A Birthday Celebration at La Quinta Resort And Spa Fit for a Diva

That’s the Diva at Morgan’s at La Quinta Resort &Spa  holding up a new, spiffy backpack purse her husband gave her for her birthday. It was just one of many treats.

Seems like going to the Desert for my birthday has become a tradition. Last year I spent it with Richard (herefore mentioned husband) at Morongo. And that was great,too.Breakfast on the balcony.

La Quinta sets off a magical charm when you enter the Spanish-style lobby to register, everybody’s so nice, the atmosphere so relaxed and you feel more like you out of the country than just a 2 hour drive away from Los Angeles.That’s a view from the Freeway.

I just posted the whole article, save for a review of Morgan’s–the resorts fine dining restaurant, which is worth the drive from LA just for dinner–on my examiner.com site, plesase check it out:  http://www.examiner.com/x-23074-LA-Insider-Travel-Examiner 

I’ll give you a few highlights:(The decades old resort has nearly 800 guest rooms of various sizes and shapes, all with flat screens, fireplaces, some balconies,some patios, some private pools and Jacuzzis, all charming and comfortable and priced from $199 in season to a $5,000 for the top suite).

What’s to Like:

Bedding down in our Starlight Casita (the maids made a special welcome swan out of towels) with a balcony providing magical mountain views and privacy for relaxing or enjoying room service breakfast. Great fritatas and perfect scrambled eggs.

Dinner in Twenty6 (delicious salmon), massage (Jeremy went deep) and steam at the charming,  23,000 square foot Spa; working out in the Diva-approved fitness center (has all the right stuff).

Swimming in the clean, warm pool that’s just a few steps down stairs from our bedroom. Took a photo but it got deleted, bummer. But trust me, the pools are great.

Dinner at Morgan’s

Transcendental atmosphere framed by snow-capped mountains, fertile with grapefruit trees, stately palms, plants, flowers with musical accompaniment of chirping birds.

Lots of action with locals flocking for drinks and/or dinner. Lots of hotel guests, energy, yet plenty of privacy.

The nice people at the resort.

Dislikes: the $27 resort fee; the $25 entry fee for the Spa if you’re not getting a treatment; the chintzy towels provided in the room for use at the pool. Need big,fluffy ones.

Factoids: Once a maven for movie stars and moguls from Frank Capra to Greta Garbo, La Quinta Resort & Spa provides the perfect escape from LA, or out of town. You can fly into Palm Springs Regional Airport, to LAX or drive (go to www.google.com for map from your area).

Location: 49-499 Eisenhower Drive,La Quinta, CA. 800-59-3828, www.laqunitaresort.com

I’ll be reviewing Morgan’s at www.thediningdiva.wordpress.com and at my examiner.com site, because it’s too good to share space with.

Let’s Raise a Toast to Ol’ Blue Eyes at the Rivieria Resort & Spa

In a fitting tribute to Palm Spring’s favorite son, Frank Sinatra,

Photo courtesy of www.bing.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.bing.com

  The  Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs  is featuring  favorite cocktails of  Ol’  Blue Eye’s and his pack beginning on the 14th of March. 
 

 Little known fact:   Frank Sinatra signaled the start of cocktail hour by raising a flag pole, situated between two palms on his Palm Springs Estate. Once the flag was up the rat pack knew it was time to party.

 In honor the Ol’ Blue Eyes’ ritual, the Rivieria Resort & Spa, in Palm Springs, continues  the tradition with daily happy hour specials at the Bikini Bar with innovative cocktails along with a class Jack Daniel’s cocktail.  The hotel is also ringing in the tippling hour with Sunday specials at sidebar and live entertainment from the Art of Sax on Sundays, with mixologists concocting adult drinks like the Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Cherry Polka Dot Bikini (Grey Goose, Le Citron Vodka, Bacardi Cherry rum and lemonade. Also on the menu. The Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr’s favorite  Rum Daiquiri (Bacardi blended with mango, strawberry, peach or lime; and Sinatra’s favorite Jack Daniel’s Single
Barrel Whiskey cut with water over ice, poured in an old-fashioned glass.

Bikini Bar’s open for Happy Hour from 5 to 6 PM. 

Live Entertainment from Art of Sax:   Sundays, 5 to 9 p.m.

Sidebar Small Plate Special:  Sundays, 5 to 7 p.m.

 Riviera Resort & Spa, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, (760) 327-8311, www.psriviera.com

 

 

Diva Discovers Diva-delightful 2 for 1 Deal at Four Seasons Westlake Village

Your Diva On the Go just had to check out the Double the Fun special at the Four Seasons Westlake Village Hotel. I mean spa treatments, dinner and assorted services  for two people for the price of one.

How could I resist. The spa offering was enough to get me packing my bags.

I mean this is one of  the prestigious Four Seasons chains, a swank property with a world class spa and diva-delights galore. A hotel where even Internet discounted room rates start at $239 a day for “moderate” accommodations and rise to $429 for a Premier spread.

The ongoing “Double the Fun” promotion works like this: one person books spa treatments, the second person gets the same treatments FREE. The two of you go to dinner, one meal is complimentary (excluding alcohol or gratuities). Whatever service you pay for is free for the other guy or gal–quite the recession buster.

We opted for a superior king which is $250 a day on Friday and Saturday and $339 during the week, which, on this promotion amounted to $125 daily. 

We also booked “Therapist Choice” massages that would normally cost $145 a person and amounted to half that.  The 40,000 square foot spa at the hotel is a-one and so are the therapists. Mine was Lora who despite her diminutive size managed to pummel and pamper me to my taste for a deep massage–ditto for Richard’s masseuse, Mae.

“Organic Protection Facials”, normally $165 a pop, cost that for both of us, as did any salon or spa service we opted to book.

Spa facilities include steam, Jacuzzi, amenities, fluffy robes, lockers, showers, and gorgeous relaxation lounges stocked with assorted beverages and fruit. There’s also an indoor pool nearby and a top notch fitness center with all the latest equipment.

We managed to rack up about a $120 tab in the Asian Restaurant, ONYX, which was reduced to $60 since one of us got to eat “free.”

The 270-room Four Seasons provided a welcome addition to the burgeoning Westlake Village area when it opened four years. Nestled near the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains it rests roughly 35 miles northwest of LAX and about 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

Don’t let the rather drab exterior deceive you, once you get past the entrance you walk into all the opulence that is Four Seasons—marble, wood,  signature Four Seasons floral arrangements,  fine art and upscale furnishings and appointments.

Its claim to fame is the California Health & Longevity Institute, which sits adjacent to the Spa and offers medical, dietary and life style training and screenings. Many house guests are participants in the program, but you don’t have to stay at the hotel to enroll.

Guest rooms are well put together with the obligatory flat screen TVs, fine linens, coffee makers,  mini-bars, marble bathrooms stocked with plush robes and towels, but not lots of toiletries. There was one bar of soap and one hand lotion on the sink,  a bar of soap on the tub, and a bottle of shampoo, condition and body  wash in the shower.

In addition to the Asian restaurant, the hotel hosts Hamptons, a fine dining experience offering healthy gourmet cuisine or regular menus. The setting is warm and elegant the food’s usually good and fairly pricy.

I loved the Lobby Restaurant where we had healthy breakfasts. I opted for the tofu scramble; Richard had the buckwheat pancakes, both tasty. We truly appreciated the waitress who obliged our request for strong coffee with just that.  Business people on the go can also take out food  from a little area at the entrance of the Lobby Restaurant that offers assorted whole fruit ($1.50), pastries ($2), granola with yogurt ($6.50), bagels for $2 (add $8 for salmon), fresh juice $6 and espressos or coffee ($3.50).
And if you’ve booked the Double the Fun Deal, you get one free of anything you order.

In addition to the Spa the hotel sports two pools (one indoor, one out).   Gorgeous gardens, on the back grounds, add a transcendental ambiance enhanced by 25,000 varieties of flora, 50-foot high sequoia trees surrounding the waterfalls, boulders imported from the River Kwai and an original Chinese poet’s house pagoda for meditation or special events.

The hotel serves as a pleasant getaway for Angelenos craving a quick escape, especially during the Double the Fun promotion.  Basically there’s no limit to how many spa treatments, meals, etc. you can enjoy for half the price when there are two people participating.

Hard to beat that.

The Four Seasons Westlake Village,  Two Dole Dr., Westlake Village, 818-575-3000, www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage.com.

Four Seasons Westlake Draws The Diva With Double Your Fun Promo

How could I resist a promo like this: two nights at the Four Seasons Westlake Village for the price of one with spa treatments, dinners and certain services thrown in free for the second person in the room..

We’re talking a super deluxe hotel where even Internet discounted room rates start at $239 a day for “moderate” accommodations and rise to $429 for a Premier spread.

The ongoing “Double the Fun” promotion works like this: one person books spa treatments, the second person gets the same treatments FREE. The two of you go to dinner, one meal is complimentary (excluding alcohol or gratuities).Whatever service you pay for is free for the other guy or gal–quite the recession buster.

Not ones to pass up a good deal when we see it, we booked the Double the Fun for the weekend (yes it’s available on weekends since this is a major business traveler facility).

We opted for a superior king which is $250 a day on Friday and Saturday and $339 during the week, which, on this promotion amounted to $125 daily.

We also booked “Therapist Choice” massages that would normally cost $145 a person and amounted to half that. The 40,000 square foot spa at the hotel is a-one and so are the therapists. Mine was Lora who despite her diminutive size managed to pummel and pamper me to my taste for a deep massage–ditto for Richard’s masseuse, Beth.

“Organic Protection Facials”, normally $165 a pop, cost that for both of us, as did any salon or spa service we opted to book.

Spa facilities include steam, Jacuzzi, amenities, fluffy robes, lockers, showers, and gorgeous relaxation lounges stocked with assorted beverages and fruit. There’s also an indoor pool nearby and a top notch fitness center with all the latest equipment.

We managed to rack up about a $120 tab in the Asian Restaurant, ONYX, which was reduced to $60 since one of us got to eat “free.”

The 270-room Four Seasons provided a welcome addition to the burgeoning Westlake Village area when it opened four years. Nestled near the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains it rests roughly 35 miles northwest of LAX and about 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

Don’t let the rather drab exterior deceive you, once you get past the entrance you walk into all the opulence that is Four Seasons—marble, wood, signature Four Seasons floral arrangements, fine art and upscale furnishings and appointments.

Its claim to fame is the California Health & Longevity Institute, which sits adjacent to the Spa and offers medical, dietary and life style training and screenings. Many house guests are participants in the program, but you don’t have to stay at the hotel to enroll.

Guest rooms are well put together with the obligatory flat screen TVs, fine linens, coffee makers, mini-bars, marble bathrooms stocked with plush robes and towels, but not lots of toiletries. There was one bar of soap and one hand lotion on the sink, a bar of soap on the tub, and a bottle of shampoo, condition and body wash in the shower.

In addition to the Asian restaurant, the hotel hosts Hamptons, a fine dining experience offering healthy gourmet cuisine or regular menus. The setting is warm and elegant the food’s usually good and fairly pricy.

I loved the Lobby Restaurant where we had healthy breakfasts. I opted for the tofu scramble; Richard had the buckwheat pancakes, both tasty. We truly appreciated the waitress who obliged our request for strong coffee with just that. Business people on the go can also take out food from a little area at the entrance of the Lobby Restaurant that offers assorted whole fruit ($1.50), pastries ($2), granola with yogurt ($6.50), bagels for $2 (add $8 for salmon), fresh juice $6 and espressos or coffee ($3.50).

And if you’ve booked the Double the Fun Deal, you get one free of anything you order.

In addition to the Spa the hotel sports two pools (one indoor, one out). Gorgeous gardens, on the back grounds, add a transcendental ambiance enhanced by 25,000 varieties of flora, 50-foot high sequoia trees surrounding the waterfalls, boulders imported from the River Kwai and an original Chinese poet’s house pagoda for meditation or special events.

The hotel serves as a pleasant getaway for Angelenos craving a quick escape, especially during the Double the Fun promotion. Basically there’s no limit to how many spa treatments, meals, etc. you can enjoy for half the price when there are two people participating.

Hard to beat that.

The Four Seasons Westlake Village, Two Dole Dr., Westlake Village, 818-575-3000, www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage.com.

Be sure to check out my slide show for an up close and personal look at what the place has to offer.

The Divaonthego Meets Missy Beaver, Kettle Bell Queen

“My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.” –Thoreau

Sun worshippers seriously bronzing bikini-clad bodies lazily eye a group of men, women and children gathered down the beach. A tall, painstakingly buff woman stands before them illustrating a series of exercises with a strange looking object. The hard-bodied instructor swings what looks like a cannon ball with a handle over her head, squats and thrusts as her assembly follows suit. Then everybody tosses their black steel object a few feet away and races through the sand to retrieve it.

Another SoCal day unfolds on the sundrenched shores of Santa Monica- –a 3.5 mile stretch of sandy coastline where dolphins frolic in the sparkling sea, boogie boarders ride the waves, serious swimmers plunge in to the frothy surf, skateboarders ply the strand and if it’s Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, Missy Beaver leads a pack of buff wannabes in rigorous ½ hour Kettle Belle classes.

Yes, I said “Kettle Belles”—the hottest rage in weight training that actually goes back to 16th Century Russia when original strong men used them to train for war and gain mutant strength. Weird, almost scary looking, the steel objects weigh between 18 to 118 pounds and when used properly can trim, tone, reduce cellulite, firm butts, melt fat, and whittle the waistline, according to Missy Beaver, one of handful of elite Nike sponsored athletes certified to use Kettle Bells in the US. Kettle Belles have also taken Hollywood’s body-centric by storm thanks to Missy who trains the casts of Nip Tuck and Grey’s Anatomy as well as Katherine Heigl, Ellen Pompeo, Edward Norton, Patrick Dempsey, Maria Bello and others.

While Missy will make  house and studio calls she prefers  the fresh sea air, wind in her face and soft sand under her feet at her beach front location. “There’s nothing like working out on beach as beautiful as Santa Monica. “It doesn’t get much better than that,” sighed the Indiana native who vacationed there 14 years ago and stayed permanently. The beach environment combined with Missy’s beauty, provides a pleasant diversion during the heavy lifting and hurling of 18 to 53 pound objects—a feat the impossibly fit 5’7” blond haired, green eyed bombshell—with her million dollar smile– does with the aplomb of someone picking up a feather.

 Tirelessly active the Belle of Santa Monica Beach swims, plays basketball, plays golf, boxes and body surfs but credits her rock solid body to Kettle Belle workouts.

 For a fun, painless (okay Missy confessed it will hurt for the first couple of days) shape up routine in a spectacular oceanfront setting—just show up at Santa Monica Beach—on the grassy area at the intersection of Ocean and the o Strand– at 5 PM on Wednesday or 9:30 AM on Sunday any day of the year. Your first visit is free and then $25 a session there after. And if Missy (Melissa) Beaver is an example, after just a few workouts, no one will ever kick sand in your face. Check her out a www.misfitla.com .

The Montage Beverly Hills Lays out the Red Carpet During Oscar Week

As happens each year at this time, the  Montage Beverly Hills is spreding the proverbial  red carpet for celebrity out-of-towners who stay there during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. 

Of course ordinary mortals  who happen to be caught up in the cross hairs,  and are lucky enough to score a room there during Hollywood’s biggest, most hyped, ginormous week,  can  also enjoy such luxuries as: Services of the “Bow Tie Butler” who does exactly what it sounds like, helps gentlemen tie their ties. Everyone gets personalized note cards; a monogrammed director’s chair in their room to use while preening; and to relieve stress, the spa’s open longer for facials, massages and body pampering (at additional fees). FYI: I’ve had, hands-on, some of the best facials and massages at this facility.

 The spa is gorgeous and the treatment menu creative with salubrious selections such as:

 “Essential Waters” — that starts with hydrotherapy bath infused with essential oils of neroli, bergamot and sandalwood coupled with underwater massage serves as the relaxing prelude to a soothing, long stroke, warm-oil massage,  ending  with exfoliation and a revitalizing Vichy rain shower. “Montage Anti-aging Facial” — that combines an antioxidant serum with a firming and contouring facial massage and a marine mask to firm and lift. “Body sculpting” –Mineral-enriched mud is combined with a contouring and lifting connective tissue massage, followed by a cool mud compress, to encourage the removal of cellular wastes and improve the skin’s appearance. ·

Seamstresses and laundresses trained in the care of fine fabrics are in-house to attend to any last-minute alterations or garment pressing requirements.

· Hair styling and coloring appointments are available at the onsite Kim Vo Salon and the in-house barber shop, Gornik & Drucker, who have been ministering to the famous and infamous since 1936.

 · Complimentary shoe shines by butlers certified by world-famous bespoke shoemaker John Lobb. · The valet department staffs two distinct arrival areas to ensure additional privacy for guests.

· An ever-alert security department  to keep the paparazzi at bay, with  all entrances and exits kept private and secure. Just in case you were worried.

 · A well choreographed  transportation department making to ensure seamless  limousine arrivals and departures so that Oscar® guests can expect on-the-dot service.

· The gift shop has fully stocked with creature comforts such as breath mints and additional supplies of socks and stockings.

Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 860-7800, www.montagebeverlyhills.com