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LA TRAVEL

Inspiring Angelenos to Travel Near and Far

Annie Lawless, Shannon Decker & Share Secrets to the Ultimate

Girlfriends Getaway

Island Indulgence in the Maldives 2015 Top North American Hotels & Resorts Holiday Gift Guide:Â Tis the Season to Give

Last Minute Getaways: Evian, Geneva, Kyoto, Pismo Beach, Salt Lake City, Virginia


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FallHoliday 2015

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Cover Story

Annie Lawless, Shannon Decker & Tenley Molzahn are 3 Inspirational Women to Watch Cover Photo Credit: Huey Bui

16 LONDON

A Guide to the Best of the City from Dining in the Dark to Toasting Champagne on the London Eye

29 THE TOP 10 NORTH AMERICAN HOTELS & RESORTS for 2015

A List of our Favorites for the Year from Maine to Mexico

Published and Produced by

We're Social!

48 A Voyage to Remember from Alaska to Vancouver A Bucket List Destination for 2015

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86 Art, Books & Coffee in Seattle 120 Style Fashion Week

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From Just a Dream to Expansion to Dubai

Send us your travel pics! contactus@latravelmagazine.com

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Letter from the Editors

I

t has been one of the hottest summers in California’s history and we hope that everyone stayed as cool as possible with all the unforeseen humidity and ridiculously hot temperatures. Tourism was also at an all-time high this summer with the local beaches seeing record numbers as well; we even had a few Great White Shark tourists. As a whole the LATM family took some phenomenal trips over the past few months which we are always ecstatic to share with our readers. From the magnificent Maldives to Kyoto Japan, Dubai, and Nicaragua. As Editors we also set out on a whirlwind trip through Europe which was truly a unique experience.

Photo Credit: © Localgrapher.com / Austin Sheppard Hair & Makeup: Tiffany Cartwright tiffanycartwright.com

This cover features some powerful women, who are incredibly inspiring and doing big things in SoCal. Annie Lawless, Shannon Decker and Tenley Molzahn all have inspiring stories and we hope you enjoy the beautiful layout that we shot at Malibu Canyon Ranch.

LATM recently hosted our first annual Taste of the World event at Madera Restaurant in Hollywood and it was an absolute success! Ten of Southern California’s top chefs went head to head to win the award for best dish. What was really special was each guest that attended the event was able to become a food critic for the evening and joined in to vote for the winner. There was wine tasting, worldly entertainment and luxury travel giveaways. The grand prize giveaway was a trip for two on Surf Air roundtrip to Napa which included a 3 night stay as well. A big thanks to Surf Air for sponsoring the event and we look forward to sharing the full details and event coverage in the winter issue! Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday season filled with good health, prosperity and lots of travel!

Jennifer & Michael

Where are we off to next?

Bermuda

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Vermont

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Costa Rica


Meet The Team

Emily Ung

Design Director

Huey Bui

Photography Director

Jaime Komer Fitness Travel

Tanya Pascua

Style & Fashion Director

Ken Alcazar

Associate Photography Director

Katie Dunlop Fitness Travel

Alyssa Kuhlman Marketing & PR Travel Writer

Stephanie Vinsel Photographer

Ava Roxanne Stritt Spa Travel

Erin Sprinkel & Angela Margolis

Dave Wrobel

Sarah Dandashy

Kate Roland & Leah J. Smith

Sterling Social Events

Ask A Concierge

Seana Pierce Travel Writer

Entertainment & Nightlife

LA Brunchers

Rachel Rudwall & Andrea Feczko How 2 Travelers

Contributing Photographers Brian Dowling Halina Kubalski Taylor Cole

Kelly Magyarics

Susan Watkins

Leslie Moore

Christopher Dela Cruz

Kathryn Lejeune

Katie McElveen

Richard Carroll

Courtney Kretchman

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Senior Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Contributing Writers

Annabella Biziou Chris Dunn Cat Muto Gail Moore Jeannette Ceja Martha Burr Nicole Prentice -Williams Heather Seidler Rebecca Goins Tarra Laperdon Vic O'Sullivan 7


Summer Issue Launch Party Project LA, Hollywood

The Los Angeles Travel Magazine Summer Issue Launch Party Celebration at Project LA featured entertainment by A-Max Entertainment, Cirque Mirage, The Rawktails, Sheroes Entertainment and Tribute Productions. DJ D-Dub stole the spotlight and got the crowd going along with Tito's Handmade Vodka who sponsored the evenings Hosted Cocktails. Guests danced the night away while sipping travel themed drinks and also entered to win a variety of travel getaways and an Alaskan Cruise from Celebrity Cruises.  Star of the hit television show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, Morgan Stewart hosted the exclusive event. The reality star along with Editors Jennifer McLaughlin and Michael Dunn debuted the ultimate resource for the west coasts savviest travelers among celebrities, magazine contributors, city officials, media guests, and local Angelenos.   Red Carpet Photos: Huey Bui Event Photos: Ken Alcazar Event Sponsors: Alcazark Photography, AMG Media Group, A-Max Entertainment, Big Heart Event Productions, Boulevard Nightlife Group, Celebrity Cruises, Cirque Mirage, How 2 Travelers, Huey Bui Photography, Tito's Handmade Vodka, The Rawktails, Sheroes Entertainment and Tribute Productions. Travel & Dining Sponsors: Brewery Gulch Inn, Del Marcos Hotel, Doma Kitchen, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, Hotel Erwin, Le Meridien Delfina, Mauros Cafe, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, The Anaheim Marriott, The Broad Stage and The Marina Del Rey Hotel 8

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Actress Jill Wagner and her recent co-star, actor Colin Egglesfield at the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Fundraiser. The night was presented by Dobel Tequila, where guests enjoyed a series of signature drinks such as Black Diamond Margaritas and Clever Hook. 

ON THE

SCENE BrazilFoundation Event at Elyx House To celebrate the 450th birthday of the dynamic South American city of Rio de Janeiro and the 15th anniversary of BrazilFoundation, a cadre of notables, including Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, Terron Schaefer, Paula Bezerra de Mello and Constantin Bjerke teamed up for this year’s gala event in New York City. Hosted during Fashion Week, the cocktail reception also honors Brazilian muse Andrea Dellal at the exclusive Elyx House.

The Dizzy Feet Foundation (DFF) presented the fifth annual "Celebration of Dance" Gala at Club Nokia with guests including Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Christina Applegate, Jenna Elfman, Paula Abdul, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lance Bass, Elizabeth Berkely, Tara Lipinski and Ben Vereen were a few among the celebrities that came to support DFF, a non-profit organization. It was founded by Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance)and director Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Rock of Ages), their mission is to sponsor, fund and/or support access to and the quality of dance education programs that will expose children in lowincome areas to a lifelong benefits of dance education in the United States. Jason Walsh, founder of Rise Nation celebrated the opening of his fitness studio in West Hollywood. Guests were invited to attend an exclusive celebration to enjoy the outdoor views, open bar and passed appetizers. Rolling Greens Nursery sponsored a succulent and cactus take-away bar, Justin Timberlake who was unable to attend at the last minute with his wife, Jessica Biel, both graciously supplied the bar with his 901 Tequila, Paleta shared mixers and passed appetizers and the gift bags were stocked with amazing goodies. Jason’s closest friends and clients came out to support their trainer including Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Kraskinski, and Hilary Duff. Unfiltered Blonde, the 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay created by Brandi Glanville in partnership with Tyson and Jenni Rippy of the Rippey Wine Company debuted at the Bluewater Grill in Redondo Beach on August 15th, 2015. In celebration of this debut, Brandi Glanville hosted a signing for fans along with a Twitter promotion where 30 lucky fans were invited to a VIP happy hour prior to the main event along with one complimentary bottle of Unfiltered Blonde signed by Brandi. During the event, Brandi mingled with fans and posed for photos while guests enjoyed Bluewater Grill’s signature hors d’oeuvres.

LA Lakers Co-Owner and President Jeanie Buss is joined by Phil Jackson at the T.J. Martell Foundation Spirit of Excellence Awards held on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at the Beverly Wilshire. Buss was awarded the Vanguard Award recognizing those at the forefront of business leadership who give back to their communities and beyond. The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research is celebrating their 40th Anniversary. Photo Credit: Ryan Jesena

Style Week Orange County returned Sept. 10 through Sept. 19 with fashion shows, in-store parties and trend presentations to celebrate the best in O.C. style. For the second year, Celebrity Cruises hosted two runway design competitions where they challenged graduate students from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) to create innovative resort-wear that evokes “Modern Luxury.” 

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You asked ... Q. I’m traveling to Africa later this year, what shots do I need? A. Currently the vaccines recommended for travel to South Africa are Hepatitis A, B and Typhoid. Polio and Rabies may be recommended and Yellow fever is absolutely required before you leave for your trip. Check with your doctor on where to get your vaccines or go to Q. I recently became certified in SCUBA. Can you tell me some of your favorite spots to dive around the world? A. Our team at LATM has some avid certified divers and throughout the years they have gone on some amazing dive trips. It all depends on how far you wish to travel. If you choose to travel abroad I would have to say our top three include the Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia. If you want to stay a little closer there are some great dives in the Caribbean specifically in Bonaire, Belize and around the Grand Cayman Islands. There is also Anthony’s Key Resort in Honduras that is one of our favorites as well. There really are too many to choose from! For more information go to www.padi.com to see all the dive resorts around the world to make your next dive vacation easier for you to make a decision on!

Q. What is the easiest way to find the best restaurants in a city? A. First off great question, as most of us would have to agree that trying a countries’ or cities’ cuisine for the first time is one of the highlights for any trip. Great meals can make lasting memories for a very long time and to tell you the truth some of our best memories include amazing food and dining experiences around the world. First piece of advice is DO NOT go to touristy restaurants that cater to the masses, you will be eating overpriced Americanized cuisine that you could easily get at home. Large crowds, screaming children and mediocre food. Instead talk to the locals or hotel concierge and ask for authentic hot spots in the city. They will give you the best options and 9 out of 10 times they are spot on.

nc.cdc.gov/travel/page/find-clinic to find out the nearest travel clinic in your area. Q. I want to go to Europe as I have never been there before, it’s so big where do I begin? A. Another great question and probably one of the most common questions we have been asked throughout the years. In reality Europe is a huge continent with 50 countries and will take you a very long time to visit them all. Of course duration of the trip is always a large factor when planning how many countries to visit but here are some of our top trips to take. First off let’s start closest to the west coast of Europe; London, Ireland and Scotland are always a blast together. If you have a craving for Italy we suggest to focus on the entire country by itself or combine it with a stopover in Switzerland. Paris and the South of France is a trip in itself and in our experience the best of both worlds (city+beach). The Greek Islands can be a trip by themselves or easily combined with Spain. Budapest, Vienna and Prague are often combined as well! As you can see there is a lot of travel that needs to be done so start planning and good luck!

Have a question about travel? Ask away! Email your questions to askus@latravelmagazine.com or tweet us @latravelmag 11


Ask a Concierge

Ask a Concierge with with Sarah Sarah Dandashy Dandashy

Los Angeles is a melting pot of different cultures where you can literally experience the world in different neighborhoods. From various spa options to cuisines to art, there is certainly no lack of culture in the City of Angels. This fall, I encourage you to explore outside of your usual comfort zone and discover something totally new. The following are some highlights of places I think should make it on your “must-try” list.

Hi I’m Sarah! As a concierge at one of the top hotels in Los Angeles, it’s my business to know all the hip and fun things to do around town. Follow me as I dish out advice and discover new things to see and do in beautiful LA.

Spa Experiences from Around the World

tomoko spa treatment room

Tomoko Japanese Spa Located in the heart of Beverly Hills on Beverly Drive, Tomoko is a spa experience totally unique unto itself. True to it's Japanese roots, the décor is clean, crisp, and minimal. Owner Tomoko Kurono spent years traveling and researching various techniques to combine their now signature treatment that would effectively relieve pain, encourage relaxation, and ultimately energize. Each of their therapists is highly trained and provide a treatment that is unique to each guest based on their needs. Some treatments use oil and even aromatherapy, combining the best of what we know as Swedish or deep tissue massages with Asian techniques, while others are oil-free, focusing on unblocking and balancing your body’s energy. Another highlight of the spa is their Japanese Ofuro Bath, which is a perfect complement to any of their treatments. From start to finish, your entire experience is elegant, sophisticated, and calming. And for those couples seeking to really pamper themselves together, they offer the ultimate couples massage that includes a foot massage, Ofuro Bath, 60 or 80 minute massage, and ends the treatment with dinner brought in from neighboring restaurant, Sugarfish. tomokospa.com #Concierge Tip: Because the space is so intimate and the treatments are so specific, you should treat this is an appointment-only spa. Call in advance to book. Your body will thank me later. 12

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voda spa pool

Voda Spa This Russian-inspired day spa truly is a 15,000 sq. ft oasis in the middle of the city. Complete with a large indoor swimming pool, dry and wet banyas (Russian saunas), café, conference room, and salon, there are many ways to experience Voda Spa. Signature treatments like the Russian Bear massage are designed to focus on the forearms, shoulders, neck and back and the Voda Platza, a treatment where bundles of birch or oak branches are soaked in warm water and stroked along the body to encourage detoxing are unique to the spa. But if you prefer the more traditional route, Voda Spa also offers a bevy of other service from classic massages, facials, body wraps, scrubs, waxing, and even manicures and pedicures. Day passes are another option for enjoying the pools, saunas, and even the cold plunge for hours of relaxation. Of course, treating yourself right is more than skin deep, so fuel up at their café with light fare, smoothies, juices, or in Russian style, with a cocktail from their bar. Designed as a one stop shop, one can and should spend a day here! vodaspa.com #Concierge Tip: Plan you visit midweek for a less crowded experience.


Ask a Concierge

New Noteworthy Restaurants

Ep LP Food

TS Taqueria tacos

EP LP Curry

broken spanish food

BS Taqueria and Broken Spanish Two separate restaurants with two very different styles, but helmed by the same amazing chef—Los Angeles-born, Chef Ray Garcia. BS Taqueria, located on 7th street in Downtown LA, is a classic example of what a modern taqueria should be. Simple, colorful, yet huge on taste, flavors, and ingredients. Walking in, your senses are greeted with an array of colorful designs, patterns, and knick-knacks. The front room is exciting with an open kitchen and bar, yet an unassuming back room serves as another option to escape the bustle of the city. Décor aside, it is all about the food. The “Rice and Beans” are a must, the carnitas tacos are worthy of a second order, and the cactus and hibiscus tacos are a delight to any vegetarian’s palate. Of course, you’ll have to round out your meal with the Brentwood Corn and the finger-licking churros for dessert. One of their signature cocktails, like the Tamarindo and the BS Handshake, should also find their way to your table.

EP & LP Located in the sweet spot, on the corner of La Cienega and Melrose, EP & LP mixes Asian Fusion with a great scene. EP is the restaurant located on the first floor. The space is modern in design with nearly every corner an Instagram worthy backdrop. Dishes not to miss on the menu include the baby green lip abalone, twice cooked short ribs, green papaya salad, and the scallop and mussels curry. Though the menu is mainly influenced by Thai cuisine, Chef Louis Tikaram, allows Chinese, Vietnamese, and Fijian flavors to spice up the cuisine. Be sure to save room for their signature dessert, the mango pudding, which seems to be the fan favorite at every table. Drinks are also Asianinspired, from the Life Cultivated Old Fashioned made with Japanese Whiskey, to the Welcome To The Jungle accented by green tea. EP serves up an array to delight the senses.

A few blocks away, Chef Ray has created another haven for modern Mexican fare with the more upscale Broken Spanish. The Lamb’s Head, Rabbit, Chicharron are all knock-out main dishes, complimented by winning sides such as the oxtail quesadilla, blood sausage, and duck hearts. Veggie lovers will find much to order as well, taking note of the squash enchiladas and the fava bean tamales. Enjoy this delicious menu in an intimate and comfortable space, with decorative cement blocks, intricately carved wood pieces, and huge windows with views overlooking LA Live.

Not to be forgotten is the amazing rooftop bar, LP, located on the third floor. Taking an elevator past the funky white and black patterned wall, you arrive to the open air haven. The Hollywood Hills are a decadent backdrop to the luscious mild evening air. A few items from the downstairs menu make an appearance at LP, but their craft cocktails take the main stage for those seeking an easy getaway from the day. And for groups of ten or more looking for a little secluded experience, LP offers Frankie’s Private Bar, a separate seating area and bar.

bstaqueria.com | brokenspanish.com

eplosangeles.com

#Concierge Tip: Order the Tres Leches for dessert at both places to sweetly end the meal.

#Concierge Tip: Arrive early if you want to grab seats on the rooftop. Space is limited, and the place gets hopping around 11 pm on weekends. 13


Ask a Concierge

Culture in LA

Wallis TheATRE

la art gallery art

bill Kleinman and co

Wallis CENTER AT NIGHT

The Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts Just entering into their third season, The Wallis in Beverly Hills is still a relatively young venue in the performing arts world. The old Beverly Hills Post Office, which was built in 1933 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, serves as the glamorous lobby and entrance into the space. The Wallis is comprised of two theatres, allowing for multiple performances at one time. The Lovelace Studio Theater seats 150 and the Bram Goldsmith Theater seats 500, with many other rooms reserved for a theater school focused on providing arts education to young artists. Most recently, their performance of Spring Awakening introduced this musical to mainstream audiences, which has since gone on to open on Broadway. Special performances from greats such as Jessica Lang, Maurice Hines, and Denzel Washington have graced their season, including highly renowned touring companies like the Montreal Ballet and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Highlights of the upcoming season include Wiesenthal written and starring Tom Dugan, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Production of Guys and Dolls, Jesse Eisenberg’s (Oscar-nominated star of the Social Network) Off-Broad hit The Revisionist, and fresh off the Lincoln Center stage in Washington DC, The City of Conversation. With so many opportunities to explore the arts this season, this is a perfect chance to explore this beautiful new space and enjoy an evening of artistry.

Los Angeles Art Gallery Tours With so many art galleries on the scene in Los Angeles, it is a little difficult to keep track of them all. So whether you are visiting or a local that is an art enthusiast, Los Angeles Art Gallery Tours are the best way to expose yourself to the myriad or art galleries in town. Director Bill Kleiman leads many of these private tours, often grouped into neighborhoods. Be it Culver City/Mid-Wilshire, Chinatown/Downtown, or Santa Monica/ Venice, Bill curates a walking tour of galleries tailored to your specific interests. The day I met Bill, he graciously escorted a group of 12 concierge throughout Culver City. Galleries large and small participated, and surely we stumbled into ones we would have never discovered on our own. Which is the whole premise of LA Art Gallery Tours, guiding individuals and groups through popular art shows of both established and newer artists. Think of Bill as your docent to the contemporary art scene within Los Angeles. More than just choosing galleries, he helps viewer see the messages within the art, while exposing them to the stories behind the final pieces. After all, art is never a linear process, nor should it be a linear experience, but more of a dynamic one, engaging all the senses.

thewallis.org

losangelesartgallerytours.com

#ConciergeTip: Rush tickets are available for $20 to most performances for students ages 29 and under.

#ConciergeTip: Interested in booking a tour? Reach out a few weeks in advance if you are looking for something specific.

@Askaconciergela Like what you read? For more Los Angeles travel tips, find me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! AskAConcierge.TV

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Just Touched Down in

London Town

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Editors Pick

As you touch down in 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 world‌London, England. 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 to try; 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. On our last trip to London we planned for the perfect mix of old and new and had an amazing and memorable stay.

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Editors Pick

Getting There:

Where to rest your head

Smooth Flying from LAX to LON With daily nonstop flights to London from Los Angeles, Air New Zealand is the airline of choice for our travels. With friendly and attentive Kiwi service, travelers can relax on their internationally bound journey with over 1,000 hours of on-demand entertainment all while enjoying complimentary New Zealand wines. We can certainly cheers to that!

The Classic: The Langham Hosting visitors to London City since 1865, this classic Victorian style hotel is centrally located and within walking distance to major attractions, restaurants and shopping. The stylish rooms have marble bathrooms, traditional British decor and various amenities including complimentary WiFi. Suites and club rooms include access to a club lounge where free breakfast, snacks and evening drinks are served. Langham Club privileges also include late checkout and broadband access. Located in the heart of the West End, theatreland and just steps away from luxury shopping guests have everything they need right at their door step.

Heathrow to London City Center Since the city is a ways from the airport it can be difficult not to worry about how you will get from point A to point B upon arrival. A simple resolution to this concern is Blacklane. Offering the most reliable global professional driver service at the most competitive rates in 50 countries Blacklane’s five-star service combines multilingual, 24/7 customer care, real-time service control for tens of thousands of quality cars, and all- inclusive fares guaranteed at the time of booking. Passengers can schedule a pickup using Blacklane’s website, iOS app or Android app at the touch of a finger. Who wants to take a cab when you can ride in style at a reasonable cost?

Hotel Highlight: The hotel's signature 24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea features a half bottle of Luxor Pure Gold 24K Brut Champagne, which includes flakes of 24-karat gold. Inspired by Luxor, Pastry The Oasis: 51 Buckingham Gate Taj Suites Chef Nikhil Vyas with the direction of Executive and Residences Chef Vikas Milhoutra, has created a series of Located in the middle of Westminster, this decadent delights made with edible gold. The 24 luxury hotel includes 85 suites and residences. Karat Gold Afternoon Tea includes Gold Leaf Complete with butler service and the exclusivity Jelly, White Chocolate Delight with Gold Leaf of a private home each residence comes with and Strawberry Tart with Gold Flakes and is your very own kitchen and living area. The accompanied by a selection of scones and delicate suites provide roughly 550 square feet of space finger sandwiches. It is truly a delicious way to and are available in one, two, three bedroom spend the afternoon.

Unique Experiences in the City Dine in the Dark at Dans le Noir This is one of those must do’s if you are a true foodie. Dans le Noir translates to “in the black” in French and this is exactly how you dine here. One of the most unique dining experiences you will ever have, we can guarantee that! First you are told to put your cell phones in a locker before you enter the restaurant and then and only then can you fully use your most important senses while dining, your taste buds. Next you are guided into the pitch dark room led by a blind server along with complete strangers that you soon become closely acquainted with. There are no single tables here, you are seated with people you have never met before which really seems to enhance the experience that much more. Order from four different categories; meat, seafood,

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suites and five to nine bedroom residences, many overlooking the award-winning courtyard garden. Amenities include Nespresso coffeemakers, iPod docks, washer/dryers, complimentary Wi-Fi, the premier Golden Keys Concierge service, tailored treatments at the Wellness Centre and a host of on-site dining options including Quilon, the signature Michelin star Indian South West coastal cuisine restaurant. Tip: Don’t skip out on breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant Kona; it is the best breakfast we have experienced in the city.

vegetarian and of course the surprise option. You will be extremely amazed as to how much your taste buds are worked here. The conversations are quite amusing at the table amongst your new friends, especially when trying to figure out exactly what you are eating. As you leave the restaurant you are shown what you ate and trust us you will be amazed. Dans le Noir offers something you will not get anywhere else; delicious, unique cuisine, new friends and a story to tell your friends and family for a very long time!

The Champagne Experience at the London Eye When visiting the city of London you can’t miss one of the most iconic views in the area, the London Eye. The Champagne Experience at the London Eye makes your ride that much better and involves breath taking and enlightening views of London while being served champagne for guests to enjoy and celebrate the city sights with. This sophisticated experience involves a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne accompanied by a personal Coca-Cola London Eye Host. Celebrating a special occasion? Upgrade your city adventure and purchase the Cupids Capsule which is designed to lure your loved one into a romantic and private evening. The private capsule offers special services such as exclusive check-in, fast pass boarding and tickets into the newly opened 4D Experience. The Private Capsule also includes a bottle of Champagne and box of truffles that are exclusively brought to you by your host. Now that is a way to earn some brownie points!


Editors Pick

Get Techy with it at Inamo - St James If you’re in the mood for oriental fusion and technology inspired dining, Inamo St James is the place to be. Using the new technology of E table you will get a glimpse into the near future on how many restaurants may change their patron’s method of ordering. Each table is an interactive food ordering system almost like a giant Ipad with an overhead projector showcasing a visual look at each item before you choose it. The system gives the restaurant the ability to show off their many creative dishes and drink options as well as giving the user the ability to see exactly what they are going to eat before they order. Situated on Regent Street in the heart of the West End, you are only minutes away from many of Central London's theatres and shops, making it the perfect place for pre-theatre and post-theatre dining. Choose dishes from all areas of Asia to tantalize your taste buds. In the mood for sushi, Thai and Chinese all in the same meal? Inamo has you covered whatever your needs are. Using the E table you even have the option to change your virtual table cloth or order a taxi home! Bring on the Paparazzi with Localgrapher London is well known for having some of the best backdrops in the world for photography, the question is, are you ever able to catch the perfect moment and keep those shots forever? Now you can with localgrapher.com. The company will set up a photo shoot just for you to guarantee the best shots possible. Plus as a bonus your photographer acts like a tour guide and provides some really interesting history and facts about the city. The whole process is very simple and smooth from start to finish. You set the location and they send the photographer. After the shoot they send your photos to an online photo gallery for you to cherish the memories forever. Get photographed with your loved ones in front of all the iconic sites London has to offer such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, the London eye and more! Afternoon Tea Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Aldwych Hotel

Press for Champagne at Bob Bob Ricard If you are visiting London and want an authentic and sophisticated meal look no further than Bob Bob Ricard. The Russian-British fusion restaurant is a very rare specimen to start off with but now throw in the fact that they have a “press for champagne” button at every table… and this becomes a must do on your culinary bucket list. Famous for pouring more champagne than any restaurant in the United Kingdom this allbooth dining establishment takes comfort food to a whole new level. The menu is as eclectic as it is tantalizing and your only worry will be that you can’t try everything in one sitting! There are so many delectable dishes offered here. From a variety of Caviar to Truffled Potato and Mushroom Dumplings, to Chicken Kiev and the all famous Beef Wellington you’re in for a fabulous meal whichever entree you choose. The serving staff is on point at BBR, each table is well looked after to say the least. Press the champagne button and your server will be at your table within seconds. We were enthralled to have a strapping young lad named Bernard from Belgium who provided impeccable service that we will never forget! The champagne menu is one of a kind so make sure you plan to Uber it back to the hotel after this dining adventure!

One Aldwych Hotel located in the midst of London is a prime location for spending a delicate day sipping afternoon tea especially when the tea service is inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This exquisite and playful afternoon tea spread is laid out to celebrate the West End’s most enchanting musical. Small bites such as self-indulgent golden eggs, blueberry brioche, and lively tasting candy floss are all available to accompany your spot of tea. Every item off of the menu emulates the classic humor and curiosity that comes with the classic Roald Dahl’s tale. Complimenting the teatime treats are a variety of selected awardwinning loose-leaf teas from Canton. Each of the teas has been selected to accompany and enhance the delightful flavors offered by the kitchens creations. We highly recommend the chocolate tea to stick with the full experience. ■ 19


Editors Pick

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Editors Pick

From the

City of Lights to a Bottled Water Oasis you can find it all in

France gh

There are many great combinations of stunning cities and regions to visit in France but the trek from Paris to Evian is a favorite of ours! Of course a trip to France wouldn’t be the same without a stopover in the most romantic city in the world which is of course...none other than the city of lights, Paris!

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Editors Pick

Getting There Europe, a place of many extravagant travels is known for it’s awe inspiring architecture, history, museums, and delish food. However, Europe is also known for their incredible and accessible use of public transportation. One of those simple forms of transportation includes the Eurostar from London to Paris and/or Paris to London. Leaving from London St Pancras International and arriving at the Paris Du Nord station, travelers are able to go to another country in just two hours. Whether individuals are commuting for work, an adventure, or a romantic evening under the Eiffel tower, the Eurostar is the most sophisticated and fastest ways of getting there. While on the Eurostar, extravagant views of the countryside of England as well as France are seen in the comfort of ones own seat. An underground experience is also had while on this particular Eurostar route, which can be quite exciting for those traveling for their first time from country to country. There are three different options of travel for this route including the standard option, the standard premier option, or the business premier option. To enhance your travel experience upgrade to the business premier package which provides travelers exclusive access to spacious seats and power plugs for electronic devices. The business premier package also comes with a three-course meal where drinks and food are served directly at your seat. Sip on French wine as you take in the beautiful scenery passing by. There is something extra special about Paris and if you haven’t been there yet you won’t fully understand. Once you arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport you are instantly aware, there is

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a different feeling in the air and of course then you hear it, ahh the language of love! Hop in a cab and watch the streets of Paris, lined with mopeds and fast cars pass you by. Fashionably dressed locals and tourists alike saunter through Champs Elysees as they shop the day away without a care in the world. There are endless cafes and restaurants along the streets of Paris but something that seems much more favorable today is a stop by a local grocery store. Local cheese, a baguette and a bottle of chardonnay, absolument parfait! Take a stroll down the Seine River and find an ideal spot for your picnic; this is what memories are made of.

Stay Situated on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Le Bristol Hotel delivers everything luxury from the moment you walk through the doors. If you are lucky you will be greeted by one or both of the hotels mascot cats Fa raon and Kleopatre. With prestigious service, the most friendly a staff as you will find in Paris, you are in for a real treat during your stay at Le Bristol. Spacious, elegant suites and every amenity you could desire are what you can expect as part of your stay here. Step into Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie and give them full control for a special spa oasis that you won’t soon forget. Feel like taking a swim? Take a dip in their rooftop pool and get lost in the sweeping views of the city including the Eiffel tower!

Dine at 114 Faubourg Awarded a Michelin star in 2013, 114 Faubourg has quickly become one of Paris’s top restaurants which obviously says a lot. At any given time you may find many Parisian locals among celebrity guests from all over the world as they

eat inspiring dishes from the master himself chef Jean-Charles-Cauquil. Colorful décor, an open plan kitchen and a sense of luxury give you a feel of true comfort as you peruse through your menu. A warm and friendly staff of servers, sommeliers and the chef himself will guide you through a true Parisienne experience at 114 Faubourg.

Le Louvre A stay in Paris would not be the same without a visit to the most famous museum in the world “Le Louvre” which houses none other than her majesty The Mona Lisa! Dominating central Paris since the late 12th century Le Louvre next to the Eiffel Tower is Paris’s most visited attraction. Open every day except Tuesday Le Louvre houses 35,000 masterpieces from prehistory to contemporary art work. With over 600,000 square feet of exhibition space make sure you wear your walking shoes for this amazing life changing journey! After you have had your fill of city life it is time for your second part of your journey, pure relaxation. Jump on a train and in 4 hours you arrive at one of the most serene resorts in Europe… Evian, France! On the French side of Lake Geneva lies the Evian Resort which is home to two hotels on the grounds, Hotel Ermitage and Hotel Royal.

Hotel Royal Located in beautiful Evian les Bain which is located in the Rhone Alps region, Hotel Royal will give you the feel of true royalty as you enter the grounds. Refurbished brilliantly by architects François Champsaur and François Chatillon, this centennial hotel has been given a fresh new look with the highest level of luxury one can imagine. This five-star hotel holds a large piece of the history of Evian since it was built in 1905. Hotel Royal holds such a high level of prestige that it has many times been host to world leaders and once you walk the grounds you will understand why. Walk out onto the terrace and get absolutely lost in the stunning views of Lake Geneva just a stone’s throw away.


Editors Pick

Spa Evian Source With Lake Geneva and the Alps in opposite direction how could one not fully relax here? At the Spa Evian Source enjoy an indoor and outdoor pool, steam room and sauna. If you are in the mood for a facial, massage or other spa treatment there are 30 individual treatment rooms for pampering. One of the unique amenities the spa offers is the outdoor hydro circuit. Surrounded by the pristine nature of Evian’s foliage, follow a circuit through water with whirlpools, water currents and jets to isolate each part of your body for a massaging ,relaxing wholesome experience.

Golf A visit to the Evian Resort would not be complete without a round of golf at the Evian Resort Golf Club. Only a few minutes’ walk from the resorts hotels, this 18-hole championship course is one of Europe’s finest, offering jaw dropping views of the Alps as well as Lake Geneva. Home to the famous Evian Championship women's golf tournament, it is exciting to play such a beauty that is kept in tip top shape year round. Recently renovated in 2013 new challenges have been brought to the course to ensure you bring your best golf game. If you feel the need to get some tips and pointers on how to master this beauty of a course look no further than the team of golf pros that are there to help you. One instructor that is very well known at the resort and is absolutely the best at teaching the game of golf is Patrick Terru. Patrick has the ability to simplify the game of golf which has been known to be quite difficult for most. His gentle teaching ways will give you exactly what is needed out of a golf lesson and more.

Dining The large choice of dining venues includes 11 restaurants and 3 bars. Fresques, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant offers traditional cuisine served with delicious delicate presentations. Ideal for a romantic evening or a professional business affair, you can experience a fancy dinner in the central dining area at the resort. A tasting menu and sharing menu are available, catering culinary perfection to every guests dining preference. A wine pairing menu is also available with meals, along with a list of unique handcrafted cocktails and a variety of beers from around the world line the menu. For a classy evening of unrivaled service and elegance at the Hotel Royal, Fresques Restaurant is an excellent choice! ■

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Escape Locally:

Marina Del Rey

Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the world when it comes to taking a staycation. With all the white sandy beaches, world class restaurants and fun filled activities there are many great places to make your home away from home for the weekend. The Marina Del Rey Hotel is just one of those places, with its stellar location you are just minutes away from all the action the city of LA has to offer. Jump on a bike and you can be at the world famous Venice Beach in just 20-30 minutes. Both Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles are within a 30 minute drive at the most so there are endless amounts of activities, events and shopping you can do while

staying here. Situated in a stunning waterfront location on the world’s largest manmade small-craft harbor, Marina Del Rey Hotel gives their guests exactly what they need to unwind and get the most out of their stay whether visiting for business or pleasure. If you love a room with a view than you are at the right place. Many of the guest rooms and suites provide dazzling views of the marina and on a clear evening the sunsets are some of the best you will ever see. First opened in 1964, and completely renovated in 2014, the Marina del Rey hotel holds the perfect balance of nostalgia, style and comfort for its hotel guests.

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SALT Restaurant For the ultimate outdoor waterfront dining experience, look no further than SALT. Located inside the Marina Del Rey Hotel guests can enjoy succulent seafood and more without leaving the property. Fresh locally sourced seafood eaten on the marina while staring into a fiery California sunset, who could ask for more? A new favorite among LA foodies, SALT brings creative inspiration

to its many tasty dishes with its modern take on American cuisine. Seasonal ingredients from local farmers markets help bring that extra freshness and quality to each item on the menu giving guests exactly what they came for. Delicious food and great ambiance! What makes the food so special at SALT is the chef’s creative flare for adding contemporary twists to simple favorites.

Creative Chakra Within a short distance of the hotel guests looking for the ultimate spa retreat should head to Creative Chakra Spa. Once started as an aromatherapy product line, owner and CEO Sandie West created high quality aromatherapy products and moisturizers for a select clientele throughout Los Angeles. As Sandie expanded her business she grew into a more holistic approach to health and wellness. She offered her clientele more than just the products they needed to be young and beautiful, she added yoga, personal training and massage to her repertoire. With an extra little nudge from various celebrity clients she decided it was time to open her own spa retreat center to be able to give her customers everything they needed. Opened in 1998, Creative Chakra has been the ultimate getaway for LA’s finest by providing them

a break from their everyday high paced city life. Offering everything from luxurious massages, facials, wraps, and scrubs to exclusive and private use of their garden, infrared sauna, jacuzzi, and a variety of baths, visitors should prepare to spend the day relaxing away! Located a block from the beach you literally could spend an entire weekend here. With luxury amenities such as two yoga/ fitness studios, indoor and outdoor couples massage rooms, indoor and outdoor meditation and lounging areas, private ozone hydro-therapy showers, an aromatherapy steam room, and a jasmine-lined terrace, you can find an inner peace you didn’t know was possible. If you’re into self-care you can purchase an exclusive line of aromatherapy products, candles, books, and music at the spa’s Chakra Store or online at creativechakra.com. ■

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Top 10 Best North American Hotels &Resorts

It's been a busy year for the LATM family, traveling all over North America and discovering new and classic hotels and resorts. Beyond the traditional winners travelers explore and through extensive reviews, we have compiled our Top 10 Best North American Hotels & Resorts list for 2015. From Anguilla to the Great White North and south of the U.S. border this list is filled with our favorite accommodations we personally visited this year.  *This list does not include Los Angeles area hotels and resorts as we provide a separate list on The Best of LA.

Canada The Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Resting at the base of Blackcomb Mountain sits The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a AAA/CAA Four Diamond Award skiin-ski-out luxury resort. From its 550 rooms to its six dining venues, the hotel is bathed in modern elegance and classic alpine décor. Just a 15 minute walk from the town center, or a few minutes away via the free shuttle bus, the resort provides guests with the perfect location between the adjacent slopes and the nearby heart of Whistler Village. With a rooftop chapel, six dining venues, and a host of child-friendly activities, you’ll find this resort ideal for weddings, family vacations, and romantic evenings! Expect impeccable service upon arrival, including a convenient online check-in system that allows guests to receive their keycard from the bell staff and head directly to their prepared

accommodations. After a day skiing on the mountain slopes, warm yourself with a cup of hot chocolate from the Fairmont Snow Host. For a taste of nightlife, sip on a martini in the Mallard Lounge, the resort’s club lounge with live entertainment. Discover the romantic ambiance of a steakhouse dinner at The Grill, elegantly featuring a stone fireplace and cherry wood wine cabinets. Beyond the delicious British Columbia cuisine at each dining venue, the resort offers a variety of activities. With a tranquil indoor/outdoor wading pool, and an enchanted Tree Fort within the gardens, there is plenty for couples and families to enjoy. A blend of class, comfort, and après-ski entertainment, this resort is a Canadian gem definitely worth of being on the 2015 list of top hotels and resorts!

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Caribbean Cap Juluca, Anguilla

By: Susan Watkins Cap Juluca sits majestically on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Maundays Bay Beach. The sand under your feet at this crescent beach is like velvet, and the calm crystal waters are a heart stopping shade of aquamarine that defy description.  Stretched across this gorgeous beach are Cap Juluca’s signature whitewashed Greco-Moorish style villas, world renowned for unparalleled luxury, elegance and privacy. The resort is absolutely stunning in its beauty and ambiance.

El Secreto, Belize

By: Susan Watkins Paradise Found. Heaven.  Shangri-la.  The Garden of Eden.  Call it what you will, the exclusive boutique resort of El Secreto is an absolutely magical destination.  Tucked away miles from town in a special little enclave on the northern part of Ambergris Caye, El Secreto can be accessed only by boat (or on foot many miles over a jungle

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path!) From the moment you step off of El Secreto’s private dock onto its gentle curve of white sandy beach, you enter a world unlike any other.  For the privileged few, this secluded oasis provides the setting for a pampered experience beyond your imagination. Sip iced coconut water with lime as you are welcomed by El Secreto’s gracious staff and

Cap Juluca is named for the rainbow spirit of the Arawak, Anguilla’s earliest inhabitants.  The legend goes that Juluca was a mystical being covered with fine and colorful feathers, said to bring luck to fishermen. Dazzling sugar white beaches beckon, and the warm turquoise waters bathe your soul with light and energy.  At Cap Juluca, you may wander lush tropical gardens gleaming against terra cotta pathways, or indulge in an icy mojito under the shade of a swaying palm.   Newly refurbished guest rooms and villas reflect Cap Juluca’s harmony with the ocean,  and are designed with your every comfort in mind.  Each spacious room is beachfront, granting the most glorious views of the sea just beyond plantation shutters.  shown to your villa. On your way through the lush tropical landscape, you intuitively know that while El Secreto is innately exclusive and elegant, it is also beautifully relaxed. Thirteen exotic thatched villas sit nestled offering beachfront, jungle flora and fauna, or picturesque lake views.  Each is enchanting, designed to meet the approval of the most discriminating of travelers.  Inside your villa, you’ll find a sophisticated and contemporary love nest which also has a distinctly island feel.  Traditional elements of fine Belizean tropical woods and a luscious king sized bed with decadent silk coverings and Egyptian cotton linens create a restful ambiance.  Cool marble bathrooms feature deep Jacuzzi tubs, but for a change of pace, you can luxuriate in your very own private outdoor rain forest shower!  Every convenience is at the touch

Cool, light rooms are splashed with colors of the sun and sea and reflect an exotic elegance. Featured are every modern convenience - wireless internet, minibar, refrigerator, spacious marble bathrooms with delicious amenities and DVD.  Your private terrace looking onto the sea will be your special place to unwind and enjoy the bliss of this resort. The hospitable staff of Cap Juluca are truly some of the nicest people on earth!  It is their pleasure to serve.  “Are you enjoying your stay?” they will ask.  “Is there anything I can do for you today?”  From the General Manager to the bartenders to the housekeepers, this is a place where the staff knows you and greets you by name.  The personal and gracious way of life at Cap Juluca is truly a refreshing step into the old-world Caribbean. of your fingertips as the lighting system, LCD TV, music and air conditioning are all controlled by your villa’s own personal iPod.  Romantic and intimate, every part of El Secreto seems to be designed with your dreams in mind.  The setting is idyllic - hammocks and all manner of island swings invite you to sit and rock your cares away.  Gossamer white canopies surrounding beach cabana beds flutter in the balmy breeze.  As night falls on El Secreto, the magic continues.  Soft pastel lights cast their colors against the water, twinkling lights shimmer in the palms and soft music drifts through the air.  The El Secreto Restaurant invites you to enjoy the finest of cuisine under its huge thatched palapa with the azure ocean as its backdrop. Savor every moment at El Secreto, your haven from the world.


Mexico Costa Careyes

By: Leslie Moore Named after the turtles that return every year to nest on the pristine beaches, Costa Careyes is an ultraexclusive resort community of 52 castles, villas and casitas protected from the rest of the world by a 32,000 acre land reserve. It is quickly apparent that life is very different here and that privacy and luxury is taken very seriously. The lifestyle and community of this curated destination has been nurtured and

cultivated by the Brignone family for the past 45 years. Just to purchase a castle or villa in Costa Careyes, you must first meet all of 27 requirements that range from “To appreciate the music of sky, earth and sea…” to “having committed most of the seven deadly sins”, and only when you get to number 26 do you have to consider whether you can “…find the financial means to acquire a home.” Depending on guests needs, Costa Careyes has something for

Four Seasons, Punta Mita

Punta Mita is a 1500 acre beachfront village located on the north part of Banderas Bay in the Mexican state of Nayarit. Once the gates open your driver takes you down a winding landscaped road and a few short minutes later you see it, the beautiful inviting entrance to the

Four Seasons. Whether it is golf, fine dining, sailing, world class fishing, spa treatments or just a simple relaxing getaway, there truly is something for everyone at this resort. With the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, Punta Mita

everyone when it comes to accommodations. Choose from a palatial castle, private villa, cute casita or even a charming bungalow and no matter where you decide to stay your every need will be more than met. The castles are some of the most stunning homes on the coast of Mexico complete with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding ocean and rugged, jungle swathed hills. The villas are designed in the unique style of architecture that is synonymous with Careyes. Similar to the castles, all have commanding views and lush tropical gardens encompass your own perfect little paradise; a true home away from home. The castles and villas are staffed with a butler, chef and maid to ensure that you quickly slip into absolute relaxation. While the Careyes lifestyle is restful, lavish and exciting all at once, it is the Brignone’s

delivers comfortable weather year round with summer temperatures in the high 80’s and winters ranging in the 70’s. This makes for a great vacation spot no matter what time of the year travelers venture here. If you are a true resortist you will feel right at home at the Four Seasons.  The General Manager, John O’ Sullivan and his staff go above and beyond to provide an experience guests will never forget. With the perfect blend of luxury, life at the resort is simple and your only task is to plan the perfect day each morning.  If even that sounds too stressful, the staff will gladly customize a day full of activities just for you.  

dedication to helping the communities around Careyes that is most impressive. The Careyes Foundation was created to help the local communities by providing programs for children such as an early start in English and Math, surfing and bicycle polo lessons to encourage an active lifestyle and an innovative agriculture program designed to teach the children to grow their own vegetable and bring a sense of pride back to farming. During your trip, if you’re really lucky you may have the enviable opportunity to become involved with another one of these programs, the Careyes Foundation’s turtle preservation program. The Brignone family is justifiably proud of this program. In 1983, only 11 turtles returned to the beach to lay their eggs; thirty years later in the 2012/2013 over 1900 turtles nests were protected and 170,000 hatchings were released. 

The Pacifico Golf Course designed by Jack Nicklaus is a golfers dream. This picturesque beauty has the ability to take your breath away with its 8 holes that border the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. Picture yourself about to tee off on the 17th hole as you look to the right and you see a whale breaching right off the shore with sailboats dotting the background. Looking for a challenge? Try the infamous “Tail of the Whale”, which is the world’s only “natural island green”. Tee off across the ocean on to a narrow green, where even the best golfers get a bit challenged. Taking an amphibious golf cart across the ocean to make that birdie putt is certainly a once in a lifetime experience. 

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United States Cliff House Resort & Spa, Ogunquit, Maine

The Cliff House Resort & Spa located about an hour north of Boston is the ideal East Coast Retreat. Most rooms include an amazing ocean view, which really sets the tone for your stay.  This New England hotel ups the romantic ante with its charming decor and outstanding

service. From check-in to check-out their staff goes above and beyond.  One of the highlights of the hotel is the restaurant terrace with a view that is breathtaking; even if the appreciation is induced largely by a dreamy cocktail menu. A cocktail or glass of wine overlooking the

ocean is the perfect way to wind down. Consisting of several guestroom buildings spread out over a hotel campus overlooking a bold, dramatic coastline spectacular views of the ocean and coast abound both inside and outside the hotel. Photo opportunities are endless here. Oceanview dining is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Cliff House restaurant as well as the Ocean Terrace lounge. The Terrace Patio offers the option of outdoor dining, (weather permitting; it is New England after all). Relax

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel inspires renewal and discovery at every turn. A modern, playful approach to true California luxury fills the air at this distinguished Dana Point address, resting atop a 150-foot bluff along the coastline. Travelers seeking a personal journey can rejuvenate in the ocean inspired spa or tee off on the green. Adventure seekers can choose from one of 15 eco-excursions or try surfing. From limitless recreation to pet friendly amenities and beyond, the spirit of Southern California thrives at this resort.

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Savor the extraordinary selection of fine oceanfront restaurants that sit along the coast of Dana Point. Prepare your senses for a culinary experience unlike any other with some of the most popular restaurants and dining destinations in the Orange County region, including Raya, a restaurant concept by acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval. Showcasing Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local

in any of the 4 pools including a lap pool with accessible zero entry and an outdoor infinity pool with a patio overlooking the ocean. The full service Cliff Spa offers signature treatments inspired by the coast and an array of services including body treatments, massages, skin treatments, manicures and pedicures. Another bonus, as of recent the resort became petfriendly so your fourlegged friends can now join you for a relaxing escape.

produce, natural and organic meat Sandoval’s signature Latin flavor profiles are widely recognized throughout Southern California. Explore the infinite wonders that surround the property, a vacation destination that truly encapsulates its worldly and naturally beautiful surroundings. Indulge in the best luxury treatments inspired by the sea at the resorts spa. Addressing the individual needs of each guest with comprehensive programs from massages to hair and skin therapy, the spa offers self-indulgence at its best. All therapies are authentically designed to nurture body and mind, enliven the spirit, and uncover nature’s beauty – providing a blissful return to balance. Essential elements from the ocean bring life, well-being, and new beginnings with rich minerals, sea salt, algae and water. This unique foundation sets the tone for every escape with pure benefit and pure results.


Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, South Carolina

By: Susan Watkins Indulge yourself at this intimate five star boutique hotel. Located in a quiet downtown neighborhood just minutes from the historic district of Charleston, you will feel like you are a world away - kiss your cares goodbye and sink into the pampered life at Wentworth Mansion!

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Tucked within the beautiful landscapes of Camelback Mountain, the Sanctuary Resort & Spa showcases a higher level of luxury and opportunity for renewal than any other wellness oasis we have

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado

If you are fortunate enough to stay here you will feel every bit like a Royal. The spacious and utterly enchanting Suite Nine features a king sized bed with decorative canopy, luxurious linens, wood parquet floors, a hand carved marble fireplace for romantic evenings, antique armoire, vintage chandeliers, oriental carpets, wood paneled walls, Scarlett O’Hara green velvet draperies, a comfortable library to curl up with a good book, a spacious bathroom with double sinks, two-person whirlpool tub and enormous shower, and a sun porch looking out on to the gardens. The mansion is simply breathtaking.  Bask in the serenity and splendor of this place.  Note the beautifully preserved

experienced. This famed Scottsdale luxury resort introduces guests to a refreshing new spirit of sophistication and relaxed refinements, as they discover 53 acres of private paradise where formalities are replaced by fun, and the most luxurious amenity is the art of re-connection. Relaxation and renewal are among the top things to do when visiting the stylish tranquility of Scottsdale’s finest luxury accommodations. Retreat to ultimate comfort within a spacious casita, suite or private estate home, each offering the most spectacular views of the famed Paradise Valley. Refresh your spirit as you indulge in the award-winning cuisine of Food

majestic color to the dazzling azure Pacific coastline, The Del stands as the definitive example of what a luxury resort should be. Beachfront fine dining, wood-fired pizza and wine, fresh seafood, craft beer, sunset margaritas and a Sunday Brunch fit for a king — The Del has it all. Their culinary team pulls inspiration from the bounty of the sea, San Diego’s best farms, and the hotel’s very own herb garden.

Since it was first built more than 125 years ago, the Hotel del Coronado has been a beacon of grandeur and refinement among vacationers. With its iconic red-shingled roof adding a dash of

Whether you prefer the historic charm of the Victorian building, the spacious

historic features of the home including the inlaid floors, classic moldings and the grand staircase fit for a King (or Queen!). Take a glass of wine to the rooftop cupola for an unparalleled 360 degree sunset view of the fabled skyline of Charleston.  In the mornings, make it a point to see the sun illuminate the amber and sapphire glass of the vintage Tiffany windows over the entry doors. A stay at Wentworth Mansion includes an evening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception as well as a full complimentary breakfast.  Even bedtime is an occasion.  In the parlor, you’ll find evening port, sherry and brandy set out on gleaming silver service, and house-made chocolates will be waiting in your room. 

Network star and Executive Chef Beau MacMillan. Experience the intimate retreat of Sanctuary's resort spa, one of the top destination spas in the country. The luxury spa offers a menu of Asian– inspired services in twelve indoor & outdoor treatment rooms. Enhanced by distinctive architecture and a breathtaking setting, the relaxing Zen meditation garden, tranquil reflecting pond, and Watsu® pool provide the ultimate relaxation. Luxury spa services and classes in Sanctuary's state-of-theart fitness center and movement studio include Pilates, meditation, Yoga, fitness & nutrition consultations, and more.

contemporary rooms of Ocean Towers and poolside California Cabana buildings, or the pinnacle of luxury at Beach Village, the sprawling 28-acre resort has a variety of accommodations to suit your individual taste. The Spa highlights the healing properties of the sea and offers a wealth of relaxing treatments and beauty therapies, including organic facials, luscious body scrubs, slimming wraps and deep tissue massage. The private terrace with vanishing-edge pool overlooking the Pacific provides the ultimate therapeutic retreat. ■

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3 Inspirational Women kl

You Need To Follow In honor of strong women everywhere, we thought we would give a shoutout to three women that are incredibly inspiring and doing big things in SoCal. Sure we have pure admiration for the Angelina’s of the world, but it's time to give some props to these three unsung heroes. Annie Lawless, Shannon Decker and Tenley Molzahn are 3 women you need to follow ASAP! 34

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Location: Malibu Canyon Ranch

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Annie Lawless z

Photography by: Huey Bui

Get Her Look:

JM Couture jmcouture.com Styled by: Tanya Pascua, Nadia Banuelos Hair & Makeup: Dee Bowthrorpe, Swell Beauty Hair & Makeup Assistant: Phaithe, swellbeauty.com Location: Malibu Canyon Ranch

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The powerful yet down to earth Co-Founder of Suja, Annie Lawless has a truly inspiring story. Having been diagnosed with Celiac disease as a young girl she started juicing quite early on and when frustrated with the options available and decided to create her own line in her kitchen. Today Suja is known as one of the best juice companies in California. Even we are huge fans, if you couldn’t tell from past issues. The uber successful health and wellness guru didn’t stop there though, she and her partners recently launched Suja Elements, the brands new line of smoothies and with that came The Elements Cause Collective which donates 20 cents per bottle to nonprofits. We love influential women that work hard and give back so we sat down with this kind hearted go-getter from San Diego to talk travel and where she hangs when visiting LA. LATM: Where was your first trip abroad? AL: London and Paris with my grandparents! I was in the 6th grade and I hadn’t traveled much up to that point. London is still one of my favorite places in the world and I have so many special and vivid memories from that trip. LATM: What is your ideal vacation? AL: I’ve taken a few trips with my boyfriend where we started in a city and did the fast paced, shopping, walking, eating and sightseeing thing for a few days, then travelled to a beach destination to kick back, spa, and relax for the second half. We’ve done this with Hong Kong followed by Koh Samui, Rome followed by Santorini, and London and Florence followed by the Amalfi Coast. For me, this is a perfect balanced vacation because you get it all – the action + excitement and the relaxation + serenity. When I come home, I feel like every itch has been scratched and I’ve truly had a nourishing vacation. LATM: If you could travel with anyone in the world who would it be and where would you go? AL: My wonderful boyfriend! He is the boy version of me so we travel extremely well together, laughing and smiling the entire time. We have a lot of the same interests and are always excited for new adventures and exploring wherever we are. He really knows how to enjoy life, which has taught me to slow down and truly be wherever we are without needing to be so connected to my work life back home. The one place we’ve been together many times that is always so incredibly magical and romantic for us is Italy. Everywhere we’ve been, the people, the food, the pace of life, and the history just agrees with us. In Italy, there is

never a care in our world and I love sharing that with him. LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you have time off from work? AL: When I have a shorter amount of time away from work we spend a lot of weekends driving up the coast to Santa Barbara and Big Sur, which is such a great way to see California. If I have more than a couple days we usually plan a trip abroad because we love to take full advantage of any free chunks of time to travel. If I am staying home, my favorite thing to do is cozy up in the house cooking, reading, doing yoga on the deck, and walking the beach out front. I am not home a lot, so when I am, it’s hard to get me to leave! LATM: Name your favorite places in LA: Best Hotel/Best Restaurant/Best Activity or Attraction & Best Place to get your drink on AL: Best hotel: Chateau Marmont because it’s iconic, has a sexy atmosphere, and the people watching is everything. Best restaurant: Gjelina. It’s not a “hidden gem” and has become quite popular, but every time I go there my friends love it and Venice has such a different, fun vibe for a night out. Best activity: Hiking Runyon Canyon! Everyone loves Runyon for a reason. It’s the perfect difficulty level than you can go with friends ranging in fitness levels and the view is breathtaking. I love getting out there in the early morning before it gets too crowded because it’s just so magical. Best place to drink: Laurel Hardware! The cocktails are so amazing and the atmosphere is so cool. You need to order the Gangster if you’re there, which is my favorite light and refreshing blend of cucumber vodka, watermelon, and lime! LATM: What is your go to work out while traveling/on the road? AL: Walking and hiking! If there aren’t any trails nearby, I just rely on walking everywhere all day for my workout because that’s the best way to see a place. When there are great places to hike, I usually start every day with a long 1-2 hour hike. It’s the most mind clearing, cathartic thing in the world! LATM: Where is your favorite destination to travel for a “Girlfriends Getaway”? AL: Rancho Valencia in my own city, San Diego! When it’s really hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules to get out of town for an extended period of time, RV is the perfect and most relaxing, rejuvenating getaway. They have the

most unbelievable spa and yoga pavilion, and a great bar/restaurant called the Pony Room that becomes such a hot spot at night. Whenever I’m with a group of girls, we can stay on the property completely contained for a couple days with zero need or desire to go anywhere and we feel like we’ve completely disconnected from life on the outside. The perfect girls day is starting with yoga in the morning, brunch by the pool, massages, a light later lunch with rosé, a mani/ pedi, drinks and dinner at the Pony Room, and late night dessert and coffee at the Hacienda. It is perfection. LATM: What are three things you never travel without? AL: My phone because it’s my camera, a cashmere wrap because it’s my blanket, sweater, cover up, pillow…you get the point, and a journal because I am never more overflowing with ideas and inspiration than when I’m travelling. LATM: What is your most memorable travel experience (good or bad)? AL: Two years ago I went to the French Alps to watch my boyfriend ride his bike on Alpe d’Huez for the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France and then we went on a yacht to Monte Carlo, St. Tropez, and Portofino with 34 friends! It was such a decadent, luxurious trip and I’ve never come home more exhausted (in a good way) from a vacation! LATM: Any tips you can share on staying healthy on vacation? AL: Yes! One thing I’ve never really understood is the way people go off the rails with their diet on vacation. A lot of people will eat really clean to get in shape for a trip then totally go crazy because “they’ve earned it”. I think that’s a big mistake because you want to feel good while you’re traveling and you don’t want to come home feeling bloated and bad about yourself. My biggest tip for my clients that travel a lot is to eat the way they usually do even if they aren’t eating the foods they usually do. We know what our bodies like and how we feel when they eat a certain way. When I travel, I go ahead and enjoy the local dishes, but I don’t start eating processed foods, added sugars, or anything fried because I don’t do that at home so why should I start now? The same goes for alcohol. When I’m home, I’ll have 1-2 drinks at dinner on the weekends or out with friends, so I’m not about to start having 3-5 on vacation and waste the next day with a gnarly hangover. The key is enjoying yourself, not destroying yourself.

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Shannon Decker z As an Actress, Fitness Model, Trainer and one of the stars of E!’s reality show, Hollywood Cycle, Shannon Decker is quickly making a name for herself. This beautiful brunette is not only addicted to health and fitness but to travel! We sat down with the fun loving and motivated role model to find out how her travel background started and what recommendations she has for us to stay fit on the road!

LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you have time off from the show? SD: I am that girl that just truly loves to workout so I stay very active in my off time. Whether it’s a training session in the gym, a hike, surfing, playing tennis; anything that makes me sweat. I also love when I have shoot days for my modeling career and have been growing my personal training business as well.

LATM: Where was your first trip abroad? SD: I went to Indonesia when I was 19! It was a surf trip on a boat for 12 days with about 10 guys. I had been living in a little fishing town in Washington State so it was a bit of a culture shock but an unforgettable trip. Everyone loved it because I was so easily excited about everything that they took for granted since it wasn’t their first time there. I surfed the biggest waves I have ever been on in my life in beautiful, warm water. LATM: What is your ideal vacation? SD: I like getting immersed in different cultures. We’re so spoiled in L.A. and sometimes it can be easy to lose perspective. My ideal vacation would be anytime I get to experience something so different from my everyday life that helps to make me grow and inspires me as a person. I also like to go somewhere that I can be active; anywhere with a body of water or mountains. I just love to travel! LATM: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go? Anyone special you would bring along? SD: I am embarrassed to admit it but I have never been to Europe! A travesty I know… but most of my trips were surf related and I’ve always gravitated towards more tropical locations. I would love to go to Italy with the guy I’m dating. We have so much fun together and he enjoys food as much as I do, which is a huge deal. I would like to just sightsee, shop, read, sleep in and eat with my man.

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LATM: Name your favorite places in L.A.: Best Hotel/Best Restaurant/Best Activity or Attraction & Best Place to get your drink on SD: I love to hang out at The London in West Hollywood. The staff is so friendly and the pool is gorgeous. You can’t beat the view from the rooftop either. My favorite place to eat is Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills. I like to go on “off times” so it’s not such a scene. But you really can’t beat the food and service. And they have an excellent cocktail list too. I haven’t done a good job at soaking in all L.A. has to offer but I do love to see a good show at the Pantages theatre. It’s just so L.A. and it feels like a special night out. Last time I went was for ‘Book of Mormon’. My favorite place to get a drink is at La Descarga, a Cuban speak easy. Enough said. LATM: What is your go to work out while traveling/on the road? SD: I love to just walk out whatever door I’m staying at and go jogging. I don’t run as much as I use to because spin takes up most of my cardio time. There’s something about being able to zone out and trust being in an unfamiliar place though, you become a little vulnerable while getting to experience your destination in a unique way. I try to do around 2-4 miles and then add on 10 minutes of abs at the end. LATM: Where is your favorite destination to travel for a “Girlfriends Getaway”? SD: We’re so lucky being in L.A. because we can spontaneously throw a bag together and be in Palm Springs in only a couple hours. But you

feel like you’re a million miles away. Especially when you stay at my favorite boutique hotel L’Horizon Resort. All of my girlfriends are so busy these days being lady bosses and super moms so being able to lie by the pool, eat, drink and talk for hours is absolute heaven. LATM: What are three things you never travel without? SD: A bikini, workout shoes and clothes and good skin care products. LATM: What is your most memorable travel experience (good or bad)? SD: I was teaching a group of women how to surf in Costa Rica a couple years ago, and on the last night we all went on a horse back excursion with a guide and his dog “looking for black jaguars”… Who knows what would have happened if we actually found one! But as we came to a clearing through the dense jungle, there before us was a moon lite slanted picturesque tropical beach. As we continued to ride along it at the water’s edge, we realized there were phosphorescents left by the outgoing tide. So every time the horse would step down it was like a little firework show spraying out from all the horse’s hoofs. I will never forget how magical that moment felt. LATM: Any tips you can share on staying healthy on vacation? SD: Vacations are hard because it’s usually a time for people to relax from the stress of everyday life and we all have the tendency to want to over indulge. But think of it this way, you’re away from all of the tasks you have to complete typically, so just factor a quick workout into your day. You don’t even have to get up early! Most resorts and hotels have gyms and even offer group workout classes these days. Or take advantage of where you are and plan an activity that gets you moving but allows you to take in some new sights. For example, in Hawaii you could take a surfing lesson or go on a hike to a beautiful waterfall.


Photography by: Huey Bui,

Get Her Look:

JM Couture jmcouture.com Styled by: Tanya Pascua, Nadia Banuelos Hair & Makeup: Dee Bowthrorpe, Swell Beauty Hair & Makeup Assistant: Phaithe, swellbeauty.com Location: Malibu Canyon Ranch

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Photography by: Huey Bui

Get Her Look:

Walter Mendez, waltercollection.com Styled by: Tanya Pascua, Nadia Banuelos Hair & Makeup: Dee Bowthrorpe, Swell Beauty Hair & Makeup Assistant: Phaithe, swellbeauty.com Location: Malibu Canyon Ranch

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Tenley Molzahn z Tenley Molzahn’s exuberant attitude toward “ life as an adventure” has taken her on a journey from Newberg, Oregon, to Orange County, California, to Japan, to Hollywood, to Africa and many points in between. Although many recognize her from ABC’s The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, she has been an Ambassador for the Kusewera organization, promoting ‘creative & active play’ for orphanage children for quite some time now. Traveling the world for voluntourism is just one of the reasons she is one powerful female to watch! LATM: Where was your first trip abroad? TM: I was eleven years old and had the opportunity to represent my middle school as an ambassador at our sister school in Japan. I traveled with a group of select students, I was the youngest, and stayed in a “host family” home by myself! I still can’t believe that I did that at only eleven. I was still a baby, but very adventurous and ready to see the world! LATM: What is your ideal vacation? TM: To me, vacation means relaxation so my ideal vacation is somewhere exotic, sunny, and beachy. Laying by a pool or a beach sipping on something tropical and not having to worry about a care in the world. LATM: If you could travel with anyone in the world who would it be and where would you go? TM: This is a super tough question, so many different directions I could go with this! I think I’d want to go on a romantic trip to Santorini, along with some other stops in the Mediterranean finally landing along the Amalfi Coast. Somewhere that we can explore and dive into the culture, bask in the sun, drink wine and eat great food, and create romantic

memories for a lifetime. So who would I bring with me? Well, that’s something I’m still working out. But it will be someone special. ;) LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you had time off from the show? TM: When we had down time while filming in Paradise my favorite thing was to just lay in the sunshine, read, journal, and relax. There’s not much else to do in Paradise. When I’m home and back to my normal life, down time for me is a good local day with friends. Beach cruisers, my favorite local coffee shop, mimosa brunches, maybe an adventure of sorts, hiking, and just good ol’ downtime with friends.

LATM: Where is your favorite destination to travel for a “Girlfriends Getaway?” TM: Wine country of course! Sonoma County and Napa are the best, but it doesn’t happen often enough! LATM: What are three things you never travel without? TM: My journal, running shoes, and music! LATM: What is your most memorable travel experience (good or bad)?

TM: I love staying at the Redbury Hotel in Hollywood and visiting the W Hotel on Sundays for Jazz nights, it is so much fun! I also love all of the hikes around the city. You can find yourself lost on a trail above one of the busiest cities in the world, it's so cool! My favorite beach spots is Manhattan Beach. I also love heading off to Malibu Wines or Rosenthal Wines in Malibu for a day with friends and live music!

TM: There are too many!!! If I had to choose it would be when I was in St. Lucia filming The Bachelor. It was the last week before the “proposal” and I was in a van with just my producer and our driver, we were driving from one side of the island to the other. My producer was fast asleep, and my driver didn’t speak English so I had some quiet time by myself. As we were driving through this canyon I looked up and out the window and there was a full on double rainbow! It brought tears to my eyes because it gave me hope of what was to come. I knew in that moment, even if the Bachelor didn’t propose to me, everything was going to be just fine. It was the perfect reminder!

LATM: What is your go to work out while traveling on the road?

LATM: Any tips you can share on staying healthy on vacation?

TM: I love to see a new city by foot, so I’ll grab my music, put on my running shoes and go for a run! There’s nothing more exhilarating, because it feels like an adventure! I’m also known to do my go to HIIT routine in my hotel room when I can’t get out and about, and a treadmill will do too.

TM: I don’t use vacation to over indulge. I will absolutely enjoy a good 20% of indulgences, but I stick to choosing foods I’m used to and know are good for me, and I also drink lots and lots of water, as well as look for moments to get a work out in. Plus the key is to relax, that’s the whole point of vacation after all! ■

LATM: Tell us your favorite places in LA: Best Hotel/Best Restaurant/Best Activity or Attraction & Best Place to get your drink on

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get around

Sleek, Stylish and Sophisticated:

The Better Way to Travel For those who like to travel in style, comfort and ease there’s a new player worldwide that you should know about. Blacklane works with a large network of local professional drivers from around the world to offer you impeccable service and extremely competitive rates. Available in more than 180 cities in over 50 countries, Blacklane is taking over the industry in high quality car service worldwide. Everyone knows how frustrating it can be when arriving at a new airport, you are tired, jetlagged and now you have to barter with a cab driver that doesn’t even speak your language. Plus, not knowing how much you should pay to travel from your hotel from the airport can be very frustrating. Now, all those transport problems can be solved before you even leave for your trip. It’s simple; you just go to blacklane.com or download the app for apple or android products. Booking one of the services is very easy and requires just a few minutes. First you choose from three types of service; airport transfer, limousine

service or chauffeur service. From there provide your pickup location and drop-off destination. Next, select your vehicle class; the categories include Business class, Business SUV/Van and First Class. Business class options include a Mercedes E- class, BMW 5 series or Lincoln Town car. If you have a group of 4 or more then Business SUV/Van has vans and SUV’s like the Mercedes Viano, VW multivan, and Cadillac Escalade. If you’re dressed to impress and looking for the ultimate in luxury then First Class options include a Mercedes S- class, BMW 7 series and a VW Phaeton. Choose your car, set your pick up time and you are ready to go! After you’ve confirmed the calculated fare and payment details, you receive an email confirmation. But it doesn’t stop there; once you arrive at your destination why not opt to see the city in style? You can also hire a Blacklane Limousine to tour you around with a professional driver on an hourly basis or choose a one way journey.

With no hidden fees – the price you see is the price you pay. Since preparation is the key to success then make sure you use Blacklane for your next trip, business or pleasure, it’s the easy way to ensure you arrive in style! ■ 43


OPM Restaurant,

Huntington Beach OPM Restaurant and Lounge, located in the energetic atmosphere of Huntington Beach, brings a new flavor and twist to the areas dining options. Through their contemporary and diverse perception of New American cuisine, OPM combines various global influences to create a wonderful array of menu items. Assorted in collaboration with the Raw Bar, OPM is known for their “pass and share” approach where customers are presented with a delicate selection of seasonal dishes. This arrangement of food is presented with small and big bite options, sweet bites, as well as a large amount of specialized salads and gourmet entrees. OPM also offers an exciting drink menu, serving a large collection of craft cocktails, superior spirits, craft beers, and an exquisite wine list with choices inspired by locations across the globe.

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Chef Charles Cho produces an excellent menu showcasing seasonal produce and sustainable offerings into putting them into dishes inspired by global flavors. Prepared on site daily, both meat and fish are cleaned and carved in a way that celebrates culinary perfection. While some of the items seem farfetched the flavors really work. The creative genius behind this menu Chef Cho really understands flavor profiles and has a knack for creating mini masterpieces to pop in your mouth. Hats off to the Chef! ■


dining

Mastro's, Costa Mesa

While many are familiar with the family owned restaurant founded in Scottsdale back in 1999, the upscale steakhouse has evolved over the years offering new and exciting dishes and drinks. The fine dining restaurant is a place well known to customers for their decadent food, wine list, live entertainment and sensual atmosphere. While there are many different locations, the Costa Mesa location offers a variety of cultivated steak and seafood options with world-class customer service. There is also a lively bar scene with entertainment for guests to enjoy and look forward to as their meal is freshly prepared and served.

Executive Chef, Nicholas Foegal designed each menu item with patience and consistency. Must enjoy appetizers include the Chilled Alaskan King Crab Legs and the famous Mastros Seafood Tower. For Steaks and Chops, you can’t go wrong with the 20oz “Chef ’s Cut” of New York Strip or the Herb Roasted Chicken. Fresh seafood and sushi options are also available on the menu and the Lobster Mashed Potatoes is a decadent option for guests looking to enhance their meal. Finally, one mustn’t leave without tasting Mastro’s amazing desserts, including the Triple Chocolate Layer Cake or Mastros Signature Warm Butter Cake. Pair one of these sweet endings with a cordial from the bar and you are guaranteed the perfect ending to a perfect meal. ■

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dining

Hanna’s Restaurant & Bar, Rancho Santa Margarita

Hanna’s Restaurant, one of Orange County’s premiere restaurants is located in the heart of Rancho Santa Margarita. Don’t let the modern day American Steakhouse menu fool you, the food is remarkable and this hidden gem offers a true culinary experience. The restaurant is rich in history and became a “timeless tradition” after David Hanna’s grandfather served as a cook in World War I. After opening a restaurant in Western Pennsylvania called the Lone Star, the Hanna family began opening up various successful restaurants on the West Coast. David Hanna first opened the Haute Café in Rancho Santa Margarita and after selling in 1997; Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar was prestigiously opened in 2005. Known for having a prime kitchen philosophy and devotion to their customers it’s no wonder their tagline is “mastering the art of perfection in every single dish that they create”. Only the finest quality fresh ingredients are used in each and every dish here and it is certainly noticeable in every bite. A few items that really stand out include the edamame with ponzu and garlic along with the avocado appetizer which is comprised of grilled and panko crusted Avocado with crispy shallots and goat cheese, delicious! Both of these high protein dishes serve as excellent snacks whether the chosen entrée is vegetarian or meat based. For guests who are looking to indulge we suggest the truffle mac & cheese and the jalapeno potato au gratin which are winners in their own right! For your main course there are a plethora of mouthwatering options but the bone in filet and short ribs came highly recommended. The bone in filet is served with either garlic mashed potatoes, pomme frites, or broccolini while the short ribs are presented with a sweet corn puree, sautéed baby corn, paprika dusted cotija cheese and topped with crispy shallots. Outstanding! Overall, Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar serves extraordinary food and delivers exemplary service. This hidden gem is worth the trek out to Rancho Santa Margarita, trust us. One meal here and you will find yourself wondering how you never knew this place existed and of course making plans for your next visit. ■ 47


A Voyage to remember: alaska to vancouver By: Chris Dunn

L

package options, but my companions had plenty of cruising experience under their belt, and part of the appeal was that I only had to say yes and go along with their knowledge of how to do a cruise right.

We were to be sailing with Princess on their Voyage of the Glaciers route from Anchorage to Vancouver, with four days of inland tour and seven on-board the ship. A neophyte like myself could get lost in the planning with cruise

It was convincingly impressed upon me at the outset that by investing a little more in your cruise, an enjoyable holiday can be transformed into something quite extraordinary. The first thing, then, was to sign up for one of the ‘Connoisseur’ packages that include stays at Princess wilderness lodges, most meals, and the service of a professional tour director for our inland portion of the trip (who not only

ike many others, I’m sure, I’d often thought that while the idea of taking a cruise vacation sounded appealing, it would be more suitable for the retirement stage of one’s life. But when a recent invitation came to join with a group on a cruise to Alaska, it all sounded too good to resist. In the end it certainly was, quite beyond anything I’d dared to imagine.

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enriched our time but also proved very useful for pulling strings when the need arose, as it did several times). The fun all began with a breathtaking flight over snow-capped coastal mountain ranges from Vancouver to Anchorage. Checking in at the impressive Captain Cook Hotel, we set out to explore our surroundings, and while strolling the streets it soon becomes evident why Alaska features in so many television series and reality programs. Not only is this a land of indescribable beauty, it is also populated by a unique people who really embody the last frontier state. From the eye-catching displays of


expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley. The following morning we’re off on a guided bus tour deeper into Denali National Park, and I don't think any of us had ever imagined that moose grew as big as the ones we saw that day. Later on we bundle up our hiking gear and set off on our inland tour’s most recommendable excursion. A helicopter flight with Denali Backcountry Guides and our naturalist guide extraordinaire Jeff takes us out into the wild Alaskan tundra, dropping us off for a threehour easy descent route filled with spectacular wildflowers, rare bird species and plenty of animal encounters. By the time the helicopter arrives to take us back the entire group is almost drunk with satisfaction.

art shops to casual conversation with locals, there’s an inescapable feeling that we’re now in a special part of the world, with the midnight sun effect only adding to this sentiment. The next morning we board our exclusive motor coach for transport to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Interesting stops were made along the way, including a particularly refreshing one that came at just the right time––a sampling tour of the Denali Brewery Company in the community of Talkeetna. It was a brew-lover’s delight, to say the least. The lodge is physically closer to Mt. McKinley

than most visitors to the national park can get, and as long as the weather cooperates, your first glimpse of the mountain is truly something to behold. Our weather was perfect, and after a restful night at the lodge we set out for some flight-seeing around Mt. McKinley, culminating with a high-elevation landing on the mountain itself. Be sure to have your camera battery fully charged for this trip because you will not stop clicking as you fly alongside mountain glaciers and several-thousand foot precipices that rival anything out of Lord of the Rings cinematography. Next on our tour is Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, where we’re treated to a smokehouse BBQ and a musical comedy based on the first

After all this fun you can imagine the appetites we’ve brought back to the lodge, where it was impossible to go wrong with the King Salmon Restaurant menu. Seafood is regularly flown out from coastal communities to ensure freshness, and local award-winning recipes are annually incorporated into the menu selection. At our table the most rave reviews were given for the Alaskan king crab and an intriguing platter of Alaskan wild game meats, including caribou and reindeer. The next morning we’re treated to more dazzling scenery aboard Princess’ ‘Direct to the Wilderness’ rail service en route to the community of Whittier where our cruise ship awaits. The glass dome overhead view makes this an unforgettable train ride, especially as we approach the coast where glaciers spill down from soaring mountains on both sides, affording a hint at what’s yet to come on our cruise.

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For someone who has never been on a cruise ship, those first hours on-board are truly spectacular. One is instantly caught up in both the grandeur and technical wonder of this floating city, and the best part is that everyone on board (of all ages!) is contagiously happy, so that you can't help smiling all the time.

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The smoothest possible transition from train to ship then unfolds, and in a matter of minutes we’ve boarded the Star Princess with our baggage already waiting for us in our mini-suite with a balcony, along with welcoming champagne and a beautiful fruit basket. For someone who has never been on a cruise ship, those first hours on-board are truly spectacular. One is instantly caught up in both the grandeur and technical wonder of this floating city, and the best part is that everyone on board (of all ages!) is contagiously happy, so that you can’t help smiling all the time. One useful tip I received from an experienced cruise traveller is worth passing on here: so long as one is able to, avoid use of the onboard elevators and always take the stairs. With several buffet restaurants and a multitude of other dining options on offer, this policy goes a long way towards avoiding unwanted weight gain.

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Of course so does a regular attendance at the on-board health club, and I must say how surreal it was to hit the weights while gazing out the window at icebergs floating by… this from our first full day of cruising, which took us up close to the Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska. Out on deck the enormity of this scenic vista seems incongruent with the silence in the air, punctuated only by the thunderous rumbling of ice calving into the sea. Before long another level of anticipation sets in, as the first of two ‘formal nights’ is scheduled. After donning our finest, we step out into the atrium area, a soaring three-tier centrepiece of elegant bars and refined boutiques. Taking it all in while sipping a glass of champagne, you can’t help but feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to a more elegant era, when ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ dominated the airwaves.

A little later we gather at the award-winning Sabatini’s for Italian cuisine, and it was on this night that my favorite word to describe this cruise experience really set in. The overall setting, dining choices, and especially the service were all on the level of ‘exquisite’, especially the latter. From housekeeping to the head maître d’s, interacting with some of the 1100 international staff members left very positive and lasting impressions, with everyone exemplifying such professionalism and attentive warmth that one constantly feels uplifted by it all. The next morning our stateroom curtains are pulled back to reveal the spectacular scenery of Glacier Bay National Park. The occasion is made even more special when our five-star Glacier Bay Balcony Breakfast, complete with chilled champagne, is served in-cabin. As if it couldn’t get any better, we then move up to ‘The Sanctuary’, an on-deck, fully serviced


retreat where we’ve reserved the afternoon for optimal Glacier Bay viewing. The following day begins in our first port of call, Skagway, and soon we’re off on our chosen excursions. With nearly two hundred optional

begin our dinner there with four appetizer courses. Relocating to the Capri dining room our main courses commence, and by the time the combination of giant prawns, beer-roast veal shank and crusty lamb rack is served we’re all swooning. The wine and champagne pairings add their effect, and then comes a dessert presentation quite beyond my descriptive ability. To top it all off we’re each

That night we dine onboard at the Crown Grill, recipient of numerous awards for ‘Best Cruise Ship Steakhouse’. Again, our meals and the service are both deserving of the term ‘exquisite’, and the rest of the night is spent in the Vines wine bar listening to live jazz as we all recount the highlights of our respective excursions. Our third port of call is Ketchikan, and although our luck with the weather finally runs out, it hardly matters because today’s activity is snorkeling. Yet another unforgettable moment takes place as we’re entering into the water clad in our wetsuits, when a pod of orcas swims by within about 40 yards. Even our guides can’t help yelling out for joy at this quintessentially Alaskan encounter! The sun returns for our last two days of scenic cruising down towards Vancouver through the inside passage, and at this point it’s all about leisure. Much time is spent on deck soaking up the rays with a favorite book, along with the occasional watching of whales. Some of us enjoy anmovie on the giant poolside screen, others take in a yoga class, an art auction, or one of the ongoing lecture presentations and storytelling from Alaskan notables such as Libby Riddles, the first female champion of the famed Iditarod dogsled race.

excursions in total to choose from, ranging from dog sledding to whitewater rafting, flight-seeing to gold-panning, you feel like a kid in a candy store when planning your time off the ship. On this day some of us embark on a thrilling helicopter ride up and over the mountains to a glacier, from where we then enjoy a locally guided hike down through the refreshing old growth of Tongass National Forest. Gliding the last miles of our descent on a ride aboard the historic gold rush-era White Pass & Yukon Railroad, we stop off in a popular Skagway watering hole to try the latest in Alaskan brews, a spruce tip ale that complements our hike to a tee. All this and it’s still only 2 PM… the idea for a nap takes hold, and before long we’re back in our staterooms drifting off. This siesta has a special rejuvenating purpose in mind, because our group has reserved something extra special for the evening–the Chef ’s Table, an eleven course meal hosted by the ship’s head chef and head maître d’ which starts off in the ship’s galley. After a tour of how this ultraimpressive (and spotless!) kitchen works, we

presented with a gorgeous hardbound cookbook of Princess Cruises’ favorite recipes. There’s something to be said about falling asleep aboard a ship, especially one that sails through the night–both body and mind seem to relax and rest more deeply, so that when we awake the next morning in the Alaskan capital of Juneau, we’re ready once again for another full round of highlights. On this day we enjoyed our most thrilling and memorable excursion of all with Taku Glacier Helicopter Landing and Airboat Tour. This 3.5 hour tour combines several adventures into one, starting with a helicopter ride over mountain peaks and ice fields that touches down where ice meets sea. We then boarded an airboat and shot off up a nearby glacial river to where ice was actively calving. Just minutes before our arrival a huge section had come off and as we approached the glacier face, I became transfixed by the raw beauty on display and the otherworldly blue of freshly exposed ancient ice. Another helicopter ride then landed us on another glacier, where we were given plenty of time to roam around and take pictures.

Later on our group convenes for one more hosted evening event, a wine and chocolate pairings presentation every bit as educational as it is delectable. It was the chocolate, in fact, which stole the show for us that night (a shout out to master chocolatier Norman Love!). The final day’s highlight is a luxurious two hour massage and facial at the Lotus Spa, the perfectly planned lead-in to the second formal night. During our last dinner together we raise our glasses and toast to what everyone agrees has been an ideal vacation length and a perfect balance between adventure and leisure. The trip has been educational, inspiring, and filled with enough ‘food and drink’ highlights to last a lifetime. Pulling into the harbor of beautiful Vancouver on a sunlit morning, a few moments of reflection makes one thing clear–that this holiday has indeed lived up to the Princess motto of ‘Come back new’. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, consider an Alaskan cruise for a future get-away, and if I may say so, the sooner the better! ■

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When booking flights to Europe one may not automatically think of Air New Zealand as an airline of choice but since launching their new service direct from LAX to LON, it certainly should be. On our most recent Editors trip we flew from LAX to London Heathrow with the airline. From the moment we arrived at LAX to when we touched down in London on Air New Zealand we received impeccable service. We flew economy on the way to London and tried the Premium Economy on our return to evaluate the difference. Once passed security we arrived at the Star Alliance LAX Lounge ready to relax, enjoy a preflight cocktail and snack on small bites before the boarding process was to begin. The premium customer facility at LAX offers space for around 400 Business Class and Star Alliance Gold passengers, with an additional exclusive area for First Class passengers. Designed by global architectural firm Gensler, the 1,675 square meter lounge features different experience zones to accommodate the various passenger needs, ranging from social gatherings to quiet time away from home. The lounge offers a bar area for socializing, a library space, a den, a study and

a media room. Guests wishing to work can do so from the location of their choice, making use of the high-speed wi-fi, along with the printing, fax and copy services which are available on request. In addition to traditional power outlets, customers can also make use of USB power ports to recharge their mobile devices. For those “travelling light�, tablet computers are available on request for use in the lounge. Passengers wishing to freshen up before their flight can do so in one of eight shower rooms. Lounge access continues to be rated as one of the top Alliance customer benefits and Star Alliance Gold Card holders currently have access to more than 1,000 lounges across the 27 member airline network. In addition to the member carrier lounges and those facilities offered by third parties, Star Alliance currently has five Alliance branded lounges. With daily nonstop flights to London travelers can experience friendly and attentive Kiwi service, chill out with over 1,000 hours of on-demand entertainment, and enjoy the only Economy cabin to feature complimentary New Zealand wines. The food and beverage options

are plentiful and tasty. The seats provided enough legroom once you've reclined and the ergonomical design was a nice bonus. Each seat features a swiveling headrest, you can either catch up on some beauty sleep with a complimentary blanket & pillow or stay connected with the individually equipped AC power. The flight attendants were always at our beck and call anytime we needed something and were beaming with personality. On our return we opted for Premium Economy which is the perfect mix of luxury and value. When you fly Premium Economy from London to LA, you can be sure that you'll arrive back home refreshed instead of sleep deprived. As soon as you get to the airport, you're treated to premium check in. Once you're on the plane, stretch out on the roomy SpaceSeat - featuring a fixed shell design that means nobody can recline into your personal space. The inflight experience includes premium on-demand snacks and entertainment, as well as award-winning Kiwi service and complimentary New Zealand wines as well. Recharge with the inflight amenity kit and noisecancelling headphones or stay plugged in with in-seat AC and USB connections.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Get great gift ideas in our Holiday Gift Guide for 2015! From fab statement t's to experiential escapades, find gifts for guys and gals that are sure to please.

Sleep Headphones Eye Mask Falling asleep in the midst of a busy and noisy environment isn’t easy, in fact, for many it is downright impossible. Whether you are traveling around the globe on a red-eye, trying to sleep while your noisy neighbor parties through the night, or find yourself sharing a bed with someone whose snores could wake the dead, you could probably use a little help to get some good restful sleep! Featuring a soft and cozy mask that can easily be hooked up to your MP3 player or phone, you can rest and relax wherever you are! The headphones are designed to block out ambient noise, so you can listen to your favorite tunes, or have the blissful sound of silence rock you right to sleep. $49 / 1voicenyc.com

On-Ear Wired Sport Sweat & water resistant for the active lifestyle Headphones are a must-have when traveling, but not every pair is equal. This remarkable combination of class leading technology and Studio Mastered Sound is perfect for the listener that won’t sacrifice quality sound for an active lifestyle. These headphones feature soft, perforated leather and comfortable memory foam cushions. $179.95

Create your own memories with Localgrapher

NYC Cocktail Tray This beautiful tray featuring the NYC cityscape is handcrafted from Swedish birchwood and laminated with a food-safe varnish. London-based designer Yoni Alter created a collection of cocktail trays that bring his celebrated City Shapes artwork off the gallery wall and into the hands of stylish globetrotters who call the world home. $35 / givesimple.com

We have all had enough of omnipresent tourists with selfie sticks and low quality holiday photographs that was the original inspiration for the Localgrapher founders. Every traveler knows that no matter how luxurious the vacation is, they only bring back a few photos taken on their smart phone or a cheap digital camera. These might be sufficient to post on your Facebook wall, but would you ever frame them and place them in your living room? Would you still be proud to show these photos to your family in ten years' time? The answer most likely is no. With trusted professional photographers on hand globally to capture your once-in-a-lifetime memories Localgrapher provides a stunning travel photoshoot you'll cherish forever. From Los Angeles to South Africa, this service is one you will want to gift again and again! $220-$490 / localgrapher.com Photo Credit: © Localgrapher.com / Austin Sheppard

A Night in the Penthouse Inspired by Vivienne Westwood at The London West Hollywood The Penthouse Inspired by Vivienne Westwood is the largest hotel suite in Los Angeles, where guests access the tenth floor through a private, contemporary-styled corridor that leads to 6,000 square feet of spacious and striking design, specially created to form an intimate ambiance. The experience is then taken to new heights on the suite’s 5,000 square foot private outdoor rooftop terrace, ideal for entertaining and featuring breathtaking panoramic city views. LA’s largest suite was conceived by Gonzalez Architects and designed in collaboration with Richmond Design and the renowned British fashion designer, featuring exclusive art and décor and customized furnishings. Guests are also treated to exclusive designer experiences, including one hour of private shopping at the Vivienne Westwood store in West Hollywood and a special discount on all purchases; His and Her gift bags from Vivienne Westwood upon check-in; and Vivienne Westwood-branded amenities within the suite. $25,000 per night / thelondonwesthollywood.com

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Chill Factor™ Cocktail Maker Kit

America Ice Tray

With the new Chill Factor™ Cocktail Maker Kit, you can freeze your favorite cocktails and mocktails in minutes - making for an enjoyable time for all! The new kit allows you to conveniently juice, grate, squeeze and shake everything in one device for perfect frozen cocktails every time. thechillfactor.com

It's cool to be an American no matter what state you're in! Whether you're drunk, sober, or in Texas, here are 48 ways to chill your drink the old fashioned way. Who said geography had to be boring? Durable Silicone, Makes 50 Cubes, Dishwasher safe. $11.95 /gentsupplyco.com


Cabana Anna Swimwear Summer may be over but in California we need to have the right bikinis all year long. This flirty, adjustable, and ultra-flattering swimwear provides moderate-coverage and comfort. These feminine pieces will make LA pool hopping as fashionable as it is fun. Plus a portion of the proceeds benefit the children of Be More Heroic so you can feel good about your purchase too! caswim.com

INSPIRED CLOTHING from All the Above

EnjoyEssential Statement T's We all like to express ourselves, but when you really want to make a statement, check out EnjoyEssential, a clothing company with a message. Featuring fun clothing full of attitude, EnjoyEssential has a piece for everyone from toddlers to teens to women too! Everyone can have fun with creative clothing that makes a statement! enjoyessential.com

All The Above Clothing is dedicated to creating highquality, stylishly inspired clothing that fosters self expression. They believe that fashion is one of the truest outlets for expressing oneself, and aim to deliver fashion with a deeper meaning. The line also allows customers to give back at check out and donates a minimum of 10% to charities around the world. ata-clothing.com

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Holiday Gift Guide for Pets While you and your loved ones are tearing open gifts on Christmas morning, your pets can be, too! These gifts will bring you and your devoted drooler a little closer together this holiday season. Collar Me Stylish Kane & Couture Lafayette Collar This stylish dog collar is made with Kane & Couture’s signature vegan leather making it a great option for the eco-friendly loving pup. Kane & Couture offers products that reduce your reliance on animal-based and toxic materials. Manufactured in NYC, their dog collars, harnesses, leashes, carriers, and accessories are made with beautiful vegan leather and eco-friendly, water-based adhesives. $55.00 / kaneandcouture.com

FAUX CROC CRYSTAL BONE DOG COLLARS Because every pampered pooch deserves a little bling! $19.99 / spoiledsweetpets.com

Shamrock & Mustache Collar Your pet will be feeling lucky with Up Country's ribbon Shamrock collar. If your pet prefers a more masculine conservative look check out the Mustache Color to keep them looking stylish. These collars are made from high-tensile strength nylon webbing with sewn on polyester/nylon ribbons. Ribbons are stain and fray resistant and designed to last a lifetime, trust us the dogs of LATM have put it to the test! $21 / upcountryinc.com Juliet Designer Dog Bathrobe Wrap up your little friend in style with this soft and luxurious kimono style bathrobe. 100% cotton toweling - 250 GSM. Handmade rose patterns on the trim and hood. Lace ribbon with pearls on the edges of the sleeves. $70 / theclassydog.com

Tiffany Gift Box Dog Bed With Matching Toy The infamous little blue box has driven women crazy for ages, and now this clever twist can have your pampered pooch begging for more. This beyond classy plush Tiffany & Co. inspired dog bed features the classic blue box wrapped in the beautiful white ribbon. Fit for the discerning diva dog, this dog bed is sure to get a conversation going with all of your guest. $139.00 / dogbedsandpetbedsstore.com

Hyper Dog Ball Launcher Playing Fetch is more fun when it's hands-free and the design lets you shoot in any direction up to 220 feet. $34.99 / activedogtoys.com

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Colonial Dog Mansion Gorgeous traditional design has clean, simple lines and quality craftsmanship. Your pampered pet will enjoy a custom-built, luxury doghouse. Each doghouse is custom-built in accordance with the client’s detailed specifications, including size, style, color, flooring, windows, and lighting. Other amenities such as framed artwork, running water, air conditioning and even heat can also be added! A complete miniature replica of the pet owner’s main house is also possible. Each minimansion comes standard with an elegant entrance way and spacious interior with wallpaper options for dogs or cats. Well-placed windows allow for significantly more light and views than the average doghouse. The artist and craftsman behind this elaborate mini-mansion is world renowned for creating the most fashionable dog houses in the world. Depending upon the specifications and amenities, the house will be built either in the studio or on site. Prices start at $4,500 and go up based upon specific customization, architectural details and extras. theclassydog.com

Nickel Bruno Dog Bowl Your pooch will dine in style with this designer collection. High style and craftsmanship are fused with natural and exotic materials to create this sophisticated line of dog bowls, elevated feeder dishes and dining tables for your pets. Style...not reserved for humans. $55-$95 / theclassydog.com

Whistle GPS Pet Tracker Tagg The Pet Tracker is a purposebuilt pet tracking device that uses advanced GPS and wireless technology to help you to find your pet at anytime, giving you peace of mind. $99 / pettracker.com


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8

Reasons to Visit Pismo Beach  in the Cooler Months

With mild temperatures year-round, anytime is a good time to visit Pismo Beach, and winter is no exception. A jewel of the Central Coast with miles and miles of uninterrupted beaches, scores of oceanfront hotels and resorts to choose from, a world class wine region minutes away, and hiking through the spectacular scenery of the Santa Lucia mountains, Pismo Beach deserves its reputation as a ‘go-to’ getaway destination.

A few of the reasons winter is still “prime time” in Pismo Beach include:

W ine Tasting 

Pismo State Beach

Leading from the center of downtown Pismo Beach, scenic Price Canyon Road meanders a few short miles through the neighboring Santa Lucia range to the pastoral Edna Valley. An officially recognized American Viticulture Area, Edna Valley is most well known for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Wine tasting rooms vary from tucked away converted barns to impressive contemporary structures, but the common thread is a warm and welcoming attitude. Standouts in the region include Center of Effort, Claiborne & Churchill Vintners, Tolosa Winery, Wolff Vineyards, Kynsi Winery, Sextant Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Saucelito Canyon Vineyard and Chamisal Vineyards. Other nearby wine producing areas that offer tasting opportunities are the Avila and Arroyo Grande Valleys, as well as Paso Robles. Within Pismo Beach itself, several businesses offer the chance to sample locally-grown vintages, including Tastes of the Valleys, a wine bar and store with up to 700 wines offered by the glass; San Liege Wines showcasing the talent of Curt Schalchlin and his wines made from Central Coast sourced fruit; and Vino Versato, pouring a selection of 35-40 wines by the glass while also serving as the tasting room for several local wineries, and featuring live entertainment.   58

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Spanning an impressive 17 miles, the wide open and pristine sands of Pismo State Beach extend southward from the Pismo Beach Pier to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in the distance. Offering opportunities for long walks, surfing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, camping and even horseback riding, the opportunities for outdoor recreation as well as the views are endless.  

Hiking

Winter brings ideal temperatures for tackling the varied terrain and variety of hiking options available in and near Pismo Beach. Right in town, take it easy on the Shell Beach Bluff Trail, a wheelchair-friendly paved path overlooking the water, or take the parallel Ontario Ridge Trail with a nearly 700-foot elevation gain. Combine the two for a 3 mile loop that explores the coast between Pismo Beach and Avila Beach. In July 2015, access will be available to the newly acquired Pismo Preserve, which includes 900 acres of open space. With 10 miles of existing dirt roads and single-track trails, many with spectacular ocean views, it will form a vast resource for hikers, as well as cyclists and equestrians.  

Biking San Luis Obispo County is considered a mountain biking and street biking paradise, and you can bring your own or rent some wheels right in town. For a coastal tour, bike from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach, traversing a path that wanders through lush landscapes and follows an enchanting stream. Take in the wine country on a 15-mile trek through the Edna Valley AVA, or explore the hills on the region’s many mountain bike trails.   

Oceano Dunes

Recognized by scientists and conservationists as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California, Oceano Dunes are located just south of Pismo Beach. For those seeking to inject some adrenaline into their stay, it is also the location of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. A popular playground for off-roaders, with 5.5 miles of beach open for vehicle use and the surrounding 1,500 acres of dunes dedicated to off-highway vehicle use, it draws visitors from around the U.S.  


Wildlife Viewing Nearby Avila Beach offers opportunities to see California sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and a plethora of sea birds. Rent a kayak and paddle the calm waters of the bay for a closer look at these extraordinary sea mammals, and explore the ecosystems beneath the Harford Pier to view resident anemones, sea stars and barnacles. Pay a visit to the Central Coast Aquarium, steps from the beach, to experience the region’s sea life found beneath the surface. Winter brings migrating Gray Whales, and common and bottlenose dolphins are also always a possibility.   

Shopping When a dose of retail therapy is in order, the destination has just what the doctor ordered.  With an impressive lineup of 40 sought after brands, including Calvin Klein, Coach, Jones New York and Guess among others, the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets has something for practically everyone. Downtown Pismo Beach offers even more opportunities, with a diverse collection of boutiques, surf shops, gift and collectibles markets, and wine stores.  

Hearst Castle It may be one of California’s most popular destinations, but the summer months can bring sold out tours and long lines. Winter months offer the perfect opportunity to explore the castle and take in some of the more off beat tours such as Cottages & Kitchen, Upstairs Suites and the Evening Tour without the crowds. ■

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Unfiltered Blonde

RHOB’s Brandi Glanville recently joined forces with Napa based winemakers, The Rippey Company and debuted her very first wine creation “Unfiltered Blonde”. The 2013 Chardonnay is a hit with our taste buds showcasing hints of vanilla and buttery oak, finished by a suggestion of apple and sweet melon. We got down and dirty with the “Unfiltered Blonde” creator to see just what she has in store for her new wine venture and also what she has on her travel radar!

Tyson and I were introduced to Brandi through a mutual friend. We hit it off with her immediately and started tossing around the idea of partnering on a wine. It made a lot of sense for us because she truly enjoys wines and her fans know this so it's not a random pairing at all (of her and wine). The process took over a year to develop because we had to come up with a name, design the label, pick the perfect packaging and perfect the blend. We really wanted the wine to exceeded all expectations, which we truly feel we have accomplished. We are thrilled with the results thus far and look forward to future opportunities!

- Jenni Rippey 60

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LATM: Where was your first trip abroad? BG: My first trip out of the country and for that matter on an airplane was at age 17 when I was lucky to be given a contract to go to Paris and model. LATM: Where have you travelled during the show and where would you like to see the show go next? BG: During RHOBH we took the most AMAZING trips. Going to Amsterdam was my favorite trip but the show afforded us to see so many beautiful places–Paris, France, Canada, (which as a whole is stunning) we also took several domestic trips including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The one place, my favorite place on earth, I always urged the show to go to was Italy. I hear that they went this year, I’m kind of bummed I couldn’t show the gals “My Italy” LATM: What is your ideal vacation? BG: My ideal vacation is basically NOT having a schedule. In the past I’ve been on vacations where every last second was planned, down to the smallest detail and it drove me crazy!! My perfect vacation is great food, great wine, great company, a beautiful beach and NO schedule– hair and makeup be damned. LATM: If you could travel with anyone in the world who would it be and where would you go? BG: I would travel with Jake Gyllenhaal and go wherever he wanted me to… probably doing whatever he wanted me to do as well. LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you have time off from the show?

BG: I LOVE spending lazy days in with my boys just enjoying their company. The way their little minds work is so exceptional and interesting... Because I share 50% custody with their dad, I really don’t make any other plans when my boys are with me. Sometimes when they see me putting on makeup they ask “if I have to go to work.” I see the disappointment on their faces when I say yes. At the end of the day I have to put food on the table so it must be done. LATM: Name your favorite places in LA: Best Hotel/Best Restaurant/Best Activity or Attraction & Best Place to get your drink on. BG: I love Craig’s in BH he is a good friend and his place is a favorite in LA for celeb sightings and fun ambiance. The Palm & Flemings both are good for a great steak. We have amazing restaurants in LA and you can try something new, different and AMAZING every night. My personal favorite activity is bowling. I’m not the best at it but I’m pretty good if I don’t say so myself I even have my own leopard print custom bowling ball. I like the rooftop at the London hotel for sunset drinks, the Bel-Air hotel is a great escape and you don’t even feel like you’re in LA. I’m learning slowly but SURELY that getting my “drink on” out in public isn’t that fun anymore so I do a lot of private dinner parties with friends but if you want to taste some great food and wine go to Wally’s in Beverly Hills on Cannon.(my favorite location) LATM: What was the vision behind the wine? What was the process of developing it? How did you choose the flavor profiles and will you add to the brand with different varietals?

BG: The vision behind the wine was to put out an elegant, delicious product that was still affordable. I think we have succeeded. After many blind tastings in Sonoma my partners (and wine experts) Tyson and Jenni of the Rippey Wine Company came to understand my palette. During the time of development I wasn’t aware of certain wine lingo but as time has gone by I’ve become savvier with it. I of course while tasting would pick the most expensive brands as my favorites. So I simply said to my partners let’s get as close taste and qualities of these wines without breaking the bank. It’s been an incredible experience and I now count the Rippey’s as family, we absolutely plan on doing other varietals. We are talking about more than likely doing a Rosé, which would be produced spring of 2016! But for now, Unfiltered Blonde Chardonnay is my baby and I'm 100 percent committed and focused to making it a success and having it available everywhere! LATM: Where is your favorite destination to travel for a “Girlfriends Getaway?” BG: I love girl’s trips! I think if you have the right company any destination can be a blast. Since I separated from my husband over 6 years ago I have had an annual girl’s trip to Tao and Tao beach in Las Vegas. Its 24 to 48 hours of debauchery and it never disappoints. LATM: What are three things you never travel without? BG: Three things I never travel without are my computer so I can journal when I feel inspired & Face Time with my boys, a universal charger kit Ive had forever, and a full-on pharmacy (medicine bag) so I am ready for any and everything–no montazumas revenge on my watch! LATM: What is your most memorable travel experience (good or bad)? BG: One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had while traveling was the first time I took my two boys (a toddler and newborn) on a plane trip all alone. The amount of things one needs to pack while traveling with children is RIDICULOUS including car seats, strollers, play and packs, swings, diaper bags, the list goes on and on. The best thing about it is that it reminded me of how capable I was on my own and that when it came to my boys anything is possible! ■

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Curtis Stone & Princess Cruise Lines Invite You to SHARE by Kathryn Lejeune

Celebrated Chef Curtis Stone has announced a partnership with Princess Cruises to bring his talents to sea. For those who haven’t had the chance to obtain a reservation at Stone’s award winning Hollywood Restaurant, Maude, it will soon be possible to experience his fresh, seasonal fare fleet wide by the end of 2015. “Food and travel are my two loves,” Chef Stone explained at a recent event in Los Angeles. So it only makes sense to see this exciting collaboration spring up. Stone appreciated how ships aboard the cruise line already make their own stock and freshly baked bread. Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruise Lines, explained that

the inventive yet comforting “Crafted by Curtis” menu will bring the culinary experience onboard “from great to exceptional.”

Swartz. “SHARE is an exciting new enhancement adding to our guest experience intended to fulfill our ‘come back new’ brand promise.”

The menu we sampled was a fresh, ingredient driven, four course affair that can be found at SHARE on board select ships, and reflects a more refined selection. Beef cheeks in a porcini mushroom pie, butter poached lobster, truffle potato gratin, were all deliciously indicative of the “beautiful comfort food” aimed for by the partnership.

SHARE was created to encourage community and the energetic feeling of home that comes from sharing a meal with someone. The specialty dining room is designed by Jeffrey Beers to be a uniquely elegant reminder of family, with a layout that encourages conversation.

“We’re honored that Princess Cruises is the home of Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea,” said

You can now make advanced reservations at SHARE before boarding. Book early online to ensure a seat at the Chef’s Table, available early 2016.

SAMPLE MENU Jamon Iberico | Pickled Mustard Seeds | Red Pearl Onions Salami | Pickled Cauliflower | Olives Duck Rillette | Green Peppercorns Chicken Liver Parfait | Pomegranate Marmalade Little Gems | Pickled Pearl Onion | Oro Blanco| Nasturtium Pesto Shrimp | Lemon Gel | Turnip | Citrus Salt | Brioche Roast Local White Fish | Gruyère Crumb | Wine

Butter Poached Lobster | Caramelized Endive | Endive Foam Beef Cheeks | Porcini Mushrooms Pie Potato Gratin | Truffles | Cream Braised Kale | Smoked Ham | Crispy Shallots Dark Chocolate Cremeux | Toasted Hazelnut Feuilletine | Burnt Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Ricotta Fritters | Spiced Pear Rum Compote | Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

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Secret (shhh!) tips to stepping off the plane Wherever you may be jet setting off to this fall,

you want to feel your best and look your best, am I right? Yet how can you combat the unwanted side effects of flying? You know what I’m talking about; the dehydrated skin, digestive discomfort, aching neck and back, sore or swollen feet, and inconsistent energy. Sure, a quick cucumber spritz to the face and a rich espresso shot will liven you up. But that’s just covering up the issue of feeling not-so-hot-to-trot to begin with.

Jaime Komer Olympic Medalist, Proactive Lifestyle Specialist, & Co-Founder of Athlete. Yogi.Traveler (AYT). She works with youth to elite athletes, including USA Teams, MLB, UCLA Athletics. Jaime is on a mission to explore and teach proactive methods, experience the world with an open perspective, travel everywhere, and inspire others along the way. website:  athleteyogitraveler.com instagram: @athleteyogitraveler

Photo By: Paige Jones Photography

Here are just a few of my not-socommon yet oh-so-needed tips to feeling your best while globe trotting. Happy travels!

Lengthen your body by freeing your feet How much influence does your footwear have on creating lengthened, supple, and balanced muscles? A f*** load (which stands for foot load, of course). We’ll walk over a few key points, yet there’s a lot more to these fully functioning foundations. Your body adapts to the position it’s most often in. For example, if you have lived most of your life wearing shoes with a heel (even a small one found in many athletic shoes), this can shorten the muscles on the backside of the body. By shorten, I mean physically shorten. We sometimes think of this as feeling tight. The higher the heel, the shorter they can become. Unfortunately for you and I, short muscles are not strong muscles. Quite the opposite. Because the tissues within the body attach to one another, what we do (or don’t do) with our feet will influence the health and length of our entire body. Before you know it, your back begins to feel tight, you’re a bit more achy in your feet and knees, and your hamstrings aren’t as mobile as they once were. To decrease this discomfort while traveling start by changing your choice of footwear and getting up to walk around as often as

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possible. Long bouts of staying still don’t bode well for the bod. Don’t worry about bothering your neighbor, you should tell them to get up and move, too. Small Adjustment, Big Change: Wear shoes with zero drop or negative heel (equal height from toes to heel) and a wider toe area for your toes to roam. On a long flight? Decrease swelling in your legs by wearing compression socks from the Southern California based company Injinji.


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energized, glowing and ready to rock. Don’t Suck (it in) I’m not saying you suck, I’m sure you’re a spectacularly cool person. Yet sucking in your stomach is a big no-no if you want healthy digestion and quality breathing patterns. I know, we are socially taught to suck it all in for photos, red carpets, and beach basking. Ever wonder what this seemingly simple action does to your insides? The body does not contain extra room inside of it. So when you suck in your stomach to put on your favorite skinny jeans, where do the contents of your stomach go? Hmm. Good question. Sucking in creates a vacuum-like affect, pushing everything (intestines, bladder, gut, etc.) upwards into your diaphragm

and thoracic cavity. This can lead to stomach cramping, discomfort, and digestion issues, and eventually poor breathing patterns–most of which are often amplified while traveling (thanks, elevation gain). Small Adjustment, Big Change: Choose travel clothing that allows a bit more freedom of movement around your torso. Let your stomach be where you stomach should be. I want you feeling light on your feet when you step off the plane, not cramped up and bloated like a balloon.

Leave your head and neck tension at check-in How many times have you stepped off the plane thinking, “holy shnikeys, my neck and shoulders are killing me. I really need a massage.” This is a common complaint, yet what can we do about it? One of the simplest yet rarely discussed ways to improve neck tension is adjusting the placement of your head in relation to your body. Most of us (unknowingly) hinge our head forward to look at our phones, books, and screens. Are you doing it right now to read this? Caught ya! We do this so often, most people’s heads are hinged forward all the time. This means the connective tissues in the front of the neck and chest will shorten (we adapt to the position we are in most often) while the upper back muscles are being yanked on and over stretched. This leads to muscular imbalances, pain, headaches, and injury. Yikes.

Small Adjustment, Big Change: Practice these head ramping skills, using the image as guidance. It may feel funny, but as you can see by the images, it will look and feel better. Do you want to see the difference? Have a friend take a before and after photo of you, like the image here. Extra bonus: I bet you’ll also notice an improved appearance of posture, attitude, and energy.

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Fit Tips for the Active Traveler: Caribbean By: Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness lovesweatfitness.com

I’m known as the “Green Juice Now, Champagne Later” trainer and my clients will tell you I’m all about balance. Surprisingly, you can enjoy splurging and still live a fit, healthy lifestyle. Vacation is no exception! When you have the chance to hand pick your destination there are a few things you should always look for to help you keep the balance: • • •

Activities: Gorgeous scenery to explore Food: Incredible fresh local cuisine Luxury: Beautiful accommodations for R&R

The Caribbean is a perfect destination for any traveler and I have two top picks that truly meet all of my travel criteria.

Dominica If you’re looking for serious adventure, you have to visit the island of Dominica., “The Nature Island.” (P.S. It's NOT the Dominican Republic... it's a great little Island just north of Martinique pronounced "Dominique-uh") It’s covered in lush rainforest that provides countless hikes and canyoning through rivers and waterfalls. Plus, you can find some of the best diving, snorkeling and spearfishing in the entire Caribbean here. After long days exploring, the best place to call home is Secret Bay Resort. It’s a waterfront resort that hosts six private villas and will even cook your freshly caught lionfish in your kitchen!

Antigua This island is all about the beaches. Three hundred sixty-five of them to be exact! If you’re looking to lounge on white and pink sand beaches, swim in turquoise water and float with stingrays, then Antigua is your spot. You might not have miles to hike here, so I recommend getting in a workout before you start your day of lounging. I have a family rule: crunches before cocktails! Resorts such as Coco Bay Resort, will offer free beach boot camps and classes to help keep you on track, but if not, I’ve got you covered.

My go-to vacation HIIT workout is perfect if you need a little something extra to work off those all-inclusive cocktails and lobster dinners! I promise you will feel just fine sipping a few after you get your sweat.

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1 / High Knees Standing. Move from right to left, bringing knees high up toward chest, staying light on you toes as if you are jogging.

30:30 Vacation HIIT Workout:

2 / Mountain Climbers Plank position. Draw knees in toward chest moving quickly on feet.

Go as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and then move on to the next exercise. Take a 2-minute break after completing all 5 exercises and then repeat for a total of four rounds.

3 / Frog Jumps Wide squat position. Bring hands onto floor, explode up reaching toward the sky and gently land back into starting position.

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4/ Bicycle Crunches Lay on your back. Bend knees bringing feet off the floor. Bring hands behind your head and lift shoulders off mat. Twist opposite shoulder to knee while extending opposite leg. 5 / Plank Jacks Plank position. Keeping hips low, hop feet in and out.


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Spa travel

Eco Friendly Spa-ing in the heart of

Riviera Maya By: Ava Roxanne Stritt, Spa Travel Gal, Co-Founder Wellness Travel Media

Once in awhile, you find a resort that is more than just somewhere to stay. It is an international wellness destination, in and of itself. That’s the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. 68

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I remember when I first stepped into my room; the impeccable details offered just a hint of what was to come during my stay. The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas, nestled along Mexico’s Pacific coast, has earned many awards and I was here to learn firsthand why and to explore the world-famous spa myself. Upon entering my room, the flowers weren’t the only thing that caught my eye. My foyer immediately delivered the view of my own private bottle of tequila. Guests can drink it during their stay, or the butler will wrap it up for guests to take home to enjoy. My room was lined with museum-quality artwork, but what made my mouth actually drop wide open was the expansive, uncluttered space, adorned with

luxurious details. It was beautiful enough to make me almost stop and miss the view of the swaying palm trees and blue ocean outside my window, along with my own personal plunge pool on my beachside private patio. Almost. Often, five-star resorts try to shock-and-awe guests with over-the-top opulence. However, the Grand Velas takes a subtler approach with a finer touch. Here guests enjoy a personal butler who sincerely expresses concern and care. Hiring


the best staff is important to the Grand Velas; they only hire locals who express the heart for second-mile service. In lieu of expensive statues, the Grand Velas practices smart luxury, using solar panels to heat the pool in the winter, to protect the surrounding environment including their own thick mangroves. The mangroves are designed to protect not only the local terrain, but also the multitude of animals that call it home. Back to the guests–the resort also exhibits its five-star service in its food and beverage offerings. One taste and I realized this is not your standard all-inclusive. Many all-inclusives offer unlimited food and beverages, but you can rarely expect upgrades without extra costs. The Grand Velas doesn’t need to offer higher-quality brands. The baseline here is top notch. I even took pictures of the wine labels to make sure I could find them when I got home. Finding a few favorite new wines while on vacation is one of my most treasured economical souvenirs. I would trade the view of marble staircases and statues any day for dinner and a Sauvignon Blanc at the Grand Velas.

The Spa

As if the room, the food and the overall atmosphere is not enough, there’s the spa. Indescribable. That’s all I kept thinking, as I first viewed the hydrotherapy area and tried to find a word for the sense of astonishment I felt. For a moment, I felt sad, knowing no words could do it justice. But I left my sadness behind, as I was led into spa travel nirvana. The spa attendants here redefined the job. Only in the historic Roman-Irish thermal baths in Baden-Baden, Germany, have I ever seen more attendants available to care for guests. The $15-million spa at resort is the region’s largest spa, and it strives to embody cultural authenticity. The menu centers around seven travel scenarios, using a journey through ancient Mexico as the main storyline. Treatments blend the finest modern amenities with the best of ancient practices, and the products center around ingredients important to the Mayan culture. I was treated to the Bacal Massage, an authentic Mayan body treatment using corn, one of the Mayan’s most sacred plants. The treatment was educational, as well as physically soothing, with a detoxifying honey exfoliation

and an interesting essential oil massage that uses Mayan corncobs to apply pressure. Just how much did I fall in love with this spa? I would schedule an entire vacation around it. Yes, I may never leave except to view the ocean and hear the waves. After my treatment, I was ultra relaxed and ready to explore all that the Grand Velas Riviera Maya has to offer. The Zen-like white sandy beach surrounded by a pristine jungle was calling my name along with a mojito from the pool bar. This bar really knows you by name or at least drink. The bartender here always remembers your “name”–aka the drink you love to order. The resort truly exceeded my expectations, and I could deeply feel that Rodolfo Gonzalez, Grand Velas’ managing director, meant it when he said, “Grand Velas Riviera Maya is proud to offer guests a rejuvenating, inspiring and serene haven that undoubtedly raises the bar for all-inclusive resorts. This marvelous resort offers everything a guest desires from exceptional service and gourmet dining to the spa experience of a lifetime.” ■ Just how Green is Grand Velas? Beyond luxury, the Grand Velas strives to coexist peacefully with the beautiful nature that surrounds it. It aims to offer only the top eco-friendly standards in Latin America. If you want to leave your lights on, make sure you keep your room key card in the slot near the door. The resort even has its own water treatment facility to recycle water, and the air conditioning system emits no dangerous toxins. Guests can take an environmental tour to learn more.

Experience a higher level of fun, laughter and glorious renewal. Enjoy sunset dining at the scenic elements deck, elevated mixology and live music at jade bar, and Asian-inspired treatments at Sanctuary Spa

The resort is one of the few that left the mangroves in place during construction, thereby not disturbing the important home for local animals. In addition, the preservation of the mangroves slows storms as they blow in, and helps the hotel stay in peaceful balance with the environment and weather. The resort also offers a “digital detox program,” where guests can trade in their electronics for the use of alternative activities instead, such as a bike tour or even spa treatments. Guests don’t get their electronics back until they have earned four days of digital freedom via healthy activities.

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Maldives Spotlight:

Velassaru By: Leslie Moore

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hether you are making the Maldives your only destination or part of a trip to Sri Lanka, Thailand or India, you will not want to miss the Velassaru Maldives. Only a half hour by boat from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport on the island of Male, the Velassaru describes itself as Luxury Undressed, where minimalist contemporary chic meets comfortable natural elegance.

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The property offers 8 room types. Like most of the properties in the Maldives, you have your choice of a land villa or a water villa, with or without a pool. But, to truly experience the ultimate that the Velassaru has to offer, you must stay in the Water Suite, an impressive 2900 square foot private one bedroom hideaway. At the end of the jetty, behind a privacy wall, your private 24-hour a day butler will fulfill your every need.

Not interested in sharing a beach with the other property guests? Then indulge in the private oversized infinity pool and spacious sundeck with multiple sitting areas. Don’t want to visit the wonderful restaurants? Have dinner brought to your outdoor dining area. And of course, enjoy the oversized bathtub or indoor shower. You can even watch movies on the oversized TV in your living room, but why bother. You are on vacation in one of the most beautiful oceans in the world. Turn on the Bose music center, sit


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outside and watch the sun set while you sip on your favorite holiday spirits. That is not to say that you must stay in the Water Suite to experience the amazing things that the Velassaru has to offer. The entry level Deluxe Bungalow, at 793 square feet, offers stylish design, a luxurious garden bathroom with refreshing outdoor shower and an open terrace where you can sit and enjoy the serenity of the property. Or you can go up from there, adding a pool, an ocean front view, or an overwater experience in a 1200 square foot Water Villa. While at the Velassaru, you must find time for at least one Spa treatment. Make sure you get there early so that you can soak in the outdoor hydropool perched over the lagoon. Then enjoy a couples massage in one of the 10 overwater treatment rooms. Pass on the standard massage types, such as Swedish, Sports and Balinese. At the Velassaru, their 90 minute house massage uses authentic coconut wood tools to liberate negative stress in the body and stimulate positive and intensive sense of well being. If you have more time, try one of the 2 ½ hour Ritual packages. Nourish and regenerate with the Tropical Ecstasy, Detoxify and Revitalize with the Oceanic Delight, or experience the Maldives with the house ritual, which uses local and natural ingredients including a Lagoon Coral Scrub and Virgin Coconut Oil Massage. It is hard to chose which of the 8 restaurants to eat at, they are all so good. Make sure that you eat at the Teppanyaki restaurant. Situated over the water, you can be seated outside or at the Teppanyaki table itself. Much of the sushi and seafood is fresh caught that day. Our favorites were the Lobster with Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce and the Grilled Scallops with a Ginger Vinaigrette. The food at the Teppanyaki restaurant is not your typical Japanese cuisine. For an even more unique experience, try Sand, the property’s Grill restaurant, where the tables are either on the powder white sand or in open air pavilions with thatched roofs. Enjoy the amazing views and the Maldavian sunset as you eat wonderful dishes such as the Maldavian tuna tartar and prawn tempura for starters, and a wonderful

selection of grilled meats and fish. But make sure that at least one of you tries the Maldavian Chicken and Prawn Curry. The Indian and Sri Lankan influences on Maldavian food are truly captured in this exciting local dish. Add the Turquoise (international cuisine), Pizzeria, Fen Bar, Chill Bar (Tapas), Etesian (Modern Mediterranean) and the Vela international buffet and you have more than enough choices. The Velassaru screams romance and is particularly popular with honeymooners, and the private dining choices are as varied as the restaurant choices. If you have the time, try the Private Satay Barbecue. Not only is the food amazing–four courses at sunset created and served by your own chef and waiter, but you sit on comfortable chairs made of sand, carved out of the beach. Add candles surrounding you and you have a truly unique dining experience. Don’t forget why you flew all those hours to the Maldives in the first place, the water, big game fishing, dolphins, snorkeling, water sports, and of course, the diving. Catering to both the novice and seasoned divers, the Immersion Dive Center can show you some of the best dive sites in the world. Leave your dive equipment at home, the Immersion Dive Center has everything you need. Want to learn to dive? This is the place with the Dive Center’s PADI Certified Instructors. Want to learn a specialty? Nitrox, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, Digital Underwater Photography Certifications are only a small portion of the available courses. The dive instructors and dive guides know all of the best places to see reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleon wrasses, corals, schools of snapper, jack and tuna. When you get to that last night at the Velassaru, and you know that it’s almost time to get on the boat back to the airport for the trip home, enjoy the sunset cruise on the property’s Dhoni, the traditional Maldavian fishing boat. Champagne, canapés and the sunset. It just does not get any better than this. ■ Prices at Velassaru (reservations@velassaru.com or +960 665 6100) for 2015 start at US$705 for a Deluxe Bungalow on BB. Inclusive of return boat transfer. Including Taxes and Service Charge. Visit velassaru.com for further information.

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Maldives Spotlight:

Six Senses Laamu By: Leslie Moore

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t almost 10,000 miles away from LA, getting to the Maldives is an extraordinarily long trip. But as you fly over the creamy turquoise waters and take in the unique views from your airplane window, you immediately know the trip will be worth it. Situated in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is made up of a double chain of 26 coral atolls, composed of hundreds of tiny islands. With 1,192 volcanic dots scattered over 35,000 sq. miles, this is one of the most dispersed countries in the world. The Six Senses Laamu, the southernmost 5 Star resort in the Maldives, is just a hop, skip and quick plane ride from the Male airport. The philosophy of the Six Senses is “being in harmony with the environment,” and from the moment you give over your shoes when you board your private boat to the resort, you wonder if you will ever need shoes again. At Six Senses Laamu, wellheeled international travelers and Birkenstocked backpackers alike dress down, wander barefoot, and breathe deeply… in harmony with cool, white sands, azure waters and sun-warmed wood. Upon arrival at the resort’s dock, you meet your personal GEM (Guest Experience Maker), who whisks you out of the heat by electric cart to the cool air of your villa. In this paradise of nature, the air is as clean as you will experience anywhere in the world. Everyone wears a broad and genuine smile, the word “no” doesn’t seem to exist and everything is primed for the ultimate guest experience. Although overwater villas are available at most every resort in the Maldives, at the Six Senses, we recommend one of the beachfront villas. With its thatched roof, sun bleached wood walls and outdoor showers, this spacious two-bedroom home away from home is peaceful and unpretentious yet quietly chic. Soaked with natural light, the view from the bed is of a private garden and translucent blue infinity pool surrounded by lush tropical jungle and a path that leads to the azure waves breaking on a long, deserted white sands beach. There is no better way to wash away the detritus of a long travel day than a spa treatment. Unique to the Six Senses is the couples’ “nest”, which is a large round room, made from a tangle of vines right at the oceans edge. Natural vegetation growing part way up the walls offers privacy; a rejuvenating breeze plays over your bodies as you unwind to the masterful touches of the masseuses.

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After your massages, for a mid-afternoon treat, wander up the sun-kissed jetty over turquoise water teaming with colorful marine life to the Ice and Chocolate Studio, a shaded al fresco parlor where you will receive a hearty welcome and are encouraged to try as many of the over 40 homemade flavors of ice creams and sorbets as you can. And, if you would rather enjoy chocolate over dinner, slip into the chilled chocolate bar to delight in homemade island truffles!

the Maldavian jungle with the rhythm of the waves as background music.

With restored nerves and your bodies relaxed, dress in anticipation of your first non-airplane/ airport food in what seems to be a very long time. But first enjoy the extraordinarily large outdoor bathroom complete with a deep bathtub and two outdoor showers. There is something quite primal about showering with the sound of the lazy waves and a shy wind rustling through tropical leaves.

Life moves more slowly here and as you relax into the ubiquitous heat, allow yourself breath. Linger in those prime spots that offer a seascented breeze that honestly feels heaven sent.

If you have never had dinner in a wine room then you must arrange for a chef ’s dinner in the Altitude wine room. Although the wine room is chilled to the perfect temperatures for the wines, it is also the perfect dining environment after a day in the brilliant Maldivian sun. We were offered a hot water bottle for our feet and a warm jacket, which, surprisingly, went unused. There are several menus to choose from at Six Senses Altitude but make sure you try the Organic Wine Dinner, which, of course, means that every course will be paired perfectly with a biodynamic wine selected by Sommelier Karim Boulet. A thrilling experience because there was a time when “organic wine” meant subpar. Thanks to Karim, we learned “not so any more!!” Executive Chef Martin Davies dazzles with a handsome three-course meal featuring local lobsters and which highlights local ingredients from both the sea and the large organic garden located on the island. Each plate is an original presentation with fresh herbs, edible flowers and garden greens that beautifully heighten the flavors of the already mouthwateringly fresh seafood. After such an amazing dinner and all that wine, you will wonder how you made it back to your tranquil jungle villa, in the dark, on your bikes. But once there you will enjoy your ample king bed draped in mystically romantic netting. After an enjoyable dip in your private pool, open all the large windows so you can enjoy the full experience of sleeping encircled by the sounds of

After a long glorious sleep, take in the exceptional early morning silence and enjoy your coffee on the beach as the night is pushed away by the first glimpses of a spectacular dawn and your only other companion a giant bumbling hermit crab. An extraordinary feeling of tranquility floats up from the gentle lapping waves and envelops like a soft breeze.

After a healthy breakfast, wander down to Ocean Dimensions Dive Center. The reefs have had challenges over the last decade, first the tsunami of 2004 and then the El Nino of 2008, but the reefs are recovering nicely. Diving here is not just an extraordinary visual smorgasbord, it is also the ideal antidote to the heavy mid-day heat. Divers flock here year round for Manta and dolphin, to swim with the green turtles and for the rich coral and large schools of fish. For your evening meal, try Leaf, Six Senses Laamu’s signature restaurant, which is perched above the island’s well kept organic garden. To access this treetop restaurant you must cross a wooden suspension bridge that weaves and swings as you walk–much to everyone’s amusement. The chef takes every opportunity to construct creative new taste sensations from produce picked daily from the garden. Be sure to check the menu because the dishes change daily; but you can’t go wrong, there is something for every palate. And of course, every dish is paired with a delightful wine selection–if you dine like us, may I discretely suggest you take the stairs and avoid the rope bridge on your way home! I can’t end without giving accolades to the Six Senses Laamu’s environmental goal of achieving zero waste within the next few years. They are already well on their way with all water being produced in their own island desalination plant; completely eliminating the plastic water bottle. Rainwater is collected and stored. The Laamu gardens are natural; only getting water when it rains. And it is requested that all guests pack out what they pack in, especially with respect to plastic. Ambitious, yes… I will definitely be keeping my eye on their progress with the hopes of making a return trip one day. ■

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Destinations

Maldives Spotlight:

The Gili Lankanfushi By: Leslie Moore

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e’ve travelled all over the world, but nowhere have we experienced such attention to detail, such indulgence of our wants, needs and desires and in such an ecologically sustainable way. Where else but the Gili Lankanfushi, a 20 minute boat ride almost due north from the main airport on Male Island in the Maldives. Simply put, privacy and sustainability are two of the hallmarks of the Gili Lankanfushi. Unlike most resorts in the Maldives, which offer both beachfront and overwater villas, the Gili Lankanfushi has a total of only 45 sumptuous overwater villas, including 7 Caruso Villas that are only accessible by boat and the worlds largest overwater villa, at 15,000 sq. ft. The Private Reserve has an average nightly rate of up to $26,000 per night, depending on the season. And if that were not enough, upon arrival, you will be introduced to your own Mr. Friday, your dedicated loyal assistant and, as we found, dear friend. Not only will your Mr. Friday help you arrange your excursions, spa appointments, sunset cruises, restaurant reservations and even unpack your luggage, he will anticipate the needs you did not know you had, making sure that you are where you need to be when you need to be with his electric powered magic chariot. As did ours, your jaw will drop as your Mr. Friday drives you to your 2700 square foot residence. Ours was at the end of the jetty. Yours could be a 1,000 feet away from the property in the middle of the Indian Ocean. One of our favorite things to do was wake up early, make some coffee and watch the sun rise as we lounged on our overwater sun deck. Or close the day with an in-suite dinner cooked to order on our roof top terrace. One of the most amazing things about our stay was the lagoon that surrounded our Residence. Day and night, fish large and small swam around the villas. You can enter the water from your villa and snorkel all day if you desire, or just wade in and wander, looking with wonder at all of the sea-life.

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And although fabulous, this is not even the best snorkeling on the property. If you really want to see beautiful corals and colorful fish, snorkel from three tree island to one tree island, a swim of around ½ hour, but this is an experience that should not be missed. Don’t forget to enjoy the Meera (Sanskrit for Ocean) Spa, where you can find a plethora of holistic therapies. Like the villas and residences, each spa has a glass floored area, in this case directly under your head, to heighten the experience. Try the signature bamboo massage with warmed aromatic oils. One of the treats at the Gili is the Jungle Cinema. Watch a movie under the stars in a comfortable lounge chair with fresh popcorn and your choice of drinks. Food at the Gili starts with the organic vegetable and herb garden, where homemade compost fertilizes the soil while a garlic concoction acts as a natural pest repellant. When it comes to seafood, the local catch is always favored over frozen imports. And because overfishing poses a huge threat in the Maldives, endangered and threatened species are avoided at all costs. Make sure that you find time to experience all of the restaurants at the Gili: the Main Restaurant, the Over Water Bar, By the Sea (the amazing Japanese restaurant) and the Underground Wine Cellar and Chocolate Cave. Yes, if you crave chocolate in the middle of the day or night, just wander to the Chocolate Cave for indescribable handmade chocolates. But the most amazing meal to be had at the Gili is the Asian Marketplace. One night a week, the staff of the Gili will set up a realistic street market, offering traditional foods from each and every country from which the staff hails, including Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. Our Gili Lankafushi stay was truly memorable; our only wish was that we could have stayed longer. ■

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Hours in Dubai

During Ramadan By: Leslie Moore

Wherever you travel in the world; Dallas, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong or Dubai, chances are you will face a layover. So, on a recent trip across the world, we decided to exchange a 5-hour layover in Dubai into a 2 night adventure, during the holy month of fasting, Ramadan! In Dubai, in the middle of summer, during one of the most important religious holiday periods in the Islamic world, we experienced Dubai at its best. 76

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Why Dubai? Dubai, one of the 7 Emirates on the Persian Gulf comprising the UAE, and home of Emirates Airline, is an ethnically diverse and cosmopolitan city. Once a small pearl center and trading post, this lush green desert oasis is home to the world’s tallest building, world’s largest artificial island, and the world’s largest mall. But there is a lot more to Dubai than tall skyscrapers and lush desert oasis, Dubai is a global city, which is rapidly growing in both trade and tourism. It is developing a less orthodox (for the middle east) side with western fashion juxtaposed against the traditional Guthra and Kandura, a gallery district, organic restaurants, and a world class nightlife scene. Dubai is first and foremost the trading hub of

the Middle East and transforming the desert into a megalopolis seems to be what they do best. The next mega project, Dubai Water Canal, will comprise one shopping center, four hotels, 450 restaurants, a trade center, luxury waterfront housing, private marinas, walkways and cycle paths.

Where to Stay Although Dubai is home to numerous 5 star hotels, the Jumeriah chain, owned by Dubai’s Emir, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktum, is the star among stars. For a true Arabian Nights adventure, there is no better choice than the Al Qsar. Your Al Qsar fairy tale starts as you are chauffeured from the airport past a herd of golden larger than life Arabian horses cavorting on the green lawns of the luxurious and elegant grand entrance. Al Qsar means the palace and this property brings to life everything you could imagine an ancient desert palace to be. The grand lobby is pure opulence, setting the tone for your stay in an oasis of luxury.

Designed in the style of a Sheik’s summer residence, the hotel replicates traditional royal architecture coupled with luxurious modernity throughout. The rooms are spacious and modern yet decorated in classic Arabian theme and have views of the gulf or the property’s lush tropical gardens and canals. The Al Qasr is one of 4 hotels that comprise the Madinat Jumeriah, a resort city all to itself in a gorgeous green oasis. The Madinat Jumeriah is home to a spectacular private beach with full motorized and non-motorized watersport options, 40 world class restaurants and bars, a traditional Souk with more than 95 specially selected boutique shops and the Talise Spa, which is worthy of a visit each and every day you are on property. To further this fairy tale experience, enjoy a ride on the property’s canals in an Abras (water taxi). Every inch of the property is manicured and immaculate, the architecture is grand and magnificent, the waterways are spacious and peaceful, the gardens are spectacular and lush. The Jumeriah resorts have created a tropical eco-system complete with plants and birds that seem to have no business thriving in the middle of the desert.

The Food What’s your pleasure? Middle eastern? Indian? French? Japanese? In Dubai, you will find high-end restaurants with fantastic chefs preparing mouthwatering dishes in almost any ethnic group and fusion you can imagine.

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However, our Arabian Adventure was during Ramadan. The Al Qasr is famous for its Iftar at Al Awan. The Islamic community breaks the daily Ramadan fast at a sunset meal called Iftar. At the Al Awan Iftar, hundreds of locals gather together to share the breaking of the fast in a massive, beautifully decorated ballroom filled with unrivalled Middle Eastern hospitality and table upon table of authentic Mediterranean and Arabic dishes which seemed to go on for miles. Iftar is a joyous event, a time for celebration, family oriented, warm and welcoming. The only downside, we wanted to try every thing, but at the Al Awan, it would take a week of eating every night to taste every glorious dish! What a meal!

What to do It takes 59 seconds to rise to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, for a breathtaking 360 degree view of Dubai and beyond. Book online well in advance to secure a sunset viewing time slot and watch the eclectic skyline turn from interesting architecture on a sprawling desert backdrop into a spectacular light show. You even get a unique perspective of the Dubai Water, Fire and Light Show from the Dubai Fountain located at the Dubai Mall. If history is more to your liking, visit the Al Fahidi Fort, home of the Dubai Museum. From there, walk through old Dubai to the Dubai

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Creek. Dubai was and continues to be one of the busiest re-trading centers in the world. For a feel of the old and the new, take a wooden Abra ride across Dubai Creek. Sounds quaint, but the creek is actually a wide waterway used for commerce. On both sides of the creek you will see small rusty dhows (freighters) being loaded or unloaded with cargo being transported to or from Iran, Somalia, Yemen, India and other countries in the Gulf region. Once across the creek, the Souk El Kabeer bazaar unfolds into a rabbit warren of shops and stands selling everything from spices to silks, and from teas to toys. As in all markets, the traders are more than willing to barter and in this souk, they seem to delight in it.

backs onto their neighbor. While on the Palm Jumeriah, visit the Atlantis Hotel, where everything is themed on the lost city of Atlantis, including a 42 acre adventure water park, where the adrenaline pumping rides and waterslides are breathtaking. Or visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium with its 65,000 marine animals. You can even snorkel or dive with sharks, rays and a plethora of other fish and mammals.

Even if you are not in the market for an ostentatiously imposing gold chain for your neck or a gold bracelet that could double as a wrist weight, you must experience the Gold Souk, where reportedly, 10 tons of gold are in the market at any time. So whether you are looking for that one of a kind piece to impress or a more unpretentious keepsake, if you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist.

how about snow skiing in Dubai? Why wouldn’t the worlds largest snow park (not sure how they define snow park) be found in a mall in the desert? With 3,600 square yards of snow, complete with a penguin show and petting experience, Ski Dubai will leave you a little, well, dazed. Toboggan, bobsled, explore the snow cavern or just ski–no need to come prepared–they supply everything you need. You will even be treated to snowflakes falling as you hurtle down the main slope!

Back to the more modern world, take the monorail across the Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest artificial island. The goal of the palm fronds is to provide as much waterfront property as possible so each property on each frond of the palm, fronts onto the water and

For something completely unexpected, have you heard of dune skiing in the desert? Well, since it was the middle of the summer when we visited Dubai rather than dune skiing in the bullying desert heat,

Dubai may have just been a 48-hour layover but it was definitely an experience to remember. ■


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Kyoto:

Japan' s National Gem By: Jeannette Ceja

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Kyoto

is a picturesque

city where history and modernism collide with every step. Full of remarkable temples, shrines, museums, parks and theaters visitors have many options when it comes to attractions and things to do.

Journey through the Iconic Torii Gates

Walk along the exquisitely preserved Torii gates at Inari Fushimi. Nestled in the Inariyama mountains, thousands of vibrant orange gates and steps await you. A map at the entrance shows you the routes, make sure to grab an extra map as the information is only in Japanese and bring comfortable shoes, as the views are definitely worth the long hike. Along the way, there are plenty of places to rest and marvel the city from up above.

Roam the former homes of Japanese Royalty

The Kyoto Imperial Palace invites you to explore the former home of the Japanese Imperial Family. Walk in front of the many rooms as they are perfectly maintained and protected. At the end of the palace, sits the breathtaking Oikeniwa Garden. Another site not to miss, take a trip to Nijo-jo Castle. UNESCO recognized Nijo- jo Castle as historical monument visitors are allowed to visit what was once the home of the legendary Tokugawa Ieyasu. â–

Be a Geisha for a day

Historically recognized for playing musical instruments, calligraphy, singing and dancing, the first recorded Geisha dates back to the 17th century. Kyoto is home to several studios where visitors can experience a memorable day as a Geisha. Complete with hair and make-up artists, you will get wrapped up in an authentic Japanese Kimono. A photography shoot and time to walk around the city are included in most packages. Young ladies under 18 years old are considered Geisha trainees and can dress up as Maikos. Men also have packages available to be a Samurai for the day. Check out the AYA studio in Kyoto, for a once in a lifetime experience where everyone will feel like an international celebrity. Be prepared for the cameras as you will constantly get stopped by locals and tourists alike for a photograph.

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Virginia’s Small Town Luxury By Kelly A. Magyarics

Drive just an hour and a half from Washington, D.C., and the bucolic Virginia countryside awaits. World-class wineries, cozy inns and tony award-winning restaurants beckon visitors to sojourn for a long weekend—or more. Make a luxurious retreat to these posh pastoral spots. 82

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Stay Originally a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop, Glen Gordon Manor offers twelve guest suites in three buildings. The flagstone-paved, mountain-view outdoor pool and adjacent gazebo are idyllic spots to wile away an afternoon, as is the new Tack Room Spa adjacent to the horse stables. Dinner at onsite restaurant Houndstooth may include a demonstration with chef Dayn Smith of handmade gnocchi, squab, mushrooms and microgreens. A forty-acre estate at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains that’s also a former plantation house, The Inn at Willow Grove boasts fourteen rooms and suites with wet bars, gas fire places and porches. A library and salon offer quiet solitude, while the converted Smokehouse Spa blends the traditional and contemporary with exposed wood beams and a Travertine tile shower. Finish the day with seared diver scallops and grits at Vintage Restaurant. innatwillowgrove.com Sip Near Charlottesville in Madison County, Early Mountain Vineyards offers stunning vistas—and memorable wines. Their restrained, elegant rosé may just be the best produced in the state, Block Eleven is an eclectic, intriguing white blend and the Bordeaux-inspired Eluvium combines Cabernet Sauvignon with one a the state’s signature varietals—Cabernet Franc. Do of tasting of their portfolio—as well as other stellar Virginia wines for comparison—and then retreat to the terrace for killer views, small plates and a flight of your favorites. You can’t discuss winemaking in Virginia without mentioning the winery that put it on the map, Barboursville Vineyards’ Octagon, a complex, multi-layered blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that’s an homage to the estate’s ties to Thomas Jefferson. But don’t miss out on winemaker Luca Paschina’s Italian varietals like Nebbiolo and Vermentino, which thrive in the Piedmont’s terroir. After an exclusive tasting in the Library Room, which offers an ever-changing menu of pours, head to Palladio Restaurant for Italian-inspired cuisine like Black Angus beef carpaccio and crab and ricotta ravioli. bbvwine.com Savor Even if you can’t stay overnight at the Foster Harris House, find time for dinner, where ten lucky guests experience chef John MacPherson hyper-locally focused cuisine during just one seating per evening of a five-course, prix fixe meal that changes daily. Feeling ambitious? Hop on a bicycle as part of MacPherson’s two or three day Tour d’Epicure, where you’ll visit wineries, farms, distilleries and antique shops. A trip to the Virginia countryside isn’t complete without a visit to The Inn at Little Washington. Snagging a room (or a dinner reservation) may be tough, but it’s easier to reserve a table for breakfast (and you can still take in the sumptuous surroundings.) Take the requisite walk through chef Patrick O’Connell’s kitchen before indulging in a smoothie flight and the breakfast trio: oatmeal rum soufflé, corned beef hash with a quail egg and scrambled eggs with salmon. Afterwards, stroll the grounds and gardens of this incredibly special spot. ■

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Biscuits and Whiskey:

Welcome o to p Nashville By: Christopher Dela Cruz

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In a city where music legends are created, history was made and everywhere you go you must have a biscuit or a glass of whiskey, Nashville is a city like no other. The southern hospitality is what makes Nashville such a perfect city to visit and right when you step off the plane you feel like you are home. Music from famous celebs including Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash don the streets. The city of Nashville is full of legendary icons at every turn. With so much history the attractions are endless, it feels like you are walking inside a Nashville history book. There’s something different about the city when you walk around, it’s not all country honky tonk that most people assume.

Southern Hospitality

Good Eats

Hermitage Hotel

Biscuit Love

The Hermitage Hotel is a historic hotel in Nashville that was built in 1908. Located on the corner of 6th and Union St. in Downtown Nashville, it is just a few blocks to all the local nightlife. If you get a chance to take a moment and fully experience just the lobby alone you will notice the intricate details throughout from the floor to ceiling. Beautifully designed with a historic glamour, you will notice a lot of floral designs and flowers that go along with smell of fresh flowers to compliment. The staff surpasses all expectations and if you plan on staying here be sure to ask for any room in the 16’s, but especially Room 916. With a view overlooking the Capitol there is nothing more beautiful to wake up to than opening your curtains and seeing the state capitol right in front of you, it really sets the tone for a marvelous stay.

Biscuit Love got it’s start as a food truck in 2012 and has become one of Nashville’s precious gems. With their big move this year in 2015 going from a food truck to an actual restaurant, this has become a huge hit to locals and tourists around. The owners Karl and Sarah source their products locally and love giving back to the community as much as they can. Here at Biscuit Love it is a must to eat their biscuits and trust me you won’t be disappointed. They are open 7 days a week from 7am to 3pm and if you want to catch a seat here be sure to arrive early. Their food is just like eating something from your grandmother’s kitchen, delicious, hearty, and will put you into a food coma.

404 Hotel

Located inside the beautiful Omni Hotel in Downtown Nashville, Kitchen Notes is your perfect dining getaway. With a style that is one of a kind, you are guaranteed a fantastic time. Being a farm to table style restaurant, Executive Chef David does a fantastic job with the menu and ensures that every plate is made to perfection.

404 Hotel is a hotel like no other. Only made up of 5 rooms and a hallway this is one of the most unique boutique hotels you can stay at and it is close to downtown Nashville. The hotel service is invisible only because you do not have any interaction with anyone. With no key card to access the rooms, no concierge and no front desk the invisible service seems questionable, and positively it is anything but questionable. Prior to staying one must contact through email or phone and make a reservation. From there you will get the secret access code that will let you in and out of the building and your room. This hotel is just a hallway with a mini lobby where you have access to a computer, freshly stocked snacks and access to their restaurant 404 Kitchen. 404 Kitchen is one of Nashville’s precious pearls located within the 404 Hotel. It is so small that reservations are highly recommended and only 6 seats are based at the bar. This intimate style restaurant changes their menu daily based on fresh ingredients they receive that morning, guaranteeing guests something different each time they visit. Travis Brazil is the owner of 404 Kitchen and although he’s not originally from Nashville, he has proven himself to the locals and has quickly become one of Nashville’s favorites. While not the biggest restaurant, it guarantees the finest quality food and will leave a lasting impression with your taste buds.

Hutton Hotel The Hutton Hotel is located just a few minutes from Downtown Nashville. With their boutique style hotel, it is a fantastic place to stay with friends or your family. What makes this hotel so great is their support of staying green and having the high technology in the rooms. One unique thing about The Hutton is the only way to turn on the lights is by inserting a power saving card into a slot in the wall, now this is being green!

Kitchen Notes

The Row If you are looking for a low key place to hang out with your friends or to get a quick burger, come to The Row. Located just on an off street near Downtown Nashville, it has everything from a great happy hour, live music and recently renovated indoor dining. They bring the history of Nashville in the doors of their establishment.

Take a Day Trip Jack Daniels Distillery If you want to take a day trip outside of Nashville, check out the infamous Jack Daniels Distillery. Located an hour and a half outside of Nashville, it is a relaxing drive to the very small town of Lynchburg, TN. When visiting the Jack Daniels Distillery, you have the opportunity to tour, taste the whiskey and learn the history of Jack Daniel’s. From the fermentation process all the way down to the bottling process, visitors get a firsthand look on how Jack is made and how it was first started. Another great thing about visiting the Jack Daniels Distillery would be the rare Jack Daniels collection you can only get at the distillery which includes: The Frank Sinatra Jack, White Rabbit Jack and the Green Jack. ■

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Art, Books & Coffee

in Seattle

By: Gail Moore Seattle is generally known for two things; coffee and rain! Believe it or not there is much more to this northwestern travel hot spot than the aforementioned (although we are very thankful for the coffee). Though it may be host to many gloomy days, when the sun comes out the city instantly comes alive. The locals are used to the rainy weather so productivity never slows down. When the sun graces locals and tourists alike with its presence watch out! There is something very special about this metropolitan city; a combination of eco -friendly tourism combined with fresh clean air and world class cuisine make it a magnetic pull for travelers. Wander along coffee-scented streets as you make your way to a genuine Seattle experience at the world famous Pike Place Market. Watch fish mongers toss the days catch between each other. Take in a picnic at one of the many grassy parks with breathtaking views of the city skyline against a mountainous background. Discovery Park is the largest park in the city, and if you’re lucky you just might sneak a peek of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day. For a true northwestern experience, consider a visit to Carkeek Park for a glimpse of migrating salmon in season, and of course if you are an avid photographer you must catch stunning views of the two most popular landmarks Seattle has to offer. Everyone knows the most common photos the Space

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Needle and Mount Rainier but why not catch them from the perfect angle? Try Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill. When the weather is clear you can scan from the Olympic Mountains past central Seattle on to Mount Rainier. For fun the Seattle Aquarium is always a great place to visit and definitely a prime waterfront attraction, you can see creatures that live above and below the waters of the infamous Puget Sound. If you are an aviation history buff The Museum of Flight is one of the Seattle metro areas top attractions. Since Seattle is the home of Boeing you can imagine the phenomenal history packed in this place. Sports and entertainment is a big draw in the city; take in a baseball, football or basketball game or venture out to one of the manty concerts or festivals in the area. Last but not least don’t miss the Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, where you'll find the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Pacific Science Center.

Stay Alexis Seattle, A Kimpton Hotel: Warm with an Appreciation for Local Art When visiting Seattle stay at The Alexis-a Kimpton Hotel if personality and impeccable service is important to you. Designed for the creative at heart The Alexis gives the perfect balance of art and luxury, comfort and style. You can really kick up your feet here and make this your home away from home. The hotel is host to one of the most popular bistros in the city, a top notch bar, blissful spa, and luxurious trendy suites that make for a memorable stay. Located in the heart of the city and close to Pike Place market, the Alexis is the perfect place to be! Stunning

city and bay views with a nice glass of Cab compliments of the hotels hosted evening wine hour will make you feel right at home. The hotel boasts an impressive art installation created by local artists which changes year round. This provides guests the chance to get a feel of the local art culture and always makes for great conversation! Looking for a unique unforgettable dining experience? No need to go very far, on site at The Alexis is one of Seattle's finest dining facilities the Bookstore Bar & Café, a real treat for bookworms and foodies alike! Lined with books and bottles stocked with some of the best scotch and whiskey you will ever find (roughly 130 different kinds to be exact), the Bookstore Bar and Café is more than a hotel restaurant. The very first winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, Caprial Pence brings her take on Northwestern fine cuisine using many of the best locally sourced ingredients the area has to offer. The Maxwell: Eclectic with Pops of Color If you are looking for more of an eclectic hotel with bright vibrant colors, The Maxwell Hotel is one of Seattle’s best hidden gems. From the moment you walk into the lobby you will be pleasantly surprised with excellent service coupled with unique touches that make for an enjoyable stay. Located within walking distance to the Space Needle and the monorail; The Maxwell makes for a great stop over whether traveling for business or pleasure. Little touches like the mini pineapple cupcakes in the lobby to in-room fridges to colorful décor throughout the hotel give it the extra details to make you feel at ease! The staff at the Maxwell look to ensure each hotel guest is as comfortable as possible. I mean where else would you find microwaves in the room with complimentary buttered popcorn for a late night snack? If cool, funky and attentive is on your list the Maxwell should be top on your list of places to stay while in Seattle. ■


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Exploring Salt Lake City: From a Foodie's Perspective By: Christopher Dela Cruz

What is there to do in Salt Lake City? It’s a very common question that is asked when it is brought up and to one’s surprise there are a ton of things to do in this beautiful city. From the infamous Temple Square, Utah's number one tourist attraction to Liberty Park, there is truly something for everyone.

Where to Stay:

Dining:

Hotel Monaco Hotel Monaco, located in the center of Downtown, is one Salt Lake City's finest hotels. When you stay here you are just walking distance to not only City Creek Center, but a ton of restaurants, bars and lounges. If you are ever in the mood to exercise, the State Capitol is just a mile away which makes for a great morning or afternoon run during your stay in Salt Lake City.

Bambara Restaurant When When walking up to Bambara, you are immersed in a loungy vibe and the music coming from the entrances immediately sets the tone. The ambience of the restaurant projects a great gatsby feel with a modern twist. The restaurant speaks for itself when it comes to the food and really showcases sophistication and elegance.

Things to do: The Sugar House Distillery The Sugar House Distillery may not be the biggest spirits distillery to visit, but is a distillery that comes with a story and a lot of history. First known for their vodka, this is a great place to get to know what Salt Lake is really all about. Despite having strict liquor regulations, Salt Lake has some fantastic bars and locally brewed beer and more importantly Sugar House spirits. Take a tour of the Sugar House Distillery for a better insight on how much of Salt Lake is locally sourced and created here.

Spitz Restaurant Spitz is your everyday go to eatery. Quick and easy if you are on your lunch break from work, but also a great place to hang out with friends. Providing a relaxing atmosphere along with eccentric wall art and contemporary furniture. The staff is beyond amazing and well educated on Mediterranean cuisine. If it’s your first time rest assured, you won’t be disappointed with their recommendations. Pallet If you're looking for a hidden gem in Salt Lake, Pallet is definitely the place to stop in for dinner. Located just outside of Downtown Salt Lake, it is worth the trip. The decor is intimate and while being a small restaurant, they really know how to make you feel like you are in a spacious, booming atmosphere. Pallet is fine dining at its best and a great location for a night on the town, with food that is beyond expectations. From their delicious cocktails to their mouth tantalizing food, everything about this place is perfection.hing about this place is made to perfection. From Scratch Inspired by LA's Pizza Mozza, the food here is fantastic. Just like it says in the name, everything is made from Scratch. There is something about food when it is made fresh and prepared to order. From Scratch is a great location for a quick bite or a place to really take your time and savor every bite. Of course this place is known for their pizza, but they also have some of the most delicious burgers you can find in the city, cooked down to the perfect juicy first bite. ■

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Aruba O H I ne

appy sland

By: Katie McElveen With its abundance of luxury high-rise hotels, designer boutiques and glitzy nightclubs, Aruba doesn’t lure escapists the way some of it’s island neighbors do. But don’t write off the island as an overdeveloped tourist mecca. Dig a little deeper and another Aruba—one brimming with secluded beaches, untouched landscapes, tiny local restaurants and a kaleidoscope of cultures—begins to emerge. It’s lunchtime on Aruba and, as usual, they’re lined up for lunch at Zeerovers, where the fried fish and shrimp arrive dusted with a translucent glaze of peppery crumbs and the pan bati—cornbread—is more addictive than the fries, which are also pretty good. There are not many choices on the menu, which is actually a board hung next to the window where you order and pay, but no one seems to mind. It’s about the fish, the view into the impossibly blue lagoon and the laid-back atmosphere. Zeerovers isn’t alone. All over the island, local chefs are serving up memorable meals using traditional ingredients and cooking techniques. At Arubaville, for instance, the fish steamed in banana leaves was simple and perfect. Ditto the whole grilled snapper at Boca Prins Bar and Restaurant, came with a basket of fried polenta known as funchi and a view of a deserted windswept beach. Aruba’s natural splendor is equally worth exploring. Take a jeep into Arikok National Park, and you’ll enter a world of caves, giant sand dunes, a sandless beach that resembles a moonscape and, at Boca Keto, the chance to swim in a natural pool that Robinson Crusoe would have loved. Getting there is half the fun, requiring a bumpy ride on a steep single track littered with boulders and deep ditches, then a short hike up and down a pebbled slope that ends, and more often than not, with a splash into the hidden pool. Fed by rogue waves that crash without warning over the pool’s lava-like walls, the pool stays clear and

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cool no matter how many swimmers are paddling about. A second pool, shallow and sun-warmed, is the reward for a precarious climb up a slippery boulder; exiting requires cannonballing into the main lagoon. But not all of Aruba’s beaches require sharing or such a commitment to reach them: the island’s coastline is filled before narrow strips of sand hidden behind mangroves or set along a quiet roadway that opens onto clear turquoise water. Hotels make it easy to find your own experience as well. At the Boardwalk Inn, sisters Stephanie and Kimberly Rooijakkers have hired Amsterdam-trained chef Bas Kuurstra to create the gourmet breakfast they deliver each morning to the resort’s funky art-filled casitas; Manchebo Beach Resort’s daily pilates and yoga classes, which are held on a beachfront pavilion, are known throughout the island. Don’t forget to grab a homemade smoothie on the way out. Aruba’s unique natural resources are showing up in other ways as well, most notably at the 320room Ritz Carlton, which enlisted the advice of a Curacao-based herbalist to develop a series of treatments inspired by the elements that utilize hand-gathered herbs, minerals and botanicals. “Aruba is not only very pure, but it contains several energy lines as well,” says Karin Cofino, the resort’s director of Spa and Retail, “One of those energy lines runs right through the area around the hotel.” One of the most healing therapies is the Dushi Terra, a two-hour treatment that includes a body mask composed of house-made red clay to hydrate and diminish aches and pains, envelopment with soothing honey and comforting coconut oil and a rubdown with stones picked up from one of the surrounding beaches. Then there’s the Divi-Divi massage, which harnesses the power of the indigenous divi-divi tree to smooth cellulite and slim the body. “This treatment was developed by our therapists,” says Cofino. “The strokes used resemble the wind, the leaves and the sun.” The Candelo Deseo couples’ experience is based on an ancient spiritual bath used by the Arawak Indians and includes a scrub, massage and bath infused with local herbs and blossoms. It was developed using an ancient blend of flowers and herbs said to balance each of the body’s seven chakras, or centers of energy.

No matter what treatment you choose, arrive in time to spend time in the 15,000-foot spa’s elegant public areas, where sugar scrubs inspired by the elements take showers to new heights (choose from fire, water, air and earth scents) even the teas are formulated by Aruban artisans. Set within a grove of sea grapes at the quiet end of Palm Beach, the Ritz Carlton is both a well-positioned base to explore the island and a quiet oasis to enjoy the sunny beach. Rooms are decorated in soothing blues and have private balconies with views of the ocean, where you can watch kite surfers take advantage of the island’s well-known breezes. There’s also a pool outfitted with remarkably comfortable pool floats, several restaurants and a casino. ■

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Colorful Nicaragua

By: Kathryn Lejeune

N

icaragua pulled me in from the start. Upon the first few moments of exiting the airport, I found an intoxicating world of color and a contagious enjoyment of life. Our taxi driver hummed and drummed to the lively music on the radio while my heart quickened at the sights beyond my window. Horse drawn carts carrying a variety of colorful produce, women in bright dresses balancing packages on their heads, and houses of emerald, sky blue, magenta, and marigold surrounded by gardens flowed past. The immediate feast for the eyes assured me I had entered a realm where the local flora merges with the local soul, and between the beaches, lakes, and mountains of Nicaragua, I knew I had plenty of adventures before me. Although it is entirely possible to arrange for a helicopter transfer from the Managua airport to Aqua Wellness Resort & Spa on the Emerald Coast, at least one direction should be done by land so as not to miss the slices of life found

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along the way. Our patient driver, having had to stop a few times to let herds of cattle pass the road, paused at a market to stock up on groceries. Though Aqua’s restaurant is superb, we planned to take advantage of the full kitchen in our luxury treehouse suite. We made sure to pick up the basics, as well as a bottle of the famous local rum, Flor de Caña. We turned onto a dirt road from the highway, always a good sign in my opinion, and made our way up to Aqua’s forested grounds set above the emerald Pacific Ocean. The luxury treehouse suites are actually comprised of two immaculate buildings, living area and kitchen, built high above the forest floor with a plunge pool–my new obsession–between them. The kitchen is large and well stocked enough with tools to properly entertain a small group. Each unit is strategically placed to allow the most privacy, and our jungle view only furthered the feeling of being in our own green world.

Our secret wish was answered when one morning we were awoken by howler monkeys on our patio, just steps from our bed out the sliding glass windows. A whole family of monkeys taking a morning stroll together proved to be too awe inspiring to reach for the camera and we opted to sit in quietness. From the exquisite comfort of the bed, watching the exotic yet familial scene of mother clutching her baby as she jumped from tree to roof is surely one of the best ways to start the day. Down a few flight of volcanic graveled stairs, is the sight that drew me to Nicaragua to begin with. Pie del Gigante, or foot of the giant, dominates the private cove and demonstrates dramatically different scenes throughout the day. In the morning, at breakfast in the open air restaurant, while eating Nica style cheese and chorizo with eggs, the cliff face is brightly lit and inviting. As the daylight softens, around happy hour,


Destinations

the sun is just setting along the brim. Sipping on a torn mint mojito or a strong mango daiquiri as spectacular rays shoot across the sky in all directions is mesmerizing. Then during dinner, whether feasting on a variety of smoked and grilled meats, Caribbean fish curry, or mahi mahi served with grilled shrimp, the rock becomes a silhouetted monolith. It was difficult to tell if the flavors were enhanced by the salty air and excellent view, or if the chef at Aqua really is that good. No matter what time of day, the beach, and in fact all beaches in the area, remained surprisingly uncrowded. Normally ocean vistas of this magnitude are an instant draw to high rises and unchecked development. Instead, as seen from the vantage point of our rented fishing boat, the many pronounced coves and small islands that dot the coast are largely untouched. Two groups that do flock here are surfers and yoga enthusiasts, drawn by the large swells and fresh air. Aqua accommodates both

passions with ease. Surfers can be taken by boat to nearby world famous surf breaks, while yogis can enjoy a truly stunning platform that overlooks the cove and daily complimentary sessions. From the salty rolling ocean, we made our way inland to the calmer waters that surround the Isletas de Granada in Lake Nicaragua. With 365 tiny islets formed just 20,000 years ago when nearby Mombacho Volcano exploded, the landscape is truly otherworldly. Some rocky outposts are just large enough for a family home and a line of laundry, others can accommodate no more than a single tree. The isleta we headed to was just right size for award winning Jicaro Island EcoLodge and its nine striking, twostorey casitas, each with their own lakefront view. As our boat docked, we were greeted with warm smiles and ice cold Grama tea, a traditional and very refreshing concoction served in a

jicaro shell. With a wink, we were informed it’s even better with a bit of Flor de Caña. A quick tour of the grounds highlighted the resort’s dedication to sustainability and giving back to the local community, from the herb garden to the solar panels. Even the exquisite Madroño wood paneling seen throughout the resort is sourced from an growth rain forest devastated by the 2007 hurricane and used to great effect. Mornings at Jicaro are filled with bird song. We listened to this enthusiastic symphony from our deck while enjoying the coffee and sweet bread that had been delivered discreetly to our door. As the sky slowly lightened, kingfishers stalked the waters below while a throng of white throated magpie-jays hopped about in the branches above. Other birds with feathers in every shade and fashion, swam, dove, hovered, and raced before us, their calls competing joyously. I couldn’t help but smile when a grumpy looking turtle popped her head out of the water as if to see what all the fuss was about.

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Spa services are conducted here as well. As someone who prefers to drift off to sleep after a massage, it is an ideal situation. Perhaps the only thing to coax one out of the casitas, is the view from the pool. For the sun-averse especially, having part of the pool shaded by thatched umbrellas makes it possible to lounge here all day long.

At breakfast in the airy dining area with views of Mombacho, we were once again encouraged to eat our fill, as all food is included in the rate. A plate full of fruit, eggs, and avocado toast later, I was indeed stuffed and ready to take on the day. We had been watching fishermen float slowly past, barely using their oars to navigate the placid waters. With temperatures already rising, I was eager to get onto the lake myself. Jicaro offers guided kayaking tours that explore the natural history and ecosystem, but we decided to go at it alone. Taking a cue from the local fishermen, we dipped our paddles in slowly and deliberately and found we glided along with little effort. Our excursion took us through a flock of hunting birds, past giggling girls taking their morning bath, and under the shaded embrace of towering trees. Enlivened, yet relaxed, we returned with a greater sense of the isletas and its inhabitants. Afternoons are best spent poolside, if not on one of Jicaro’s many tours or experiencing a massage at the open air wellness center. The natural saltwater pool reflects the aesthetic of the resort, with large rocks to lounge on as waiters deliver drinks from the nearby bar. Once the enticing aromas wafting towards me from the kitchen got to be too much, I ordered up a snack of hot plantains served with Nica style cheese and guacamole. Before the sun went down too far, I climbed the lookout tower for a spectacular 360 degree view of the lake. For a truly romantic evening, Jicaro can arrange for a private dinner on the floating dock. After staff carefully arranging the table with petals and candlelit lanterns, we were boated over along with our starters of crab soup and papaya salad. For our main course, the fresh catch of the day served

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with fruit was a culinary wonder. The traditional diabolito, stewed meat with vegetables presented in a traditional clay pot, was the real hit. In between deliveries, we had plenty of time to leisurely admire the sky. The milky way arched above us, much brighter than the mere sliver of the moon. Lightning far in the distance, perhaps the coast we had left behind, lit the horizon as one by one the lanterns blew out in a sequence choreographed for romance. Finally, it was time to escape the heat and head to the mountains. Through narrow roads cut between sheer rock just big enough for our car, we made our bumpy way up to Hacienda Puerta del Cielo EcoLodge & Spa. A colorful eco-resort perched above Masaya Lagoon, the Hacienda is the perfect base for exploring the area. The view is nothing short of spectacular, and saturated blues and greens dazzle the eyes. What they’re most proud of here, however, is the local staff, whose obvious passion to assure guests are happy during their stay is heartwarming. Murals throughout the resort reflect a colorful cultural history that is echoed in the surrounding nature. Processions of ants can be seen carrying small blossoms, lending my imagination to images of tunnels that resemble miniature flower shops. Yellow butterflies float everywhere like airborne bouquets, while giant hawks circle below the resort, gliding on cooling winds with barely a flap of their wings. Our bright pink casita boasted enormous vaulted ceilings with large sculpted windows that made the room bright and airy throughout the day. The patio was a shaded sanctuary with comfortable hammocks and an outdoor shower.

While a day at the pool was tempting, we wanted to experience the local pueblos. I had purposefully packed light to ensure extra space in my suitcase for souvenirs and I was determined to fill it. The craft market in Masaya is a lively plaza situated within a 19th century structure, made to look like a fortress. If you’re not familiar with handicrafts or haggling, a guide from the Hacienda is happy to assist. Otherwise, enjoy the hunt for a real treasure. Ignore the tourist bric-a-brac and look out for paintings, etched pottery, and pine needle baskets. Feeling more than pleased with our findings, we stopped at the showstopping lookout point in Catarina that looks out over the Apoyo Lagoon. Adventure seekers and nature lovers must experience the canopy tour where you can zip line through a cloud forest home to over 800 species of plants and wildlife. The colonial town of Granada is a must, with beautiful old churches, some of the best restaurants in all of Nicaragua, and a lively central park. From whatever tour or activity enjoyed during the day, Hacienda Puerta del Cielo is a wonderful place to return. Years of experience has taught owner JC Espinosa that guests have the best time when socializing with each other and he has worked hard to foster that sense of community despite an ever changing cast of characters. This dedication to personal relationships extends to the staff as well. As we said our last goodbyes, our tour driver came up and shook my hand saying, “It was a pleasure to serve you.” No, Ricardo, the pleasure was mine. Having only skimmed the surface of what this spirited country can offer the truly curious traveler, I know I will return to those verdant lands for a deeper look. I won’t waste my time about it, either. Nicaragua at this moment can still be considered undiscovered by the average tourist. As word gets out and large development comes in, however, changes are inevitable. With care, the colorful love of life seen in both civilization and nature may just stand the test of time. ■


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I was in love with Budapest before I ever stepped foot on the soil of that fabled city. Pictures and stories of Budapest tantalized me for years, inflaming my wanderlust for a place I’d never been. Finally, after years of dreaming, I decided to visit and see for myself the surprising and magical place that is Budapest, a city that entwines past and future, east and west. Budapest is actually two fabulous cities in one. The renowned Chain Bridge which traverses the River Danube joins Buda and Pest, which were united in 1873, creating the Budapest we love today. Take Buda–a medieval city graced with rolling hills, a grand palace, an exotic fortress, flowering courtyards and quiet villages. Add Pest–an expansive city where all the action happens, an iconic Parliament building, beautiful parks, steamy baths, elegant architecture, a zoo, fashionable neighborhoods, and a thriving culinary and night-time scene. Together, they make Budapest, City of Dreams. Where to Dream The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest The Gresham Palace presides over the River Danube at one end of the famous chain bridge in a spectacular location unmatched by any other hotel in Budapest. The Gresham Palace is so magnificent that it’s actually listed in tour books as a “must see” for visitors. Guests who are lucky enough to stay in this handsomely restored art nouveau palace will know why it is rated as one of the premier hotels in all of the world. The service here is second to none. Soaring glass ceilings, stained glass, ornate ironwork, and a gracious ambiance impress without qualification. Guest rooms are classically elegant and are graced with every luxurious amenity imaginable, plus the lush beds and linens will have you slumbering in no time. Ask for a room overlooking the Danube River with a view of Castle Hill–it is the stuff that dreams are made of! The Bar and Lobby Lounge is a stunning place to enjoy live piano music over afternoon tea or a crafted cocktail. The Gresham Restaurant, with its front

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[ Budapest ] City of Dreams By: Susan Watkins


European Destinations

windows looking onto the lawns and the Danube, is an elegant place to breakfast. The pastry chefs here serve up an array of tempting breakfast pastries and sweets that we are still thinking about! Dreams of the Past Across the river, step back in time with a visit to Buda, home of the glorious Buda Castle, former seat of the vast Hapsburg Empire. Towering over the Danube, Castle Hill offers sweeping panoramic views that are truly awe inspiring. A short stroll from here will take you to a magical looking fortress, Fisherman's Bastion. In our book, this is–hands down–the most romantic location in all of Budapest! Fisherman’s Bastion takes it’s name from the guild of fisherman who, during the Middle Ages, were responsible for defending the city walls of Buda. Today, the Bastion is a series of fanciful white sandstone spires, domes, turrets, terraces and walking paths which unite to create a fairy-tale like castle, made even more enchanting when lit at night. Enjoy an exceptional dining experience at the Fisherman’s Restaurant, Halaszbastya. Ask for a table on the terrace! City of Contrasts Budapest will surprise you with its multifaceted nature. An intoxicating mixture of old world elegance and an emerging new world backstreet chic, you’ll experience a gamut of emotions as you traverse the different sites of this eclectic city. Spend some time in the House of Terror, a powerful museum situated on the actual nightmarish former headquarters of the Secret Police, documenting the grim Nazi and Soviet regimes which dominated Hungary for years. Just down the street, you can visit Heroes’ Square and its monuments to revered Hungarian warriors and saints. Nearby, Vajdahunyad Castle, a replica from Transylvania, is sure to have you looking over your shoulder for vampires. Lighten things up and shake off the specter of the past with a visit to one of the most popular sites in the city–the Széchenyi Baths. Trust us when we tell you that you HAVE to do this when you visit Budapest–it is THE thing to do here! Budapest is actually built on thermal springs, and for ages people have been coming here to “take the waters.” Set in a cheerful yellow neo-baroque domed palace, the Széchenyi Baths offer guests the delightful option of 15 different pools, each with different temperatures and water features. Even the tamest bathers have to admit that these fresh water pools, with their bubbles, fountains, jets and whirlpools are enough to bring out the inner child in everyone. When you’re sufficiently soaked, indulge in a therapeutic massage by one of Széchenyi Baths’ excellent masseuses. You’ll leave the Széchenyi Baths feeling wonderfully refreshed by fun and physically rejuvenated in body.

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One of Budapest’s most famous sites is the Great Synagogue, the largest in Europe, and second largest in the world. Take in its heavy Moorish influence, stained glass, colorful frescoes and moving garden of remembrance. If it’s culture you’re after, don’t miss the city’s splendid Opera House. Tours here are fascinating, but if you are in Budapest during opera season, be sure to attend a performance in this majestic venue. And, to really see the city, just walk! Strolling the streets of Budapest reminds us why Budapest is often compared to Paris. It’s wide tree lined boulevards, rococo buildings, cafes and parks are all evocative of the French capital. In Budapest, as in Paris, one of the best things to do is linger at a sidewalk café over a glass of wine and watch the world go by. Dreams of the Future Freedom and opportunity are bursting at every turn in this city. A tour of Budapest’s landmark Parliament Building inspires visitors with the

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palpable hope and vision for the future of Hungary. World renowned for the grandeur of its ornamental red domes and silvery white “wedding cake” spires and arches, it dominates the skyline. And, it’s even more glorious inside–the Dome Hall is where the Hungarian coronation jewels rest is more opulent that anything we’ve seen in the world. An excursion to the busy Great Market Hall is a great place to jump into the culture of the city. This big colorful indoor farmer’s market is the place to buy fragrant fruits, vegetables and other local delicacies as well all kinds of handmade Hungarian keepsakes. Don’t miss a turn through the part of the market that serves up traditional Hungarian dishes–sample some savory goulash or the delicious local treat, lángos, a deep-fried flatbread topped with sour cream and cheese. Budapest is a place to celebrate life. As evening falls, festivals spring up in the parks where you

can join the party–listen to a band, have a beer, ride the ferris wheel, and dine at long picnic tables under colored lights strung through the trees, or you might find a sidewalk café for a quiet meal and a bottle of wine. Some cross the river to Buda for wine tasting in an old Dominican monastery cloister wine cellar. Others seek a more bohemian experience as they bike to the hip ruin pubs which have sprung up in various ramshackle courtyards or funky buildings of the city. On the Danube Promenade, there is light, music, and people literally dancing in the streets. Next to the river, lovers sit in the moonlight and dangle their legs over the water, gazing at the sparkling Chain Bridge and the warm, golden lights of Castle Hill. It has been said that you’re never the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. The moon over Budapest, City of Dreams, is waiting for you! ■


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[ Vienna ] The City of Royals By: Susan Watkins

Steeped in elegance,

Vienna is a royal city filled with magnificent palaces, music, flowering parks, captivating history and rich art. In Vienna, enter opulent Hapsburg Palace and peek into the lavish lifestyle of a powerful family dynasty. Admire the breathtaking crown jewels, scepters and coronation vestments of the Kings at the Imperial Treasury. Visit the legendary Spanish Riding School of Lipizzaner horses fame, the only place in the world where horses perform in an ornate chandeliered palace to classic Viennese waltzes. Rest in the cool of majestic baroque cathedrals, or sip a coffee and savor a Sachertorte at an elegant café. To visit old Vienna is to immerse yourself in a gracious world of beauty,

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making it easy to fantasize, just for fun, that you are royalty for a few days. In the center of this glittering European capital is the ultimate in five star Viennese accommodations–the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. In this city of royals, Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna rolls out the red carpet for every guest. Originally built in 1873 for the World Exhibition, the hotel retains the charm of its classic European exterior. Inside, however, guests are met with the ultimate in modern luxury. Visually stunning, the lobby with it’s high soaring ceilings is the epitome of elegance and light, decorated in dramatic tones of crimson, black and white. This breathtaking

‘living room’ of the hotel is a popular gathering place for the people of Vienna as well as hotel guests, who come to enjoy afternoon tea, a cocktail or a brandy and cigar in the adjoining Cigar Lounge. The Palais Hansen Kempinksi’s guest rooms are spacious and appointed with every imaginable modern convenience. You’re invited to sink into luxurious beds, enjoy an espresso at your mini-bar or a flute of frosty champagne as you toast your arrival. Dramatic artwork, richly upholstered furniture, plush linens and delectable amenities are the hallmark of every guest room, providing the ultimate in peaceful ambiance. Everything in your room is operated


European Destinations

like the special guest that you are. To ensure that you have an effortless and enjoyable stay, the Lady in Red offers personalized service–have in mind a romantic evening with champagne and rose petals in your suite? The Lady in Red will take care of it. Want to arrange a birthday cake or a surprise reunion? Ask the Lady in Red–she will make it happen. The hotel’s dining rooms, the Michelin star Edvard, and Die Küche are lovely spaces, creating the feeling that you are dining in someone’s private home or garden. At Die Küche, guests can choose from innovative cocktails, appetizers almost too pretty to eat (but so delicious) and seasonal dishes that are contemporary interpretations of classic Austrian dishes, making for a truly memorable dining experience. Every morning, guests indulge in a sumptuous breakfast buffet offering a bevy of cooked-to-order egg dishes, a cheese and prosciutto bar, yoghurts and muesli, fresh

If it’s art you’re after, be sure to spend some time at Kunsthistorisches–the Museum of Fine Arts. This impressive museum houses the art collection of the Hapsburg dynasty and is filled with masterpieces including works by Rubens and Van Dyke. St. Stephen's Cathedral, Austria's national church is a place of great pride for the people. It sits squarely in the center of town, with gothic towers rising to the sky. Here Mozart was married and had his two children baptized. Just outside the cathedral is The Graben, a pedestrian area filled with high end shops, bakeries, restaurants and the imposing Hofberg Palace. For lunch, wander through Vienna’s famous outdoor market, Nachtmarkt, the colors and fragrances of flowers, fruits and vegetables filling your senses. One of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, just 15 minutes outside the city by underground, is the famous summer home of the Hapsburgs, Schonbrunn Palace. Exquisite chandeliered rooms are decked out in the finest in period furnishings. A feast for the eyes, the palace is gorgeous, with precious inlaid wood floors, elaborate ceiling and window moldings and a Hall of Mirrors reminiscent of the one in Versailles. Outside, you can stroll the vast gardens laid out in true European fashion, and enjoy the whimsical and cooling fountains.

from Palais Hansen Kempinski’s award winning iPad entertainment system. With your iPad, you can orchestrate your hotel experience to your liking–lighting, air conditioning, room service, TV, music, reservations and information are all at your fingertips. Rich marble décor accents roomy bathrooms, where state of the art technology operates your choice of multiple shower heads at the touch of a button.

baked breads, champagne and fresh squeezed fruit juices, and simply the best mouthwatering pastries you’ll taste anywhere in Europe, hot from the oven and tray passed by the Chef himself.

Every evening, the city comes alive with music, as multitudes of performances are given in the most beautiful venues throughout Vienna. The musical gifts of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss are celebrated as the strains of their music ring through the night air.

Although the hotel is sleek and contemporary, there is still a feel of old world comfort and service here. You may be welcomed by the hotel’s signature Lady in Red, Palais Hansen Kempinski’s guest relations ambassador. As the First Lady of the hotel, she makes you feel

Fortified after such a breakfast, you’ll be ready to take on the day and visit all of the nearby sites of Vienna. The Palais Hansen Kempinksi is centrally located right on the famous Ringstrasse, within walking distance of just about everything you want to see in Vienna.

At the end of a splendid day in Vienna, the doorman of the Palais Hansen Kempinski greets you by name. As you retire in the lap of luxury, go ahead and surrender to your royal fantasies - at the Palais Hansen Kempinski, it’s good to be king! ■

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[ Bernini's Rome ] By: Richard Carroll Photography By: Halina Kubalski

The name Bernini in broad clear lettering stands out like a welcome beacon high atop the Bristol Bernini Hotel in the heart of Rome. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a huge celebrity, superstar, and personality in his day, 1598-1680, is credited with the birth of Baroque portrait sculpture, and during his life remained its greatest advocate. A celebrated painter, architect, and sculptor, he rewarded the city with an artistic and cultural legacy seen in Rome’s churches, cathedrals, palaces, and piazzas by world-wide visitors who, with cameras in hand, capture a small slice of the great artist. The Bernini Hotel, originally built as a palace by Prince Barberini in 1874, overlooks Piazza Barberini and the impressive Triton Fountain designed and executed in travertine by Bernini in 1642-43. A short walk around the corner is the massive, Bernini-designed, Palazzo Barberini, one of Italy’s largest buildings, housing the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Nearby is the 1608-1620, Baroque Santa Maria della Vittoria church with Bernini’s celebrated Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Here, in the last chapel on the left the artist used extensive sculpture and optically difficult relief to transform the Cornaro Chapel into a petite opera house with Saint Teresa taking center stage. Reflecting the neighborhood’s incredible art, history, and architecture, the 127-room Bernini is decorated with rare 18th century tapestries and period furniture. Two suites on the sixth floor, each offering a private gym, Jacuzzi, terrace, and incredible views, are a perfect fit for a wide range of guests from the Queen of England, Churchill, the Onasses, Rockefellers, Peter Ustinov, Woody Allen, and Kevin Costner, to Mussolini during the World War II years, and others who have chosen to set foot in this city of memories. The eighth and top floor, accessible via a private elevator, is the new home of Chef Andrea Fuseo and his giuda ballerino, a lunch and dinner restaurant. Fuseo, born in Rome and honored with more gastronomic awards than he can count, was awarded a Michelin Star in 2010. His Italian, Asian, and internationallyinfluenced cuisine in addition to a 2,000-bottle wine cellar are a smash with the Romans making a one-week window for reservations a matter of course. Rooftop giuda ballerino, overlooking the ageless city and Bernini’s fountain, is the essence of romance as lights slowly emerge each evening in a web of shimmering radiance, a soft breeze sweeping diners into an ageless setting of meandering streets and monuments, and immense 14th century cathedrals and churches where Romans long-forgotten knelt on the tiles with hopeful thoughts. The enlightened Bernini concierge and door butlers guide guests in the correct direction, but also explain, “Rome at first

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glance can be overwhelming even for a visiting professor teaching European history, realizing that within every block there is a discovery. Also realizing the city has a strange marriage, not always loving, between traffic and pedestrians, togetherness not optional, communication questionable, touching a no no, skirmishing for space agreed by means of an agile minute-by-minute dance of chance with no rules. But somehow over the ages, along the narrow city streets and sidewalks, the marriage has survived.” Close by is the fascinating, 1636 Capuchin Church of the Immaculate Conception, and Museum, noted as a “must see” historic attraction. The Bernini, located at the beginning of the Via Veneto, is a ten-minute walk to the crowded Spanish Steps, where people sit instead of step. The Trevi Fountain, also a short walk away, is undergoing a major facelift, but the Villa Borghese lined with elegant fashion boutiques and Rome-based designers in search of fame, is close at hand and full of visitors constantly posing for selfies. Browsing through the city, travelers will find that Bernini pops up repeatedly, first with his design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica, then again with his muchhonored Saint Peters Square Colonado. But for all the exquisite art on public display around every corner, it is the family-owned Tritone Restaurant within sight of the hotel that dramatically places the city into perspective. Owner Antonio Camponeschi leads diners down a series of steep steps into Rome’s other world. While designing a cellar wine bar he accidentally uncovered a huge section of ancient Rome, circa 80AD with passageways, a small cell with original iron window bars and, ironically, wine bottles. Camponeschi said, “Rome was built atop Rome. Every time we move earth we find something that could belong in a museum. I think about this constantly. Who walked along this path and who was in that tiny jail?” Bernini, who had a wife, eleven children and a lover, came along after the ancient Romans, yet he too is unquestionably museum quality, and is still a source of mystery and unanswered questions. ■


European Destinations

The Palazzo Barberini

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy Giuda Ballerino Restaurant

The Triton Fountain

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George Clooney & Gelato, 2 of our Favorite Things in Lake Como Lake Como, Lago di Como in Italian, is Italy's most popular escape and for good reason. Once you finish elbowing your way through a two week- long vacation around Italy’s hustling and bustling cities this is the perfect spot to wind down before heading back to reality. Located in the region of Lombardy, Lake Como lies between Milan and the border of Switzerland. The breathtaking views of Como are one of the main reasons tourists and photographers alike flock here. The lake is surrounded by mountains and hills dotted with beautiful villas and resort villages. Due to the astonishing landscapes Como has become one of Europe’s hot spots for many celebrities to call home including George Clooney, Donatella Versace, Richard Branson and Madonna. Popular since Roman times, Como has been an escape for the who’s who of Italy for decades. Today the Lake brings much more to the plate for tourism as it has become a big foodie destination as well as hosting a list of activities to do for the more active traveler. Scenic hiking paths, boat trips and water activities can all be added to your itinerary of pure relaxation if you choose.

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Stay The Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is the only luxury 5-star hotel in Bellagio, which lies directly on the shores of Lake Como. Many travel experts have described it as "one of the best hotels in the world in which to stay if you can afford it." Its reputation that lies before it has made it a "must" for all serious travelers to make this their home while visiting the Bellagio area. Just steps away from the area’s history, culture, art and shopping you have everything at your fingertips for the perfect Italian luxury getaway. Tucked away just enough from the bustle of the town and highway, the hotel boasts a special sense of tranquility while still offering everything you will need for the ideal stay. If pure relaxation is your goal you have the option of either lounging at the lakeside pool, private beach or even spending time in the hotel’s lakeside gardens. If you are in need of some pampering and want to step up your relaxation game, the health spa is an absolute treat. The latest in exercise machines and accessories are complemented by saunas, Turkish and whirlpool

baths, mud treatments, beauty spa therapy and massage therapy. Treating yourself to a spa experience here is a great way to compliment your stay at one of the grandest hotels in Italy. If you are more of the active type there is an array of activities you may partake including tennis, squash, or perhaps a workout at the fitness center or even a yoga class. Dine While staying at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni your stay would not be complete without a dining experience at Mistral, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. Treat yourself to an unforgettable evening dining lakeside while enjoying some of Italy’s finest cuisine. Under the tutelage of Michelin star chef Ettore Bocchia Mistral’s menu showcases his passion for Mediterranean cuisine. His use of molecular gastronomy has made him one of Italy’s most renowned chefs and once you try your first bite you will see exactly why. Using the season’s freshest ingredients available to him Ettore treats his plates like Picasso used a canvas which makes for some alluring presentations and impeccable dishes. ■


European Destinations

Milan: Fit for a Fashionista While making the trek through the magnificent country of Italy, Milan is one of the cities you definitely want to add to your itinerary. Located in the Lombardy region of Northwest Italy, Milan is near the Lake District of Como and Maggiore. One of the most fashionable and richest cities in Europe, Milan offers a plethora of things to see and do when visiting, from the largest Gothic cathedral in the world to the Last Supper painting and famous La Scala Opera house to name a few. Travelers to Milan will find a fast-paced, glamour filled city with a thriving sense of culture. Hands down one of the best cities in the world for shopping, make sure to bring your credit card and an extra suitcase! Although much of Milan was heavily bombed during World War II, it was rebuilt leaving a structural blend of beauty! Pay a visit to the Galleria next to the world famous Duomo and find yourself immersed in some of the best high fashion shopping you will ever experience. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world's oldest shopping malls and since being refurbished it has become a major landmark in the city. Housed within a 4-story double arcade in the middle of the city, it has become a meeting place for the many socialites of Milan. The Galleria was named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It is very

rare to be able to shop in a place with so much history and beauty all at once. Located within proximity to numerous European cities, tourists flock here from all over the world to enhance their wardrobe with the world’s best in fashion. Milan also has a great nightlife scene with many popular nightclubs, cinemas, and cultural events. With all the culture, entertainment and shopping we can’t forget about the world class Italian cuisine! Since Milan is such an industrial powerhouse it has a large draw of international businessmen, fashion designers, media moguls, and tourists by the busload. Milan has also long been a major draw for inter-Italian tourism, so it's no surprise that Milanese restaurants serve a medley of menu items from various Italian regions. One of the top dining experiences in the city can be found at the Palazzo Parigi Hotel. Their gastronomic restaurant serves a succulent blend of Italy’s finest ingredients while giving it's patrons a sensational ambiance to dine in. An architectural gem, customers can either choose to sit outdoors in the private garden or indoors where they can enjoy the bold Italian design with a plethora of Italian art ranging from the 17th to the 19th century. Impeccable service, mouth-watering cuisine and stunning interior design makes this a must visit.

LATM Recommendations: Il crudo di gamberi rossi (raw red prawns), Asparagi verdi fondenti, uovo alla brace, salsa al Parmigiano Reggiano e tartufo nero (Green asparagus, lightly embers cooked egg, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese sauce and black truffle) “Spaghettoro Verrigni” mantecato al Pomodoro (Spaghettoro Verrigni tomato creamed) and of course the standard classic Risotto alla Milanese (Milanese style risotto). Stay The Baglioni Hotel Carlton is a 5 star hotel situated in the heart of Milan. Literally footsteps away from the famous Galleria Mall and Duomo, you are right at the crossroads of culture, fashion and design. Business or pleasure, whatever your needs are can be met here. If shopping is your reason to visit Milan the Baglioni is the perfect place to call home while you are in the city. Overlooking Via della Spiga, the most popular shopping street in the city, you have definitely come to the right place to rack those credit cards. If you are looking for one of the finer restaurants in Milan look no further than The Baretto al Baglioni. The history of this landmark dining establishment goes way back so at any given time you will find a combination of Milan’s finest mixed with businessman and hotel guests. Being a legendary, historic restaurant in Milan, Baretto al Baglioni was transferred from it's original location on Via Sant’Andrea to it's current home the Baglioni Hotel Carlton. ■

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The Birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Italy There are many reasons why Florence has been voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Famous for its history, architecture, fashion and art one could spend weeks here trying to take in all the charm that makes up this breathtaking city.

of the city. Surprisingly as small as it is, this riverside gem still is at the top on the world's 'must-see' list. Masses of tourists flock here every year to take in world-class art, eat authentic Tuscan cuisine and shop till they drop in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

The capital of one of the most amazing regions in the world (Tuscany) Florence is home to approximately 382,000 inhabitants. Well known for its history, it was once a center of medieval European trade and finance and was one of the wealthiest cities of its time. The iconic Centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year with its blend of high fashion shops, historic sites and a world class culinary scene. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its culture, Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. The city also hosts numerous museums and art galleries, and still holds a strong influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the statue of David by Michelangelo as well as the famous Duomo all within walking distance of the city center.

Fashion designers parade on Via de' Tornabuoni. Famous fashion icons such as Gucci and Roberto Cavalli were born here leading the way in pure Italian designs. Many of the world’s top designers have stores here giving visitors more shopping than they can handle in one trip.

Stand on a bridge over the Arno River several times in a day and take in the sheer beauty

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Located in the heart of Florence, along the Arno River the St Regis Florence is an absolute palace to say the least. Only a 5 minute walk along the river and you will find yourself in the heart of all the city has to offer. This majestic beauty designed by Brunelleschi invites you to treat yourself to an experience you will never forget. Taste the delicious cuisine of the Michelin star Restaurant Winter Garden by Caino for some of Italy’s finest fare, join guests for the champagne sabering with a selection of gourmet bites, take a tour of the city in the hotel’s Bentley or treat yourself to a spa treatment in their unique

private spa suite. Guests staying in select rooms will have exclusive access to the St. Regis Butler Service which provides that extra touch for a luxurious getaway. For a truly authentic Tuscan culinary experience try one of Florence’s finest restaurants Irene created by Fulvio Pierangelini. Fulvio’s menu is enriched with the best local and seasonal produce, meats and seafood complimenting traditional Tuscan classics like no other. Impeccable service and attention to detail make this establishment one not to miss while visiting the City of Lilies. Homemade classics with a gourmet twist are the essence of Irene. Well known for his two Michelin-starred restaurant Gambero Rosso in San Vincenzo, Pierangelini works with head chef Giovanni Cosmai to bring perfection to every plate. ■


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[ Geneva, Switzerland ]

Recently while going over our travel itinerary with some colleagues the city of Geneva, Switzerland came up and surprisingly of all the amazing locations we were about to visit this is the one that caused the most intrigue. 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! 108

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European Destinations

is the perfect place to take in all that Geneva has to offer. Step onto your spacious balcony with a glass of Swiss wine and take in the awe inspiring view of the Rhone River just a stone’s throw away. Set right in the heart of downtown Geneva you are only a few minutes away from waterfront dining, premier shops and numerous art galleries. Walk roughly five minutes across the bridge and get lost in the charm of Old Town Geneva where you can find local restaurants, wine bars, shopping lined streets and historic sites. The staff at the Mandarin Oriental Geneva 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. Dine like the Locals 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 tell you hands down it is Edelweiss. Designed like a Swiss cottage you are in for a full night of entertainment and great food. Throughout your entire dining experience two 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, Edelweiss will not disappoint. Great fondue, great wine, great service and of course some local entertainment always makes for a good night.

One of the main political, financial and transportation hubs of Europe, Geneva is one of those cities you will have to visit at some time or another. If you talk to most world travelers that have been to this beautiful city 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 absolutely breathtaking; Geveva sits where the Rhone River exits Lake Geneva (of course). Beautiful emerald green water surrounds the city 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. It is said

that a lot of the world’s problems have been solved here. Being the second most populous city in Switzerland there is a perfect balance of things to do here. With a blend of fresh and new modern city feel mixed with medieval ramparts Geneva can make for an ideal getaway to refresh and rejuvenate. Hotel of Choice: The Mandarin Oriental Location, location, location! Set on the right bank of the Rhone River the Mandarin Oriental

Fancy a Cocktail with your Live Music? If you are looking for more of a trendy, hipster vibe while visiting Geneva then Hotel Nvy is the spot. This luxurious 4 star property boasts a premier location within walking distance to the lake and has one of the swankiest bars in the city offering an overall cool vibe. If trendy chic is your style you will love the rock n roll décor the hotel dons at every turn. With its warm, pleasing atmosphere guests spend quite a bit of time just lounging around the bar area listening to an array of music from house beats to classic rock. At any given time you can find numerous people sipping on specialty cocktails while enjoying small bites from the kitchen. Hotel Nvy is also known as one of the main spots in Geneva to catch live musicians and DJ’s from all over as they perform in the lobby bar. ■

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European Destinations

[ Norway ] By Katie McElveen

Fredrik Schenholm, visitnorway.com

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M

ove over, Sweden. Out of the way, Denmark. Norway is stepping into the spotlight, and not a moment too soon. From downtown Oslo, where the brand-new Tjuvholmen neighborhood brims with chic shops and waterfront restaurants, to charming Bergen and the stunning fjords, Scandinavia’s youngest country has mastered the art of mixing cutting edge style with natural beauty. My first taste of Norway turns out to be a sea urchin so fresh that drops of seawater are still clinging to its spines. I’d taken a boat from downtown Bergen through the fjord to Cornelius, a restaurant that sits on an island within the vast archipelago and serves what the local fishermen pull from the sea. Approaching an employee setting up an outdoor raw bar, I noticed the sea urchin and asked where it had been caught. “Right out there,” he replied, grabbing it and, in a single motion, neatly slicing off it’s top. Handing me a tiny spoon, he offered up his treasure. “This is the best way to eat it.” He was right. Briny but sweet, the urchin’s row gave it more dimension than an oyster, but with all the tenderness. The rest of the meal—large local “horse” mussels with salsify, cod bathed in hollandaise perked up with a whisper of chipotle pepper—was equally delicious, a mix of the familiar and the unusual. Bergen’s history as an 11th-century trading port was evident as I strolled around the wharf. The lively fish market, where you can purchase smoked Minke whale (which is not a protected species), smoked salmon literally dripping with Omega-3’s and giant tubes of caviar has operated for centuries; across the harbor, wooden boats afloat in front of a row of colorfully painted clapboard buildings from the 1700’s transform the scene into a perfect postcard. Don’t miss a trip to Mount Floyen, an in-town mountain reachable by walking trail (the trip up hill takes about 40 minutes) or funicular, which takes about 6. The top is crisscrossed with nature trails that wind through the “Troll’s Woods” to a playground, lake and restaurant, all with marvelous views of the deep forest and, far below, the city of Bergen. Bergen is the gateway to Norway’s fjords, spectacular seas that cut deeply into the land and are, by definition, longer than they are wide. Although day tours are available, I chose to explore the region on a six-day journey on Hurtigruten, the venerable Norwegian cruise line that’s been plying the waters of the fjords

European Destinations

for more than 120 years and would give me the opportunity to not just see the fjords, but to visit the towns and villages along the ocean’s edge. With its waterfall-lined 1,000-foot-tall cliffs and sapphireblue water, UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is a dramatic first look at the fjords. It’s also an easy jumping-off point for eight of CH, visitnorway.com Norway’s National Tourist Routes, a network of 18 roadways, each set with architecturallystunning tourist overlooks, created to showcase the country’s natural beauty. I soon found myself on the Trollstigen, or Troll’s Ladder, which wound its way down a sheer mountain into an CH, visitnorway.com alpine valley, filled with rushing rivers emerald-green meadows. There, in the town of halibut, klipfish, fresh king crab, Arctic char, Valldal, I tasted strawberries ripened to candy rare cloudberries, sea buckthorn and other sweetness in the 20-or-so hours of sunlight the local foods and transform them into dishes that region receives each day during the summer. let us experience the country’s many unique flavors. A new a la carte program goes even As the week continued and the ship moved deeper into Norway’s culinary heritage, offering further north, the landscape changed and the a nightly menu of more luxurious ingredients ocean opened up, offering views of distant isles, and complicated preparations. rocky shorelines and tiny farms and fishing villages. The towns were rich with culture. In I spent my last days in Norway exploring Trondheim, I crossed over a gingerbread-topped Oslo, an architectural hub where Medieval bridge to reach the massive 14th-century castles and ancient fortresses sit blocks Nidaros Cathedral, which was built over the from modern marvels, including the Astrup tomb of St. Olav, a Viking king who became Fearnley Museum, which houses a collection Norway’s patron saint. The site has been the of contemporary art within a Renzo Pianodestination of pilgrims for thousands of years; designed building, the dramatic Oslo Opera today, more than 500 pilgrims visit the cathedral House and Vulkan, an urban development each year. The arctic capital of Tromso, the that’s home to the city’s new artisan-driven largest city within the Arctic Circle, is filled food hall. I stayed at the Thief, an art-filled with museums and excursions detailing the hotel—there are original works in each roomcity’s past as a center for arctic explorers and -that opened in early 2013. In addition to a hunters; during the winter, there are dog sled rooftop lounge and an elegantly groovy lobby rides through the Tromso Wilderness Center on bar, the hotel is filled with thoughtful touches Kvaloya Island. that include a space outside the closet to hang the next day’s outfit, electrical outlets galore, Passengers weren’t the only ones to explore the private balconies and, as part of the nightly region’s towns and villages: each day, the ship’s turndown service, a thermos of hot water, tea culinary team would disembark and return with bags and brownies. ■

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This Seasons Hot Hotels

Wild Dunes Resort Isle of Palm, SC By: Kelly A. Magyarics

Too often a beach vacation means sacrificing access to culture and cuisine. Not so at Wild Dunes Resort, which offers not only a bevy of options onsite, but a quick drive to Charleston, one of the country’s top food and beverage meccas. Because there is no one-size-fits-all guest, there is no one-sizefits-all experience at Wild Dunes. With 93 rooms and 8 junior suites at The Boardwalk Inn, the beach and the tranquil adult’s only pool are just steps away. The resort also offers one, two and three-bedroom suites and penthouses decorated in the style of the Low country at The Village. These options include full kitchens, dining rooms and patios. If you really want to get away from it all, opt for one of the roomy vacation homes, cottages and condos tucked throughout the property, which have at least five bedrooms and offer stunning ocean views. Once you’re checked in, it’s time to explore. The Grand Pavilion offers two oceanfront pools that flank a pool bar and grill—perfect for grabbing a frozen Daiquiri or a local bottle of Westbrook IPA. Palm Cove is geared for families, with a zero entry section and adult swim at the top of every hour. The aforementioned adults-only pool beckons with its lounge chairs, cabanas for rent and quiet solitude. This is also the spot to sip the spa-like Organic Basil Cooler delivered chair-side from the Sea Island Grill & Lounge, with Prairie Vodka, basil, orange, elderflower, cardamom bitters and citrus, topped with Cava. The Sea Island Grill & Lounge is the resort’s fine dining restaurant, which also happens to have an oceanfront view. It highlights the region’s Low country cuisine with its emphasis on local ingredients with dishes like the crab soup, shrimp and grits and Atlantic grouper with pickled crawfish. Guests looking for a more casual option will find it at The Lettered Olive & Lounge and The Sand Bar. Of course, most come here for the beach. Rent chairs and umbrellas, or bring your own, and frolic in the bathwater warm surf. Shell-collecting is de rigueur here, and it’s not uncommon to spot a sand dollar amid the scallops and mussel shells. The beach is a bit shallow, however, and even more so at high tide, so check the charts before you head out to the surf. With a quick half hour trip to downtown Charleston, you’ll want to factor in some time to sightsee, dine and sip. We recommend you start your downtown visit with the shrimp and grits and a beer Mimosa for brunch at Homily Grill. Afterwards, book an hour carriage ridge with Classic Carriage to get you bearings, and be sure to reserve a table for dinner at Husk, which boasts an ever-changing seasonal menu and an amazing whiskey selection. Afterwards, get a cocktail (or two) at The Gin Joint, whose bartender’s choice menu gives you a perfect libation based on a few key descriptors you give your bartender. Finally, toast to a perfect vacation that perfectly combines surf and city. ■ 112

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Hard ROck Hotel San Diego

Hot Hotels

San Diego, CA By: Cat Muto

The Hard Rock Hotel, located in the heart of San Diego, has a hip and rock n’roll themed atmosphere that brings the scene to the Gaslamp District. The energetic vibe of the hotel encourages guests to keep the party going or retreat back and relax in the comfort of their stylish accommodations. Just minutes away from everything the area has to offer, the Hard Rock presents an ideal location with an exquisite nightlife. Although the property itself is superb, nothing beats their award-winning staff and brilliant event venues that are ready to cater to any type of VIP occasion. Everyone enjoys their quiet and relaxing surroundings while on vacation, but who doesn’t also enjoy a soundtrack to lighten up their guest room. With the “rock your stay with sound” program, guests can mix and listen to beats with cutting edge technology known as the Traktor Kontrol Z1 Controller. Other options include listening to your own headphones with the rooms mixed in sound club. With these new and original features, guests are able to transform their room into a new and improved music studio or have an in-room dance off. With the “it’s playtime” track, guests are able to stream the music from their very own guest room and/or take their personal listening device wherever they please throughout the hotel property. Another fun music option includes “riffing it up” with an air-guitar, where guests are able to choose from a menu of 20 Fender electric guitars with the Hal Leonard in-room video lessons. Finally, guests are able to “make the music theirs” by letting the concierge know they would like to turn their guest room into a dance club and a Traktor Kontrol Z1 controller will be sent up to their room. With all this rocking out taking place, you are bound to work up an appetite and the hotels numerous dining options will keep you from getting hangry. Dining options include 207, Float, Mary Jane’s, and the ever popular Nobu. Nobu is always a good idea with its traditional Japanese menu. Receiving three Michelin stars and international acclaim, Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa founded Nobu restaurants all across the globe. The menu at Nobu will bring joy to your taste buds while the staff goes above and beyond expectations to insure that each customer leaves satisfied and pleased with their meal. The atmosphere of glowing colors and modern decor pleases the eye and is inviting and welcoming to customers as they walk in the door. Nobu is especially known for their signature black cod and delectable display of fresh sushi that goes perfectly with the classic miso soup. ■ 113


Hot Hotels

Trump international Hotel Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is home to some of the largest gaming hotels in the world. For those that choose not to stay in a hotel that houses a casino the Trump is a perfect choice. Impeccable style, outstanding service and world class amenities are what you should expect here. A 5-star, 64 story tower of golden glass, the Trump is one of the few non-smoking, non-gaming, hotels in the city. Situated far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the strip yet close enough to the best shopping and dining options in the city. The property is home to 1,232 furnished guest suites and 50 luxurious Penthouse suites. Some of the most stunning, panoramic views of Las Vegas set against a magnificent backdrop of the surrounding mountains can be seen from your room. Contemporary furnishings and state of the art kitchens will give you the feel of pure luxury while visiting the city for business or pleasure. If you are looking for pure relaxation stop by the 11,000-square-foot Spa to get pampered at the highest level possible. The Oxygenating Facial and the Vegas Recovery Massage are some of the most popular treatments you will find on their spa menu and for good reason. If gaming or shopping is on the schedule for the day the hotel offers free shuttle service to the Wynn and The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Pets are more than welcome here and the dogs of LA Travel certainly appreciate the Pets program which spoils them with gourmet treats, bowls, bottled water and plush pet beds. High Paw to that! For the perfect relaxing afternoon check out the stunning 7th floor deck with its 110-foot heated pool. Private air-conditioned cabanas, wet bars and plasma TVs make for a great way to put your feet up after a long business meeting or shopping spree. Sip cocktails and enjoy light gourmet bites poolside at H2eau to complement the ideal day. The staff at Trump goes over the top to make sure you have everything you need right at your fingertips to make the most of your time during your stay. If noisy, smoky hotels are not your idea of a relaxing getaway choose this hotel provides the setting for an unforgettable stay. â– 114

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The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco

Hot Hotels

San Francisco, CA By: Christy Oldham

With Big Sur in my rear view mirror and Monterey fast approaching this Pacific Coast Highway road trip to San Francisco is almost coming to an end. The Fairmont Hotel’s Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, with its soothing tropical rainforest setting and Mai Tai’s are the driving force on this half day journey. The thought o indulging in the ultimate San Francisco spa experience at the hotel’s state of the art premier health club is also calling my name. Meandering up Fremont Street, I finally reach Nob Hill, an affluent district that is home to many of the city’s upper-class families who built large mansions in the 19th century during the cities rapid urbanization and where the luxury landmark Beaux Arts-style Fairmont Hotel is located. Offering breathtaking views of the city and bay since its construction in 1907, The Fairmont Hotel was named after mining magnate and U.S. Senator James Graham Fair. It was originally set to open a year earlier, but the devastating 1906 earthquake paused the hotels opening when it suffered severe fire and structural damage. Julia Morgan, an architect from the prestigious E’cole des Beaux Arts in Paris, was recruited to work on The Fairmont which re-opened exactly one year later, instantly making it a social hub of the city. Located in the only spot in San Francisco where each of the cable car lines meet, The Fairmont was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Entering the Laurel Court lobby of the hotel feels more like entering a palace though, which is due in part to decorator Dorothy Draper, who envisioned a Venetian palace during its post Great Depression refurbishment in the late 1940’s. Tony Bennett would later sing “I left my Heart in San Francisco”, in the Venetian Room, cementing The Fairmont as the center jewel in the crown of the Golden Age of San Francisco. I am in awe as I enter The Tonga Room. It was once a 75-foot swimming pool with elaborate tile. In 1929, it was known as the "Fairmont Terrace Plunge". Today, however, it is a Polynesian Tiki Bar and Restaurant, thanks to the genius of Mel Melvin, who was Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s leading set director. Melvin was hired in 1945 to transform the Terrace Plunge into what can only be described as a decadent Tiki utopia. The pool became a lagoon with a floating stage for an orchestra to entertain guests each evening while the restaurant serves exceptional Pacific Rim Asian cuisine, made by executive chef Andrew Court. With its tropical décor perfectly blended with mystical tribal wall coverings and soft atmospheric lighting, this place is an enigma; its a Shangri-la that even British author James Hilton would deem worthy as heaven on earth. The refined rooms and suites feature flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, tea kettles and Wi-Fi. Plush suites add Nespresso coffeemakers and separate living areas; some offer private balconies, pool tables or wet bars. Other amenities on property include a health club with a fitness center as well as a relaxed cafe, a business center, meeting space and event space. ■ 115


#LATRAVELBEAUTY

Duri Cosmetics' "Revel in Luxury" Collection

Fall and Winter don't need to be drab and dreary - especially when painting fingers and toes - according to Faina Ritz, founder of Duri Cosmetics. With the new "Revel In Luxury" Collection, Ritz elevates autumnal- and winter-toned neutrals

This Seasons Hottest Beauty Solutions R ev e a le d As we move into the colder season and say goodbye to the recent heatwave your beauty routine will most likely need a drastic change to keep up! Beat the winter blahs and hydrate dry skin, keep those nails looking festive and pamper yourself before the red carpet.

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into rich nail polish hues that add just the right amount of pop to cold weather's manis and pedis. These twelve brand new polishes are inspired by the trending Pantone 2015 Fall Fashion reports, which indicate a balancing of earthy neutrals with bold color statements. Duri's entire collection of 300+ nail polishes are all 3-free from DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde, and are also environmentally friendly, ensuring your nails will look exquisite without all of the questionable chemicals. $6.00 each - duri.com


derma e® travel essentials

#LATRAVELSTYLE

Family owned and operated for 30 years, derma e® has pioneered the development of vitamin-rich, high-performance antioxidant skincare solutions. The award-winning line features over 80 doctor-developed and clinically-test products that are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petrolatum. derma e® products are cruelty-free and 100 percent vegan. Manufacturing and operations are offset 100 percent by wind power.

derma e® H yd rat ing Mis t with Hyaluronic Acid Instantly rehydrate dry, thirsty skin anywhere on the face or body with this refreshing mist. Contains Hyaluronic Acid, 'nature's moisture magnet' -- an ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Also contains antioxidants Green Tea and Vitamin C to help fight environmental stress for radiant, younger-looking skin. Packaged in a convenient spray-pump, this portable mist is perfect for your purse, car, air travel, or the beach. $13.50 - dermae.com

derma e® Hydrating Facial Wipes Quickly and conveniently lift away makeup, oil and impurities while thoroughly hydrating, softening and smoothing skin with Hydrating Facial Wipes. Each freshly scented pre-moistened wipe is infused with ultra-moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid that helps condition, soften and smooth skin, leaving it fresh and dewy. Fortified with superfruit extracts Grape Seed and Maqui Berry, these easy, onestep wipes offer antioxidant protection while keeping skin clean and refreshed. Plus, each wipe is 100% compostable and all outer packaging is 100% recyclable. $7.99 - dermae.com

The on demand beauty service is rapidly taking over! With celebrity supporters including Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton this service brings the industries top make-up artists and hairstylists right to your doorstep with the touch of a button and at an affordable price (rates beginning at $65).

Created by business and beauty veterans Jocelyn Loo and Maile Pacheco, who have worked with A-listers such as Elton John and Celine Dion, Loo and Pacheco developed the app to help girls on-the-go who don't have time to stop at the salon to get the VIP experience in the comfort of their own home, office, or hotel room. With services ranging from makeup touch-ups, up-do's, group and bridal glam packages, girls can now enjoy the luxury of having the salon come to them. beGlammed is quickly expanding and is currently available in Los Angeles! The app is also available in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, NYC and Orange County so you can get glamorous wherever you are! beglammed.com

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The House of

Hermes By: Richard Carroll

The House of Hermes at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore stands at the brink of perfection and elegance. An endearing and enchanting landmark situated in the heart of Paris. The warm aroma of leather and delicate displays of handcrafted works of art featuring silk, fine leather, and natural materials, tease the senses and excite the imagination, but the history, fervor and dedication of the Hermes family is what gives the name its enduring cachet. The House of Hermes (pronounced air-mes) is the devoted home base of the Hermes family who began as harness makers in 1837, and quickly rose to the top of their profession within the fields of leather crafting and lofty fashion. The center of activity for the talented family since 1840, this landmark building in Paris enlightens both the history buff and the discriminating shopper.

Creating a Hermes scarf

Family operated since its inception in 1837, the horse has influenced Hermes’ development throughout the years in vital if varied ways. It all began when Thierry Hermes, a noted harness maker, opened a small shop and quickly gained a reputation for creating the finest harnesses in all Paris. Emile, Thierry’s son, moved the family business to 24 Faubourg St. Honore, where it has remained, and there he added saddlery to their prestigious achievements. Two grandsons of Thierry Hermes, Adolphe and Emile-Maurice, further developed the family name by offering saddlery and harnesses created to express the height of Parisian elegance to the European Courts, the finest stables on the Continent, and to the Czar of Russia, the officers of the Imperial Guard and His Imperial Highness Nicholas II. But the grandsons found themselves in a dilemma when the noisy engines of the first automobiles replaced the jangle of horse-drawn carriages. In 1922 Emile-Maurice bought out his brother, and with a touch of Hermes brilliance introduced the French to an innovative zipper

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called the Hermes Fastener. Then with the beloved horse in mind, Emile-Maurice Hermes. Paris diversified the business’s craftsmanship by introducing the “saddle style” design on women’s buckles led to fine jewelry, and castle ensigns purses, luggage and wallets. became ladies’ scarves. For Hermes this was an historical turning point, marking the birth of the “Saddle Stitch” look, an instant success, and one now widely copied throughout the world. The saddle stitch is a method wherein the thread is visible going in and out of the same opening. Before this innovation all handbags were sewn from the inside and then turned, a marvelous concept for Hermes. The equestrian motif has been ingeniously retained and integrated throughout the Hermes collection. Emile-Maurice found imaginative and inspired ways to use the company’s reputation and skilled artists in modern ways creating accessories which could be adapted to modern modes of travel such as money belts and writing cases, billfolds and note-pads. Gauntlets and stirrups led to gloves and boots; the coachman’s whip and the riding crop were transformed into polo mallets; silver

Emile-Maurice Hermes died in 1951 and the fourth generation, in the persons of his sons-inlaw, Jean-Rene Guerrand and Robert DumasHermes, were at the ready. Robert took the reins in 1951 and concentrated on scarf designs, but his marvelous business management helped in establishing branches throughout France and eventually the world. Robert died in 1978 and quickly fifth generation Jean-Louis Dumas Hermes, filled with youthful élan and enthusiasm, stepped in and was the driving force behind the company. Hermes employs more than 11,718 people worldwide, many of whom are thought of as family, in 311 exclusive stores. Some craftspeople begin their training at schools in France under an extensive training program followed by


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Emile Hermes museum

and created stunning timepieces in gold and steel, accented, of course, with leather. In 1984 Hermes introduced an exquisitely designed 17-piece Limoges dinner service featuring the peony theme, and in the same year, released the third feminine fragrance created by Hermes in 23 years, Parfum d’ Hermes, followed by enameled bracelets traced with gold or silver showcasing the classic equestrian motif.

Hermes Storefront 1939

several more years of apprenticeship at Hermes before they are allowed to make a single stitch. Each handbag takes between 12 and 19 hours to create and each is then imprinted by the maker’s individual sign. Hermes products are almost entirely made in France by hand, the company rejecting mass production and assembly lines. More than 80 percent of the leather received in the Hermes workshops is returned to the tannery. The Kelly bag, a stylized saddlebag named after the late Princess Grace, remains one of Hermes’ premier handbags, as are the Birkin handbags in honor of actress and singer Jane Birkin. Jacqueline Onassis wore the Constance, or H-Bag with its small “H” clasp, as have thousands of other patrons. Hermes bags are often a blend of silk and horsehair, double stitched, and designed to be worn with everything from jeans to fashionable evening wear. The art of leather is only the launch of the Hermes tradition. The silk used for jockeys’ blouses gave rise to the Hermes scarf, which was introduced in 1937. Their highly regarded scarves are collected and treasured by women throughout the world. After a scarf has been worn for a period of time they are often framed or displayed under glass as stylish table decorations.

Hermes Kelly bag

Hermes owns a silk factory near Leon, noted as the silk capital of Europe, and consider silk as a raw textile to be the best material in the world from the standpoint of weight. They developed a process of weaving that requires meticulous handwork with silk prints ranging to 53 screenings and woven to precise specification with hand-rolled edges. The process takes approximately one year from drawing board to scarf. Designs often depict historical events, or nautical and military designs, or original floral creations, but the classic Hermes equestrian theme remains one of the most admired. Under the vision of the late Jean-Louis Dumas, who passed away in 2010, Hermes purchased a watch factory in Bienne, Switzerland in 1978,

Francine Bardo, a 31-year employee, Consultant, and former director of Hermes, Beverly Hills, opened on Rodeo Drive in 1972 said, ”We have always kept a low profile. Hermes is classic in style, never trendy. Our clients think nothing of wearing a handbag for 20 years. Our products are very expensive but not one cent overpriced. As a little girl growing up in Europe I was weaned on Hermes. On my 16th birthday I received a Hermes scarf. For many French girls this is the symbol of adulthood. I was ecstatic.” The Emile Hermes Museum on the third floor of 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris, created by Emile and managed by vivacious Menehould de Bazelaire, Director of Cultural Heritage, is dedicated to the ubiquitous Hermes horse with carriages, saddles, silver and priceless leather work dating to the 17th century; seen by appointment only. The company moves onward with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, son of Jean-Louis, following in his father’s footsteps as Artistic Director. ■

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The vision behind Style Fashion Week was to create an opportunity where a diverse group of designers, models, students, and fashion lovers could come together and create something unlike any other. CEO Veronica Welch, now Kerzner, envisioned Style Fashion Week as more than just a platform that showcased the latest trends – but instead, a state of mind, a culture, and ultimately a vision that has no limits or boundaries to where fashion can be enjoyed and respected. #StyleFW all began as a dream. Being known for curating high-profile events for the ESPY awards, the Hamptons Summer Showcase, Movie Premiers, Art Basel and many more through the mother company BubbleFish Media, it was thanks to her business partner, now husband, Lee Kerzner that her dream could begin to become a reality. Veronica and Lee Kerzner had a similar vision, motivating themselves by their passion to create a platform for designers and brands to showcase on - It was no coincidence that they launched Style Fashion Week in 2011, and be honored by the Mayor in 2014. Style Fashion Week, as any company, is still growing – and it’s blossoming. Style first instilled it’s roots at the beautiful Vibiana cathedral in LA, and quickly moved to L.A. Live where it

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quadrupled in size introducing a 42,000-squarefoot tent. Faces like Lindsay Lohan, Adam Lambert, Dita Von Teese, and Kylie and Kendall Jenner graced the unveiling of the new platform. Continuing to grow, Style has now moved to The Reef parking lot, where they will build an unheard of 50,000-square-foot tent this season in partnership with Venue Tradeshow. Each season, the show’s rosters gain more talent to share their latest creations down the catwalk. Fashion Icon’s like Betsey Johnson, Skingraft, Marco Marco, Quynh Paris, Michael Costello, Bettie Page, Furne One and Michael Cinco have all shown with Style. Additional highlights have been Malan Breton; a designer who graced the runway in NYFW – getting highlighted through Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, CNN and E! Online. It’s due to all these designers success through Style Fashion Week’s Platform that has made them the hottest event to see; being highlighted as the top 10 events in NY 2015. Style Fashion Week has also grown alongside of many Designers such as Nancy Vuu; a designer that has become a powerhouse in children’s couture fashion also being featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and now household name Control Sector – a streetwear collection.

Photography by Ken Alcazar

New additions to the Style Family this season in New York were ClubWear, Anjé, and UWI Twins - All lines that bring distinctive qualities of their own; ClubWear is an athleisure collection that takes you from the golf course to the Ritz in style. In addition, to ClubWear was Anjé, a brand that has been described as Victoria Beckham’s new found Love, as well as UWI Twins who were highlighted in Forbes as a true inspiration. With the rapid success of the Style team, it is slowly beginning to conquer the fashion world one season, and city at a time. Following LA, the team will be packing up and heading to Dubai for another fashion packed event as they continue to set up Cairo for March of next year. It’s no doubt that Style Fashion Week is the premier event that combines all the excitement of the runway with glamorous local allure. This upcoming season, the Style team invite you to come to LA Style Fashion Week from Oct. 14 - 18 to experience everything for yourself and be inspired. Stay tuned onwww.stylefashionweek. com for updates with fashion from around the world and become part of something amazing. For more of the hottest updates in fashion follow Style Fashion Week on Twitter @Stylefw or stayed tuned on stylefashionweek.com. ■


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Malan Breton malanbreton.com 121


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Crisber’y

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Anje’ anjeclothing.com

ST YLE FASHIO N WEEK

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ST YLE FASHION WEEK

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Quynh Paris quynhparis.com FALL 2015

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ST YLE FASHION WEEK

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Anthony Rubio anthonyrubiodesigns.com 125


Travel the World

From British Columbia to Croatia discover your inner explorer with these travel spots we suggest you add to your bucket list ASAP.

Hatley Castle and Grounds, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 126 FALL 2015 LA TRAVEL


Pulau Ubin Jejawi Tower, National Parks Board, Singapore

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Coron, Busuanga island, Palawan Province, Philippines. 128 FALL 2015 LA TRAVEL


Ancient Roman Amphitheater, Pula, Istria, Croatia

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Get Inspired

“You can pack for every occassion, but a good friend will always be the best thing you could bring!” 130

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Los Angeles Travel Magazine Fall-Holiday Issue 2015  
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