5 CALI GETAWAYS TO TAKE BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER

(The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay)

(The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay)

Are you looking to have one more fabulous getaway before the end of summer? With less than a month of official summertime left, I've made my list of Top 5 California resorts to ensure a grand finale to your 2015 summer season. Let's go!

1. POST RANCH INN, BIG SUR.  

High atop the cliffs of Big Sur, the 39-room resort is surrounded by incredible mountain and ocean views. The rustic-luxury hotel offers a world-renowned restaurant, an infinity pool, spa and plenty of romance. So much romance that the resort has an 18 and up age requirement. And don't forget to stop by the amazing Big Sur Bakery while you're in the area!

 

2. THE RITZ CARLTON, HALF MOON BAY

Set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is located 23 miles north of San Francisco. The resort was completely renovated and refurbished in March of this year, with rooms decorated in cool blue and grey tones, to match its oceanic surroundings. The resort features two championship golf courses, so bring your clubs.

 

3. SAN YSIDRO RANCH, MONTECITO

Rated by Forbes as the #1 Hotel in America, San Ysidro Ranch is nestled in the Montecito Foothills of Southern California's wine country. The ranch occupies 500 acres of coastal landscape, just a few miles from downtown Santa Barbara. Their private cottages are individually and uniquely decorated, all including fireplaces or stoves. Their property also includes 17 miles of active hiking trails, a hillside pool and sumptuous gardens. I also hear that their extensive and impressive wine list is a BOOK to behold. 

 

4. MONTAGE, LAGUNA

Located on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific, the 30 acre beach resort is located in the heart of Laguna Beach. The resort features 248 Craftsman style rooms, all featuring ocean views. The hotel is also home to three restaurants, two pools and a renowned spa. If you are looking for the quintessential California beach resort, this is the place.

 

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5. CALISTOGA RANCH, CALISTOGA

Located in a secluded Upper Napa Valley canyon, on 157 oak lined acres, Calistoga Ranch is a luxury retreat completely engulfed in nature. The Ranch's culinary team sources only the finest organic ingredients to create seasonal dishes to reflect the area. The resort offers wellness classes, such as yoga and Tai Chi. Check out their chicken coop and bocce court on the way to their indoor/outdoor spa.

Now I want to go on vacay too!!! xx

WESTLAKE'S CINEPOLIS

A couple of years ago, my friend Marissa introduced me to Westlake's luxury movie theater, Cinepolis. At the time I was pregnant and sitting in a regular theater seat had become pretty unbearable. Cinepolis was a game-changer. Decked out in plush leather seating that reclines, essentially into a bed, you can enjoy all of the current movies in total relaxation. I also love that that seats are broken up into singles and doubles, so no one will encroach on your date night again! At Cinepolis, I hardly notice the other guests.

Meet friends for a cocktail or snack before the movie or just order in the theater - they serve all kinds of food, snacks and drinks (including cocktails and wine) while you enjoy your film. If you are willing to make the drive, it is a movie-watching experience that will trump all others (I still love you too, Arclight.)

Double-date night seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, with our good pals Brandon and Rachelle.

Double-date night seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, with our good pals Brandon and Rachelle.

Nice and roomy. Stretch out and relax. Push the service button in your center console and their friendly wait staff will appear to take your order.

A glass of cold white wine appears as we watch previews. Pssst! There's a Sprinkles Cupcakes and Ice Cream next door. I got me some to-go for the perfect movie-watching treat. But don't tell them I told you that! ;) xx

Cinepolis is located at:

180 Promenade Way, Westlake, CA, 91362

Check their website for other Southern California locations.

 

THE PERFECT PAIR: GORGEOUS CHAIR TWOSOMES

Chairs:  One Kings Lane  (vintage),   Knoll Saarenin Side Table:  Design Within Reach , Pillows:  John Robshaw , Persian Rug: Vintage, Sheepskin Throws:  Pottery Barn , Artwork:  Beau Patrick Coulon , Bad Photography: Me! 

Chairs: One Kings Lane (vintage), Knoll Saarenin Side Table: Design Within Reach, Pillows: John Robshaw, Persian Rug: Vintage, Sheepskin Throws: Pottery Barn, Artwork: Beau Patrick Coulon, Bad Photography: Me! 

Recently my family and I moved into a new house and the black, mid-century head-of-dining table armchairs no longer worked in the new space. So I was inspired to create a great little conversation nook with my two lovely vintage chairs. This had me on the lookout for the most gorgeous, interesting and special pairs of chairs. Here are some of my favorites. If only I could have ten homes...

Theory's Andrew Rosen and designer Jenny Dyer's NYC Duplex via  Elle Decor

Theory's Andrew Rosen and designer Jenny Dyer's NYC Duplex via Elle Decor

La Maison Hotel, Champs Elysees, Paris  - Gilded Lounge Suite. Image Via  Viacomit.net

La Maison Hotel, Champs Elysees, Paris - Gilded Lounge Suite. Image Via Viacomit.net

Image via  Domaine Home

Image via Domaine Home

A foyer in South Kent, CT. Photo By:  Wayne Eastep

A foyer in South Kent, CT. Photo By: Wayne Eastep

Patent Leather Louis Chairs via Pinterest.

Patent Leather Louis Chairs via Pinterest.

A Richmond, Virginia home via  Veranda

A Richmond, Virginia home via Veranda

Rita Hazan's NYC apartment, designed by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent via  Domino

Rita Hazan's NYC apartment, designed by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent via Domino

Image via  Lonny Magazine

Image via Lonny Magazine

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Image via  April and May

Image via April and May

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr


A DAY AT HOTEL BEL-AIR

Every once in a while I find myself in the mood for a day of relaxation at Hotel Bel-Air -- one of the most beautiful and romantic hideaways in LA. The hotel also holds a special place in my heart because my husband proposed to me there, on Valentine's Day, many moons ago. I like to indulge in a long, leisurely (cocktail-filled) lunch on the beautiful patio of WOLFGANG PUCK, and a massage at the Spa by La Prairie. It's kind of a mini vacation without having to leave town, but at the end I feel like I have really lived it up and I'm refreshed.

Driving through the gates of Bel-Air and up to the hotel is relaxing in itself. 

Walking the lush grounds of the hotel.

A breathtaking view of the famous swans and pond.

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An orange tree, surrounded by hydrangea greets you at the reception area.

The lobby, decorated in creams, brown leather and black accents, is cozy and perfect for conversation, next to the glass and stone-encased fireplace.

Just outside of the lobby, a walkway lined with greenery and terra-cotta, leads you to the restaurant.

Quick shot of the ladies room, covered in black flowers.

WOLFGANG PUCK at Hotel Bel-Air serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. And some seriously delicious cocktails.

The outdoor terrace of the restaurant has the perfect luxurious, but relaxed, California vibe.

A tip from me to you: request one of the back circular booths in its own private cove. You will feel completely away from it all as you are seated just next to the beautiful gardens.

Warm, house-made breads. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold: Pepino's Revenge. I may not love another drink more. It's special. Really REALLY special. A signature Wolfgang Puck cocktail, made with Japanese cucumber, basil, silver tequila and fresh lime. It is TO DIE FOR and I dream about it on an almost daily basis. I will be honest with you, this is the reason I come here. 'Nuff said.

Clockwise from top left: A Bun-less Burger and Fries (no bun = more cocktails), The Hotel Bel-Air Original "Nancy Reagan" Chopped Salad, a Falafel Pita Sandwhich and a Club Sandwich.

An array of decadent and delicious desserts.

Enjoying more of the hotel's beauty on a peaceful post-lunch stroll.

Vine-covered walls and more lovely landscaping surrounds the stone path to the spa.

The minimalist decor and blonde floors set a tranquil tone as you enter the spa's facilities.

A luxurious, modern look inside the newly renovated spa.

Couldn't be happier to be in this soft and cozy robe, ready to embark on my massage. I may just need one more Pepino's Revenge before I go home...