to the biggest underground Christmas market in Europe. This unique festive experience is in the heart of the city’s famous caves and turns into an extraordinary underground winter wonderland during Christmas time. The caves are filled with captivating lights and decorations, market stalls from local vendors, life-size nativity sculptures and decadent Christmas trees hidden away in the caves settled under the Valkenburg castle ruins.
The Christmas market on top of Mount Pilatus is officially the highest in Europe. At over one-mile visitors must ride up on the world’s steepest cog railway to experience the Swiss Christmas magic. The mountaintop Christmas market is set amongst beautiful panoramic views and sells traditional gifts, handmade presents and tasty treats and is decked out in festive ornaments and lights.
Vibrant city life, rich gastro scene, music festivals, the European Capital of Culture 2022, and vast white sand beaches, among other things, await travelers in Lithuania this summer.
For the ultimate Beantown experience look no further than Hotel Commonwealth. Undeniably the most prime location in the city, guests will beam with excitement being only a fly ball away from the iconic Fenway Park, one of Boston’s most famed landmarks. Perfectly situated in the heart of the dynamic Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood Hotel Commonwealth’s location couldn’t be a better fit to see the city at its finest. Set only a few minutes’ walk away from “America’s most beloved ballpark” baseball fans have the utmost peace of mind when it comes to taking in a game during the MLB season. No unwanted stress of having to pack into Boston’s antiquated subway system or pay an exorbitant parking fee anywhere close to the park, a stay at the Hotel Commonwealth is surely worth its weight in gold.
Undergoing a fairly recent 50-million-dollar renovation, the hotel offers its guests a one-of-a-kind lodging experience from the moment they step foot inside the iconic historic lobby. With the highest standard of customer service at the forefront guests will feel right at home, from check in, to room service to the hotel’s valet, expect only the most refined of approaches every step of the way. Offering a modern aesthetic in a lively urban setting, the property is the perfect blend of style, sophistication and character which is evident in every aspect of your stay. From generously sized guestrooms with a design ethos that melds classic New England with cosmopolitan conveniences, guests are sure to enjoy the best of both worlds during their time on property. Each of the 245 guestrooms offer unparalleled comfort and well thought out amenities in an over-sized modern living space. Each of the suites feature King-sized Serta pillow top beds, a separate living area, and views of Kenmore Square and Fenway Park, making it the ideal place to pre-game with friends and loved ones.
Being deemed as the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox, the hotel prides itself in offering the most elevated of lodging opportunities for its baseball-loving guests. With certain suites highly appointed for the ultimate Fenway up close and personal stay a variety of unique room options will make for a once in a lifetime experience. For the pinnacle of all stays a night at The Fenway Park Suite will surely hit it out of the park in every sense of the word. This 700 square foot masterpiece comes fully equipped with original ballpark seats on its terrace where you have the most idyllic of vantage points to take in game (and hey maybe if you’re lucky you just may catch a stray home run with the mitt that is provided with your stay). Inside your suite, you’ll find Red Sox memorabilia, including signed baseball cards from Ted Williams, Bobby Doer, Dom DiMaggio and fan favorite Johnny Pesky. You’ll also find tickets from the 1946, 1967, and 1975 World Series games, a coffee table signed by several Red Sox legendary players and to top it off the ultimate fan souvenir, your very own bag of Fenway Park dirt! For those not able to book a stay at one of the hotel’s famed suites there is no reason to fret, the property can also arrange other great seats or experiences for you like getting you onto the field prior to the game, having your names up on the scoreboard as honored guests, or having Wally and Tessie, the team’s mascots, stop by your seats for a special hello.
Although well known for its incredible up close and personal Red Sox fan experiences one thing is for sure you don’t have to love baseball to have a great time at Hotel Commonwealth. For those who love a good book, a night in the hotel’s Reading Suite is sure to impress. This six hundred
square foot suite with a classic library look comes fully furnished with an oversized library table, polished brass reading lamps, a window seat overlooking Kenmore Square where you can read a good book in the most relaxing of settings. Browse through a curated collection of 50 plus titles signed by authors that have stayed at the hotel housed in a beautiful glass case in your bedroom, play LPs on a genuine vinyl record player or just simply take in the awe-inspiring views of the city’s famous skyline before you.
For those looking to embark on a culinary journey that Boston is so well known for look no further than the three highly touted dining experiences only steps away from the hotel’s lobby. The newly opened Pescador is the latest creation from Blue Ribbon Restaurants. Located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Kenmore Street this “Coastal Grill” features fresh seafood caught in local, New England waters pulling inspiration from a variety of international coastal cuisines, from Andalusia to Argentina. Blue Ribbon Sushi is a vibrant Japanese restaurant and sushi bar offering outstanding Japanese cuisine inspired by passion and tradition. Located just off the Hotel Commonwealth lobby, TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie is dedicated to creating fresh udon noodles in-house everyday using a carefully selected blend of flour from Japan to deliver authentic, homemade udon daily. To showcase the highest quality, TsuruTonTan uses a unique mix of kombu kelp and bonito from specific regions in Japan along with various craft soy sauces to create distinctive taste and flavor.
Hotel Commonwealth has been deemed as Boston’s most spirited luxury hotel. Setting the highest of standards in guest experience from inception, this iconic hotel is surely here to stay. Offering the most unique of baseball fan escapades at arguably the most famed ballpark in the world, well let’s face it, that truly is hard to beat. Couple this once in a lifetime experience with the most idyllic city locations, the highest level of customer service and a dining scene that is second to none, it is easy to see why this hotel sits above the rest as one of Boston’s best.
Yeah, we wish we were there, too. White sands, rugged coastlines, the works—these are the beaches that travelers dream of all year long. Whether your personal beach style is rustic and remote or chock full of amenities, our curated list offers a peek into some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Napa Valley, California’s most famous wine region, a place that attracts roughly 4 million visitors a year due to its stunning landscapes, Michelin-starred restaurants, vibrant art scene and first-rate hotel accommodations. Consisting of five distinctive towns, Calistoga, Yountville, St Helena, American Canyon and the city of Napa the Napa Valley surely is more than meets the eye. As host to over 500 wineries, 600 different lodging options and an unending number of restaurants how does one decide on the perfect stopover in this amazing viticultural paradise? Here are our picks for a quintessential wine country escape that includes a sampling of everything good and notable in Napa Valley.
Compiling a list of what makes the ideal Napa Valley vacation always starts with a great hotel. Archer Hotel is just that place. Located in the heart of downtown Napa, Archer Hotel brings casual elegance, the highest quality of hospitality and a fresh new feel to First Street Napa. Having long been considered a pass-through on the way to wine country downtown Napa is now a vibrant mix of world-class cuisine, shopping, live music venues, wine tasting rooms and luxury hotel stays. Opening its doors in 2017 Archer Hotel paved the way to introduce boutique hospitality to downtown Napa, its idyllic combination of urban energy, professional staff and unique style was exactly what the doctor ordered. Featuring 5 floors with 183 guest rooms including 39 balcony-clad suites guests are treated to their very own wine country retreat whichever room option they choose. From the Deluxe King, all the way to an Archer Den with balcony and fireplace each room comes fully equipped with everything you need to ensure the utmost relaxation. A wide array of amenities are offered during your stay at Archer from check in to check out every small detail has been thought of to guarantee the highest level of satisfaction. From handmade salted caramels upon arrival to the Nespresso coffee experience, plush robe and slippers and nightly turndown with local treats guests feel right at home with the top-notch customer service every turn along the way.
For those looking to upgrade their stay, Archer’s Dens are the Creme de la Creme when it comes to the most note-worthy accommodations on property. Sprawling sanctuaries with private balconies, fireplaces and wood plank porcelain tile set the tone for a first-class stay. Each den comes with the most inviting of atmospheres, from the separate living area fully furnished with a mid-century modern leather sleeper sofa to the blue alligator-skin Danish chairs, mango wood coffee table and a 65-inch flat-screen HDTV with a wine-barrel wood backing, there is no doubt Archer Dens were designed for the utmost of style and class. Luxury and comfort are at the forefront of every bedroom fully equipped with a King four-poster canopy bed with hidden 49-inch flat-screen HDTV, five-star bedding with plush mattress, down duvet with a comfy mix of pillows. Nightly turndown includes local treats and guests are guaranteed the most peaceful and restful stay possible.
With the beauty of the Napa Valley surrounding you, there is no better place to take in the panoramic valley views than Sky and Vine Rooftop Bar. Located on the 6th floor of Archer Hotel Sky and Vine is Napa Valley’s only rooftop oasis, when the skies are clear and blue, this my friends is a hangout that cannot be missed. With its idyllic combination of tasty small bites, tantalizing hand-crafted cocktails, ambient atmosphere, and starlit vistas we couldn’t think of a better way to spend
the evening with loved ones. Comfy lounge seating with the best views in town invites guests to relax under a canopy of potted olive trees and modern rhythmic rockers are the ideal location to cozy up to the cracking stone fire pits to catch the perfect Napa sunset. Small plates are the focus at Sky and Vine, tasty concoctions that will surely invite your taste buds to want to sample one of each unique menu creation. From the Lobster Corn Dogs with pickled ramp remoulade to the Panko Crusted Peanut Prawns to Oysters on the Half Shell it is easy to see why this is easily one of the most sought out dining venues in the Napa Valley.
Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar just shared a toast at its newest addition as of August 2nd with the debut of Whiskey Bar. This exclusive, reservationonly alfresco hideaway will be welcoming whiskey enthusiasts and novices alike with a list spanning more than 100 choices that can be sipped neat, on the rocks, and within its specialty cocktails built on private barrel selections. The extensive menu, which reads as a who’s who in the world of whiskey, has been thoughtfully curated with unique and rare pours that include small vintage collections, private barrel flights and a range of approachable selections. Whiskey Bar’s cuisine will complement the savory profiles that pair well with the distilled spirit and is built around the bar’s stone hearth pizza ovens. In true Archer fashion, details big and small will round out the immersive experience, including a complimentary arrival bar snack and games to test one’s whiskey wisdom. Whiskey Bar hosts who are passionate about nurturing the perfect pour will guide guests through the experience, which showcases such rare and allocated whiskeys as Pappy Van Winkle, EH Taylor Barrel Proof, Weller Full Proof, Orphan Barrels, Elmer T Lee and Yamazaki. Global selections include Irish, Scotch (Highland, Speyside, Islay and Blended), Japanese, Canadian and American varieties. A small vintage collection features Teitessa 30 Year, The Balvenie 30 Year and Red Breast 27 Year. One-of-akind private barrel flights, selected via blind tastings throughout the year, will constantly evolve and serve as the base for Whiskey Bar’s specialty
cocktail list with such creative compositions as The Bee’s Whisktea, Blazen Manhattan and Private Jet. With sweeping valley vistas, the 30seat enclave is tucked neatly in the corner of Sky & Vine, the only spot downtown that boasts such a vantage point from its sixth-floor perch atop Archer Hotel Napa. The intimate space is anchored by a stone fireplace and furnished with Sonoma redwood Adirondack chairs and one-of-a-kind tasting tables and benches handcrafted exclusively for Whiskey Bar by Sonoma Woodworks. The 12-seat covered bar boasts an up-close pizza oven and golden bottle views. A whiskey haunt in wine country is a natural fit given those who seek out the destination and why, according to Archer Hotel Napa’s corporate food & beverage director, Peter Triolo “Food and beverage enthusiasts now have even more reasons to visit Napa Valley. After a day of wine tasting, gastronomes have a growing list of breweries, distilleries, craft cocktail venues — and now a dedicated whiskey bar — to add to their tasting tour.” The impressive whiskey collection will share the stage with thoughtful culinary pairings turned out from the stone hearth ovens. Sure to be shareable favorites are such savory seasonal selections including the smoked pork ribs served dry with hatch chile rub or wet with house-made BBQ sauce; the creamy white cheddar shallot mac ’n’ cheese with braised short rib; the crispy pork belly bites with fig mustard sauce; and two tempting pizzas — the white mushroom with ricotta, mozzarella, and garlic; and the Margherita with balsamic, cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions and burrata. The menu also features chick-arrones, baked oysters and mussels, pretzels, and pizza knots. A signature bourbon berry crisp with mixed berries, oat streusel and bourbon Chantilly cream is the perfect dessert nightcap.
When most people hear Napa Valley the first restaurant that comes to mind is the world-famous French Laundry. It is for good reason that this association is so set in stone, Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller opened it in 1994 and has been a staple in Napa’s fine dining scene. Since 2007 the Michelin Guide has awarded The French Laundry their highest rating of
three stars, making Thomas Keller the only American-born chef to have two three-starred Michelin restaurants. Because of this world-renowned fame, it is safe to say getting a seat at the French Laundry is not the easiest of tasks so naturally the brand had to expand. In 2006 Keller opened the doors to Ad Hoc, a much more casual, affordable dining venue for the masses showcasing his favorite American comfort foods from his childhood. Ad Hoc’s literal meaning “for this purpose” was derived from the restaurant’s original purpose to serve as a temporary space while another concept was being worked on and needless to say because of popular demand the restaurant still thrives today serving up the classics. With a limited menu consisting of his top-selling fried chicken, BBQ Ribs, fried chicken sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, honey cornbread, and chocolate chip cookies it was only natural that they opened the “picnic” version Addendum. Located behind Ad Hoc and (yes only seasonal) Addendum is now the spot to bring the family for a good old Napa-style picnic whilst being surrounded by the outdoor beauty that Napa is so well known for. What makes the buttermilk fried chicken so noteworthy bringing the customers in droves you may ask? Fried chicken aficionados attribute the incredible taste and texture to its 12-hour soak in a brine consisting of lemon, honey, thyme, parsley, garlic, and bay leaves. The skin is then crisped to perfection after being dipped in buttermilk and dredged throughout his trademarked spice flour mixture. True to its name Addendum is the perfect addition to not only Ad Hoc yet the entire Keller franchise, it only makes sense, after all, when something is that good, you just have to make it that much better!
With over 500 wineries to choose from doesn’t it make sense to visit ones with character and a story to tell? A winery that fits that bill perfectly is Cliff Lede Vineyards. Founded in 2002 by Canadian-born Bordeaux enthusiast Cliff Lede this family-owned winery has more than stood the test of time. It all started with bringing in the talent of renowned viticulturist David Abreu, the estate replanting began, and construction of the state-of-the-art winery was completed in 2005. Situated in The Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, roughly 60 miles from San Francisco this award-winning winery produces a variety of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux style red blends as well as offering stunning varietal wines made from the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris grape varieties from its sister brand FEL Wines in Anderson Valley. It is not just about producing the finest wines in the area says one of the Lede staff members, it is also about giving back to the environment that has made this such a special place to grow our grapes. The estate’s commitment to enhancing and protecting biodiversity has earned them the Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery certification. This past May Cliff Lede Vineyards celebrated its 20th anniversary in style with their annual Rock Block Release Party. The backstory of the Rock Block is Cliff Lede named each vineyard block within the Twin
Peaks and Poetry estate vineyards after his favorite rock & roll songs, which led to the creation of an annual “mash-up” bottling called the “Rock Block Series,” featured in the tasting room and wine club. The name of the 2019 blend, “Roundabout Midnight” is derived from Yes’ “Roundabout” in the Twin Peaks vineyard and Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight” in the Poetry vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon in “After Midnight” is planted in shallow volcanic soil and farmed to low yields, contributing to the wine’s outstanding structure, and providing classic Stags Leap character to the backbone of the blend. “Roundabout” is a block of Cabernet Sauvignon that contributes plush texture, exceptional fragrance, and dark, brooding flavors.
A surprise performance from Jon Anderson of Yes topped the night of amazing food, live music, and special bottles from the cellar. It was an unforgettable experience for all those who attended this special event, the perfect way to spend the day in Napa Valley!
Situated only 45 minutes from The Golden City, Bouchaine Vineyards is a winery that you don’t want to miss on your trip to the Napa Valley. Backing up to the San Francisco Bay gives Bouchaine two incredible attributes right off the get-go, a panoramic view of both the Napa Valley as well as the San Francisco Bay below. With its idyllic geographical location, Bouchaine has slightly cooler temperatures than the rest of the Napa Valley which makes for a supreme growing climate, particularly for their clones of Pinot Noir. Surprising to most to find out that Bouchaine was originally planted in the 1880s and with almost 150 years of experience you can only guess why they produce such award-winning wines year after year. The oldest continuously operating winery in Carneros region located on the southern tip of the Napa Valley Bouchaine focuses on crafting vibrant wines with the elegance of Burgundy, the vitality of California and the terroir of Carneros. With a wide list of wines to choose from including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon it is safe to say your taste profile will surely be met! Continuously practicing sustainable farming and precision viticulture this boutique-style winery has always focused on quality over quantity. Small batch production giving the people exactly what they want is what makes Bouchaine one of the top wineries to visit in the Napa Valley.
Photos by Bob McClenahan, Michael Hospelt & Alex Hayden Photography
Sustainable luxury travel curator Up Norway is launching new journeys for travelers seeking to experience the Northern Lights. Perfect for soft adventure seekers, these customizable journeys include once in a lifetime experience such as crossing the Arctic Circle, dog sledding, snowmobiling, arctic surfing, whale watching, and of course opportunities to see the enchanting Northern Lights. With its coastline, islands, fjords, glaciers, mountains, and plains, the Arctic Circle Region in Norway demands insider knowledge for seamless travel. In addition to its personally serviced digital chat option for real time concerns, Up Norway’s pre-planning guides travelers smoothly from place to place, without the worry of logistics.
The following journeys have been curated to immerse travelers in the arctic region paying special attention to catching the illusive Northern Lights.
Northern Lights in Norway at 70 Degrees North - During this five-day journey curated specifically to experience the Northern Lights, travelers will experience the combination of both winter adventure and relaxation. The journey encourages connection with the arctic region through excursions such as dogsledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, unique dining experiences, and more. Travelers also can stay in three varied accommodations including an ice hotel and an igloo-style dome with chances of viewing the Northern Lights from the bed.
The Lofoten Islands and Manshausen Sea Cabins: Nature & Culture in Harmony - The combination of Steigen and the Lofoten Islands makes for the perfect adventure for those seeking authentic immersion in Norwegian culture, tradition, nature, architecture, art, and design. On this seven-day journey, a highlight is that travelers will hunt the Northern Lights with a local professional photographer who knows the best places to witness them. Other activity options include hiking, arctic surfing, handicrafts, kayaking, and more.
A Frozen Fairytale, Explore Northern Norway in Anna & Elsa’s Footsteps - This seven-day Frozen inspired journey is filled with reindeer, snowmen, winter activities, and characters worth melting for. Travelers will experience activities such as skiing, ice sculptures, dog sledding, reindeer experiences, and a snowshoe excursion where an expert Northern Lights hunter will share science and folklore on the magical celestial dances. Unique accommodations include a mountain hideaway and a husky lodge built and run-on sustainable principles.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://upnorway.com.
For many people, asking the question at the right time and choosing the right place to do it at is almost as important as the wedding itself. If you’re planning a proposal and want to be sure that it’s everything, she (or he) dreamed of, make the season even more festive with a holiday proposal. Twinkling lights, decorated trees, and flurries of snow; the season is practically made for your own personal Lifetime movie-worthy ask. Take note of the destinations below and match the location to your sweetheart’s personality if you want to ensure your proposal goes off without a hitch. These festive locations are the perfect backdrop for a holiday proposal. From iconic lights displays to must-visit Christmas markets, any one of these destinations would be the perfect spot to pop the question.
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At Big Sur, the soaring cliffs, crashing waves, mysterious mist, and swaying trees are enough to put you on a high vibe. Channel that otherworldly ether into the rest of your life with your significant other. Get down on one knee on a coastal beach or trek deep into the redwood forest to stand amongst the ancient giants as you propose. Rent a cozy cabin during the holidays or splurge on a visit to the award-winning Post Ranch Inn.
Great food, festivals, and enjoying every bit of life to the fullest. If this is something that is common between you and your other half, then a proposal in Montreal is meant for you. With so many attractions and experiences, the city offers a plethora of options for picking and planning your proposal plus some of the friendliest locals sure to congratulate you both afterwards.
Venice is easily one of the most romantic proposal locations on earth when it comes to a love story for the ages. The gothic palaces, canals, and gorgeous views around make it a magical place that would only make you fall in love with each other again.
No matter how cliché Paris might sound to you, it’s impossible not to feel the love when visiting the city of lights. With so many places to propose here, the Eiffel Tower continues to be the most iconic. If you know that your loved one is an admirer of the classics, get to planning already!
Nothing says “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” like getting lost together in the woods. Whistler offers unique treks, although you may have to break your handholding for some of the tougher climbs. Find a secluded spot in mother nature, set up a meal at Araxi located in the village square or grab a bottle of champagne and toast under the stars. There are so many tranquil spots to get engaged here, during a mountain tour, a snowshoe journey, or a horse drawn carriage ride.
If you want a romantic engagement location that is every bit as exotic as it is beautiful, you may have to do your homework a bit more when planning to propose in Marrakech. This desert paradise features everything from beautiful snowcapped mountains to real life bazaars. Take your future partner on a moonlit camel ride through the desert. You will certainly win points for creativity as this proposal idea isn’t for the average joe!
While any season offers visitors a reason to visit Carson Valley, Nevada, there’s something about fall and the holidays that checks more of the boxes, and the locals can tell you why.
Carson Valley, located just minutes east of Lake Tahoe and just 15 minutes south of the state’s capital Carson City, is comprised of four communities each offering diverse options. The towns of Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa offer a smalltown feel with proximity to the Sierra Nevada, while Topaz Lake offers a more relaxed desert lake experience.
Here’s what the locals say about autumn in Carson Valley, and why it should top every destination list.
Just ask photographer Vivian Powers to show some of her most vivid images, and you’ll see shots of fall bursting off your screen – especially those in and around Genoa. Situated at the base of the impressive Eastern Sierra, the photoworthy town of Genoa, Nevada, is worth a visit any time of year, but something about the leaves falling across the road makes it feel like something out of the movies. Stroll the quaint town’s main street and peruse the antique shops, taking in the fresh mountain sights and sounds. Complete the experience with a delicious treat on the patio at Sierra Chef, where fresh sandwiches and sweet treats are made fresh daily.
“Carson Valley’s fall season is none like I have ever seen,” photographer Vivian Powers said. “Come October you can find aspens and huge cottonwood trees that have turned a vibrant yellow, and you can even find maple trees that will turn an amazing red color. I love going out to capture these incredible colors through my camera lens and share the beauty of the Carson Valley with others.”
The holiday season is notably busy and finding the perfect gift can be a stressful endeavor. Enter Carson Valley and its ample boutique and antique shops. Locals know just where to go to get their holiday lists knocked out. The owners of Eddy Street Vintage Market, local pioneers in creating a boutique shopping experience, focus on unique and quality gifts not likely to be found anywhere else. You must be in the know to find them as they only “pop up” every few weeks.
“Carson Valley is the quintessential place to shop for the holidays,” Meredith Fischer, owner of Eddy Street Vintage Market, said. “From the welcoming shop owners to the thoughtful displays, small business owners here provide a community experience that Amazon and the big box stores can’t offer. At Eddy Street Vintage Market, we carefully curate our displays to tell a story. Each item is thoughtfully placed and creatively exhibited. The changing seasons and the holidays are our absolute favorite to decorate for. Not to mention that the beautiful Carson Valley paints the ultimate backdrop with its stunning scenery.”
Eddy Street Vintage Market is just one of many unique shopping experiences in Carson Valley. There’s even an Arts & Antiques Trail Map to help visitors navigate the many options. Be sure to bring an empty suitcase to bring home all the goods!
Fall kicks off each September in Genoa with more than 300 crafters and vendors for the annual Genoa Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Faire. It’s a tradition more than 100 years strong, primarily because of the locals who volunteer to make it happen each year. True to its name, it involves both candy (with traditional candy and chocolate-making) and dancing. The event features high-quality, hand-made arts and crafts,
food vendors, activities, and fun for the whole family. It’s the unofficial kick-off to the fall season for locals and visitors to Genoa alike.
“This event has been an integral part of the Carson Valley community for more than 100 years,” Kim Harris, who portrays Lillian Virgin Finnegan - the originator of the Genoa Candy Dance, said. “The locals know it started as a way to help raise money for streetlamps, and it’s only grown from there. Today, it draws thousands of folks from hundreds of miles to get a little slice of the everyday life we’re fortunate enough to enjoy here in Genoa and Carson Valley.”
The beautiful fall weather in Carson Valley makes it popular for many other events, including a rodeo, wine walks, fall festivals and studio art tours.
Carson Valley’s dining options are as diverse and delightful as the destination itself. Locals can enjoy a variety of meals on their outings and never tire of one place with so many options to choose from. When it comes to fall comfort foods, there are a few places that top the list.
“Carson Valley is fortunate to have many great eateries and restaurants,” Jen Nalder, Main Street Gardnerville program director, said. “It is hard not to play favorites because I love them all as a foodie. I will say for breakfast or a bistro date night on the weekend it is Woodett’s Diner. My go-to burger has to be the Valley Burger at the Overland Restaurant and Pub, and when I am in the mood for some comforting soul food it has to be the JT Basque Bar & Dining Room.”
Whether one of these or another one of the many restaurants, visitors will need to get in that daily nature walk to work off the delicious meals that Carson Valley’s dining establishments offer.
With Carson Valley’s quiet and serene landscape, many locals and visitors alike feed their souls by leaving their phone behind and recharging out in nature. A soak in David Walley’s Hot Springs can do wonders for the body and mind, allowing the minerals in the natural hot spring pools to ease away worries and tension. Or take a walk along River Fork Ranch to watch the wildlife in action along the ponds and wetlands. There’s nothing quite like nature to quiet the mind, and Carson Valley’s locals know this all too well.
“There’s nothing like the serenity of nature and wide-open spaces to recharge your mind and body, and Carson Valley has both in spades,” Mendy Stuart, general manager for Holiday Inn Club Vacations David Walley’s Resort in Genoa, said. “Our fresh air, the peacefulness of the valley and the ability to connect to nature make this the perfect place to relax before the holiday rush.”
Nestled at the base of the Sierra, Carson Valley begs visitors to not just drive through it, but to it. Located 45 miles south of Reno-Tahoe International Airport and 12 miles east of South Lake Tahoe, the region’s natural beauty is legendary: wide-open farms, ranches, bands of wild horses and birds of prey dot the landscape. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts follow all points of the compass with more than 50+ miles of hiking, mountain biking or walking trails along with world-class road biking. The valley’s museums, arts, antiquing, Basque dining, historic watering holes and more add to the destination’s authentic culture. The region includes the communities of Minden, Gardnerville, Topaz Lake and Genoa, Nevada’s first settlement dating back to 1851. Explore the land of everyday legends at VisitCarsonValley.org.
Located a mere two hours from Los Angeles, San Diego as well as Orange County, Indian Wells CA truly is the ultimate desert retreat. With unlimited world-class lodging, PGA golf courses, luxury spas, tennis courts and top-notch dining establishments right at your fingertips, a trip to this desert oasis surely will not disappoint. With such a wide array of world-renowned resort chains and luxury boutique hotels, how does one decide on accommodations that will perfectly suit their needs? For the highest standard of hospitality, and unrefined luxury with the most idyllic of locations look no further than The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Providing the quintessential Palm Springs experience since its opening in 1989, it is for good reason that guests have been flocking here in search of the ultimate desert escape.
Situated within the exclusive Indian Wells community and a mere stone’s throw from a wide list of the valley’s most acclaimed landmarks guests revel in the ease and convenience of the resort’s ideal position. Whether visiting the area for the ever-so-popular BNP Paribas tennis tournament, Stagecoach, Coachella Music Festival, or just in town to soak up the unmatched desert hospitality you have surely come to the right place. Regardless in town for business or pleasure, the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells offers the most serene of settings surrounded by jaw-dropping backdrops in any direction you look, this resort’s grounds truly are a thing of beauty. Completing a multi-million dollar renovation as recent as 2020 the property featured upgrades to select guestrooms and meeting spaces as well as the addition of a fun-filled waterpark further extending the properties wow factor.
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa offers a wide range of accommodations with 530 rooms in total, including 35 suites and 43 villas. A room type for all needs ranging from a standard King or 2 queens with spacious living area, workplace, spa-inspired bath, and private balcony to the Presidential Villa that features expansive living space, dining area, fireplace, wet bar with a golf course or lagoon view, re-imagined luxury Hyatt Regency style. For those looking for more space and privacy the resort’s two-bedroom villa surely will fit all your needs. With one king bedroom and a separate room featuring two queen beds along with1500 sq ft of living area, you will feel right at home inside this charming desert retreat. Fully equipped with two skylit bathrooms each featuring dual vanity sinks, a separate marble shower, and a deep soaking tub as well as luxurious bath amenities, this villa truly is made for a king or a queen. The spacious interior also boasts a living room with a fireplace and sleeper sofa and a dining area with a wet bar. Outside, find a private furnished patio with a barbecue and a hot tub or plunge pool, ideal for entertaining guests or a romantic evening for two.
With unending resort amenities and a wide list of activities on and off property one thing is for certain, you will never find yourself bored during your stay at The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells. Offering a wide variety of leisure pursuits including access to two championship golf courses, tennis, swimming pools including two dueling water slides, a 450 ft lazy river and splash pad, poolside cabanas and a world-class spa, a vacation at this world-class resort is surely one you will never forget.
The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort offers a multitude of culinary experiences on property, from light poolside bites at Oasis Bar to the Agave Sunset Tequila Bar there is a dining option to please any palate. With Oasis Bar serving California fare with a slight international twist opt for items such as the Salmon Avocado Toast, Sesame-crusted Yellowfin Tuna Salad, or the Strauss Beef Grass-Fed Burger to hit the spot. Gather with friends any time of the day for a desert-inspired cocktail at Agave Sunset Bar with the most picturesque of views, a panoramic view of the adjacent Indian Wells Golf Resort while sipping a Jalapeno Margarita, yes, please!
For those looking to venture off property the resort’s team of concierges will be more than happy to help with your itinerary of visiting the Greater Palm Springs area and its wide array of fun-filled activities. Choose from various museums, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, several hiking trails, and a multitude of PGA golf courses or perhaps you are looking to test your need for speed at the BMW Performance Center nearby, the options are endless.
The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is a true oasis offering its guests everything they could ever ask for the quintessential Palm Springs escape. With the most ideal of locations, world-class amenities, and endless on and off-site activities offered in one of the most striking settings it is easy to see why this iconic resort has surely stood the test of time.
A mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from Los Angeles and you arrive at a place that will set you back to a time when life was much simpler. This simple little town just happens to be a quaint Danish village dotted with Scandinavian bakeries, windmills and yes, of course, wine-tasting shops. Founded in 1911 by a group of Danish settlers looking to form a colony away from the bitter Midwestern winters, it is safe to say the place they found was their own little version of paradise.
Walking the streets of Solvang, it becomes immediately clear, this truly is as close as you are going to get to visiting Denmark without jumping on a plane. With Danish influences everywhere you turn, from the architecture to the restaurants and shops to statues and replicas of famous landmarks, a little slice of Europe is surely at your fingertips. In an area that serves as paying homage to a time past Solvang’s downtown is as authentic as it gets. A smattering of European bakeries, a ride on the Solvang Trolley for a full tour of the town and arguably its highlight being a central hub to over 120 wineries.
With its central location in the heart of downtown Solvang, The Lansby Hotel has been touted as the place to see and be seen since its grand opening in May of 2015. With the takeover of an existing building and extensive renovation, The Lansby instantly brought the ideal mix of Scandinavian design coupled with the coolest California vibes. The brainchild of LA-based design firm Studio Collective the hotel boasts a modern interior/exterior with subtle hints of Danish culture spread throughout the entirety of the property, the ultimate depiction of Cali- Euro fusion.
The stunning Lansby Hotel features nine room types ranging from the Cozy Lille to the Village Suite; guests will find a room that perfectly suits their needs. All 51-rooms and suites have been tastefully decorated with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, a clean white palette, and fun Scandinavian touches. With the most elegant of designs, all rooms showcase custom hand-crafted furnishings complete with modest bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and stunning artwork commissioned from regional artists. Scenic views from each room type help create the most idyllic of serene settings. From lush gardens to the upper village courtyard to striking backdrops of downtown Solvang, guests revel in the surrounding beauty before them.
The Landsby’s signature restaurant, Mad & Vin, stands strong with its reputation as one of the top restaurants in Solvang, CA. Mad & Vin ( which translates to food & wine in Danish) features seasonal, sustainable fare highlighting the California Central Coast. Fan favorites such as Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, Grilled Korean Short Ribs and The Pork Tomahawk, are menu items that are sure to impress time and again. For those looking for a more casual afternoon affair enjoy the warm and welcoming lobby bar serving shared bites, hand-crafted cocktails, local beers with a large spotlight on regional Santa Barbara County wines.
For the most elevated of stays, guests are highly recommended to take full advantage of the hotel’s concierge program. Boasting the most central of locations, many of Solvang’s highlights are only a few minutes away ranging from culinary excursions to local hikes to winery tours, the options are endless. From local hikes to horseback riding, and hot air balloon rides to a visit to Ostrich Land USA, the Santa Ynez Valley is home to a wide array of outdoor fun. For the wine aficionados, an offer from the Local Winery Guide can’t be missed, as a guest of The Lansby you will receive 2 for 1 and complimentary tastings at some of the best wineries the area has to offer.
For those looking to stay local a day strolling through downtown Solvang is just what the doctor ordered. Not needing to go very far to try an Aebleskiver (traditional Danish dessert) guests can stroll out the lobby door to be right in the heart of downtown Solvang. Steps away from a multitude of tasty cheese shops and Danish bakeries, olive oil tastings and more the hotel’s celebrated location makes it the most popular in the village. Nestled in the heart of downtown Solvang with the most ideal of locations, this iconic boutique hotel is among the favorites in California’s famous wine country year after year.
Santa Barbara County has long been known for its world-class wineries, white sandy beaches, stunning natural beauty, and near picture-perfect weather. Typically, when one thinks of this area a stay in the high desert wouldn’t come to mind, well that was not until now. With the recent travel trend of unique, isolated getaways becoming so popular Cuyama Buckhorn is attracting the savviest of travelers and for good reason. Located on Highway 166 between Santa Maria and Bakersfield this roadside gem is quickly becoming the talk of the town as one of Santa Barbara County’s most esteemed vacation destinations.
Originally established in 1952 as a stopover to enjoy a meal and a community hub for the valley of Cuyama, this roadside resort surely has its historical roots. Built at a time when New Cuyama was established as a “company town” due to oil being discovered in 1949, the resort quickly became the place to see and be seen. Over the years with petroleum and gas production eventually declining the booming oil town sadly had seen its days. Fast forward 70 years later, the area is now surrounded by farms, ranches and natural landscapes including the Los Padres National Forest and the Bittercreek Wildlife Preserve setting the table for the ultimate high desert retreat.
In 2018, Ferial Sadeghian and Jeff Vance, partners in the West Hollywood–based architectural firm iDGroup, purchased the hotel to fully restore it to a time when it was the most visited landmark in the valley. The partners fully recognized that the Buckhorn had the bones of a beautiful mid-century building and they aimed to re-open it as the best version that they could envision. Since the resort came with so much unbridled history it could be said that the two surely had a lot to work with. Starting with the fact that the resort was originally designed by noted architect George Vernon Russell who was responsible for icons like the Hollywood Reporter building on Sunset Boulevard and the Flamingo in Las Vegas, this building truly was one of a kind. Today this charming, cowboy-chic getaway features 21 guest rooms designed with rustic furniture, and desert-inspired decor and pays a charming tribute to the Wild West.
The 21 guest rooms have been remodeled in a style Sadeghian calls “midcentury cowboy”; rustic woods with clean lines, cowhide rugs rest upon patterned, black-and-white tiles from the 1950s staying strong with the theme from a time decades before. Amenities include semi-private patios, soft Brooklinen towels, bath products from the eco-minded Los Angeles company Further, complimentary instant Verve coffee, Tea Pigs teabags, and S’more kits.
In the most relaxing of settings guests surely are here to escape the stresses of everyday life. Entrenched in the beauty of the desert before them, the property truly is the ideal place to take in the most stunning of sunsets surrounded by wildflowers, salt flats and sprawling grassland. A new pool and a barrel sauna overlook open plains, a picturesque abandoned building and the setting sun, a surefire photo opp for the ages. At night, guests gather around cozy fires, sipping wine and utilizing their S’mores kits, the picture-perfect way to unwind the evening.
Originally established in 1952 as a roadside stop for travelers and locals alike, The Buckhorn Restaurant & Bar has held strong as a historic establishment nestled in The Hidden Valley of Enchantment. Showcasing a farm-to-table restaurant, coffee shop, and bar serving up craft cocktails, The Buckhorn now stands as quite the popular stop for motorcyclists, car clubs, local farmers and ranchers alike.
It could not be clearer that the newly re-designed Cuyama Buckhorn is succeeding in its goal which was to bring people together for truly oneof-a-kind experiences. Each of their indoor and outdoor events, wedding, meeting, and dining spaces have been curated to highlight nature, community and high design. Whether you are paying a visit to the resort for its one-of-a-kind stargazing experiences or to simply get away from it all you have surely come to the right place.
Thinking of your next trip to Baja California? Set your sights on Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos for the ultimate family friendly, all inclusive Mexico getaway. Opened as recent as October 2019 Garza Blanca Los Cabos was created for the ultimate escape guaranteeing the finest of luxury accommodations, culinary excellence, worldclass amenities and top notch service for the whole family to enjoy. Perfectly situated on an undisturbed beachfront property between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo guests revel in the convenience of being only 20 minutes from either city’s downtown as well as only 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport.
Entering the most grand of lobbies you pay notice to the striking azure waters that are showcased through the open air gateway to the Sea of Cortez. A few steps further and an awe inspiring view of the resort’s multitude of pools and courtyard below invite you to spend the day basking in the Mexican sunshine. An array of room choices await you, depending on your needs you will find exactly what your heart desires, whether a family getaway or a romantic trip for two Garza Blanca Los Cabos has you more than covered every step of the way. Choose from an abundance of suite sizes and styles to serve as your home away from home during your time spent in paradise. From one, two and three bedroom options, family style residences to host larger groups or for the ultimate retreat the four bedroom Penthouse could be all yours for the vacation of a lifetime. The 6501 square foot masterpiece comes fully equipped with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms over two floors hosting up to 12 guests, enough space for the most worthy of private gatherings. Full gourmet kitchen, en suite bathrooms with soaking tubs, as well as your own spacious terrace with private jacuzzi, the quintessential vantage point to take in the most spectacular of ocean views below.
Making your way to the resort’s 8 different swimming pools, you marvel at the options before you. Whether you plan to swim laps, spend time at the swim up bar or gaze out onto the striking blue waters on the horizon before you, a day at the resort’s pools is one that cannot be rivaled. If privacy and a more peaceful setting is more of your liking then perhaps a jaunt to the resort’s adults only rooftop pool will better suit your needs. Handcrafted cocktails and light bites lounging poolside with the intoxicating scent of coconut sunscreen in the air, simply put, this is why you are here. After an afternoon laying poolside nothing pairs better than a trip to the resort’s Spa Imagine. Choose from a wide array of holistic spa treatments or perhaps a revitalizing session at the spa’s hydrotherapy circuit will be exactly what the doctor ordered. For the ultimate in stress reduction cycle through several stations consisting of a eucalyptus infused sauna, warm soaking pool, jacuzzi hot tub as well as a cold plunge to complete the utmost of vitality and homeostasis.
For those looking to stay active during their stay fear not Garza Blanca Los Cabos comes fully equipped with a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga room as well as a tennis court where guests can choose from a tennis match or perhaps a try at the latest fitness craze, pickleball.
Garza Blanca Los Cabos offers its guests a plethora of dining options throughout the property, 3 of which are award-winning dining establishments. From casual poolside bites all the way to formal dining under the stars, there truly is a dining experience for every guest and every palate. From the freshest of raw bar seafood at the Food Truck on the beach to contemporary Mexican cuisine at Blanca Blue, to Bocados Steak House and Hiroshi for Japanese/Mexican fusion the finest of dining is available throughout your stay.
Garza Blanca Los Cabos, a family friendly resort designed for the most idyllic Mexican getaway offering everything you could desire for a vacation filled with fun in the sun. From the most luxurious of accommodations to world-class hospitality through its culinary program and top notch service this is definitely a resort to check out for your next vacation in paradise.
Right in the heart of the arts district, The Hermitage Hotel is the ideal city hotel for an upscale Nashville stay. Just steps from an abundance of world-class music venues, outstanding restaurants, eclectic shopping, and historical treasures, the property is the perfect starting point for your Music City adventure! This historic hotel has been a staple in the local community since 1910, so they’ve had decades to perfect their luxurious amenities and offerings. If the walls could talk they would be able to share numerous stories of the greats that have stayed here from Hank Williams and Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash.
Greeted by a warm, friendly smile and a warm welcome, guests are in for a treat from the moment they step inside for check-in until they check out. The bellmen and front desk operators are incredibly kind and knowledgeable, eager to offer suggestions for dinner spots or local activities. With just 122 guest rooms, this hotel has an intimate feel and guests are treated and checked in on like they are family. Style has always been synonymous with this historic hotel and its Beaux Arts aesthetic blends classical Italian and French Renaissance features throughout. From the moment you ascend the grand staircase into their opulent lobby, you will be struck by the grandeur of the original marble, the ornamental details, and the elegant craftsmanship visible throughout the hallowed halls.
The beautiful and minimal guest suites are clean and contemporary, with the same luxurious energy of the common areas. Their recent renovation introduced a more modern aesthetic with an elevated residential feel, inviting you to make yourself at home in one of the brightened, yet refined guest rooms and suites. Grab yourself a Deluxe Suite with one king bed or two queens or give yourself more space to lounge around and spread out in a Parlor Suite with sweeping views of the historic State Capitol Building. Guests will appreciate the chic, streamlined furnishings paired with calming pops of gray and baby blue. If you haven’t been won over already, guests can enjoy several special amenities throughout their stay. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi, Molton Brown bath amenities, plush robes and DUX beds.
The hotel is also pet-friendly and offers an exclusive Pampered Paws Program that lets you shower your furry family members with the comforts they deserve. From in-room accommodations and pet amenities like specialty beds to services that include pet massages, your pup will feel like royalty here. Nightly pet turndown service, complete with turndown mat, pet treats, spring water and rolled towels to an in-room dining menu for pets and optional pet-walking services, including healthy treats and spring water are just a few of the top dog items you will find here.
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a world-renowned culinary talent and visionary restauranteur who boasts establishments in gateway cities across the globe, from London and Shanghai to Los Angeles and Dubai. His partnership with The Hermitage Hotel marks his first presence in the Southeast, anchored by their signature restaurant Drusie & Darr. You do not want to miss the culinary creations, where award-winning cuisine and cocktails await you. The restaurant is glamorous, yet understated with timeless warmth and ambiance, utilizing a simple palette of natural materials like metal, wood, leather, and stone to set the stage for a fabulous meal. The hotel also offers a beautiful afternoon High Tea, with seasonal selections, bites, and sips for your midday pickme-up. And the ever-popular Pink Hermit is nestled into a cozy corner of The Hermitage Hotel directly accessible from Sixth Avenue. This all-day café revels in welcoming visitors to dine from dawn until dusk. From locally roasted coffee and in-house baked pastries in the morning, to craft cocktails, artisanal wines, and small plates in the evenings, this joyfully curated space is the ideal spot to meet and mingle or grab and go.
Images Courtesy of Fairmont Century Plaza.
Right in the heart of Century City, the Fairmont is the ideal cityscape for a unique off the grid SoCal stay. Originally deemed “The Hotel of the Future,” built by famed mid-century architect Minoru Yamasaki, the luxury hotel is bringing to life a new era for this iconic property. Modernly designed with a youthful spirit that encourages socialization, the hotel offers a gathering place for business, culture, spa, and dining.
The entire hotel, including the guestrooms were remodeled last year and this past September celebrated their one-year renovation anniversary. An ambitious, fresh take on mid-century style paired with the upscale dedicated Fairmont service we all know and love was the key to success. Greeted by a warm, friendly smile and a welcome, guests are in for a treat from the moment they step inside for check-in until they check out. The front desk staff are incredibly kind and knowledgeable, eager to offer suggestions for dinner spots or local activities.
The beautiful, recently appointed rooms are clean and contemporary, with a multitude of amenities. Book yourself a suite with one king bed or two queens or give yourself more outdoor space in a room with a private terrace. Guests will appreciate the chic, streamlined furnishings paired with quirky Hollywood sayings throughout. The walls are adorned with tranquil colors like pewter and taupe, while custom-designed furnishings and thoughtful contemporary décor set the stage.
If you haven’t been won over already, you can enjoy several special amenities throughout your stay from Le Labo’s Rose 31 Bath and Body Products to an exclusive Fairmont Lot 35 Tea Selection. If you’d like to take a dip, the hotel has a rooftop pool with its own completely unobstructed view of the city. Spend the afternoon here, relaxing and people-watching below or just pop in to cool off after a long day in the sun, salt, and sand.
For dinner look no further than Lumière, the signature French Brasserie on property. Start at the zinc bar for playful and whimsical cocktails and then be seated in sophistication on the outdoor courtyard. Driven by seasonal ingredients, dishes combine French technique with California flair in a Parisian setting. Signature menu items not to be missed include the Bib Lettuce Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette and the Steak Frites.
A showpiece of the hotel is the 14,000 square-foot spa on property. Offering nine grand treatment rooms with high arching ceilings and a clean and minimal design with intricate touches, this haven of relaxation is second to none. A comprehensive menu of innovative services await from biohacking to body treatments while luxurious amenities include aromatherapy steam rooms, a Himalayan salt room, Hammam, sanarium, and experiential rain showers.
Seasonal Tip: Transport yourself to the whimsical ski slopes of the Swiss Alps and celebrate the holiday season in chic chalet style. This November, the hotel will open LA’s first-ever coveted “après-style” dining experience on the outdoor patio of The Bar within three beautifully built and luxuriously appointed wood chalets. Featuring cozy décor and all the delicious tidings of a true Alps experience, the chalets will offer guests and locals a one-of-a-kind epicurean moment in the heart of the city. Guests can warm up beside a small private fire pit with an elevated s’mores kit or book a chalet and choose from a flavorful prix fixe menu of chocolate or cheese fondue and a curated selection of winter cocktails and non-alcoholic favorites. Beginning on November 14, the winter chalets will be available upon advance reservation at two seating times per night on weeknights, for up to 8 people, and three seating times will be available on weekends.
From the Philippines to Spain, discover your inner explorer with these travel spots we suggest you add to your bucket list ASAP!Kawasan Waterfalls Cebu Island, Philippines Notre Dame & The Seine River, Paris France Sellin, Germany Village Ragusa Sicily, Italy Samarkand, Uzbekistan Costa Brava, Spain
“Of all the books in the world. The best stories are found between the pages of a passport.”
With a reputation for extraordinarily warm hospitality, Wilson Creek Winery has built an extended-family community around the sharing of wine, food and fun, turning guests who visit into good friends.
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