Viewing entries in
LA Getaway

An Immersive Guest Experience at the Kimpton Everly in Hollywood

Comment

An Immersive Guest Experience at the Kimpton Everly in Hollywood

As a frequent traveler, a hotel is so much more than just a place to rest your head at night. For many of us, it is the entry point into our destination; it sets the stage for what we’re about to experience, discover, and remember. I love when hotels that go above and beyond into making sure every aspect of the experience reflects the location and vibe, whether through hand-selected magazines, featuring local artists, or architecture that highlights a special view or landmark. And when a hotel pushes the boundaries of what a guest experience can/should be…that just adds to the excitement.

Last week, I had the opportunity to experience The Kimpton’s latest experiential concept, Room 301 at the Kimpton Everly. Only available until the end of November 2018, guests who choose to experience Room 301 (with perfectly framed views of the Hollywood Hills and photo-friendly pops of pink) will engage in interactive experiences that are designed to explore what makes us uniquely human.

Through immersive experiences like creating a shared playlist, answering thought-provoking questions in a “guestbook 2.0”, or partaking in a confessional wall, guests are encouraged to interact with each other metaphorically as they flow through the space at different times, taking some of the anonymity out of typical hotel stays. A super fun element is the Mystery Vice, where you can bring the provided card downstairs, with your biggest “vice” revealed, and Ever Bar’s bartender will create a custom cocktail accordingly.

To top it all off, a portion of proceeds from each stay will go to the guest’s choice of The Trevor Project or No Kid Hungry. As another part of the experiment, guests will receive a certificate for 10,000 IHG® Rewards Club points which can either be kept or paid forward to anyone they choose, further exploring how we make an impact on others and why we make the decisions we do.

Available dates can be checked by emailing StayHuman@KimptonGroup.com.

Kimpton Everly | 1800 Argyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 | (213) 279-3532

Room301_KimptonEverly_NatashaLee

Did you book an experience in Room 301? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Comment

24 Hours in Solvang, California: Where To Stay, Eat, and Wine in This Charming Danish Town

3 Comments

24 Hours in Solvang, California: Where To Stay, Eat, and Wine in This Charming Danish Town

Dusk: Arrival at The Landsby


Sometimes, a speedy jaunt out of town is exactly what your system needs. A brief absence to to recharge, to rejuvenate...One of the best parts about living in Los Angeles is the many possibilities for weekend trips reachable by car.

On a sunny summer Friday, we did just that. Threw a weekend bag into the car and hopped onto the 101. Having made several trips to Santa Ynez already, we didn't feel the need to pack the itinerary with an exhausting amount of to-dos. This particular trip was more about breathing in some fresh country air and returning to Los Angeles rested and renewed. 

After some agonizingly patchy traffic up the 101, we found solace at an awesome boutique hotel, The Landsby, right around dusk. It was a relief to step into the mid-century styled lobby, retrieve our room key and flop onto the luscious king-sized bed. 

 Dusk arrival in Solvang.

Dusk arrival in Solvang.

 First things first, a drink at the lobby bar at The Landsby.

First things first, a drink at the lobby bar at The Landsby.

 Clean and minimal design in the rooms at The Landsby.

Clean and minimal design in the rooms at The Landsby.

Dinner at Mad & Vin Restaurant was one of the best food decisions we made during the trip. We ordered the short rib skillet, the seafood hot pot, and sampled a few local pinots with our entrees. It was the perfect balance of California-inspired cuisine - homey and delicious, bursting with an array of balanced flavors that didn't feel pretentious or "trying too hard". 

DestinationEnvy-Solvang-California-TheLandsby
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-TheLandsby-9146
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-TheLandsby-9148

The following morning, breakfast was served in the main dining room, a striking light-filled space with a side patio. Continental style juice and muffins were available for the taking, and protein options could be made to order from the menu. It was a lively scene that ranged from families to new couples on their first LA getaway. 

 Continental breakfast options available as part of our stay.

Continental breakfast options available as part of our stay.

 The light-filled space transforms into a moody dining room in the evening.

The light-filled space transforms into a moody dining room in the evening.

 Love the Scandinavian details and the contrast of light and shadow in the late morning. 

Love the Scandinavian details and the contrast of light and shadow in the late morning. 

 The patio is just as well-thought out as the interior. 

The patio is just as well-thought out as the interior. 

Needless to say, we were not in a hurry to leave. After breakfast, we lingered in the lobby that felt more like a well-designed (yet cozy) living room. We admired all of the thoughtful design accents, from the knickknacks on the wall shelving, the hanging succulents, to the Scandinavian bird sculptures by the window. 

DestinationEnvy-Solvang-TheLandsby-9161
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-TheLandsby-9163
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-TheLandsby-9165

Alas, it was then time to check out so we brought ourselves upstairs to pack up and venture into downtown Solvang. 

The Landsby: 1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463 | @thelandsby


10am-Noon: Stroll around downtown Solvang

Founded in 1911, Solvang means "sunny field", and while it is no longer much of a 'field', the sunny description remains. Originally established as a town for Danish immigrants, its unique history, authentic architecture, and prime location (not to mention gorgeous weather) in the fertile Santa Ynez Valley has turned it into an enticing destination for eating, wine tasting, and shopping. 

 The quaint streets of downtown Solvang, California.

The quaint streets of downtown Solvang, California.

Our first stop was Copenhagen House, a haven of Scandinavian-designed home goods, beauty products, and accessories. It is located on Copenhagen Drive, which was originally Solvang's Main Street back in the early 1900s when Danish settlers began establishing businesses in this little town away from home. 

With all of the Danish sweets to partake in around town, it can get a bit overwhelming. The family-owned Mortensen's Danish Bakery is a must-stop for traditional pastries. Optional is the Old Danish Fudge Kitchen with heaps of fudge sold by the pound alongside of cotton candy and caramel apples. However, the Aebleskiver, translated as "pancake balls" is not to be missed. It is popular as a Christmas dessert in Denmark but eaten year round in California. Usually a line forms pretty quickly in front of this small window at Solvang Restaurant. 

After sufficiently walking off the sweets and exploring the cobblestone corridors, make your way to a vineyard to lull away the rest of the afternoon away before heading back to Los Angeles

 Get in line early for this in-demand Danish delicacy.

Get in line early for this in-demand Danish delicacy.

 The famous aebleskiver from Solvang Restaurant, topped with a generous heaping of powdered sugar.

The famous aebleskiver from Solvang Restaurant, topped with a generous heaping of powdered sugar.

 One of the signature Solvang landmarks. 

One of the signature Solvang landmarks. 

 Indulge your sweet tooth at Mortensen's Danish Bakery.

Indulge your sweet tooth at Mortensen's Danish Bakery.

Solvang Restaurant: 1672 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA 93463

Mortensen's Danish Bakery: 1588 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 9346

Old Danish Fudge Kitchen: 441 Alisal Rd, Solvang, CA 93463

Copenhagen House: 1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA 93463


1pm - dusk: Rusack Vineyards

DestinationEnvy-Solvang-RusackVineyard-9620

It wouldn't quite be fair to say we saved the best for last, but after a restful night at The Landsby and a languid stroll through downtown Solvang, it doesn't get any better than a crisp bottle of sauvignon blanc enjoyed in the open air at Rusack Vineyards. With ample patio seating as well as space to sprawl on the lawn, the warm and friendly atmosphere is perfect for families, groups, or couples. We brought our go-to picnic blanket and spread our charcuterie out on the lawn, sipping our wine with views of the vineyard it came from right in front of us. 

DestinationEnvy-Solvang-RusackVineyard-9623.jpg
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-RusackVineyard-9593

It was the perfect end to a brief yet relaxing trip before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. 

DestinationEnvy-Solvang-RusackVineyard-9644
DestinationEnvy-Solvang-RusackVineyard-9644

Rusack Vineyards: 1819 Ballard Canyon Rd, Solvang, CA 93463 | @rusackvineyards

3 Comments

A Slice of Malibu History

Comment

A Slice of Malibu History

Built in 1929, the Adamson House in Malibu is easily overlooked while driving on the famed Pacific Coast Highway but is definitely worth a visit whether you're a local or a tourist. Gems like this reignite my gratitude for living in Los Angeles - even after a decade here, there hasn't been a shortage of places old and new to discover. 

 The Spanish Colonial Revival style was embraced by Californians after WWI.

The Spanish Colonial Revival style was embraced by Californians after WWI.

Commissioned by Rhonda and Merritt Adamson and built by architect Stiles O. Clements, the Andalusian-inspired house took just about 18 months to complete. Each of the 5 bedrooms has an enviable ocean view. One of the most striking details of the house are all of the hand-painted tiles from the now defunct Malibu Potteries, still remembered for their secret glazes and authentic designs of Moroccan and Mayan tiles, among other styles. 

DE_AdamsonHouse_Malibu-1116.jpg
 The Adamson House sits just in front of famed Surfrider Beach.

The Adamson House sits just in front of famed Surfrider Beach.

Despite staying incredibly busy with their businesses and hobbies, including the creation of Malibu Potteries and running a working cattle and grain-raising ranch with their own railway line to ship supplies in and out, the Adamsons enjoyed leisurely family gatherings on their Malibu property which included a courtyard barbecue area, pool, sycamore lawn, and patio. 

 The pointed arch window, indicative of the Spanish Colonial style favored by the Adamsons looks out to the Pacific Ocean. 

The pointed arch window, indicative of the Spanish Colonial style favored by the Adamsons looks out to the Pacific Ocean. 

 View of Malibu Pier from the 2nd floor balcony.

View of Malibu Pier from the 2nd floor balcony.

The house was purchased by the State of California in 1968 and preserved by the Malibu Historical Society. In 1983, the house opened to the public as a museum. 

The house is at 23200 PCH and is open for visits from Wednesday to Saturday, from 11am-3pm (last tour starting at 2pm). Parking can be found along Pacific Coast Highway or nearby beach lots. 

A post-tour lunch stop at Malibu Seafood or Malibu Farm is highly recommended!

 

Comment

Escape to Miracle Manor

Comment

Escape to Miracle Manor

For Angelenos, the familiar sight of spinning turbines on the 10 East are a visual indicator that city life is behind us (for a time at least) and a promising desert sojourn is right around the corner. Driving to Miracle Manor Retreat for the 3rd year in a row this October, I felt a lightness wash over me as I watched the turbines whisk from my passenger window and into the rearview.

While there are many reasons to for a desert getaway, this particular trip was for rest and relaxation in Desert Hot Springs after a few whirlwind months of shooting and editing. A few miles north of the mid-century splendor of it’s glitzy sibling, Palm Springs, DHS is a gem for those looking to relax and rejuvenate in its healing mineral waters and wide expanse of mountainscapes. 

Arriving at Miracle Manor is a low-key affair, much like a stay there. We checked in on Thursday afternoon and had our pick of parking spaces. After getting our room key, we were left to unpack and unwind. 

  Sustainable & recycled construction materials in use.

Sustainable & recycled construction materials in use.

  Desert plant landscaping conserve water. 

Desert plant landscaping conserve water. 

  Life revolves around the mineral pool.

Life revolves around the mineral pool.

  Nooks to relax, write, and read.

Nooks to relax, write, and read.

The hot mineral water in the designated “Spa Zone” of Desert Hot Springs is coveted for its many healing properties. As my favorite yoga instructor Sara Ivanhoe says, “Yoga is not something you do, it’s something you are.” So is Miracle Manor. It’s not a fancy place to go and plan excursions around - it’s a place to simply be. A place to feel stillness, absorb the dry desert air, a place soak away any tensions from life in LA (or anywhere else). Surround yourself in the healing elements of nature - the effervescent mineral water, the open landscape, the mountain peaks in the near distance. Rise and rest to the rhythm of the sun. 

 First things first - diving into the warm mineral pool.  Basta Surf  bikini top.  Brazilian cut bottoms . 

First things first - diving into the warm mineral pool. Basta Surf bikini top. Brazilian cut bottoms

In the welcome packet in each room, there is a mineral analysis of the hot water, which I find both fascinating and comforting. 

Silica 021.50; Iron oxide trace; Calcium 045.10; Aluminum oxide trace; Magnesium 005.10; Sodium 268.60; Sulfate 493.60; Chloride 120.50; Biocarbonate 129.00; Fluoride 005.30; Hydrogen ion activity 008.30.

For a deeper dive into a relaxed state, a selected array of massage, ayurvedic treatments, cupping, and acupressure are offered. 

 Each room has a mini outdoor seating area.

Each room has a mini outdoor seating area.

 Side table perfect for books, wine, or tea, depending on the time of day.

Side table perfect for books, wine, or tea, depending on the time of day.

Breakfast is included in the main room between 7am and 10am. On a weekend morning, it's a fun opportunity to chat with some of the other guests. The vibe at Miracle Manor is one of serenity - everyone staying is respectful and considerate of each other and the space we're all occupying.  Personally, I relish mornings of silence and reflection so I like to take my tea to the green patio chairs just outside each room and curl up with robes provided, reading, journaling, or just observing.

 Flower detail next to the check-in table in the main room.

Flower detail next to the check-in table in the main room.

 Breakfast area - toast, bagels, tea, and coffee available in the morning.

Breakfast area - toast, bagels, tea, and coffee available in the morning.

 Spend your days alternating between reading, writing, swimming, napping. Backpack:  Everlane

Spend your days alternating between reading, writing, swimming, napping. Backpack: Everlane

 Entrance detail.

Entrance detail.

 Bedside decor.

Bedside decor.

Besides a few bikinis (or one pieces), not much is needed here. I brought a pair of slip ons, a straw hat, and a breezy white dress purchased in Bali that can easily double as a cover-up. Being in the desert, the temperature does drop at night, which is where an all-purpose chambray shirt comes in handy. 

Sustainability is a major priority at Miracle Manor. We can't get enough of the soft and cozy organic cotton bed linens. The amenities include Rosemary Mint shampoo and lotion and a divine smelling sage soap. Landscaping with desert plants conserve water use and the gardens are watered with pool overflow. It feels incredibly restorative to be in a place that is so loving and considerate of Mother Earth.

 Organic cotton sheets on the bed.

Organic cotton sheets on the bed.

 Slip ons are perfect for going in and out. Shoes:  DV

Slip ons are perfect for going in and out. Shoes: DV

  Straw hat ,  chambray shirt , white dress.

Straw hat, chambray shirt, white dress.

 Heading to the sun loungers. 

Heading to the sun loungers. 

 Travel reads - NYT Magazine.

Travel reads - NYT Magazine.

 Unobstructed mountain views from the pool area.

Unobstructed mountain views from the pool area.

 Watch a magnificent sunset wash over the mountain.

Watch a magnificent sunset wash over the mountain.

 The pool is open 24/7 - there's nothing like a night time swim under the stars.

The pool is open 24/7 - there's nothing like a night time swim under the stars.

Destination tips:

- We love it there on weekdays - almost like one's own private retreat.

- Pack enough food, snacks, and liquids in case you decide not to venture into town. All the rooms have a refrigerator and selected rooms have a kitchen. 

- A yoga mat is a nice addition if you want to do sun salutes on the elevated patio facing the mountain as the sun rises over it. 

 

Comment