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Mar
22

I love love love the new Beauty and the Beast movie. One of the best parts, of course, is the Beast’s library, so I wrote “Belle Would Be Enchanted by These 10 Lovely Libraries in Hotels” for USA Today 10Best.

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april is pixie tangerine month at the oaks at ojai!

Oaks at Ojai Pixie Tangerine Month

Not that you need another reason to visit the iconic Oaks at Ojai but April is Pixie Tangerine Month and that just sweetens the deal.

So, when I was invited to spend a couple of days at the spa, I booked myself a ticket on Amtrak and headed north. [Read more…]

chef alex pasco redefines spa food at mii amo

Mii amo fig

My daughter and I were invited to spend a few days at Mii Amo at Enchantment Resort in Sedona last summer, where we indulged in simply luxurious treatments at Mii amo Spa and luxuriously simple meals by Chef Alex Pasco at Mii amo Cafe.

We were expecting healthy but boring food — it’s a spa cafe, after all — but we were so blown away by the fresh ingredients, delightful tastes and unique combinations, we ended up eating almost every meal there.

In fact, we were in such a blissful state, we decided to have a little chat with Chef Alex.

In our robes, of course. [Read more…]

karma relaxation spa lives up to its name

Karma Relaxation Spa

There’s nothing more fun than introducing you all to great new places I’ve discovered — and then having you experience them yourselves. Because I don’t want to steer you wrong, I won’t write about something without trying it myself first. So, last week, I took a couple of hours out of my busy schedule to diligently check out the brand new Karma Relaxation Spa in Carlsbad.

Ha ha! This is why I love my job. [Read more…]

nature’s spa by jurlique at kimpton’s hotel palomar

Hotel Palomar feet

You know how much I love Kimpton Hotels, and you know how much I love massages.

So, when I was offered a chance to experience a massage at the new Nature’s Spa by Jurlique in the Hotel Palomar, well, there I am, above, patiently waiting in the relaxation room.

And, let me tell you, they’re not joking by calling it that. [Read more…]

my buick bucket list trip: gaylord opryland, part 2

Opryland view from balcony

After a very filling night, we woke up to this view from the balcony of our Gaylord Opryland hotel room. [Read more…]

the claremont hotel club and spaaaaaaa

Claremont Hotel seats

Don’t you just want to settle into one of these chairs?

Some travel destinations are, apparently, meant to be. For me, recently, it was the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa.

My daughter had to be in Berkeley a couple of weekends ago and I offered to drive up the coast with her so we could have a mother-daughter road trip and also spend some time with my sister and her family, who live in Northern California. I invited my sister for a spa day to celebrate her new Master’s degree (yay, Sheila!) and asked her to choose a place.

She immediately texted that she had always wanted to try the Claremont. I told her I’d look into it and – voila! What shows up in my inbox an hour later? A press release from the Claremont about their new Beat the Heat summer package! A sign? I mean, seriously, what are the chances?

Sara and I checked into the hotel, which has a beautiful, old-world charm that makes it feel like you’re back at one of those seaside resorts from the golden age of travel. But with wi-fi. [Read more…]

best of scottsdale, day 5: glass, gardens and the hyatt regency at gainey ranch

Hotel Valley Ho sign

Look what happens when you add “me” to the end of that sign …

On our last day in Scottsdale, we woke up early so we could spend some time with my friends, Julie Lemerond and Priscilla Nelson, who I had met on my Oprah adventure. Priscilla is an amazing artist and Julie is a yoga teacher extraordinaire. [Read more…]

best of scottsdale, day 4: music, massage, mexican food and, uh, michael

Hotel Valley Ho

Let me try to explain how we felt about the Hotel Valley Ho.

On Saturday morning, we were planning to visit Singh Farms’ farmer’s market, which we had read gushing reviews about on Yelp. It’s supposed to be lush and gorgeous and filled with fresh, farm-grown treats. I say “supposed to be” because, unfortunately, we never got to see it in person.

You see, Michael refused to leave the room.  [Read more…]

best of scottsdale, day 3: hotel valley ho and a taste of old town

bar stool

I’m hoping my butt doesn’t end up looking like this bar stool at the Rusty Spur by the time we finish eating our way through Scottsdale.

Michael and I love to eat.

Ha ha! Like that’s news to anyone! [Read more…]

the best of scottsdale, day one: the phoenician

Phoenician Oasis

No wonder I feel so at home at the Phoenician!

I’ve had a love affair with Scottsdale for years. Michael played in the Pro-Am there when it was called the FBR Invitational, and my mom, sister and I have celebrated six annual birthday weekends basking at Scottsdale spas.

So this year, when I was trying to figure out what to do for Michael’s 57th birthday – which is today! Happy birthday, honey! – I thought, “Scottsdale!” It’s less than an hour and half flight on Southwest, there’s so much to do there and it’s one of the few places in the country that isn’t snowed in right now. [Read more…]